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Negative portrayals of different types of people in the media.

Migrated topic.

Psilosopher?

Don't Panic
Senior Member
OG Pioneer
Well, that subject line could use some work. What i'm trying to say is... what's the point of portraying certain types of folks in a negative way through the media? (I just repeated the subject line, didn't i?)

It's probably best to use an example.

A friend of mine linked me to this article.


Article itself is pretty good, as an introduction. The thing that irked me was the video embedded in the article.

[youtube]


Yes, i know it's meant to poke fun at hipsters. I don't care if hipsters are portrayed negatively (in fact, i support it hah), but i do care if psychs are portrayed negatively. The way the people in the video were disrespecting the medicine was very disappointing. Part of me thinks that's the point, to highlight the hypocrisy and egocentrism of hipsters and pseudo-spirituals. It seems a lot of people are interested in aya because it's "hip" rather than seeking it for it's medicinal properties.

Does this reinforce a negative connotation between plant medicines and "party animals"? The end of the video showed one of the participants blasting electro-rave-dj-whatever-insertgenrenamehere music, which was clearly distressing another participant. The end shows them both babbling and making infantile noises. Anyone who has no idea about aya or plant medicines might walk away thinking that aya is a hippie drug that needs to be stopped. However, the depiction was pretty accurate of a horrific experience. Giving half-truths isn't doing any favours here.



I dunno, i'm not a fan of this reckless name-dropping of psychedelics in the media. It only serves to misinform people. Sure, there will be a handful of people that might put research into it, but is it worth the alienation of so many other potential psychonauts that walked away thinking psychedelics are crazy?
 
I am open to all portrayals of psychedelic users by people who have used psychedelics before. I thought the video seemed like a portrayal made by 4 very unfunny people who have obviously never used psychedelics (or perhaps any recreational drug, for that matter). It's hard for me to imagine who the audience of this sketch is supposed to be. I actually want to know so that I can avoid them.

Look at this comment on the article you linked:
There is a lot more going on underlying how this drug affects people. The positive "benefits" people think they are getting from using this are a false reality that using the drug creates within the users. If it was solving their problems they wouldn't ever need to go back to it. There is a thing called doctrine of signatures. How clues to a plants use can be visible in how it looks, or an action it does in nature, e.g.. walnuts look like a brain and they are good for your nervous system and brain function. The ayahuasca vine wraps itself around its host and strangles it until it completely takes over. The drug does the same thing to the users. It does this by creating a false reality of everything being amazing so they take more and more and more... but they never really see what is happening to them.
Sure you and I can see the irony of SOME of the ayahuasca culture out there, but [presumably] the vast majority of people who use ayahuasca get something deeply positive and transformational from it. Meanwhile, many other people (people who have not dabbled in psychedelics at all, which is most people on Earth) are going to take ignorant portrayals like the one in that sketch and use them as ammunition against the psychedelic community. It marginalizes psychedelic drug users who are already shunned by society and hunted down like animals by the authorities.
 
That exact comment, in conjunction with the video, is what lead me to ask this question.

Talking to someone in the know about psychedelics is all fine and dandy, but even in the face of a reasonably well written article, people still cling to their old stigmas and assumptions. Breaking those stigmas takes a larger amount of effort than informing them correctly in the first place.
 
I agree that it is important to do some outreach. I have spent many hours standing on the sidewalk with a sign, talking to people about psychedelics who have never heard a story like mine before. Most people are open to what I had to say. Some people are closed to it but are polite anyway. Some people told me that psychedelic drug use is witchcraft. I think the open-minded group of people make for rewarding conversations, but then do they really need a push at all? Won't they seek this stuff out on their own if it is meant to be? I guess I became more fatalistic about it. I definitely don't see the benefit of trying to convince the "witchcraft" group.
 
