Stoner Psychobabble

Reena gave us three sentences to ponder today, those being, “His thought process was on so many levels that he gave himself a phobia of heights.”  “Random words in front of other random words create a random sentence” and “I come from a tribe of head-hunters, so I will never need a shrink.”  This made me think about a flexible record of Neal Cassady babbling on about who knows what that was included inside of a Grateful Dead album that I bought.  Neal was a fast-talking whirligig of a man who’d been the real-life inspiration for Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road book.  Neal was often shirtless and it seemed like he was always high on speed while he danced around to the music of the Grateful Dead.  I have no idea what happened to that record and I only listened to it a few times, as it was mostly stoner psychobabble, that was not particularly coherent.

I am pretty sure that the stuff Neal Cassady said, probably made sense to him inside of his own mind, but for anyone else it must have been hard to follow along.  I found a recording of Neal online, but I don’t think that it is the same one that I had.  This one was included in The Dead Book: A Social History Of The Grateful Dead published in 1973 by Hank Harrison where Neal was at the grand opening of the Straight Theater in September 1967.

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #162 – three obscure sentences which Reena says that we can build our piece on.

Welcome Back to Light

A portion of the Grateful Dead’s only Top Ten charting album In the Dark was actually recorded with the lights out, but this segment never made onto the album.  The album was recorded in an unusual fashion, because the band was constantly touring and they had a lot of the new material that they had been playing live for several years, so they decided to record the basic tracks live on stage in an empty auditorium.  Playing without an audience just to themselves was an experiment for them.

Drummer Mickey Heart said that they set their equipment up onstage, but there was no audience and as they were looking at each other, he came up with the idea to turn the lights off.  He told the equipment guy, “On my signal, turn the lights off”.  Mickey didn’t tell anybody else, about his joke.  When the signal was given, the lights went off and the guitarists Garcia, Weir and Lesh started tuning up, but they couldn’t see their fretboards and Mickey and Bill Kreutzmann the other drummer were not able to see their cymbals or their drums, so this became complete chaos!  It got dangerous, as nobody knew what they were doing, but everyone seemed to be laughing.  When the electricity was turned back on, they all stopped and looked at each other and laughed their brains out.  Mickey said, “Yeah, it’s great to be playing music in the dark” and the practical joke that Mickey played on his colleagues is how the album got its name.

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #161 – Welcome back to light!

A Long Way Down

Reena is offering us a situation this week where, “You go down in a lift that doesn’t stop for hours. When it finally opens, what do you see?”  This made me think about ‘Hell in a Bucket’ the Grateful Dead song from their 1987 In the Dark twelfth studio album that is sung by Weir and was written by Bob Weir, John Barlow and Brent Mydland.  The album reached #6 on The Billboard 200 due to the popularity of ‘Touch of Grey’ which peaked at # 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and eventually this album went Platinum.  ‘Touch of Grey’ was the first Grateful Dead song to have an accompanying music video.  The song ‘Hell in a Bucket’ got to #3 on Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and it also reached #3 on the Hot 100.  The video was directed by the longtime Dead Family videographer Len Dell’amico who co-directed the film Dead Ahead, So Far along with Jerry Garcia, and Len also directed the music video for ‘Throwing Stones’.  This is not my favorite Grateful Dead song, but it is my favorite Grateful Dead video, because it is so much fun to watch.

The ‘Hell in a Bucket’ video begins in a smoky bar that was called New George’s located at 840 Fourth Street in San Rafael, which the Grateful Dead rented out.  They all had a lot of fun making this video, as it ended up being a family affair using the drummer’s wife Shelley Kreutzmann, the keyboardists wife Lisa Mydland and Garcia’s third daughter Trixie as dancing devils, all dressed up in high heels and wearing a lot of makeup and some of the crew were dressed as riffraff.  The Grateful Dead office staff played the demons in the nightclub scene, managers and roadies were rioting and dancing in the bar scene, so their entire organization got to be a part of this while Bobby lip-synced the music video.

The video opens up with Jerry Garcia sitting at the bar wearing a red flannel shirt facing the crowd and strumming his beloved guitar named Tiger, which Doug Irwin took six years to make for him.  Jerry looks happy in his shades as he is sitting next to a girl with a tattoo.  The bikers all seem to be lively and you see this girl slap a guy in his face that is playing pinball.  It fades back to Jerry and you see a duck walking around on the bar behind him wearing a leather collar.  As the camera shifts away from him, Bob Weir has a surprised look on his face while he is wearing a lavender Miami Vice blazer.

