Mr. X
November 16, 2009 9:28 AM   Subscribe

 
Carl Sagan was, is, and ever shall be my hero.
posted by brand-gnu at 9:32 AM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]




His marijuana experiences sound vastly more enjoyable than mine, which mostly consist of me going through my email outbox, looking at the messages I send to friends, and realizing, with growing dread, that I am an idiot who can't control saying wildly inappropriate things.

Of course, later, when I'm not high, I go back to these same emails and they say things like "Had a nice day today! Looking forward to our lunch Wednesday!"

I don't get high anymore.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:42 AM on November 16, 2009 [20 favorites]


I think the ratio, R, of the time to sense the dose taken to the time required to take an excessive dose is an important quantity. R is very large for LSD (which I've never taken) and reasonably short for cannabis. Small values of R should be one measure of the safety of psychedelic drugs.
Dude! Don't harsh my mellow.
posted by mazola at 9:45 AM on November 16, 2009


Everyone Involved in Cosmos' Creation, Production, and Viewing Extremely High

The dude was flying around space in a smoke filled dandelion seed that sometimes turned into a star while spouting off about the Nature of Reality. You can't do all that and expect people to watch it sober.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:46 AM on November 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm curious whether this is new to many people. I kind of assumed that this would be familiar to anyone with a modicum of interest in marijuana science and politics - Marihuana Reconsidered is as old as me, after all (which is feeling, uh, old enough these days) and Sagan's identity as the author of the Mr. X essay was formally acknowledged a decade ago, shortly after his death. Maybe a whole new generation is being exposed to this funny essay by the recent surge in Sagan interest.
posted by nanojath at 9:46 AM on November 16, 2009


I've never tried any recreational drugs (and precious few prescription ones) and if alcohol is anything to go by, I'm not to excited to either. I'm not talking about hangovers, I'm talking about just plain yuckiness. I can. not. stand. the taste of alcohol. Last night I poured myself a glass of wine (leftover from our wedding anniversary, when we both try to choke down a glass for the novelty) thinking "OK, I don't like it but how bad can it REALLY be?" I couldn't finish. So awful.

Of course, part of that is the wine itself. But even vodka is...ugh. I can't even get enough down to feel anything, let alone get as far as a hangover.
posted by DU at 9:48 AM on November 16, 2009


Each to their own, DU, but if God made anything better than whiskey, he kept it for Hisself.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:54 AM on November 16, 2009 [10 favorites]


DU: ??
posted by billysumday at 9:55 AM on November 16, 2009


Damn, AZ. You just made me very, very glad I stopped getting high before teh internets became a common thing. I doubt I could deal with weed and a high-speed connection at the same time.
posted by lekvar at 9:56 AM on November 16, 2009


Here, DU, have this brownie. You might only want to eat half of it for now.
posted by hippybear at 9:56 AM on November 16, 2009 [9 favorites]


"Had a nice day today! Looking forward to our lunch Wednesday!"

Your paranoia is entirely justified. That message is perhaps the most depraved one ever sent to anyone, anywhere.
posted by dortmunder at 9:56 AM on November 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


I've never tried any recreational drugs (and precious few prescription ones) and if alcohol is anything to go by, I'm not to excited to either

Alcohol is one of the least enjoyable and most damaging recreational drugs around. Why it's the only legal option in most countries is an interesting question
posted by crayz at 9:57 AM on November 16, 2009


A good use of Carl Sagan and mind-altering drugs, would probably be watching this video
posted by fontophilic at 10:03 AM on November 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


DU I can't stand wine either, weed is not like wine.
posted by dabitch at 10:03 AM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


DU, different alcoholic drinks have many different tastes. Wine and vodka doesn't constitute a gamut, it's just two from a panoply.

You should try a whiskey, a gin and tonic, tequila, various beers, ciders, some of those candylike liqueurs, and so on before writing off "alcohol" in a big bold stroke.

You know, for your own good as a human citizen.
posted by rokusan at 10:05 AM on November 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


[My experiences] consist of me going through my email outbox, looking at the messages I send to friends, and realizing, with growing dread, that I am an idiot who can't control saying wildly inappropriate things.