That video seems like somewhat of an effort to discredit legitimate spiritual and medicinal use of ayahuasca. granted, there are people of all walks who find themselves drawn to ayahuasca, and a good deal of these people will wear the clothing of "hippies" or "hipsters", however this does not mean that these people are not using the compound for legitimate spiritual reasons , and a video such as this will reinforce the notion in the mind of the general public that ayahuasca is an intoxicant consumed by strangely dressed individuals with no other motivation except the hedonistic desire to party.

It's incredibly easy to generalize people into these neat little cookie-cutter divisions and then to convey some rationale of personal superiority in regards to yourself in relation to said to said people, which in itself is a judgemental and egotistical action.

One of my teachers, Geshe Ngawang Dhargye, used to say, "You get together with a friend and talk about the faults of this person and the misdeeds of that one. Then you go on to discuss others’ mistakes and negative qualities. In the end, the two of you feel good because you’ve agreed you’re the two best people in the world."

I'm no fan of buying into cultures, I don't feel one should derive some sense of personal identity from conforming to these subcultures guidelines...however I also refrain from judging other people whether I agree with them in any way or not, If they are not hurting or bothering anybody, then who cares? We all have the right to choose our own path through life.

So by labeling a group of people as "hypocritical psuedospiritual hipsters" are you not doing the exact same thing as the video clip which you posted?

The fact that media pieces like the one Which you posted might be "turning people off" to psychedelics may actually be a good thing, the type of people who would be unwilling to do follow up research, and who form their opinions based on clips like the one which you posted probably shouldn't be taking ayahuasca any way...when it comes to entheogens you want the people who can do the most with them and get the most out of them using them, not every human on earth, so "drawing people in" really is not a positive thing in my eyes, most who are meant to find ayahuasca often do by some means, but it's rarely influenced by video clips like the one posted.

The real danger is when the media falsely represents a psychoactive as a danger, or as an immanent threat to all that is good, and this type of intentional propagandistic dissemination of disinformation is the real threat when it comes to drugs in the media, these reports result in emergency scheduling, legislation based on misinformation, the criminalization of plants and religious practices, and the imprisonment of Entheogen consumers.

What does pseudo-spirituality mean to you? Because It kind of sounds like an overtly condesending means of discounting another's spiritual prefence, but then again I admit that I don't understand what you mean by this.




-eg
 
hixi said:
It marginalizes psychedelic drug users who are already shunned by society and hunted down like animals by the authorities.

I have grown up in europe so maybe it's different to where you are from but i think that saying that psychedelic users are hunted down like animals is a bit dramatic.


EG said:
when it comes to entheogens you want the people who can do the most with them and get the most out of them using them,

I think that it is very difficult to say who would and who wouldn't benefit from them. My first thought after reading the comment from the link that Hixi posted was "well she obviously has no experience of what she is talking about". Maybe she would change her tune after going through the experiential process of taking ayahuasca or dmt.

I don't think that the clip had anything to do with dissing ayahuasca. It was clearly aimed at pretentious hipsters (if such people exist). And so what if it was aimed at psychedelic users. Everyone is fair game when it comes to piss taking. I would even go as far as saying that mainstream culture having a laugh at the expense of psychedeic users is an indication of acceptance. Stop taking yourselves so seriously.
 
entheogenic-gnosis said:
It's incredibly easy to generalize people into these neat little cookie-cutter divisions and then to convey some rationale of personal superiority in regards to yourself in relation to said to said people, which in itself is a judgemental and egotistical action.

One of my teachers, Geshe Ngawang Dhargye, used to say, "You get together with a friend and talk about the faults of this person and the misdeeds of that one. Then you go on to discuss others’ mistakes and negative qualities. In the end, the two of you feel good because you’ve agreed you’re the two best people in the world."

I'm no fan of buying into cultures, I don't feel one should derive some sense of personal identity from conforming to these subcultures guidelines...however I also refrain from judging other people whether I agree with them in any way or not, If they are not hurting or bothering anybody, then who cares? We all have the right to choose our own path through life.

