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elitemachinery
(@elitemachinery)
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19/04/2020 7:21 am  
Posted by: @kidneyhawk

That purple dust jacket is an old friend of mine.

One of the first editions of AC I ever bought and one which haunts me to this day with its content.I read this volume and felt deeply that there was a deeper and more real world beyond. I still resonate with this. 

I thought i'd lost mine but found it yesterday in a pile of books on my headboard. Along with a few others including "Moonchild."

"Wonderland" i've read twice. Another decent biography of a junkie. Why is it that junkies make such good biographies? AC, Art Pepper, Errol Flynn, Danny Sugarman, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and many more.

more books

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Steven Mancuzzi
(@alayin)
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19/04/2020 11:38 pm  
Posted by: @elitemachinery

 

"Wonderland" i've read twice. Another decent biography of a junkie. Why is it that junkies make such good biographies? AC, Art Pepper, Errol Flynn, Danny Sugarman, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and many more.

more books

In my personal experience, more users are actually fairly dull people. Whatever can be said about excess heightening creativity (and I've met no small number of brilliant artists and musicians who use,) there's not really much that's creative or inspiring about shaky hands, glazed eyes and getting ripped off, y'know? That doesn't  mean there's a long list of writers, artists and filmmakers who were hopelessly addicted, mind you. That just means that genius and addiction isn't necessarily reciprocal. 

One great biography I always like to recommend is "A Life in Pieces" about Alexander Trocchi. Here was this immensely talented writer who only managed to write two absolutely brilliant novels. The rest were cheap pulp erotica. By the end of his life he was reduced to pimping out his wife and painting driftwood in fluorescent paint just to support his habit. A really fascinating mind but.... utterly manipulative and hopeless as a human being.

 


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Serpent 252
(@serpent252)
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20/04/2020 2:30 am  
Posted by: @elitemachinery

AC, Art Pepper, Errol Flynn, Danny Sugarman, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and many more.

@elitemachinery

I'd include to this list of yours two more names: a Saint Thomas De Quincey, and a Saint William S. Burroughs.

In my not so humble opinion, for any person interested in biographies and/or autobiographies this one is highly recommended: Confessions of an English Opium-Eater.

I've read some 20 yrs ago a similar book by a Hungarian physician, who has been addicted both to opiates & to sex. Does anyone know his name?

Posted by: @alayin

In my personal experience, more users are actually fairly dull people.

And in my personal experience, most people (both users & non-users) are actually fairly dull people.


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elitemachinery
(@elitemachinery)
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20/04/2020 3:23 am  
Posted by: @alayin

In my personal experience, more users are actually fairly dull people. Whatever can be said about excess heightening creativity (and I've met no small number of brilliant artists and musicians who use,) there's not really much that's creative or inspiring about shaky hands, glazed eyes and getting ripped off, y'know?

Agreed. It's much easier to stomach the junkie lifestyle in a book rather than in real life. I've known a few. Maybe it has something to do with human beings having a morbid fascination with tragedy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Birth_of_Tragedy

"Nietzsche found in classical Athenian tragedy an art form that transcended the pessimism and nihilism of a fundamentally meaningless world. The Greek spectators, by looking into the abyss of human suffering and affirming it, passionately and joyously affirmed the meaning of their own existence."

 


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Steven Mancuzzi
(@alayin)
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20/04/2020 4:23 am  

@elitemachinery I've met dozens of junkies in my life. And it's not necessarily based on an attraction to tragedy or decay as much as simple fundamental hman need. But I'm talking about the average user, not a Basquiat or Bird. If you see them, they're ruled by scoring; just as much as an alcoholic or a compulsive eater. Nothing particularly romantic about being dopesick. Nothing particularly romantic about the DTs or dyslipidemia, either. I should know. I've had alcoholic hallucinations. They suck. Junkies might be lovely people, but they're relatively simple. A non-user might need sunshine or water. A junkie needs junk. It's how you cope with an addiction that's variable.

And I will second the recommendation of de Quincey. If you can find a copy, there's an old Vincent Price film adapted from Confessions that makes for a nice way to kill a Monday night.


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Serpent 252
(@serpent252)
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20/04/2020 6:17 am  

@alayin

I agree with you. If you by "junkies" (the term I don't like at all) mean people who use dope/heroin, yes, they are just regular people; there is nothing romantic or spectacular in their life, most of the time.

I had had a girlfriend which had been addicted from age 14-16; after that she had used from time to time. She was 21 when we've been together (and I've been a few years older). She introduced me to dope which I didn't like (to her disappointed), so we just shared pills, which at the time  have been legal, of course.

I lost a few good friends, both male & female, thanks to dope, but that's life. Some of them had been lovely persons, & I have a lot of good memories of them.


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Steven Mancuzzi
(@alayin)
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20/04/2020 7:33 pm  

@serpent252 I agree that the term has some negative connotations. And there isn't anything particularly glamorous or romantic about the cycle of need. It's just basic fulfillment. I've dated several former users. I even married one. Their statements about the height of their habits were universal. It was no longer a question of getting high. It was was a question of not being sick. And you can't really argue with that line of reason.

AC documented that need in Liner Nikh, and it's not a particularly pleasant or inspiring document. It's stark, matter of fact and ultimately a record of his own failure. I'm happy to say that some of the most hardcore users I've known have successfully stopped after decades  by lord knows what sheer gumption of will. Others got mired in their own black holes and.... well, fentanyl is some evil, evil business. Who knows why Crowley was unsuccessful where a pizza cook or a bass player wasn't. 


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Shiva
(@shiva)
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20/04/2020 8:25 pm  
Posted by: @alayin

... ultimately a record of his own failure.

I enjoyed Diary of a Drug Fiend immensely when I first read it. Over time, I'd still say it's a wonderful novel, but the yama-niyama message about how finding one's Will will result in non-dependency on drugs falls short due to the author's demonstrated failure.

Posted by: @alayin

Who knows why Crowley was unsuccessful where a pizza cook or a bass player wasn't. 

The Shadow knows ...

But so do I. Being a physician with experience in treating such patients, I can firmly declare that ...

People are Different

they have different nevous systems and psychological issues. That's all. Somepeople can actually do some things, and others can't. Anal retentionists keep records and make graphs about this stuff. You get what you get, and then you express your results as a percentage. As they say in Las Vegas and at the Indian Casinos, "The odds are not good."

 


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