Category Archives: Cannabis

How Can I Know If My IQ is Decreasing?

Answered on Quora.

It probably isn’t.

Even very heavy marijuana use in adulthood does not appear to decrease IQ, and I believe IQ may be preserved in heavy alcohol use also and even alcoholism, believe it or not. It’s pretty hard to permanently reduce your IQ.

IQ can go up or down by up to 15 points in adolescence. No one knows why this is. But once you hit adulthood, it’s pretty stable. You can change a lot of things about yourself, but in general, IQ’s not one of them. Be happy with your IQ score. If it’s low, it’s not your fault and you did not make it that way. If it’s high, thank God for the probably inborn gift and realize that you did nothing to give yourself that high IQ. You just lucked out in the
Genetic Lottery is all. There’s no point in feeling pride about something that was simply given to you and you did nothing to earn.

A recent study showed that people who used cannabis heavily before age 18 did show IQ declines of up to 7 points. But this study is now being questioned. It’s good advice to wait until you are 18 to use marijuana on a regular basis. There seems to be a lot of problems with using marijuana in adolescence that are not present when you wait until adulthood to start.

A lot of times say with heavy drug use of different drugs, we can show mental declines in various areas on neuropsychological batteries. These are looking at specific subaspects of mental function. But even in these cases, IQ itself is often preserved.

IQ is pretty darn stable otherwise. It’s pretty hard to get a permanent reduction in something like that.

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Filed under Alcohol, Cannabis, Depressants, Dope, Hallucinogens, Intelligence, Intoxicants, Psychology

Jefferson Airplane, “White Rabbit”

With fantastic visuals straight out of Alice in Wonderland. A book called Go Ask Alice came out in the 1970’s about a teenage girl who got all wrapped up into drugs and how much it screwed up her life. The lyrics in the song of course reference Alice in Wonderland, hence the refrain, “Go ask Alice.”

I saw this band at the Shiners Auditorium in 1974. LA had a police chief then who hated marijuana. There were all these flyers everywhere once you got inside saying, “This theater is not a haven for marijuana smoking,” signed by that police chief.

That chief was something of a joke to a lot of people because marijuana laws were openly flaunted at rock concerts in the 1970’s. Often people were smoking pot all around you, and we were often smoking it ourselves. The whole place usually smelled like pot, and it was not unusual to see huge clouds of marijuana smoke lofting up towards the ceiling at these indoor concerts. Outdoor concerts in baseball stadiums were much the same, pot smoking everywhere you turned around. Pot laws were a joke at those concerts, as in general they were simply never enforced, and you would have to arrest 10,000 people if you did try to enforce the law.

But at this concert, it was different. We were already blazed when we went in, and back in those early days of my pot smoking, a lot of marijuana trips were these bizarro space voyages. You were pretty much on another planet the whole time, and the whole experience was just insanely weird. Basically the experience boiled down to feeling the weirdest you ever felt in your whole life.

It was often frightening, but at the same time, I really like it because it was so damn weird. It was like going on some freako space voyage to another world every time you did it.

I also remember the first time I took LSD, and after that, the pot trips were a lot different. They were more colorful, and they were even more weirded out and unnerving if that was even possible. The pot trips were changed for a long time after that acid trip. I never figured out how the acid did that, but definitely that stuff has some weird lingering effect in your brain for a very long time afterwards. In time that went away, I suppose after I got more used to the stuff.

I also had a few of what I thought were LSD flashbacks, and those were unbelievably freaky too. More about that in another post. Possibly the weirdest and most unsettling things that have ever happened to me.

Anyway, they actually were enforcing the laws at this show. They had private security guards, and they were definitely grabbing people and hauling them away. The crowd booed every time they did that. One guy next to us balled up the crushed ice in his drink and threw it really hard at one of the guards. The ice ball hit him right in the head, and went down just like that! The whole crowd cheered. We smoked pot anyway at that concert, and so did the people around us. We were just very secretive about it.

A lot of us had long hair and hated cops back then over the drug laws. We’d see a cop and yell, “Fuck you, pig!”

When we saw them, they were the Jefferson Starship, but with the first few albums they were damn good. Gracie Slick was insanely out of this world. I think they actually opened with this haunting song, and the whole place roared. I must say it was quite a experience to see the Jefferson Airplane perform this song as the height of the career! Truly a peak experience!

This video has some of the lyrics wrong.

At the very end where it says, “Feed your head,” those are sheets of LSD. There’s 100 hits to a sheet. I was an acid dealer at one point in my life. I used to sell LSD, even in sheets. I remember one time I had 1,000 hits of LSD in my top drawer! It’s a good thing I didn’t get caught! 1,000 hits was a rather serious bust back then, but even with that, you would probably only do 3-4 months in jail. The laws are so much worse now.

