ARTIFICIAL EMOTION II: Real Life Examples, and The Theory of “the New Normal”
By : Papillon Philippe, Comte du Cray
Branded tobacco cigarettes, which are added with texture agents and other chemicals, is poison. Period. The Mephistopheles incarnate.
Want a proof? My father divorced at the very time he quit a life long relationship with it (2 packs a day). Want another proof? I have a friend in Miami who lives on his yacht and cannot quit the habit, even though knowing that, at 65, every cigarette he smokes (about 40 a day) increases in him a “feeling of end”.
The West has had a long love story with tobacco since Christopher Columbus discovered it in the Caribbeans. Priests would actually smoke while giving mass. Still to this day, tobacco is the most popular drug of choice, despite the fact that the scientific community recognizes it as addictive as heroin.
So we won’t try to go further about a substance that I have also loved (and hated). Only to say one positive and one negative: Chemical free tobacco (like American Spirits for example) possesses the nicotinic acid that is beneficial to the nerve (as an anti-anxiety). The negative, and a very big one…one that we shall try to avoid at all cost, is that tobacco decreases our breath.
Now lets wonder and research the world of the most consequential psycho-active plant that has ever existed….One more thought about tobacco for my friend in Miami before we do that:He admits himself more addicted to the added chemicals than to the tobacco itself…a tragic-comedy, is it not? Like an angel from hell, a hell’s angel… lets talk now about its anti-thesis.
In 1986, I was a French sailor going around the world on a school-boat/helicopter carrier (the “Jeanne d’Arc”) that, every year, would take the French navy’s future officers on a planetary experience of ambassadorship. My Godfather was at the time the French navy’s chief of staff. He put me on the boat as soon as I enlisted. Eight months later it was May 1986, and our “escale” was Karachi, Pakistan.
As soon as we got on land, my colleague and I jumped in a taxi and went around smoking hashish (the co-pilot was rolling), riding on camels, and purchasing (in my case) one kilogram of the same substance. The problem was that, three weeks earlier (and in the middle of the Indian Ocean, from where I saw the comet of haley that year), we all had to open up our lockers and let the boat’s police search our belongings. They found a joint in my stuff (that I had gotten in Mombasa, Kenya), and I was sentenced to laundry duty as soon as we hit New Caledonia. That’s all I got. Many petty officers found it to be unfair, that it was because my Godfather was the number one man in the Navy (in rank); that I should have been punished like any other. In fact, another sailor was caught like I, with a small amount of cannabis, and was flown back to France right away.
So I was very nervous with the kilo under my pillow and started imagining the same guy that found the joint in my locker…I came to the feeling that it might not be worth it after all, I was going to Paris soon and study some more… I was not going to take the chance to go to jail. So I picked up the block (about 35 centimeters by 15, and one inch thick), went up on the front deck and threw it into the water. It is probably still there now, 27 years later, on the bottom of the port of Karachi.
What happened is that I had a high emotion, a “ganja rush”, that made me decide to make an interesting investment (200 dollars). But then, I faltered…my inspiration and creative process halted, by fear, by intellect, by psycho-physical poverty and over analysis. Maybe if I had been able to control my fears, left the hashish block alone under the pillow, and spent some time with my friend at the bar he tended on board; Maybe I would have had been able to relax, have a sip of soda, roll a joint, and smoke it with him somewhere safe on the boat (at port we usually step out on the front deck). May be I would have been able to do what I call “help the normal”. Help it, via cannabis, have its fear factor reduced in half, and make decisions upon that new normal and new normal only. So this new normal becomes the only terrain from which actions are started. The creative process…the artificial emotion: “I can resale the hash block for 20 000 dollars (street value, in small quantities) in Paris… along with some of my friend’s (Emmanuel Bonnet)…but I could also be sentenced with jail time by the Navy’s justice system (that could have easily been suspended by my Godfather, but that would still be marked on my record)…”. A full evaluation of the situation with the fear factor reduced by half… the thought, created, travels the nerve route to the emotion process…the artificial emotion is created…then decision (“throw away the hash, or keep?”), then action.
It’s like the Actors Studio in Hollywood: you don’t get in unless they consider you relaxed enough so that the fear factor is not too much of a determinant of your decisions and actions on the stage.
We will never know the answer to anything for sure. That is why homo-sapient invented math. For when we cannot cope with the nature of life: uncertainty.
But one last thing to add on to my time in Karachi: the boat police were giving me pretty fiery looks as I embarked, unchecked, with a big chunk of an illegal substance…especially the one MP who found the joint in my locker 3 weeks prior….looking at me as if I was engaged in contraband…