Category Archives: counterculture

Psychedelics making a comeback as medical treatments

No, really.

Much greater than usual media attention accompanied the most recent World Psychedelic Forum held in March in Basel, Switzerland, the home of Albert Hofmann. A headline in the May issue of the staid British medical journal The Lancet — known for challenging the Pentagon’s Iraq casualty numbers — read, “Research on Psychedelics Moves into the Mainstream.”

The Lancet article identified a number of early-stage clinical trials being conducted on various “anxiety and neurotic disorders” using psychedelic compounds. As previously mentioned, Doblin and MAPS are conducting three parallel studies in Israel, Switzerland and the United States on the use of Ecstasy for treating PTSD. MAPS is also funding the work of controversial Harvard researcher John Halpern and his Yale counterpart Andrew Sewell, who are studying LSD and psilocybin as treatments for cluster headaches. (Information about their research is available on clusterbusters.com and Erowid, an online clearinghouse for reliable data on virtually every psychoactive plant and chemical known to humans.)

Harvard University, which conducted the last legal research on LSD in the mid-1960s and was the site for one of Halpern’s studies on the effects of MDMA on dying cancer patients, is once again considering clinical trials to support Halpern’s research.

And in a major milestone, on May 13 of this year, Swiss doctor Peter Gasser administered the first legal dose of LSD in more than 36 years. It was for a study of anxiety in palliative care, which helps terminally ill patients transition more peacefully — and with as little pain as possible — into death.

Other complexes like addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder are being treated with what are called the “shamanic plant medicines”: ayahuasca, the Amazonian vine preparation whose psychoactive component is dimethyltryptamine (DMT); peyote, the North American cactus whose psychoactive component is mescaline; and iboga, an African rainforest shrub.

Addiction is one of the most important new fields of study, not only because of the sheer numbers of afflicted, which the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates at 23.6 million persons a year at a cost of $181 billion. According to a newly released report from the World Health Organization, the United States is the world’s most addicted society. Of those who are lucky enough to get treatment, half eventually go back to heavy use, and 90 percent suffer brief or episodic relapses for the rest of their lives. This makes the search for an effective and long-lasting new treatment more attractive — and more pressing — than ever.

The Internet, Me, and why I don’t give a fuck.

The internet was created as a network to allow humans to mostly interact with others and share knowledge. Amirite? Much like the cruel open world, we’re all mean here, arrogant, and yet faceless. Why do I leech on for my daily dose of the tubes? Besides some form of ridiculous co-dependence, the internet has allowed me to remember that humanity, even at it’s most amazing and selfless hours are still nothing but a collective of douchebags spreading their douchebaggery abound whilst flaunting their epic douchitude. And I find it amusing.

Do NOT come to me asking for help, posting threads of pity or buttons of Paypal on pages asking for donations to keep your website alive or to keep your bunny alive. Eat your bunny plz, post pictures, grant us thee folk of the internet the horrormirth we desire to continue our lives in a sick, twisted illusion of awesome. I am awesome, because I tell myself this on a daily, as it helps me get through my day with no medication requiredâ„¢!

I don’t tell you about my debt, my marital issues, my financial stress and overall hatred of my current status quo in great detail and outside of general jest, because you’re not listening. I did the Livejournal thing for a while, and all it did was create an abundance of drama I haven’t seen since middle school anytime I posted about something a wee bit wrong in my life…then I remembered I didn’t read my friend’s shit anyway, so why the fuck bother?

I don’t listen; you don’t listen.

I began a brief ritual of ‘Wednesday Rants’ on the ol’ LJ during my Sophomore year in college in an attempts to at least bring some sort of reason into having the damned thing…it didn’t work, and I abandoned it rather quickly, as the answers I either got were my friends of the best variety giving me empty praise or some faggot twisting it into bullshit. Therefore, I felt like I accomplished nothing. I often think of posting on Verwirrung, and feel that in short, it will really only benefit those here anyway if at all, because outside of PD.Com, no one could give a fuck about this site, but perhaps they need to? Maybe? Who knows. I highly doubt anyone here will get anything from this smear on the blog.

