Prove it didn’t happen… (Round 2)

August 5th, 2007


Dharma Wheel

Round 2

“And the Judge said, ‘What’s that mean, anyway, that you’re an anarchist?’

And Amon said, ‘Why, an anarchist is anybody who doesn’t need a cop to tell him what to do.’

‘But you broke the law, Amon! What about that?’

‘Oh, Judge, your damn laws…the good people don’t need ‘em, and the bad people don’t obey ‘em, so what use are they, anyway?”
-Utah Phillips, “Anarchy,” The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere, c. 1996 Righteous Babe Music/bmi.

I am ushered gruffly into the prison. The guard accompanying me signals to the one at the controls, on the other side of the wired glass window. I wince as the massive, highly secured door is released to the tune of a loud, grating buzz, and again as it clamps shut behind me on its gnarled hinges with an irrevocable, booming click. The unpleasantly resonant sound reminds me of factories.

Assembly lines.

Slaughterhouses.

Processing plants.

As we stride silently, monklike, into the facility’s innards, I reflect on the long, strange trip which brought me to this pass, lessons in futility and humility. My heart harbors no hatred for the civil servants conducting me down the corridors of gaol; they are merely unwitting agents of their own dharma, like those who sent me here.

In fact, I have surprised myself by swallowing my sentence with uncharacteristic equanimity, though I’ve broken no sane law. It could have been much, much worse. And, strictly speaking, I had committed the offense for which I had been sentenced. Shamelessly. Seditiously.

Photographs published by pot magazines portrayed my proudly, provocatively and publicly produced ‘ponic Chronic. I told tall tales of toking tyrants to tell-all tabloids, to trivialize the thumping: they took THC, too.

Prove it didn’t happen.

I had even written extensively and boastingly about my own illegal exploits, making my guerrilla garden a major player in my blockbuster book. That was how I got to be so famous that they just had to nail me.

My dope-laden epic was a raspberry in the Establishment’s face, as were my flamboyant forays into the sacred places of Babylon, temples such as the Whites-only House and the World Fraud Center, for the sole purpose of sparking a fatty of the kindest dank, while horrified tourists covered their Osh-koshed toddlers’ eyes, ears, and mouths.

So the push was on within the flanks of the humorless to crucify this irreverent unrepentant, who had somehow achieved success in spite of my distinct dissidence. I said little that was new, but my voice rang louder than similar throats had in the previous, more crowded generation of counterculture loudmouths and Pranksters that made the news fun during the 1960’s.

The climax, for me, was the ferocious stink raised by parents when a local high school’s literary group invited me to speak to them on form and structure. In an ironic twist of fate, I attended my first and (Goddess willing!) last meeting of a Parent Teacher’s Association. The PTA, it appeared, took issue with my unconventional viewpoint and had voted to ban me from the premises.

By the end of that fiasco, I’d penned a vicious essay claiming that the acronym actually stood for Prudish Tight Asses. I held up their own literary cannons and forced them to confront the flaw of their arguments. I belonged to a great literary tradition of deviance, I smugly pointed out, listing my company in contrariety comfortably installed on the curriculum, assuming, in my arrogance, that even my enemies would surely concede my status among the unacknowledged legislators of the world.

No one told me there’d been a coup, and now TV studios pretty much ran things.

My roster of fellow thought-criminals included such high school English fixtures as Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Ken Kesey, Allen Ginsberg, and Aldous Huxley. Their work, but not lifestyles, were obviously considered salutary by the government’s Federal Branch of Indoctrination, also known as the public “education” system, whose agents cravenly used the superior prose and verse of outlaw virtuosos to train a new generation of technical-manual authors and speechwriters, while the Partnership for a Fun Free America aired commercials about the diminished mental faculties of marijuana users. Can you spell, “hypocrisy?” Probably not, if you actually relied on school for your learning.

~ )))0((( ~

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