Paris has a story from history that bears repeating. The paradigm in History when France was seeing returning soldiers from the Napoleonic wars and the officers of noble title got to their Parisian gentlemans’ clubs where a great many ideas and revelations were discussed and relayed – one idea that ignited quickly was the fantastic value of Hashish.
Northern Africa has always had a hand in the influence of French culture and within the circles of Parisian nobility was the new introduction of the mystical green jelly that was said to be offered to club patrons upon their arrival. This jelly was said to have influenced a great many of the writers and poets of the time and many notable authors outlined their experiences with dramatizations that displayed their writing prowess.
A main theme among the ancillary writings of the Cliques of men who sampled hashish in private or within their social clubs is that their creativity and sense of self image where totally shattered and re-imagined. Additionally, the sense of mirth and good humor towards everything is another aspect of the related experiences of Parisian Hashischins.
Among all the stories was a sense of respect and a sense of reverence for the potency and wide breath of reach that the resin has on the human self-image, and clears the lens with which we see the world outwardly. Many of the men used such soaring language to describe their profound respect for what was rendered unto them, that the reader cannot enjoy the prose to the extent that they might had the author been writing on a subject that is shared or has a precise start and stop.
France was a center for art and new cultural trends, Hashish no doubt had an influence on those who took the opportunity to implement it. The noteriety of the French and their food would lead us to assume that Hashish was introduced to foods of all kinds. It’s likely that the primacy of musical culture in France would extend the idea of combining music with Hashish very easily to those already consuming Hashish in foods familiar to common Parisians.
Fast forward to 2017 Portland and you can draw many cultural parallels to Paris pre-WWI.
Portland has a very young demographic that is artistically inclined and there is no confusion whether music and food are center to our city’s culture. Portland values art and alternative cultural ideologies, and is a exporter of cultural patterns that are both definable as well as obscure. Many people have moved to the upper Pacific NW to be a part of something that was contrasted from what they were experiencing where they came from, many of our cultural priorities are very akin to those in Paris.
This leads me to the idea that the concept of Soul Train PDX be drawn up and launched without regard to local regulations and bylaws concerning the consumption or indulgence of Hashish.
Soul Train PDX could be a central cultural magnet for the many artistic themes and uprisings that Portland has been experiencing and all the same mediums of food and music and Hashish could be implemented so that America has at least one place they can look to for sparks of Renaissance activity that can be looked to when much of the country is gripped in horror as to our role in the world.
Soul Train also was a fantastic broadcast program from the late 20th century that featured a set filled with dancers and the cameras would be fluidly moved among the moving guests. When a song starts, they might feature a couple grooving together and then pan back out to see how everyone is moving to the groove.
Portland really is the most appropriate place to launch a fusion of Parisian Hashischin culture with vintage Americana with present day Rosetown ethos and energies.
A building with several levels can be outfitted so that if a guest wants to have a quiet private conversation they can find a cozy area that is reserved for reading or small groups. Another floor would house the dance floor, the dojo, and the rock wall. The final floor would contain a commercial kitchen that can be used by patrons but also has an internal kitchen that is run by the top infusion alchemists in the world and guests can bring their own raw material in and have it infused into the menu offerings of the day for their meal or for their event.
The dance floor would be outfitted with state of the art camera operators and a weekly program would be livestreamed while bands, dj’s, and artist’s guest play – the same “Soul Train” theme would be harnessed and guests’ dance ability will be put on showcase as the people lose themselves to the rapturous moment moving their bodies and becoming fully focused on representing and expressing themselves with movement.
Fashion and dance moves will reign supreme and people will come from far and wide to say they took the green jelly and made it on camera in their spiffiest getup.
What will be notable about the concept is that it will not create a class-system nor reserve Hashish or any food infusions to those of privilege and relationship as happened in Paris. It will also not pander to people with provocative outfits as the Original Soul Train did….the livestream will feature dancers who really hit their stride.
Lastly, the kitchen will be staffed and supplied with the most knowledgeable and careful infusion artists so that titration/dosing/and duration/onset can be as transparent as possible and everyone can have an enjoyable and calculated experience. Food supplies will be sourced locally and farms will be chartered to cultivate things that are challenging to source. Herbalists will maintain a rooftop greenhouse where freshly harvested herbal flavor ingredients can be upgraded into any order to preserve the terpenes and essential oils.
This Soul Train PDX Community center would offer its dojo space and rock wall climbing to non-members. Yoga and qigong classes would be scheduled and art exhibits and poetry slams will take place in the banquet hall, not at the same time of course.