Sunday, May 9, 2010

Tripping on Acid

I was in good (and safe) company, and I have never tried LSD before. I figured, what the fuck -- why not? Jenny popped her MDMA cherry, I'll pop mine for LSD.

I hit an eyedrop as we left my club. As we worked our way out, I felt the acid start working its magic almost immediately. The music started to sound distorted, like a run-down fun house, but I like weird, and I was liking the weird of this trip. As we wound from one blurry, geometrically impossible hallway clad with posters to another the distorted thump thump thump gave way to the sensation of the empty night air feeling my lungs. Thumpp...... thump.... in the distance. "How many lines of coke did I do jake?" He replied "Fourt". "What fucking fort?" I tasted the dirty night air outside my strip. I turned to Jake and Jessica as I tried to walk as straightly as possible toward the limo - and away from the pink spiders. "You know, I built this shit."

I built the entire strip and I was fucking proud of it with its bright red lights, the glitter of gold and the allure of desire, the promise of seduction, that dream of cumming in a stranger. There are so many reasons why people come to my strip. They give me money to be frustrated by strippers, to get free drinks from men, to beg a one-armed bandit for a free meal.  In the end, I'm doing the fucking, I'm the one cumming. They're just dreaming.

This trip. Shit. Everything was a bastard child of image and afterimage. I saw jake's hands like a strobing stop-motion video point up into the air. "Shit, what is love?" he asked with a metallica tinge. His voice was breaking in and out like he was talking through a broken walkie talkie. Jessica let go of my arm and looked up in the sky. The sky's beautiful. Meteors tonight. Bright flashes in the air. Jake said something about where was his cell phone.

Then, bam! It was fucking beautiful. A blast of unearthly sunlight lit up the night air in one heavenly moment. The drugs burned an afterimage of beauty into my retinas -- a glowing white hot ball of healing light illuminating the entire night sky a fantastic green-blue hue. LSD is some fireworks. All I could see was that beautiful ball reaching out into the night air for ten, twenty, thirty seconds... minutes? Was it a day? A dream? Am I the imparted other?

And then I felt a limpness as the white ball of light wrapped me up completely like a blanket and I started shaking and there was just so much light. I could feel my arms and legs flail of their own free will. I could hear noises, popping and crackling, spiders chirping, birds screaming and shouting and making noises, car alarms or were they watch alarms? All like distant memories filtered through a broken walkie talkie. My ears began to ring and deafen out the noise, and I continued to feel myself thrashing around involuntarily. Fuck. I'd never had a seizure or tried eyedrops before. Eventually all I could see was a fugue-white color, sort of a beige. The acid felt absent, absinthe, absinthe, alliteration. That's what this moment was, it was wormwood.

Sarcophagus sleep shit shit shit shit on a stone tablet. I was laying on my back, on the hard pavement. Numbing pain all over my body. Fuck drops. What's with this shit? Why does it have to be the crackle of fire and distant moaning. What the fuck. I tried to shout, but it came out as a raspy whisper. "Fuck you fuck you fuck you." I can't get up.

While laying on my back I tilt my head painfully and see, not spiders or angry cats, but the empty once-windowed doorframe of Vanguard's exit, a warm fiery glow dancing on the top of the top of the walls inside the building. The stars in the night sky are so unusually bright, and it's so dark here except for the fires. I briefly paused to admire them. I could make out constellations I had never seen before, and the night sky was a marvelous moment of relief.

The windows to my limousine were barely available, and it looked like they were missing all their glass too.  I can't feel my legs. This shit has some kind of numbing affect. Fuck me of all people to make an anti-drug PSA. "Jake?" I tried to ask, but it was still a whisper. I took a deep breath, and my chest hurt. The air smelled like fire and ash mixed with diesel and gasoline, but there was something nasty, adrenal and sour hanging over the air that I couldn't recognize.

