The Symphony Must Go On!

Posted in Arts and Theater with tags , on January 13, 2016 by learntoenjoylosing

As someone with an extensive and diverse taste in music, I somtimes like to compare two seemingly diametrically opposite genres.  My nearly lifelong love for classical music had perturbed some of my fellow punk rock friends back in the day.  Classical music is often associated with aristocracy and elitists (which is why it isn’t typically received well in the hard rock subculture), but if you strip away that assumption, remove that archetypal image and really listen, you’ll see that it bares many similarities with punk rock music.

Classical music, while not necessarily vocally political or anti-establishment, it often times exhibits the essence of rebellion through its intricacy & complexity that seems to invoke in us the same feelings of passion, wild freedom and transcendence above social ills that is simultaneously demonstrated by punk rock.

Composers like Mozart, Beethoven, Berlioz, Corelli, Liszt, and Wagner, (who themselves were ‘rock stars’ of their time) have captured the intangible spirit of revolution, hope, unity, beauty and atrocity, inspiration and emotion that resembles the foundation of punk rock, through their timeless masterpieces.

Recently I was spectator to Berlioz’s ‘Symphonie Fantastique‘, a symphony about a gifted artist who had poisoned himself with opium in the depths of despair wrought by hopeless love, exquisitely performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.  Furious violins and haunting percussion set my soul on fire; I could feel the tragedy, the torment and agony even though not one single word was spoken.

Classical music has this uncanny, bizarre ability to inspire within us the urging to champion inhibition and liberate ourselves from the confines of even our own oppression.  It allows us to explore our deep consciousness and surpass the limits of our imagination. Classical is freedom, it is beauty, it is anarchy, it is raw, divine and human, it is boundless and powerful music that is no less shocking, absurd or radical to me than punk rock music is.

As the revolution, so must the symphony go on!

Magic Mushrooms are Not Poisonous

Posted in Physics & Philosophy with tags on January 13, 2016 by learntoenjoylosing

Among college students, through the hallways of High Schools, and even in social groups comprised of educated adults, there is a widely believed misconception that the psychoactive compounds in the “street variety” of psychedelic mushrooms are poisonous.  This article will specifically cover the fungi named psilocybe cubensis, which is commonly referred to as ‘magic mushrooms’, and its chemical compounds.

Poison is defined as ‘a substance with an inherent property that tends to destroy life or impair health.’  Arguably magic mushrooms can impair health, (specifically mental health) but it depends how you look at it. Often times the negative stories you hear about somebody being harmed, after consuming mushrooms, the user was under the influence of various other chemicals.

Let’s get into the science of what is actually in magic mushrooms and what it does to the physical body.

The two principal psychoactive compounds found in ‘Psilocybe Cubensis‘ (aka Magic Mushrooms) are Psilocybin and Psilocin.  The toxicity of Psilocybin is rather low.  In laboratory rats, the median lethal dose  (the dose required to kill only half of the test rats) is 280 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg).  Sounds scary right? 280 milligrams of Psilocybin per kilogram is one and a half times more than what it takes to kill a rat with caffeine.  That’s correct, caffeine is more lethal than Psilocybin, so is aspirin and nicotine.

So how many magic mushrooms would you have to eat before they killed you?  For a 130lb human being, it would be required to consume at least 37 lbs of fresh (or 3.7lbs dried) psilocybe cubensis to have the potential to kill you. At a street value between $5,000- $12,000, one would not only have to summon a rather large appetite, but a pretty penny as well.

Since psilocybe cubensis (magic mushrooms) do have a toxicity level, even though it’s extraordinarily low, they are often inaccurately classified as poisonous mushrooms.  There has yet to be definitive reports of anyone fatally overdosing on psilocybe mushrooms alone. (There are two reports in medical journals of overdoses involving psilocybe cubensis, but they were inconclusive and the deaths were not determined to be from psilocybin alone.)

Here is a ‘List of Poisonous Mushrooms‘, you’ll notice that the common street variety of psychedelic mushrooms (psilocybe cubensis) is not on the list.

