You and Robert Crumb are notable examples where drug taking seemed to result in a step change in artistic ability and vision. Would you advocate the use of LSD or other drugs by an artist seeking to improve his/her art?
Well, no, I wouldn't advocate the use of LSD or other drugs by anyone. But, at this point, I wouldn't advocate masturbation, cigarettes, fats, sugars, popular music, most fiction, dancing, movies, card-playing...very little besides reading Scripture aloud, working 12 hours a day six days a week, fasting nine days out of ten, eating very little when you're done fasting, exercise...you see where I'm going with this? :)
But that's the voice of hard experience: that you never know what things in life are going to prove to have an Enormous Adhesive Aspect until they're stuck to you good and proper. It's received wisdom that pot isn't physically addictive. Well, it sure was for me. For a couple of decades there, if I had pot and I was stoned, I was okay, I was wonderful. If I didn't, I was cranky and jonesing for it. By the time I knew that that was my relationship with it, it was too late. It might as well have been grafted onto me with sutures. Buy a quarter-pound for personal use. You know, a dealer's quantity. When I was down to a half ounce, I was "almost out" -- time to buy more. Just trying things to find out if that's the way you are with them, it's Russian Roulette. When you get burned you get burned but GOOD!
At the same time, OUR society is in advanced adolescence, young adulthood (the civilization formerly known as Christendom, I mean) where it's really your decision. I mean, REALLY your decision. Not "You better be VERY careful". You want to try heroin? Take a vacation to Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. You can shoot up in the street and no one will bat an eye. Contrasted with Islam which is still in its relative infancy: get hooked on something you shouldn't and its a capital offence. Homosexuality is a capital offence. A lot of things we in the West have come to look at as, hey, whatever, Dude are capital offences in Muslim countries. Want to know what you can do and what you can't do? Go ask the Imam. But bet on it being "No, you can't do that. In fact you should be flogged just for asking about it. Don't move while I consider whether you will be or not." Christendom was like that for a LONG time. When John Scrudder's girlfriend said she wanted to get a boob job if enough Kickstarter money came in, I said, "Well, God gave you free will the same as he did me." Which she translated into "He says it's my body and my decision" which isn't QUITE the same thing.
For me, it's forty years of bad decisions and -- to this point -- sixteen years of repentance. SERIOUS repentance. Don't apologize for it. STOP DOING IT and apologize to God for how long you did it. 22 years of fornication and 16 years of repentance. Six more years and I'm even. Theoretically.
But, I do think it's a free will thing. I'm pretty sure it's where God wants us to get as a civilization and as individuals. When it's a capital offence, you aren't REALLY being tested. When heroin is just a plane ticket to Vancouver and a jaunt down to Junkie Heaven, that's when you are REALLY being tested.
Good luck to anyone reading this who thought they'd just try something and now find that it might as well be grafted onto them with sutures. I can't even imagine what access to online pornography must be like. Any perversion that comes into your pointy little head(s) just the click of a mouse away. I feel guilty just watching the occasional music video. It takes all kinds.
Stephen, you've been uncharacteristically good as gold over there. What's on your mind?
Please tell me you still read comics, because I worry that Alan Moore doesn't: the industry I infer he perceives from what he implies in interviews is a very different one from the one I see on the other side of my counter. And although I love Uncle Alan with all my heart that sends out all the wrong signals, counter-productive not only to what Page 45 wants to achieve but what it has already achieved: quality and diversity now freely available getting into the hands of the Real Mainstream. It is possible to break the corporate superhero stranglehold on comics. We've done it. Our biggest seller last year was Craig Thompson's Habibi. And that came out LATE in the year.
Stay tuned Moment Of Cerebus fans. Be here tomorrow. Same Moment Of Cerebus time, same Moment Of Cerebus channel!