Famed poet and playwright Oscar Wilde once noted, “Life imitates art far more often than art imitates life.” If that is the case, then New York residents might have legal cannabis on the near horizon, but it may not be the type of reform the people need.
You see, Canada legalized cannabis last year, and Mexico is on the verge of doing it any minute now, but the real tipping point may have come this past week when the Marvel Universe took up the topic in the latest issue of Daredevil in which Wilson Fisk – The Kingpin – successfully lobbies for legalization in his bid to secure his role as the mayor of Manhattan.
Ok, if you aren’t as nerdy as we are, here’s a little primer.
The Kingpin is a supervillain in the Marvel Universe, created by the great Stan Lee, and made his first appearance in Spiderman #50 back in July of 1967. The Kingpin has traditionally been the overseer of all crime in New York City – the Boss of all Bosses – hence his name. But since it is all the rage these days to commit crimes in broad daylight and call it politics, Fisk has allegedly switched sides and now has his sights set on occupying the Mayor’s Office in the Big Apple.
As the actual, real-life elected officials in New York pathetically fumbled their attempt to pass comprehensive cannabis legalization this year, the talented writers and illustrators at Marvel quite literally drew up their own blueprint for how it could be done and it is sort of scary in how accurate it appears to be.
In his new role as the fictional mayor of NYC, we find The Kingpin struggling to gain the acceptance of the upper class elite that he spent so many years exploiting. Astute enough to stick his stubby finger into the political winds, Fisk felt the groundswell support for marijuana legalization and used the issue to rally support from the city’s powerbrokers.
Fisk’s motivation for introducing cannabis legalization does not represent some progressive thinking epiphany on the part of the mastermind – good luck finding social equity programs or criminal justice reform in his plan. No, like most politicians these days, Fisk has an alternate agenda that directly benefits him and that happens to be a perfect example of art imitating life, Mr. Wilde.
"I have the land for growing. I have the world's best people to cultivate it. The biggest hurdle has been to ensure that the licensing department's rules for selling approval fall in my favor and no one else's,” rants The Kingpin in his latest appearance, adding, “but it's gone smoothly so far."
Rumor has it that MedMen executives spent a week and a half trying to hire Wilson Fisk after hearing that quote before they realized he’s just a comic book character.
From coast to coast we are seeing large, well-funded corporations who wanted nothing to do with cannabis a few short years ago swoop in to state-sanctioned markets with overwhelming amounts of cash in Walmart style town-takeovers, chewing up any cannabis culture in its path and shitting out midsy press releases and midsier weed in their wake.
Much like South Park has successfully done in their recent roasts of the corporate cannabis cucks at MedMen, the Marvel Universe has a unique ability to really focus on the various layers that make a controversial issue controversial.
Marvel is no stranger to such controversy as the company has used its powerful and colorful platform to address some of the most edgy social taboos of their time, though they have not always fallen on the right side of history. In the 1980s, for example, Marvel is rumored to have instituted a “No Gays” policy for character development. You can only imagine how any gay employees must have felt about that decision...
Just about a month ago, in celebration of its 80th year in publication, Marvel editors allegedly were forced to dumb down a scathing essay scheduled to run in Marvel Comics 1000 issue. The howler monkeys at FOX News jumped all over the story when they heard that the Captain American page originally contained verbiage about America’s systems being “deeply flawed”.
“The system isn’t just. We’ve treated some of our own abominably,” the original text read in part. “Worse, we’ve perpetuated the myth that any American can become anything, can achieve anything, through sheer force of will. And that’s not always true. This isn’t the land of opportunity for everyone. The American ideals aren’t always shared fairly.”
Jesus, art… can you stop imitating life for a while, you’re bumming us out, man!