God, I loved selling drugs! There’s no rush on Earth like the rush of being an outlaw. I’m not a criminal because I don’t like to harm others, but I can see why people take up crime. The rush you get from committing crimes and being a criminal is out of this world. There’s nothing like it. Fear, utter terror, extreme exhilaration. There’s also a very sneaky feeling like you are putting one over on everyone and getting away with it. You see a cop, and you want to laugh because he has no idea that you’re a criminal. It feels like being a spy or an undercover agent. Very sneaky feeling about it. We were always taking extreme precautions. We even had our own dealer lingo that we used to talk in, mostly on the phone. If you heard us talking on the phone, it might sound like nonsense because we had fake code words for so many things.

One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you, don’t do anything at all

Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall

And if you go chasing rabbits, and you know you’re going to fall
Tell ’em a hookah-smoking caterpillar has given you the call

And call Alice, when she was just small

When the men on the chessboard get up and tell you where to go
And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom, and your mind is moving slow

Go ask Alice, I think she’ll know

When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead
And the white knight is talking backwards
And the red queen’s off with her head
Remember what the dormouse said
Feed your head, feed your head

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Filed under Cannabis, Crime, Dope, Hallucinogens, Intoxicants, Law, Law enforcement, LSD, Music, Rock

A Myth: Your Childhood IQ Score Is Inaccurate and You Need to Retake the Test As an Adult

I once had a very high IQ commenter, a more or less autist neckbeard HBD’er who seemed like he couldn’t get laid with God’s help like most such types. But have no fear. He was going to conquer the world with that towering thundercloud of an IQ score of his. I’m afraid he is in for a very rude awakening.

We were discussing IQ’s in the comments when somehow we got invaded by neckbearded HBD autists. The conversation turned awkward and uncomfortable real fast like it always does with these social retards.

We are telling each other our IQ scores, and I volunteered mine, recorded at age 14. I’m not taking any more tests. I got my score, and I ain’t taking any more tests, thank you very much. I don’t need to keep going back and keep checking to see if my brain’s still there. Plus I am terrified I won’t reach my old score, and I’m vain as Hell. We conceited folks don’t take too kindly to assaults on our egos. They’re quite painful actually, almost physically painful.

This autist got all huffy and aggressive like they always do and insisted that my childhood score was completely worthless because child brains and adult brains are too different species that can’t mate or something. Or nothing. Or whatever. Or this or that. Or bla bla bla. I had to go back and take the IQ test again in adulthood to prove my head hadn’t fallen off at some point on the boy to man journey.

His argument was about as retarded as his socialization. I scoffed at him and told him that research showed he was wrong. He dug in his heels, got his back up, and pretty soon we had an argument. He kept repeating his notion over and over. He just would not let go of it. He was like a dog with a bone. That’s socially retarded, but it’s typical for these types once again.

I believe your IQ is pretty much fixed and research indicates that this is the case. You can raise it quite a bit in adolescence or early adulthood around college years. I believe you can raise it maybe 15 points. And perhaps you could drop your IQ by 15 points if you simply choose to turn your brain into a beer-addled couch potato.

Yet past age 23 or so, IQ is generally remarkably stable. In fact, statistically it is quite stable at age 7. If your childhood score is very high, you can usually take it to the bank. I don’t buy the idea that a childhood score is worthless and you have to go take the test again as a grownup to find out your “true adult IQ.” It’s asinine.

I will not tell you the score I got at age 14.

Just to show you what a tool that guy was, I retook the test in a clinical psychologist’s office at age 29.

My mother worked for a clinical psychologist and one day she asked me if I wanted to take an IQ test because he would give it to me for free where it usually is ~$200. The test was not all that hard but it was a bit challenging. Mostly it was just fun. It seemed to consist mostly of little puzzles, often weird figures and such and you had to figure out the pattern and predict the next one in the sequence. It was easier than I thought it would be, and I bombed out of high school math.

I never heard my score and he didn’t give it to my Mom. He just said “Over X number (I will not tell you the score).”

I received basically the same score as I got at age 14, and that was after the drugs had set in.

I’d been carpet-bombing my brain with all sorts of substance ordinances since age 16. But by that time at age 29, I had cut back. I only smoked pot maybe three times a month. I drank a couple six packs every weekend and maybe 2–3 beers a night during the week. I rarely did coke and that year I took my last LSD and psilocybin trips. I’ve only done meth maybe three times. I hadn’t taken pills in years. The rare PCP trips were a thing of the past, thank God.

I’ve been too scared to do psychedelics since, though I have taken them ~40 times with almost nothing in the way of problems. But then I often carefully prepared for trips and waited until I thought I was in a perfectly clear and centered place in my head before I tripped, especially on acid. I once kept a hit of acid in my fridge for 1 1/2 years because I didn’t think my head was OK enough for it. Finally after 18 months, I felt my head was sane enough to trip, and so I did.

But by age 29, my partying days were through. The Endless Party is the Greatest Show on Earth, until one day way you’re dead and it’s all over way too soon. You’ve got to quit or cut back sometime.

At age 29, my score was pretty much the same as it had been at age 14, with my pristine and virgin brain tissue still intact and not yet violated by a single drink or hit off a joint. The score was even somehow immune for the dope artillery barrage I had been firing at it for years.

I don’t really no what to say about this but maybe heavy pot and psychedelic use doesn’t have any permanent effects.

