man at his best

In the 1990s, I learned from skateboard magazines that jocks suck, at least before ESPN and Nike brought jockness to skateboarding.

I remember reading about Timothy Leary in Time or Newsweek whenever he died. He was pretty into nitrous oxide as he approached death, which makes sense to me. Towards the end, he was real big on computers, having published a collection of his writing called Chaos and Cyberculture. It’s a lot about sex and drugs, in addition to computers.

Timothy Leary was way off-base about computers, predicting a techno-utopia instead of the alt-right. Perhaps he forgot computers come from the military…

A recurring theme of this blog is that jocks are fucking everything up, and women please stop having sex with them it’s not helping. It feels like I’m saying things not many people are saying.

Timothy Leary was once considered to be an epic badass. In the quaint old times when we had a senile president instead of a narcissistic one, he wrote a commentary about this magazine:

Remember that this was before the first Iraq war, so this imagery was more of a sexual fantasy.  It was before Tailhook. It wasn’t like now, where all her coworkers trade her pictures on social media, maybe she gets sexually assaulted, and she might directly participate in the BDSM.

Some dreams do come true!

The Esquire piece appeared just when Reagan was lobbying to bully our Latin neighbors–once again. It’s a recurrence of that old Caribbean fever, a paroxysmal virus that plagues the White House. Apparently the Oval Office can’t be disinfected. President after president keeps coming down with the Latin-basher Legionaires’ disease…

But where to conduct a nice, little, easy to win, ego-massaging war?

The Russkis? Too mean.

Asians? The slopes proved too tough for MacArthur in Korea and for Westmoreland in ‘Nam.

The Middle East? Much too volatile. Ronnie blustered a bit in Lebanon, but pulled out quickly after frivolously, whimsically wasting the lives of hundreds of US military personnel.

Oh well, back to the old, familiar playground for the Republican party and the warrior caste. Let’s snuff some Latins for God and manhood.

I mean…they’re not sending their best people. Buncha rapists, folks.

This is what 4chan does when you draft it (quoting Leary quoting Esquire):

After one ambush my men [sic] brought back the body of a North Vietnam soldier. I later found the dead man propped against some C-ration boxes. He had on sunglasses, and a Playboy magazine lay open in his lap; a cigarette dangled jauntily from his mouth; and on his head was perched a large and perfectly formed piece of shit. I pretended to be outraged, since desecrating bodies was frowned on as un-American and counterproductive. But it wasn’t outrage I felt. I kept my officer’s face on, but inside I was…laughing.

As a group, the white people pretended to be surprised by Donald Trump. In the 1980s and 1990s, white male pop culture icons like “the most dangerous man in America” could publish stuff like this, in real paper publications:

In his Esquire piece, which passionately glorifies the mechanized mass murder of Orientals, ex-Marine William Broyles, Jr. is less than scientific. He writes, “Most men who have been to war would have to admit, if they are honest, that somewhere inside themselves they loved it…loved it as much as anything that happened to them before or since.”

But wait a minute. Isn’t ex-Lieutenant Broyles describing a well-known altered state of consciousness that can be and usually is attained by many other less-violent means?

The scientific situation seems to be something like this. There are circuits in the human brain that when activated produce heightened states of awareness…

At this point we must remind ex-Lieutenant Broyles that the destructive paroxysmal state (DPS), which he glamourizes and politicizes, is not restricted to war.

We have all felt on occasions this seductive invitation to “flip out” in wild destructiveness. You don’t have to ship eight million young Americans eight thousand miles across the Pacific to waste a small Asian country. Just go downtown, Broyles, and catch a barroom brawl in a Burt Reynolds-Clint Eastwood movie. Tune into a prime-time television show like The A-Team.

Alcohol trips off the DPS. Drop into any redneck saloon in Texas, Broyles. Visit a clinic for battered wives, ex-Lieutenant-Broyles, and you’ll get a glimpse of your favorite “corner of the universe.” Put on some black leather and join a bikers’ club. Bullies love to express their manhood by riding in male-bonded packs. Join the Mexican Mafia, an inner-city gang. Cops and Bloods in the ghetto feel it. The Waffen SS felt it. It’s called “warrior love.”

…This Christian-soldier stuff is not limited to the redneck South and Southwest. It plays well all around white, Calvinist America. The American Legion, the National Rifle Association, the Hell’s Angels, the Marine Corps Association, the survivalists, the G. Gordon Liddy crowd, and Soldier of Fortune readers are visible tips of a profoundly deep, white American need to get kicks from wasting coloured people.

Decades later, the backlash is ascendant and they’ll make you belabor the point if you say “toxic masculinity.” How would you know about Timothy Leary if you were born after 9/11? Today LSD is something people use in brain scanners and clinical trials. It’s nonthreatening. It used to be that Timothy Leary explained MDMA to the public.

“Can’t fall in love, I got options” vs. how Timothy Leary wrote about it in the 1980s:

One new “problem” has emerged: the Ecstasy instant-marriage syndrome. Lots of people who didn’t know each other very well have shared the experience, activated the love-empathy circuits, and rushed off the next day to get married. In some cases, after the rose-colored smoke cleared, the couple realized that although they did, for a while, share the highest region of love, the practical aspects of their life were not in sync. You might say it’s a cosmic summer romance.

It got so bad in Boulder, Colorado that bumper stickers and T-shirts were printed with the message, “DON’T GET MARRIED FOR 6 WEEKS AFTER ECSTASY.”

The basic rule of neurological common sense applies. Don’t take any drug unless you know, trust, and admire the person providing it. There’s little chance that you can get your hands on MDMA through the usual channels of drug distribution. Colombian gangsters and Mafia pushers aren’t interested in selling a love-peace-wisdom drug.

Let’s face it, we’re talking about an elitist experience. MDMA is a drug that is known by word of mouth to sophisticated people who sincerely want to attain a high level of self-understanding and empathy. We’re talking about dedicated searchers who’ve earned a bit of Ecstasy. If you want this experience, start hanging around smart, spiritually ambitious people who exhibit in their behavior the qualities that the drug promises. Even if you aren’t interested in the MDMA, you could do worse than be on the lookout for people and places that give off that glow.

This was pop culture 2 years before 9/11:

In the 1990s, having an enlightenment experience was a teenage initiation ritual. In the early 2000s in Seattle, if you went to a rave, there’d be a white guy dressed in the right attire for the temple of a Hindu deity, saying reassuring things about inner peace to people who looked like they might be having adjustment issues. There was a table for that, too, or maybe a room. Times were better for mental health.

Esquire is off to a good start. Let’s encourage these psycho vets to tell their stories about the fun of body desecration, and the “perfectly formed piece of shit” on the non-Caucasian’s head, and “the mad excitement of destroying.” And about how impossible it is to talk about it unless you were there. It’s good Freudian catharsis. And let’s build them a monument where they can weep, not for Vietnam and Cambodia wasted, not for America rent by conflict, not for Jeffersonian ideals lost, but in pity for themselves.

Note that American society spent the entire Trump campaign rediscovering that white men feel sorry for themselves if they aren’t completely in control of everything at all times, particularly in sexual matters. Every few days there was a big think piece about it, where someone flew out to The American Heartland, rented a car, and talked to a bunch of ignorant dickheads like they had something important to say.

The irony is that, if Timothy Leary was the harmful Pied Piper of anything, it was faith in computers. He didn’t see it like, the military dudes made the internet with the idea that they’d stay in control even if half of everything was destroyed. And did you hear you can meet strangers on the internet and start talking to them about sex?