Mindfields by Trevor Plumbly

escaping realityAnother World

With all the advantages of modern scientific thought, it’s astonishing that nobody’s come up with a safe, quick cure for the common need to escape reality: I can hear the cries of ‘moderation in all things!’ even as I’ve written that, let alone the following. I guess reality is a bit hard to pin down, since we’ve all got a personal version of it rattling inside and around us to cope with, along with finding ways to put it to one side when the harsher facts of life don’t suit us. The most obvious method for dodging reality is cultural entertainment; it’s also the safest: nobody really suffers from an overdose of literature, theatre or music. Although as I was once forced to sit through three hours of Wagner as part of the cost of dating a ‘posh bird’, I reckon there could be the odd exception. But books can be laid to one side, plays have last acts and even ‘The Ring Cycle’ ends eventually. But despite all that, culture needs a lot of personal work to function as an efficient escape, and work, as we all know, is just another form of reality.

Mind Games

Sport is a popular way to put reality on hold. You all know my stance on sport, but for any new readers, suffice to say that, as far as I’m concerned, anyone willing to run around a field scrapping over possession of a ball deserves all the cruelty that reality can inflict. Others, though, have loftier thoughts and treat reality as a spiritual foe and spend a lot of time either steering us away from it or making a serious attempt to reshape it to suit their own ends. Someone notable for the latter was Aleister Crowley, AKA as ‘The Beast 666’. Under the stricture, ‘Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law,’ this early 20th Century self-proclaimed prophet and high priest of the occult formed a libertine society which practised black magic and sexually based ceremonies, but other than offending the sensitivities of polite British society, it seems he did very little physical or lasting harm, which I guess, apart from a few notable exceptions, applies to most of those committed to guiding our frustrations and stress to a higher plane for release. As an afterthought, reality eventually did catch up with Crowley in 1947 (He died).

Recreational Release

Drugs never really did it for me, though I must admit, as a child of the 50s, I wasn’t exposed to the same array of mind benders that today’s kids face. From the cheap route of sniffing god knows what to bathtub methamphetamine, it’s out there cheap and available, and don’t let’s kid ourselves, it’s not a class thing: privileged kids can get addicted just as easily. These days I reckon we tend to bestow more adulthood on our kids than a lot of them can really cope with. Put simply, we don’t leave much leeway for the basic teenage stupidity that goes with that particular part of life. Now it seems that a few clowns want to stick another hurdle on the course by legalising marijuana. If they, and their fellow ‘believers’ want to tonk around in a mental fog . . . great, but don’t stick it in front of kids who have got enough tricky stuff to get through anyway. We’re spending trillions cleaning up the damage that drugs, including alcohol and tobacco create through common misuse, so why put another one on the shelves? Even in the 60s I never really got past fags and booze, these days it’s just beer between me and reality. I’ve come to the conclusion that reality can be a problem, but then we’ve all got problems: they’re called . . . ‘life’.

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7 Comments on “Mindfields by Trevor Plumbly

  1. Agreed Plum, life, quite simply, is not that simple. One thing I ‘do’ know though, is prohibition doesn’t work; what I ‘don’t know is: What does?

    • I don’t know if prohibition works but maybe it restricts things a bit. It’s a huge problem in our schools at the moment and I can’t see it easing. Maybe increasing the sentences for supplying might help? I look forward to a deluge from the theorists and apologists. T.

      • Time for a little lecture Plum. Prohibition puts the game in the hands of criminals. When the US prohibited alcohol in the 20s the Mafia took it over. Then when they prohibited opium, cocaine, etc. again the Mafia moved in – granted they share the market now with the big South American drug cartels but they’re still all crims. If it were up to me I’d make every drug known to man available by prescription. You want be an ice addict or a smack freak, go to your doctor and make your case. It won’t solve the problem but it would get rid of most of the crims, give the state back some degree of control, and joy of all joys for any self-respecting government: give them something else to tax. Now with that problem fixed, I’m off to walk the dog…

      • Many thanks for the mini-treatise, sadly for me lectures always seem like a one-way-street with tunnel vision traffic flow. I find it quite disturbing that a mind as finely honed as yours should be forced to look to the Americas for anything, let alone judicious or inspirational thought. If, as you say, it’s better to ‘let it all hang out!’ as indeed they do with the NRA. perhaps they could form the National Catatonic Association = NCA (now there’s a lobby group for you). Meantime old boy I do hope your dog enjoys his walk; personally I’m taking my brain for a stroll which, in all modesty, I feel will be much more beneficial to my fellow creatures. Chin-Chin. T.

  2. I’m reminded of Mary in Pride and Prejudice:

    “She wished to say something very sensible, but knew not how.”

    • I am corresponding with an adult Aussie bloke who’s just admitted to reading Jane Austen and he expects ME to make sense. Ye Gods! As you legal chaps would have it, ‘I rest my case sir’; yours has just committed suicide. pip-pip. T.

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