I tried to place my arms at my sides to prop my torso up and look at the vistas. Glass is falling out of my hair. Fires everywhere -- in the club, across the street, in the cars that partially lined the streets, in the vast hotels and office buildings miles away. A bobcat is snarling angrily at me, and wants to eat me. There's fucking broken glass fucking everywhere, too, given a faint sheen by the firelight. And fucking more bobcats and lions. They're circling. They know I'm down, I'm weak. They were in the road, down the sidewalk, inside the entrance to the club. And every window I could see didn't have any glass, and every inch of the ground. Some buildings were missing and everything was fucked up. My legs are fucked up. was it the lions?

I saw some other stuff I don't want to describe. I figured out where Jenny (Jessica?) was but I couldn't find Jake. "Jake?" I asked again. I laid back down on my back and gazed at the night sky. The stars were so much brighter than usual. I had nothing else to do, so I stopped and admired them. There was an amazingly bright patch of four to five stars with four hooking arms of stars flanking them. Or was it three? I connected the white dots into a man on his hands and knees, but it occurred to me that the stars looked more like an origami swan... or was that a swastika? I laughed, but then my chest started to hurt again.

The fire in my club was getting brighter. Is it real? I looked over and it looked like it wasn't making it over to the sidewalk. Just the circling animals. And I can close my eyes, and see these strange, surreal, fractal patterns all at once as I'm terrified of being eaten by an animal. This trip is really bad I think I'm hurt, I can't move, something's really wrong. Only the perfect lines intersecting at a  point comfort me. "Jake?" I asked. I wanted to see my friend Jake.

It was then that I heard his familiar voice. From my back, I saw him standing over me now, in his carefully groomed black suit, with his carefully combed hair, his BT. "I'm sorry," he said. Voice clearer. Pain sharper now. "Cell's not working, looks like an EMP sir." Fucks an EMP? Jake had a lot of presence, and he wanted me to calm down.

"Am I going to be OK?" I asked Jake. He had a deeply pained look in his eyes I had never seen before. "Yeah, you're going to be fine." I'm not buying it. I whispered "What the fuck do you mean?" in an unusually polite tone for those words.

"You remind me of President Clinton," he said. "I don't fucking care if I--" "You're having a bad trrripr. You need sleeps." He reached into his right suit pocket. "Jake what the fuck are you--" and then Jake got on his knees, and he lifted me and held me in his arms. A drop of something wet landed on my head. "Listen, I love you boss man, and I'm sorry you're in the shirt." "Jake, what the fuck are you--" I asked one final time and he cut me off again. I didn't see the pool under me until now. Fucking lions. We had never been particularly close, but Jake held me like a child. I felt comfort... I felt him touch the side of my head, and I saw another bright light.

That's how I got to this moment. The LSD is gone, and all that's left is just a bright light. Clarity. Illumination. No matter what happens, I'm only certain of one thing - when this is all over, I'm leaving vegas for good.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Pan-Qualism Explained

by Bizarro Guidepost

I am fairly confident that in some other world in some other universe, beings who are like humans in every single way save their floppy rabbit ears and sporadic bursts of violent flatulence have been arguing in a language that, by a strange coincidence, is exactly the same as English. I am nearly certain of this as long as there are an infinite number of universes (this is a certainty persuant to argument 3.a.9z).

These rabbits were discussing their experience of perceived feel, qualia, of undeniable shining reality. They exist now and they know they exist through the immediacy and substance of their experience. One rabbit conjuncted this knowledge with the scientific notion that the universe is composed of one basic building block known as a hoop, and that, therefore, each of these building-blocks of existence must contain the constituents of qualia, that is, perceived feel.

That is, he argued, if we all have feelings and are made of one substance, that substance must itself have feeling, or be an essence of feeling. That is, not an awareness but an experience in all things, a "pan-qualism" sans spiritual belief... Being in all things! But was it really so? One rabbit would have none of this new-agey idiocy. “Ah! But the whole is greater than the sum of its parts!” Silence fell on the room as the air thickened with prolonged tension. The Tricentennial Pan-Qualic-Convention of Speculative Philosophers was widely recognized as the most significant, monumentous, prestigious and otherwise lofty-worded debate in the entire Lagoverse, so this was a serious matter.

