Starting over in a Post-Journalism World, Part Forty-Seven.

The propaganda film Reefer Madness was designed to shoo teens away from weed by really, really overplaying their hand. It was as if these were sheltered buffoons who either thought they were speaking to peasants, or were fluent because they were one of that cloistered number.

The film is a relic of an era where that mass called the Middle Class just followed whatever script their governments and employers told them to play. If they had to pretend to be morally outraged in a certain manner, then, by gum, that is what they’ll do.

Now it is posh to be pro-cannabis out in the open open (people always spewed about it to their friends and on social media, but they played it straight when it came to police and governments, both of whom were using it, too, but were paid to punish civilians who did it).

But although the content of discussion has changed, the structure remains the same.

We have vested interests building hype with no challenge the Canadian news media, including the notion that there will be “shortages” — so you better buy a lot of it now!

Just as the Canadian government would shill “special” occasion coins as “collectors’s edition” that would “increase” in value until you tried to cash it in, this is another one of those carny stories that are interesting to examine.

Reefer Madness was a hokey movie, trying to make weed into something bigger than it was. It was just a way for the oppressed and repressed to have an outlet as they were repulsed by their expectation to conform in inauthentic ways as they served others as they schemed and connived themselves into a mundane and mediocre life.

The results in the Canadian news media are no less hokey, only in the opposite direction. In this case, that somehow, the Canadian government has invented a completely new drug that people have never had access to and will now be tearing down the doors to be forever hooked on it. It is the new Reefer Madness, as it were, and it is no less propaganda than that cringeworthy agitprop flick.

Weed was never some sort of hard-to-find drug during its prohibition here or was there any sort of shortage: if nerdy high school kids with failing grades could easily find it in the boonies, then there is a reason why: there was always enough of a demand and incentive and no one was actually ever following the rules.

Just as people gambled, had affairs, used the services of hookers, and the like, the baseline was always there.

So if there was no shortage when it was illegal and harder to get, there will be no shortage once it is made legal. In regions that made it legal before Canada, they have overstock.

This is a manufactured advertising of promotional hype. While there is no doubt there is demand, there was always that same demand. The only difference is how the government chose to get its cut: before, you paid them through fines and jail time. Now, you pay them through licensing fees and taxes.

As for the manufactured “fear: there will be a black market, there already is one, and there will be after weed is legal, and I know this because in the last century, my grandfather Anton (known as Anton the Hunter because of his prowess as a game hunter) ran a wildly successful black market during the chaos of the Second World War in Belgrade.

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In today’s dollars, he would have been a billionaire. His underground operations were ingenious. and elegant, and he had a natural talent for it.

If you wanted something — he was your go-to guy.

The criminal element went to him, but so did everyone else, including people in positions of power and everyday people.

Everyone knew where to get the things you could not get during the madness of war.

And then Communists won, and declared their system was going to get rid of the black market, and one of the first things they did was change the currency, and his enormous wealth was wiped out before my mother was even born, but she remembers how that money was used in lieu of firewood growing up all through her childhood.

There was secret police. People ratted people out to curry favour with the ruling regime. People disappeared in the middle of the night. There was governmental meddling…but my grandfather still ran it and ran it from his house.

He may not have been super-rich the way he was at his height of power, but he was still extremely wealthy in a Communist regime.

And people still went to him.

The end of war did not end the black market. Communism did not end it, either. Nothing ended it because there will always be a supply to meet a demand.

People in positions of power went to him; so did Yugoslavia’s middle class. People still lined up.

Nothing changed. He made an adjustment here and there. He still had his own legal fishing operation. He still had an exotic zoo in his house, complete with a monkey, rare chickens, and whatever exotic animal caught his fancy.

He was a player in war. He was a player in peace.

The difference was it was easier to keep bountiful supplies in peace than it was during war, just as it will be easier to keep the supply for pot bountiful in when it is not illegal, then when was when it was.

And there was absolutely no trouble before.

The demand will be the same. People have always talked openly about it, and bragged to their nerdy friends. As I have said, this is a nerdcore drug for the jittery middle class: it is just the middle class bought the Hollywood hype that this was some sort of forbidden, badass fruit, and the myth gave them the illusion that even the nerdy accountant, lawyer, professor, and librarian can “break the rules.”

Anyone can break rules. They are made up things. Brave people break them, but so do cowards. It is done every single day millions of times.

It is turning over rules and challenging scripts that takes true bravery and active intelligence.

Any moron can break a rule. No moron can resist the lure of a self-serving narrative and ego-stroking script.

Grifters are successful with their greed and pity scams because people’s egos always get in their way. People are tripped up by their own narcissism and mental laziness, looking for hacks and cheats to be able to brag, but not do the actual legwork.

Shortcuts to paper crowns is what drives the middle class. That thinking infected journalism, and then they collapsed.

The alternative is not about rules, abiding by them or breaking them. Those are hypothetical constructs.

It is about challenging narratives and scripts with facts. It is about removing the narrative out of preset scripts — whether they are labeled “fringe”, “alternative”, or “mainstream” and then showing how amateur social hypothesis, corporate spin, or government-issued decrees are deficient next to the reality.

And in this case, all three are out of sync with that reality. The problem is what happens when people hedge bets based on the hyper-optimistic narratives and scenarios of vested interested, thinking it is a sure thing, and then gamble all of their resources and opportunities on it.

When hype is built, the level of success is illusionary, and that creates other sorts of feints and ruses to keep the fairytale going, making everything a gamble, and not a risk.

The alternative to journalism is not about spinning gambles; it is about developing strategies to assess social risks to keep a balance of reason.

Right now, journalism is dead, it has been replaced by shills and partisan mouthpieces, and we have no realistic map of the present, let alone the future…