Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What Susan Rice Meant by The Term "Stone Crazy" In Her Tweet About Trump's National Security Council & Other Comments About The Vernacular Use Of The Word "Stone"

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides the vernacular meaning of the term "stone crazy" as used by United States former National Security Adviser & United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice in her January 29, 2017 tweet about President Donald Trump's changes to his National Security Council.

This post also includes information about the use of the vernacular word "stone", and dome of the vernacular meanings of the word "stone" followed by another adjective (such as "stone cold") or the word "stone: followed by a noun (such as "stone fox").

In addition, this post provides information about the vernacular word "stoned" and showcases the 1968 American Pop song "Stoned Soul Picnic".

The content of this post is presented for cultural, etymological, political, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks for the publisher of the embedded Fifth Dimensions video.

I was motivated to write this post after reading the following article:
From Top Foreign Policy Officials Go After Trump For National Security Council Changes
This is stone cold crazy. After a week of crazy.
01/29/2017 11:29 am ET

..."In a presidential memo Saturday, Trump reorganized the National Security Council by removing the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from the principals committee, which is the meeting for the most senior national security officials. Under the previous two administrations, they had permanent seats. Instead, the DNI and Joint Chiefs chair will now get to be there only when what is being discussed is relevant to their “responsibilities and expertise.”

In their place will be Bannon, one of Trump’s closest advisers. Bannon previously served as chairman of Breitbart News, a publication that regularly airs white nationalist views.

Rice served as national security adviser and United Nations ambassador to President Barack Obama. Late Saturday night, she tweeted that what Trump is doing is “stone cold crazy.”

Susan Rice ✔ @AmbassadorRice
This is stone cold crazy. After a week of crazy. Who needs military advice or intell to make policy on ISIL, Syria, Afghanistan, DPRK?
2:52 AM - 29 Jan 2017”
Italics added to highlight this sentence.

"Stone crazy" means "completely" and/or "totally" crazy.

"SLANG complete, utter, thoroughgoing, etc.: a stone genius
completely, thoroughly, etc.: stone sober
Complete; utter. Often used in combination: a stone liar; stone-deaf.
Completely; utterly: stone cold; standing stone still.

(African American Vernacular) Used as an intensifier.
She is one stone fox."
"Fox" (in the context of this expression) means an attractive, sexy woman.

Lyric Excerpt: James Brown "Stone Fox" 1967 [?]
"Your girl is fine as wine
Let me tell you bout my girl
She don't wear down the black rocks
'Coz she's a stone fox

There you are stone fox
You're mighty mighty sharp
When you walk you make me feel
Baby, you don't know what I see


She's a stone, stone fox

She's a stone, stone fox
Hey, yeah, oh, ahh
Alright, there you go, stone fox
You know what you know
When you dance all night
When you prance all night
Stone, stone, stone?

"Definition of stone–cold: absolutely (stone–cold sober)

First Known Use of stone–cold: 1592

Definition of stone–cold for English Language Learners: completely or totally"

From "
"Definition of stoned
1. drunk
2. being under the influence of a drug (as marijuana) taken especially for pleasure : high

Examples of stoned in a sentence
He was stoned on pot.
They got stoned at the party."

In 2011 I published a pancocojams post entitled "The Changing Definitions Of "Soul Sister" One example of the word "soul" that I gave in that post was The Fifth Dimension's 1968 song "Stoned Soul Picnic". However, when I wrote that post, I incorrectly gave the title of this Fifth Dimension song as "Stone Soul Picnic". And I suggested that a "stone soul picnic" was a really great picnic that was attended by Black folks (or mostly Black people), enjoying themselves with lots of "soul food", Black music & dance, and other types of entertainment.

But given that the title of that Laura Nyro song was "Stoned Soul Picnic" and not "Stone Soul Picnic", it's possible that the word "stoned" in that song has the meaning "being under the influence of a drug (as marijuana)", i.e. being "high". Perhaps the title/lyrics "stoned soul picnic" was meant to [also?] suggest that lots of people at that soul picnic might be having a really good time because they were getting "stoned" ("high").

Note that the lyrics include the words "red yellow honey sasafrass & moonshine*" But I wonder if Laura Nyro might have coined the term "stoned soul picnic" as a play on words of the term "stone cold".
"sasafrass" is a flavor of tea (sweetened with red/yellow honey) and "moonshine" means liquor.