So if you want to call Magic Mushrooms poisonous, that’s up to you, poison is a pretty subjective term, but the reality is that they’re not going to hurt you unless you do something crazy like eat 37lbs of them.  That would be like the woman who killed herself by drinking too much water at once… yet we don’t classify water as a poison.

In conclusion, while magic mushrooms may have the power to destroy you mentally, there’s no need to call poison control if your friend is having a bad trip.😉

Legal Disclaimer:  Epicdelusion does not condone the use of illicit drugs, so until the Government pulls its head out of its ass and stops relying on Nixon Scheduling to deem psilocybe cubensis as a dangerous, habit-forming drug with no medicinal potential whatsoever, we recommend that you stick to tea and butter crisps.

Nirvana is Not Classic Rock

Posted in Arts and Theater on January 13, 2016 by learntoenjoylosing

If you ask somebody in their 30’s if they remember the band Nirvana, chances are they’ll say yes; they were a pretty big band back in the day. If you don’t remember Nirvana or have never listened to their music then you were either living under a rock in the 90’s or you’re one of the teenagers today that think Nirvana is “Classic Rock.”

True, Nirvana is an older band, and all the people that listened to them when they were teenagers or in their early 20’s when the band was new are old fucks by now, but that doesn’t automatically make a band ‘Classic Rock’.

First off, people must understand that the term Classic Rock was originally a radio format.  The format was designed to feature rock bands from the late 1960’s to the late 1980’s. It doesn’t necessarily describe a specific genre of rock music, although it does follow some guidelines.  A Classic Rock radio station might play a Led Zeppelin tune, followed by a Billy Joel song, two different styles of rock music, but rarely (if ever) will you hear an underground punk band from the late 70’s or early 80’s being played even though its within the same time parameter. Although Nirvana did start in 1987, they don’t fit the criteria to be labeled as ‘Classic Rock’.

Classic Rock becomes its own genre of music, essentially based on the artists that classic rock stations have played over the years following the guideline of showcasing popular hard rock and rock bands from the late 60’s to the late 80’s. The bands that fall into this category are there to stay; the classic rock genre is not as ever changing as people may think. Classic Rock will always be classic rock and it would be quite difficult for new bands, post 1990’s, to be successfully added to the genre.

Similarly, it would be like calling Nirvana ‘Classical Music’ 100 years from now, it’s not going to happen. Mozart, Boccherini, Beethoven, Vivaldi, these are the composers we think of when we hear ‘classical music’.  Vivaldi may have died in 1741 and Beethoven in 1827 and the span of ‘classical music’ artists may have been a bit more broad than classic rock, but we don’t arbitrarily classify bands as ‘classical’ just because of the age of the music.  The classical music genre is well defined as is the Classic Rock genre.

Explaining to teenagers why Nirvana isn’t classic rock is a difficult task, that’s if you can unglue them from their smart phones long enough to get a sentence in. Perhaps it’s one of those things that doesn’t need to be explained. Perhaps it’s something that only deep, philosophical mother fuckers with a keen and profound awareness of music are going to understand.

Nirvana is a hard band to place into a specific genre; were they grunge? hard rock? punk? alternative rock?  That’s a different debate, but they certainly are not classic rock nor will they ever be.

End of discussion.

Top 10 Drama Movies of All Time

Posted in Arts and Theater with tags , on December 4, 2015 by learntoenjoylosing

So after much debate for the past few months to write this blog post, we’ve tackled one of the hardest questions that has ever existed on the internet. What were the top 10 Drama movies of all time? Some have written articles on the top 25, 50 and even 100 best drama films of all time, and it’s easy to see why… they didn’t want to be charged with the task of having to decide only the top 10. While there are hundreds of great drama movies out there, we believe it was possible to narrow down the greatest 10 of all time. Now, trying to accomplish the feet of choosing the best drama movie of all time is an exercise of chaos, and it was pretty stormy just going through all the votes for the 10. After hearing everyone’s side of the story and near fisticuffs breaking out, this is the list that I feel most confident in calling the top 10.

