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Potent quotables 

The famous metaphysical philosopher Rene Descartes once wrote, “I think, therefore I am.” It was his grand contribution to the timeless questions of existence and the mysteries in the relationship between body and mind.


Less famous ultimate-fighter-turned-TV-dance-competitor Chuck Liddell once wrote, “This week I thought I looked like Big Bird, but that’s OK. It was fun. If those sleeves were yellow, I would have looked like Big Bird.”


That little wisdom nugget was from Liddell’s fourth installment of his Dancing With the Stars blog, posted via ESPN. Not quite as profound, but still a fundamental truth, I’m sure.


Few would expect much from a guy who built his career on trying not to get hit in the head. OK, stop there. I had this whole thing planned out about offering to ghost write Liddell’s blog in exchange for him beating up corrupt conservative skid mark Tom DeLay. But, of course, I found out the next day that Liddell got kicked off the show with a bedazzled loafer.


Blah, bong, blah


Yet again New Times is riding the medical-marijuana train for all it’s worth. Choo choo! All aboard for easy controversy. We get it: Marijuana is hip and edgy, and legal marijuana is hipper and edgierer. Is that how you say it? Maybe I’m coming down with something. Is there a doctor in the house?


The medical-marijuana story has been played out ad nauseam. It’s been played out to the point that if I hear another self-righteous stoner call it medical cannabis, I’m going to get so queasy I’ll need a prescription.


Some cardholders are seriously ill, but not all of them. Every medical-marijuana story is really a thinly veiled poke at a fairly unnecessary law, I think. The ridiculous core of this debacle should be why marijuana is illegal in the first place.


Marijuana grows naturally everywhere. There’s a reason it’s called weed. I’ll quote the late great Bill Hicks only because I’ve been so far plagiarizing his idea on this subject: “To make marijuana against the law is like saying God made a mistake.”


That’s not to say that I believe in any God, beyond worshiping myself. But through all the chatter about the plant, has anyone ever had a legitimate argument against marijuana, aside from nutritionists? Which reminds me, where can I score some Cheetos?


Drunken public


The rallying cry against young, budding alcoholics seems particularly sharp this year. The Cal Poly freshman class was so boozed up that two unrelated youngsters both managed to wander into strangers’ houses in Gonzo-esque stupors. That’s a reference to Hunter S., not the Muppet.


Despite the outcry, from what police relayed a few days after the flood of students poured into town, the drinking madness this year didn’t appear to be particularly worse than any other year, as far as arrests go.


SLO Police Chief Deborah Linden is still coming down hard on rowdy drinkers, though. Or at least she’s making a big public fuss about it. She even hired a high-priced consultant to unveil how bars contribute to drunkenness—though I’m working off a big assumption because they didn’t say how much the study cost or what was found, for that matter.


But why go after the bar owners? It’s doubtful all the freshman trouble was caused by kids with fake IDs ponying up $5 per shot. Underage drinkers don’t get drunk at bars—they can’t afford it. That’s what Keystone Light is for. Or, if you’re in a pinch, Listerine. I make a mean Listerini, by the way: Shake two shots of the stuff (regular, not mint) together with some cranberry juice, and garnish with a pearl onion.


Back to my point: Why go after the bars? And why is a tax-funded consultant necessary? The line of logic seems simple enough: Some people like booze; bars sell booze; booze makes people drunk. If A leads to B and B to C, then we can say people who want booze will get drunk at bars. (Remember the philosophical kick off to this column? Now I’m talking about Aristotle. I think.) Some people will drink fairly responsibly, but there are always douchebags and douchebaguettes (thanks Google). That’s why we have police patrolling downtown when the streets are squirming with drunks.


What more can be done beyond outright prohibition? (Don’t even think about it.) You can already get nailed for being drunk in public trying to walk home, though I’ve yet to understand how it’s possible to get drunk in a public place and then back home without being in public.


Go green … big time


Based on one of this week’s stories, I’m sure I can sum up the big-energy response to people thinking about going green: “Don’t build anything too big, because then we have to buy energy back from you. Of course, we’re not going to pay for it. In the meantime, here’s a commercial with a cute kid about big energy going green. Watch and shut up.” I may have made up that last part.


Blocking individually supplied power is how we end up with environmentally friendly, yet city-sized solar arrays in California Valley, where the biggest problems are still environmental impacts, somehow. I don’t quite get it either. The great philosopher Tarzan once said, “Self sustain bad; big power plant good.” His counterparts added, “Wait, I’ve got an idea: What if people put solar panels on their roofs but can’t make any money off it or really ever detach themselves from the grid? Oh, and we can charge them for feeding off our grid, too!” Ka-freaking-ching!


The largest barrier to going green—other than the annoying people who smugly spit out the term as if there’s a prize for repeating it—is that it gets in the way of the status quo. We’ll likely never see houses supplying their own power anymore than a car that runs on water. Though I have it on good authority the government has been hiding the water car for decades. Fascists.


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