So by labeling a group of people as "hypocritical psuedospiritual hipsters" are you not doing the exact same thing as the video clip which you posted?

The fact that media pieces like the one Which you posted might be "turning people off" to psychedelics may actually be a good thing, the type of people who would be unwilling to do follow up research, and who form their opinions based on clips like the one which you posted probably shouldn't be taking ayahuasca any way...when it comes to entheogens you want the people who can do the most with them and get the most out of them using them, not every human on earth, so "drawing people in" really is not a positive thing in my eyes, most who are meant to find ayahuasca often do by some means, but it's rarely influenced by video clips like the one posted.

The real danger is when the media falsely represents a psychoactive as a danger, or as an immanent threat to all that is good, and this type of intentional propagandistic dissemination of disinformation is the real threat when it comes to drugs in the media, these reports result in emergency scheduling, legislation based on misinformation, the criminalization of plants and religious practices, and the imprisonment of Entheogen consumers.

What does pseudo-spirituality mean to you? Because It kind of sounds like an overtly condesending means of discounting another's spiritual prefence, but then again I admit that I don't understand what you mean by this.

-eg


I don't see myself as being above others. I just say my observations, that there exists many groups of people who lie incessantly about their identity. Hipsters are one such group. Music elitists, or any sort of elitist for that matter, are another. Pseudo-spirituals are another. People who brag about their political ideologies are another, but don't actually know anything about politics (or whatever subject they're bragging about). Basically, i'm not a fan of liars, pathological liars even less so. I don't really care what people do or believe. It'd just be nice if people were genuine.

That quote is a very gross simplification of a hypothetical conversation. If two people were to discuss Hitler, is it wrong for them to say he did some very bad things? No, it's just an observation. However, if two people were to talk about a mutual friend, as long as there is no malice behind their words, then it's all good. What if they were talking about how their mutual friend is falling off the rails, developing bad habits, becoming addicted to cigs, alcohol and drugs and what they can do to help? Is it not out of compassion that they talk about the faults of their friend, so they might be able to help them?

Pseudo-spirituality, like anything pseudo, means fake. Putting on a mask to appeal to others, with no solid belief in the practice they are socially capitalising on. Pseudo practices are done purely to appeal to a certain demographic, whilst not being genuine about said practice. That is lying.

"I'm no fan of buying into cultures, I don't feel one should derive some sense of personal identity from conforming to these subcultures guidelines...however I also refrain from judging other people whether I agree with them in any way or not, If they are not hurting or bothering anybody, then who cares? We all have the right to choose our own path through life."

I agree. There is a difference, however, between assessing someone for their validity and judging them based on whether their shoes match their hat (whatever that means). If a certain someone says A LOT of very poignant and sage things to you, do you not judge them as a teacher, a guide, a guru? Similarly, if someone always steals, lies and cheats, do you not judge them on their deeds (bearing in mind that they are human and no one is perfect)? Everyone judges people. Those who say they don't, also judge people. The people that say they don't judge people really mean they don't factor in their appearance into who this person truly is. They give people a chance to be genuine. If they are not genuine, then they aren't genuine. Simple as that. The "judge" in this case may think a plethora of things. They can not care at all, be annoyed about it, or turn super emotional.

It's ok to judge. It's not ok to arrive at a definitive conclusion from said judgement, since humans are multi-faceted and multilayered. A judgement like this is fine: "Given what this person has said, it is safe to assume xyz. On second thought, let's ask them". A judgement like this is NOT fine: "Look at her nails! Ugh! No fashion sense, what a loser!".

Judge people constructively, don't judge people so that one can feel better about themselves.



Now, Your Honour, the point of the OP is to highlight whether bad publicity of any legitimate practice (including psychedelic use) is right or wrong (for lack of better terms, the words "right" and "wrong" don't feel right here)? When writing the OP, the thought of ""turning people off" to psychedelics may actually be a good thing" did cross my mind.