I’m sure there are some out there who will disagree, and that’s awesome, please feel free to make your case in the comment sections below. Until you make a compelling argument to the contrary, this is the ultimate list… 

1. THE LOST WEEKEND

The Lost Weekend (1945) –  Come have a drink with Don Birnam as he dupes his girlfriend into taking his brother to a show so he can get a few in drinks in before going away for the weekend. Classic. His brother Wic, pissed off that he has to once again deal with Don’s drunken episodes, takes off to the country without him, leaving his girl Helen in NYC to watch after him. This would have been easier if she didn’t have to work the whole weekend? Don manages to find enough money and avoid Helen long enough to hit Nat’s Bar again where he explains his novel to the barkeep. He regales the time he first met Helen and, of course, the disappointing reality of when she discovered he was a drunkard. I won’t spoil the rest for you. Go see this movie, it is arguably one of the best movies ever written.

2. THE CITY OF GOD

The City of God (2002) – Based on true events, this awesome crime/drama film details the lives of childhood friends growing up in Rio de Janeiro, some become gang members, some become playboys, but they’re all in it together. Drugs, crime, poverty, gang war, and death encompass the parts of Brazil where the tourists dare not tread. Even people who hate subtitles and foreign films will love this drama. Every time I watch it keeps me on the edge of my seat emotionally.

3. SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION 

Shawshank Redemption (1994) – the film tells the story of a banker who is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Prison for the murder of his wife and her lover despite his claims of innocence. During his time at the prison, he befriends a fellow inmate, Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding, and finds himself protected by the guards after the warden begins using him in his money laundering operation. A classic film starring one of my favorite actors, Morgan Freeman.

4. DOLORES CLAIBORNE

Dolores Claiborne (1995) – “Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman has left to hold on to”. Selena, Dolores’s Daughter, travels up from New York to a small town in Maine to help her mother who has been accused of murder. Nobody has any confidence that Dolores was innocent, not even her daughter. She is very hostile in dealing with her mother until events and memories unfold to where Selena eventually realizes that her mother was in fact innocent.

5. GOOD WILL HUNTING

Good Will Hunting (1997) – A badass intellectual kid with dreams of becoming a laborer for the rest of his life is shown the light by his therapist who could only have been played by Robin fucking Williams. If anybody else was staffed to play Sean Maguire, the whole thing would have fallen apart. This movie really touched base with me because I was a fiercely intelligent punk rocker who turned down a college scholarship be a laborer too. Yeah, I learned the hard way Sean was right. Whether you go to school or not, learn everything, do everything you want and are capable of doing!

6. FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) – Some people think that Fear and Loathing is a dark comedy, but in actuality it is a drama. I suspect those who call it a comedy aren’t familiar with the work of Hunter S. Thompson. Hunter Thompson was responsible for some of the greatest literature of the 20th Century. A privileged glimpse into the mind of an authentic poetic soul, Fear and Loathing explores the drug addled reality of Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo while surviving in Las Vegas.

7. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE

A Clockwork Orange (1971) – The concepts of good and evil have been the basis for philosophical inquiry since human beings first began the pursuit of knowledge. The story explores the negative utopian side affects of compelling a man to “be good” by removing the choice to commit evil. In Kubrick’s ending (the movie) Alex is restored to his ultra violent ways filled with lust and random acts of carnage, leaving out Burgess’s last chapter in the novella where alex comes to reformation on his own free will. Which ever ending you choose, they both have merits… nevertheless the movie will always be one of my favorite dramas.

8. GOODFELLAS

Goodfellas (1990) – Having endured the lengthy debate between The Godfather and Goodfellas, I made the decision not only that Goodfellas was superior, but The Godfather, while I think deserves to be called a classic, didn’t even make the top 10. I know this decision pissed off some close friends, but I’m doing this with the utmost sincerity. The Godfather wasn’t based on true events and it just didn’t have that same cinematic adrenaline as Goodfellas. Ultimately, the final choice wasn’t hard for me to make despite all of the emotional attachment people have to the Godfather.

