Thursday, September 09, 2004

CASTING ROLLING STONE(D)


I literally found the stoners eviscerated in this article from Rolling Stone. In it, the stoner couple portrayed and the UC Santa Cruz campus culture depicted (a culture slowly diminishing in my memory) gets bent over and roughly fucked by some writer, this admittedly good-at-her-job writer. But she treats her subject so cruelly. All these people who populate her story, she turns a blind eye to. She sat and had coffee with me and we talked about media and Gonzo Journalism and I gave her the heads up that her subjects were kind of sketched out about the whole thing. I ran interference for her not believing that there would be any motivation for a smear piece on Santa Cruz’s stoner culture. I was wrong.

At the time I was the editor for UC Santa Cruz’s alternative campus paper, The Fish Rap Live! (exclamation included). We were satirical and snarky and ambiguous (big surprise). I was in the press center one random afternoon when our beat up old phone rings. Our phone never rings. And it’s Vanessa Grigoriadis from Rolling Stone calling seeing if I can help her find the consummate stoner. I didn’t qualify and neither did any of my friends even though many of us smoked every day. She wasn’t interested in the functional pot smoking set, those who got straight As and actually accomplished something during their college careers. No… she had a type in mind. I should have known then that this assignment came with a built in angle, that those editors in New York, based on hearsay and received ideas, wanted to poke fun at some kids with bongs in their hands and red eyes.

So I sought out the perfect stoner for her and came up with this couple. I felt, as a “journalist,” it was my duty to help her. Of course when Rolling Stone drops its name, seduction comes easy. I would have fucked a donkey lovingly if she asked me to.

And I’m not about to apologize for my involvement in my Alma Mater’s national fucking over. I worked for two years, albeit from the inside, doing the same damned thing. And that school never showed me any appreciation for the shit I did. So fuck you. I feel a little bad for the couple bashed, but shit, they got pseudonyms. Take a bong rip kids, all will be well. The joke of course is that Vanessa’s story isn’t that far from the truth. Objective, outside eyes swoop on Santa Cruz and reveal what goes on. The problem is the preconceived angle. The story could have been more interesting if people like the people I know were the subjects: ample stoners who aren’t wholly losers, who DO things, who have something to say. But, no no, she wanted pure lifestyle stoners and that’s what she got. I’m just glad I was spared depiction. Though she’d be hard pressed to find a grotesque element in my persona to hyperbolize and tease out for maximum snarky entertainment value. Because I’m perfect.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup, you got well and truly fucked by this woman, as did we all. What pisses me off isn't her focus on the two stoners, but her lying assertion that they represent UCSC, when in fact you could write the same damn article at Berkeley.

Ezra

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So a well paid writer profiles the consumate stoner and attempts to oversimplify in her journalistic convenience a woodsy university. Should we be surprised? A hatchet piece by some superficial writer making big bucks for a magazine that is laughed at by everyone in the literati. Remember what Henry James said: "Morons and madmen reign in high places." And highly paid journalistic settings.

Herculodge

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just pissed I went to four different stores searching for the damn thing once I heard it hit the stands. Actually, in hindsight the fact that no one in this town carries Rolling Stone serves her right.

Also that picture looks a bit familiar.

Drew

10:54 PM  
Blogger ambigutrex said...

Ezra... indeed, we learned a hard lesson in journalistic trickery while Vanessa G. laughs all the way to the bank.

Herculodge... You're right... I don' t even read Rolling Stone. So who gives a shit.

And Drew... Indeed... that picture should be familiar. It's my understanding you sucked from that very doobie!

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next Month's Stone: UC Santa Cruz students "willing to fuck donkeys"

- One of Ezra's readers

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Rip Van Winkle fell asleep in the 70s and woke up 30 years later to find that Rolling Stone had written a snide article about pot smokers at UCSC, he'd probably experience enough dissonance to swear off hemp, beer and afternoon naps for good.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey old buddy,

I will never forget the day I met you, the day this all began. What I heard you say was that Vanessa wanted to write an article about a stoner that is also a serious student, actually a person who smokes and is on top of their shit.

Oh was I wrong..we were both very wrong. I'm very glad neither you or your friends were the subjects of this article. The funny this is, even if they were..the article would be exactly the same in essence...bullshit! You think I dont do anything or have anything to say? You talked to me for 5 minutes before asking me about the article.

The article isn't far from the truth my friend? Were you there?

So, in fact I was correct to be sketched out about the whole thing...and you told me you thought she was legit. I fail to see when Vanessa Grigoridis ends and you begin.

Good luck in your ventures. Maybe someday, someone will fuck you over too (possibly a donkey), and you will see where the real objectivity lies.

M.

3:24 PM  

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