Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
Vol. 18, No. 5, 2019
  Current Issue  
  Back Issues  
Robert J. Lewis
  Senior Editor
Bernard Dubť
  Contributing Editors
David Solway
Louis René Beres
Nick Catalano
Lynda Renťe
Gary Olson
Howard Richler
Oslavi Linares
Chris Barry
Jordan Adler
Andrew Hlavacek
Daniel Charchuk
  Music Editor
Serge Gamache
  Arts Editor
Lydia Schrufer
Mady Bourdage
Chantal Levesque Denis Beaumont
Emanuel Pordes
  Past Contributors
  Noam Chomsky
Mark Kingwell
Naomi Klein
Arundhati Roy
Evelyn Lau
Stephen Lewis
Robert Fisk
Margaret Somerville
Mona Eltahawy
Michael Moore
Julius Grey
Irshad Manji
Richard Rodriguez
Navi Pillay
Ernesto Zedillo
Pico Iyer
Edward Said
Jean Baudrillard
Bill Moyers
Barbara Ehrenreich
Leon Wieseltier
Nayan Chanda
Charles Lewis
John Lavery
Tariq Ali
Michael Albert
Rochelle Gurstein
Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

my inner idiot




Former lead singer of the legendary 222s, arguably Montreal's first punk rock band, Chris is now a freelance writer based in Montreal. You can check out his writing at where he combines the sardonic humour of David Foster Wallace and the deliciously contrived irreverence of Anthony Bourdain.

Itís funny, I donít take psychedelic drugs anywhere nearly as often as I used to. And Iím not sure why. I love psychedelics, and regardless of what it suggests about the fullness of my existence, many of my very happiest moments on this god-forsaken planet have been whilst flyiní on Ďshrooms or acid. I mean, giant scary purple spiders and the occasional melting face aside, the good times and laughter to be had from a 7 dollar blotter of Ďcid just canít be beat. Honestly, have you ever laughed as hard as you do on acid under any other circumstances? Okay, I mean outside of the last time you sat through a weekend marathon of Check It Out re-runs on the TV Land network. Probably not, Iím willing to bet, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that I never have, which makes my recent abstinence from the psychedelic experience all the more bizarre. A cause for concern actually. Like, whatís the hell has happened to my priorities that Iíve allowed such an important and life-affirming activity to take a diminished role in my world? It canít only be that I have to drive a car every once in awhile, can it?

Having lots of free time on my hands, my brain decided it was time to start worrying about all this only a few weeks ago, with the end result being my recognition of the fact that Iíve been way past due to get my head straight again, to go back to my roots, to rediscover my core, as it were -- the happy, laughing, psychedelic me of years gone by. It also didnít hurt that one of my pot dealers very generously passed me several grams of top quality Ďshrooms free of charge around the same time. So . . . and because I actually like to get high when I decide to get high -- this past weekend I sat down and ate two full grams of the cow-shit-spawned muck, and sure enough, I was back in psychedelic mode in no time. Within the half-hour I was reconnecting with my inner being like a motherfucker. At which point it started coming back to me. I began to remember something Iíd pretty well forgotten since the last time Iíd taken psychedelics almost a full year ago: my inner being is something of an idiot. A tough revelation to grapple with, for sure, but perhaps as the years advance Iíve finally acquired the wisdom affording me the clarity to recognize that my inner voice is not to be trusted, that it is, indeed, as often as not, the voice of a Ďtard.

Perhaps thereís no better evidence of the psychedelic meís idiot leanings than the bizarre relationships Iíve formed with countless inanimate objects over the years Iíve spent high on psychedelics. Sure, Iíve had plenty of those drug-fueled moments of creativity, or life-altering personal observations immediately forgotten upon coming down, but what does tend to stick with me long after my Ďtripsí are over is the closeness and/or animosity I can retain with respect to . . . uh, for example, the 2x4 piece of plywood currently rotting in my porch, the one I only began conversing with the last time I took peyote. As it turned out, this particular piece of wood offered me quite a bit of eye-opening information about the world and my relationship to it, and to throw it out back now, after we got to know each other so well, like, I just canít seem to do it. Itíd be like sneaking out in the morning after an especially satisfying one-night stand without waking your lover up to say good-bye, or at least leaving a note by the bed with your phone number expressing thanks for the good times. Like, to pretend that piece of wood and I never had anything going now would be disrespectful, patently un-cool. Yet, um, itís a piece of wood -- and itís rotting.

