Recycled Rock N Roll

Recycled Rock N Roll

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Bobbie Oliver - Comedy

Bobbie Oliver knew she wanted to do stand-up comedy from a very early age. “When I was 19 years old, I used to watch The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson,” she says. “I was so in love with Gary Shandling, The Smothers Brothers and other comics, but when I saw Roseanne Barr on television I realized I could do stand-up, too.”

Success was not easy for Bobbie, but she learned that comedy was a voyage, not a destination. “My goals were immature when I was new to the art form.”

Like most comics new to Los Angeles, The Tao of Comedy author and comedian wanted to be on television, but as she performed and eventually began to teach stand-up, she realized that within the art of the joke, there were essential truths about living life waiting to be discovered. “When I started to get into Buddhism and Taoism I didn’t make the connection to how it would affect my comedy until I started teaching and people started to ask me questions and I had to come up with answers for them,” she says. “That’s when I realized that I was dealing with something that was organic, similar to the principles of Buddhism and Taoism. I had taken comedy classes, but the books I had read didn’t seem to grasp that concept.”

One concept she had learned to appreciate both onstage and in her study of the Tao was mindfulness, the idea of being in the moment, totally aware. To Bobbie, part of the Tao is that we are all unique. A stand-up comic doesn’t need to craft a character, they are their persona. “People would say, what is your persona? I started young, and I’ve been doing comedy for 27 years now. There are things I’ve learned in just the last 10 years. When you search for your persona, you are searching your one true self,” she says. ”God turns himself into myriad things to see himself from that point of view. That is our job. You are doing a disservice to your true self if you adopt a persona. That’s why so many comedians go wrong; they try to do an impression of a person instead of being themselves.”

Bobbie teaches comedy and presents shows at her own place, The Tao Comedy Studio. Part of her training is the concept that a stand-up comic shouldn’t just be a hollow joke machine, but a force of justice for the oppressed in a world of prejudice. “I teach that comics should punch up, they shouldn’t punch down. Don’t make jokes about homeless people. Make fun of the system that put them there.” In a proper joke, homeless people aren’t the target . . . they are the ones pulling the trigger. “It used to be that the audience was only straight white dudes. They would tell jokes about Asians or black people. But now a lot of marginalized audiences are starting to be heard and comedy has changed,” she says. “Mean comedy is wrong. Stand-up comics should be using their powers for good, not evil.”

Bobbie has made it easier for women by presenting an open mic show, for women only. “I wanted to give women a place to where they could just share experiences with each other and bond. Since there are like 20 spots in a lineup and just one woman, other women won’t get a chance to perform,” she says. In addition to giving women greater opportunity, the event also serves as group therapy where female comics can bond. “If you put even one man in the room, women start to get competitive. I noticed that when no men were in the audience, it was a more positive, spiritual experience.”

Although she is not a canna-comic, Bobbie believes that cannabis cures a lot of ills that pharmaceuticals can’t, and she has tried many solutions during her long, turbulent career in the entertainment industry. “If it wasn’t for pot I’d be dead or in jail. I’d be in a totally different place right now if I couldn’t smoke it,” she says.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Cannabis and the Military - The Weird

After World War II many experts in the CIA and the military agreed that fighting the Cold War against communism meant understanding, and engaging in, psychological warfare operations. This included studying the effects of psychedelic pharmaceuticals, including cannabis, on the human mind for the purposes of using the plant as a weapon.

In 1950 the CIA began project BLUEBIRD. Declassified documents relative to BLUEBIRD indicate that the government wanted to explore subjects as hypnotizing a person into betraying their moral principles, inducing an unwilling person into performing tasks against their will, mind controlling people into crashing planes or wrecking other vehicles while operating them, altering the personality of captured enemy spies and creating total amnesia in operatives for enhanced operations security.

Eventually the military began investigating ways of using cannabis to nullify an enemy without firing a shot. One scientist, Dr. Edward Domino, used a cannabis concentrate called “Red Oil,” which he developed by using it to get monkeys and dogs so stoned they couldn’t move. Since paralyzed solders can’t pull triggers, the military knew they were onto something, and BLUEBIRD evolved into project MKULTRA.

