If you’re a fan of The Simpsons, a fan of stoner culture, or a Twitter user who isn’t living under a rock, you probably know about @Homer_Marijuana. The mysterious Twitter started last month and quickly blew up, gaining over 18,000 followers in its short lifespan. In case you’ve been under that aforementioned rock, @Homer_Marijuana is perhaps the most absurd account in a long line of Twitter accounts that parody popular television shows, such as @FakeLouisEps, @TonightOnGIRLS, and of course, @ModernSeinfeld and @Seinfeld2000. However, this account takes a different approach, creating a completely original narrative throughout the course of its Twitter feed, written entirely as a screenplay. In this world, Bart is drafted into the military, Homer is clinically depressed, and the entire clan bonds over their love of that sweet, sweet kush.
The duo behind the account was suspiciously mysterious throughout the process of setting up our conversation, refusing to use their real names or to speak to me face to face. We talked on Gchat and I was asked to refer to them by their preferred pseudonyms, PZ and SJ. Throughout our conversation, one thing became clear: at the end of the day, the story behind @Homer_Marijuana is not one of a narcotic quest or a need to kill, but one of unbreakable, honest friendship.
@Homer_Marijuana recently tweeted a link to a complete screenplay of their saga. Click here to read it. Our conversation with the creators is below.
IMPOSE: Were you guys fans growing up at all?
Spicy J: We’ve never actually seen the show and we don’t smoke marijuana.
Papa Z: I don’t know them personally, but I feel like in our universe that they all fiend to become insane and experience complete ego death.
Spicy J: I only know the characters through commercials and my friends’ backpacks. I’m not trying to be difficult. It’s just the truth. I haven’t smoked marijuana for over a decade.
That’s interesting. Why the Simpsons, then, and not a show you watch?
PZ: Also, to differentiate us. I’m PZ and my partner is SJ.
SJ: Those aren’t our real names, but we value privacy.
Okay good to know.
SJ: We’re both in engineering. I can’t say what kind.
Very impressive! (That sounded sarcastic, but isn’t).
SJ: We thought the Simpsons was a good platform to communicate our complex beliefs.
PZ: The Simpsons is embedded in US Culture. Don’t think people would enjoy “What if Yes, Prime Minister Smoked Weed?”
SJ: Exactly. We’re heavily influenced by Stephen King, in an almost spiritual sense.
Was he an inspiration for the storyline of homer marijuana
SJ: Without question.
PZ: We owe a lot to the Dark Tower trilogy.
SJ: Especially the Dark Tower series.Jinx! You owe me a soda. lol.
Cute. So what genre do you think this twitter falls into? Is it a horror story?
PZ: SJ and I have been phone-friends for a long time, Homer Marijuana just kind of polluted our conversations to the point of obsession. It impacted us a lot in negative ways but overall I think it was worth it.
SJ: It’s a story about morality and reality, and how the two intersect.
PZ: It’s just really cool to me.
SJ: We used to spend hours laughing to each other on the phone late into the night. It wasn’t romantic, purely creative.
Interesting, so neither of you know anything about the plot of the real Simpsons show? Did you do any research for the twitter?
SJ: We looked up some of the character names. We tried to pick the ones that people loved the most.
PZ: The only thing we researched was Pot forums. The Simpsons Wiki helped a lot though.
Had you guys written any screenplays before?
SJ: Research wasn’t a big part of the composition.
The format of this twitter is really unique and part of what makes it so popular, I think.
SJ: It was mostly emotional; an emotional process. I have never written a single word of a single screenplay.
PZ: I’ve written many.
SJ: And I don’t plan on it. I don’t plan on pursuing any creative endeavors in the future.
PZ: Mostly failed attempts at popularizing “Tropical Man” in my local theatres, but I don’t really want to go into it.
Did you guys expect the twitter to become as big as it did?
SJ: I just want to go back to my quiet life as an engineer. Again, I can’t say what kind of engineering I do. Please don’t ask. We knew it was a powerful idea. From the beginning. We’re both very spiritual. Did we know it would be so popular? No. But we knew it needed to be popular.