I’m not an entirely cold human being, no…but I have my moments. I am close to those I allow to be close, care for them, laugh and cry with them, but my shell is a woman that rarely smiles. This doesn’t mean I’m upset, it means that I just don’t care to unless I have good reason. There was a Daria episode in which the football alum from their high school died because the fucking goal post fell on his head or some shit, and it was pointed out that the reason Daria never smiles is because she ‘thinks’. I often use this as my excuse when I’m asked about my sour countenance. The reaction I get is usually an odd look and a, “But I think too, and I smile, so smile, damnit!” My retort is typically, “Well, maybe you aren’t thinking hard enough?” And leave it at that. I also like leaving my thoughts to myself.

…I also hate my teeth, but that’s another tale entirely.

The internet is my escape from thinking, sometimes WAY too much. It allows me to be creative during work, or gaming, it allows me to sit here and giggle like a motherfucker all day long as I leave this forum tabbed on my browser. The internet is a collective of minds that do the thinking for me, and I like it that way, because it gives my tired brain a break. No doubt others do the same.

So why should I give a fuck about what’s wrong with your life anyway?

GTFO my internet with your piteous throws of fits and excuses as to why you NEED to be accepted or WHY you’re different. We’re faceless, mindless-minds who congregate to feed off of your insolence like sociopath vampires…hiding our identities while we attack you with little or no remorse. If you need a shrink, GO TO A SHRINK, don’t come here, to the internet to find answers because Wikipedia gave you a link or you felt lucky on fucking Google.

Of course, one could always allude the internet is like a gang that you need beating into, which means that you better lay there and get it over and done with quickly to avoid severe injury…rather than putting up a struggle.

Oh fuck it, I really just wrote this to conjugate forms of douchebag. You all may go about your business.

The Iconoclast’s Manifesto

We reserve the right to hold heretical viewpoints that you find abominable. We hold true that anyone who feels justified in attacking an individual because they have an unpopular opinion can fuck off and die.

We identify ourselves by our willingness to challenge the accepted dogma, theory, doctrine, or paradigm regardless of the consequences to our social status. We acknowledge that the positions we take may result in our being subjected to more intolerance than conventional wisdom would suggest is wise, but we find ourselves refuting conventional wisdom remarkably often.

While we generally try to take positions that are based on reasoned arguments, empirical evidence, historical precedents, or any combination thereof, we reserve the right to play devil’s advocate just to piss you off and destroy any notion you might have that your ideas are universally applicable.

We acknowledge that the original use of the term iconoclast specifically refers to the destruction of religious icons, but we may choose to attack cherished beliefs relating to anything, including but not limited to politics, art, religion, philosophy, and identity.

We reserve the right to change or violate the terms of this manifesto as the individual iconoclast deems fit.

We reserve rights, period.

X-Day: Anonymous vs. Scientology

Pungenday, Discord 28, YoLD 3174
A new spin on Mafia, by Pope Telarus, KSC, Tender to the Edible Zen Garden.

The Cards:

X-Day Card: Anonymous X-Day Card: Scientologist

X-Day Card: Bob X-Day Card: Alien Sex Goddess

“The portrait of J.R. “Bob” Dobbs is a trademark of SubGenius Foundation, Inc. and is used with permission.”

Continue reading X-Day: Anonymous vs. Scientology

Goals for One Line Meme Bombs

I’ve been plastering White Plains NY with memetic masterpieces on and off for almost a year now. A wguke ago, I made The Meme Bomb Collection, Volume Aleph, and it got me thinking about the meme bombs we’ve been generating.

A lot of the meme bombs we’ve come up with are effective in that they are self-contained information packages which in themselves suggest an attitude or position.

