“Weed Monks” reveals Chris Dankland to be the red-eyed man of the dank lands. Chris Dankland is the one that Madvillain referred to their award-winning hit “America’s Most Blunted”. Throughout the collection “Weed Monks” reveals itself to be quite compassionate for its lowly individuals seeking salvation. Many of these monks opt for the silent “All Quiet On the Western Blunt” sort of life, refusing to speak yet possessing a great many followers.
Humor ties the stories together. A very loose narrative holds the pieces together as these are individuals who have checked out of reality going for the absurd the margins of society freely embracing it. Chris Dankland gives these outcasts religious attributes as they devote themselves to a lifestyle most assume is exclusively for leisure. Nothing in the many stories reveals a sense of leisure. These weed monks ponder the giant questions in life while removing temptation from their lives. As a result they live relatively sparse lives, living on the beach, driving golf carts, forgetting how to go to the bathroom.
Various insight is given into the mysterious tradition of the weed monks. Chris Dankland does not speak of the original weed monk, the one who began it all. Such a focus would make the collection lose its sort of weird charm. A righteous sense leads these individuals as they sing to themselves and others. Plenty more completely disappear never to come out again. Some try for deep enlightened thought only to come up completely short. Sober people have the same outcome so ultimately it is about perspective more than anything.
The history of the weed monk comes into view. Lost traditions come into play of people devoting themselves to it. A few try to come up with ways to avoid speaking with simple hand gestures, losing them in the passage of time and forgetfulness. Others still wonder what loneliness means, and whether or not it is a more honest way of living. Belief systems are worked upon to try and figure out what purpose the afterlife might have, all of which are the questions that involve one hand clapping.
Even Chris Dankland makes a cameo. Adhering to the role of scribe he tries to write down the wisdom that he witnesses across the many weed monks of his world. Not all of the ideas are fully elaborated upon but rather serve as example of how many tangents can grow without flowering.
Really funny, really bizarre, and strangely sweet “Weed Monks” is devoted to the weird ones in the world, the ones who fell through the cracks and choose to live there.