PZ: We thought we’d get a few laughs from die hard tokers and Simpsons fans. Turned out all those guys hated it. But people who are lost in their lives and needed cultural navigation got on board quick. We really didn’t talk during this period. We were both going through a lot of changes. We would just read the recent few tweets and pick up from there. I guess the story was so internalized that it just sprung out (forth) from our souls naturally.
SJ: A lot of changes.
Was there any kind of edit process prior to tweeting? Was the script written beforehand at any point?
PZ: In the print version could you put “Sprung forth” instead of “sprung out”? That’s cooler. Thanks.
SJ: We had composed it orally for about 9 months. Over the phone, as mentioned before. Late, late into the night. Laughing and weeping.
PZ: Other than our long phone conversations and a couple of recordings, we had nothing to go off of but our hearts. I once called J at 4AM just to say “What if Maggie smoked too?”
SJ: That was a turning point.
PZ: I think that solidified this as something bigger than us. Something the whole world needed to see.
SJ: What he didn’t say is that we had just hung up 30 minutes before… LOL. I was just drifting off to sleep, and I get a call from Z and I’m like, you beautiful brilliant son of a b****
I thought it was a dream when I woke up. I had to call him and say… ” The thing about Maggie smoking… Was that real? Or did I just have a vision”
It was certainly a controversial move. What do you think it is about stoner culture and simpson culture that go so well together?
SJ: I don’t care for either. That’s one thing they have in common.
PZ: It was just a learning experience. I felt that the introspective nature of marijuana smoking combined with a popular character that most people relate to would carry our message well.
Bart is the American poster-child, and even he wasn’t safe from the iron grip of imperialism.
So what is the message you want people to get from marijuana Simpson?
SJ: It’s more of a state of mind.
PZ: Family is the most important thing in the world.
SJ: That’s part of it. Radical Familialism is what I call it.
PZ: And that you can’t make sense of the things around you. Not even if you try. We live in dark times. And nothing seems fair or justified.
PZ: I actually got pretty emotional about Ken’s death.
SJ: I almost vomited when I was writing Ken’s death from fear and disgust, but it was something we had talked about for months and I knew it had to happen.
PZ: But sometimes God just has a plan for you or your loved ones that nobody can explain. All you can do is mourn and move on.
That’s powerful. Bart seems to clearly be suffering from PTSD. What inspired the choice to draft him and give him the need to kill?
PZ: Bart is the American poster-child, and even he wasn’t safe from the iron grip of imperialism.
Do you think Marijuana Simpson has a larger political message, then?
SJ: It was supposed to make you step back and say, “Wow. Even Bart?”
PZ: Picked up and tossed across the pond (actually, the ocean, just an expression) and fed into the maw of capital.
SJ: We have no “agenda.”
PZ: Absolutely not.
PZ: We just tell it like it is.
SJ: We are observers of culture and society.
PZ: We don’t hide the facts.
SJ: We present the world as it is, not as we see it.
PZ: I have to say it was fun to learn about resin and other depravity that permeates stoner culture.
SJ: They’re truly disgusting people. Sorry.
PZ: Gamers as well.
SJ: That might be controversial.
Do you have any favorite drug forum posts that come to mind? Those things are crazy.
SJ: Grass city.
PZ: Grass city. All the way.
SJ: Some of the most depraved people in the world. Scraping black tar from a glass pipe shaped like a mushroom. That’s what these people do. They make food with marijuana which is a drug.
PZ: I saw a message about a guy trying to make weed pills so that he could eat them on his dog-walking job. The thread lasted for weeks and people watched him spiral into insanity. Is he dead? Who knows. Ken is. That’s all that matters.
SJ: Their sheer obsession with getting and staying high would be admirable if it wasn’t so repulsive.
PZ: Ken is a self-insert of us exploring what it would be like if we started ripping nonstop and we realized that surely our soft hearts wouldn’t last for a year.
SJ: When we killed Ken we killed ourselves. Symbolically.
Wow. That’s dedication.
SJ: It was only symbolic
Do you guys have a favorite character in your universe?
PZ: I liked Apu the most.
SJ: I like Tropical Man because he’s often behind the scenes pulling strings even though no one notices he’s there. I identify with that. Apu is the most virtuous character in the work.
