Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Anarchist Cookbook

I remember first seeing the book Anarchist Cookbook years ago. It was like checking out the stacks and finding that the old science journals actually gave the details to developing a nuclear bomb. Then there was the Fabrio hacking pages teaching reverse engineering on the internet. Finally there was free downloads of everything and two tier society at the bottom not so different from that at the top, those above the law and those below the law. All feeding on the middle class. I remember feeling like food.

The Susman movie Anarchist Cookbook seems to document the shift from the dope smoking free love 'anarchy' to the 'coke' nihilism. It suggests a left to right swing but ultimately Stalin and Hitler were both sides of same coin. Extremism is always about the ends against the middle.

I've always been a moderate and explain that you know you are in the middle when you have holes on the front and back and sides. The only guarantee you're in the middle is that everyone shooting at you. Most people are either afraid or too uncomfortable to be there. They opt for right or left of centre and claim they're really 'in the middle' because everyone else is on 'either' side. The loneliest place is being centered.

When you're really in the middle you're the outside or inside. Alien or God. They kill God here. That's what all the shooting is about. Not quiet desperation but sheer terror. No wonder Jesus said, 'Do not be afraid."
If anyone had listened he might well be alive today. But then that sort of immortality went with the garden. We're still waiting for new Jerusalem.

The movie anti hero is "Johnny Black" , pretty much a psychopath. The hero is a college drop out. I just heard on CBC yesterday morning driving the truck to work how Muslim extremists recruit pretty much the same way. The disenfranchised well to do student looking for something different. Patty Hurst with a twist.

Lame ending. But isn't that what today is about. Pacman reality. The hole inside isn't God shaped but corporate and taxable. It's really about consuming. The one who dies with the most toys wins.

I remember my own Johnny Black at the commune I stayed once. The cellist and the journalist showered naked in common with everyone else. And they were beautiful and we were beautiful and the beer was 50c a can from a coke dispenser. I got drunk in Alberta. My Johnny Black stole steaks and I didn't say anything even though I was taught not to steal. Probably the worst Grade A steaks I ever ate. He presented them as a 'gift' to the commune. I learned the word "entitlement' a whole lot later. Even later still I found out there was a 'victim competition'.

There are three major classes of drug abuse. Downers , of which alcohol and benzos are the classic. Opiates probably rest best with the downers though they can be hallucinogens as well. Then there are hallucinogens, the lsd, mushroom, pot or cannibis set. Finally the speed groups of amphetamines and cocaines.

I can still remember the shift. All around me the men of the war drank beer but some moved to hard liquor. Then there was the european wine set and some moved to hard liquor. That was the early 60's. And maybe someone smoked a joint once in a blue moon or tried lsd or mushrooms. That was the late 60's and 70's/ You could count the times. But there were those who stayed out trying not to come back. And those whose daily reality turned to drugs and alcohol. Finally there was the speeds and cocaine. That was the 80's and 90's. More people began to die then. Belushi, for one. More organized crime. More 'war on drugs'.

There were guns and anger and violence and finally it didn't matter what the drug was, there were guns and anger and violence.

(The 'berserk' was a mushroom stone for the masses in the wars of medieval times. Robert Graves researched the shroom. Imagine whacking neighbours on shrooms but then the assassins used hash. It's easier to see violence with an adrenaline rush either from amphetamines or cocaine. Nicotine too. Now there's a real killing drug. I drink coffee though. )

So the movie moves right wing and twists back to Republican somehow. Odd american stuff. Or rather, only in American. I got lost as a Canadian or maybe as a northerner. I didn't recognise some of the moves that followed.

A Texas movie. Close to Mexico. Down where it's really hot and there's oil and bull. More and more movies coming out of the south.
In the end it's California. Don't know what that's about. I went to California in the 70's. Maybe that's a play for Hollywood. Let's not go to Sundance, Cannes or Balliwood but let's go to Hollywood. Sweden comes up in the movie alot.

I know I got out of adolescence long before they started spiking trees. I'd been raised on Billy Graham and Gandhi so I went back to school too. But the movie brought back alot of that time when naivite and wisdom are all intertwined. The next quarter century or seemed to be separating the wheat from the chaff.

We're a work in progress. One day movies like this will be playing on Turner Classics. I might enjoy a second childhood.

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