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 The Power of Art and Meaning

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Registration date : 2010-06-12

PostSubject: The Power of Art and Meaning   Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:41 am

The Power of the message of Art enters popular culture and forms many beliefs of the human psyche. Therefore, for me it is crucially importnat to use the often latent potential of Art for good. Call me a hippy but Personally I choose to talk incessantly about Philosophy to my audiences (Fortunatley, not Politics... much) and to try and argue to promote better informed dicisions in people. The Mentalism or sometimes Magic I do is mereley incidental to those messages.

In Mentalism specifically, as an example we have the opportunity to touch upon Determinism vs Free will: are the decisions we make our own, or formed by our experience and influence? Citing Jean-Paul Sartre is not going to change the world, but I ultimatley want the total theme to amount in a slight pessimism about the nature of humanity and then the possibility we have to change. And as a Mentalist one has the power to change people's beliefs. For example, it took me a long time to work out how I would present a Lottery prediction (Yes, I know... the Lottery, what can I say- I'm an alchemist) meaningfully. Normally I simply use a slight adaptation of the Corinda Method for I believe it is called the £70 000 challenge, with carbon paper but I also have a method where the spectator openly predicts the Lottery, something which I spent many many hours on. Methodologically, it was an achievement I was proud of, but predicting the Lottery is not something someone is going to forget and it is undoubtedly something very, very potent. To leave it at that for me would be a disservice.

David Hume explained that cause and effect relies only on our previous experiences- if kick a ball it flies forward. The only way I can induce that is because all my previous experiences have taught me that. My assumption is that because it happened in the past, it must happen in the future. But it is only an assumption it will happen in the future, it is called induction and it is flawed for this very reason. All cause and effect is then, is that if two things are constantly found together then we call the first a cause and the second an effect. It is no different from superstition and some people's superstitious experiences of say wishing for something and then that wish co-incidentally happening. The assumption serves us well, but nonetheless nobody has discredited what Hume believed aobut induction and cause and effect. Hume had this all worked out by the 1740s. Nearly 200 years later, philosophers like Ayer were discussing the same beliefs. But Today we still think that it is common sense that random events cannot be predicted. Predicting something like, say, the Lottery is as predictable as predicting that when I kick a ball it will fly forward. Well.. at least that's the theory.

I share with Chris, a desire to bring philosophy into mentalism/ magic. Theatrically it provides a reason for doing Mentalism- it is not just 'look at my amazing abilities' it is more 'listen to my message, let me demonstrate'. I consider what we do media: theatre, acting, hopefully drama, entertainment e.t.c.... but most importantly it is Art. Media/ Art- whichever you want to call it- has always had a massive power and influence over people. Schopenhauer hailed art as a gateway not merley into the soul, but to the nature of reality itself; naked Platonic forms exposed through facsimile.

Whatever Art is, it has always had a hypnotic effect over human beings: evolutionary psychologists have good grounds for believing that we evolved with music being a part of us. As a result, Tyrants have always controlled the media and art- my understanding of the history of actual painting art, as oppose to the more abstract use of the word, has always been censored or at least painting something unorthodox or dangerous could lead to your neck saying good bye to your head.

Certainly in my better knowledge of recent history, the more overt Tyrants have always payed close attention to what is going on in the theatre. When Stalin had his dubious version of socialism, he had to make sure nobody in Art who had eyes to see injustice was silenced. Vsevolod Meyerhold- a student of Stanislavski, founder of 'the system', better known as 'method acting'- was tortured with unimaginable cruelty by the Soviet Police and sent to the firing squad because he was an avante-guard theatre director which might start having dangerous things called thoughts, and of course, because he was a British spy (Definatley nothing to do with opposing Stalin's redefinition of socialism).

In the US, when they had their equally dubious version of democracy, Brecht was victim to McCarthyism because he was ;an evil murdering communist who may promote dangerous messages of syndicalism and unity', which could undermine US freedom (also known as 'If you don't want freedom, we will force you to be free'). But back then, the US had an excuse for their definition of democracy changing slightly, because they were fighting off menacing communists. A wonderful pretext, under which they also tested the effects of nucliar radiation on children from special schools (Obviously, less valuable than white 'normal' schools). Now though, the new pretext is the war on terror (strangley enough, which they had funded) just to make it clear, non-US terror- in case you assumed that they were having a war with the real biggest terrorist state.