Nevertheless . . . the time we . . .

My wife, a wonderful gal whom I love dearly, shares similar emotional attachments to the menagerie of brightly coloured stuffed animals sheís been dragging around with her since childhood Ė although I donít think she treats the advice Mr. Ducky gives her with anything near the reverence I do for my piece of wood. I hate these fuckiní things, not only because Iíve been forced to share a relatively small bed with them for god knows how many years, but even though they have nothing to do with me, thereís just something I find disturbingly fruity about sleeping with stuffed animals come a certain stage in a manís life. Call me ridiculous or, uh, call me ridiculous, but the fact remains these torn-up purple rabbits and yellow elephants bug me to no end -- not the least of reasons being that I realize we will no doubt be sleeping together until death do us part. The only thing though, is that until this past weekend I never knew they were so keenly aware of this animosity I feel towards them.

Well-stoned and crawling in to bed in the middle of the afternoon with my MP3 player, Yellowy, some kind of canine, I imagine, and one of the uglier stuffed creatures inhabiting our bedroom, decided it was time to set the record straight by promptly creeping into my mushroom-clouded brain and determining he didnít want to leave. ďWhy do you hate me so?Ē he kept asking, genuinely bewildered. ďI donít hate you. Donít you care that Iím one of your wifeís oldest and dearest friends, that I bring her comfort when youíre off frying your brain on drugs all the time?Ē

Now, look, itís not like I lost sight of the fact that this suddenly bellicose Yellowy beast had probably become so because Iíd just swallowed two grams of Ďshrooms, but I had to admit he had a bit of a point. Like, itís true, who am I to tell the lilí lady she canít keep her depressing stuffed animals on the bed? She doesnít bug me about the rotting wood I keep in the porch. Compromise, man, itís the foundation of any successful relationship, just ask Dr. Phil.

Except this oh-so-profound insight came to me by way of a stuffed pooch, and yes, of course I know it was the Ďshrooms talking, but I have trouble looking at Yellowy the same way now. Weíve kind of . . . well, bonded, I guess. And this, my friends, is retarded. Ever more confirmation that the inner me is idiotic. Cursed inner being! But I do now realize why I havenít being doing psychedelics as much lately. As I write this Iím realizing all my recent psychedelic trips have been on either mushrooms or peyote -- and fuck, those drugs never made me laugh all that much to begin with. Itís LSD thatís always brought me the good times. The inner me might be an idiot, but on acid Iím happy to laugh at said retard, and thatís a lot more fun in my book than having serious conversations with inanimate objects -- at least at this stage of the game in my life. Fuck the self-exploration, man, bring me some of that rot-gut strychnine-laced blotter and letís have fun!

Focus more on the actual plywood itself.


Also by Chris Barry:
Ballet Boxer: Milford Kemp
Like Young
Loving Hard Times
Feed Your Head
Talking 12-Tone with Patti Smith
Beauty Pageants: The Golden Years
Swingers' Clubs as Safe Zones
Bust a Move
Trapeze - Swinging Ad Extremis
Hells in Paradise
The Cannabis Cup
Colonic Hydrotheraphy


Email (optional)
Author or Title












Arts & Opinion, a bi-monthly, is archived in the Library and Archives Canada.
ISSN 1718-2034


Bahamas Relief Fund
Film Ratings at Arts & Opinion - Montreal
2016 Festival Nouveau Cinema de Montreal, Oct. 05-16st, (514) 844-2172
Lynda Renťe: Chroniques Quťbťcois - Blog
Montreal Guitar Show July 2-4th (Sylvain Luc etc.). border=
Photo by David Lieber:
Valid HTML 4.01!
Privacy Statement Contact Info
Copyright 2002 Robert J. Lewis