Hey, Astro Zombie. You realize we don't have a 10-minute edit window, right?
posted by rokusan at 10:05 AM on November 16, 2009


Universe! You can take Carl Sagan from me, but you can never take his narrating voice from inside my head!
posted by cmoj at 10:06 AM on November 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Hah. I didn't read the byline and I'm like. "Why am I reading this?"
posted by delmoi at 10:11 AM on November 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


DU: Try a Long Island Ice Tea. For some reason, the flavors mix so that you can barely tell that it's alcoholic, even though a well-made one will pack a hell of a kick.
posted by Malor at 10:12 AM on November 16, 2009


For some of us, cannabis isn't always that pleasant. For me, it often made me anxious, uncoordinated and excessively self-conscious, so except for a brief period in high-school, I have avoided cannabis. I spent altogether too much time drunk in my youth, but that's another thread.

The Mr X essay did remind me of one thing, though. I had a big interest in astronomy in highschool, but I couldn't make out constellations to save my life. Then, one warm clear evening, as i wandered home after smoking up with a few friends, I lay down on a grassy hill, and just looked at the sky for a bit... and there they were! Since then, I can usually identify constellations.
posted by Artful Codger at 10:13 AM on November 16, 2009


Astro Zombie: ""Had a nice day today! Looking forward to our lunch Wednesday!""

Dear AZ: I AM OUT OF TOWN ON WEDNESDAY. YOU KNEW THIS. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU???
posted by boo_radley at 10:13 AM on November 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


I've never tried any recreational drugs (and precious few prescription ones) and if alcohol is anything to go by, I'm not to excited to either ... I can't even get enough down to feel anything, let alone get as far as a hangover.

If you've never drunk enough alchohol to even be drunk, how could it possibly inform your understanding of other drugs?
posted by delmoi at 10:14 AM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


...if alcohol is anything to go by...

It really, really is not.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:15 AM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


DU: try wine with an oenophile. I also hate the taste of alcohol. But good wine should not taste much of alcohol, i.e. alcohol should not be the first taste to hit your palate. Much as I hate the taste of alcohol, I've been a regular wine drinker for 20 years. Have someone who really knows wines, introduce you to wine - and if you still hate it, then you can say it's "not for you".
posted by VikingSword at 10:17 AM on November 16, 2009


Boy, I haven't ever eaten a steak, but if orange juice is anything to go by, I'm not excited to either.
posted by xmutex at 10:19 AM on November 16, 2009 [26 favorites]


Post about Carl Sagan and cannabis turns into discussion of DU's personal habits. This is my surprised face.
posted by billysumday at 10:20 AM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Should be mentioned that cannabis, like alcohol, comes in varieties (as well as a variety of delivery modes) whose characteristics vary in both taste and effect. Also, like alcohol, use to the point of extreme intoxication is generally not as Good Times as more moderate consumption. Just to counter the booze-pusher POV...
posted by Ogre Lawless at 10:26 AM on November 16, 2009


My experiences have never come close to those described by Mr X/Sagan. I mean, it's good...but I don't hallucinate. It reads like one of those drug scenes in a movie that you just know was written by someone who had never been high in his life.
Also, what's with all the pushers? Maybe DU is ok with sobriety.
posted by rocket88 at 10:29 AM on November 16, 2009


R is very large for LSD (which I've never taken)

We have an expert in the house!

It's nice that Sagan was pro-pot, but that doesn't make him an expert on any other drugs.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 10:29 AM on November 16, 2009


You should try a whiskey, a gin and tonic, tequila, various beers, ciders, some of those candylike liqueurs

... all in one night, of course.

(How did this turn into the "just give booze a chance!" thread?)
posted by naju at 10:32 AM on November 16, 2009


For me, it often made me anxious, uncoordinated and excessively self-conscious, so except for a brief period in high-school, I have avoided cannabis.

..... I don't think that was necessarily the cannabis. It just sounds like high school.
posted by webmutant at 10:34 AM on November 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


"The Mr X essay did remind me of one thing, though. I had a big interest in astronomy in highschool, but I couldn't make out constellations to save my life. Then, one warm clear evening, as i wandered home after smoking up with a few friends, I lay down on a grassy hill, and just looked at the sky for a bit... and there they were! Since then, I can usually identify constellations."