Bob starts singing and the guy sitting next to him gets smashed in the head with a bottle that knocks him to the ground.  Bob keeps shoving this picture of a girl in the guy’s face, because he thinks this guy might like her.  The girl in the picture (an unidentified actress who to my best guess might be Janet Soto-Mayor Knudsen, one of the bookkeeping staff) has wavy hair and she is dressed up in black leather looking like a dominatrix standing outside these double doors and when they swing open a chopper rides out and continues down a carpeted hallway.  Weir picks the guy up off the floor and someone breaks a wooden chair over his head and then the guy starts fighting with somebody else while the bartender is washing glasses and watching.  Bob is in a different room laying on a canopy bed that is covered with a zebra pattern bedspread and the dominatrix is on the right and above the bed on the wall there is a painting of Catherine the Great.

The girl climbs on the bed and Bob falls onto the floor and she walks up to him putting her leather boots in his face, and as the camera pans up from her boots to her fishnet garter stockings and runs all the way up her body, you get the feeling that some type of S&M bondage scene might happen.  Now the video shifts to what looks like a big old pink Cadillac driving down the street.  The band’s two drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Heart who are known as the rhythm devils are both wearing devil costumes sitting in the front seat with Bill driving and Micky fumbling around with a map, while Bob is sitting in the back seat with the same girl and he is holding a drink.  Kreutzmann holds up the map and it looks like he is directing Billy to HELL.

Back to the bedroom where Brent Mydland is playing a piano in a red and white striped vest and the girl is holding a riding crop standing behind Weir who appears to be tied to a chair with chains and there is a pig sniffing his feet, a goat wandering around and that duck is on the bed.  The girl circles around Bob, Brent checks her out, Bob gazes at the painting and now he is free of the chair.  Bob and the girl circle around the chair and then the picture on the wall changes to a move of naked people with their private parts covered in black tape.  Bob and the girl are both on the bed and he is pouring champagne with a tiger patiently watching.  It looks like they finally reached hell as several pitchforks appear and the devil is dressed in a black robe with a red cap and 4 girls dressed in red start dancing.  Bob pops in singing in front of them still dressed in the lavender blazer and flames are shooting into the air.

Bob is back in the bedroom wearing a yellow guinea tee shirt and the girl knocks him down to the bed with her riding crop.  Back to the Cadillac where Micky pulls Billy across the front seat to look at the map and Bill has to let go of the wheel.  The duck is back on the bar and Bob is showing that picture to it.  A magician is pointing at something, the duck is sitting at the piano and there is a juggler and a guy swallowing fire.  Jerry Garcia is still sitting in his chair at the bar and then Bob is sitting in the back of the car with that dammed duck.  The duck sticks his bill in Bob’s drink and it goes back for a second helping.  Micky is playing with a pitchfork and Bill can’t sit still any longer, so he stands up while driving the car.  Bob is back in the bed with the girl pouring champagne into a glass boot and the tiger has moved to the floor.  Mickey is holding the freaking duck and Bob is in the back seat with the girl.

The pitchforks are all out now in the hell scene and then it goes back to the bar where the girl is wearing sun glasses and looks like she is going to hit somebody with her riding crop.  A guy is holding a small snake and the magician is chatting with the piano player.  Back in the bedroom, the fire eater seems to be enjoying himself and then it is back to the car for a second with Micky still holding the duck and Bob in the back with the girl.  The bass player Phil Lesh makes an appearance in the bar wearing a brown colored scarf around his neck and a girl hugs him and then some other girl reaches out to kiss him.

Back to the car where the duck is sitting on Bob’ lap.  In the bedroom, the pig is moving around in the picture with black tape on its eyes.  In the bar, the duck is back at the piano and the juggler is still doing his thing.  The video shows a Grateful Dead concert with them performing this song on stage, and Bobby is wearing his trademark shorts, before it switches back to the pinball machine in the bar and then the drunk duck is flapping its wings.  Bob Weir had the idea about having a duck in the video, and before they knew it, they had a drunk duck on their hands, as he got pretty hammered.

Well I was drinking last night with a biker
And I showed him a picture of you
I said “pal, get to know her, you’ll like her”
Seemed like the least I could do

‘Cause when he’s charging his chopper
Up and down your carpeted halls
You will think me by contrast quite proper
Never mind how I stumble and fall
Never mind how I stumble and fall

Chorus
You imagine sipping champagne from your boot
For a taste of your elegant pride
I may be going to hell in a bucket
But at least I’m enjoying the ride
At least I’m enjoying the ride
Yeah at least I’m enjoying the ride

Ahh miss sweetie little soft-core pretender
Somehow baby got hard as it gets
With her black leather chrome spiked suspenders
And her chair and her whip and her pets

Well we know you’re the reincarnation
Of the ravenous Catherine the Great
And we know how you love your ovations
And the Z-rated scenes you create
And the Z-rated scenes you create

[chorus]

You analyze me, attempt to despise me
And you laugh when I stumble and fall
There may come a day I will dance on your grave
If unable to dance I will crawl across it
Unable to dance I will crawl
Yeah, unable to dance I’ll crawl

You must really consider the circus
‘Cause it just might be your kind of zoo
I can’t think of a place that’s more perfect
For a person as perfect as you

And it’s not like I’m leaving you lonely
‘Cause I wouldn’t know where to begin
But I know that you’ll think of me only
When the snakes come marching in
When the snakes come marching in

[chorus]

Ride, ride, ride, ride
At least I’m enjoying the ride
Ride, ride, ride, ride
At least I’m enjoying the ride
Ride, ride, ride
At least I’m enjoying the ride

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge 160 – situation about a long ride down on a lift.