The CIA divided MKULTRA into three portions. One group studied ESP. Another studied how to control the mind of a person remotely. The final group studied hypnosis for the purposes of brainwashing subjects. They used a cornucopia of chemical concoctions to further this aim, including heroin, morphine, mescaline, magic mushrooms, alcohol, sodium pentothal and even cannabis. Interesting as it is, we’ll never know exactly what the CIA discovered since all documents pertaining to MKULTRA were annihilated by the director of the agency at the time, Richard Helm.

Meanwhile, Dr. James Ketchum, a scientist stationed at center for the U.S. Army Chemical Corps in Maryland, began experiments on soldiers in the 60’s that expanded upon large portions of Dr. Domino’s previous research. Soldiers were given massive doses of cannabis extracts and studied closely. Experiments revealed that when under the influence soldiers became confused, apathetic and eventually completely immobilized. Some had conversations with invisible entities lasting for days.

Dr. Ketchum eventually created a compound that could be sprayed upon enemy combatants to render them invalid. “Paradoxical as it may seem,” he said, “one can use chemical warfare to spare lives, rather than extinguish them.” By 1975 officials claim that both the CIA and the military had abandoned studying cannabis because it wasn’t predictable and powerful enough to suit their purposes, so they focused on LSD.

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) afflicts many military veterans of armed conflicts, resulting in many negative debilitating psychological effects including insomnia, rage disorder, anxiety, avoidance, etc. One group, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, studies PTSD and possible treatments for it, including using cannabinoids, an active compound in cannabis.

According to one report written by Lee,  “Researchers found that people with PTSD had lower levels of anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid compound, compared to those who did not show signs of PTSD…innate to all mammals, anandamide triggers the same receptors that are activated by THC and other components of the marijuana plant.”

In other words, veterans with PTSD are missing a compound that cannabis replenishes. Without this compound, mental issues result. If the body can’t produce it, thanks to PTSD, cannabis can help. This is great news for all military, especially since new legislation allows military veterans to use cannabis without risking their benefits. What began as a weapon is now a medicine, and the many medical cannabis patients who have been healed by the plant probably aren’t surprised.


Weinburger, Sharon. “Army’s Hallucinogenic Weapons Unveiled.” Wired,

Rahn, Bailey. “Cannabis and Post-Traumatic Stess Disorder (PTSD).” Leafly, www.

Marks, John. The Search for the Manchurian Candidate: The CIA and Mind Control, Times Books, 1979.

Hidell, Tom A. “CIA’s Greatest Hits: Project MK-ULTRA.” Illuminatirex, CIA's Greatest Hits Project MK-ULTRA Illuminati Rex.html

"Edgewood Arsenal Chemical Agent Exposure Studies 1955–1975". United States Department of Defense, Force Health Protection & Readiness, Medical Countermeasures website. Retrieved 2013-06-19.

 Researchers tested pot, LSD on Army volunteers Richard Willing, USA TODAY, 4/6/2007

Lee, Martin A. “Synthetic Pot as a Military Weapon? Meet the Man Who Ran the Secret Program”. Alternet, Synthetic Pot as a Military Weapon_ Meet the Man Who Ran the Secret Program _ Alternet.html

Monday, December 5, 2016

Is Cannabis a Cure for AIDS? - Cannabis

Just recently the Journal of Leukocyte Biology published an abstract entitled, ”Attenuation of HIV-1 replication in macrophages by cannabinoid receptor 2 agonists,” which references a series of experiments conducted by scientists at the Temple University School of Medicine Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that indicates infection by the HIV-1 virus (responsible for AIDS) can be slowed down by the introduction of an agonist that hinders the disease by way of activating CB2 receptors. Cannabinoids, one of the active ingredients of cannabis, is one such agonist.

CB2 receptors work by stimulating immune system of the human body to heal itself from, among other things, cellular decay, reducing tissue inflammation and managing pain. While THC only stimulates CB1 receptors in such a way as to create a psychoactive sensation (also known as, “being high”), CB2 receptors can capture the therapeutic chemical properties of THC and use them for the good of the human body. This stimulating can also apparently help fight AIDS.