The moment when you first see with your our own eyes that the things they teach you in books are in fact real is one those formative experiences that always stays with you. I still remember the chill that went down my back when I made out the Big Dipper for the first time, even though it happened long ago.

I would imagine that the benefit of attaining an altered state of consciousness through something like marijuana is that it shuts off all those nagging thoughts and extraneous sensations that constantly buzz through the mind, and lets you see things that have always been there under the surface, obvious but effectively invisible to the distracted.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:34 AM on November 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's time somebody stuck up for booze; people never seem to. It I made booze, I would take out ads for it and make commercials where people drinking alcohol have a wonderful time as a result. I wonder why this has never occurred to the industry. The last alcohol ad I saw was a reprint of Hogarth's Gin Lane, which just seemed stupid to me.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:35 AM on November 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Last night I poured myself a glass of wine (leftover from our wedding anniversary, when we both try to choke down a glass for the novelty) thinking "OK, I don't like it but how bad can it REALLY be?" I couldn't finish. So awful.

Dude how long ago after you opened it did you drink it? Wine, especially red wine, goes bad pretty much overnight when exposed to oxygen.

also,
MJ != alcohol
posted by cbecker333 at 10:38 AM on November 16, 2009


I would imagine that the benefit of attaining an altered state of consciousness through something like marijuana is that it shuts off all those nagging thoughts and extraneous sensations that constantly buzz through the mind, and lets you see things that have always been there under the surface, obvious but effectively invisible to the distracted.

Different drugs have vastly different effects, to the extent that putting them all under the "drug" umbrella can confuse more than it clarifies. Don't imagine the effects, experience them
posted by crayz at 10:40 AM on November 16, 2009


I have had the very enjoyable experience of both:
1. seeing medical grade cannabis grown and cured
2. making my own hard apple cider at home

Taking part in the production of your intoxicants absolutely improves their enjoyability. There is a great satisfaction that comes from wrangling mother nature to help us bend our consciousness. I would love to see a Sagan essay on growing cannabis, I bet he would have liked it.
posted by cbecker333 at 10:41 AM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I would like to try what Carl has been smoking... Mostly my cannabis experiences have been fairly underwhelming. Unless it's in the form of baked goods, in which case the R-ratio is pretty high and the effects usually a bit too staggering.
posted by kaibutsu at 10:47 AM on November 16, 2009


I would take out ads for it and make commercials where people drinking alcohol have a wonderful time as a result. I wonder why this has never occurred to the industry.

In the US, you're not allowed to actually show people consuming alcohol as part of advertising. Watch closely, even in the commercials where you THINK you see someone take a drink, you never actually see them put anything to their mouth. The editing and such is done to get you to think you've seen it, but you never have.

Although, a lot of alcohol advertising IS showing people having a good time, supposedly under the influence... The Bacardi mojito campaign, for example, or a lot of sports beer commercials.

I do find it frustrating that most depictions of marijuana in movies or television all paint the users as hapless losers who cannot function. Even supposedly enlightened HBO and Showtime shows seem to emphasize the stupid clown aspects of smoking pot, despite it being the main impetus of several of their shows. (Weeds and Bored To Death, I'm looking at you.)
posted by hippybear at 10:51 AM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I did not mean to turn this into a discussion of alcohol, let alone a discussion of me + alcohol. More of a commentary on the "dude, you'll love this once you get used to it" concept that people often use for drugs, alcohol, coffee and various crazy foods and drinks. They always talk about the experience of being there but never about the experience of getting there.

I'm sure being drunk is just marvelous. But actually drinking alcohol is terrible. Similarly, lobster probably tastes great. But in order to taste it, you have to crack open and eat what is essentially an enormous, human-head-sized insect.

Having hung out with (cigarette) smokers, I already know I have a low tolerance for smoke. So, no matter how awesome being high is, I'm going to go out on a limb and conjecture that (at least for me) getting high is an unacceptable price for being high.
posted by DU at 10:54 AM on November 16, 2009


DU: you might want to eat a BIT more of that brownie.
posted by hippybear at 10:55 AM on November 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


It reads like one of those drug scenes in a movie that you just know was written by someone who had never been high in his life.