PZ: Tropical Man makes me too sensitive. Sorry but could you please not elaborate further?
PZ: Apu was rather innocent and was really uncomfortable with everything going on around him. Just like me at all times. Dying as a casualty to, but not being directly involved with an act of sinful lust pretty much sums my shit life up to the T.
What is your favorite subplot of the series? My personal fave is Flanders and the grav bong drama.
SJ: My favorite part was anything featuring Tropical Man due to how personal it was to my friend Z. During the height of Marijuana Simpson Mania he would call me at all hours of the night, weeping with joy and sadness about his deceased brother. “I feel like he’s watching us from the computer.” He said “A little angel.” Tropical Man is how we remember. Tropical man is how we pay tribute to Peter.
PZ: I liked the climax of the Saddam plot a lot, Saddam’s character is the only one with any real life in him. But my favorite conversation was the one about Apu’s filthy bong water making the Simpsons higher.
Recently, someone compiled the entire feed into one script. Would either of you like to see this twitter be converted into a movie, book, play, etc?
SJ: It is what it is. I think the work stands on its own. In Classical Antiquity they wrote nothing down.
PZ: I’d like it to be deleted from public view and put into the Wu-Tang box. That’s where we differ. That and, on certain opinions regarding a certain tropical man.
SJ: Let’s change the subject.
Right, I understand he’s a sensitive topic. Do you have any plans to create more stories, with other shows and/or drugs?
SJ: I just want to get back to work at my real job. I don’t plan on doing anything creative, probably for the rest of my life. This is just something I felt like I had to do. WE had to do
PZ: I don’t like my job. I’d like to get involved with Ed Murphy and the other greats at some point, if I choose to pursue writing. I got the shit end of the Engineer stick. or Cog.
I’d like it to be deleted from public view and put into the wu-tang box.
Did you know how the story was going to end before you began the twitter? Why choose to cut it off if it was so massively popular?
SJ: It was always a story with a beginning and an end. The ending was planned very early on, around Thanksgiving 2013. We cut it off because we had done what needed to be done. The work was complete.
PZ: This was a statement, not a popularity contest. We don’t care for twitter or its users. We had a goal set in mind and intended on conveying it in as concise a manner as possible. We had much more planned but we had to cut it.
SJ: If you ask Stephen King, “You could keep the Dark Tower series going on forever. Why end it?” He would say, “The Saga will end when my piece has been said. Until then I will work. But once my work is done, the work will cease, and you will see my completed work.” This is a lot like us.
PZ: Look out for Homer Marijuana Director’s Cut, maybe 25 years from now? Gosh, I’ll have a son by then.
Congratulations on your future son! What do you want people to learn from Homer Marijuana?
PZ: Thanks. But I’m sure I’ll dislike him.
SJ: Z and I talk on the phone about how much we’d love to have a son. Everything is there in the text. Respect your family. Family is everything. Honor above all.
PZ: I believe that the only truths to be found in our work is the universally shared truth of despair. And, if one so chooses the path of faith, the unshakable foundation it lays in your soul. That will stay with you forever. Whether it be for God or Science.
SJ: I have a saying at work. I carved it into a little wooden plaque. “Integrity is next to Family. May they always stand together.”
PZ: As an Engineer I believe in both.
Will you show your son marijuana Simpson?
SJ: As human beings, we must believe in both.
PZ: I’ll show my son whatever he wants to see if he does good in school and respects people.
SJ: I will show my son the values of Marijuana Simpson through my actions. But he will, God willing, not find out what weed is until he is married with children of his own.
PZ: I’m going to be a despondent father.
SJ: You’re going to be a good father. Stop it. In a way we’ve been fathers to each other, as well as sons. I consider Z my son as well as my father.
PZ: I forgot to feed my dog and couldn’t look her in the face for three weeks. You think I could take care of some strange kid? Fuck that, brother J.
SJ: Let’s stay on topic. This is about our work.
PZ: Fuck you.
SJ: Feel free to block him.
Your rapport is incredible. Did you write the entire thing together, or was it written in piecemeal?
PZ: We did not text or call each other the entire time. I swear this.
SJ: We wrote it in the air with our spoken words.
PZ: The only collaboration was “Let’s end it next week.”
