Tag Archives: history

“HempenRoad: Activism in OlyWa” Uncle Weed Storytime for Cannaverse Club

Blurb: In the historic kura barn studio in provincial Japan, digging into the archive from 1996/7 documentary film “HempenRoad”, Uncle Weed shares the backstories of the project with a binder full of artifacts, reviews, plans, scripts, etc

Then plays a “producer’s cut” of a segment from Olympia, Washington featured Dennis Peron on the road promoting ground-breaking California Prop 215 at the Capitol Dome – along with diligent activists out the rain and Lt Governor candidate Bob Owen of WHEN. 

Next a visit to a pioneering Internet Service Provider (OlyWa) for a peek at a (now vintage) data center with modems(!) and remarks about the importance of the (new) word wide web for disseminating information about cannabis.

Finally, riffs about how the film was produced with analog and digital tools, the importance of “showing up” and working with all parties to effectuate positive change and a personal manifesto of sorts about UW’s objectives and edicts when becoming a dedicated activist in 1990. 

Questions welcome about the film – segments from Vancouver, Victoria, Portland, Eugene and more to come – as well as logistical inquiries about making creative projects.

Gist: I’m collaborating with some pals on a new Cannabis Community project – its all metavers-y and NFTs and such as and while that’s not my forte, sharing stories from rambles, campaigns, and creative riffs is (fer sure) so here’s the firestarter video to spark the project series. Links below to get in on the hi-jinks. So happy to be getting studio barn set-up with all the wires, dongles, adapters, extenders, lights and mics. Catch all the topics in the riff below and come on along!

Join in the hijinks at the #uncle-weed-storytime on the Cannaverse Club discord server and/or https://Cannaverseclub.com & Cannaverse Club Youtube

#AlwaysBeKind

Tree Measures Time (with patience & art)

so much history right here for me and all of it witnessed by this glorious gingko tree – photo by Ryoko Olson, painting by me

A journey of 30 years starts with a single act quitting a terrible mushroom farmer job and hitchhiking to a cow farm to shakedown gear & head into eveywhere. 

Years later, you meet a remarkable girl, throw a raging party with international renegades, goats are swapped for the cows, the espresso is top shelf and the gingko tree measures the changes.

Postcards available on site (at Rural Caprine Farm, Mac Kobayashi, farmer)

PS in reply to a comment, keeping here for keeping:

Yeah travel gets complicated and strangely enough, amongst all the “public health conundrums” and just been in one place for a long time, I’ve had the most incredible 18 months of my life, I almost just accidentally. But Japan is a wonderful place to visit, it’s easy to get around and such a variety of geography and culture and everything from ultra-modern to old-timey coexisting next to each other.By the way, in my endless folder of “almost finished but not quite” essays to put up on my website is a practical guide to traveling while dealing with chronic/complex illness… A few airport/airplane/travel hacks (for lack of a better word) I’ve used to skate around the world while dealing with #MECFS etc

My world switches rapidly between black and white and Technicolor depending on the hour. Do you have this one in your collection yet? Do you know anytime you see something of mine you’d like, I’ll make you a postcard of it. I’d like to imagine I’m on your refrigerator

Dossier: Okayama Air Raid, 1945

+ Okayama Air Raid Overview +

A delicate topic to ask people about but I finally found an English language dossier about the incidents of June 29, 1945 in Okayama so I can learn more about the effects in my/our community.

Details & Annotations follow (via dossier pictured above, obtained to local library):

(If you have credible information or thoughtful opinion to add, please do)

  • June 29 1945 – 2:43-4:07am
  • 138 B-29s (1 aircraft lost reason unspecified)
  • Launched from Tinian (Northern Marianas Island, just north of Guam)
  • Incendiary bombs (12,602 M47, 83,106, M74, 2,187 E-48 cluster + photoflash 10 bombs)
  • Attack Elevation 3000-4000m
  • 1700-2000 dead
  • 63% of city destroyed by fire via Detailed maps made the day of bombing

Notes:

Original bombing strategy attempted precision bombing from 10,000m elevation (out of range of anti-aircraft gun/planes) with military ammunitions ammunition /factory targets.

Due to poor results, strategy was changed to night bombing at low elevation with fire bombs starting March 10 with aim of comprehensive destruction of metropolitan centers.

After initial large cities (Tokyo, Kawasaki, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe) were hit, a list was made of 180 medium-to-small cities as potential targets, of which Okayama was 31st.

Sasebo, Moji, Nobeoka bombed same night as Okayama.

Including Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 66 cities were bombed/burned to the ground.

No military or industrial targets targeted in Okayama.

Okayama residents held air raid drills, carried air raid hoods and had a citizen fire brigade. Some people’s possessions had been evacuated the country in preparation.

Government office buildings were destroyed so citizen “disaster certificates” were rapidly made on carbon paper to give access to rations and emergency transportation and help.

Also: 

Where we live (Tsuchida, Higashi Okayama), still plenty of prewar houses but as we drive into downtown (:20 mins or so), you can almost distinguish the line where the bombs reached.

And:

Peace.

