Can't we just get George Bush and Saddam Hussein take E together?
September 12, 2002 9:42 PM   Subscribe

Can't we just get George Bush and Saddam Hussein take E together? Two weeks ago a friend of mine and I were hypothesizing that we could avoid a war with Iraq if these two leaders would just hangout together, take MDMA, and talk to each other. From related experiences I can say that it would certainly help them work through their disagreements. What about you? Has ecstasy use helped or harmed your mental health? (And does anyone read Salon anymore?)
posted by popvulture (34 comments total)

 
Uh, yes, lots of people read Salon, which is why posts from there might not receive such a great reception.

But don't you think an agreement reached under the influence of a drug would only last as long as the effects of the drug? Not to mention Dick Cheney would have to abstain for obvious reasons.
posted by konolia at 9:58 PM on September 12, 2002


Hmmm. I read Salon *a lot* less lately, which is why I almost missed this article. Luckily the friend who also wants George and Saddam to "feel the love" emailed me the link.

No, I do not think that an agreement reached under the influence of a drug would end when the drug's effects are over. I believe that the empathy and shared experience would stay with them afterward. They just have to want to continue feeling it.

Of course, it is always easy if they both want to retreat back into anger afterwards to say -- when shown incriminating photos of each hugging the other -- that they only did it because they were on the drug.

I guess, thought, that you hafta want peace to achieve peace, even on a drug.
posted by popvulture at 10:09 PM on September 12, 2002


I guess, thought, that you hafta want peace to achieve peace, even on a drug.

There's a reason they're called mind- and mood-altering substances.

Beyond that, I can't comment, unless you want to go to rehab. In that case, drop me a line. ;)
posted by RJ Reynolds at 10:19 PM on September 12, 2002


But don't you think an agreement reached under the influence of a drug would only last as long as the effects of the drug?

Actually, konolia, not necessarily. Though I seriously doubt that GWB and Hussein are the type of personalities who would really get the most benefit out of E, I have to agree with the interviewee's assessment that empathy, not ecstasy, is the main effect of MDMA.

I have no doubt that I am a more emphatic person today for having taking MDMA today. I did not do it to excess (I would do it about every three or four months, and only rarely did I take more than one pill at a time), and I usually did it in very small, intimate settings in which it was just me and one or two friends talking in the dark and listening to music. I tried it a couple of times at clubs and parties, and just didn't enjoy it -- I mean, I felt physically good, but emotionally I just wanted to find a good friend and talk for hours.

Don't get me wrong, dancing to great music in the middle of a crazy light show under the influence of MDMA is a great experience. But if it's done with introspection rather than extroverted behavior in mind, I think it can be extremely useful in one's emotional evolution.

I know that the reflexively anti-drug crowd (both the conservatives that believe that drugs are automatically bad, and the liberal intellectuals who believe that people should have the right to do drugs but would never actually take them themselves for fear of damaging their beautiful minds) tend to assume that the testimonials of drug users are hopelessly biased, but seriously: if you've never tried MDMA, I beseech you to take your favorite couple of albums, your best couple of friends, a few pills of good E and spend a night in a quiet, safe place rolling your ass off. Really. You only live once, and it's truly something worth doing.

*sniff* now I'm all nostalgic for my rolling buddies... sigh...
posted by textureslut at 10:22 PM on September 12, 2002


Shades of the Yippies threatening to dose Chicago's water with LSD during the '68 convention.

This is, however, a facile argument, assuming among other things that the conflict between the two parties may only be traced to personal enmity. If all disagreements could be mediated away, it truly would be a better world; but I don't buy the assumption that they can.
posted by dhartung at 10:23 PM on September 12, 2002


I have no doubt that I am a more emphatic person today for having taking MDMA today.

By the way, I should probably point out that the multiple embarrassing misspellings and incorrect tenses in that sentence are due to my being drunk right now, and not due to my having taken MDMA in the past. Grr ... way to undercut my own argument.
posted by textureslut at 10:25 PM on September 12, 2002


Actually I had one experience with MDA (NOT mdma) years ago. I wouldn't recommend mucking around with one's brain chemistry without some serious medical supervision.

