.... thoughts on Douglas Rushkoff's "Cyberia".
Rushkoff is the first 'mainstream' writer to cover topics like virtual reality, computer networks, cyberpunx, the psychedelic revival and rave culture... all well represented here.Good old Timothy Leary calls the book 'a fascinating journey to the current boundary of human experience - true stories about life on the very edge'.How far Rushkoff's views match up with the 120 BPM East Kent Experience you must judge for yourselves, but he is useful on the emergence of E culture west coast stylee.The main advantage of E as he sees it is that E allows you to 'take your ego with you' whereas acid or mushrooms can have 'the unrelenting abrasiveness of a belt sander against the ego'.Now some of us may enjoy getting the old Black and Decker out once in a while and applaud his references back to Aldous (Doors of Perception) Huxley, who decided that 'the clear light (of bliss) is an ice cube, what is important is love and work in the world'.
Dangerously unfashionable fluffy sentiments these, in UK PLC, when the Class War CJB handout says 'If fluffies get in the way just clout them you know they won't hit you back'.But 'love and work in the world is what E shows you' according to Bruce Eisner, author of 'Ecstasy: the MDMA story' ' It's a model for enlightenment and the challenge is bringing that back into the real world.Clearly this man has never visited East Kent.Remember what Mckenna said: what is equally important is what Superman does between telephone boxes... what he does when he's back to being poor old ordinary Clark (or Mrs) Kent.And maybe, just maybe, this might have something to do with the nature and quality of the subsequent E experience.Then remember that Mckenna had a special message for Tangentopoli readers (issue 14) 'E is a white powder drug - you don't know what in the world you have taken. E isn't really psychedelic enough - it's an interpersonal thing and if you take it often enough it isn't even that. You might as well take Dexedrine - it's just speed.' But there's more.
Check out what Gregory says on page 170 of 'Cyberia': 'E diminishes a vital chemical in our bodies every time we take it. The chemical is the essence of life. This is a gift that can not be replaced. We're taking out this fluid and spending it. The E is undermining our very existence. I feel a little bit of my life force being spent all the time...'
Now Gregory's allusion to a recent study linking MDMA to spinal fluid reduction in mammals might make you feel a little uncomfortable. Tight, drawn, hollow facial features anyone? Is this really the transformation we've been working to create? SO what's E to be? Food for thought or just another Dance With Death?