Yeah, this. His experiences are so wildly different from mine and everyone else I know that it seems very likely he's either exaggerating or just out and out lying.
posted by splice at 10:55 AM on November 16, 2009


I did not mean to turn this into a discussion of alcohol, let alone a discussion of me + alcohol.

Then you're doing it wrong.
posted by gurple at 10:57 AM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I do find it frustrating that most depictions of marijuana in movies or television all paint the users as hapless losers who cannot function.

Not all shows take this view.


Also: if I had read this essay by my hero, Carl Sagan, as a teenager, I would have started smoking weed way earlier than I did.
posted by Jon_Evil at 10:58 AM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I believe him completely... these experiences aren't that different than mine when I was younger, except the effects for me have somehow turned into panic attacks caused by uncontrollable introspection and paranoia. Everyone reacts differently.

"Through the years I find that slightly smaller amounts of cannabis suffice to produce the same degree of high, and in one movie theater recently I found I could get high just by inhaling the cannabis smoke which permeated the theater." <- LOL. I've never smelled weed in a movie theater - the 70's must have been a party.
posted by hellslinger at 11:05 AM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


In defense of DU, and on a tangent with other "how drugs affect people" stories:

I don't like the "taste" of alcohol either. If you've been to one of the New York meetups you've probably noticed that I never have beer, I have hard cider. Or something mixed with a lot of fruit juice. You'll also notice that I only have a couple drinks -- that's because I have a low tolerance. Conversely, the few times I've tried marijuana, smoking it didn't do diddley-squeak; a couple brownies had an entertaining effect once, though. The strongest I've been affected by any controlled substance, it was THERAFLU, which made me hallucinate an entire conversation with a friend about how he was getting liposuction.

The morals:
1. some people just think alcohol tastes icky, and there is a place for them in this world, still.

2. Different drugs hit different people differently.

And 3. Do not call your friend the morning after a Theraflu bender to ask "what the hell made you think of getting liposuction, dude?" Because that conversation probably never happened and your friend will be confused.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:06 AM on November 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


THERAFLU, which made me hallucinate

I drank a Theraflu before bed last week and had some of the most intensely vivid dreams I've ever had. Either that, or I laid in bed hallucinating for six hours. One or the other.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:10 AM on November 16, 2009


I would like to try what Carl has been smoking... Mostly my cannabis experiences have been fairly underwhelming.
[...]
Yeah, this. His experiences are so wildly different from mine and everyone else I know that it seems very likely he's either exaggerating or just out and out lying.


Actually,
I can very much verify Sagan's story as honest and unexaggerated. Especially the part about the three-part harmony and the closed-eye cartoons (which incidentally are very uncomfortable as part of a psychaedelically-amplified panic attack). But yeah, when I got high, I got high like Sagan.

Seriously.

Everything was amplified and concepts ascribed a grand and timeless meaning. Which is great when the concept is the immeasurable beauty of the mathematical simulation of light scattering in enameled porcelain. It is soul-wracking when the concept is "Boy, you're insane", and it's roaring grand and timeless through the fresh tatters of your mind.
posted by krilli at 11:14 AM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


They always talk about the experience of being there but never about the experience of getting there.

I think the reason there may be a strong reaction to this is that most people have a negative experience when first exposed to alcohol. (Or pot, or anything which can be a bit labourious to get into your body). I don't know many people who admit they liked the taste of alcohol when they first tried it, but clearly many people eventually come to love it or can at least bear it for the positive results.

I would agree that pressuring someone to drink or do drugs is extremely juvenile. That said, I think for people who have had very positive experiences with alcohol/drugs, its hard to hear about someone missing out on such an experience because of what is perceived as an otherwise minor hurdle or miscalculation of a benefits/risk ratio.
posted by Adam_S at 11:21 AM on November 16, 2009


I would imagine that the benefit of attaining an altered state of consciousness through something like marijuana is that it shuts off all those nagging thoughts and extraneous sensations that constantly buzz through the mind, and lets you see things that have always been there under the surface, obvious but effectively invisible to the distracted.