Still, the US media is owned by the financial sector- the one's with all the money- and this means that when the US gets caught on tape murdering innocent civilians or torturing prisoners, on a similar if not worse level than the infamous Guantanamo Bay, it does not get reported in the news. As long as the 'bewildered herd' of the US populus is watching their mind numbing trash which doesn't promote people to get up and stand up as the God Bob Marley might say, then nobody will, everyone is apathetic and iscolated and nobody questions the 'democracy' in the US. Nobody questions why they are run by a soverighn mercenary, terrorist state who have their own select interests and clearly do not care about the imperceptiby stagnating wages- and this is the acheivement of a carefully controlled media.

Undoubtedly then, Art is a powerful thing. Once again, one of the biggest users of Propaganda, even today, is the US. And it has been used with massive success since Woodroe Wilson first began experimenting with it with the 'creel commision' to incite fear and hatred of Communists, vicious Japs (who many US soldiers actually ended up using their bodies as trophies in WW2, stealing gold teeth from caught Japanese soldiers with pliers whilst alive, in one case slitting the corner of their mouths to their ears because they weren't complying) and more recently the malicious Iraq who was due to take over the world, despite loosing a war against Libya who was armed with approximatley some sticks and stones.

The Media forms our beliefs and fires our Emotions. In Forensics and the ironically named Judicial system, they are having massive difficulties with DNA evidence. DNA information interpreters know about the circumstances and are therefore no longer impartial and this means that when there is a technical mishap, which occur regularly and naturally, they choose to interpret the subsequent bump on their graph as an allial. This means that the results are subjective, as was demonstrated when 200 or so DNA interpreters had to reach indipendent conclusions: far from being objective, depending on what circumstances the interpreters had been told, several different conclusions were reached. Furthermore, samples can be mixed as swabs pick up sevearl different traces of DNA from different sources. Of course this has nothing to do with Art- but the implications of the media are involved even here. In the Judicial system it has come to be known as the 'CSI effect'. Jurors believe that DNA evidence is infallible and have been shown to be much more likley to convict on DNA evidence than without.

I could go on all day, but the fact is Art has a massive influence and is in my eyes a force. Such force really does need to be used with extreme caution. We are forming people's beliefs about what is possible and show people a glypse of the incomprehendable abyss- all this, often built upon deception. As the great Philosopher once said in a film 'With Great power, comes great responsibility'. Now, I am not talking of Ethics here. In my honest opinion, there is such a little difference psychological and psychic presentation that it is imperceptible. I am simply arguing the case for promoting a healthy skepticism about what we see in the media in our audiences and the potency of what Art can be and mean, which is all too often misguided or even worse, neglected.

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Christopher J Gould

Registration date : 2008-03-17

PostSubject: Re: The Power of Art and Meaning   Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:41 am

A fine post Sam, and one whose sentiments I find a lot of agreement with.
On the first or second reading it is difficult to 'get' the central theme. However, there is a very important point buried here I think.
First of all, a couple of my thoughts in response.
After many years of political involvement and political thinking, I have come up with a very simple working model to explain how all politics work. I did this to answer my own question; why is it that the world is not a pleasant, kind and positive place, run by intelligent, sensitive and kind people (hey, Sam, call me a hippy too!)? This question has really bugged me.
The answer seems to be a simple one; in any group of people - the person who will rise to the top (and thereby control the resources and thereby tell the others what to do) will be the most aggressive person with no moral scruples or ability to empathise. Paradoxically (perhaps) these people tend to be a little lacking in intelligence, imagination and emotional integrity. I am, of course, giving a definition of a psychopath. So, put more simply; psychopaths always rise to the surface. Psychopaths have always, and always will rule over any political structure.
They will either create this structure from their own needs, or (as in the case of Tony Blair) will look for a gap and seize an opportunity.
History (ultimately) bears out this conclusion in every instance.

So, although I agree with what you say about America, I think it is wrong to single them out. Or you are in danger of looking for an 'enemy' yourself. They are just the biggest bully in a playground of various sized bullies.

The relationship between art and the psychopathic structures that govern us, has always been complex. Firstly because art is so powerful (to the psychopath this means power to get others to think and do what he wants them to), secondly because art gives rise to thought (intelligence and questioning) and to dreams (imagination, the ability to sense beyond the superficial and obvious structures).
It is because of art ability to make us intelligent and imaginative that art has always been(is being) suppressed. The person who controls the media, controls all.

