Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The War On Drugs (Revisited)

Acknowledged or not, consciously or unconsciously, the poetic state, a transcendant state of life, is fundamentally what the public seeks through love, crime, drugs, war or insurrection.
-- Antonin Artaud

When you work hard all day with your head and know you must work again the next day what else can change your ideas and make them run on a different plane like whisky?
-- Ernest Hemingway

From New York to Tehran the world is getting high, high, high. Why? That's a rhetorical question isn't it? Why can't we all just get high on life? Let's face it: if life were a drug, it would be rubbing alcohol. It may get you a little drunk sometimes but, ultimately, it's just going to make you go blind or just kill you. For most people in this world, life is about figuring out where the next meal's coming from and for most of the rest it's about drudgery. We spend our time circulating commodities -- consuming them, manufactuiring them and selling them even though some of us wake up to the painful realization that we ourselves have become mere commodities, merely means by which this absurd machine perpetuates its murderous existence. So we get tipsy, twisted and tight trying to attain that sweet perfection that eludes us when sober. We look for the sublime through the eye of a hypodermic needle or try to inhale it -- hot, dry and ethereal -- through the stem of a glass pipe. But let me tell you, I checked and double-checked, baby I've done research and nobody ever found nirvana between the folds of a glassine envelope. Nobody ever found paradise at the bottom of a brandy snifter. What drugs provide is simulation and, as with all simulacra, you have to pay. Drugs are money, they cost money, and the high you get from them is the manifestation not of creativity, not of the reality that makes us all live but of the qualitative experience of a discrete quantity of money. And as with all money, someone had to die for those drugs, someone like the people of Afghanistan and Colombia. So to escape the misery of life in the Babylon system we took drugs and by taking those drugs we only augmented our complicity in the system that creates our misery. The same system that provides those drugs to slake our appetite for the sublime while securing surplus cash-flows and circumventing insurrection. Still we get no satisfaction. Instead we have crime, drugs and war ... and with so little love left in the world, maybe it's time we tried an insurrection.

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