IT’S ALL HAPPENING! The “Pot, Luck” edition, 11/09

Starting Five


1. So it’s probably no coincidence that the abbreviations for the two states that passed the marijuana reeferendum (credit to The Daily Show on that) are WA CO. Not as in David Koresh, but as in Wacko! Marijuana is now legal in 4% of the United States and it’ll only be a matter of time before the other 96% joints them. Why? As we’ll explore later (and, kids, listen closely: this is the answer to most questions) there’s simply too much $$$ to be made.

Currently seeking a room to rent in Durango…

 

2. Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck runs for two touchdowns and leads the Colts to a 27-10 victory at Jacksonville, their fourth straight win. Luck, who recently shaved his skull in support of cancer-stricken head coach Chuck Pagano, has led the Colts to a 6-3 record overall, although it should be noted that he ranks 25th in the NFL in passer rating. The win streak began after Pagano announced that he was leaving to battle leukemia, which is…weird.

The brothers are like, So you shaved your scalp? So?

3. Band of brothers, indeed: Roger Waters and a band of wounded military veterans perform three songs, including “Wish You Were Here”, at the Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. Other performers (a few of these names may be familiar to you) included Bruce Springsteen, John Mayer, Ricky Gervais and Jon Stewart. We are not at liberty to say how we know this, but we have first-hand experience from this week of just how cool Waters is and can assure you that his time with these veterans was far from limited to this night onstage. Everything Waters, who lost both his father and grandfather in World Wars II and I, respectively, did this week was a total rock-star move in all the very best senses of the word.

Shine on, you crazy diamond

4. We are reading at this moment headlines on SI’s site. One says “Report: Kiffin’s future with Trojans in ‘real doubt'” and another reads “Report: Gruden could leave booth for Eagles job.” While we agree with Bomani Jones that any Gruden-to-_____ reports are not to be believed until he is actually standing at the podium, we wonder if you are thinking what we are thinking: the better job for a Gruden who wishes to return to coaching is in LA.

5. In our opinion, there was no greater president than Abraham Lincoln and there is no greater film reviewer than Roger Ebert. So why not sit back and enjoy Ebert’s review of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln?” Daniel Day-Lewis, in the title role, could become the first man to win three Best Actor Oscars this winter. No one but no one is less a slave to Hollywood than DDL. “Lincoln” is just his 11th film in the past 22 years (that’s half a year’s worth of work for Jessica Chastain) and yet he’ll soon be batting over .300 in Best Actor Oscars/appearance. He’s a thespian anaconda, he is.

“Oscar, Oscar, Oscar…” (for you fans of The Odd Couple)

 

Reserves

JUST IN: USA Today reporting that Los Angeles Laker coach Mike Brown has been fired. Beware the Kobe “death stare.” Or is it just the curse of coaching Dwight Howard? Either way, will another LA-based coach be axed this month?

Groupon stock is down almost 30% in trading today. It’s as if the New York Stock Exchange is offering a Groupon on Groupon.

A few thoughts on the potential inevitable nationwide legalization of recreational marijuana, a.k.a., “Romancing the Stoned”,  from someone who has never gotten, as Fox & Friends’ Steve Doocy put it yesterday morning, “potted up on weed.” 

— I currently earn a large share of my income thanks to the propensity of people to enjoy a good bottle of wine, or a few cocktails, with their dinner. If alcohol were to be made illegal — again — I’d be in serious financial trouble, as would the entire food service industry outside of fast-food joints.

— Doocy, on Fox & Friends, wondered aloud what might happen if someone were to “get potted up on weed and then get behind the wheel of a car.” We don’t know, Steve, but we’d love to ask the more than 10,000 Americans who died in alcohol-related driving accidents in 2011.

