“Waiting for Chronic”: Time, cannabis and counterculture in Hawai‘i

Pickering, L. (2016) “Waiting for Chronic”: Time, cannabis and counterculture in Hawai‘i. Time and Society, 25(3), pp. 450-470. (doi:10.1177/0961463X16631770)




What does it mean not to wait? It is possible to live in ways which do not entail waiting? Through close examination of time and its articulations among a group of US 1960s-generation ‘hippies’ and younger ‘drop outs’ in a rural backwater of Hawai‘i, I argue in this paper that it is possible to live without waiting. Drawing on Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (1953) and Baba Ram Dass’ countercultural invocation to ‘remember, be here now’, I explore unexpected interruptions to anticipated temporal flows. Structured around three vignettes on failing to hitchhike, learning to do ethnographic fieldwork through stopping trying to do ethnographic fieldwork and an unexpected interruption in the supermarket, this paper builds up a picture of non-waiting in action. Located against a backdrop of waiting as temporal interruption and affective mode, I argue that this group sought to collectively disrupt the affective modes of indifference and/or frustration they grew up with in urban mainland America. Through new forms of affective engagement they became able to collectively reframe temporal interruption as existing within rather than without local temporal flows, interruptions ceased to be ruptures to temporal textures but part of their very fabric. Located within temporal flows, they did not force individuals out of a moral community of (time is money) efficient, productive citizens but reframed productivity itself in terms of producing sociality, positive affective experience and communitas. Out of a multitude of moments of not waiting, a temporal texture of American counterculture emerges.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Pickering, Dr Lucy
Authors: Pickering, L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Social Scientists working in Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Time and Society
ISSN (Online):1461-7463
Published Online:28 May 2016

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