Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy 101st Birthday, Alice B. Toklas!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where you should not feel so all alone! Everybody must get .... emmmm ..... never mind.

Today is the 101st birthday of Alice B. Toklas, famous companion and beloved of writer Gertrude Stein. In honor of the event, my daughter The Heir and I will toddle into Camden, New Jersey tonight for our monthly meeting of Pizza and Poetry. It's Alice B. Toklas Night.

I baked some brownies for the occasion. I haven't tasted them yet. They don't have ganj in them. It's illegal. And we at "The Gods Are Bored" aren't big on breaking the law. We can't gas up the car, so where would we get money for reefer ... and the fines you have to pay if you're caught with it? Forget it.

At the same time, we at "The Gods Are Bored" are strongly in favor of the re-legalization of marijuana. I say re-legalization because pot wasn't made illegal until the 1930s, largely due to a PR campaign against it by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. (Hearst wanted to sell his pulpwood for newspaper production and therefore wanted the cheaper, more environmentally sound hemp taken off the market.)

Recent studies have shown that today's super-strength weed, consumed in quantity, causes brain damage. Ya think? Well, if something's illegal, it's unregulated. You don't know what's in that baggie, son. Steer clear.

However, if pot was legal, it would be inspected by those masters of efficiency, the Food and Drug Administration. The skunk hybrid stuff would be out, and the more benign cannabis in. Bought in packs. With filters. Must show valid ID, etc. etc.

Benign? Yes indeedy, the old-time stuff was benign. Just ask George Washington how he cured his toothache. Midwives used it to ease labor pains. And given the choice between a confrontation with someone who's toked and someone who's been downing martinis all evening, I choose the toker. Every time.

Pot causes brain damage? Probably. But so does booze. I would tell you how booze causes brain damage, but I can't remember. Ah, but this reminds me to go to the totally legal liquor store and buy a bottle of wine for Pizza and Poetry! If I don't forget. I think you see my point, but if you don't, I'll have forgotten making it by tomorrow.

I'm not going to hold my breath until reefer gets legalized in this country. So on to the other Alice B. Toklas crusade.

Alice really, really, really loved Gertrude. And vice versa. They had fabulous parties and fabulous friends. Like Picasso. It seems Picasso enjoyed their company so much that he gave them a couple of paintings. Which Gertrude's family legally confiscated from Toklas at Gertrude's death. Alice died a pauper.

For the love of fruit flies, can't we recognize gay couples with the same legal protections we fling at straight couples? Is that asking too much, Kansas? A little old-age security for someone whose dying words were, "Will I see Gertrude in heaven?"

Oh yeah. Gay people don't go to heaven. No, wait. False. False. False. Gay people are warmly welcome in Sidhe and also by the Greek pantheon. So if you're gay, just pick a queer-friendly heaven. It's not hard to do.

And while you're alive, as far as we at "The Gods Are Bored" are concerned, you should be rewarded for fidelity to a partner the same way myself or Mr. Johnson will be rewarded when one of us passes on, leaving the other to make his own coffee (or mow her own grass).

Hoping Alice B. Toklas would approve of this post I remain,

Your faithful servant,



yellowdog granny said...

happy birthday to you...hap....uh what were we talking about?...oh yea, happy birthday dear's a toke for you...

can i copy this post and send it to a friend? blog is set up so i can email a post to someone..but your's isn't...i loved this post..the idea of taking your daughter for pizza and poetry for alice's 101st birthday is classic..

Emily G. W. Lilly said...

I live in Massachusetts, the only state in the Union that gives full legal status and recognition to same-sex couples. Woo-hoo! I LOVE it!

(It makes the tax instructions complex, however, since you are supposed to file the same as you do for federal, but same-sex couple can file differently because they aren't _allowed_ to file as married for federal, and there are about fifteen extra hoops to go through on their forms as a result. That portion of the instruction book was a fascinating read!)

Alcohol is an incredibly powerful neuro-toxin. Remember that big hoopla a decade or two ago about "crack babies"? Well, more studies have been done, and it turns out that crack babies aren't that way because of the crack; they're that way because the original women studied did crack AND outrageous amounts of alcohol. Women who _just_ do crack give birth to babies who are basically normal (some slight issues, but nothing like "crack babies"). So, they really should be called "booze babies". And pot is safer than cigarettes. In fact, most things are safer than alcohol and cigarettes, especially in moderation.

(You notice I didn't say "tobacco"--the raw ingredient isn't so bad. It's all of the processing and added ingredients that make the cigs nasty for you...)

Thank you for a thought-provoking article!

Anne Johnson said...

I wrote a poem for the occasion too, but it advocates illegal behavior, so I won't post it on the blog. Yes, please go ahead and email away. And remember, you're now the long arm of the law yourself, Sheriff Granny.

Anonymous said...

Hope you and the Heir have a grand evening out!

Joyous Beltane!
Mama Kelly

Big Tex said...

If weed and gay marriage were both legal in all 50 states, this country would be so much less uptight. Happy birthday Alice, whereever you are...

Areto said...

a great documentary on these amazing women and others of their time: Paris Was a Woman.

sageweb said...

I agree with everything you said. Love love love it.