Long Hair

About Us


Gift Shop

Thursday, October 8, 1998

First, the New Stuff:

We're back from the Freedom Festival, and it was an amazing event: 45,000 marijuana smokers jammed onto a hillside. And once again, it was clear to me that these people are not just fringe criminals but are actually an oppressed minority yearning for equality. Here was a chance when, for once, people who must otherwise conceal their culture and identity were able to stand together and demand a voice in our society. And when I recognize that these people do have a genuine culture (and what else does the phrase "drug culture" mean?) I'm forced to wonder what would happen to this culture if all drug use were ever truly eliminated. What happens to the people who prefer pot to beer if America becomes "drug free"? Are they brainwashed into abandoning their preferred intoxicant? Are they all deported to Amsterdam? Imprisoned for life? Something worse? What happens to the stoners when the "war on drugs" is won? How's it going to end?

The stoners, by the way, loved Aquarius. (We figured that they would... that's why we decided to get a booth in the vendor's area at this event.) But it was sometimes hard to get their attention, since our little living room was a tiny island floating in the middle of a vast sea of humanity, a sea that was awash with sights, smells, and messages... but those who noticed Aquarius really dug it. We really wished we hadn't missed the deadline for getting the stickers we wanted made... B&W flyers were a woefully inferior replacement. Toward the end, I started giving away Rocket stickers, and they were much easier to give away. I'd stand in the middle of the lane saying "Free stickers!" and almost everyone passing would say "Ooh!" and accept one.

We got help on this adventure from field agent Julia Tenney, who was of great help to us in demoing the game and even provided us with lovely crash space. Thanks Julia! When we rolled into town Friday night, she and some of her friends were hanging out playing games and making Icehouse pieces out of Friendly Plastic (a commercial product consisting of plastic pellets that can be softened and forced into molds). In other words, our kind of fun!

While passing through New York City on the way home, we stopped off to visit Dawn, and went out to eat at an upscale new theme restaurant in Manhattan called Mars 2112. The idea is that you're transported through space and time (in a flying saucer) to a future restaurant on the planet Mars, and it's really pretty cool. The food was good, the decor and atmosphere unbeatable, and the prices surprisingly low. But the owners have obviously sunk a small nation's economic worth into this place (the trip to Mars is accomplished through a gratis flight simulator ride) so it'll be interesting to see if they manage to turn a profit, or if they pull a Boston Market. Check it out if you're in the Big Apple; it's right across the street from the theater where Cats has been playing for the past 93 years.

I've been watching the original Star Trek series on the Sci-Fi channel, and it's great to be seeing the old shows again. It's been 12 or 13 years since I've seen most of these shows, and while some of them haven't aged well, it's still very entertaining. (Actually, the stuff that hasn't aged well is often what's most entertaining...)

I was particularly interested in seeing the Planet of the Spores episode, "This Side of Paradise", again. An obvious anti-drug polemic, I'm given to wonder how much this single show may have shaped my deeply-rooted fear of drug use, which prevented me from experimenting with marijuana in college, when I so frequently had the chance.

But much as I'm enjoying these ancient reruns, I do have one complaint. The Sci-Fi channel's "Special Edition" puts the show into a 90-minute format, thus allowing time for inclusion of scenes previously cut to make room for more commercials, plus commentary by the host, William Shatner, and interviews with the cast, and such like. Which is all fine and good, except that the filler sequences routinely include "spoiler" scenes that reveal things yet to occur in the episode being watched! The show clearly is targeted at Star Trek fans like me who've seen these shows many times before, but Kristin (and others viewers too, I'm sure) has never seen many of these shows, and giving away the ending is never excusable to me anyway. Even if I've seen it before, I might not remember what's going to happen next!

  • It is distinctly frustrating being among a huge crowd of people who are openly smoking pot, and not doing so yourself.
  • One luxury amenity that I'll never understand is the Bathroom Attendant. I'm supposed to tip this guy for hanging around watching me use the toilet?
  • Polar opposites: Phantom of the Paradise and That Thing You Do!






News Archives

Sponsored by

Tirade's Past Picks

What was new on 10/1/98?

Dr Cool's Past Picks

Serve Different

Comments? Send email to

News Search Gift Shop Games About Us | contact us