A friend of mine didn't understand wave dynamics until he dropped acid one night on the beach, saw the waves roll in, and he got all the stuff that had been eluding him in physics class, all at once.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:23 AM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


also, Carl Sagan was totally baked as shit when he wrote that essay.
posted by Jon_Evil at 11:29 AM on November 16, 2009


I love Carl Sagan like the Devil loves sin, but cannabis turns me in to an gibbering, paranoid boob. I wish it didn't, wish I could enjoy the stuff like Mr. Sagan evidently did, but I doubt I'll be coming around any time soon. Boo, paranoia.
posted by Pecinpah at 11:34 AM on November 16, 2009


Cannabis and higher education are synergistic.

You understand photosynthesis ... but have you understood photosynthesis when you were high?
posted by krilli at 11:34 AM on November 16, 2009


I love Carl Sagan like the Devil loves sin, but cannabis turns me in to an gibbering, paranoid boob.

This is often the case at first with most people. It was with me. You get past it. Some people don't want to work through it, which is fine. Not everyone likes or needs it.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:43 AM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


(How did this turn into the "just give booze a chance!" thread?)

All we are saying, is let's get DU hammered.
posted by rokusan at 11:45 AM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I do find it frustrating that most depictions of marijuana in movies or television all paint the users as hapless losers who cannot function.

Not all shows take this view.


HA! Yes, one scene out of a 4-year run makes BSG into a drug-centered series.
posted by hippybear at 11:48 AM on November 16, 2009


I do find it frustrating that most depictions of marijuana in movies or television all paint the users as hapless losers who cannot function. Even supposedly enlightened HBO and Showtime shows seem to emphasize the stupid clown aspects of smoking pot, despite it being the main impetus of several of their shows. (Weeds and Bored To Death, I'm looking at you.)

One thing I miss about the '70s and early '80s was that these depictions were different back then. One example that comes to mind immediately is Poltergeist. The parents are smoking a joint in one scene in their bedroom, which they're hiding from their kids, but the way it's done lets the audience know it's not meant to cast aspersions on anyone. Parents were toking up, don't want to influence the kid at this age, so they hid it, a few giggles and no big deal. This is what smoking pot is the vast majority of the time, and this is how it was portrayed in the movies for a while, though that changed with Reagan's influence and the ramping up of the Drug War. Even so, although I hardly ever watch the whole thing, and even though it's a bit of a stoner stereotype, the basement scenes on That '70s Show are pretty good.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:08 PM on November 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't know many people who admit they liked the taste of alcohol when they first tried it, but clearly many people eventually come to love it or can at least bear it for the positive results.

Well, it takes some time to develop a taste for anything, right? Does anyone love sardines the first time either? Maybe it's an old wives' tale, but I thought it took 7 tries to develop a taste for a new food/drink.

The first time I tried beer I thought it tasted like piss. And vodka was fire water. Yet I tolerated the taste of both for the high-school buzz, and by the time I graduated college, I liked a long list of beer varieties, and I like more now. (I'm still not a big vodka fan, though.) I didn't like wine at all then, but after several more years, I love it. Anyway derail ...

My experiences have never come close to those described by Mr X/Sagan. I mean, it's good...but I don't hallucinate.

when I got high, I got high like Sagan

Ditto, and I still do. It's a wonderful psychedelic, with all sorts of bonus medical uses, apparently. It's certainly not the same, but it does seem to activate some of the same parts of the brain as LSD for me. While I don't visually hallucinate as with LSD, a similar pattern-shifting/walls-melting effect definitely occurs.

I've never smelled weed in a movie theater

Dude, you and I are going to the movies. TODAY.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:10 PM on November 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't like the "taste" of alcohol either. If you've been to one of the New York meetups you've probably noticed that I never have beer, I have hard cider.

But but but hard cider is alcohol.

And it's damned delicious.

(Other delicious drinks: mead, sangria. I like anything that gives me a sugar rush!)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:13 PM on November 16, 2009


> I don't like the "taste" of alcohol either. If you've been to one of the New York meetups you've probably noticed that I never have beer, I have hard cider.

But but but hard cider is alcohol.


It IS alcohol, but it TASTES like apple juice.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:19 PM on November 16, 2009


I know! Even the burps taste like apple juice! It's great!

