A few years ago I participated for the 2nd time in the Cannabis Crusade march in Austin. I was befuddled by the seeming lack of turn out. I wondered why in a city like Austin not very many seemed to give a shit. What I was reminded of was Marley fest. See, here's the deal. Cops don't mess with people for smoking at Marley fest (not generally). The draw is obvious. But dude, we can smoke weed at that one.
I've also since come to be reminded of how volunteer organizations can turn into people politics nightmares. Suffice to say in every volunteer organization there exists the possibility of those seeking power. Why? I've never been sure because my own motivations in volunteering or standing up have always been for a greater good. This isn't always what motivates people in benevolent causes. Sometimes volunteer organizations can be hotbeds of backtalk, power grabs, and just plain mean spiritedness and squabbling when things break down. Divide and conquer. I have no personal knowledge but little birds fly slightly north from time to time and I get a scoop in my hermit home in the boonies.
I also saw examples of this a few months ago in meeting up with some volunteers who are part of a larger cultural group that goes to the desert and burns shit once a year. We were helping to fix up some land and also helping to prepare for an upcoming regional. I've never been to the desert to burn shit. I've never been to the lil' campout where they burn shit. I'm a free agent and do my best to not claim any larger group identity. I hate those personality monikers greatly as they tend to devalue the core of a person in favor of a larger stereotype.
That said I got to watch a power struggle. I learned just a little about how that reckless band of wiley radically self expressive peoples actually is quite regimented. I say a little because I pursued no further. I was supposed to go to the lil flashy lights and naked people campout to burn shit but the roof of my house had a cave in the 2nd volunteer weekend. I couldn't afford to go proper (I don't like going to anything with nothing but my * in my hands even though I'm sure it would be appreciated there.)
At present the contacts I made really aren't saying much to me. I suppose it has to do with a) I'm a 'hippie' (mostly because I'm not fond of guzzling whiskey). b) I got kind of buzzed and sent them all a message saying they reminded me of the garden club arguing over whether to have crumpets or biscuits but in profane words. This though made me new friends in the same community.I find this funny. Let's use the hippie as cannon fodder.
This is all said really in light jest because I have yet to get far south to the beach and meet up with some other people that go burn shit but also are doing (from what I read and see in pics) a tremendous job of working with, gasp, local authorities in adopting and doing a massive clean up of one of Texas' most prized beacheads. That impresses me. Throwing parties is easy. Getting people to do something greater isn't.
At any rate I have no idea why I wrote this entry except that I was reading over past posts and saw the one lamenting non involvement with the Cannabis Crusade. That's how it goes. I ramble sometimes and sometimes it might make sense.