9. A BEAUTIFUL MIND

A Beautiful Mind (2001) – Most geniuses can be a little arrogant and awkward, but John Nash probably has most beat. The movie delves into the life of the famous mathematician who succumbed to schizophrenia. While leaving out some of the harsh realities Nash faced, the movie captured his career and life quite eloquently and had us questioning the very nature of existence. What is real? What isn’t? How can you really know?

10. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) – One thing I really admired about this movie is that it has such a deep social message while still appearing to be a real movie with entertainment value, not too slanted or political. The meaning is conveyed in such a way as to not arouse contempt in the viewer, but to make us really contemplate, “what is jusice?”. It’s impossible for most of us to truly know what it feels like to have to face down an angry mob who has already committed to a guilty verdict, but it does teach us to think and empathize. Atticus’s character, the voice of reason, is something we’d hope presents itself somewhere in all of the scapegoating and witchhunts. Everybody deserves a fair trial, due process, and not to be sentenced by their appearance but only by facts and logic.

If you agree or disagree with our list, please comment below:

Interview with God

Posted in Physics & Philosophy with tags , on December 4, 2015 by learntoenjoylosing

Epicdelusion was able to get an exclusive interview with God himself.  We thank him for taking time out of his busy schedule of maintaining the universe in order to answer a few questions.

God, why did you create the universe and how?

“I hear this question asked a lot.  It is incomprehensible for the human race to understand this, but i’ll try to explain it anyhow.  I didn’t create the universe in the conventional sense that people think I did.  I was created with the universe, at the same time, through a process that remains unknown even to me. There is no distinguishable difference between the universe and myself, we are one and all encompassing. I am the universe and the universe is me.”

Why did you create human beings then?

“There was no intentional conception for the design of human beings. There was never any grand blue prints.  The conception of human beings, the very existence of consciousness itself, is simply the universe trying to figure itself out, like a child who looks into a mirror and starts to realize he is the reflection he sees.  People wonder why they have a natural sense of exploration.  The reason is that through the eons of evolution, through the countless trial and error of different species, humans came to be the beings that would hold the most promise for the universe understanding itself.  Humans are the universe too, only in fragmented divisions, but nevertheless, they are the universe too.  Think of it like this, God & The Universe is the chessboard, humans are the pieces.”

What is the meaning of human life?

“A human mind in its absolute entirety is only a mere synapses in the universal brain as a whole.  The universe itself is thinking, human minds are just pulses of thought on the grand universal scale.  Humans have never, nor will they ever, accomplished anything on their own.  It is only through a collective process that anything has ever been solved.  The universe is a supra-organism and humans are but mere cells in its composition.  No one person’s life means anything, but life itself does have a purpose.  The purpose of human life is for the universe to understand itself, that is why consciousness exists.  Thereby humans live in a world that would inspire thought and encourage the process of figuring out the universe.  The existence of human beings are just a byproduct of the universe’s attempt at understanding itself.”

Is there life on other planets?

“There is life all over the universe, some similar to what humans consider life and some that are completely different.  There are billions of galaxies in the universe comprised of the same exact material as the milky way galaxy, why would earth be the only planet, among billions of other planets, that has life?”

Should South Carolina take down the confederate flag?

“Human beings have not yet evolved to the point of being able to strip away their petty territorial battles.  If you look at the earth from space there are no lines on the “map”, there is no north or south or east or west.  Human perspective, being as narrow as it is in contrast to the grand scale of the universe, hinders them from being able to clearly see what they really are.   What is South Carolina to the enormity of the universe and its quest to understand itself?”

Is the bible real?

“Sure the bible is real, it was created by humans and has endured for hundreds of years.  Anything will become real if enough thought and energy are put into it.”

Was Jesus Christ your son?

“Men were martyred, tried and executed throughout the ages, for reasons that didn’t merit the sentence.  This is an example of the infancy stage that the human species are just beginning to emerge from.  The Universe, God, doesn’t have children the way humans do.  Even though Jesus was not my “biological son” he has turned into something rather special; an icon. He has become a beacon of hope to humans and I don’t see anything wrong with that.  Why would any evolved person not see him as such?  He was killed thoughtlessly by the same kind of tyrannical oppression that they all disdain so much these days.”