DU, get yourself some cider!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:22 PM on November 16, 2009


I do find it frustrating that most depictions of marijuana in movies or television all paint the users as hapless losers who cannot function.

Towelie?
posted by mrgrimm at 12:22 PM on November 16, 2009


or how about Donald Sutherland as Sergeant Oddball?

There must be some other capable stoners in the movies...
posted by mrgrimm at 12:27 PM on November 16, 2009


HA! Yes, one scene out of a 4-year run makes BSG into a drug-centered series.

It's not just one scene -- Adama and Roslin smoke again in season 4.5, while Roslin is close to dying of cancer, in one of the most powerful moments in the series.

At any rate, no one said anything about "a drug-centered series", merely that "most depictions of marijuana in movies or television all paint the users as hapless losers who cannot function." BSG is definitely an exception -- not only does it not paint marijuana smokers as hapless losers, it doesn't make a big deal out of marijuana at all. It's just there, the way booze and cigarettes are just there, and that's pretty rare on TV... much as I wish it wasn't.

As for the whole DU-debate: some people like strong flavors, and some people don't. The former often think the latter are missing out on one of the great pleasures of life, and the latter often think the former are crazy. Likewise, some people seek intoxication, and some people don't... I count myself among the former, but oh, well. This is one of those fundamentally potato/potahto issues, and I don't particularly mind the choices others make, as long as I'm free to make my own.

Too bad I'm not, technically, but that's a screed for another day... and at least I've got the good people at MPP who're working on that for me. If you agree, why not donate a couple bucks in Sagan's honor?
posted by vorfeed at 12:30 PM on November 16, 2009


I don't like the "taste" of alcohol either.

No beer for me. But if you insist, I'll have a Chocolate Choo-Choo. In tribute to the Cosmic Conductor, Carl Sagan.

Joining the "enjoyment of alcohol" derail, I didn't find any non-girl drinks that I enjoyed until a few years ago. Guinness can be wonderful, Negro Modelo is tasty, and Spaten Optimator is fantastic. Many beers still taste foul to me, and there are some wines I really don't enjoy. In the wide world of fermented craftiness, there's bound to be something you enjoy. Don't dive in looking to get drunk, search around for something you enjoy to consume. Because consuming enough of anything to forget some period of time is not all that useful. If you forgot the night's escapades, why not just go to bed early?
posted by filthy light thief at 12:33 PM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I will never smoke weed. I live with two potsmokers, and having met all of their potsmoker friends, I am here to tell you that pot makes you stupid (and I realize their may be a few exceptions, I just haven't met them yet).
posted by tadellin at 12:37 PM on November 16, 2009


Your theory is correct. Carl Sagan was mega dumb.
posted by billysumday at 12:41 PM on November 16, 2009 [7 favorites]


Yeah, everyone I know who smokes pot is really stupid.

Including my physicist friend who works at Fermi. Yeah, be blows up particles.

Don't forget my other friend who is using math to cure cancer. CANCER!

Lots of people get high. The dumb ones are dumb, and the smart ones are smart. Which one has become the face of drug use.
posted by muddgirl at 12:48 PM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Carl Sagan is my pro-drug.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:53 PM on November 16, 2009


I bet James Burke also smoked some weed.
posted by elmono at 12:57 PM on November 16, 2009


sorry, maybe he still does.
posted by elmono at 12:59 PM on November 16, 2009


muddgirl: "Lots of people get high. The dumb ones are dumb, and the smart ones are smart."

There are exceptions. Users of model airplane glue / thinners / solvents don't tend to stay smart for very long.

And I feel pretty OK with knocking some stuff that is really bad for you like PCP or meth before I try them, no matter how good they may be able to make me feel.

But weed or alcohol, or even most anything else? Whatever, I don't judge anyone for using it in moderation, but I request that you don't judge me for not wanting to use them most of the time either. I'll do acid or mushrooms once every few years or so but sometimes I go to a meetup and I just don't feel like having any alcohol. I don't see why it has to be some kind of big deal whether I am drinking or not (and for the most part nobody tries to make it a big deal, granted).
posted by idiopath at 1:11 PM on November 16, 2009


and for the most part nobody tries to make it a big deal, granted

Was I making it a big deal? I'll turn it around. Lots of people don't get high. The dumb ones are dumb and the smart ones are smart. Which one has become the face of not-using-drugs?
posted by muddgirl at 1:13 PM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


No, you were not making it a big deal, I was talking about my experience at mefi meetups, not your attitude, in the last part there.
posted by idiopath at 1:15 PM on November 16, 2009


crayz: Alcohol is one of the least enjoyable and most damaging recreational drugs around.

