Friday, October 30, 2009

PBS Documentary's Message: "Let Them Smoke Pot"

The other night, I came home from teaching to find someone I know watching a PBS documentary instead of the World Series. The Botany of Desire, a 1.2 million dollar program, featured our former next-door neighbor on West 110th Street in New York City, now millionaire and bestselling author, Michael Pollan. He was completely unrecognizable, now looking more like bullet-headed former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson than the bearded, softy, Bennington graduate and protege of novelist John Gardner. As the program unfolded, it became pretty obvious that Pollan and his crew of not-so-merry Cannibis lobbyists, including New Age health guru Dr. Andrew Weil, were singing the praises of recreational hemp--their argument apparently growing (forgive the pun) out of mankind's desire for plants such as tulips and apples.

I figure, given the time it takes to produce a PBS documentary, the network brass must have green-lighted this infomercial for the multibillion-dollar marijuana industry sometime during the Bush administration. Let's call it a triumph of product placement by "Big Dope."

Eight years after 9/11, I finally was told by PBS, and my former neighbor, what the American establishment thinks we should do to cope with a world on fire with economic collapse, Islamic revolution, and terrorism.

PBS's answer:"Let them smoke pot."

Having lived through the ghastly 1970s when so many were stoned, and having benefitted from the Reagan administration's "Just Say No" turnaround, I'm glad most of America was watching the World Series the other night. I don't want to live through another Carter administration, thank you very much...

I'm rooting for the Yankees, myself.