But I believe the real point being made here is re keeping us out of a war. Sadly I think it takes more than empathetic feelings to do that. As much as I dread the idea of us starting it up with Saddam, I have to say that if he has weapons of mass destruction, whether biological, chemical or nuclear, we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. As much as I might empathise with the innocent people in that country, doesn't change the fact that a very bad man could do some incredibly evil things if he isn't stopped in some way. Of course if you want to sneak over there and spike Saddam's bottle of Perrier with the love drug, be my guest.
posted by konolia at 10:38 PM on September 12, 2002


Grob is mentioned in this article, which was discussed in this thread.
posted by homunculus at 10:46 PM on September 12, 2002


konolia wrote:
Actually I had one experience with MDA (NOT mdma) years ago. I wouldn't recommend mucking around with one's brain chemistry without some serious medical supervision.

Actually, konolia, the doctors and psychiatrists who prescribe SSRI's (selective seretonin re-uptake inhibiters such as Paxil, Zoloft, and Prozac) and other anti-depressants often do not know very much specifically about what these drugs are doing in the brain. Or what the long-tem effects are to our health. They're just experimenting like any of the rest of us!

When I was put on Prozac for a short time in college, I asked the doctor many probing questions about how the drug worked. His answer: "Well, we don't really know how it works to make people feel better -- it just does."

So, I don't think konolia's point "serious medical supervision" is necessary. The doctors are "experimenting" just as much as anyone else...

Ecstasy has helped to mend animosity among people I know. And it can continue to help after the people are no longer on the drug, as long as both parties want to get over their grievances.
posted by popvulture at 10:56 PM on September 12, 2002


The danger of ecstasy is that you become indescriminate with your empathy. Choose the wrong person to talk to and you'll end up joining white power, the Libertarians or getting back with your rotten ex-girlfriend.
posted by dydecker at 11:03 PM on September 12, 2002


MDMA changed my personality and perspectives slightly. However, it did become the 'curer of all ills' whilst I was taking it (about 5 years ago, for about 6 months once every other week and outside that occasional use for a year or so after). However, I have since suffered from long bouts of mild depression. It's simplistic but there does seem to be a truth to the feeling that it just brings your future happiness forward rather than just giving you more. I did have amazing time on it though.
posted by boneybaloney at 11:06 PM on September 12, 2002


popvulture: While I agree with the sentiment of what you are saying (that doctors prescribe drugs with many possible immediate and longterm effects that they don't know) it is a little bit silly to say that "The doctors are "experimenting" just as much as anyone else...".

Just because there is a level of unknown in both cases doesn't mean that its all equivalent. There is a fairly significant difference between information that comes from multiple, replicated, placebo-controlled trials, and doing some stuff cooked up in someone's garage.

You can have the best of both worlds tho, medline is fairly easy to get access to, and they have boatloads of research on both doctor-approved mood altering chemicals (SSRI, of which they know a LOT more than you are indicating), and the non-doctor approved kind (MDMA has a decent amount of research, but nothing conclusive yet -- altho the bit about permanant damage to seratonin production should, I think, leave folks skittish about doing MDMA regularily).
posted by malphigian at 11:31 PM on September 12, 2002


In the words of 'The Streets' from the track 'Weak become heroes'..

"They could settle wars with this
if only they will
imagine the worlds leaders on pills
and imagine the morning after
wars cause and disaster
dont talk to me i dont know you
but this aint tomorrow
for now i still love you..."
posted by berto at 12:47 AM on September 13, 2002


What I found interesting about my earlier MDMA use was how psychologically addicting it was and how my empathy was subconciously linked to my senses at the time, so that even now (I haven't taken the drug for a good 3 years) I can regain some of the feelings of MDMA if some stimulus is similar to the enviroment where I first took drug, like the same smell, music, lights, &c ...

I believe that more study is needed in MDMA's inner workings and I think it's a shame that the war on drugs have prevented or scared scientists from taking up that field of research. From what I have read, I believe that the post-MDMA seritonin production damage is preventable just by taking Prozac after you take MDMA - and of course supplimenting yourself with 5-HTP and vitamin C afterwards.
posted by pine61 at 1:20 AM on September 13, 2002


Even though the the 5-HTP helps, the comedown is still so bad for me that it'll be a long time before I even think about taking another E.
posted by hippyboy at 1:37 AM on September 13, 2002


George and Saddam would be ok on the friday and saturday, a few beers to really wind down on the sunday and maybe some smokes. but by tuesday things would start to go a bit 'pete tong'.
posted by Frasermoo at 1:58 AM on September 13, 2002


Malphigian: "There is a fairly significant difference between information that comes from multiple, replicated, placebo-controlled trials, and doing some stuff cooked up in someone's garage."