One of the ways HIV-1 does it deadly work is by infiltrating macrophages, a common type of cell found within most human tissues. After infecting tissues samples with HIV-1, scientists noted tissues samples with increased CB2 function were able to partially fight off the virus. Although the team remarked in their abstract that this doesn’t exactly mean that smoking cannabis can cure AIDS, the presence of cannabinoids is clearly a factor in preventing HIV-1 infection and increasing CB2 receptor function to the point of bolstering the immune system against the disease.

Dr. Patricia E. Molina, a scientist at the Louisiana State University, recently published a study within the pages of the scientific journal Aids Research and Human Retroviruses that described how for 17 months her research team administered high doses of THC (another active ingredient in cannabis) to rhesus monkeys infected by SIV, a disease similar to the HIV-1 virus dangerous to humans.

Their findings clearly indicated that monkeys with THC in their system not only fared better than their non-THC peers, but in some instances were beating the infection. As the HIV-1 virus in their bodies destroyed cells, the CB2 receptors responded by increasing cell growth, preventing the virus from infiltrating the blood stream and doing further damage.

Dr. Molina had not expected this result when she had originally began the experiment. “When we started the study, we thought [THC] was going to increase viral load [the amount of the HIV virus that is present in the gut],” Dr. Molina said in an interview with Leaf Science. Instead, THC did the opposite of her expectations. “It adds to the picture and it builds a little bit more information around the potential mechanisms that might be playing a role in the modulation of the infection.”

Despite this evidence and more, a serious scientific study cannot be conducted within the United States because our federal government still considers cannabis to be a Schedule I drug. It is impossible to test an illegal drug on humans, so whether or not cannabis truly does fight cancer is still largely theoretical until the law changes and further studies can be done in an effort to fight a disease that still kills thousands of Americans across the country every year.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Monster in Stranger Things, Part V - The Weird

This is Part V of an exploration into the nature of Demogorgon (or The Monster, as I prefer to call it) in the Netflix sci-fi/horror masterpiece, Stranger Things. You can read Part I here, Part II here, Part III here and Part IV over here. Spoiler alerts will follow.


Early on in the show, Eleven is tracking Russian agents with her mind while scientists study the results. This whole scene is a reference to Project MKSEARCH, which was another program that came out of MKULTRA. It was primarily intended to program people to have ESP, telepathy, and all that other psychotropic funky mind trip stuff. Just like the Russians, the American government wanted to make sure they could either do it themselves, or that it couldn’t work.

What they found, according to conspiracy theory investigators who give more a fuck about it than we do, is pretty horrific. Dr. Cameron was involved, once again, but so was a new mad scientist, Dr. Sidney Gottlieb. Together they performed more than 150 experiments using chemicals to control the minds of “expendables,” homeless people, children from foster homes, etc. that the government had found to test the chemicals. In 1972 the CIA destroyed all files related to this project. What exactly they discovered, we will never know.

You’ll notice that in the show there is mention of how Eleven’s mother took drugs as part of the government’s investigation into psychic behavior. This is one of the common threads that runs throughout the horrifying story that is our government’s investigation into psychic behavior, according to the conspiracy theories…that the government is testing a drug that will give a person psychic powers, whenever the government wants them to.

Sure, having a mind controlled, programmed wind-up toy is fun, but the ability to give a person, any person in the government psychic powers is something that any government would have to be insane to not want to have. Imagine the potential if you could give a diplomat, politician or spy telepathy or the ability to kill with their mind. It would certainly be better than mind controlling a person who already has psychic powers naturally. You could affect politics on a global scale. 


Running through all of the MK programs that deal with the study of mind control, paranormal and psychic behavior are two important concepts that explain what the government was up to, if the conspiracy theories so many people have written about are to be believed. One is drugs. Over and over, drugs are used to induce behavior, control minds, etc. Go ahead and research all of these programs for yourself. From the Nazi’s to the modern era, you will find that the Powers That Be apparently really want to study drugs, almost as much as the human mind.

The other common concept is systematic sexual abuse, especially in regards to children.