My pint of homebrew and I respectfully disagree. Two or three pints later, though, I might come 'round to your way of thinking.

...I'd just no longer be able to tell you so in a coherent manner
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:19 PM on November 16, 2009


Oh I know. I guess I'm just wondering what part of my defense of stoners can be misconstrued to be an attack on people who don't get stoned? I have been, at various points in my life, both. It's not a moral issue, although I guess some people in both camps like to make it one.
posted by muddgirl at 1:28 PM on November 16, 2009


I got high like Sagan

Hipster t-shirt, stat!
posted by CynicalKnight at 1:30 PM on November 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


And I feel pretty OK with knocking some stuff that is really bad for you like PCP or meth before I try them, no matter how good they may be able to make me feel.

Meth is not a good recreational drug, but it's not all bad. Amphetamines have their use, particularly with ADD and sleep disorders.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:44 PM on November 16, 2009


muddgirl: "It's not a moral issue, although I guess some people in both camps like to make it one."

There are similarities to me between this and religious differences, and I guess on a similar not I could care less which side you take but don't force it to be my side too. Your religion / lack of religion doesn't bother me until you are using it to write laws that affect me and your getting high / not getting high is not my problem unless you expect me to do / not do the same drugs.
posted by idiopath at 1:50 PM on November 16, 2009


krinklyfig: "Amphetamines have their use, particularly with ADD and sleep disorders"

but you wouldn't use the kind of hillbilly bathtub meth that rots your teeth and makes your hair fall out for that
posted by idiopath at 1:51 PM on November 16, 2009


DU: i'm with you on the booze front. "here, taste this, it doesn't taste like alcohol." but it does. i get that it tastes like a different alcohol than the last one you were sure would turn me around, but it still tastes like alcohol. funny thing, huh? it's like trying to get non coffee drinkers to taste all the subtle nuances between different roasts, or similar roasts from different roasters. it don't mean shit to them.

i'll smoke some weed though. weed and a horror movie. shit yeah.

and coffee. really good coffee. sweet ambrosia.
posted by rainperimeter at 2:05 PM on November 16, 2009


Hi everyone! I think alcoholic beverages are fucking delicious. See you later!
posted by brain_drain at 2:08 PM on November 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


On the topic of intoxicating substances as evaluated by intellectuals, I was fond of Heinz Von Foerster's description of using marijuana, though I found out about it through students of his and am finding no citation of it online. Walter Benjamin's writings on his hash usage are definitely worth looking in to.
posted by idiopath at 2:17 PM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


but you wouldn't use the kind of hillbilly bathtub meth that rots your teeth and makes your hair fall out for that

No, but I'm talking about the use of amphetamines, not the quality of the source. I also mentioned that meth is not a good recreational drug, and the psychiatrist is not going to prescribe "hillbilly bathtub meth."
posted by krinklyfig at 2:49 PM on November 16, 2009


Well guys, look where DU's maligned comment took us.
I don't know many people who admit they liked the taste of alcohol when they first tried it, but clearly many people eventually come to love it or can at least bear it for the positive results.
Well, it takes some time to develop a taste for anything, right? Does anyone love sardines the first time either? Maybe it's an old wives' tale, but I thought it took 7 tries to develop a taste for a new food/drink., said mrgrimm.
See the sublime loop we've taken? This is what Sagan is discussing in the essay - the complete, instant appreciation of a new and wondrous thing when you're high.

I bet Sagan drank cider and wolfed down sardines as he enjoyed his harmonies and counterpoints.
posted by krilli at 3:05 PM on November 16, 2009


I'm a little disappointed in this thread because there isn't a discussion of getting high in space.

Knife-hits of hash on the ISS anyone?

