Goatee Not Included
Have you ever considered the idea of dualistic culture? Mirror culture might be a good way of thinking of it too. Basically, I’m talking about how you have one part of culture creating a class of people that is a) exclusive and b) desirable. What this sometimes results in is a cultural vacancy, a sort of holding area or crust just below the upper crust, if you will. Consider the Legal High market and all the products it contains. It’s not as though someone sat down and said “Hey, I want to find some bath salts to snort” or “I would really like to find a herbal incense sachet that can get me high”. Something instigated that. Namely, the want for (and apparent inability to get) weed and other drugs. In addition to emulating the experience, the people who fall into this sort of mirror, not quite counter, zone often try to emulate the lifestyle and culture of the source as well. And while not every dude out there is going to throw on Fog Hat and take incense rips, without actually sniffing some bowls, you might have a hard time distinguishing the true stoners from those not quite as fortunate.
Which leads me to the question of the day, and it is one that I am genuinely interested in. Why, if you are among those who do, do you choose to go the incense or salt road over more traditional forms of inebriation? After all, it’s not as though this is something one accidentally falls into. Getting started with this stuff and continuing to use it is a conscious choice, and I wonder how many fans of these particular activities have truly examined their reasons.
I could see where there would be a multitude of reasons, but to my mind it seems that you could distill them down into a handful of overall archetypes, or general reasons why one might chose herbal incense and salts over their analogs, or really choose them at all.
A) Can’t Get It
The simplest and perhaps the most obvious reason, here you have people who for whatever reason can’t get the “real” stuff. Though it may be a simple explanation, the details that might qualify someone for this category are, however, legion. Perhaps you are too young to get real weed (which begs the question of how you’re able to get incense and salts), or you live in a geographic area where obtaining the real stuff is almost impossible. Florida, for example. Despite the party culture and beach atmosphere, apparently weed is almost impossible for most people to find down there. Hard drugs are apparently easier to come by. It makes sense, then, that someone wanting to pursue herbal inebriation would resort to synthetics.
B) Can’t Use It
Sometimes, it’s not a matter of availability. Sometimes, the man fucks you. Sometimes you find yourself in a position of having to choose between your health and your livelihood. Despite the fact that serious drugs (as in not weed) are out of your system in a long weekend and almost ubiquitously undetectable, a lot of employers still demand pre-hire and random drug screens of all their employees (although not the Post Office, apparently. Go figure). These people seek out some sort of legal (or legal-ish) alternative. In actuality, this subset is predominately where the whole market began: people looking for ways around the laws. And to be honest, ignoring for a second the fact that the tests are not only invasive, but also prone to false positives (Especially hair tests. Someone black or hispanic could challenge the results of a hair test just on the grounds that they are black or hispanic, as hair tests have been proven to deliver significant numbers of false positives because of the generally heavier composition of the hair of these ethnic groups), what do these tests really stop? What do they really accomplish? It isn’t as though they deter anyone from using the substances. I mean, if someone is going to come to work drunk or high, they’re going to come to work drunk or high regardless of any testing, and to be honest, I’d rather someone show up high than drunk any day of the week. One also can’t help but resent the implication of the tests, that somehow these companies or employers or whatever feel as though they have some right to dictate what you do or don’t do on your time away. As long as you, again, aren’t doing anything to impact your personal job performance, then who gives a flying fuck what you do in your spare time? They do, apparently.
C) Because It’s There
I’ll be honest, while I have to admit this section of people are out there, not only do I not get the mentality, I don’t think it really counts, at least not as far as incense is concerned. When it comes to salts, it makes sense that someone who, despite access to the real deal, might supplement their psychonautica with the artificial stuff. Some of the salts that one can find these days rival the original stuff in terms of effect and potency. I turn a sort of odd eye at the people who can get weed and still chose to partake of the incense. I mean, I have had my fair share of incense and even the good stuff can’t touch even decent pot, and given the choice, for a lot of reasons, I’d pick pot any day of the week.
So then I ask you, why do you partake? What of those categories do you fit into? Or am I missing something, is there a subset of the market that I’m just not aware of? I’m curious, and you know the best way to find out is simply ask.