Skip to main content

Madison, Wisconsin has designated April 20, Ben Masel Day in honor of our friend and compatriot who was so well known and well loved here at dailykos and elsewhere.

Ben was known far and wide for his cannabis activism, as well as his activism for justice and civil rights in general. It's appropriate that 4/20 be dedicated to Ben. I expect he'd be pleased. Ah Ben, you was one of a kind.

Read more of what I've had to say about Ben over the Itzl.

I met Ben Masel initially online at DailyKos.  It was immediately apparent to me that he was both knowledgeable and astute.  Still, I had no idea.  

I met him in the flesh at YKOS'07 in Chicago.  I didn't realize who he was at first, I just spotted him as someone I'd like to know.  I caught up to him as he was walking down a hallway and said “Hey brother.”  He smiled and we stopped to talk.  I looked down and saw his name tag and realized who he was.  I knew well the name of Ben Masel (only I thought until then that is was pronounced 'Mazzel', it's actually 'May ZELL').  It was a delight to finally meet him.  We discussed some of the online conversations we'd had in the past and soon wandered off to find a place to roll one up.  He was the soul of generosity, always willing to share – his time, his thoughts, his cannabis, whatever.  We were both refugees from the sixties and were instant friends and brothers.

My Friend Ben

He used to say “I'm Pro-choice on everything.”  How can you not love that?
For me, Ben Masel embodied the spirit of the 60s.  I cannot express how badly I hated to see him go.  I wish he could have at least lived to see the complete legalization of cannabis.  It seems like such a small thing to ask...in the land of the free.

Some Further Thoughts on Ben Masel

It's strange how powerfully people can affect you, for better or worse. The effect another has on you can change you, transform you, lift you to a higher level of existence even. A good friend can sometimes do that with a word or a gesture, or just by their presence. And when they go it can tear a hole.

Not Fade Away

I know, not much of a song. He deserves better.

Just some bad rhyme, a light-hearted tribute, one I hope Ben would appreciate. That song does make me think of him though...for some reason. I guess it's the 'it's better to burn out than it is to rust' line. Describes him pretty well. Dude went out fighting. There is some video later of him protesting near the very end of his life. He left his deathbed at the hospital to protest for free speech. Think about that when you see him at the Wisconsin State House.

This is a song about Ben Masel

Though not specifically about Ben, this seems to fit here:
Honest connections between people are not always easily achieved or maintained, and for their very rarity they are somehow all the more precious, and somehow wondrous. Though often as elusive as the melting snow, that deep connection between people is a special feature of the human experience. Is it surprising that we make such deep running connections? In a social species, perhaps not, yet it's a standout in the panoply of a human life. It is a very special part of being human.

He Was a Friend of Mine

Thanks for reading. Find a way to celebrate Ben today. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.


ben-masel

How-to-be-a-leftist

ben-masel-and-arlen-specter

Ben-Masel-RIP

daniel,-me,-claude-and-ben-550px-Peace-Out

Mon Apr 20, 2015 at 10:47 AM PT: Please forgive the re-post but in this case it seems appropriate.

Originally posted to One Pissed Off Liberal on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 07:59 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive and Team DFH.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, Sharoney, claude, Renee, Velocity, Alumbrados, paradox, Angie in WA State, Alma, Bill in Portland Maine, melo, teacherken, AaronInSanDiego, left of center, TrueBlueMajority, saraswati, melvynny, Bob Love, Avila, Debby, byteb, wu ming, hyperstation, OLinda, eeff, willyr, xynz, LeftHandedMan, Rachael7, devtob, TarheelDem, Jerome a Paris, RubDMC, rasbobbo, TheMomCat, bronte17, TracieLynn, cskendrick, annrose, srkp23, Agathena, stevej, cosmic debris, khloemi, CanisMaximus, Ignacio Magaloni, eataTREE, poe, evelette, sidnora, Eddie C, wader, k9disc, MrSandman, Bill W, TexDem, NYC Sophia, figbash, CitizenOfEarth, pat bunny, Kentucky DeanDemocrat, LordMike, TiaRachel, Damnit Janet, texasmom, Steven Payne, hoof32, hazzcon, Frankenoid, dkmich, zett, zerelda, randallt, jcrit, Sybil Liberty, xxdr zombiexx, Blueiz, Tirge Caps, nailbender, joanneleon, kbman, Bluesee, marina, 3goldens, Skaje, jrooth, ichibon, klamothe, corvo, KnotIookin, ccasas, elkhunter, basquebob, viral, Brooke In Seattle, YucatanMan, Laurence Lewis, Sara R, GreyHawk, Burned, lotlizard, kazoo of the north, Tool, Ozzie, Ginny in CO, scurvy turbo, Land of Enchantment, noweasels, Jim R, Mother Mags, esquimaux, Jennifer Clare, tarheelblue, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Kingsmeg, vigilant meerkat, ActivistGuy, Yellow Canary, seefleur, Dvalkure, koNko, ruleoflaw, kck, Lefty Coaster, blueoasis, triv33, StrayCat, 4Freedom, gooderservice, katrinka, Caoimhin Laochdha, joe shikspack, NearlyNormal, CTLiberal, OMwordTHRUdaFOG, llbear, Turbonerd, Persiflage, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Dreaming of Better Days, blueoregon, kurt, NancyWH, Bernie68, Friend of the court, slksfca, markthshark, ZenTrainer, BentLiberal, pale cold, pgm 01, timewarp, BeninSC, Habitat Vic, ninkasi23, gloriana, Mary Mike, flumptytail, operculum, greenchiledem, shesaid, artisan, Kentucky Kid, jnhobbs, gchaucer2, yella dawg, bewild, eyesoars, cloudbustingkid, trueblueliberal, vet, TomP, Mighty Ike, eparrot, rogerdaddy, VelvetElvis, walja, ferment, TheFatLadySings, zerone, Involuntary Exile, bythesea, Remembering Jello, CenFlaDem, pickandshovel, bluesheep, SmileySam, petulans, Quilldriver, shortgirl, CIndyCasella, LaFeminista, Celtic Merlin, maggiejean, zmom, ARS, divineorder, zephyr108, I give in to sin, JesseCW, sanglug, Denise Oliver Velez, Shelley99, civil wingnut, Losty, astral66, jpmassar, Words In Action, cassandraX, smileycreek, rb137, flitedocnm, kjoftherock, SeattleTammy, jakedog42, mookins, Polly Syllabic, gulfgal98, Puddytat, sharonsz, rja, Betty Pinson, ericlewis0, Oh Mary Oh, fiercefilms, theKgirls, Onomastic, slowbutsure, freesia, cooper888, Amayi, BlueJessamine, gravlax, thomask, tardis10, Sark Svemes, corvaire, Calvino Partigiani, PhilJD, Wood Dragon, deltadoc, YaNevaNo, jacey, anodnhajo, isabelle hayes, Eric Nelson, S F Hippie, Yonkers Boy, This old man, peachcreek, carolanne, belinda ridgewood, Free Jazz at High Noon, barbarak, MartyM, Had Enough Right Wing BS, rat racer, freshwater dan, Glen The Plumber, Spirit of Life, peptabysmal, Hammerhand, Ray Pensador, Chaddiwicker, John Crapper, JayRaye, broths, SixSixSix, Jollie Ollie Orange, howabout, marcr22, TheDuckManCometh, OldSoldier99, citylights

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site