ones and zeroes

Better living through modern chemistry.

2.24.2005

Hope Can Drive A Man Insane

This computer at work has back-and-forward Internet buttons near its arrows. I just deleted my whole fucking post. Here we go a-fuckin-gain.


i get closer to my better days


Lucy and I are on a fucking roll here with the awesome movie-watching. More on that in a second. Yesterday I made the rounds and did the class thing, meeting up with Eileen randomly in the middle of the day and getting some sandwich action at 7A (where they've changed the name of the Austrian. Bullshit.) After some catching up I went to my last class, fell asleep, and then met up with Lucy for a few before confining myself to solitude in my apartment. Not quite solitude though, because I was in the company of those beautiful new One-Pint Cans of PBR. Even more beautiful than the cans themselves was the fact that THE DELI (village farm, NE corner of 2nd and 9th, best deli ever) still had them marked for the little can prices. Six pints of PBR for six bucks!!! Rrrrrock.

So I locked myself in the room, cued up Explosions in the Sky and Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool as my instrumental soundtrack and slapped my typewriter down on my thighs. It felt so fucking good to write something. I just let it all out as my fingers hit the keys, writing nothing at all and everything at once, letting my brain reprint its train of thought, trying not to think about poetry or fiction or films or anything and just write whatever I was feeling. The fact that my typewriter is manual made it even better since when I hit the end of a line a bell rings and I gotta slide that muthafucka back into its rightful place all by my lonesome, and then I've got a whole stretch of page to fill all over again. I churned out four or so pages, folded them up in my pocket and went to rejoin Lucy for some Two Boots, after which we headed to Hollyshit Video to rent a movie.

the tumblehawk prison rant, 2005

So we went and grabbed The Shawshank Redemption, one of the best thing a bunch of people with a few cameras have ever made in the history of film. Lucy hadn't seen it and I was quite ready to sit through it for the billionth time, albeit the first time in a while. I don't want this blog to start turning into Film Comment magazine so I'll keep my wish-I-was-a-cinema-studies-major rambling to a minimum and not go on and on about how Tim Robbins is excellent and the film is layered so deeply with interwoven imagery and symbolism that winds up as a tightly wound package with a healthy dollop of whip cream and a cherry on top.

Instead, I'm going to talk about this bullshit system we've got going on called prison. Prison is one of the oldest institutions in the realm of human existence. Back in the seafaring, colonizing days, prisons were one of the first 2 or 3 structures that would be erected when a travelling party arrived somewhere new, because problems were always expected. I'm not going to say that prison makes criminals instead of the other way around, this isn't a chicken-or-the-egg discussion.

I just think we've moved on. It used to be the human race was trying to set its flag down on the earth and try to survive, but now we've gotten to the point that we can all survive just fine, and the only reason some people do and some people don't is because we've taken physical darwinism and turned into bullshit Social Darwinism precipitated heavily by the spread of the scourge that is the capitalist system. Thing is, see, I think prison makes madmen and monsters, and that it takes a monster to control a monster, and the whole thing is an endless downward spiral, a self-perpetuating disease. Prisons are also one of the largest sources of incomes for every country, and so we sort of lean on them as crutches. This needs to be changed.

While I'm sure some criminals are so insane that they are beyond rehabilitation and require only control, the bulk need therapy, that's my opinion. Not petty criminals, but so many murderers and felons would benefit so much more from a stint in genuine, caring psychotherapy. And frankly, I don't think humans talking to humans is enough for everyone. I believe a lot can be achieved with the use of medication but also and especially the use of psychedelic drugs, in low doses and high doses, such as MDMA (ecstasy), psilocybin (mushrooms), and LSD (I like the full name, myself - lysergic acid diethylamide). If you're thinking this is just some halfway-hippie who likes those substances talking, and you don't think there's any answer to be found in those substances, ask me for a copy of Timothy Leary's research into just this kind of practice. Along with a team of researchers they dosed a bunch of extremely hardened criminals, many of them cold-blooded murderers and had repeated sessions. The criminals were volunteers who saw this as a chance to break the doldrum of prison life and eat some better food which they were offered, and a staggering majority of them had sensational breakthroughs in their experiences. They felt compelled to perform acts of love instead of hate, and the only reason the project ended up floundering was that when they were re-integrated into society, society simply doesn't accept ex-cons with open arms at all, giving them no support and no jobs and no nothing . . . so obviously prison isn't all we've got to change.

I'll leave you with this quote I saw someone post on Shroomery:

"The embarrassing truth is that consciousness is a chemical phenomenon. Everything that you have ever experienced, you have experienced because of a chemical reaction in your nervous system. Memory is a chemical process. Learning is a chemical process. Stupidity is a chemical process. "Stupor" is a chemical process. Normal awareness is a chemical process."
-Tim Leary

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