I have already mentioned MKOFTEN, and don’t worry…all the usual evil mad scientists end up involved in this conspiracy theory. What is very important is that authors who have worked on the subject like Peter Levenda mention that in this project, and other projects, people with psychic powers were locked in copper lined Faraday cages. Science often uses these cages to block out electromagnetic energy in order to sterilize the environment for outside influence in order to work on very precise, sensitive electronics. Apparently, Faraday cages also increase pyschic power.

When Eleven is forced to hide inside a closet, she has a flashback to when her own father had scientists drag her away from him, traumatized and screaming, into a dark room of sorts. Look over her left shoulder as the image fade to black. The wall is copper. She is in a Faraday cage…a reference to all of the conspiracy theories we’ve just gone through to figure out The Monster.

At one point in the series, Eleven is told by the scientists to kill a cat with her mind, but she doesn’t do it. Think carefully…we are given precious little information about the experiences the little girl had in the lab, so that scene is important. It shows us she won’t take innocent life. But a fragment of her personality, a shard of her psyche, a splinter personality, based on brute-force survival programming, fight or flee psychological instinct…maybe that would. When she first contacts the psychic Russian agent, she walks up to the man and then turns around when she hears The Monster, becoming aware of it.

In the next scene, an obviously upset, traumatized Eleven is alone in a room with her father, a stuffed lion and tulip (tulip/tulpa) flowers. He tells her it chose her, whatever that means. After that, she finds it, touches it, and screams, opening a wormhole into time, space and her own mind, pulling The Monster into the real world, where it destroys and kills with bestial abandon.

By the way, did you notice the time gap at this point? When Eleven summons The Monster, she is wearing a strange, flesh-colored diving suit. When she escapes, she is wearing her hospital gown. Right after she screams, and the massive crack opens in the wall of the lab, we don’t see anything else for a while. The Monster escaped, later. Eleven escaped, later. Time passed…but we don’t know how much. I think we are all going to see more from this missing section when we watch Stranger Things 2.

You have probably figured out by now that the flesh-colored diving suit is a nod to the audience that The Monster is her. Even the helmet makes her head look bulbous and strange. If she had been put in a blue diving suit, The Monster would have been a different color.


Modern psychology believes that a human personality is comprised of three sections, the ego, the superego, and the id. The superego is the idealistic part of your brain. That section handles ethics, conscious and morality. If you feel bad because you betrayed an old friend, your superego makes you feel that way. The ego is you, your personality…your self. The id is all of your basic instincts. Anger. Sex. Hunger. Fight. Flee. When you were a little baby, you were basically a screaming id. The ego and the superego came later.

I find it very horrifying, but equally important, that Eleven is always seen with a hospital gown. She doesn’t ever seem to wear normal clothes when she is inside the lab. A hospital gown isn’t exactly a great thing to wear for a long time, seeing as how it doesn’t protect or cover up your body, south of the belt buckle. It is also eerie that she is so willing to strip naked in front of the boys, when she thinks she has been told to strip and change. What kind of terrible environment did she grow up in?

There is also something else…the strange absence of images and visual influences around Eleven in the lab, especially in her cell. Aside from her father, the tulips, the stuffed lion and a few other things, she really doesn’t have a lot to look at and influence her imagination. This was probably done on purpose.

Right before she is dragged away from her father, she is wearing a hospital gown and has been traumatized. Right before she is told to contact The Monster, Eleven seems traumatized, wearing a hospital gown, alone with her father. Even her father’s behavior when he finally gets Eleven is odd. It doesn’t exactly seem like a healthy father/daughter relationship.

There is another thing. Eleven’s father’s skin tone is the same skin tone as The Monster. During the fight with The Monster inside Will’s house later on in the series, when the teens attack it with fire, bullets, a bear trap and a phallic baseball bat, the teens aren’t as tall as The Monster. Compared to it, the teens are almost half its size. Compared to her father, Eleven is almost half his size.

Because The Monster is a reflection of her id, and it looks like things that are in her imagination, combining the images of a tulip, a naked man, sexual imagery, a stuffed lion and raw, animal biology. Was there ever a conspiracy theory that featured a rampaging id monster conjured from a person’s mind, like a scientific tulpa? Of course there is…everything is on the Internet, even pure evil. Maybe if we can find a conspiracy theory about an, “id monster,” for lack of a better term, we could prove my wacky theory…

To be continued!