Here are a few comments from a YouTube discussion thread for that Fifth Dimensions recording which concluded that "Stoned Soul Picnic" was about people being "stoned":

11db11, 2014
"It's STONED Soul Picnic. They were HIGH at that picnic!
Come on man! How could you miss that? Google it!
Now , guess what Up, Up and Away means!"

Charles Sedlacek, 2016
"sounds like they are singing about stoned people at a picnic. no better place to be. plenty of munchies."
"munchies" = "snacks"

zack waterman, 2016
"one of the happiest songs about ghanja smokin'"
"ghanja" = "marijuana"

However, one commenter on that same video's discussion thread noted that there's an annual "Stone Soul Picnic" events in Maryland.
ARedrooster2fun, 2016
"Still going strong in Baltimore, MD [Maryland] the Stone Soul Picnic. I'm gonna make it to Druid Park 2017. These folk the Fifth Dimension still tour following winning many Grammys."
There also is an annual Stone Soul Picnic in Memphis, Tennessee.
"The 42nd annual WLOK Stone Soul Picnic

The event will be on Saturday, September 3, 2016

at the Levitt Shell in Overton Park!"
And there's a Stone Soul Picnic event in Richmond, Virginia
"The 2016 Stone Soul Music & Food Festival is coming June 11, 2016 at the Classic Amphitheater at the Richmond International Raceway Complex. Performing LIVE includes artists such as Monica, Dru Hill, The Backyard Band, Tasha Cobbs, Canton Jones, T.I., Fabolous, Dreezy, Madeintyo, and MORE. Tickets available now at, Mama J’s and DTLR locations."
The sponsors of these events may have mistaken the title/lyrics of the Fifth Dimensions song as "Stone Soul Picnic (as I did). Or those events' sponsors may have adapted the title/lyrics "Stoned Soul Picnic" to fit the vernacular meaning of the word "stone".

And perhaps, like me, some other commenters on that discussion thread may have thought that "Stone Soul Picnic" was the title and lyrics of that song:

J. Milton, 2016
"Stone Soul Classic music, love this one!!!:-)"

Elias Torres, 2016
"cold beer nice day stone soul picnic feels good"

Cherrell Boston, 2017
"Stone Soul Cook Out!"

Also, there's this comment:
Tammy Toon, 2015
"Remember Those Cookouts! Playing Spades! Just enjoying Life! With Friends and Family! Just Lovely right! 7/1/15.
"Spades" is a card game that appears to be more widely played by African Americans than other Americans.

Just for your aesthetic pleasure, here's a video of that song:
Fifth Dimension - Stoned Soul Picnic - Bubblerock Promo HD

danbanrock1, Published on Nov 28, 2013
Everybody get down to some "Stoned Soul Picnic"

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  1. As somewhat of an aside from the topic of this post, here's speculation about the meaning of the word "surry" in the Fifth Dimensions song "Stoned Soul Picnic":
    "The word surry, used frequently in the lyric (e.g. "Surry down to a stoned soul picnic"), is a neologism by Nyro; its meaning is unclear. The verb surry is spelled differently from the noun surrey (an old-time carriage). When asked by producer Charlie Calello what the word meant, Nyro told him, "Oh, it's just a nice word."[2] One possible meaning is that surry is a shortening of "let's hurry."

    1. Here are three comments about the motions that members of the Fifth Dimensions made while singing that song (in the video that is showcased on this post)

      Trent Younger sr., 2016
      "The surry is the dance they are doing"

      Maine Guide, 2016
      "I always thought it was short for ''So hurry'' as in ''So hurry on down?''"

      Douglas Sharpe, 2016
      "The epitome of pop arranging, production values and delivery! Crazy awkward choreography on this one.. they must be whipping the horse pulling the Surrey! Guess Mr. choreographer didn't understand Laura chose words for feel and rhythm, not literal meaning. Still makes for a campy vid! The girls are beautiful too! Now 50 years gone!!"

  2. 'Stone dead':In 1633 the powerful Earl of Essex was asked to intervene to save the life of one of his political enemies, due to be executed. He refused: 'Stone dead hath no fellow', he said.

    1. Thanks for sharing that historical example with us, slam2011.

      I suppose "stone dead" (as dead as a stone) is the deadest anyone could ever be, since stones are considered completely lifeless.

    2. It was a pretty ruthless thing to say, but that's politics :(

      Yes, I guess nothing is more lifeless than a stone. OED gives earliest occurrence of 'stone-dead' as c.1290, in a manuscript now called South English Legends, "He fel a-doun stan-ded." (He fell a-down, stone-dead)