Justin Stone's creekbed

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Location: missouri, el paso

The Anterior Insula and Hwy W

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

I feel the most important change I have made as an adult in this life is to cease with the awful alcohol. It is, I think, quite telling that the culturally sanctioned and celebrated 'drug' of choice in the West is a terrifyingly destructive toxic substance. Totally, supremely destructive to the brain, body and soul, as well as to communities and progress (and thus long a form of effective social control). It took me forever to realize this, walking in the shoes of all those terrible decisions before me, waving all the wrong myths around like some kind of ridiculous, proud-for-all-the-wrong-reasons universal clown. 'Hey look at me, hear me now, I am an asshole.' Ego run dangerously amok with potentially horrible consequences for the world and those around you. And then when you make the decision to opt out of the alcohol lifestyle, when you realize that you just can no longer spend time in bars and similar all-drinking-all-the-time environments, some old friends can come to think you a malcontent or flake, a weirdo going against the social grain, somebody who does not want to have 'fun.' Like you are no longer a part of the 'conversation.' But the fact is that that 'conversation' never reaches a conclusion or discovery anyway. Instead it cycles endlessly, always forgetting where it has previously been. Often it forgets (or is unable to hear) what is said as the said thing is even being said. It is a kind of madness, necessarily and monstrously repeating itself, trying vainly to fill a void that only gets bigger and more impossible to fill. A perilous, shaking, almost indiscernible escalation, spread out over years, in increments of invisible days.

Breaking from the habit has awkward and unfortunate social consequences, indicative I think of the whole awkward and unfortunate society. To go all the way, to see and know one's head, heart, hands and feet -- I mean literally to be able to look at and know (and trust) the different parts of one's body and self, how they can (and sometimes cannot) all function as one, and then have control of that vehicle, as one is often trying to do in dream -- one kind of has to decide to opt out of certain circles and certain arenas of choice altogether. One often has to separate (both physically and mentally) from an entire lifestyle, its attendant peers and rituals. All the little hills are so dang slippery, you know? They never end, they keep coming, more and more slippery. And we are prone to accident as is. Most of us. All of us? We are prone to accident. That is the nature of wild existence. For me it really comes down to no longer wanting to engage (in as much as this kind of thing can even be controlled) in avoidable arenas of accident. Or to put it another way: not wanting to f*ck the f*ck up. The opposite of f*cking the f*ck up? Spherical thinking, lucidity, deliberation, predetermination, humility, humor, empathy. These things are community. These things are fun.

(As usual these are quick, unedited thoughts on a much larger subject. I am writing about all this in greater detail elsewhere, but I wanted to say something.)


“I didn't want to spent a lot of close time with someone who believed that fun is a bourgeois indulgence." - Howard Zinn, You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times