Wednesday, April 21, 2010
The 4:20 smoke out at CU is a strange event. While I was observing the gathering from the library steps, I knew there was something strange, but it took me a few minutes to figure out what it was. And this is it: People go there to smoke weed, but I think their main motivation is to see how many people go there to smoke weed. It's like a meta-event where the spectators are also the spectacle. There's nothing to see except for the other people who came because they're curious to see all the other people who came. And the bigger it gets, the more people will want to come to see how big it gets.
It's also a good example of how smoking weed is not a big deal at all. In the minutes leading up to 4:20, there were thousands of people standing in a field. In the minutes after 4:20, there were thousands of stoned people standing in a field. The scene looked exactly the same, except for a plume of smoke that rose at the appointed time. And then 20 minutes later, the crowd dispersed, perhaps a little more placid than when they arrived. Imagine how different thousands of people getting hammered in a field would be.