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April 04, 2001 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-04-04

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 4, 2001

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A& Badffig

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
dwilyletters@umich. edu

You hip to the entheogen (r)evolution?
JOSH WICKERHAM TH s WORLD

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

GEOFFREY GAGNON
Editor in Chief
MICHAEL GRASS
NICHOLAS WOOMER
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the
Daily's editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily

lot of ink has
been spilled over
civil rights bat-
s ties. Blood too, for that
matter. And pontificators
have given us our last
civil rights fights for a
long time. They say
affirmative action is the
last battle. They say gay
rights is the last battle. They might even say
that political correctness is a civil rights
battle. But what has not been addressed is
the freedom of consciousness movement.
Let's get this out in the open: I'm talking
about psychedelics - the taboo little topic
that few have dusted off since the fallout of
the '60s. But that word "psychedelic" is
loaded with fear. A more straightforward
label is entheogen, which literally means
"generating the divine within." In laymen's
terms, that means "becoming god." We
could also go with a purely phenomenologi-
cal description and call them "conscious-
ness expanding agents" because that's what
they do.
Whatever the case, I'll let you in on a
little secret: The last decade has been
secretly psychedelic. And we have all been
primed and ready for an explosion of con-
sciousness. To get to that point, we must
have an idea of where to direct our ener-
gies. The best way to do this is through a
common goal of cognitive liberty.
Cognitive liberty is the belief that we
have the inalienable right to achieve,
through the use of mind-altering plants and

drugs, any state of consciousness we choose
- not just the socially acceptable ones.
What we need is a new definition of the
word "drug." The late philosopher of con-
sciousness, Terence McKenna, said a drug
is anything that causes unexamined, com-
pulsive behavior. A drug, then, is some-
thing that consumes our lives. By this
definition, a cigarette is a drug, caffeine is a
drug and alcohol is a drug. When we look
at it from this perspective, television is also
a drug. And the average American spends
three to seven hours every day getting inti-
mately hooked to the flickering I-V of the
cathode ray tube. Yet television eats at our
creative faculties like a cancer, alcohol
dumbs us down (and helps us mingle -
woohoo), while cigarettes are nothing but
dirty syringes for nicotine injection. These
substances are socially acceptable and per-
fectly legal - all the while causing serious
harm at astronomical social costs.
It all comes down to allowing people the
right to experiment with marginal states of
consciousness. Right now most of us oper-
ate on a very narrow band of habitual
behavior that is closed to realms of imagi-
nation and possibility. We are a species in
crisis.
Pioneering minds have used entheogens.
It's no secret that Steve Jobs, the creative
zest behind Apple Computers, dropped
acid. Bill Gates, in an obscure Playboy
interview, all but admitted that some of his
formative experiences came from mind-
expanding substances. Entheogens break
down boundaries of habitual, unexamined

behavior and aid in the creative process.
Yet most of us are still locked in the termite
mind of man. This cannot stand. We've
been lied to. It is time to rise.
The war on drugs is not a war on sub-
stances; it's a war on states of mind.
Entheogens are not illegal because a loving
government is concerned that you're going
to hurt yourself by smoking pot or tripping
in your bedroom. Entheogens are illegal
because they make you question authority.
They break down socially constructed
fables and cleanse the doors of perception.
They make you question the wrongs of
society in a fundamental way, making you
dangerous. You're like Neo in The Matrix
when all of the illusions of reality have
been irrevocably stripped away.
Not that everyone should use
entheogens. Far from it. Experiencing.
ecstasy is not pleasant. It's like being
grabbed by the spine and shaken until
every sense and emotion blurs, recombines,
expands, digitizes and becomes unspeak-
able. Yet it is also a birthright and is as
fundamental to the human experience as
sex.
Consciousness determines everything.
An important battle for the freedom of our
mental landscapes is brewing. And it never
takes more than five percent of the popula-
tion to start a revolution. Actually, it's
never been more than that.

Josh Wickerham's column ruts every
other Wed . Give him feedback at
www.michigandailycom/forum or
via e-mail atjwickerh@umich.edu.

IJICK crwd would 1be 4te least likely to start a riot?

SA DRUN4KEN4 09
"OK tQNF 4AcDUcTIdl

Don't raly around RIC01C1-FT
Nebulon's Code case.C

To THE DAILY:
I would like to congratulate The Daily on
the editorial analysises covering the University
Statement of Student Rights and Responsibili-
ties, but I also want to tell you that I am dis-
gusted that the Daily chose Galaxor Nebulon,
or Ryan Hughes, to champion the students'
cause ("Code Watch: Hughes to face 'U' disci-
pline officials tomorrow," 3/26/01).
Recently, Hughes complained because he
was not given a microphone and air time to
spout his ridiculous views on student govern-
ment. The Daily and Hughes claimed that his
right to free speech was infringed upon. Ironi-
cally, Hughes attempted to stifle somebody
else's ridiculous views when he vandalized a
sign in a terrific show of cowardice.
Running by somebody and spray painting
their sign is vandalism, and if any paint hit that
person's face, intentional or not, it is also
assault. That protester, although an uninvited
guest to our campus, was still a guest and
deserved not to get paint sprayed on him.
There are around 29,000 students at the
University who have enough restraint and sense
not to assault the abundance of wacky Diag
protesters, which is part of what makes the Uni-
versity so great. The University is right in disci-
plining Hughes and should do so according to
the existing procedures. These will hopefully be
changed due to pressure from MSA, although
I'm not holding my breath.
PHIL KULJURGIS
LSA sophomore
Advice Online lets
students get class,
professor information
To THE DAILY:
The art of registering for classes is partially
scientific but mostly guess work. While class
titles, times and numbers all play a role in
course selection no one can dispute the influ-
ence of your friends' opinions on your course
decision.
But what if none of your friends have taken
the classes you want to take? What if you don't
have any friends? That's where Advice Online
comes in. Advice Online, a service of the
Michigan Student Assembly, allows you to see