This is why I am an anarchist. To me, it is only in the rejection of political structures that we can break down this mechanism that favours the psychopath.
This gets me closer to my point.

So, what has all of this got to do with mentalism (I hear you ask)?
Every king has a court jester. Someone who is allowed to ridicule the king and act in a (pseudo) unpredictable and chaotic manner.
This is strange - why, if the king is calling all of the shots should this happen?

Imagine this for a moment. Someone comes up to you in the street and tells you that he wants 70% of all you own. He also want you to subscribe to a philosophy that is instinctively repugnant. For example, he may require you to go out and kill some of the people in the next village, so that he can have their property too.
Lastly, in all this, he want you to see yourself as being free and to see him as a wise and just person. Now, this is going to be a hard sell, how is he going to pull it off? Well, of course, at the inset, he will do this through physical and psychological violence. But, once he has your property and has you working for him, more subtle techniques must be used to put you in line.
Some of these will be symbolic - for example, he will give you a uniform to conform to (you may not realise this); he will put you in a symbolic yoke (straighten your tie sonny!). He will suppress anything that will cause you to think, to imagine, to question, for obvious reasons. ('Hey, you took all my money and make me live in miserable conditions - you bastard, I'm not putting up with this!)
At the same time he will feed you with mind numbing 'entertainment' for the precise purpose of trivialising your experience (facebook anyone?) or numbing your critical faculty (did you see Big Brother?).
So while you are sitting their reading - sorry; looking at you Hello magazine, your world has it's own internal logic and perceived integrity.

But, a small amount of controlled anarchy is allowed. It gives us the impression that we have freedom, that we can make up our own minds, that we live in a fair and open society.
It is only when you step out of the narrow confines of what is defined as your possible existence - and imagine the possible alternatives (to give just one example; living in a world where out 'targets' are to make each other happy and share resources in a responsible manner between all people) - it is only then, through the use of independent imagination that we see the falsity of the whole structure - and realise that we are Truman in a fabricated reality whose sole function is to serve those who run the show.

So, any art can be vital in opening up these faculties in people. What both Sam and myself (and many others) are saying is that what we do/can profoundly change peoples reality - or understanding of reality.... if that is what we chose to do.

I will finish with one example - this is an evolution of a simple equivoque based on the premise of quantum physics and the philosophy of Bob Anton Wilson.

[It is in 'The Prometheus Rising' that I first came across the concept of 'reality tunnels' - the thinking here is profound, but not unthinkable - in that there is no such thing as a fixed reality, we just choose our reality from what comes to our senses. Now Plato knew this, and more recently we hear it in NLP. But the implications of this starting point are profound, and could set us on a course where we could accept living in a better way].

Hold this slip of paper, it contains a prediction of the reality tunnel that you may travel down.

Take five coins out of your pocket - Lay them in a row, now pick one up, shake it - tell me what you have. Ten pence? And, you have tossed a head? Now look at what is written on the paper……

She: Blimey governor, how did you do that!

Simple, at every decision we make, the universe splits into two or more potential universes. So, if you hold a coin in your cupped hands and shake, the coin is neither heads or tails, or it is both heads and tails….. Until you look at it. When you look at it, you know which of the possible universes you have entered.
Now, consider this; the junction between these possible universes can be under your own control, if you decide that this is possible...

think of the implications of this…..
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Age : 53
Location : South Florida
Registration date : 2008-03-14

PostSubject: Re: The Power of Art and Meaning   Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:34 am

Interesting thread.

You can include Enrique Enriquez and Scott Grossberg in that list of people who bring something empowering to magic and mentalism and can change people's perceived realities. And they are both members here.

Chris, the end of your post ... it reminds me you should really share that Schrodinger's routine (or have you already?). It also reminds me of that very exclusive effect we both perform using the pasteboards. It is often the most significant thing I perform. And so simple. tongue
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Registration date : 2010-08-05

PostSubject: Re: The Power of Art and Meaning   Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:51 am

Great posts. Thanks!

Art is a game we play with form and patterns. Art history is the evolution of that game, in which one artist will push the boundaries of these patterns and forms a little further than his predecessors. A relevant artist is in fact one that has pushed that boundary forward, leaving a signpost for those who come after him.