Naked Vampires Looking into Mirrors

Mirrors reflect the soul and because vampires are the undead, they have no souls as their soul has passed on to the next world.  For this reason, vampires have trouble shaving. 

In the Cream song ‘Swlabr’ aka She Was Like A Bearded Rainbow, the picture has a mustache and you’ve got that rainbow feel, but the rainbow has a beard.

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge 159 – framed on the wall.

Being Singular

The Liar Paradox is an argument that arrives at a contradiction by reasoning about a Liar Sentence, which becomes an exhausting exercise to determine truth.  For instance, if I say, “Everything that I say is a lie” and if I am actually telling the truth, then I can’t be lying.  If I am lying when I say this, then I just told the truth, so this becomes an exercise in futility.

In mathematics, a singularity is in general a point at which a given mathematical object is not defined, or a point where the mathematical object ceases to be well-behaved in some particular way, such as the lack of differentiability or analyticity.  According to science, a singularity is a point of infinite density and infinitesimal volume, at which space and time become infinitely distorted according to the theory of General Relativity.  The big bang theory states that a gravitational singularity existed at the beginning of the universe.  The technological singularity is a hypothetical point in time at which technological growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible, resulting in unforeseeable changes to human civilization.  This technological singularity is thought to become a signal for the end of the human era, as the new superintelligence AI would continue to upgrade itself and would advance technologically at an incomprehensible rate and take over everything. 

History is full of cases in which a new and groundbreaking technology, or a collection of such technologies, completely changes people’s lives.  The change is often so dramatic that people who’ve lived before the technological leap have a very hard time understanding how the subsequent generations think.  To the people before the change, the new generation may as well be aliens in their way of thinking and seeing the world.   The Singularity is an era in which our intelligence will become increasingly nonbiological and trillions of times more powerful than it is today, becoming the dawning of a new civilization that will enable us to transcend our biological limitations and amplify our creativity.

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge 158 – Singularity.

I See Naked People

“I don’t know about you doc, but when I look at this picture, all I see are naked people.  I am prepared for this as my mind is always forming pictures of naked bodies.  I am used to seeing my wife naked and watching her undress, but when I see new people naked, it always seems more exciting, because of the forbidden taboo aspect.  These people are stripped of their identity, but they seem to be comfortable in their own skin, as they hide their perfect bodies behind a web like curtain, however they make no attempt to cover up or scramble to find their clothes.  They just seem to enjoy putting it all out there for my viewing pleasure.  I think that they have a wish to be free, but their desire for attention and their craving to shock others, makes me think that they are sexually frustrated.”

“Mr. Jones” the doctor said, “it is good that you have come in for medical treatment, as you are one sick puppy.  Your abnormal sexual urges probably stem from all that time where you were locked up in prison and this allowed your pent-up insecurities to manifest.  I suggest that you start trying to communicate better with your wife, by telling her all of your fantasies.  Tell her what you like and be playful when you are in bed together, so you can both enjoy the experience.  With a little practice and some mental preparation, it should get a lot easier for you, but in the meantime, I am giving you a prescription for these little blue pills.”

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge 154 – picture background for a story.

Thoughts on Words

Helen Keller knew then that ‘w-a-t-e-r’ meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over her hand but being able to say this word on March 3rd, 1887 awakened her soul, gave it light, hope, joy, setting her free!  We cannot see thoughts or ideas, but they have a way of becoming words, and when Descartes was contemplating his own existence, he said “I think therefore, I am.”  The human brain controls the vocal folds of the larynx, or voice box and the lip, tongue, and throat muscles, which are needed to produce sounds.  Brain cells located in the dorsal laryngeal motor cortex area encode the command signals that are sent to our mouths, and our muscles move in response to these signals so we can produce the correct words relating to our thoughts.

I imagine that words can spur thoughts, especially when you are trying to say something that is stuck on the tip of your tongue.  Saying phrases like , “hold on, wait a minute, or I almost got it” can improve your concentration and help you break the disconnect between what you are trying to say and what you are thinking.  Since I am not a brain surgeon, I have no idea how this interaction works.

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge prompt 153 – where she asks three questions.  1. How do my thoughts get processed into words?  2. Or do my words spur thoughts? 3. How do they interact?

