The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Monday, September 2, 2013


This is the cover and the first inside page of the April 5, 1905 edition of "Punch, or the London Charivari." Wikipedia says:
Punch, or the London Charivari was a British weekly magazine of humour and satire established in 1841 by Henry Mayhew and engraver Ebenezer Landells. Historically, it was most influential in the 1840s and 50s, when it helped to coin the term "cartoon" in its modern sense as a humorous illustration. It became a British institution, but after the 1940s, when its circulation peaked, it went into a long decline, finally closing in 1992. It was revived in 1996, but closed again in 2002.
"Charivari" is defined as (1) "a cacophonous mock serenade, typically performed by a group of people in derision of an unpopular person or in celebration of a marriage," or (2) "a series of discordant noises." (mid 17th cent.: from French, of unknown origin)


The poem, "Marihuma," on the page pictured below (click it to see a larger version) marks the first time the word "Marijuana" (or a close approximation thereof) appeared in an English language publication.

I am struck by the allusions to benefits to mood and health and by skepticism for the supposed ill effects. These are still the things we argue about, and the benefits have been shown and the supposed ill effects have been exposed to be vastly overblown.


Anonymous said...

Weed is bad.
I am waggling my finger at you.

Bob Newland said...

That's what I've always said, too.