One of the most important shifts brought by the 20th century was the fact that art stopped being our solely provider of images. The media is, in fact, our preferred aesthetic stimulus package. Right there, a chasm occurred. While the media hopes to appeal to the lowest common denominator, art has become progressively obscure. Such obscurity is in fact what makes art relevant, for it is not so much obscurity as a search for other sources of light. Steven Pinker aptly suggests that the problem mainstream audiences have with contemporary art is that such art contradicts some basic epigenetic rules: symmetry, balance, linear narrative... in other words, contemporary art seems to go against our consensual idea of ‘beauty’. The key here is to understand that, by doing so, art hopes to expand such idea of beauty, finding new sources of aesthetic recreation.

‘Recreation’ is a key word there, since that is what we gain from the experience of art: the possibility to re-create our reality and the ways we have of thinking about it.

(Incidentally, every single time I have asked to someone who defines the tarot as an ‘art’ about his/hers specific aesthetic pursuits I receive an unsatisfactory answer. I don’t mean I don’t like their answers, but that they have no aesthetic pursuits. This leads me to think that we aren’t yet at a point where we can think of the tarot, or readings in general, as anything more than a craft. I wonder how the same idea applies to magic and mentalism).

Talking about art and politics, when I interviewed Vito Acconci, who is on of the key figures in the development of performance art (one of those historical signposts) in the late 60’s and 70’s, I was puzzled at the fact that he thought his generation had failed at making the revolution they hoped for. I found that extremely interesting. He felt they fall short because they weren’t able to bring the government down. He meant it literally. This is, they failed at making a political revolution. I couldn’t avoid pointing out that the work they did brought an aesthetic revolution. They changed the way the game of art was played. I don’t think this is a fruitless accomplishment. I wish we could have politicians with the same amount of talent and creativity great artists have, but I rather have artists making art than toying with politics.


e. e.
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Christopher J Gould

Registration date : 2008-03-17

PostSubject: Re: The Power of Art and Meaning   Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:24 am

...Just one point on the politics - suppose the 'hippies' of the sixties had brought down the world governments, they would by now be indistinguishable from them (as many of them now working for Rupert Murdoch are).
It is the very bringing down of systems that is our only hope for survival. Modern Art has nothing to offer us here, as much of it has absolutely nothing to do with art, but a lot to do with financial investment. Art has been too long sniffing the tail of the current religious/political structures (capitalism being the religion of choice).
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Registration date : 2010-06-12

PostSubject: Re: The Power of Art and Meaning   Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:59 pm

Thanks for the replies... plenty of food for thought. As often happens, there are 70 different thoughts running around in my head at the moment so please forgive me if my writing order is not stricly coherent or chronological. Nice avatar Chris Shocked

The Determinism/ Existentialism idea is a very interesting one. Forgive me if I go slightly off topic here. It is often forgetten in Philosophy that Theoretical Physics is Philosophy under a different name. Perhaps the central questions are slightly different, but it is still metaphysics- the structure of reality. I have always found the debate on epistemology a tedious one, as a) it seems paradoxical to know a way of knowing things, and b) Surley you have to know the nature of reality (metaphysics) before you can determine how you are to study the nature of reality, but of course if you knew the nature of reality you'd already know how you knew it. Philosophy (Including theoretical metaphysics) is seemingly paradoxical- but nonetheless thinking about it is highly rewarding and concurrently frustrating and painful. Lets take the Schrodinger's cat example- the cat is both dead and not dead. The coin is both heads up and tails up. But when someone makes a decision what is it that forms that action? It is their mind- what is it that forms the mind? It is their experiences and their innate inclinations. Those formative influences on the mind are from the elusive concept of the external- a universe, or universes which they are in not of their own accord. Once again I quote the great Bob Marley who said 'none but ourselves can free our minds'. I very much belive that we can find autonomy, however illusiory, by freeing our own minds from our preconceptions, indocrinations, desires and biases. I am afraid I really want to talk about my ideas on reality which I am constructed at the moment, and on determinism and free will but quite honestly I will be writing an essay which ould concist of several million words, so I'll restrain myself.

Chris- If anything, the pessimism that knowing a bit of history has endowned me with, is countered by an optimism in human nature too. Ghandi says it all: 'When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it. Always.'

