Hempfest—which is this weekend, and is great, don't get me wrong—just sent out a press release about this year's festival that seems like it was written by stoners. The theme of the festival this year is (horribly) "A Hempen Future." Or it's "A 20/20 Vision for the Future: A Hempen Future." Or it's "Seattle Hempfest 2020," as in the year, not as in perfect vision. Maybe all of those things are the theme? Maybe there was a fight about the theme among the leadership of the festival and they decided to go with all of them? Maybe you have to be really baked before this makes sense?
The press release:
“A Hempen Future”
Seattle Hempfest 2020 — A 20/20 Vision of the Future
SEATTLE — The 2020 Seattle Hempfest features a wide display of examples of how cannabis and hemp have revitalized America’s economy, helped to alleviate world hunger, assisted in combating soil erosion, helped aid America’s farmers, provided biomass, and replaced many opiate-based pain narcotics. Cannabis/Hemp is routinely used as fuel, and is found in construction, medicine, nutrition, mercantile, manufacturing, cosmetics, and environmental restoration and preservation. This versatile fiber has penetrated most commercial industries in one way or another and has touched the lives of millions of Americans. Hemp has even assisted in fighting climate change.
This year Seattle Hempfest will be offering a blast from the past with music exclusively from 2009, celebrating the first year of measurable change in America’s war on all things cannabis. 2009 is being honored because it was the beginning of the financial depression that is largely credited for setting the stage for legalization. The American economy required the boost that both the legalization of industrial hemp and the taxation and regulation of marijuana ultimately produced to get the American economy back on track. The United Nations declared 2009 the “International Year of Fiber” and promoted hemp fiber as a desirable alternative to synthetics.
Mayor Krist Novoselic will be making the keynote speech at this year’s Hempfest. Mayor Novoselic’s city-run medical marijuana dispensary has already saved the city money that used to be spent on cost prohibitive, addictive, and potentially toxic pharmaceutical drugs, and is being looked at by the mayor’s of other municipalities as a pilot project for other cities.
(2) That phrase "hempen future"—seriously, guys?
(3) "The Year of Fiber"??!!
(4) If the "blast from the past" thing about music from 2009 is confusing you, go back to the first paragraph, which explains that this year's Hempfest is happening in the future, in 2020, when the music of 2009 will seem to mark the moment everything changed "because it was the beginning of the financial depression." Um, guys? 2009 was not the beginning of the financial depression. The beginning of the financial depression was, at the latest, September 2008. Home-foreclosure crisis? John McCain? Suspended his campaign? Remember? I know it's hard to remember stuff when you're baked, but it really wasn't that long ago.
(5) The keynote at this year's festival will be given by Mayor Krist Novoselic? I realize he used to be in a famous band and now he's an infamously bad writer, and it's great that he's coming out to give the keynote and all, but what planet is he the mayor of? I just called the person who issued the press release, Candice Richardson, VP of Media Relations for the pr firm Brave New World—their number has an Eastside area code—and said, "You know he's not the mayor, right?" Richardson said, "Oh, he's definitely not the Seattle mayor." So what city is he the mayor of? "I think that was a play on his run for mayor--I think in Aberdeen," she said. He ran for mayor of Aberdeen? Was he elected? (Wikipedia doesn't have a list of mayors of Aberdeen the way it has a list of mayors of Seattle, and "Novoselic + mayor + Aberdeen" wasn't getting me anywhere with Google.) "You know, let me find out," Richardson said, "because that part came from [someone else working on Hempfest] and I was just looking it up and got pulled into something else." She called back a few minutes later and said, "That part of the article is supposed to take place in the future—the Hempfest organization would like to see him as mayor." Oh. Right, OK. Well, who's giving the keynote this year? She told me to call someone else, Hempfest organizer Vivian McPeak. "Weelllll, that's a good question there, let me figure that out. Can I put you on hold for a second?" McPeak said. Being on hold consisted of the phone being put on a hard surface while McPeak took another call. Daytime television droned loudly in the background. "Well, I'm not seeing anyone listed as a keynote speaker, particularly on our website. I apologize that I don't know that. I'm going to have to get back to you. I see that we have Nick Licata speaking, but I'm going to have to get back to you on that," McPeak said. I said, "You're the organizer of the festival, right?" "That's correct," McPeak said.