weed monks {wisdom literature}

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Dennis Cooper named 'Weed Monks' one of his favorite books of 2016


Beach Sloth reviewed 'Weed Monks'

"Really funny, really bizarre, and strangely sweet, 'Weed Monks' is devoted to the weird ones in the world, the ones who fell through the cracks and choose to live there."


The Shabby Doll House Reader asked me to write an article about 'Weed Monks'

Abba Ammonas  was asked, "What is the way to Heaven?" He replied, "The narrow and hard way to Paradise is this:  to control your thoughts and strip yourself of your own will for the sake of God. This is also the meaning of the Apostle Peter's words: 'Lo, we have left everything and followed you.'" It was said of Abba Ammonas that he had a hollow in his chest channeled out by the tears which fell from his eyes.
- from ‘The Sayings of the Desert Fathers’

These are the only recorded teachings of a weed monk named Burner: My message for humanity is to stay blunted. Everything you want to know is a secret. No one knows what is happening. No one knows why it is happening. That green elm tree in the sun outside can't tell you anything about tomorrow, or yesterday, or why so many hearts, against all love and comfort, seek their own evisceration like quiet dark eyed rabbits in the woods giving themselves to wolves and foxes. The only thing the green elm tree can say, as it shakes its green windy branches at you, is hello. Smoke another bowl and take a nap. 
- from ‘Weed Monks'


Some people get paranoid when they smoke weed, but I stop giving a shit. About anything. When I get high, I feel like I'm alone on the moon. 

After Christianity spread to Egypt in the 3rd century, many men and women became deeply inspired by the stories of Jesus, John the Baptist, and the ancient Jewish prophets. These men and women believed that Jesus taught that the human world was evil, and that the only way to cleanse yourself of this evil was to remove yourself from it completely. Like John the Baptist, these people sold everything they owned and moved to the desert where they lived as hermits. They took vows of silence and refused to socialize with others. They didn’t start churches or spread the gospel to foreign lands. They didn't start hospitals or schools. All of their days and nights were spent fasting and praying in complete isolation, contemplating Christian virtues such as poverty, humility, abstinence, non-judgement, self-control, silence, and suffering. ‘The Sayings of the Desert Fathers’ is a book of stories about these hermits.

I’ve known a lot of hermits in my life. I’ve been a devoted, longtime hermit myself. But instead of worshiping tribulation, most of the hermits I've know have worshiped weed. 

Much like a monk who decides to live alone in the desert, being a full-time pothead requires a level of commitment which forces one to disregard and flee from many of the things that life has to offer. Maybe that’s a waste of a person’s one-time-around-the-world-and-then-gone-forever life. I mean, probably yeah it is. But I also like what Bridget Fonda said to Samuel L Jackson in ‘Jackie Brown’:

Ordell Robbie: "Goddamn, girl. You getting high already? It's just two o'clock! You know you smoke too much of that shit, that shit gonna rob you of your own ambition."

Melanie: "Not if your ambition is to get high and watch TV."


I decided to self-release ‘Weed Monks’ as a pay-what-you-want ebook. 

I see literature as evolving along a continuum that goes like this: 

1) stone and clay tablets
2) papyrus scrolls
3) sheepskin parchments
4) bound paper books (handwritten)
5) block printing and moveable type
6) the printing press
7) mass produced paperbacks and hardbacks
8) ebooks

Did self-releasing an ebook get me the largest possible audience? No. There are examples of literary ebooks going viral, but I doubt that's gonna happen here. So far my book has been downloaded about 150 times and I've made about 250 dollars.  

From a purely practical view, I can see that if I want to have more than a hundred readers I’ll have to invest more time going through the long boring process of submission, acceptance, and publication. Reviewers will need to get involved, and publications and websites and all different kinds of traditional venues for getting the word out about books. Having a published book is a status symbol, and a lot of readers and reviewers care about status. Quality is a subjective trait that can be deeply influenced by a reader's perception of how popular or "important" a book is. That's why most books have several pages of blurbs covering them inside and out. 

I don't think any of that is a terrible thing, or should be dismissed out of hand, but it's also something that doesn't change any of the words inside the book, only the reader's perception of the words.

I feel that we’re entering a brief cultural period where it’s cool to hate the internet, cool to be a reactionary neo-Franzen who dismisses all social media as a worthless distraction, cool to brand the internet as an garbage pit and openly pine for the supposed glory days of the 19th century novel, instead of embracing the internet as the most significant technological and cultural revolution of our lifetime. In some ways that anti-internet reaction is to be expected. It’s the opinion pendulum swinging the other way for awhile. 

Waves come and go, that is the nature of the beach.

But I’m an intensely stubborn person and I’m not gonna stop promoting the future of ebooks. I’m committed to digital books because I’d like to see literature evolve into something new, instead of become increasingly obsolescent. I’d like to see the book industry destroyed and replaced with the voice of one lonely lunatic crying in the wilderness. I’d like to see all chain book stores shut down and replaced with warehouses that sell cheap, legal marijuana. I’d like to be able to download books with my mind and pluck beautiful sentences from the air. 

Thank you for reading.

smoke weed everyday !!
read ebooks everyday !!
live alone in a cave in the desert !!

1 comment:

flirter said...

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