Pig in the city: High Park


Yesterday was that old celebrated holy day: 4/20. If you’re unfamiliar with that particular bible story, after dying from a really big cross joint, Jesus came back to life and had a well deserved wake and bake at, you guessed it – 4:20. He rolled that stone from across his tomb, and then rolled up and got stoned.

To honour this great day, stoner cliches from all over the world (or at least London) gathered in Hyde Park to spark up in His name. This little piggy thought she’d head on over and check out all of that huffing and puffing. Here’s my thoughts on the day:

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On the left we have a police warning that weed is an illegal drug, which seems an odd thing to say at an event ostensibly aiming to protest its illegality, but then again most stoners forget things pretty easily. Next, it’s piggy in the middle – getting into the spirit of things in true journalistic fashion (just call me Hamilton Morris, but with less weird pauses and more anonymity). The police intended to make it look like they were achieving a lot whilst actually doing nothing, much like the rest of the people in the park.

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These Christians were 420 praising – they seemed to be protesting something or other, but all that I could make out was “sin”, “God” and the obligatory Eve-blaming for all that apple shit (can we please just leave it now?). In the picture on the right, these boys were being photographed practising the only commandment that really matters – “the sabbath is for chilling” – for what I can only imagine is a Sunday school project.

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The man on the left is the stuff of meme-heaven, inexplicably sporting a green top hat and very willing to be photographed. I didn’t get the chance to speak to him, as he was too busy gracing people with his strangely pleasing presence, but I like to think his name is Pete and he’s an amateur sound technician. It was a special moment with me and Pete, mainly because I was in awe of how many different shades of green he could pack into one outfit. On the right, we have the classic red, yellow and green hand-carved wooden weed leaf, ‘cos Jesus was a carpenter doncha know. Preach my friend, preach.

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This man was stealing my self-assigned job, and with an actual Canon camera no less! To ease my pain at having to borrow my friend’s ‘Lumix’ (I would have just used my phone, but alas, it was stolen on Thursday), I snapped a picture of him taking a picture of me. Pretty meta right?

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Speaking of brands, I’d never realised how entwined capitalism and weed culture really were – if you look closely at this picture, you can see the ghost of commercialism moving its way through what you would think would be quite a counter-cultural crowd. But alas! To my mock surprise, stoners love their brands – there were whole swarms of young men swathed in North Face. I hated them both for what they stood for, and for their superior ability at keeping dry on what was an incredibly rainy day. Nike shoes trampled on the dreams of many a Marxist herbalist, Vans hurtled into the hopes of socialist stoners, and…just this…

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Once it reached the fateful hour, a cheer went up around the park, everyone sparked up and a nuclear cloud of haze ascended to blanket the revellers from the rain. I did have a video of all of this, but technology is bullshit and I don’t really understand formatting, so all you have is my words.

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This ice cream stand was clearly committed to commemorating the day and making some sweet $$$$$ out of hungry high people, but a couple of things went wrong for them. Firstly, the name of the ice cream makes very little sense and sounds pretty unappealing. Secondly, who the fuck buys ice cream in torrential rain?

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Here we have a rare picture of that dying subculture – the stoned skater crew. Thought to have gone extinct in London in the late 90s, and in small country towns in about 2008, they’ve had a misguided resurgence of numbers recently. It was a pleasure to see them; it reminded me of when Avril Lavigne was cool (she was, right?).

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And finally, here we have the cherry on a great big hash brownie – that white chick with multi-coloured dreads. We all knew it was going to happen. It was only a matter of time. After trying and failing to discreetly photograph people in Rasta hats and 12 year olds who looked like they could fuck me up smoking spliffs, I decided it was time to run through the rain to the tube, so it could deposit me, sodden and spent, back home. As I changed at Tottenham Court Road, a busker was playing Bob Marley songs and I ran to the Northern Line just to escape the cacophony of cliches. This pig was hitting the hay.

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