Salutations?

“Human beings should concentrate on scientific advancement and knowledge rather than fighting each other and quibbling over the useless ideas that have already been discarded as ‘antiquated in the pursuit of breakthrough understanding.’  Put aside your petty (and I assure you they are petty) differences and attempt to reestablish a golden age, a renaissance of thought, progress & universal exploration.”

Halloween is the Best Holiday

Posted in Nonsensical Ravings with tags on December 4, 2015 by learntoenjoylosing

While other Holidays may be important, have cultural & religious significance to some, and are cherished by families across the world, there is one Holiday that stands out as being far superior to all others.  Halloween is the greatest holiday ever.  Halloween does have cultural and spiritual significance to some, as I have extensively researched its history, but for most of us it’s just a bad ass, fun holiday.

What makes Halloween so awesome?  Isn’t it just a holiday for kids to get free candy?  While most of us don’t trick or treat anymore (unless it’s with your kids or you’re really drunk and thought it would be funny) we’re reminded of the carefree days of youth, dressing up in scary costumes and being allowed to consume a ridiculous amount of candy.

There’s more to Halloween though.  It’s a culture in itself that encompasses a variety of different aspects; horror film subculture, the macabre, the fall season, masquerade parties, haunted theatre and attractions, and the overall sense of mysticism and folklore that allows us to expressively detach ourselves from our own conventional belief systems–even if only for a short while.

There is an inexplicable energy, a certain magic if you will, that surrounds Halloween and the harvest season.  Sitting around a bonfire and drinking a delicious Octoberfest seasonal brew and telling stories of how you “actually saw a ghost” one time, heading off to the haunted house or watching horror flicks is the pregame to Halloween. Most of us don’t realize this, but we celebrate Halloween for a lot longer than merely one day out of the year.  It’s celebrated all season.

So as the summer draws to an end you can take solace in the approach of the autumn equinox and get ready for haunted hay rides, horror movie marathons, Oktoberfest, costume parties, ghost stories, trips to Salem, seances, turning your home into a haunted house, and delving into all the elements that makes Halloween the greatest holiday ever.

Alleged Pervert Saves the day

Posted in Arts and Theater with tags , , on December 4, 2015 by learntoenjoylosing

The 1992 classic thriller ‘The Hand that Rocks the Cradle‘ took a disturbing voyage into revenge and showcased just how easy it was in the early 90’s to become a nanny, no matter what your intentions were. It was actually a pretty entertaining movie, it got a 63% on Rotten Tomatoes.

If you have watched this movie, you may remember Solomon, played by Ernie Hudson, a delightfully charming individual who was a participant in ‘The Better Way Society’, a rehabilitation organization for special needs people. (I’m sorry, The Better Day Society.)

You may also remember that the Nanny, Mrs. Mott, Dr. Mott’s Widow, framed Solomon so that he would appear as a dangerous child sex pervert by placing Emma’s (The child of Claire Bartell) underwear in Solomon’s toolbox.   Solomon, of course, wasn’t a pervert at all, but he was feverishly evacuated from the premise and forbade to ever return.

Now that Mrs. Mott got rid of the suspicious Solomon, the only one who was onto her, she could finish exacting her plan to take over Claire’s family.

Unfortunately the Nanny, known as Peyton, was exposed as Dr. Mott’s wife and her plan abruptly came to a disastrous halt.  This led her with only one option; to kill Claire and steal the newborn baby.

She would have gotten away with it too, had it not been for the brave and daring rescue performed by the one and only Solomon. Hooray Solomon!  The family, after he saves the day, welcomes him with open arms…

But one thing puzzles me… what was Solomon doing back there in the first place?  Why was he climbing up the side of the house to get into the attic? How did he even know that Mrs. Mott was going to try to kill Claire at that exact point in time? Even if Claire realized that Solomon was framed, wouldn’t the fact that he showed up there that night raise some suspicion?

I guess you’ll have to decide that for yourself😉