Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Stakes is Not All that High

I rediscovered The New York Times Book Review after a year hiatus. Since I don't work at Starbucks anymore (and thus unable to steal the Sunday Times) I haven't had the money or inclination to pick up a hardcopy. And the Book Review, like most things paper, just isn't the same online.

I found a gem last Sunday. Read Anthony Swofford's review of Daniel Pinchbeck's 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl to experience a superb beat down of the outerspace, pointy-nosed Fantasia that most present-day surrealists espouse. Essentially, 2012 is Pinchbeck's follow up to Breaking Open the Head, another trip into the psychedelic minefield. Pinchbeck really does think psychedelics are the answer (where have we heard/felt/thought this before?) and damnit why don't the rest of us? However, Swofford sums up his ass-kicking of the hippy, New Age theodicy thusly:

"Since when can a guy on mushrooms land a punch? And no one likes a global morality bully who's tripping. Whatever happened to just taking drugs?"

ps Do read Aldous Huxley's The Doors of Perception for some real writing on the psychedelic experience. No strings attached.


Anonymous said...

It is shitty that some people believe that the answer to the worlds problemes is to get spun out on drugs, and this guy is a atypical smug shithead who actually thinks he can change the world while tripping his balls off. I do believe my hippie days are over.....


danielpinchbeck said...

hi folks,

no i don't think psychedelics are the answers to the world's problems. Swofford reduced my ideas to a stereotype. The book ranges over a huge number of thinkers and different kinds of evidence for many phenomenon. Isn't it odd that the NY Times chose an ex-marine from the Iraq War to review a book on metaphysical subjects? Isn't it possible they are seeking to close down the discussion because it is threatening to them?


Mandingo said...

Mr. Pinchbeck,
Do you mean to say that they chose Swofford because your book and your ideas are threatening to the New York Times? Or that your ideas are threatening to the general discussion of metaphysics (i.e. drugs have no place in a serious discussion)?
Actually, now that you posted I plan on picking up your book and will review it personally in due time. Thanks for the input.

ps I never knew Swofford was an ex-marine. Not the friendliest reviewer to be sure.

xtrachromosomeconservative said...

I claim no knowledge of psychodelics nor the ability to enhance, influence, mitigate the discussion of metaphysics. That said, I do not understand how a reviewer's being a Marine and having served abroad would preclude them from commenting on these subjects.