Saturday, February 17, 2007

Joni Mitchell on smoking: “Honestly, I couldn't have gotten through life without it.”

In a rare interview, Joni Mitchell speaks out on the environment, feminazis, God and smoking. While the views of an aging hippie chick on the environment will be none too suprising, her views on smoking in God's post-feminist Garden make for some entertaining reading:

Joni Mitchell takes a long, languid haul from her cigarette, closes her eyes and exhales contentedly.

Does the iconic singer-songwriter, one of the most influential recording artists of her generation, ever feel guilty about her lifelong habit?

“Not at all,” she says, taking another puff and staring intently at the burning embers. The expression on her face is so serene, her body so relaxed, you might mistake this ritual for meditation.

In her mind, it is.

“To me, tobacco is a grounding herb,” she explains, as smoke swirls like a ghostly halo around blond wisps of hair twisted on the top of her head.

But don't we have the right to impose usage restrictions on personal environments as well as the planet?

Mitchell scoffs when it is suggested that the body is a microcosm of the planet, that smoking is as foolhardy and dangerous as China's addiction to coal.

“I see bodies as individual things,” she says, sitting up at attention. “People who drive RVs treat me like a leper because I'm making this tiny emission that isn't going to bother them at all,” says Mitchell, whose cigarette brand of choice, American Spirit, is allegedly additive-free. “Then they get in their car and drive off and leave 10,000 cartons worth of crap in the air. ... And people are quitting smoking en masse, yet cancer is still rising. Let's be realistic.

Define yourself as a person:

“I am a smoker. Period,” she adds, jabbing the air with her cigarette.

How do you feel about feminazi movement?:

For a woman who marches to her own suspended chords, though, Mitchell has a curious distaste for feminism. “They're Amazons, a lot of the ones that I met,” she says, leaning back and placing her frosty pink, perfectly manicured toes onto the coffee table. “In some ways, I think the movement did more harm than good. I think it created an aggressive-type female with a sense of entitlement that's a bit of a monster.”
Does anybody need another self-righteous rock singer / Whose nose he says has led him straight to god?

A self-described Buddhist-Gnostic hybrid, she was introduced to Buddhism through a mind-bending encounter with the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual master Chogyam Trungpa while performing on Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder tour. It was 1975 and she was being paid in cocaine during a brief dalliance with drugs.

The monk asked her if she believed in God. “Yes,” she replied, snorting a line right in front of him. “Here's my god and here is my prayer.” The monk flared his nostrils and “zapped” her into an awakened state of consciousness with rhythmic breathing. For three days, she had no sense of self.

“My mind was back in Eden, the mind before the fall. With the ‘I' gone, you no longer have a divisional mind that goes ‘good, bad, right, wrong.'

And what about the suffering of the little children? God doesn't mind the tobacco smoke in them thar gardens?

“Look,” she says laughing. “I smoked in cars, in saunas, in all sorts of small spaces. If secondary smoke is going to kill me, I would have been dead 20 years ago.”

Wanna get high?


Honey Pot said...

hmmmm, didn't she sing Big Yellow Taxi? hahahahahahahahahahaha

I am quite sure it is the theme song of the eco-terrorist movement.


Ron Southern said...

I was able to quit smoking after 30 years, so I always wonder why others (who are also growing older) can't do it, too. I hated it. Nonetheless, I'd still like to make love to Joni Mitchell. (Even just saying it feels nice!)