The Flaming Lips
Trying to give some shape and meaning to internal expressions
Nowadays, here in America, there is a deluge of metaphysical paranoia constantly flowing out of the new, smart, radical, fanatical, hippie, drug culture underground. It almost always centers around the exaggerated evil powers of George W. Bush and the exaggerated benevolent benefits of psychedelic drugs… mostly Ecstasy and L.S.D. And, inevitably, the speculative conversations suggest that perhaps some of the (spoiled, radical, hippie, enfant terrible) sons and daughters of the most influential power lobbyist pals of the Bush administration should somehow infiltrate a Camp David assemblage (or any secret meeting) and give them all a large dosing of Ecstasy or L.S.D. or both. (I believe it was to be administered by those blue, disinfectant urinal deodorizer cakes… The idea being that you can’t resist peeing into one of these and it splashes up on your dick and hands… You’ll probably wash your hands but no one washes off their dick… right??)
All this in hopes of a more cosmically sympathetic government…Could it happen??... And I say (if anything can explain how things got the way they are)...It already has. Only it didn’t do what the spikers had hoped. It did what most people fear can happen to the unprepared mind when confronting an intense psychotic experience…..... It made them insane. But it didn’t affect them as individuals… they were a group made insane by some over-powering, unexplainable presence. To them (not knowing they’d been zapped) it was a religious revelation. God himself had spoken to them.
They emerged from their “trip” more powerful, more evil and more convinced they were right. They were no longer elected officials. They had, in their own minds, become…mystics. When we began to make, what has become,“At War With The Mystics”,we could not have foreseen the battle (which seems more relevant and more unwinnable as time goes by) between the rational minds and the mindless fanaticals. We really hadn’t considered the impact that world politics, religious freaks, grandiose liars and this horrible war were having on our sound and songs. We had been creating an atmosphere and mood (I don’t believe it was a whole concept) around a story where a wizard goes into outer space searching for a supernova galaxy cluster that has formed in the exact dimensions of a naked star queen with her legs spread open. It was the wizard’s desire to propel his spaceship into her undulating, celestial vagina where he would enter into a different dimension and be radiantly transformed into the chemical son of God…Yes…it is stupidly absurd… But the imagination goes where it wants to and we, haphazardly, try to be its gracious vehicle. Though it could seem like our minds were trying to escape into some fantastical, interstellar dream, we were still hypnotized by reality. We could not look away from Bush’s re-election. We couldn’t ignore the frat-boy arrogance of Cheney and Rove or the sad, strange, brave behavior of Cindy Sheehan. There were (and continue to be) so many days when the sickening news of yet another suicide bomber would shock us away from our exploration of a new mega-flanger guitar effect…We often talked about how unspeakably insane someone must be to willingly obliterate themselves in the middle of a crowd of already devastated families mourning at a funeral… We felt… or…we reacted…as if we should say something…?
I would love to be able to make Radical-Protest-Rock-Anthems that enlightened the masses. But I know that, after all, our music (like all art) is just us fumbling in the dark…trying to give some shape and meaning to internal expressions. And so, for every anti-war slogan we created, we always felt, somehow, that we were just adding to the fanatical screaming that was already drowning itself out…So, as always, we sided with the plight of the individual. You see, my mother died during the making of this record…But also Steven’s son Daniel was born…Life is never one thing for very long…there are a lot of Wars of the World - outward and inward. And I believe we sing, perhaps for the first time, about a kind of existential acceptance… not acceptance because of defeat..It is acceptance because there are no easy answers. True transcendence and defiance is personal and subjective.
No group (The Flaming Lips, the Bush administration, the left, the right, the Islamics, the Christians) ever speaks louder than the quiet flame of the inner life that burns in solitude within all of us. I understand that each one of us, individually, decides for ourselves a solution. But I can’t help cheering on these new, smart—but drug damaged—radical hippies. Their answer is simply to chemically change the minds of the corrupt evil doers out there. They don’t want to destroy them or kill them…So, yes…A chemical change.
But don’t just dose the Bush administration,dose the Taliban too, Fox News and half of America and half of the Middle East…Maybe it’s not too late to believe in some new dimension of magic where psychedelic drugs are the hammer of galactic justice… where peaceful super-hero warriors are able to slay their malignant, war-mongering government. A kind of Star Wars without weapons where Luke Skywalker cuts off the head of Darth Vader with an invisible light saber….
Could it happen?? I don’t know…maybe it already has…
On November 22, 1963 Aldous Huxley was in the last stages of terminal cancer. He asked his wife to inject him with a hundred milligrams of mescaline and L.S.D. and six hours later he died in his home in Los Angeles… That same day, Fifteen Hundred miles away in Dallas, Texas, John F. Kennedy was assassinated… What does this mean?? Nothing to me… But to a paranoid, spaced-out , self proclaimed mystic who wants to save the world…It’s all the proof he needs. Wayne…..2006
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