Talking of Politics it is funny that you mention anarchism. Whilst I abhor classification and labeling, I would be most inclined to agree with anarcho-syndicalism. This was confirmed when I did the test called 'the political compass' which is really quite interesting if you google it. You're idea that the unscrupulous get footholds in power is certainly true- if you read The Prince by Machiavelli, whilst it is brutal, it is testiment to the fact that those who don't have ethics to hinder their concience go far in power. Once again I quote a singing philosopher, John Lennon: 'There's room at the top, they are telling you still, but first you must learn to smile as you kill' (although he was likley refering to Capitalism, which is something I shall come onto in a moment, it holds for gaining authority) Power is very dangerous, in my opinion, but authority is not something which can be discarded by any means, mereley redistributed- wheras statism has the power allocated to a soveriegn, anrchism, or at least sensible anarchism, mereley distributed authorty amongst the collective people. However it remains the classic argument against anarchism, dating back to Hobbes- that stateless-ness equals savagism. Unfortunatley this is quite the opposite, if there is any one particular doctrine that leads to savagism it is statism- Hobbes describes 'the state of nature' where everyone is murdering each other, robbing and so on which he argues shows the neccecity of law and order imposed by a state, but if we look at states themselves they are in that state of savagism: at war, murdering one another and robbing from each other. People are inclined to believe though, largley as a result of propaganda by states, to belive that anarchism= the savagism described. Anarchy is even used interchangably with chaos and savagism.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle incessantly chanted 'Once you have eliminated the impossible whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth'. It applies to politics as well. Communism doesn't work- this is not because of the 'examples' of history, which were not communism (communism is necesserily anarchic, but the over referenced recent history with 'communism' was statist communism, a contradiction in terms). Communism doesn't work because if you Read Marx and Engels (Das Kapital oder/ or The German ideology) then they offer a very satisfactory discrediting of capitalism, as far as it blugeons the proletariate and controls their life and thought; but once they begin proposing communism, there are certain blatant problems with practicality- for example they suggest having no job titles- in the morning I could be a carpenter, in the evening I could be a fisher. The problem is obvious, there is no chance I could do heart surgery and then a racing car driver and then a teacher- it is simply not practical.

Statism does not work, as there is no way of ensuring that the interest of those in power are the interests of those not in power. Democracy does not work, as the masses can make unjust decisions which are forced on minorites, genuinley democratic voting is impractical as referendums would be needed for everything including things the general population is not informed well enough on and the only compromise for this is what Rousseau would call an elected aristocracy- an elected government, and as Plato said 'democracy [in the 'elected aristocracy'] decends into despotism', the aristocracy tends to have free reign of 'legitimate' power as we see in US psuedo-democracy, and in the UK.

Just as a side note, Capitalism in the classic-economical sense means a free market. If you want to cite the US as an example of capitalism, then unfortuntley you can't. They have neo-liberalism, which is something entirley different. They have heavy state intervention in the franchises' and oligopolies. Perhaps an example would be the military-industrial complex, which is a state subsidised complex to fund the military which is permited by propaganda to get 'democratic' backing.

On revolution, it was not a failure by any means- failure is naturally a very subjective term which is assessed by the frame of reference that you use. In other words, yes, the 'hippes' didn't quite get what they wanted, but they did change a lot. If you look at 50s history and sociology in the western world, it is very heavily authoritarian. The 60s and 70s counterculture did a lot to change that.

After the first world war there was a phenomenon, at least in Britain which historians termed the 'missing generation'. Essentially this was a disgruntled generation who had fought in the war, many of whom were absent because they were only skeletons buried in mud thanks to power plays in early 20th century europe, but the remainders had no interest in Politics and subsequently there was a huge missing generation in the electorate. So we can see the effects even then of a devastating war on the psyche of generations, but not only that during wars there is a tremendous liberating effect. Once again we see warning signs of this in the first world war, women for example had no other choice than to accept the freedom of working in a factory- I'm not being sarcastic here, literally before that they did not have the right, but now the government had no choice but to give that liberty. So people get a taste of liberty- people see beyond the shadows on the wall of the cave and nobody wants to get back restrained to the world of shadows once they have been liberated of it- during war the neccesery freedoms enlighten people and we see the suffraget movements and different classes demanding that they have a vote too. Although unrelated to my build up to discussing the second world war and its effect on the counter-culture, Vietnam had a huge effect on the black-rights movement: black men were used as cannon-fodder and were a subordinate and this has a huge influence in creating the ardency needed for a revolution. It is clear then, that wars have liberalising effects. Pre second world war, the population was passive and obedient. 'Hate Communists? Will do. Accept governmental intervention where it is unnecessary as long as it will protects us from the menace that is the Soviet Union? Will do.' and so on. Because there was a missing generation from the first world war, there was no mediation between the older generation and the younger generation. If you look at your history books of, say, Britain between the wars you will see the old people still in power at the start of the second world war and then a sudden upsurge of the generation beneath the 'missing generation' (which had lost interest and 'cumulative political power'). In the time between the two wars there was the great depression which lead to tariffs and restrictionist policies, which lead the population (namley the younger one spawned by the missing generation) to accept more authority and to generally not be too dissimilar from the authoritarianism we see in Britain before the great war. In other words, we have the pre-ww1 generation, merging with the generation after the war: and because there is a gap, there is very little difference between the orthodox, authorotarian generation and post- war one. The social status quo was unduly perpetuated, where without a war it would have been unlikley to have happened.