Memento: Canucks and related hockey artifacts

Memento: Canucks and related hockey artifacts

Various hockey ephemera (cards, calendars, tickets, clippings), made into a shadowbox once upon a time, broken, harvested and laid in situ.

Primarily Vancouver Canucks related including: Captain Marcus Naslund, goaltenders variety  of Gary Bromley, Kirk McLean, Dan Cloutier plus tickets stubs from Vancouver Canucks, Seattle Thunderbirds, schedule from Vancouver Giants, plus Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky to rub off some greatness, and a list of Stanley Cup champions torn from a newspaper. Plus, Vancouver Canucks puck #inventory

Of such items, many many more exist in boxes, this just appeared behind broken glass.

UW 3>s Peace / Alternatives are Unworthy (Remembering Nagasaki)

Peace. Try > Be > Do. Alternatives not worthy.

a replica of the plutonium bomb “Fat man“ dropped on Nagasaki on Aug 9, 1945, 11:02 AM  (as seen at the museum in Nagasaki)

UW <3s Peace

Remembering “all“ (I mean *all*) victims of war. It’s not worth it, let’s talk/respect/listen/find another way.

Fck hubris, imperialism, fascism, totalitarianism, feudalism, false divinity, insecure bullies, tyrants, despots, inherited monarchy plus liars, dictators & deceit in general.

I live up road from Hiroshima (bomb coulda been here instead) & visited (wonderful) Nagasaki in Feb (early C19 daze) > hard to go to those places without understanding the horrific costs, as well as the resilience of recovery in the horrendous aftermath.

Worth noting I also went to Tinian where Enola Gay took off, lived in Guam and landed on the runway on Peleliu Palau (Bloody Nose Ridge). Explored all the points of view by reading dozens of historical accounts, every documentary can find, fictional movies, historical podcasts.

Everywhere I think of the ridiculous cost of humans and opportunity and resources and endless heartbreak resulting from conceit, imperialism and hubris.

We ask the wrong questions & the results are horrid for so many, beyond “they did so we should…”

For more about how Japan tangled itself all up in a mess, listen to “Dan Carlin‘s Hardcore history“ podcast fantastic series “supernova in the east” each segment about 4 hours(!) but he’s a great storyteller and unpacks in great detail while not getting overtly “political“.

More rabbit holes (my pardons for lack of a proper copy edit / just annotations, notes etc via a various sources) re: war in Pacific + characters, forgotten-ish storylines, further reading…

Also, on various Netflix (or use VPN to skip around country), series called “Tokyo Trail” a joint Japanese /Dutch production going into war crimes trials in Japan… Judges from all the different Allied countries, trial stretched on for seemingly forever, endless conundrums

Yet another Netflix somewhere, a movie called “Yamamoto” something something, Japanese production telling story of Navy Admiral who was (mostly) against *trying* to attack the US but was put in charge nevertheless… Explores tension between Army’s aggressive goals and gluttony

Hard to get my head around how people can be so decent and kind in these times, yet 2 generations before were ruthless killers / turns out it just takes a few maniacs in power, rhetoric, brainwashing about exceptionalism + public pressure to send culture off rails

John Hershey’s long form essay in the New Yorker about Hiroshima is an absolutely fantastic piece of writing about most dreadful of topics. Thinking about #Hiroshima and #Nagasaki so much / as well all the cities that “might have have been” / so many broken dreams and lies #peace.

Another riff with with several more deep tome historical readings about war in the Pacific, breaking it down “play-by-play“ day by day, hour by hour in some cases. Post includes digressions, annotations & asides, read anyhow ;)

HempenRoad / promo postcard, 1996-7

HempenRoad: promo postcard, 1996

A promotional postcard for the HempenRoad film project Made while we were still in production, printed on 100% hemp cardstock paper (from Ecosource in Victoria ,BC) and mailed all over to wrangle up support and excitement about the project.

HempenRoad: promo postcard, 1996

Note: the toll-free 888-UNC-WEED phone number and the Olywa.net/Uncleweed web address (before there was a domain).

The card itself was laid out from various mixed-media elements (including Eiji (rip) and I snapped by Ben Livingston i think) using an early version of Photoshop on a pirate mission at a Kinko’s (prob with Pete Word).

There is another glorious postcard and duplex paper made after the film was released which eventually (hopefully) will turn up (and possibly a higher-res scan of this one).

Also: recently resurrected the film as ” chapters” + made an IMDb page and surfacing artefacts as I find them… including poster art and other items – and there are production journals for your perusal to meet pioneers and unique products.

Artifact: “DOA and Friends Coloring and Fun Book” – ca. 1984

Artifact: “DOA and Friends Coloring and Fun Book” – ca. 1984

Note: Merch for legendary Vancouver-based punk band fronted by Joe “Shithead” Keithley who is now Burnaby Municpal Councillor.

Stapled, still in plastic, each page majestic / so many bands plus various puzzles like “help Dimwit find his drums maze” / musta been from 1984. 

