Thursday

Why We Should Legalize Pot (From A Guy Who Doesn't Smoke It)

I don't smoke Pot. In fact, I don't smoke anything. But this doesn't change the fact that the legalization of pot would drastically improve society.

Below I'll list a few reasons (and explanations) for my hypothesis.

1. It would help us battle real crime.

-Smoking pot has never killed anyone. It isn't habit forming. It doesn't make people violent. It doesn't heighten the change of crime. In fact, it probably lowers it. If pot was legalized, we could redirect our crime fighting resources to fighting real crime, and all the money and manpower spent on flying helicopters to find pot growers, DEA agents making busts on hippie pot grow houses and local cops searching out kids that are smoking, we could use it on fighting other crimes like hard drugs, theft, and murder.

2. It would help the economy.

-With pot legalized, a huge American industry would open up. Pot growers and dealers would be taxed (helping us to fund more important things, like improving national security and building roads and playgrounds) and it would give jobs to jobless Americans (which we seem to have a lot of these days).

3. We could save the environment and lower our dependence on foreign imports.

-Hemp has been used for thousands of years. It can be an environmentally safe alternative for everything from clothing, to hand lotions, to oil. With the legalization of pot, its hemp could be cultivated and it could help America save the environment we live on, and lessen our dependence on foreign imports.

4. It would possibly lower drug use.

-We've all been taught that pot is a gateway drug, right? Well, many experts are putting forth a theory that says that pot is only a gateway drug because we distinct it as such. What I mean by this is that since we tell kids pot is bad, and pot is a drug, when they try it and realize its effects aren't that serious, it makes them think that maybe other drugs may not be as bad either. This leads them to try harder, more serious drugs, and start their journey down the slippery slope that is drug addiction.

5. It would save the lives of thousands of people.

-Each year, thousands of people are killed in the drug trade. With pot legalized, the industry would screech to a halt, and all the drug induced and often gang related violence would stop with it.


Now, even if pot is legalized, I don't plan on smoking it. It's just not my style. But I do think it will solve many of the problems that we face in our society today, and the it's legalization should be seriously considered by our government.

I mean, Holland's doing fine, right?

Sunday

The Nature of Authorship... and Snake Worshipping.

I just finished a book a few days ago. And I just found out the author worships a snake god named Glycon.

The book was really a graphic novel (my first ever), and is called Watchmen. The author is Alan Moore. He's critically acclaimed and is regarded by some as the greatest writer of the graphic medium. He worships snakes.

Now, the book was great. In fact, TIME magazine named it "one of the 100 greatest novels since 1923" and Lost Co-Producer Damon Lindelof has public stated that Watchmen is "The Greatest Piece of Popular Fiction Ever Produced". It's full of philosophy, action, beautiful storytelling and artistry.

But the author worships snakes.

Now here's the question: Should this change the way I view the book?

This could be applied to any artistry: but let's keep it to novels for the sake of simplicity. Glycon (the perviously stated Snake-God) is a talking snake, that was referenced by the satirist Lucican, and has Macedonian roots (so basically its pretty old). According to Wikipedia (the greatest source of knowledge since the Library of Alexandria), Lucian says that the Greek Prophet Alexander of Abonutichus created Glycon. People worshipped the snake for fertility and later for protection from the plague. Lucian went on to describe the entire thing as a hoax, where Glycon was to be a glove puppet.

So, the author of a book that I generally liked, worships a snake god that was said to be a hoax in the second century AD. Should this change how I view the book? It shouldn't. But, inevitably, it does.

I am the first to say that someone should judge art by their own standards. But I would be lying to say that the thought that I may have just read some subliminal message telling me to worship snakes hasn't crossed my mind.

All artists put their names on their works for a reason; to get credit for it. But, more importantly, it helps to define the art itself. Beethoven's last symphony is more meaningful to me because I know that he wrote it, and when he did he was deaf. Does that not make it more impressive? It does.

So in this case, it may be opposite. Alan Moore wrote a great book, but I can't help to take the message of the book in a different way since I have learned of his snake-worshipping-practices. The philosophical message of the book has since changed for me, where once it was a great story involving many philosophical ideas that accompanied a great storyline, and now I view it as a book written only to satirize these ideas.

This is all from the knowledge that Alan Moore worships snakes.

It shouldn't matter, but it does.

It just started hailing where in Philadelphia, where I was belted in the head by rather large pieces of ice. 

Has Alan Moore just cursed me?

Welcome, and the meaning of "Danger"

Hello world!

My name is Nick "Danger" Weingartner, and I'd like to (1) thank you for coming here and (2) explain to you where "Danger" came from.

No, I did not nickname myself Danger. It was added upon my name by forces out of control. It's actually a long story. Or that's at least how I start telling it.

It started by me making a joke. I made a joke to my brother John, where I told him my middle name was Danger. It was a innocent joke (I mean, who doesn't tell someone their middle name is Danger at some point?) and we laughed for a moment, then went on living our lives. Or so I thought.

Upon meeting a group of girls at a conference later that week, we all said "Hi" and introduced ourselves. An awkward silence that marks the lull of conversation then fell upon us. It was then where John decided to tell this group of females that my middle name was actually "Danger". They laughed at the joke, then went on living their lives as well. It was at this point it became an inside joke to my close friends and I, and that was where it stayed.
   
Months passed, and "Danger" lay dormant. Then I went to college.
   
Freshman year can be quite intimidating. There is an unspoken pressure for everyone to talk to everyone, even if there is nothing to be said. It was at one of these "conversations" in which "Danger" was brought out of its underground lair.

I went upstairs in my hall to meet my RA, Mike. He was (and is) a good guy, but after introducing ourselves, we didn't have much to talk about. I then (maybe out of nervousness, or just desire to end awkwardness) I told him that my middle name was "Danger". He thought this was funny. This was when "Danger" took off.

We went to film club together. He (being a senior) introduced my to everyone. As "Danger". 
After meeting a number of people, I went to the head of production for films at the time to tell him my intent on making a film that semester. He asked for my name. I said "Nick". Mike walked by at that moment, and said "Danger". Kyle then wrote down "Nick Danger". 

He went to the executive board to talk about my film. He told them my name was "Nick Danger". They voted on it, deciding only to call me by this name. Everyone I met from that point on knew me as "Nick Danger". In fact, I believe that the majority of people don't actually know what my last name is.

So, that's how my name became Nick Danger.

This blog will be my thoughts on anything and everything under the sun.

I hope you like it.

Thanks for coming.

And keep checking in.
 
     Peace & Love,
        Nick "Danger" Weingartner