I can’t speak for other drugs because I never did enough of them. I did cocaine recreationally for 13 years, but I never got hooked on the stuff and my lifetime dose of the drug is probably less than an ounce. I took meth three times, enough to decide it was the most evil drug on Earth. I learned my lesson with PCP. They stuff even tasted like poison. It had this creepy metallic taste to it like it was actually chemically toxic. It wasn’t even fun to smoke like pot or hash. It felt like you were dunking your head in a pot of weird smelling chemical stew in some chemist lab.

Got a fancy childhood IQ score? Frame it and put it on the wall of your mind and don’t bother with another test.

 

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Filed under Alcohol, Cannabis, Coke, Depressants, Dissociative Anesthetics, Dope, Hallucinogens, Intelligence, Intoxicants, LSD, PCP, Psilocybin, Psychology, Speed, Stimulants

A Modern Myth: The “Fried Brains” Lie

I was a fairly heavy drug user, mostly pot and some psychedelics, for 15 years or so as a teenage boy and young man. But when I took an IQ test at age 29, I got the same score as when I was 14. You would think the equivalent of spraying Agent Orange in my brain for a decade would have fried a few cells here and there, but I guess not. I generally felt as smart as ever.

There were times I thought I was permafried. I took crack and had an empty head for three days. I did speed and vaporized by skull for a week. I drank 10 beers and did lots of coke one New Years and had the brain of a grazing animal for 10 days. I took acid and had memory issues for a month.

Every time I thought I had finally cooked the goose for good, the drug effects would wear off and my brain would wake up again, buzzing along fast as ever. I don’t think there are any permafried people. It’s an urban legend. Every so-called drug casualty I met was currently using. Even heavy Ecstasy use usually recovers in ~eight years. The brain is an adaptive organ. It’s as if it thinks for itself. Even if there are damaged cells or connections, the brain just cuts new passageways around and tries to circumvent the damage, like building a temporary dirt road around a landslided  highway.

My position is that there are no such thing as drug casualties, acid casualties, fried brains, permafried people or any of that. All of the casualty cases were currently using and they often using very heavily. Many of the times they were said to be permafried, they were just tripping on PCP or something, passed out with a beer in their hand and lying on the patio with pissed pants. What people called permafried were just the results of very heavy current use and often acute intoxication.

Some very  heavy users and drinkers are now in their 50’s and are affected. In every case I have seen, they are completely normal psychologically, but they do have some memory problems. I’ve never seen one of the legendary fried brains cases that haven’t used in forever but are still permanently out to lunch psychologically.

This is actually good news. Even if you are a heavy user, you will recover and  probably recover fully at least psychologically when you quit. Like with smoking, you are usually better off if you quit.

I’ve known many people who had taken LSD 100 or more times. 300 times was a pretty common number. All were psychologically healthy or even robustly or super-healthy. There’s probably a reason for that. The more disordered you are psychologically, the more likely it is that your trips are going to be quite unpleasant or even nightmarish. It takes a very cool and sane head to take acid trips in the triple numbers without having much issues. Some people simply “don’t have the head for it” and those who are robustly healthy in their heads are most able to weather heavy acid use.

Only one of these people was weird, and everyone brings him up every time I talk about acid. He’s supposedly a legendary acid casualty. He isn’t. He’s just weird. He’s got my exact IQ score (I saw his chart at the same time the counselor conspiratorially showed me mine and the problem with genius level IQ’s is that at and above that level, people start to get weird. And they get weirder and weirder at IQ rises higher and higher. At lot of people with IQ’s over 150 are  pretty damn weird.

Anyway it’s true. The guys is weird as fuck-all. But there’s harmless weird and scary weird and he’s just the harmless weird type. The two types are pretty simple to distinguish if you just spend a bit of time around them.

The problem with the acid casualty argument with this guy is that I knew him when he was 12 years old in seventh grade. And believe it or not, he was orders of magnitude weirder then and that was before he had sampled a single substance. If you want to play the cause and effect game, you have to conclude that all that acid made him much less weird. That’s a strange thing to conclude, but the Drug War crowd love to play cause and effect, so we can show them that it works both ways.

Personally I think the guy was just weird. He’s just one of those totally out to lunch genius types. all utterly harmless, you see wandering around university campuses with those permanently distracted weird blank stares that make you think they are insane until you talk to them and you realize you are talking to a remarkably sane person.

Like most weird, bizarre genius types, he improved a lot of his weird behaviors in adolescence but he still had way too many funny tics and verbal and gestural weirdisms. Once you talk to him, you realize he is quite sane. If you hang around with him, his behavior is remarkably normal. He’s rather inhibited, conservative, passive and in the background, but I would say your typical quasi-borderline modern woman is way flakier than he is. He never has meltdowns or even depressions or anxiety attacks. He’s not irritable at all. His moods are so calm he’s almost boring in that way.

Sometimes it’s even boring and frustrating to be around him and I even long for one of my typical Rollercoaster Quasi-Borderline Girlfriends like I usually end up with. Wild rides are scary, but they’re also damn fun. These psychobitches and crazy women drive me batty when I am with them, and then I miss them when their gone. What can I say?  The human condition is often paradoxical.

