As the immortal hip hop duo Mobb Deep rapped back in 1995, “ain’t no such thing as halfway crooks.” In "Shook Ones Pt. II," Prodigy warns, if you “speak the wrong words, man you will get touched.”
Given the actions of the Department of Justice this past week, it seems like they might know a little bit about that. In response to a report from the Associated Press in May of last year regarding a foiled bombing plot in Yemen, the DOJ launched a two-month-long probe into the AP’s phone records, netting communications information from more than 100 reporters and editors across multiple bureaus, according to AP estimates. In some cases, the secret probe extended to home and cell phone records as well, so the investigation was thorough.
Sorry if this post is a little late. I’ve been spending all my free time recently getting stoned and not finding a job. The good news is, though, that a bunch of other Pennsylvanians are in the exact same position, apparently much preferring a fleeting toke of some ganj over something trivial like, oh, full-time employment. But what’s even better for all of us lazy Keystone State druggies is that we don’t have to blame our shortcomings on the marijuanas; Tom “The Jobs Are There” Corbett will do it for us. And for himself, but that’s beside the point—our low jobs numbers just can’t be Tommy’s fault.
Given the way things have been going lately, you might figure that the 42-year-old War on Drugs, hallelujah, is over. Nationally, we’ve seen a rebirth of the psychedelic movement, a shift in public perception of marijuana, and, as proven by theHigh Times Cannabis Cup, weed is very much legal in Colorado (and Washington). Even in Philly, we’ve got hundreds of people toking up at the Liberty Bell at each Smokedown Prohibition with little to no trouble, despite the efforts of whiney YouTube users armed with iPhones alone—not to mention that whole de-facto marijuana decriminalization thing.
After the terrorist attacks on 9/11, it took me about three days to find my first full-blown conspiracy theory about the specifics surrounding the event online. The way the World Trade Center towers collapsed, the story went, clearly indicated a controlled demolition planned by none other than our very own government. It was, in effect, the moment that the national paranoia bubble burst.
Ever since Alexander Graham Bell shouted “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you!” into his telephone back in 1876, it seems like mankind has been in an arms race to develop electronic communications technology.
As a millennial, the thing I remember most from my childhood is Pokémon cards. Everyone had them, and in enormous supply. But that didn’t lessen the hype around the cards, with kids dedicating large sums of time, energy and cash to build that perfect deck. I even remember some kid got stabbed over a Charizard card when I was in elementary school. Few fads since have ever come close to equaling that level of fanaticism, but not for lack of trying to exploit my generation’s apparent susceptibility to groupthink.
Historically, Philadelphia has had a bad case of cainophobia. Whether we’re talking about building a highway or bumping up trash day, Philadelphians generally don’t react to change too well. “It’s my city,” we say, “I like it the way it is.” Reinvention, alteration—these things are a threat to the very identity of native Philadelphians everywhere. Progressives, generally speaking, we are not.
Stuff a bunch of ground-up weed into a metal tube, run some clean butane gas through, evaporate the solution from the resulting mixture, and what's left? A marijuana concentrate known as hash oil, and if the Internet is any indicator of where we’re going with drugs (it is), then this is what my children will be hiding from me in their sock drawers come parenthood.