I’m currently reading the malleus maleficarum. I must say, damn, those Catholics were damaged on a fundamental level. Let me quote a little passage here:
“The third precaution to be observed in this tenth action is that the hair should be shaved from every part of her body. The reason for this is the same as that for stripping her of her clothes, which we have already mentioned; for in order to preserve their power of silence they are in the habit of hiding some superstitious object in their clothes or in their hair, or even in the most secret parts of the their bodies which must not be named.”
So, basically it’s uncouth to mention a vagina in print, but shaving a woman from head to toe, only to later burn her, is okay? I’m not going anywhere with this. I just wanted to say it.
On to the drunks!
The other night I watched a special on the History channel about Leonardo Da Vinci. At one point the voice over guy made it a point of saying how Da Vinci’s inability to finish projects would today be diagnosed as ADD or bipolarism. That made me kind of sick to hear. When thinking of one of the greatest thinkers in human history the words “deficit” and “disorder” don’t really spring to mind, for me at least. That got me thinking about my old buddies, Bukowski, Kerouac, Hemmingway and the litany of other great writers and artists when fell into the drink.
There is a certain connection between the urge to create and the need to dull your senses; call it genius’ disease, ADD or simple depression, but it exists. What would the world of the creative look like if the modern “medicines” existed when all those guys were still writing? Hemmingway would be drugged up on Prozac for alcohol and spousal abuse. Kerouac would be in a drunk tank, head full of Valium and pseudo-republican ideals. Da Vinci would have ended up waiting tables in some Venecian cafe, wandering half conscious, with a nagging feeling he’d missed something. What about good old Van Gough? He’d have been sedated, locked up and under constant suicide watch, finger paining the walls of his cell.
What is this need to medicate genius? What is the genius’ need to self medicate? What is my need to pose hypothetical questions as a means to further my point? We, as a race, have no answers.
We may not have answers. But we sure as hell have over educated, under-skilled, post graduate jackoffs to wax hypothetical on the soapbox that is the internet. So, here I go. As far as self medication is concerned, I think it comes down to simple quietude. When so much is running through your head in a given moment, you need to quiet those extraneous thoughts to get anything done. What better way to slow down an over stimulated head than a bottle of rot-gut and a pack of unfiltered’s? I sure as hell can’t think of any. Unless you take the Huxley/McKenna approach, then I could name a few melting faces who could point the way.
Frank Sinatra was once quoted as saying: “I feel sorry for people who don’t drink when they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.” That quote has nothing to do with anything; but I like it. So, drink up, shave a witch, talk openly about vagina and you’ll die a good little unmedicated artist. And who knows, maybe in 20 years you’ll be rediscovered by a group of pretentious college kids and gain some form of postmortem notoriety.