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Get Her Drunk! Give Her Drugs! Have Sex with Her! Yay!

That is, I get loaded or drunk on dope or booze with women and then I fuck them. Of course the women and girls are willing participants, but feminuts say it’s rape anyway. Anyway, intoxicated sex is a blast, and I recommend it to all discerning degenerates. I have gotten high on a lot of drugs with women and then had sex with them, mostly marijuana and cocaine, and pills. The only pills were tranks like Xanax. They are ok for sex as they relax you.

I’ve never done psychedelics, Ecstasy or PCP and had sex. It sounds a bit frightening. I don’t do speed. I’ve never done narcotics and had sex, but that sounds like a bad idea anyway, and the only narcotics I ever took were pills, and I hardly ever used them. Narcotics kill sex anyway.

Don’t dose women. That’s as sleazy as it gets, and it’s quite illegal these days.

Do I feed women drinks to get them drunk? I dunno? As I usually drink along with them, I guess not. Don’t feed women drinks to get them drunk.If you want to get her drunk, I understand, but you may as well drink along with her. It’s only fair.

If a woman gets drunk and has sex, it’s rape and she’s not responsible, say feminuts. That can only be possible if women are children. So are women children? I guess women are children.

I would like to point out that a lot of females have sexual inhibitions, and they deliberately drink themselves to get themselves loosened up enough for sex. I have been a party to such self-dosing on many an occasion. Taking the feminut theory logically, I guess these women are raping themselves by getting themselves drunk, but even when women rape themselves, I guess men are still guilty.

After all, feminists insist that women are eternal children, objects who have no agency. I agree that women are objects, but I do not agree that they have no agency.

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Filed under Alcohol, Cannabis, Coke, Depressants, Dope, Feminism, Gender Studies, Heterosexuality, Intoxicants, Man World, Narcotics, Sex, Stimulants

LSD, Flashbacks and HPPD

Man with OCD here. I’m taking medication for it. I will take LSD for the first time in a few weeks. What are the possibilities of having HPPD? You’ve said you got visual disruptions, what does it feels like? Is it the same thing which is called “flashbacks”?

I am not even sure what flashbacks even are, and I am not sure if I have experienced them. After I first took LSD at age 16, my marijuana trips changed dramatically. It was like the LSD had altered my brain and changed the pot trips. The pot trips became way weirder, more colorful and rather frightening, but I sort of enjoyed them anyway in the way that you enjoy the very scary rides at the amusement park. They scare the crap out of you, but you love it. Plus it was like journeying to another planet every time I smoked pot.

About six months after I had taken LSD, I went to look in the mirror. To my shock and horror, my entire face was deep, dark blue almost like someone who has had a heart attack. I flipped out and ran upstairs to my parents room and looked in their mirror. Now my face had changed and it had a slight reddish tinge to it. I ran down to the downstairs bathroom again and looked in the mirror again and all that was left was a faint greenish tinge over my face. I think I ran back to my parents’ bathroom instead and looked in the mirror again.

I have no idea why I was running from mirror to mirror, but my instinct just old me that there must be something wrong with the mirror. Thinking about it now, it seems so idiotic, but that is what I felt at the time. This time all of the colors were gone. The whole thing could not have taken more than a minute or two.

I happened one more time a few months later in the same mirror. This time it was a very deep dark red, as deep and dark as the blue-purple had been. I did the same thing of running from bathroom to bathroom and mirror to mirror, and after a minute or two, it went away.

I always thought for some reason that thee were LSD flashbacks, though I never had those colored faces on LSD. I do not know why I thought it was an acid flashback. I suppose I could not think of any other reason.

It never happened again, and to this day, I have no idea what caused it. I never worried about it although it was a hallucination. I never worried that those hallucinations meant that I was mentally ill or brain damaged somehow. I simply shrugged them off. Non-mentally ill people can hallucinate and even hear voices at times. The occasional hallucination is not big deal and nothing to fret over. You guys can call me insane all you want to because I had couple of hallucinations. See if I care.

I doubt if many people get HPPD from one use of LSD, but perhaps it is possible. I have dated some women lately who are or were LSD users. One ~50 year old woman had taken LSD 350 times. Another much younger woman had taken it maybe 30 times and was definitely a current user. These are only two heavy users that I have met in recent years. Neither woman had any HPPD symptoms at all. I know many people who have taken LSD, including folks who have taken it many times, and I never met anyone who had HPPD. I think it is not common.

However, a recent survey of university students found that of those who had taken LSD 50 times or more, 45% had HPPD symptoms. You really need to think about HPPD if you are considering becoming a heavy LSD user.

I took LSD nine times and other psychedelics (mescaline, peyote, LSA, Hawaiian baby woodrose seeds, psilocybin) about another 20-30 times, so maybe ~30-40 trips total. I have not taken psychedelics since an acid trip in 1987, 29 years ago. I am a bit worried about doing psychedelics now. I figure I am nuts enough as it is, so why take psychedelics and risk making myself even crazier than I already am?

