There are now more medical marijuana dispensaries in Denver than there are Starbucks. Glossy guidebooks list nearly 300 locations where Colorado’s 125,000 residents who have been prescribed medical marijuana can get their “medicine.” Many offer a free joint to new customers, allowing them to sample exotic strains like Jah Kush, Golden Goat and Romulan Cotton Candy.
Local smokers even have a professional critic to help them navigate the gauntlet of bongs, pipes and vaporizers, or make that essential choice between Super Silver Haze and Purple Passion.
The critic’s pen name is William Breathes; he keeps his real identity secret to ensure he gets the same treatment as any other patient.
His weekly weed purchase is paid for by the Denver Westword, the popular alternative weekly that hired Breathes after its editors realized they were serving one of the most stoned readerships in America.
“It’s a fun new writing area,” Westword editor Patricia Calhoun told The Daily, “and if your publication prides itself on doing strong cultural coverage of art, theater and food, then why not do pot, too?”
Here’s one of his reviews. I like his style:
The Platinum Purps had an orange-rind tartness to it, which would have gone great with the sticky-sweet smell of Tangerine Haze. There was also a solid Triple-D, very floral Flo, and some well done Trainwreck renamed Charlie Sheen, appropriately enough. Other more unique strains out of Scott’s coco mix garden, including Scott’s Blue, the Tange and the Face Wreck Haze, smelled so good I wanted to make a potpourri bowl out of them for my office.
Man, he’s got my dream job. I’ll tell you what, if the LA Weekly wanted to offer me a similar column,I’d write it for free!
In 2002, 13-year-old Milly Dowler disappeared. In the hours that followed, her family left desperate messages on Milly’s cell phone begging her to get in touch. There was no response, and the family’s messages soon filled Milly’s voice mail.
Then something strange happened - the messages were deleted. This gave the family hope that Milly was still alive.
But the truth was: Milly hadn’t deleted the messages. She was dead, murdered by Levi Bellfield.
It now turns out that it was a private detective, Glenn Mulcaire, employed by Rupert Murdoch’s paper the News of the World, who had allegedly hacked into the ‘phone and deleted the messages. As the Guardian reported on Monday:
Scotland Yard is now investigating evidence that the paper hacked directly into the voicemail of the missing girl’s own phone. As her friends and parents called and left messages imploring Milly to get in touch with them, the News of the World was listening and recording their every private word.
News International’s Chief Executive, Rebekah Brooks was the paper’s editor at the time. In an email to staff Brooks claimed she was “appalled and shocked” by the allegations, and thought it “inconceivable that [she] knew or worse, sanctioned these appalling allegations.”
Of course, this is what Brooks has to say, until there is evidence to the contrary.
Even if that evidence is forthcoming, it is unlikely that Brooks would have sanctioned such actions on her own, which opens up the whole of Rupert Murdoch’s News International for very serious and critical examination.
“...pursue this in the most vigorous way that they can in order to get to the truth of what happened.
“I think that is the absolute priority as a police investigation.”
Which may bring interesting results, as another former editor of the News of the World tainted with phone-hacking allegations is Andy Coulson, who was appointed by Cameron as his Director of Communications - a position Coulson eventually quit because coverage of the phone-hacking affair.
1. Boycott the paper. Treat it just as the people of Merseyside did when The Sun ran its infamous Hillsborough story in 1989 following the deaths of 96 Liverpool supporters.
2. Pressure advertisers and media buyers not to buy space in the News of the World and to withdraw ads they’ve already booked.
3. Back the call for an independent public inquiry into the whole hacking affair. It will be officially launched tomorrow at a meeting in the Lords.
4. Demand to know who has been, and is, paying the legal expenses of Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who was jailed for intercepting voicemail messages on behalf of the News of the World.
5. Ask the PCC if it has inquired of News Int whether it, or any of its associated companies, has been responsible for paying the legal fees of a convicted man? If it has not, why not? And is it therefore time that it did so?
Crucially, the ‘phone hacking allegations come just as Murdoch has succeeded in gaining regulatory permission for a 100% takeover bid for the British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB), the UK’s largest pay-TV broadcaster, with over 10 million subscribers.
avaaz.org are currently organizing a campaign to stop Murdoch’s media take-over:
We have just three days to flood the government’s public consultation with requests to stop the deal.
We’ve done it before—in the last consultation Hunt said our avalanche of 40,000 messages delayed the deal as his officials had to read each email carefully, fearing a legal challenge. But the government is pushing the deal through despite the hacking scandal of murdered Milly Dowler—the latest grim episode that shows how Murdoch’s media tramples standards and ignores ethics.
Murdoch already controls more of our media than is legal in many countries – and is notorious for using his power to skew our politics. The official consultation ends this Friday—let’s tell the government we don’t want his media empire to control our largest commercial broadcaster. Send a message now—using your own words to make it stand out—calling on Jeremy Hunt and David Cameron to refuse Murdoch’s BSkyB deal until there’s a full Competition Commission review and a full public inquiry into phone hacking.
This is a lot like the light painting with a Roomba that’s been making the rounds on the Internet the past few days. However, this one is a bit more dangerous.
Experimental and slightly mental. The D*Face spray paint skateboard interface. What better way to paint the pool then letting everyone get involved? With high-tech remotely controlled spray can apparatus mounted to the underside of skateboards…every line a skater took became the paint job of the pool.
Spotify have been forced to remove an advert which features a cover of the Dead Kennedys’ ‘Too Drunk To Fuck’ over fears it would encourage binge drinking.
The streaming company had been running a series of banner advertisements, which directed users to a special ‘slowed down’ playlist as part of a campaign for the beer Kronenbourg 1664, with Madness’s ‘Baggy Trousers’ and Motorhead’s ‘Ace Of Spades’ among those ‘slowed down’.
One of the tracks used was the Dead Kennedys’ ‘Too Drunk To Fuck’, which attracted a number of complaints to the independent regular The Portman Group. The complaints were then investigated and were found to be in breach of a rule which bans advertisers from “encouraging irresponsible or immoderate drinking”.
Knowing Jello Biafra’s aversion to having his songs used in ads, I’m sure he’s pleased that Kronenbourg got busted. And he’s able to get some press while keeping his karma clean.
Here’s Jello & The Guantanamo School Of Medicine doing “Too Drunk To Fuck” a few nights ago in Helsinki.
The final photo session of Brian Jones with The Rolling Stones.
There isn’t tons of footage of Brian Jones, founder of The Rolling Stones, speaking on camera, so this is a real treat. Usually it’s Mick Jagger who the reporters would direct the questions at (or Mick who would always answer, I suppose) but seldom have we seen Brian speak for such an extended period of time. (Mick must’ve been knackered?).
The interview took place in Montreal in 1965 and the interviewer wanted to know what the Stones thought of America. They tell him.
This little gem caught my eye at the Everything Is Festival! over the weekend: It’s a trailer/excerpt from Joe Dante’s 4-hour long epic of found footage mayhem, The Movie Orgy (which they screened at Cinefamily yesterday). In it, you’ll see one of the best ads for cigarettes, ever. I’ll leave it at that, as not to spoil it.