Play By Your Own Rules and Profit, Too: 5 Steps to Becoming a Stoned Genius!

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Though a Leave It to Beaver lifestyle is occasionally appealing, we all want to rip off the creased pants and collared shirts and let our freak flags fly! We want to be on the fringe of society, pushing norms and customs beyond their white picket boundaries. And we certainly idolize the people who live this type of lifestyle. Especially if they come to be recognized as geniuses. Yes, the stoned genius is a special blend of renegade, half Cheech and half Einstein, which suits our defiant streaks perfectly. They work (and party) their asses off in the name of personal freedom and expression… and here’s how you can, too!

5 Die Before Your Time

No, seriously, we hope you don’t take it this far. By all means, be a genius… get stoned… do what you want, but don’t take it this far. This last and final step to becoming eternally young takes the most prominence in rock ‘n’ roll culture, where a premium is placed on creativity and energy. And there’s the most access to shortcuts for those two particular character traits. Look at the downfalls of almost every dead visionary rock star: Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, John Bonham, Amy Winehouse, Keith Moon, Brian Jones… Unfortunately, the list goes on.

4 Grow to Detest Everything Around You

On most genius arcs, this is where things start to get sad and head down. An excellent example of this is the embittered alcoholic writer Charles Bukowski. Living in San Pedro, a harbor suburb hid away in south Los Angeles, Bukowski seemed to turn away from the sunlight of this paradisiacal city. On the contrary, his writing became more dark and hateful, betraying a sense of volatile inertia as he slowly drew towards an alcohol related death. Inspiring stuff. Still, Bukowski brilliantly portrayed every shade and finite detail of life, managing to paint life in startling relief even with those beer goggles on.

3 Get in an Obsessive Relationship When You Get a Chance

Of course, no matter how brilliant of an artist you are, you need a little bit of life experience to report back on in order to compile a masterpiece. You’ve gotta’ pay your dues, as they say. The best way to get that experience in a hurry is to rush headlong into some ill-advised love affairs. Take a look at the abusive and codependent relationship between Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. Not that either was necessarily a genius. But other such compulsive, drug fueled relationships abound in the highest annals of stoned brilliance: F. Scott and Zelda, the notorious gadabouts; John and Yoko (although it’s pretty clear she didn’t break up the Beatles, she and John had a clearly obsessive relationship).

2 Do What You Want When You Want

This is usually the one that people go overboard with… and with good cause! The most fun part of being a stoned genius is the getting stoned part! (Top5 does not condone the excessive use of alcohol or illegal substances, lol) Hey, even Shakespeare had a one-hitter found outside of his cottage. Some of Van Gogh’s self-portraits resemble the visual effect of sugar dissolving in absinthe. Maybe it’s not best for everyone to take things to Hunter S. Thompson’s proportions, but it’s ok to cut loose every once in a while… or all the time if you’re a genius.

1 Play by Your Own Rules

When King Richard taxed his English countrymen within an inch of their livelihoods, did Robin Hood apply for a second job at the black smiths? NO! He stood up for what was right, reasonable, and badass. Like Robin Hood, you’ll have to establish your own guidelines for expressing yourself and preserving your individuality. If you notice injustice, speak on behalf of your beliefs. Of course, if you’re going to break the law, do it for a justifiable purpose. Or, in the words of Bob Dylan (one of my favorite stoned geniuses), “To live outside the law you must be honest.”.


My thinking is that you can get brilliant and incredibly stoned really quick and make enough money to afford the Betty Ford Clinic. Then you can release a bunch of addiction recovery music/art, just like Joe Walsh. Or, wait, bad example. Like Ringo Starr! Oh, crap… Well, maybe (like other great stoned geniuses) you just need to do your own thing regardless of what others think. And if you’re so brilliant that you’ve already thought of something we’ve missed, by all means let us know about it. Drop us a line or post it on our message board. Now get busy, Salieri!

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