— Watch a World War II film. Any WW II film. Invariably there’s a scene in which the soldiers get liberty and a few of them go out and have a few. These scenes usually end with someone breaking a chair over someone else’s back because that’s what happens when you drink too many whiskies. No one smokes pot in these films, even though the cult classic Reefer Madness was released in the 1930s. Now go ahead and watch a Vietnam film. Notice a difference (besides the fact that chairs no longer shatter when broken over people’s backs)? Your parents, and their parents, fought in wars that America won and in which people got drunk, not baked (even in M*A*S*H, a Korean War depiction, the officers have set up a still but no one is smoking joints). For people over the age of 60, an inevitably shrinking demographic, weed is a symbol of the turbulent Sixties, when America lost its way, in their opinion. But those people are an ever-shrinking portion of the demographic. Which is why  it won’t be long before pot is legalized nationally.

— Who wins, besides Harold & Kumar? Well, distributors of marijuana in the first place. And who will they be? Will cigarette companies get on board and begin manufacturing weed, as they know more about this business than anyone? Who else wins? How about taxpayers, because if marijuana is going to be sold it is definitely going to be taxed. Also, according to the Daily Show (where we get all our important information), America spends $8 billion annually on the incarceration of people for marijuana usage, possession, or distribution. This is, well, wack.

— Who loses, besides that kid down the hall in your dorm who has better Hollister gear than everyone else and who seems to be dating well above his pay-grade (or is that your campus bookie)? Well, to begin with, big pharma companies (who needs Adderall when you’ve got mary jane). And then there is the alcohol industry (not insignificant lobbying groups, this pair). And then there is the prison industry, which is in fact an industry even if the government supports it.

–We’ve served on a few juries and most of the trials we’ve sat for relate to buy-and-busts. Imagine how much less backlogged the American criminal court system will be once marijuana is legalized.

–Final thought, again, from someone who doesn’t smoke weed: If we can legalize alcohol, we can legalize marijuana. Legalizing marijuana probably won’t put a dent in the amount of people who smoke pot, because pretty much everyone who wants to already does. Also, legalizing pot will provide an economic boon both by the increased tax revenue and the decrease of resources spent fighting this crime. Easy, no?

Tasty wave? Check. Cool buzz? Check. He’s fine.

The 20 Best Stoner movies of all time, in which Seth Rogen appears an inordinate number of times…

“Tramps like us, baby, we were born to kvetch”? The New York Times incorrectly identifies The Boss as “Bruce Springstein.” The correction appears at the bottom of the story.

Johnny Football and Texas A&M are coming to Tuscaloosa to face the top-ranked Crimson Tide. How good are the Aggies? So good that all of the national columnists are able to avoid writing boring pieces about how Bear Bryant coached at both A&M and Alabama.

Apropos of nothing, I happened upon this Jackson 5 performance from the Ed Sullivan Show on YouTube the other day. I’m old enough to remember seeing them on The Flip Wilson Show in the early 1970s, and back then as a a lad I just took it for granted that talent like this existed. Alas, I was wrong. Even Michael Jackson the adult wasn’t as charismatic a performer, or as gifted a singer, as his childhood self. This is simply amazing to watch. If you’ve never seen the pre-pubescent MJ perform, you’re in for a huge treat.

 

An excellent starting five

Oregon State (7-1) visits Stanford (7-2). If the Beavers lose, they could end up with three losses as Oregon remains on the schedule. Stanford, too, still must play the Ducks and No. 18 UCLA (7-2). The Bruins still have Stanford, of course, and 6-3 USC. What does it all mean? It means that if the Eugene team runs the table, there is a good chance that no other Pac-12 school will have fewer than three losses, which would likely put the second-best Pac-12 school outside of the top 14 in the final BCS Standings, which would open up a spot in the Rose Bowl for a school from outside the Big Ten or Pac-12. Just a thought…

Our column on Crystal Ball Run on Lane Kiffin and how he exhibits many of the same qualities as a sociopath. He’s not unlike a non-violent version of Dr. H.H. Holmes, the charming but narcissistic and sociopathic serial killer in Erik Larson’s book “Devil in the White City.”

 

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