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Tao te Lin of a psychedelic trip to Egypt (a psychogeographic history of drug use)


5 Mar 2021> Since getting vaccinated yesterday we feel supercharged, probly psychosomatic. Sorta like when we got a gamma-globulin shot once back in the late '80s before we went to Indonesia.

6 Mar> Saw The Help, which was really dumb... white savior fantasy. If weed known it was written by a white woman + was fictional we wd of never watched it. Then we saw The Astronaut which was also pretty boring. We've also bin watching Better Call Saul season 5. We're having to watch it on DVD since who knows when season 5 will be on Netflix in the U.S... we got ahead in Italy where they don't have this yearlong lag for shows on AMC + other networks that make u wait til the next season is released (+ season 6 of BCS is delayed cuz of covid). We're also into the 4th season of The Durrells, which is worth it for the animals alone.

7 Mar> Been reading Trip: Psychedelics, Alienation and Change by Tao Lin. We've never bin too into in Tao Lin's fiction (tho we never tried Taipei) but we dig his art + are intrigued by him as a person + this is autobiographical... or at least it chronicles his history of drug use. It's mostly inspired by Terrence McKenna, who Lin became obsessed with in 2012. Trippy thing is we had an extra copy of Flight Into Egypt by Timothy Ely (we ordered a copy + after not receiving it for 2 months reported it missing + then the other copy arrived) that we resently gave to a friend (the artistic ½ of MM/DD/2020) + MM was like "who's the freak who wrote the psychobabble intro?" + we said that my friend is Terrence McKenna + we also told him that's why we don't read introductions, specially w/ a book like Flight Into Egypyt which wd of been much bedder w/ no writing or explanation, just images + the asemic text.

[taking a page from Flight Into Egypt]

We 1st herd of Timothy Ely when we lived in Rome in 2012 but cd never get his books there + we forgot about him til recently. Not sure when we 1st knew about Terrence McKenna, seams maybe our mom had sum of his books. Our 1st mention of McKenna here on 5cense was in 2008 where we quoted him as saying "Animals are something invented by plants to move seeds around" + then in 2011 in our post about The Voynich Manuscript (a.k.a. MS 408) we were watching a youtube video where McKenna said he learned of MS 408 from Ralph Abraham, who was 1 of our mentors/ math professors at UCSC + come to think of it perhaps we crossed paths w/ McKenna back then as our fhesis at UCSC was on phyllotaxis (plant morphology), tho it seems (googling now) McKenna's botanical lectures at UCSC were 5 years after we'd left. We're writing like this (giving specific dates, etc.) cuz this is how Tao writes, like he himself is a test subject for experiments he performs on himself. Our last communication w/ Lin was at the beginning of the pandemic (March 25–30, 2020) when we expressed an intrest in buying sum of his art, but he was in an airbnb in Hawaii + said he'd get back to us + never did. Our last communication before that was on June 13, 2019 when he bought sum books.

We always associated Tao w/ that certain numbness of the millenial generation that we never really cd relate to cuz we were born 1–2 generations before. We always assumed his demeanor was cuz of adderall or some anti-depressant, but evidently (according to his drug use timeline) he didn't "encounter" adderall until mid-2009 + most of our real-world interaction w/ him was before 2009, so this must just be his natural way of being. On Sept 13, 2009 we saw Tao Lin read w/ Nicholas Baker + Ben Marcus + afterwords Ben Marcus came up to us + asked if Tao Lin was for real or weather this was an act (his monotone deadpan delivery) + we said that was how Tao Lin always was/is. It's possible he may have been on adderall but to us he seemed like the Tao Lin we knew before 2009. Don't think we've had any real-world interaction w/ Tao after his "recovery" + entrance into his psychedelic phase. We've learned some of his drug exploits thru Gian + used to go to his Instagram site sometimes to look at pictures of Dudu (his family's dog), but now Instagram doesn't let u look at Instagram unless you're on Instagram (sounds like the argument that u don't know what a drug is like til you've tried that drug... what does that say about social media?)

It's a trip to us that Tao wd find inspiration in Terrence McKenna, 1 of these figures we associate w/ our mom + her hippy friends. Guess these things skip a generation. We usually avoided the things our mom was intrested in (drugs + new age crap) but we did steal looks at sum of her druggy books by the likes of McKenna + Carlos Castaneda + we enjoy movies like Altered States (1980), which we rewatched last year. Our personal history of drug use is not nearly as intresting as Tao's. We dabbled in cannabis in jr high school but it was a drug we associated w/ our mom + we were living in Mexico at the time so usually we were paranoid of being busted by the federales. We never tried any other drugs (besides alcohol + coffee) + then in high school we became a straight edge punk so didn't even drink from the ages of 18-23. We've always drank coffee, a few times we tried quitting for a few weeks but life just seemed a bit duller. We started drinking alcohol as a grad student + now we probly drink too much, tho since 2021 we only drink on weekends + even then just a few drinks usually makes us feel crappy cuz it aggravates our Ménière's disease. We have nothing again cannabis but have been reluctant to get it before cuz we don't want to support the drug cartels. We asked Gian once if such a thing as "fair-trade" cannabis exists + he just laughed at us, but bet Tao wd know the answer to this question? We've tried twice to grow weed but failed on both accounts (the 1st time 1 of the plants was male so the female plants went to seed + the 2nd time the plants were hip-high + looking good but then we left town + the friend that was sposed to water the plants couldn't figure out how to get our lock open so the plants dried up before budding (we still have the leaves but haven't done anything w/ them). On trips to Washington, Oregon + Colorado we've purchased THC/CBD edibles but we always forget to take them + the ones we have now are so stale u can barely chew them + they seem like they've lost their potency. We have some buds gathering dust in a draw somewhere that we got when we 1st moved back to D.C. In short, we're failed stoners. Lost in all the election drama of Nov 2020 was that DC decriminalized shrooms + we've seen sites that "sell" shroom chocolate bars (via donation) but we just haven't gotten around to it... maybe 1 day soon as mushrooms have always been something we're curious to try. We're also somewhat curious to try LSD, specially after watching that documentary about Cary Grant + LSD. DMT we'd never heard of til reading Tao's book, not sure that sounds very intresting. Anyways, the books is intresting so far (we're on page 189), lets us vicariously experience these drugs thru Tao.

8 Mar> Walked w/ our bedder-½ to get her shot (speaking of drugs). We had to go to Maryland (10+ miles RT) to get it since "educators in higher education" are on the list there but not D.C. She got a J + J jab at CVS, not as effective as our Pfizer but only 1 shot + good enough for all in tents + porpoises. So in a few weeks we'll be able to do things like go to Trader Joe's or a restraunt. Almsost exactly 1 year since all this madness began (WHO declared covid a global pandemic on March 11, 2020). On Mar 7, 2020 we saw Nat Baldwin perform, which is the last concert we saw (we had tickets for Algiers @ Black Cat a few nights later which we decided to skip). Around March 8 or 9, 2020 we ate @ Little Serow, which was our last indoor dining experience. 1 entire year of not leaving this microcosmic diamond district of D.C.

858 <(current)> 860> Shaving the back of a Hyperallergic mixtape economy of words
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