Category Archives: Movies

Stoner Stereotypes Die Hard

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For decades, cannabis users were looked down upon as ‘stoners’ or ‘potheads’.  Ironically enough, this negative stigma became a golden idea for many 4/20-themed films.  From Up in Smoke to Humboldt County, many of these ‘stoner’ movies gained widespread praises from audiences worldwide.  These films modified the cannabis industry to what it has become today.

Image result for Stoner Stereotype

Image result for Stoner Stereotype

This ‘stoner’ stereotype came as a blessing and a curse.  It was a blessing because it came as a redundant joke throughout many 4/20-themed films and tv series.  The stereotype is a curse upon the cannabis industry itself because it acts as bad PR that is sending audiences fleeing from cannabis.  Like many industries, they always come with good and bad instances.

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But these days, cannabis companies are looking to send that ‘stoner’ stereotype up in smoke.  Cannabis advocates are pushing to dispel the idea that cannabis consumers typically sit around on the couch and play video games for hours on end in their parents’ basement.  They are transforming this cynical future into an optimistic outlook for cannabis users alike.

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Image result for Luxurious cannabis products

Some companies are going as far as suggesting to market products that look not only respectable, but also resemble something similar to a fine scotch or bourbon.  The main take-away for the cannabis products is better sex and better health.  These modern products are designed to look luxurious, but also affordable for the customers.

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Rather than completely shedding themselves of the so-called ‘stoner’ stereotypes, companies should embrace the culture of the field they work in.  Up in Smoke provided every stoner cliché into one miraculous joint.  The idea paid off, ranking in over $44 million in the box office.  Almost forty years later and Up in Smoke is still considered a classic among fans.  Films like Up in Smoke can continue to do well if they mix it up a bit with the ‘stoner’ culture.

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It isn’t just stoner films that were successful in their cannabis image.  Many musicians have been utilizing cannabis with their music for decades.  Some even incorporate other psychedelics into their work as well (ironically enough, I have String Cheese Incident’s Rhythm of the Road: Vol. 1 playing while writing this piece).

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The ‘stoner’ culture comes with a blessing, so we should utilize it to our own advantage.  Even as the world changes right before our eyes, we should hold onto our gifted traditions of the past.  Cannabis is used by everyone, especially those ‘stoners’ and ‘potheads’ that we hear about every day.

At the end of the day, one thing is for certain – stoner stereotypes die hard.


Philosophical Passage on Pinocchio

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One of my favorite parts about reading 12 Steps for Life: An Antidote to Chaos were the pop culture references Jordan Peterson threw out every once in a while.  Peterson would make references to Disney cartoons such as Sleeping Beauty or The Little Mermaid.  These colorful and beloved animations served for great evidence of the many points he made throughout each chapter.  Throughout the book, one movie he continuously brings up is Pinocchio.

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Image result for Pinocchio

At this point, I have to admit one thing right now – Pinocchio was one of my favorite Disney movies of all time.  The famous story of the wooden puppet who turns into a real boy was a classic staple in my VHS library.  It had adventure, drama, deceit, and one emotional ending scene.  I must have watched the movie over hundreds of times before I started middle school.  These days, I still remember the main storyline from beginning to end.

But once I read 12 Steps for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, I realized that Pinocchio had so much more going within its storyline.  Pinocchio was more than just a simple wooden puppet looking to become a real boy.

Get ready folks – this will become one trippy, mind-blowing topic right here.

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Here we go: Pinocchio is a wooden puppet who comes with strings, both literately and figuratively.  He literately has strings (being that he is a wooden puppet), but those strings are also imagery of what is holding Pinocchio back from becoming a real boy.  Pinocchio is tethered by strings, reminding him of his true identity as a wooden puppet.

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Geppetto looks into the night and notices the star.  He wishes upon a star (which is one of the songs within the movie) as a plea to make Pinocchio.  A star is basically a part of the eternity of the night sky.  That star is transcendent, something that is ultimate in the world.  This memorable scene represents Geppetto looking upon something transcendent – something so magnificent and breathtaking that you wish you could share it with everyone in the world.

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Pinocchio was set for his first day of school.  But throughout the film, he faces all these temptations thrown at him.  “Honest” John Worthington Foulfellow and Gideon the cat trick Pinocchio into joining Stromboli, only to be kidnapped as a way for profits.

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Later on, he gets tricked again by taking a trip to Pleasure Island.  He meets his new rebellious friend Lampwick during the trip, only to see him into a jackass (which, by the way, was one of the most cringing, disturbing scenes of my childhood).  Pinocchio gets served in the salt mines and even turns into a jackass as well, all in a place run by authoritarians.  Pleasure Island serves as the ultimate punishment for Pinocchio after he loses his way.

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All of this could have been avoided if he were to – wait for it – TELL THE TRUTH.  If only Pinocchio were telling truths and not lying all of the time, he would reach his ultimate transcendent goal: to become a real boy.  His shenanigans only led him to shock and terror, only to land into the bottom of a whale (that whale being Monstro, of course).  It was there that he faced his ultimate challenge against Monstro, only to end up dying in the process.

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Through his courageous act against fighting Monstro, Pinocchio reaches his transcendent goal of being a real boy.  All is well after his crazy shenanigans.