Noting: This was my fave lineup of the band + Dave Gregg and Brian “Sunny boy” “Wimpy” Goble are passed on (rip)

HempenRoad / chapter 6: Olympic Peninsula / Port Townsend (bonus)

This segment of Hempen Road documentary is a bit different so calling a “bonus” clip… rather than interviews with hemp cannabis pioneers, activists, entrepreneurs etc, this one features my rather poetic (according to HempWorld magazine’s review) soliloquies about broken promises to land, societies and neglect of culture along with Eiji’s stellar mixed-media cinematography and montage editing as we worked our way up and around the glorious Olympic peninsula with a stop to gaze at the albatross of Satsop nuclear chimneys, struggling and damaged reservation land.

Then comes a stop in scenic and absurdly charming Victorian-era port town appropriately called Port Townsend (as this was as far as sailing ships could make it before steam power came along and made the the place irrelevant for decades – now its bustling, then was perfect…) for a look around.

Note: we filmed a segment with PT Hemp Co (you’ll notice their 2nd floor store in the clip) but wasn’t able to use and now the footage is “lost” in a shoebox somewhere due to Eiji’s untimely demise.

Then, head off towards Vancouver via various ferries for the “big finish” of the filming and film with 16mm B&W footage of seagulls winging through the air. Sigh.

Another note: music in this clip are both faves as well. The spacey “Ry Cooder-esque” one is “Desert in my Toenails” (or something like that) by Chris Sullivan who i knew in Utah, he was from Kentucky, played all sorts of instruments, left our band to catch crabs in Alaska and still rambles with various bands and places. The outro song is Chris Jacobsen who i knew in Guam, a Rhode Islander boat cap’n with a zany sense of humour but an air of melancholy around him. I’ve tried to track him down to no avail. Notably, both of these were captured from cassette tapes, recorded on 4 tracks (still have the originals i think). 

+++

Artifacts, Background, Technical notes at:

* Daveostory – https://daveostory.com/category/film-vids-docs/hempenroad-documentary/

* IMdb – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9839016/

View full-length documentary at:

+++

  • Filmed 1996
  • Released 1997
  • Digitized 2007
  • Chapter Edit 2020

thanks for Pete Word and Bread Rees for various archiving assists

+++

Additional chapters include:

  • Victoria, BC, Canada
  • Olympia, WA, USA
  • Eugene, OR, USA
  • Portland, OR, USA
  • Seattle, WA, USA
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada

with entrepreneurs, activists, scientists, farmers, pioneers etc.

+++

With Special Dedication To:

  • Misa and Naoyo
  • Robert Lunday (rip)
  • Eiji Masuda (rip)

Fondly, daveo / Okayama, Japan, April 2020

HempenRoad / chapter 5: Seattle (1996/7)

Hemp cannabis pioneer entrepreneurs in Seattle, Washington, USA are featured in this chapter of 1996/7 documentary film in which host/producer Dave Olson (hello) visits with interesting characters including:

  • David Edwards, Earthgoods
  • S. David Stunda, Earthgoods
  • Rob Jungman, Manastash
  • Khamphy S., Panther Manufacturing 
  • Tom Cluck, Belltown Hempery
  • Jill Etherington, Belltown Hempery
  • Kristina Lynch, Belltown Hempery
  • Fred Martin, Belltown Hempery

along with scenes of a snowboard “big air” contest and Seattle landmarks including the now-demolished Kingdome, Pike Street Market, Showbox theatre, Lusty Lady and Hammering Man.

+++

Artifacts, Background, Technical notes at:

* Daveostory – https://daveostory.com/category/film-vids-docs/hempenroad-documentary/

* IMdb – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9839016/

View full-length documentary at:

  • Youtube – https://youtu.be/-zph6xDAc-g
  • Vimeo – https://vimeo.com/122077349
  • Reelhouse – https://www.reelhouse.org/uncleweed/hempenroad/

+++

  • Filmed 1996
  • Released 1997
  • Digitized 2007
  • Chapter Edit 2020

thanks for Pete Word and Bread Rees for various archiving assists

+++

Additional chapters include:

  • Victoria, BC, Canada
  • Olympia, WA, USA
  • Eugene, OR, USA
  • Portland, OR, USA
  • Olympic Peninsula, WA, USA
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada

with entrepreneurs, activists, scientists, farmers, pioneers etc.

+++

With Special Dedication To:

  • Ralph Seeley, esq (rip)
  • Robert Lunday (rip)
  • Eiji Masuda (rip)

Fondly, daveo / Okayama, Japan, March 2020

HempenRoad / chapter 4: Olympia (1996/7)

Hempen Road / chapter 4: Olympia (1996/7)

Hemp cannabis pioneers and activist in Olympia, WA, USA (ala OlyWa) are featured in this chapter of 1996/7 documentary film in which host/producer Dave Olson (hello) visits with interesting characters including:

  • Bob Owen, Wa Hemp Education Network (and Lt. Governor candidate)
  • Dennis Peron, Prop 215 (California) activist etc
  • OlyWa.net: Chas Lance Tomala, Jay Unabonger Stewart, Scott(y) Orr
  • And many Washington State activists in action

Continue reading HempenRoad / chapter 4: Olympia (1996/7)