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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

High and Mighty, part 2

Kudos to Camille Dodero. Sure, she wrote High and Mighty, that not-quite-accurate portrayal of High Times, which I took issue to in my last post. But she wrote back to me and defended her article. I can't publish her words, because I promised that it would be strictly off the record, but I can publish my response, which includes a mea culpa for grandstanding (which, I'm worried, is becoming my new "thing")

dear camille:

thank you for your note. I'd like to say that it's
nice to see a journalist standing behind her article
rather than the usual trend of blaming the editor for
"changing my words." I also understand how hard it is
to write a long piece so quickly

That said, my complaint isn't so much that the current
staff doesn't speak highly of the Stratton/Mailer era
(I know they don't) or that they should have. I felt
that the article, in entering the spirit of the
current High Times, took a much too favorable
viewpoint of its "return to its roots." As you state
in the article, its roots were in counterculture, not
just pot culture. I also take issue with the idea that
the magazine I was working for was more
"celebrity-driven" than the one now, which has just
featured Darryl Hannah, of all people.

I would have liked to have a more balanced approach,
maybe quote or two from Richard, John, or Annie
Nocenti (who was the primary editor I worked with, but
is rarely mentioned, given the male-focused market of
the magazine.) I felt that your classification of the
Stratton/Mailer/Nocenti magazine came directly from
disgruntled employees rather than an actual evaluation
of what it was. If you had talked to Annie or Richard,
for example, you would have learned that the primary
reason that advertising dropped was because they
refused to use ads from "fake bud" advertisers. These
people sell "fake" or "legal" pot which is not pot and
is a total ripoff, and is used by dealers to stretch
their supply. The current magazine uses ads from these
people, which is hardly faithful to their mission or
to their readers. Of course, it does help when you
make your advertising director into your

You may ask why I'm so riled up. As an attorney, I
would not write for High Times as it is now (nor was I
asked to, incidentally) because that would simply
classify me as a "stoner lawyer" (which might even get
me disbarred). I was, however, happy to write for a
magazine that DID teach people--and stoners--something
other than how to classify weed.

However, in case you think I'm too high and
mighty myself--and I can get that way--I don't always take my
own advice. For example, a call to Annie reveals that
Hunter S. Thompson didn't write for the magazine in
the 30th Anniversary issue; he was, as you say, simply
interviewed and profiled.

so, I guess what I'm saying is that I would have liked
the other side to have been addressed, if not actually
elaborated on. Now that has picked up the
article, I worry that a larger group of people are
going to accept the fact that a true High Times pot
smoker must be a stoner, rather than an activist. It
was not always the case.

Thank you for your reply back; I appreciate it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

jeez lady, you wrote one article for High Times. ONE ARTICLE! Get over yourself.

12:19 PM  
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