"the type of people who would be unwilling to do follow up research, and who form their opinions based on clips like the one which you posted probably shouldn't be taking ayahuasca any way"

I was unwilling to do followup research on DMT when i first heard about it in 2011(?). I saw a thread on an unrelated forum titled "dmt". I did a quick wiki search. I saw the molecule, the letters DMT, and instantly thought it was a drug of abuse. This was purely based on the mannerisms of the OP. The guy who started the thread was a very hostile and aggressive person, that only cared about getting "fucked up". Bad first introduction led to years of not knowing what DMT truly was. This was during a time when i was smoking ganja, taking shrooms and LSD. If only i'd known that psilocybin was essentially DMT...

Some might say that it wasn't my time to know about DMT. I have conflicted feelings with this sentiment, that i also hold. "You don't find DMT, DMT finds you" sorta thing. I dunno, i dunno anything anymore.
 
hug46 said:
I have grown up in europe so maybe it's different to where you are from but i think that saying that psychedelic users are hunted down like animals is a bit dramatic.
Drug users are denied basic human rights and freedom. People are subdued, chained, and caged. Lives are ruined, families are torn apart, and communities are destroyed. Do you really want me to mince my words when referring to the human rights atrocities that are carried out in the name of the "War on drugs"?
 
I just see this as another way for people to pinpoint the faults of a style of living. It comes across as if the perpetrators are without fault and that is why it seems offensive. It is as if there is no correct way in which one should live their life, there are just many options, each with their own faults and positives. Videos like this exemplify this for the effect of humor.

I'm a hipster at times, and the greatest virtue I have learned is to laugh at myself and my own faults including cultural faults. I'd much rather be a hipster than a dork, but at the end of the day I am not sure if objectively one is better than the other. There are just lifestyles. Certainly what is wrong is the behavioral traits associated with these lifestyles and if you want to argue against it you have to generalize and stereotype which is problematic. Nevertheless, people agree on these behavioral traits otherwise BONDIHIPSTERS wouldn't bother to make these videos at all. I can't say what is good and bad behavior though, maybe ask someone who can, like an excessively sane person, a psychiatrist perhaps.
 
Every age has its, "new agers". Often, as with all human groups, there is ample virtue signaling, some sincere some not. Perennial Philosophy remains the same no matter the uniform worn. The back and forth twixt new agers(of any era) and normies is often edifying and sometimes hilarious.

Now, re the West's "war on drugs", seems the destructiveness can't be overemphasized. I'm with hixi on this. Persecution(prosecution) and incarceration of non-violent "offenders" is anachronistic, counterproductive and inhumane!

To paraphrase Nick Sand's response to the term, entheogen. "Psychedelics MAY be entheogens, depends on how they're utilized".

Peace
 
hixidom said:
hug46 said:
I have grown up in europe so maybe it's different to where you are from but i think that saying that psychedelic users are hunted down like animals is a bit dramatic.
Drug users are denied basic human rights and freedom. People are subdued, chained, and caged. Lives are ruined, families are torn apart, and communities are destroyed. Do you really want me to mince my words when referring to the human rights atrocities that are carried out in the name of the "War on drugs"?

You won't get any argument from me in relation to humans having the right to take drugs but i feel that you have moved the goalposts a little from your original comment where you referred to psychedelic users. Again i can only comment in relation to my own experiences in that i feel that psychedelic users, as long as they keep it to themselves and arn't selling or manufacturing, are left to get on with it by the authorities. People who trip or get stoned are generally seen as harmless eccentrics by modern society whereas heroin and crack addicts are viewed in a more sinister light. But i think that those kinds of drugs are more related to poverty. And it is noteworthy that, once opiate addiction became associated with the middle classes, it was seen more as a social problem than a crime. The drug war has always marginalized the poorer and less privileged among us and in the west psychedelics are not associated with poverty.