I am not sure when the HPPD hit, but it is not very bad. On some occasions, I get very bright colors. I rarely get them anymore, but sometimes if I have taken a lot of caffeine or the drug Benadryl, I get the colors again. Actually the world looks much better all lit up Technicolor like that. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It only bothers me if I start freaking on it and thinking, “Why is the world all lit up this? Is there something wrong with my brain?” If I just relax and accept it, it’s not a problem and actually is rather fun.

I called up an eye doctor once and complained about my symptoms, and he busted out laughing over the phone. “Oh! The colors are getting better, huh? Well that’s great! Hope you enjoy it! We only care when the colors are getting worse. What you have is not a problem.”

Apparently he was referring to loss of color vision.

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Filed under Cannabis, Hallucinogens, Intoxicants, LSD, Mental Illness, Psilocybin, Psychology, Psychopathology

Teen Drug Culture in a California Beach Town, 1974

When I first started smoking pot at age 16, my weed trips were completely bizarre, almost like going to another planet. They were sort of terrifying and fun and the same time. I think they were mostly fun because I felt so damned weird! I could see how other people  could possibly flip on a pot trip like that, but I just rode the tiger and took off on the space journeys. These very strange pot trips continued for some time in the early days. They were a lot like LSD trips.

I took LSD and PCP one time each just about before I even smoked pot, and after I took acid, all my pot trips changed dramatically and got way weirder.

I am not sure why that happened, but back then people said if you took LSD, it would change your pot experiences for some time afterwords.

We smoked pot in people’s backyards, in hidden places at school, everywhere we could find a hideout. It was all very clandestine, and we could get busted or get in trouble at any time. I mean marijuana was quite illegal at the time.

There was a huge grass field in the back of the school near the auditorium and tennis courts. I believe it was a baseball field. Huge throngs would go out there every lunch and sit around in these huge hippie circles. They would often smoke pot. So much pot was being smoked at lunchtime at school that you could see clouds of smoke rising up from the back lawn!

Good times!

I remember once my friends brought a huge batch of LSD to school. A lot of it was in a an empty cassette box that said, “Led Zeppelin and the Allman Brothers.” They brought ~400 hits of LSD to school in the morning, and by lunch they had sold the whole thing! There was that much of an LSD market at a high school of maybe 3,000 kids. This acid was called Brown Windowpane, and it looked like tiny slivers of glass almost too small to even see. That stuff was insanely powerful, much stronger than a lot of the blotter acid I saw later. You were not even supposed to take a whole hit. A half a hit was highly recommended.

There were a few flipouts from that batch. A good friend of mine, 15 year old kid, flipped hard on it and ended up in the hospital for 48 hours or so. He came back to school afterwards looking dazed, confused but in general just fine. He didn’t exactly flip. More like he started hallucinating in a very bad way and was running around in public reacting to his hallucinations.

He was tripping very hard near my friends’ apartments, and he walked up to some guy’s apartment door and rang the doorbell for no reason. He didn’t even know the guy. A man opened the door, looked at him and started talking, and then suddenly the man’s head caught on fire and turned into a ball of flames! My friend flipped out, screamed and ran down the sidewalk to the intersection screaming all the way.

He started walking across the crosswalk when the cars in front of him all turned into gigantic steel bulldogs! The headlights turned into eyes, the grills turned into mouths, and the whole front of the car was a dog’s face. The cars then started lurching up and barking at him very loudly.

The Car Bulldogs seemed to be attacking him. He flipped and started attacking the cars stopped at the intersection. He started defending himself against these metal dogs, and he would run up top the front of the cars and start kicking the headlights and especially the barking grills and pounding on the hoods while yelling and screaming. Well, people thought definitely that was pretty weird behavior, so they called the cops, and that’s why he got taken in on 48 hour hold.

Good times!

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Jefferson Airplane, “Go Ask Alice”

This song is so great. One of the greatest songs that ever came out of the 1960’s Cultural Revolution.

I saw this group when they were called the Jefferson Starship in 1973 at the Shriner’s Auditorium in downtown LA near USC. Pot smoking was a pretty big deal with society back then, and LA had some super-hardline sheriff whose name escapes me now. He was famous for taking a very hard line on marijuana use, especially at rock concerts. When we walked in, they handed us flyers from the sheriff saying,

This venue is not a haven for marijuana smoking.

Other text then followed. I think it said if you smoke pot here, you are going to be arrested and prosecuted. Those flyers were all over the hallways on the ring of the auditorium, scuttering around on the floors.

Inside, the pot smoking was subdued, but it went on anyway. Well, I and my 16 year old friends snuck pot into the auditorium and also smoked it. This was a bit hard to do, as you might get searched before you went in.

There weren’t any LAPD there. There were these private plainclothes security guards instead, but they were hauling people off for pot smoking nevertheless. I remember this long haired guy next to us took some crushed ice out of his drink and balled it up into a sort of snowball. Then he hurled it as hard as he could at the security guard down below. He beaned him right in the head! Our whole section erupted with cheers!