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It is a basic, yet philosophical tale that comes with major symbolisms and metaphors.  Pinocchio may be just another Disney movie, but it becomes so much than that once you dive deeper into the story.  Who knew that a book like 12 Steps for Life: An Antidote to Chaos could provide so much meaning from a simple cartoon like Pinocchio.

And there you have it – the deep-rooted philosophical storyline woven in within Disney’s Pinocchio.  Just remember to tell the truth in life or else you’ll end up in Pleasure Island.

Summer 2018 List Update #2

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While we’re still in the midst of summer, I figured that it’s time to check back on the summer list.  I created this list back in June to put together some fun goals to complete.  Some were simple while others required a bit of adventure here and there.

Here is the newest update to my summer 2018 goal list:

Read 5-10 Books

Since June, I have read a total of FIVE books.  I hit the minimum quota near the end of July after finishing Just the Funny Parts… And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking into the Hollywood Boys’ Club by Nell Scovell.  Right now, I am reading an intriguing philosophical book from a well-known psychologist in Canada (which you will learn about soon enough!).  With five books already under belt, there’s no telling what novel I will be checking out next.  Earlier I ordered a few new books to read, so more literature reviews are yet to come!

Hiking Trips to New Mountains

Even on these hot summer days in July/August, I managed to get some more hiking in here and there.  Mostly I have been trekking around Bailey’s Hill as well as some trips to Lodge Park.  I have been busy the past few weeks, but there are still plenty of warm days to come.  Now is the last month for me to find more hiking trails to check out before Fall begins.

Rooftop Bar Events

During my trips around Boston, I have been enjoying more of my beers on the patio than the rooftop.  Even just tasting samples outside on a market (in this case, it was the SoWa market in Boston) works well.  Hopefully there will be more outdoor events during the beginning of September, especially on a rooftop!

Biking Around Beaches (Nahant, Winthrop, Revere, etc)

Two and a half months later and I still take my bike outside almost every week.  Bike riding is a great activity to get some exercise and enjoy the amazing weather.  Riding around Nahant is amazing, especially when you trek around the whole island.  While I haven’t ridden around Winthrop and Revere yet, Nahant still works just as good.

Attend Concerts

The only concert I have attended so far was seeing Joe Jackson in NH.  Joe Jackson was an incredible musician that played a combination of rock, jazz, pop, classical, and other genres.  He played an amazing show that was definitely one for the books.

Go Camping

Camping may be something I will have to plan next year.  I truly enjoyed going camping in the past, so that will be a future goal in mind.


Vacation Trip to Burlington, VT

Burlington is still an idea lingering around in mind.  Again, it would be great to head back to my college town.

Take Trips to NH and Maine

That Joe Jackson concert I went to took place in New Hampshire, so that’s one of my trips to the Granite State.  I plan to take another trip this week to check out a new arcade bar in Dover (and that post will come soon!).

Summer Blockbusters

Other than The Incredibles 2, I have not caught any other summer blockbusters.  It’s cheaper to stay in and find blockbuster films on Netflix anyways.  I have passed by the movie theatre before and nothing really looks promising of the sort.

Swimming in O cean

Besides swimming in the ocean, I have also been swimming in pools as well.  Nothing’s better than swimming in a pool during a hot day.  It’s the perfect way to cool off when it is too hot or when there are too many people on the beach.

Thomas Cook — SeaWorld’s Next Enemy

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Image result for PR Nightmare

In this 21st century, a PR nightmare can spread for quite a long time.  Any business that gets hit with one can suffer for days, weeks, months, even years.  All it takes is one bad story to spread poison throughout your business.  And with social media on the rise, that poison will stick longer than ever.

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Just look at SeaWorld for instance – Five years after Blackfish was released, SeaWorld was hit with serious PR nightmares.  It spread like a plague, causing people and businesses to flee far away from SeaWorld.  Celebrities tweeted their personal shocks over the film, businesses cutting ties, former employees speaking against animal cruelty; the list goes on and on.  SeaWorld’s is now dealing with a new adversary – Thomas Cook.

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Thomas Cook, a travel agency based in the United Kingdom, recently axed its trips to SeaWorld in Florida and Tenerife.  This decision was made after they found that 90% of its customers were concerned about animal welfare.  Even though both parks met standards and made significant improvements, the company won’t be selling anymore tickets next summer.

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Last year, Thomas Cook began its audit of 49 animal parks to see if they met its policy on animal welfare They based their research on the standards set by ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents).  About 29 parks failed the audit and travel firm stopped selling tickets to those locations.

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Image result for Blackfish

So here we are, five years after Blackfish was released nationwide.  The PR nightmare continues with Thomas Cook refusing to sell tickets to two SeaWorld locations.  No matter what kind of PR tactic they come up with, SeaWorld continues to make new enemies each time.  Animal captivity has been lingering around many people’s mind since the film’s release.

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Image result for Blackfish

This is the kind of things PR nightmares will do to you.  Even after the tragic events unfold, there is still a lot of work in the future.  Five years later and SeaWorld still has a lot of work to do.  Either way, this PR nightmare will only come with a tragic ending.

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How will SeaWorld muddle its way out of this mess?  Is there still hope for the infamous animal park?  What other companies will cut ties with SeaWorld next?

We’ll just have to wait for the next chapter of this PR nightmare.