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ENOUGH O']

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THEBULSHI. lfiAI AIWIAK Is

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what previous students thought of professors
and classes. Be sure to check it out before you
register by clicking on the Advice Online link at
http://www.wnich.edu/~msa.
ZACH SLATES
. LSA junior
The letter writer is Academic Afairs Commission
Chair and an LSA representativeforthe
Michigan Student Assembly.
Current claims about
bus partnership
'speculative'
To THE DAILY:
In regard to the proposed merger between
the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority and the
University bus service, I would like to clarify
something for the Daily's readers. There is noth-
ing on paper for this proposed bus merger, it is
simply that, a proposition. It is still in the pre-
liminary stages and I wouldn't consider that
we've been "kept in the dark," as some have put
it, for very long. Each side receives so much
flack for even mentioning it, I am sure that they
did not want the negative publicity until they
had a more solid, written proposal. Obviously,
that did not work.
I know that there is no written proposition
for a fact because one of my engineering
instructors is a member of the AATA Board of
Directors. Any claims that have been made in
regard to purported benefits and drawbacks are
purely speculative at this point, regardless of the
source.
STEVEN ANTALICS
Engineering first-year student

Principle behind
Burma divestment is
unrealistic
To THE DAILY:
Dan Shoup's viewpoint in the Daily's
March 26 issue ("University's investments in
Burma send anti-humanitarian message") miss-
es one important point The feasibility and the
long-term repercussions of using divestment as
a political method. If the University was to
divest in every corporation that had business
relations and dealings with authoritarian
regimes which violated human rights, the Uni-
versity would have to dispose of its entire
investment portfolio. Almost every U.S. multi-
national corporation has business dealings with
states that are comparable to Burma in their.
authoritarian, oppressive nature and disregard
for human rights. These countries include Saudi
Arabia, Indonesia and China, to name only a
few. Under Shoup's reasoning, the University
should not have financial and academic dealings
with these oppressive states.
Burma is an oppressive state that needs to be
deplored for its violations of human rights and
lack of any semblance of democracy. Yet there
are many other states that are oppressive like
Burma which U.S. corporations do even more
business with. If the University adopted the pol-
icy that is proposed by Shoup, it would lead to a
slippery slope of divesting in every corporation
that deals with non-democratic states. This poli-
cy is untenable and the University should be
wary of starting a precedent that could lead to
totally divesting from the U.S. stock market.
FRANK GIANCOLA
LS senior

MLK Legacy Essay: 'Voices'

VIEWPOINT

STAYING IN ANN ARBOR THIS SUMMER?
LOOKING FOR WRITING EXPERIENCE AND A FUN
ATMOSPHERE?
COME WORK FOR THE DAILY'S
EDITORIAL PAGE THIS SUMMER.
WE'RE LOOKING FOR WRITERS,
CARTOONISTS AND COLUMNiSTS.

From the first moment I stepped off the
plane from China, I felt like I belonged. I
thought that I was just like everyone else.
Even though I didn't speak a word of Eng-
lish, I communicated with my fourth grade
class with hand gestures and stick figure
drawings.
Then the remarks about my name started.
I didn't know what to say. Although my
cheeks flamed red and my heart flooded
with mysterious feelings, I said nothing. I
gave a nervous laugh because I didn't know
what else to do. I, who thought of myself as
an American- suddenly felt alieated. As

them, for in my own way, I could relate to
their pain.
As I have matured, I have begun to real-
ize that although racism towards Asian
Americans is not as overt as it is toward
African Americans, it is still there. Subtle.
Silent. Haunting. Expectations for us to do
well in school; be soft, passive, quiet, good
kids permeate our lives in school, at work
and even at home. Girls especially need to
be innocent, sweet and obedient. The worst
is having parents who also have those same
stereotypical expectations for me. Before
gatherings with other families, they'd tell
me, "Don't talk too much. No one likes a
girl who talks too much." Physically, Asian
airls ares unnned to he thin and willnwv.

one soft and passive.
Recently, I discovered something else. In
class one day, a girl was talking about her
nail appointment. "All those nails places are
full of chinks," she tossed out. I was in the
seat right behind her. Something inside of
me snapped. I whirled around and demand-
ed, "What did you say?" The girl was sur-
prised to be confronted. "Nothing," she
stuttered. Not backing down, I retorted,
"You should know better than to use that
word in front of me. That was the worst pos-
sible thing to say." With that I got up and
left the girl in embarrassed silence. I felt a
million voices screaming inside. A million
words wanted to throw themselves at her.
Althnioh the feelings of anger and hurt

I

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