Why not now?
by phil on Friday Sep 5, 2003 11:03 PM
"A specter is haunting planetary culture--the specter of drugs," begins Food of the Gods ; and the nod to this century's other great millenarian influence is no accident. Like Marx, McKenna offers maps for comprehending the past and techniques for adjusting to a dysfunctional present and increasingly complex future. On the one hand, he follows feminist historian Riane Eisler (The Chalice and the Blade ) in waxing nostalgic for a lost, archeologically evidenced paradise. McKenna finds evidence for such a "partnership" society--that is, matrilinear and nonproprietary--on the Tassili-n-Ajjer Plateau in Southern Algeria, where an abundance of game and psychedelic mushrooms created an Edenlike environment some 14,000 years ago. In fact, McKenna argues, language and even consciousness itself may have been sparked by the consumption of psilocybin mushrooms by our African ancestors. The bad news, however, is humanity's subsequent subjection to the bad-news "dominator" values of agriculture, materialism, and male domination.
"He has got the gift of blarney," agrees Dennis McKenna, now a San Francisco pharmacologist. "I think his model has serious flaws in it, but I think his vision of where we're headed may be right. It's amazing how many of the farthest-out ideas we put into The Invisible Landscape have held up. For instance, the idea that macromolecules, such as DNA, can under certain instances act like superconductors. This is not such a far-out notion now.