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A Buzz Sustained



ROX Episodes

Title: A Buzz Sustained
Type: production note
Date: April 19th, 2014

ROX #60 covers the immediate aftermath of ROX #59 and as such the two should really be watched back to back for maximum impact. ROX #59 was intended as a provocation, and ROX #60 demonstrates that the provocation was at least partially successful.

Said aftermath was mainly a blitz of media coverage. As shown here, the three network affiliates from Indianapolis (that's ABC, CBS & NBC) did stories on us, plus we got some air time on AM1370. That was of course only the beginning. We didn't know that Howard Stern played a clip on his show. We didn't know the government would denounce us as anarchists. We didn't know our antics would land us on MTV. All that came later. This show documents what happened during that first week, and as such it takes on the air of a celebratory victory lap. Or perhaps a victory toke.

The scandalized media reactions seem dated by 2014 standards, as various states consider legalizing marijuana for recreational use. By contrast our pro-legalization message seems prescient. Yet in all the media frenzy, not one reporter picked up on what should have been the most controversial segment from ROX #59, namely kids smoking dope in a public park. I think that proves none of them actually watched our show all the way through to the end.

I was too stoned for the interview with channel 6, and I regret that. It's embarrassingly evident when I lose my train of thought mid-sentence. Marijuana can suppress certain executive functions of the mind, inhibiting short-term memory and making the user feel caught up in the moment. Obviously, however, I was a little too caught up.

I'm tickled that one of the news crews stopped Chris Gaal for a “man on the street” interview. What are the chances? He was fully supportive and said he watched ROX “religiously.” Now he's the Monroe County Prosecutor. That's just plain awesome.

My favorite moment is when J raises a toast “to 60 episodes of stupid crap on television!” I'm so glad that ended up on the evening news.

A couple of seasonal references crop up in the show. We're not just excited about our nascent notoriety, we're excited about the advent of spring, and indeed this episode seems athrob with a certain vernal vitality. Worm's stunt on the bike is supremely silly. She told me she had an idea, and so I popped out the camera and we shot some video. It may seem hard to believe, but I honestly didn't think the towel drop was intentional at the time. It was only years later that it dawned on me that maybe, just maybe, she did that on purpose. She never said so, but I wonder. It's just a little too contrived and how would the segment have ended otherwise?

TBlack's homemade t-shirt was a timely tribute to Kurt Cobain, who had been found dead only days before. Some might find it offensive or tasteless but it was very punk rock, and I think Kurt would have approved whole-heartedly.

I do wonder about some things. Should we have been more serious, more strident, more focused on the harms of prohibition? At least this episode has a segment hinting at the harsh realities of interdiction and prison. Dale had some footage obtained from the police which showed, for example, the operation of their fake hydroponics store, but we ended up not using it for fear it might make things tougher for him down the line. I certainly wish we'd done more to connect the dots between buying and selling. The party atmosphere is fun, but it's good to remind even the casual smoker of their complicity in this screwed-up system.

I'm glad we ended with an expression of gratitude to the Bloomington community. That was classy, and it proves we weren't always totally narcissistic and self-obsessed. A fine finale for our second season.

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