Good times!

Anyway a good time was had by all, and I got stoned out of my gourd. Back then when I first started smoking pot, marijuana trips were like these bizarro space journeys to another planet or another world.

I think the Starship came out, held up one of the flyers and told the sheriff to fuck off or something. They were very good at that time. Early Starship was still excellent. They were led by a guy named Marty Ballin who was just fantastic. I think later on, they tended to peter out; however, the Starship did write a few good songs, the names of which elude me now.

The whole audience erupted when the first eerie chords of Go Ask Alice filled the room.

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Filed under Cannabis, Culture, Dope, Hallucinogens, Intoxicants, Music, Pop Culture, Psychedelic, Rock

RIP David Bowie

Wow, that really hit me with a shock.

He had been very ill with cancer for the last 18 months, but they had kept it a good secret. In addition to the cancer, he had a heart scare seven years ago when he had to have an angioplasty. He made very few appearances in recent years. Shockingly, he made a stage appearance a mere month before he died, and he looked reasonably healthy. But his rail-thin appearance stunned a lot of people and left many of them wondering what was going on.

What type of cancer did Bowie have? He died of liver cancer, but it was not primary liver cancer. Instead David Bowie died of lung cancer that spread to his liver and caused secondary liver cancer. Well, that’s what the rumor mill says anyway.

Lung cancer itself is a bitch, with 5-year survival rate of a terrifyingly low 5%. In other words, lung cancer is a death sentence. Everyone I knew who had it was dead pretty damn quick. Liver cancer is not much better, with a 5-year survival rate of 17%. Liver cancer is pretty much a death sentence too. I have known a few people who had it, and none of them survived long.

I always loved David Bowie, even back when it was pretty uncool to like him. I started listening to him around 1974. I do remember that the Ziggy Stardust album from 1972 was still popular around that time.

Hunky Dory from 1971? Even earlier stuff like The Man Who Sold the World? Hardly popular at all, though I do remember being at some stoner hipster groovy people’s house around that time, and a teenage girl smiled a sly, devious smile and put on The Man Who Sold the World.

Aladdin Sane was quite popular, but only with the stoner underground freak crowd. I remember when it came out, and one of my best friends, MJ, went to visit a mutual friend of ours, an Italian guy who worked in a liquor store at the beach but lived all the way up in in north Orange County. MJ went over to that guy’s apartment one night, and they listened to that album and smoked lots of weed until dawn, MJ later told me.

Pin Ups followed later in 1973. This album was not very popular at all; however, some of the “underground” crowd was into it. I first heard it on an 8-track in a Volkswagen being driven by one of my total hipster surfer cool guy friends as he pulled his car up to us late one school night out in front of NF and DN’s house. I think his name was Perrault. The song was Sorrow, and damn it was cool.

I was just starting to smoke pot at the time, and I was growing my hair long. I got hazed pretty bad when I first started to hang out with the cool guys because they were pretty rough street kids, basically juvenile delinquents. RN, NF, CD and TB were there.

We were all smoking pot outside late one school night.

They hazed me. CD and TB swarmed me, jumping in to hit me and jump away. They were calling me gay. I kept saying, “I’m not gay. I’m not gay.”

It was one of the most traumatic nights of my life, dealing with that bullying. It was also my first gay bashing, and two much worse ones would follow. Yes, it is true! Straight guys get gay bashed too! Quite a few of them do in fact.

RN was trying to calm the scene down, saying, “It’s cool. It’s cool.” I don’t think he thought I was really gay, so I suppose he thought it was an injustice. NF was quietly snickering. He didn’t think he thought I was really gay either as he knew me pretty well since he was the one who introduced me to the local delinquent crowd, but I guess he thought it was funny.

I put up with the hazing, and pretty soon I got to hang out with the bad boys, but they never totally accepted me. CD and TB later burglarized my house and stole my coin collection. A year earlier, CD had thrown a rock through my window. I was in the room at the time, and it was terrifying.

CD was basically evil, but TB was just a stoned out delinquent surf cat. I met TB ten years later around 1984, and he acted very apologetic. He didn’t say anything, but his body language told me he seemed sorry for what he had done to me. He had cleaned up his act as so many White delinquents do and had a good job and a girlfriend.

NF, who was basically heterosexual, later turned into a gay rent boy or a gay prostitute in Laguna Beach. He was the kept man of an older gay man. I always figured he was in it for the money because he always seemed basically straight to me. A tough badass surfer juvenile delinquent, he was extremely macho and overwhelming. He always had beautiful girlfriends. A lot of very good-lookng young straight men get into gay prostitution. I guess they do it for the money. It’s quite common.

When he was about 30 years old, NF the kept boy was a passenger in the  sports car owned by his older Sugar Daddy. They sped through an intersection in Laguna Beach very late one Saturday night, and NF never made it out of that car again. A terrible car accident sent NF, maverick, stud, Greek God, surfcat and ultimate bad boy, into the archives.

RN turned into a White Supremacist and moved to Idaho.

CD was still a sadistic shit the last I heard, and it was rumored that he beat his wife a lot. Some people seem to be born evil.

