Why We Love The Stoner
Words: Tobey McCasker
Lots of everyone want to get stoned. When American states started legalising it there was, almost instantly, a national petition to save Hostess and thus Twinkies. Those who do not wish to pack a conical green anesthesia and scrunch inside a beanbag hurring at Aqua Teen Hunger Force adore those who do. Last week Kai chop suey’d a madman with a machete. Although he did this in service to the greater good, it was neither the heinous reality of his impromptu swordsmanship nor its resultant heroism that drew the most De Niro nods. It was his Point Break declaration of It’s like the biggest wave I’ve ever ridden in my life and other red-eyed colloquialisms that, for one brief shining moment there, united YouTube commenters in the fever dreams of super ordinary men.
Ryan Lochte is maybe the guy orchestrating Michael Phelps’ downtime. Ordinarily this strange friendbeast would have bubbled back under the surface once the Olympics were over, but no. His reality TV show will be airing in April, and he just reenacted the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind for the debut of ESPN Magazine’s music issue for some reason. If you look at the baby, he said, he’s definitely happy in the water. And that’s what I am. People love Ryan Lochte like they love Keanu Reeves circa ’89-‘91. This is why:
No he’s not just dumb, he skateboards. His Twitter is good. Cabin In The Woods was also good, but most of us missed the cultural zeitgeist at its core, that being the fact the most patently stoned member of its Scooby Doo troupe ends being the most capable of the lot and then meets Ellen Ripley. The rest of his useless but hot friends like him a lot but don’t want to fuck him. We love the stoner or peoples who are comically impaired in the same way – from a distance. The general conservative consensus does not love him or her in real life: weed is a gateway drug and a demotivational without a punchline underneath an hilarious image, that kind of thing. Yada yada, up to the individual to secure themself, life’s tough don’t get addicted to anything. No one is dating
homeless homefree Kai. If he was your joeboy you would tell him to get it together. And yet Kai made us all celebrate our day, week, maybe month. We’re so enamoured we even managed to miss the real human tragedy of the piece, to be found at approximately 5:38 when he says: I don’t have any family. As far as anybody I grew up with is concerned I’m already dead, so. Whatever.
Social weightlessness is the fastest way to a stacked friends list of acquaintances. Being one toke over the line is the purest distillation of that achievable without actually being dead. The stoner is non-threatening and asexual, but by the same token, not even really there. In this way we love the stoner without caring for him or her. In a few months Kai will be another Antoine Dodson. They’re even wearing palette-swapped headgear. Know your stoner by their Sadie the Cleaning Lady allegiance to a gang of many but only one, and their final form is somebody else’s pan-flash iTunes sensation.
The deep inhalation of irie mon has a way of engendering peace in someone, some kind of zen shortcut. This is cool. Whether or not it’s because they’re too fucking blazed to do regular crappy human things aside (it is), people enjoy people who contribute little that could be considered challenging or combative, and moreover contribute things that make them feel quietly better about themselves. Consider Silent Bob. Stonerism is Taoism that empowers others: It is exactly because she does not contend, that nobody can contend with her. Power is everything. If you just are, you are instantly OK and OK with everything. OK, and a sad clown. Jim Breuer wears an unconvincing mask. Pauly Shore was dead for a while. Nobody noticed, but dude I have watched Encino Man fifty billion times.
We love the stoner. The stoner is pretty much Jesus. They are everything good about being a human and in so being, are not human. They die for our grins.