(NOTE: The reason for the knife-hits is that open flames just don't work well in deep space, and bud for a vaporizer takes up too much space and weight)
posted by fuq at 3:27 PM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I hope that when they finally and inevitably legalize the stuff we'll be able to buy schwag alongside the super-potent hydroponic stuff. One hit of the kind and I'm couch-bound and wearing my cement hat for the whole evening. But a little schwag and I'm sunny and carefree and still able to speak in complete sentences. I just can't tolerate the sticky-icky. It's TOO stoney. I have shit to DO, you know?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:28 PM on November 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


PS: I'm actually not high right now. memail me if you have a solid connect
posted by fuq at 3:28 PM on November 16, 2009


That said, I think for people who have had very positive experiences with alcohol/drugs, its hard to hear about someone missing out on such an experience because of what is perceived as an otherwise minor hurdle or miscalculation of a benefits/risk ratio.

This is what I imagine it's like to be an evangelical christian. Or evangelical anything, I guess.
posted by deliquescent at 3:29 PM on November 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Knife-hits of hash on the ISS anyone?

Sure. You got the hash, right?
posted by krinklyfig at 3:38 PM on November 16, 2009


I'm a little bit of space nerd who will always be disappointed that I'll not get travel off-planet. Carl Sagan has been a idol of mine since I was a child but I only learned of his usage a few years ago. He then really became an Idol of mine! Watching Cosmos: A Personal Voyage while using had taken me on that voyage to space I always wanted.
posted by _paegan_ at 5:23 PM on November 16, 2009


but you wouldn't use the kind of hillbilly bathtub meth that rots your teeth and makes your hair fall out for that

Thanks to the DEA making you feel like a criminal for buying cold medicine most of the methamphetamine in the USA today isn't hillbilly bathtub meth. It's pure Mexican cartel meth made in a lab. Stronger, cheaper, and backed up by an army of evil dudes with automatic weapons.

This is an improvement?
posted by Justinian at 5:37 PM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I dislike;

Alcohol
Cocaine
Meth
Salvia

I like;

LSD
Mushrooms
Ecstacy

I LOVE;

Marijuana
Ketamine


In theory, of course. I'd never give a resume of all my drug use to a bunch of strangers.
posted by Bageena at 6:53 PM on November 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is an improvement?

What it means is that speed on the street is back to the old "biker meth" formula, and the bikers dealt that type of speed for many decades, since the 1940s. That is fascinating that it came back around, but in such a roundabout way, though if there is a desire in this market not being met I'm sure there is a strong incentive to fill it, so this is almost predictable.

In a way, for the users it's an improvement, if only because it's less likely to be contaminated by an amateur chemist. Although coming across the border it surely gets stepped on a few times, and I have no idea what those guys cut that with. It definitely brings the possibility of more violence into the transactions of getting the meth to the user.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:23 PM on November 16, 2009


krilli: You understand photosynthesis ... but have you understood photosynthesis when you were high?

This is exactly right. I never used to smoke much dope (thinks, "Or did I?"), but the week after final exams is absolutely the best time. Your brain is bursting with information and connections just waiting to carry you off to new perspectives. Although, sadly, I don't think I understand photosynthesis anymore...
posted by sneebler at 7:35 PM on November 16, 2009


You know what I think tastes bad? Melon. Pretty much all varieties. But it may be more of a textural thing, because it turns out I really like the cantaloupe aqua fresca at my favorite taqueria.

Carl Sagan, on the other hand, is delicious. And hey, have you ever really looked at your hands? I mean, really looked at them?
posted by padraigin at 8:39 PM on November 16, 2009


Users of model airplane glue / thinners / solvents don't tend to stay smart for very long.

Believe it or not, I'd be interested in a citation that supports this assertion. The lead in gasoline is a powerful poison, but I know lots of folks who dabbled with glue in their teens, to no ill effect.

Most other drug-related popular wisdom is suspect, why not this?
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 6:54 AM on November 17, 2009




Looks like you picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue, eh?
posted by Justinian at 12:55 PM on November 17, 2009


Whew. Good news all around.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 5:05 PM on November 17, 2009


LOLSAGAN
posted by idiopath at 10:05 PM on November 17, 2009


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