(Ok- so I might not need a paragraph here, but If there wasn't one, you're eyes would be bleeding)

By the second world war, not only was there an overdue social change, but the economic depression had changed. The second world war generation had quite a bit of fun to celebrate the end of the war, resulting in what is refered to as 'the post ww2 baby boom', and consequently after the war there were rich, intelligent, free single children who were discovering different values and had an appropriate distaste for war. We then have, 20 years later, once this generation is at university, the counter culture in the US and in Paris, revolting agains industry- which was massivley influence by art; the Beatles, the doors... if you know you're music history you will understand. Art and Social change are not iscolated, they are in a symbiotic relationship. But certainly counter culture had an effect, it revolutionised art, it made it acceptable to talk about sex and drugs. In fact in the 70s for a short time, weed was not just being smoked by the lower socioeconomic stratums of the population (Namley, black jazz musicians) it was being smoked by rich kids. Its basic neo-liberalism that you don't throw rich kids in jail, you only throw the poor people in jail, so for a brief period weed was legal in the US, repealing the relentless propaganda which had accompanied its criminialision up until that point. Now the US cannot get away being so authoritarian and using so much propaganda. Especially about weed. But Weed is actually illegal because of someone called DuPont and the timbre industry, mexican immigration and other reasons I shalln't go into here, drugs are something which Politically I know about too and I am a fervent advocate for their legalistion (Including the irrefutably dangerous opium based drugs).

Anyway.... what were we talking about?? This is all very interesting, regardless. Very Happy Yes.. I'll start to wrap things up now, I have gone on quite a while...

So yes, art and music has liberalised generations, massivley helped counter-culturalism. In fact I have been talking about drugs and war and inadvertantly I have unearthed an analogy; in the counter culture, there was influcence from LSD (Which again is illegal for dubious reasons, it is actually non-toxic and relativley safe if used responsibly) and marajuana (which only has a 'j' in because the US put a j in it to make it osund foriegn and menacing: it was origionally marahuana, an hispanic word which makes sense if you know the history of pot);
Now, Drugs can do many things to people, drugs can change your life, for better or for worse, they can iscolate you, they can make you feel euphoric, they can do damage to you, they can ease pain and they can kill you. But some drugs, they can liberate you, give you a new way of thinking and unveil a reality which is concealed by the veil of perception.

Some people call war a drug. It can create addicts (*cough* Vietnam *cough*), it can kill,it can seem like a solution- but as I have been talking about in this post- it can liberate people too, it can bring about massive change in people and give them a glimpse outside of the cave, to use a Platonic term.

But there is some relevance: As well as war being a drug which influenced the counter culture, and acid being a drug which inlfuenced the counter culture- there was another input variable to our equation. Art. Art was another drug which brought about social revolution. Tv is often called a drug, perhaps in the pejorative sense. Whilst, yes, the media is a drug which can sedate, induce temporary euphoria and aesthetic experience, make you see things which don't happen in 'real' life, but the drug of the media and art can also be the same drug as war and as actual drugs in unleasing an unseen reality and self knowledge.

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. We have a potent drug at our disposal, and to leave it dormant is a crime.

*P.S. I have talked for WAY too long now, but forgive me. If I talk about the US too much I apologise. It is not double standards, but for me the US is the archetypal power system. Murdering is wrong. Weather its on behalf of the US or agains the US.
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