My favorite meme bombs are the ones which…

Give the reader pause. It’s really easy to get lost in the “zombie lurch”, the “9-5 crawl”, the “pedestrian trance”, or whatever you want to call it. I like meme bombs which jar the reader out of that and make them suddenly focus on the present moment rather than where they’re going. Some meme bombs which accomplish this are ones which successfully address the reader. “Hey! You, in the Khakis!” (if you’re actually wearing khakis, it might be startling).

Suggest something bigger going on. Such as “Congratulations! You’ve just found clue #3! The man in the green jacket will tell you what to do next.” These meme bombs make reality seem a little bit weirder than the pedestrian might expect. Is there some crazy game going on? When and where is it happening?

Provoke critical thought. Such as “miscarriage is manslaughter“. When taken at face value their meaning seems clear – but they actually suggest something else entirely.

Add some levity or humor to the reader’s day. I really wish people would stop taking their day-to-day shit so seriously. Sometimes hearing a joke or seeing a funny graphic right in the middle of your walk back from lunch is exactly what you need. The BIP refers to this as rearranging the machine’s local components to (hopefully, eventually) provoke a change in the whole system.

The Absurd and the Surreal. The Principia calls these Mondos. like “If the telephone rings today, water it!” At first they seem to make sense, but the more you think about them the less sense they make. Personally, I get these phrases stuck in my head all day. “The womb is a prison – FETUS LIBERATION FRONT!”

I like meme bombs which appear friendly or light. Some of the meme bombs developed by the PD Community are hostile and bitter, or preachy and cerebral. Frankly, far left propaganda tastes just as bad to me as far right propaganda, so I dislike political meme bombs. I also dislike the ones which specifically seek to make people feel worse without provoking action. (such as: “Your wife is cheating on you.“)

I also feel that graphics and icons are essential to getting the reader’s attention. An attractive visual packaging makes the memebomb more likely to be remembered.

An ideal memebomb is something which the reader will repeat to others. Little kernels of wisdom are good for this, but I feel that most of them are a bit too dense or “heavy” to pierce the pedestrian trance.

a discussion from PD about memes and graffiti follows…

Continue reading Goals for One Line Meme Bombs

Open and Shut

Enlightenment can be a tough road.
Having an open mind does not mean an open highway bereft of tribulation and conflict.  Indeed, so it would seem, it can increase both of those.

The knowledge and understanding of how limitations can choke.  But yet, when others do not share or recognize this, one’s societal world, one’s social circles, can quickly become very limited.  Or at the very least, strained.

This has become apparent to me as a parent.  Watching my little girl, eager and wide-eyed with the world.  A thirst to experience all that she can experience.  No shame in sillyness.  No inhibitions for idiosyncracies.  Yet, when amidst others of her age, who have already begun to develop their blinders, it can be painful to watch.  Because I remember what it was like, to be just a little different then all of the other straight and narrows.  I remember the giggles.  I remember the pointing.  Being comfortable with myself, yet lonely as others decide that they are not.

And so I see it beginning with my little one, before she has even entered the public school system.  To be sure, kids still like her, and play with her.  To be sure, she still enjoys that which is deemed normal and traditional for a kid her age, and of her gender.  And to be sure, I can see in her playmates the happy anarchy of childhood innocence is still there, and viable.  But I can also see where they are being introduced and indoctrinated to the typical paths that so many others unquestioningly navigate.  The hard and fast rules of what boys do and what girls do.  The mantras of how to properly experience the universe we are in. 

And so the tricky part comes.  How to maintain integration without fostering isolation.  How to cherish and champion individuality, and at the same time, teach companionship and comradery.  To impart that though others may not jive with parts of the personality that their friendship is still valuable and vital. 

It’s an odd thing.  We are invariably social creatures.  It is undeniable that at some level we all want to belong to something.  To be a part of a collective of characters.  At the same time, there are parts of our identity that will cause clashes, and sometimes, with those we most want to be friends with, or partners with, or lovers with.  As an adult this is easy to understand and rationalize, and so too with time will it become obvious to my little one and others like her who are growing up now. 

In the meantime, I make it my duty to keep that which may dull to not lessen her shine.