the column of lasting insignificance: January 25, 2017
by John Wilcock
My column this week marks the official end of my life at the first-rate community existing at Ojai, California where I have spent the last two and a half years. Most of the residents, tenants, and employees have been very kind to me and it would be virtually impossible to criticize the way it is run. I would genuinely be sorry if I have to leave.
But I can no longer go without expressing my distaste for at least one of the rules laid down by David, the boss of this community. He thinks it appropriate to half-treat people and leave them feeling worse than before.
I'm talking about the practise of turning people half on with now-legal medically beneficial pot but refusing to allow them more than the 20-30 minutes that a patient, or anybody, needs to get not just being barely stoned. I should explain that the law in many places now values the benefits of marihuana intoxication and no sensible person would agree to a policy that allows only minimal marijuana use that just barely gets people stoned without any benefits. Gettting stoned, now legal, is one of life's great joys and offering insight that is a lesson like no other. I say this as somebody who first smoked pot in 1966 and has never given up. During the 40+ years I have smoked, I have managed to produce 40 books, at least 1000 columns, several hundred TV shows etc., etc.
David's policy of letting people get minimally stoned is probably the worst way of dealing with the matter, and would only be allowed as a play game. David is either somebody so ignorant of the beneficial effects of pot or somebody so indifferent or innocent about the magical consequences of allowing smoking this otherwise beneficial herb.
It's kind of sad that after smoking pot for half a century I am not even allowed possession of my own joint. I emphasize we are discussing a LEGALsubstance that makes one feel good. Why is David insisting on banning it? Good question.
I'm sorry it came to this. I very much like this place and I admire David and the way he does his job. But pot is just as important to my life as his son is to him. Maybe he should secretly smoke sone pot himself to really appreciate what we are talking about.
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February 12, 2015
It was the first handwritten letter I'd received in 5 years. Or maybe 10. Signed by John Wilcock, a man I'd never heard of, and postmarked Ojai, Calif., it was waiting for me when I returned from my São Paulo-to-New York summer trip. Mr. Wilcock wrote that he had been an assistant editor at The Times Travel section back in the 1950s, and had written the first editions of “Mexico on $5 a Day,” “Greece on $5 a Day” and “Japan on $5 a Day” for Arthur Frommer in the 1960s.
By George, I thought. This man was the original Frugal Traveler.
Forty years ago the second of my three books about magic was published, A Guide to Occult Britain (Sidgwick & Jackson) covering a wide range of sites from Stonehenge to Loch Ness and King Arthur country to the witches of Pendle Hill. It is now available as an eBook on amazon.com.
“A GOOD WAY to describe John Wilcock is to say that he is a talented bohemian counter-culture journalist who once played a major role in the emergence of America’s underground press. Born 1927 in Sheffield, England, he left school aged 16 to work on various newspapers in England, and on Toronto periodicals before moving to New York City. There in 1955 he became one of the five founders of the Village Voice in which he and co-founder Norman Mailer wrote weekly columns. Wilcock called his column “The Village Square”, an intended pun. He and young Mailer were not quite friends, although Wilcock was at times annoyed, but always amused, by Mailer’s monstrous ego.”
-From the preface of Manhattan Memories, by Martin Gardner