Monday, 23 January 2017

blowing your mind

Part of the benefits of having a very expensive education is that I am thoroughly institutionalised - and not just because I currently work in The Institute. I was quite risk-averse and so didn't do mad things too often. Also in the 1970s, we weren't awash with money/credit the way we seem to be today. Nevertheless, I did push the envelope in my mother's ancient Vauxhall Viva insofar as that old bus was capable of any turn of speed. It couldn't Do The Ton but even at 70 mph = 110km/h, it was fast enough for me to kill myself if anything went wrong. I slowed down after I had a very close encounter with a petrol tanker coming over a hump-backed bridge in the dark on an icy road. But being 17 with the memory of a gnat, I was soon up to 70mph again. When I went to college, an essential part of my kit was a fur coat made of muskrat Ondatra zibethicus skins; I thought it was cool to make an ironic gender-ambiguous statement in my clothes. ANNyway, at the Christmas party in the middle of 1st year at college, I was approached by a young chap who had acquired some cannabis and wanted advice about how to make it work. I told him I hadn't a clue. 40 years on, I am still [clearly] mulling this over as it struck me as foolish to spend money on something that didn't have any obvious utility.

I don't think about that ratty coat [name of Sohrab if that's not TMI] or the Cannabis Protocols every day but it did surface last week because of 16 y.o Michael Cornacchia's death in Cork on the 17th January. They are calling it a drug-overdose but a mg of U-4 would have been too much, not so much because of it's psycho-active potential but from skepticism about QC quality control. It's only called U-4 by those on first name terms with it. Proper name is U-47700 [structure shown R] and it's a selective ยต-opioid receptor agonist. The opioid receptors' [there are a few different ones] natural function is to sit in the membrane of certain neurons in the brain ready to bind endorphins. Endophins are naturally occurring neuropeptides which when bound to the receptors make you feel grrrreat. So you do again whatever you were doing before. If you run like the wind you can trigger the release of endophins and feel better about yourself and the world. That is, if you have the wind to do that sort of thing, asthmatics - meeeee! - need to seek different avenues to activate the pleasure centres of their brain.

Running like the wind on a regular basis has obvious utility: it builds stamina and muscle mass and allows you to run down antelope for food and run like buggery when a lion comes to share the meal. Writing The Blob from my sofa is my equivalent but it's not clear how this is going to save my life or feed my family.

Now we have a headline about a boy in Cork who died because he couldn't get much out of running but had cash enough to buy a squidgeon of white powder from a chap who had bought it from a chap who had bought it from a lab in the Third World. But there is no audit trail, no table of contents, no guarantees as to safety or efficacy. Money made it easy to do something stupid and irresponsible. When I was a tiny bit older than him, I did stupid and irresponsible things in my mother's car but I only had enough money for 5 or 10 litres of petrol. €13.40 [current price for 10 lt petrol] wouldn't buy much cocaine [what Cornacchia thought he was purchasing] at €100/g.

1 comment:

  1. If you work out how it might feed the family you might share it, I'd be delighted to know!