It seems with every passing generation the inebriated party-stakes get more and more hardcore. I'm a survivor of the ancient era of psychedelics, LSD, I even roamed all the way to Goa, India, in the early '70s to indulge in mass intoxication fests, crowds of naked, dread-locked hippies dancing ecstatically around a bonfire on Anjuna beach, tripping out of our minds on personal vision quests, hallucinating as if we were sitting on flying carpets, seeing gods in the clouds, drinking from holy grails and wielding magic swords that cut the real world asunder.
The fabric of the mundane universe totally fell away, disintegrated, leaving only our fantastic minds open to imagined worlds which we then skipped thru like children chasing the Pied Piper, some of us being flung into the bonfire, or over cliffs, or into the Arabian Sea, so 'out of it' were we. Yet I made it thru many such pagan initiations, dancing with such exultation, I thought I was a god flown down from the heavens. Yes, I was a fucked-up drug addict and I kind of went mad, and never did come back to earthly reality in all these many years, but it was fun, total mind-boggling fun.
Then the potency and novelty of Acid wore off, the back-yard chemists lost the recipe, lost the plot, lost their freedom with cop crackdowns, and the generation of 'flower children' grew old and tired, making way for the next wave of drug addicts, the ever-hungry, smacked-out heroin desperadoes. Nasty world history whacked the alternative lifestylers over the head, the latest attempt at Utopia got defeated and only the unconsciousness of nodding off could dull the pain. Then in the mid 80's Ecstasy hit the party scene, MDMA, love and uninhibited pleasure came back on the dance floor, and one's brain seemed to touch heaven for a few fleeting hours again.
And I went back to Goa, where the Trance music scene took flight, crowds of freaks stomping, shimmy-shaking, arms flailing, flesh quaking, and nectar dripped down from the skull and the entire mob melted into one vast, quivering, jelly-legged amoeba. These were the best times of my life, beyond all others, beyond the fucks, the scams, the stunts, the prizes, I look back on my dance nirvanas as the best that life gave me. Nirvanic dance crowds were the new Utopia, where all were one interconnected life-form and true democracy ruled, fat or thin, black or white, rich or poor, on the dance floor nobody gave a shit, delirium swept away differences and dancing made the body/mind fuse with the universe and forget all the troubles of modern living.
Now in the 21st century the thrill of Ecstasy seems to have worn off, the next wave of youth has known more cruel truths about life and history and wants their kicks with a harder core. So we get the party drug GHB, Grievous Bodily Harm, a more intense euphoria, faster dancing, more cutting dislocation with reality, and the chance that the dose might in fact kill you, adding a kind of frisson to the experience. And why not? Here at the end of history, where a nuclear bomb or biological weapon can wipe a city away in seconds, why not live fast, die pretty?
I myself have grown old, weak-stomached and jaded, even panadein-forte is too strong and makes me vomit. I can't bear the idea of having my consciousness swept away and my reality spun out of control, I prefer to remain sober, it's like a natural high or I settle for old fashioned Ecstacy pills, and I take them only a few times a year, at the Equinoxes, especially mid-winter, sacred festive occasions like pagans did of old, going on my vision quests while I dance at raves, for there's still an extra edge of knowledge to garner in the mind-trip, with more dancing to power my batteries and more exultation to make me feel life is worth living.
I must look a right bloody fool, an ancient fucker dancing madly like an electrified dervish, and young people watch me and smirk, so it's embarrassing for me to even go to clubs or dance parties anymore, I tend to hit the roof with excitement. So I have to retire my dancing booties much of the time, stay home with a good book, and fondly reminisce, once I truly did find paradise in dance.
For me there's enough Grievous Bodily Harm in daily city living, and then there's the horror of wars like Iraq. Good luck to the young, with their 21st century Russian roulette, they've heard of the drug thrills their oldies had in the '60s and they want a piece of it, any way they can get it. It all makes me long for the days of real LSD, before it got adulterated and poisoned by the 'System'. Isn't there a new wave chemist out there somewhere who can recreate that wondrous drug, without the psycho side-effects? Yet dharma-bum me has got to admit, drugs are for shmucks! Dance of itself can get one high! Think about it, it's our hardcore society of consuming artificial compounds, from instant coffee to Maggi soup, that sucks us into LSD, MDMA and GHB.