JB across the street was a Mormon who was never into dope or rock and roll. He was the typical straight guy. Apparently much later in the early 1990’s, he became a heavy cocaine user. He came around to my friend BD’s workplace one day and said goodbye to BD. BD didn’t understand what JB was doing. Why was he saying goodbye? Huh? But there’s a logic to most things people do. JB was going around to all of his old friends and saying goodbye to them one by one. Very soon afterwards, he went home, sat down, pointed a gun at his head, pulled the trigger and blew out his brains. We were all stunned.

The rock and roll had come a year earlier or so. The fights with my father over the hair were legendary and often quite violent. A lot of objects got smashed up. Good times! I was fond of tipping the dinner table over when everyone was seated at it, and everyone’s food would go crashing on the floor. Usually a plate or two broke. Dinner was often interrupted by me jumping up at the table and yelling, “Fuck you!” at my father as I threw a glass of water in his face. Those fights were cool! A great time was had by all. God I love my family! We sure knew how to live it up. Lot of excitement growing up, and never a dull moment!

Pinups was a very underground album, and only the coolest, hippest people were into it.

Diamond Dogs came out the next year in 1974. It wasn’t a hit, and most people just thought it was weird. However, the title track is awesome, and Rebel Rebel is out of this world!

Next came Young Americans in 1975, which was Bowie’s disco album. I was very much into the disco craze at the time. I wore platform shoes – at one type I had four-inch high purple platform shoes. I wore cotton and silk scarves a lot. Some people thought it was gay, but most people called it “stylin’.” Gay men don’t usually wear scarves. But a lot of straight disco guys were wearing scarves back then.

I know Tim Leary was fond of silk scarves. Some friends of mine used to visit Tim and Rosemary at their house in the Hollywood Hills pretty often. Once DL and I were in a video store on Sunset Avenue in Hollywood on the Strip in the 1980’s. DL said, “Bob! Look! The Godhead! It’s Timothy Leary!” He had his hands folded in front of him and was bowing his head repeatedly like a Buddhist monk in the direction of a white haired man at the checkout counter.

It was Timothy Leary himself, the first time I had ever seen the man. Leary had a copy of Amadeus in his hand and was renting it for the night. He had a huge ear to ear grin on his face. Every time I saw him on TV, he always had that grin. Face it, if you took LSD 2,000 times and saw God as many times as he did, you might never stop smiling either.

I had velvet pants and silk shirts. All of that sounds pretty faggy, but you have to understand that all of this stuff was the style back then, and most of the guys who were wearing this stuff were straight disco guys. Gay men didn’t wear clothes like that, but they did have their own gay disco scene about which I know little.

I hated Young Americans, but I still like some disco music. In 1973-75, Bowie, Mott the Hoople, the New York Dolls, Queen, Lou Reed and T. Rex were pretty much the glam scene. The glam scene was extremely underground and druggy, and you hardly ever met anyone who was into it. The people who were into it were basically “freaks” who were completely outside of society.

A lot of more conservative types hated all of the above music, which they thought was sick. I believe the basic complaint was that the glam bands were a bunch of faggots. It wasn’t true, but they did play up a phony angle like that – fake faggots, or straight guys pretending to be gay to shock people.

None of the big glam stars except Freddie Mercury were really gay, and even Bowie and Reed who were playing around with homosexuality later “came out” as straight. Back in those days, it was groovy, transgressive and shocking to be bisexual, and there was a bit of bisexual chic going on, but I never saw much of it. Bowie was always a closeted straight man, and Iggy Pop said he got more pussy than any man he ever knew. “From waitresses to heiresses, David Bowie fucked them all,” said an incredulous Pop.

Reed later settled into a longterm straight relationship with Laurie Anderson, who was always straight but played up the lesbian look and act as some sort of a weird art statement. A girlfriend of mine told me that she knew people who knew Reed, and they described him as omnisexual or pansexual. He pretty much fucked anything that moved without much preference or care. All of Mott and T. Rex, the rest of Bowie’s band and the rest of Queen were all straight. They were messing around with the androgyne look, which incidentally was very popular among straight men at that time.

I went to see Bowie for the first time on the Station to Station tour when the human chameleon was in his Thin White Duke role. It was bad, man! I went with BA and maybe BD, and we smoked pot the whole concert and got stoned to the gills. You could openly smoke pot at rock concerts back then, and generally no one even cared. There was security all over the place, but they generally never tried to stop the pot smoking. Pretty soon a huge cloud of pot smoke would collect toward the top of the stadium. Funny.

BA died ten years ago at age 47. He was a hardcore alcoholic who used alcohol to make a beast of himself. People went outside one sunny late morning and saw him in his parked car, slumped over the steering wheel. He would never drive that car again. A massive heart attack kindly released him at last from the unbearable pain of being a man.

The next year featured Station to Station. By this time, Bowie was mainstream. I still think Station to Station is one of the greatest albums ever made. During this phase, Bowie was living in London and was completely gone into a drugged out world – in Bowie’s case, cocaine. He got completely out there on coke to where he was more or less psychotic.