Another rabbit broke the standstill. "The pan-qualist argument is right in a limited sense but forgets that the parts still exist; the constituents of qualia must exist if qualia is real at all, and qualia is real because we perceive it!" Everyone glared at him like he was insane -- had he never heard of epiphenomena? -- so he slumped back down. Fringe philosphers.

Rabbit custom demanded that the burden of socially disgraceful behavior must be shared by an onlooker, so Larry the Massochistic Stoner Rabbit spryly leaped to his feet and proclaimed, "Duuuuuuuude!" It was deathly inappropriate for a tricentenial convocation, and he was applauded by the other rabbits for his dignity and grace. Yet another rabbit raised his voice: "But no other explanation reconciles the existence of my consciousness with the apparent materialism of reality!" By this time, the rabbits could not help but murmur amongst themselves and the entire procession was very dramatic.

"You're missing the whole point," said the mayor of Rabittown as he decisively rose to his feet, leaning against his cane with authority. "This very argument assumes qualia can be quantified! Why, that's a contradiction in terms!" A sycophant reaffirmed, "It's incoherent! Incoherent!" The secretary sprung forward to restore order as a chanting of "Incoherent! Incoherent!" began to fill the halls. The secratary commanded their respect, as well as their fax and printer. The trifecta won their attention immediately. "Persuant to argument 12.q.1, the bearer of the Cane and Top-Hat is by fiat of natural law Mayor of Rabittown and Sole Arbiter of Objective Truth!"

"Fight for the cane! Rabbitpile for the cane!" shouted one of the rabbits, and they all leapt into a great heap, at the center of which was the Mayor of Rabbittown, who was crushed and exploded instantly. Unfortunately, during all of the rubbing, biting, and scratching, the rabbits became terribly horny. A variety of unsavory things then happened, the likes of which are 3-neither work safe nor palatable nor will be described here.

The end.

Searching for secular altruism

For a long time, I have had a privately held philosophy that I have refrained from sharing with other people out of the fear that they would think I'm a bit crazy. It all stems from my belief that my ethical system ought to be completely universifiable, that is, applied fairly to all rational agents in an equal way, in an effort to create some ideal "perfectly universifiable" system. When I jot the arguments down, I will (most likely) have two premises:

1.) Morality is subjective in a special sense. It is not completely arbitrary; however, what is good is relative to what its perceiver interprets as good.
2.) Any ethical system still must be universifiable.

I believe these premises ultimately lead to the following conclusions, though I have yet to share my arguments and what I believe may change:

i.) If the golden rule is, "Do unto others as you wish to be done unto you," this system upholds a new "better golden rule": "Do unto others as they wish to be done unto them." We'll just call this rephrasing of the rule the golden rule.
ii.) But remember, one's morality must be universifiable to be coherent. This applies to you and I both. To be ethical and universifiable, one must want by being ethical a.) what is valued by them and, by making that ethic universal, b.) what is valued by others for others. (note to self: No other hypothetical moral system can be made universally equitable so effectively).
iii.) When two rational agents encounter a situation in which the golden rule cannot be upheld for both of them due to physical constraints, they should approximate it as well as possible in a way that is equitable and fair.
iv.) As far as a person does not act equitably by upholding the golden rule, they are not behaving as ethical agents. A person who completely ignores this rule, e.g., a sociopath, is not an ethical agent and as such does not have value. The sociopath should not be punished or rewarded but merely treated as part of a system and either dealt with expediently or exploited without prejudice.
iv.) Thus, to the extent that someone wishes good to be done unto them, and universalizes that desire, or believes in such, they are valued, and worthy of receiving good treatment;
v.) And to the extent others do not, they are not assigned negative value but are merely awarded no value.