SJ: Then it flowed from us effortlessly.
PZ: It was an expression of our beautiful relationship if anything. That we could birth something together without direct collaboration, only intuition and fond memories.
SJ: It was a sort of dance, a ballet. Two souls working one loom, if you will.
PZ: A modern ballet in words, performed in short anguishing bursts. I like it…
SJ: Now you’ve got it!
PZ: You don’t need to patronize me, J.
SJ: I’m encouraging you.
PZ: Can you lay off? You always do this.
Did you know about other parody twitters, like Seinfeld2000, before writing this?
PZ: As soon as a third party gets involved you start trying to dominate and ridicule me.
SJ: We can talk about this later. I’ve never heard of that. I’ve heard of Seinfeld.
PZ: I don’t explore twitter much. I mostly look at the local police scanners being transcribed onto the site.
SJ: I saw some of M&M’s twitter but it was mostly tour dates, announcements. Boring.
PZ: He’s not very lively online.
SJ: Twitter is nonsense to me.
PZ: It’s counter-intuitive for sure.
You’ve only seen Eminem’s twitter?
SJ: Twitter is like if you woke me up from a decades long coma and told me to cook an entire meal. But I haven’t even acquired language yet. My mind is erased. The Twitter website suggested Eminem when I first signed up.
PZ: I’ve seen more, but not many have captured me. He’s flicking off the camera and it exudes his attitude so much.
SJ: It actually wouldn’t let me tweet unless I followed Eminem as a friend. Other than that I’ve tried to concentrate on our project. We were there to create, to enlighten, not to consume.
PZ: I think that our disgruntled feelings towards Twitter kind of sealed the deal for it being our medium of choice. We wanted to mess around with people’s expectations a bit. Kind of sadistic of us. Kind of fucked up. But true.
I don’t explore twitter much. I mostly look at the local police scanners being transcribed onto the site.
Do you feel like you’ve succeeded?
PZ: As a tweeter? Maybe. As a lover? Absolutely not.
SJ: Yes. Unequivocally. Speaking purely in creative terms.
PZ: If the real Tropical Man reads this, I’m sorry for everything.
SJ: I know Tropical Man Was banned as a topic of discussion but I just want to say for the readers, he’s a sort of fictional projection of Zach’s baby brother who died in 1998. It’s how we imagine him. Sorry Z.
PZ: I’m really pissed off at you.
SJ: Just thought it was confusing.
Oh, I’m so sorry.
SJ: Stop it. Let her work. This is her job. I know you know what it’s like to lose a job but most people don’t want to go through that.
PZ: I value my privacy and wish you’d fucking respect me for one second?
SJ: Give me a break! It’s a beautiful story! Let it be known!
PZ: No, you give ME a break. You’re an upsetting friend to have sometimes.
SJ: Such a difficult man! Pah!
PZ: Can you please ask us another question. I’m about to flip my lid.
Do you think your friendship has grown stronger from this twitter?
SJ: Let us please discuss our personal matters on the phone tonight. Perhaps you’ve been out in the sun too long! Our friendship has been strengthened and tempered.
PZ: Every time our friendship grows, it shrinks a little when J forces my private feelings into the limelight or condescends to me online. But yeah, I guess. I’m proud of him. And us. But fuck him.
You mentioned ego death at the beginning of this interview, are you at all interested in the occult?
PZ: I’m horrified by it.
SJ: I wish Z’s ego would die.
PZ: I wish those people would be the ones sent to war. Oh I have an ego? That’s funny.
SJ: He can be a difficult man. We’re sorry. Please continue.
PZ: The occult is scary. That’s all I have to say.
SJ: I also despise the occult. It’s frightening and disgusting.
PZ: I learned about Ego Death on a drug page, and it’s interesting, I didn’t know satanic people liked it too.
I agree. Final question for you two: Who is the hero of Homer Marijuana?
PZ: The reader.
SJ: The reader.
PZ: For being able to consume and enjoy an externalization of all the dark feelings which lie in the human heart.
SJ: What the reader chooses to do with the knowledge contained within the work determines the extent of their heroism.
PZ: I thank them for being so strong and hanging on with us. It was a tragic ride.