Cocaine was a much discussed but little used drug back then. It was so expensive that really no one could afford it, but everyone was in awe of it anyway. At that time, we thought cocaine was a “soft drug” like pot, and boy were we wrong about that. I was already hearing ugly stories about cocaine as early as 1976, and with  the years, they only got worse.

Low came out in 1977 and was widely panned by critics. This was an ambient music album patterned on the work of Kraftwerk, Brian Eno, etc. I actually liked Low a lot, and I still do. I think it is underrated. It was such a change for Bowie that people were freaked out by the new sound. Philip Glass later described Low as a “work of genius.”

Later in 1977, Heroes came out with the same type of weird ambient music. However, this was more popular. The single Heroes was well received, and it’s always been one of my favorite songs of all time. The Heroes album was very weird, but I still like it.

In 1978, when I transferred from junior college to four year university, Lodger came out. Lodger was widely panned upon release, and some still hate it. I liked it a lot at the time though, and it was a bit of a cult album. Note that Low, Heroes and Lodger were seldom played among the crowd I ran with in the US, though they topped charts in the UK. The only people listening to this stuff in the US were “underground” people.

However, time has been kind to Lodger, and its status seems to increase with each passing year. It is now regarded along with The Man Who Sold the World and Diamond Dogs as one of Bowie’s most underrated albums. Boys Keep Swinging is a great song off Lodger.

Scary Monsters (Super Creeps), released in 1980, was also very weird, but by this time, Bowie was starting to get a bit more mainstream, and his popularity was moving out of the underground crowd. The title track and Ashes to Ashes were hits on the album, and Ashes to Ashes ended up being a huge hit single in the US, where it was on the radio all the time. The title track was a less popular song, although I like it about as much as Ashes to Ashes. During this phase, Bowie was into the New Romantic movement, which most of you have probably never heard of.

1981 featured only a single with Queen’s Freddy Mercury called Under Pressure, but boy is that one incredible song. It’s one of my favorite songs of all time, a work of genius and as good a song as Heroes. By this time, Bowie was just about mainstream.

1983 saw the release of Let’s Dance with the fantastic hit single China Girl, one of the greatest songs he ever did. That song was very popular with the mainstream crowd, and it seemed to never leave the radio dial. Not that it mattered, as you could about listen to it all day anyway with no loss of pleasure. The song Let’s Dance was also a big hit, but I never liked that song much.

After Let’s Dance, Bowie never made another good album until two days before his death, and he did not write one good song for the next 23 years. Most of his albums and singles in that period were poorly received.

However, I heard a track off of Black Star which came out just this month, and I think he finally broke his losing streak with that album. I heard part of one of the tracks on the radio today, and it was awesome!

Black Star had been 18 months in the making. Bowie started making it at the same time as he got diagnosed by metastatic cancer (Get it?). The album absolutely baffled listeners who didn’t seem to know what to make of it.

But now that he is dead, this haunting, dark, brooding yet sentimental and beautiful album titled Black Star makes sense, and people are putting the pieces together. Bowie knew he was headed out, and Black Star was his farewell. Black Star is David Bowie saying goodbye to all of us. It sounds a lot like the Low/Heroes/Lodger ambient sound of the late 1970’s, the perfect sound for one last exit from the Stage.

A wave, and gone.

Goodbye David Bowie. I loved thee well.

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Effects of Cannabis on the Brain?

From the Internet:

There are no positive advantages, unless maybe you are suffering from serious depression when you smoke and only smoke once in your life. If you smoke marijuana even as infrequently as once a month, in miniscule doses, it will annihilate any mathematical learning you have, and you will be incapable of thinking precisely at all.

The effects take many days to reverse themselves, and the forgetting that happens during those days is permanent.
You will just annihilate your mind, and you will be left an a-mathematical zombie. This is not a side-effect of the drug, it is the main effect, and it sets in at infinitesimal doses, much smaller than those required to get you high.

This sounds like a horror story, but I have seen similar horror stories, mostly centered around math. There are claims that top mathematicians refuse to use the drug and claim it effects them for up to a week afterwards.

Do we have any cannabis users in the group who are also good at math? Can you verify or refute this fellow’s charges? Refer to them by number in the comments if you wish to discuss the charge one way or another.

  1. You will just annihilate your mind, and you will be left an a-mathematical zombie. I used it for years and it surely did not seem that my mind was annihilated. I don’t do math so I cannot comment.
  2. If you smoke even a tiny amount once a month, you will never be able to think precisely. This just seems wrong.
  3. Smoking even a tiny amount once a month will annihilate any mathematical learning that you have. No comment. My math skills are low-level, but pot never destroyed them.
  4. If you smoke even a tiny amount once a month, the effects take many days to reverse. This does not seem correct, but sometimes it seems like I can feel the effects for about 2 days afterwards.
  5. If you smoke even once a month, it takes many days to reverse the effects. You will do a lot of forgetting during those days, and the forgetting will be permanent.

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Filed under Cannabis, Education, Hallucinogens, Intoxicants, Neuroscience, Science