While it is true that drugs not blacklisted by the government receive more extensive testing before being sold in pulic markets, it is impossible to have data on the long term effects of substances synthesized within the last 15 years.

I'm all for Dubya and Saddam experiencing a roll together. Maybe they would set a trend and have the leaders of great countries gathering for E parties by years end.

It is easy to brush something off as 'just a drug,' but your brain (though obviously affected by the MDMA) is the thing producing REAL chemicals that create REAL emotions (as real as any 'sober' chemically induced emotions anyway). Though the flood of seratonin is gone in the morning and along with it all of your sunshine, the knowledge that you are capable of feeling such empathy remains. For a few hours you see in people beyond what you see everyday. You have a connection with everyone alive and you can see that they struggle just like you struggle. Its not the most profound thing in the world, its the most simple, basic, humbling connection. And if you can take any of that with you when you face your next day, you understand that its something that stays with you.

It really is an experience hard to put into words.
And yes, in moderation. Even if not for the physical harms (we have discussed the theory that prozac virtually negates long-term side effects), the drug seems to be fairly psychologically addicting.
posted by jono at 2:25 AM on September 13, 2002


I did it once at Burning Man, and it was lovely. But it's not like it solved any problems for me. I am a slightly different person for it, perhaps, but really it's just temporary escapism.

Nevertheless, getting G.W. and Saddam together on E could only be a good thing. Speaking of drugs and presidents, did anybody catch Prez Clinton on the Dave Letterman show? He was astoundingly intelligent, wise, thoughtful and well-spoken. God I miss that guy.
posted by Dok Millennium at 2:53 AM on September 13, 2002


It's widely though that the explosion in the use of the MDMA that occurred from 1988 to approximately 1998 in the UK contributed towards a significant reduction in football-related violence. This from the BBC website:

"There was a lull because most of the top boys throughout the country were getting loved up on ecstasy pills and going to acid house clubs.

"Then the ecstasy went poor, they got bored of it and went back to football violence. Like drugs, it's far bigger than any government figure will ever tell you," he said.
posted by hmgovt at 3:44 AM on September 13, 2002


Who has 'cornered the world market' on Ecstasy? .. whoever they are they must flop around in a peaceful, luvved up haze. Oh, it's Israel. Perhaps not then.
posted by grahamwell at 5:47 AM on September 13, 2002


The sad thing about E is that you only really get one shot. The first time is the one that counts and what happens then can never be recreated. It's also the one time you can't plan for and don't know what to expect.

To have had that experience in a controlled therapeutic environment surrounded by people who knew how to make the experience work could be very powerful. Instead, for me - like many I'm sure, it was a poorly ventilated nightclub where conversation was impossible and much of the potential of the experience was lost.

I seem to have left an important part of my brain in a field in Hampshire

Nevertheless the experience did change me, perhaps not for ever, but I believe for the better. For a few hours I could believe that the world might work differently and that I could play a positive part. Which was nice.
posted by grahamwell at 6:23 AM on September 13, 2002


Or we could just lock Shrub and Saddam in a room somewhere and let them duke it out. I have a feeling Saddy would wipe the walls with W, though if they ever got out Georgie could probably outrun him.

On the drug side, LSD was also used in therapy back in the day, when it was big in Hollywood among such luminaries as Cary Grant (scroll down).
posted by gottabefunky at 7:06 AM on September 13, 2002


Sasha Shulgin, the author of "Pihkal: A Chemical Love Story" and "Tihkal: A Continuation" probably knows more about the chemistry of MDMA than anyone. You can ask him questions about it and any other entheogen here.
posted by lasm at 7:40 AM on September 13, 2002


I hope this was a joke. I mean, I know this is a liberal news forum and all, but to actually post something on GWB and Saddam Hussein going on ecstasy together and solving all their problems. Ummmm, let me think of the word, oh yeah, "assinine" is the word that comes to mind.