Tell Me the Truth

“I am a museum full of art, and a deck full of music, but I can’t take any more of your lies Mr. President.  You say that you didn’t want to cause panic, so you kept the dangers of Covid-19 away from the people and told us that it was going to magically disappear.  I am not a simple-minded person and I was able to handle the 9/11 tragedies and that was a rough period in my life, because I was out of work, but I did not panic.  You say that a vaccine is coming soon, but only about 25% of vaccines that enter human testing end up receiving approval and being marketed to the public.  I have lost all trust in everything that you say and this vaccine will never be effective without truth.”

AstraZeneca placed their Covid-19 vaccine on hold this week and they said that this trial is under investigation adding that it’s not at all unprecedented saying this is a routine action.  A volunteer developed a neurological problem contracting transverse myelitis which is a rare inflammation of the spinal cord after receiving the vaccine.  Most experts have been saying that a hold on a trial is uncommon in large clinical trials, but not unheard of.  This is just one of about 160 such experimental drugs currently being tested to prevent coronavirus infection, but the Oxford vaccine was part of an exclusive group of just nine drugs that had progressed to the Phase 3 testing stage.

“I don’t want to be treated like a baby, like I can’t handle what is what is happening and I don’t want to be talked down to by you, because you think that you are more superior than me Mr. President.  Lay it on the table and be honest, give me the good news along with the bad news.  After 9/11 our country was united and we all worked together, but all you have done is divide us and get the rest of the world to hate us, except for your good buddy Vladimir Putin who you let do whatever he wants.  You kept asking Americans to remain calm, while the virus spread across the country and now you want to blame Bob Woodward.  All you have ever done since you have been in office was to spread panic with your fake news.”

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge prompt 152 – “I am a museum full of art, and a deck full of music, but …..”

Self-Relevance

People go around judging things in this world where it seems like everything is competing for our attention and if something is seen as being arousing, this would warrant further attention and deeper evaluation.  The word “gun” may have negative connotations for some people, but it might have positive connotations for others.   Names are abstract self-representations, but you are not supposed to say the words “bomb” or “terrorist” when you are flying on a plane, as this could upset others and cause panic, which might result in you being removed from a flight, or even placed on the no-fly list.

Joe Flynn played the part of Captain Wallace B. Binghamton aka “Old Leadbottom” (due to a bullet wound in his rear end) on the popular television show McHale’s Navy, which was known for being more historically accurate than its contemporary series, F Troop.  Lieutenant Commander Quinton McHale would always cause trouble for him and he would say, “Why me?  Why is it always me?”

I have no idea why this song ended up being in this post, as it has no relevance to anything that I was writing about.

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge prompt 151 – Is it always Me?

High‐Tech Terrorist

Untouched books crowded his shelves, shiny leather spines and faded first editions, meticulously dusted and never read.  The books were just illusions to impress others, and they made his life bearable, because they impressed his friends.  He had no intention of ever reading any of them, as knowing too much would take away his individualism, and his sense of style.  He was as phony as a three-dollar bill, but what nobody knew was that the book shelves were hiding a secret passage to his panic room.  He was not sorry for all of the lies that he feed to the press and he hoped that Trump would exonerate him one day.

They finally caught up to Julian Assange and his long-time friend Pamela Anderson felt he would not survive an extradition from the U.K. to the U.S.  He breached his bail in June 2012 and took refuge in the Embassy of Ecuador in London.  In January 2018, Julian was granted Ecuadorian citizenship.  Assange was arrested in 2019 after being evicted from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had sought refuge to avoid being sent to Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault.  The 48-year-old Australian has been indicted in the U.S. on 18 charges over the publication of classified documents.  Prosecutors say he conspired with U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to crack a password, hack into a Pentagon computer and release secret diplomatic cables and military files on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Trump stood on his soap box and threw a conniption saying that he loves Wikileaks and he publicly encouraged Russians to hack Hillary’s emails, but now he changed his mind and he is currently saying, “I know nothing about Wikileaks”.  Assange chose to play around in espionage and the First Amendment doesn’t give anyone a license to jeopardize national security, especially an unsavory character that is using dubious methods.  Julian has set a bad precedent for the future of the internet and he made his bed, so he should have to sleep in it.  Whether he is found guilty or innocent, doesn’t really bother me, but I am interested in what the final decision is about him.  Many people think he is a good guy who got a bad deal, but I disagree as united we fell to the hackers.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompts – Exonerate, for the Daily Spur prompt – Feed, for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday hosted by Dylan, for FOWC with Fandango – Survive, for Jibber Jabber by Sue – Box, for August Monthly Writing Prompts – United we fell, for Ragtag Community – Lies, for Reena’s Exploration Challenge prompt 150 – Illusions, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Play Sorry Final and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Conniption.