Friday, February 19, 2016

Of Mulder, Mushrooms, and Mad Science Writing

Why do I call this blog 'Mad Science Writer'? I can tell you that it does not have anything to do with all this exploration of the inner worlds I keep going on about.
` On January 1, 2012, when I published the first post, I didn't know much about hypnosis beyond what I learned in college, and nothing about psychedelics other than people telling me of their experiences. At the time, I did not see any reason to learn more about either of these subjects.

A previous satirical blog of mine, Introspection of a Struggling Mad Science Writer, is the actual origin of this blog's title. I really, honestly had no idea it would turn out the way it did.
` At the time, I was too afraid to be controversial, often chasing low-hanging fruit and the same sort of subjects normally criticized in the mainstream Skeptic community.
` But, as time has gone on I've decided, to hell with that, my plan is to push the Overton Window! And if everything in my life goes right, someday I'll have to wear a bulletproof vest, just like David Silverman!

I figure that his strategies of making non-religious people seem more acceptable, and destroying the religious memes that poison our culture would work for other causes as well. That's right, this man has given me ideas. Be afraid.
And if that isn't enough, I'm branching out into podcasting, so I'll be infesting people's ears next! I vow to understand the software well enough to get my first three episodes of Skeptophony online by April! And if I'm really ambitious, I'll do even more than that!

In the meantime, I'll keep writing about stuff. And even back-posting all those drafts I never finished because I've had problems sleeping. It's been rough.
` But since I've had a regular mattress and not been sinking into memory foam hell, and my third year of physical rehab is seeing me now in sight of normal physical abilities, and an utter lack of pain, I'm feeling up to getting some writing done now. So I am!

There are many topics on my mind, but for now will only mention that my mom texted me the other day that she was watching the newest episode of the X-Files (reboot) where Mulder takes psilocybin mushrooms. As though by magic, I was able to find this episode and watch it for myself the very next day.
` Having never seen this iteration of the series, I thought the bantering between Scully and Mulder was adorable, as well as with the two new characters Einstein and Miller. Some parts I thought really worked, but the whole 'mushroom trip' thing, well, that kind of ruined the episode for me.

Basically, they need some information from this exploded guy who's in a coma, so Mulder's harebrained scheme is to take psilocybin capsules in order to somehow reach his mind. As the episode revealed, the scriptwriters didn't seem to know jack about what psychedelics actually do.

Here are my reactions to what I saw on the screen -- Spoilers!

A few minutes later, Mulder walks out of the hospital and into some Texas line dance, puts on a cowboy hat, goes completely bedonka-donk and essentially makes a drunken ass out of himself.

Sitting among stacks of psychedelic literature, I ask myself, "What does this have to do with mushrooms?" Zero. Either that, or the scriptwriters thought that psychedelic visuals look exactly like gratuitous rhinestone-studded T&A.

Then, Mulder passes out and has a vision of being on a boat, apparently on its way across the River Styx, which is where the action happens. This scene, however, doesn't have any sort of psychedelic 'feel' to it, it's more like a dream.

Some time later, Mulder wakes up in a hospital bed. Nothing psychedelic whatsoever has been depicted. I thought to myself, Mulder has been cheated!

Then, we learn that the capsules that Mulder has swallowed were merely niacin, an active placebo. His entire trip was not drug-induced at all, but rather the power of suggestion and his will to believe.
` Surely that could not induce something so strange as a psychedelic trip, especially of several hours, and I would add that it would not be enough to induce a fake psychedelic trip, either.

In any case, I suggest that any scriptwriters out there who are trying to write something to seem psychedelic, it wouldn't hurt to learn something about it first.

As for me, it's been busy, and I need to get some sleep. Since the beginning of the month I have barely been keeping up with things I normally do every day, like piano practice.
` That's a sign I haven't been able to recharge my brain and body sufficiently, although the past couple of days it's just because I've been so busy.

I finally am starting to recover. Hopefully soon I'll be back on track. Expect more posts to magically appear soon!

2 comments:

  1. I can't imagine that the script writers didn't know about, or have access to reports of psychedelic experience.
    Seems to be another Blue Boy misdirection.

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  2. Fake TV and movie psychedelic experiences are my 2nd favorite thing. My favorite thing is tripping.

    The best representation I've seen of psychedelic experience so far was in the film Renegade, with Vincent Cassel. The writers of that goofy FRINGE show have the outward appearance correct; of course, one of the characters is a big LSD fan and uses it regularly, so it's a main component of the show. I'm hesitant to criticize them for silliness on effects because being super silly about science is part of its appeal.

    I am really enjoying your blog. :)

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