Peace LOL

Nevertheless, getting G.W. and Saddam together on E could only be a good thing. Speaking of drugs and presidents, did anybody catch Prez Clinton on the Dave Letterman show? He was astoundingly intelligent, wise, thoughtful and well-spoken. God I miss that guy.

You have got to be kidding, if that pansy was in, we'd all be wearing turbans right now. And the democrats would be on talk show upon talk show on how we should understand the terrorists. LOL Of course he "sounded" intelligent, thoughtful and well-spoken, he snowed you liberals over for 8 years and you let him do it. I never liked the man, but he has a long career ahead of him in Hollywood and I'd probably go see his movies.
posted by the_0ne at 8:08 AM on September 13, 2002


*sets an excellent example by ignoring the_tr0ll*
posted by Sapphireblue at 8:37 AM on September 13, 2002


I can imagine Saddam starting to freak out ("Ohmyfuggingod I can't believe I gassed all those Kurds! I'm so evil!") and Dubya, the more experienced drug user, talking him down: "It's cool, it's cool, here, have a lollipop. Have you heard the new Massive Attack?"
posted by Ty Webb at 9:00 AM on September 13, 2002


Ty Webb: teehee! It'd probably be good for George's ego; it'd be the one time since he was inaugurated that he wouldn't be surrounded by people with a better grasp of the situation than he has...

But two people taking E probably isn't going to stop any wars, because the machinery is already, er, rolling. The idea nonetheless has appeal. In fact, I'd expand the scope of the plan. I wouldn't mind seeing our all of our leaders get a little mental jolt, even a chemical one.
posted by hilatron at 9:42 AM on September 13, 2002


I've often thought that many of the world's problems could be solved by the opposing leaders getting together on neutral ground and playing a nice game of Chess.
posted by schlaager at 10:10 AM on September 13, 2002


Yeah Sapphireblue, can't say I haven't been called that before here on good ole' MeFi. But if opposing opinions are trolling, then I'm going to be trolling along for as long as I'm allowed on MeFi.

*Man, must be boring to want to only post with people that agree with you.*
posted by the_0ne at 11:21 AM on September 13, 2002


One, dude. Easy. You got some bad stuff, man, but you'll be OK. We're all here with you, man. We're gonna ride it out together. Just nice and slow, dude. It'll all be good ...
posted by octobersurprise at 12:05 PM on September 13, 2002


At least Clinton could pronounce "nuclear." And "recognize." And, well the list is quite long.
Here's a lovely example reportedly composed by Washington Post writer Richard Thompson for National Poetry Month using all Dubya quotes:

>>MAKE THE PIE HIGHER
>>by George W. Bush
>>
>>I think we all agree, the past is over.
>>This is still a dangerous world.
>>It's a world of madmen and uncertainty
>>and potential mental losses.
>>
>>Rarely is the question asked
>>Is our children learning?
>>Will the highways of the Internet become more few?
>>How many hands have I shaked?
>>
>>They misunderestimate me.
>>I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.
>>I know that the human being and the fish can coexist.
>>Families is where our nation finds hope, where
>>our wings take dream.
>>
>>Put food on your family!
>>Knock down the tollbooth!
>>Vulcanize society!
>>Make the pie higher! Make the pie higher!
posted by Dok Millennium at 12:49 PM on September 13, 2002


the_One:

LOL Of course he "sounded" intelligent, thoughtful and well-spoken, he snowed you liberals over for 8 years and you let him do it. I never liked the man, but he has a long career ahead of him in Hollywood and I'd probably go see his movies.

Duuuuude! You didn't take the brown acid did you? It's baaaaaaad!
posted by mark13 at 12:51 PM on September 13, 2002


Ty Webb: Beautiful. Thanks for my first laugh of the day. (Yeah, so I woke up at 2pm, what of it?)

Although your post does bring up the burning question: is it possible to take E and listen to country music (GWB's preferred genre, I believe) and still have a good time? I vote no. If we were to get Bush and Saddam together for a one-on-one rolling party, we'd definitely need to set them up with a good Winamp playlist. It sure wouldn't do to have them rolling to Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue," now, would it?
posted by textureslut at 1:18 PM on September 13, 2002


what rj said.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:42 PM on September 13, 2002


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