In the UK there are people of authority such as Baroness Meacher (a British life peer) who sits in the house of lords and is chair for the APPG for drug policy reform. Mike Barton (chief constable of Durham) who believes drugs should be decriminalised and has been tasked with overseeing how officers tackle drugs nationwide. This would never have happened thirty years ago. There are also positive articles on the health benefits of psychedelics. Thirty years ago there would have just been articles about tripping people thinking that their babies are chickens and putting them in microwaves rather than articles on the possible benefits. These developments do not make me think that psychedelic users are hunted down like animals

If psychedelic users are hunted down like animals why wasn't Terrence Mckenna locked up? Or Joe Rogan? Or Graham Hancock? The list could go on. And yes, there are exceptions. Tim Leary comes to mind but i don't think that he was locked up for drugs. They were just used as an excuse. Times are changing.

Fathomless said:
I'd much rather be a hipster than a dork, but at the end of the day I am not sure if objectively one is better than the other.

Yes i agree. I cannot see any difference between hipsters and dorks.
 
That video seems like somewhat of an effort to discredit legitimate spiritual and medicinal use of ayahuasca.

It's incredible hard for me to understand how you can come to that conclusion. It's obviously a rather hillarious joke about postmodern lifestyles in which there is no meaning anymore.

Part of me thinks that's the point, to highlight the hypocrisy and egocentrism of hipsters and pseudo-spirituals.

That is the joke, obviously. :surprised
 
obliguhl said:
That video seems like somewhat of an effort to discredit legitimate spiritual and medicinal use of ayahuasca.

It's incredible hard for me to understand how you can come to that conclusion. It's obviously a rather hillarious joke about postmodern lifestyles in which there is no meaning anymore.

Part of me thinks that's the point, to highlight the hypocrisy and egocentrism of hipsters and pseudo-spirituals.

That is the joke, obviously. :surprised

I agree with you oblig.
 
In addition to that, i would like to encourage you to think about why it makes you feel bad.
This is very common. Afterall, insulting the Prophet can lead to killings, as we all know. But why is it difficult, to accept that only the relationship we are having with something...ayahuasca? can be truly sacred. The air is sacred because i can breath it. The ground is sacred because i can walk it. There are certainly many "idiots" who breathe the same air and walk the same grounds...but that does neither devalue air nor the path we tread.
 
You guys do get that this is a parody, right? Even someone that has no clue about ayahuasca should be smart enough to see they are making fun of it.

Part of the reason why it is parodied is because people take this stuff waaaay too serious and because it has became somewhat of a trend nowadays.

Sure it has a long history of human use, and it did help some folks out to deal with certain types of issues, but that wasn't even the purpose of ayahuasca till this new age spirituality trend. Because of this tourism there have also been cases of people that are in for the money and don't know what the hell they are doing leaving people out with a worse state after the ceremony than before.

And that's not all, even if you find a legitimate facility, the caapi plant is on a good path to become endangered because it is over-harvested and it takes years to reach full maturity again. Same goes for people that order dried caapi online.

This stuff should be kept away from the mainstream IMO. One can just as easily drop some acid, eat some shrooms, smoke some DMT without messing around with stuff that could so easily be swept away from the face of the earth like peyote or iboga nearly did.
 
I found the video pretty hilarious. Being British probably helps in understanding the Aussie sense of humour as they are very complementary (but rarely complimentary 😁 ) to each other. Strangely, the end of the video, where the speech is rendered as "Ububububbububwubub", or thereabouts, is highly reminiscent for me of an LSD trip I once endured in my foolish youth some decades ago. Thank god I wasn't puking, naked on the floor...

You'd have to be seriously lacking in judgement to think that the video was intended as any kind of factual representation of anything, although it must contain a grain of truth in order to be sufficiently funny. Those who would take a dim view of ayahuasca on the basis of such a sketch are probably beyond redemption.

That said, I think a danger does lie within the video in that it may encourage reckless use of ayahuasca by immature persons - although I do not think it was produced by drug-naive people.
 
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