Not to Touch the Earth

Let’s make it a Lizard King kind of a day, shall we? If that means a diet of alcohol and LSD, visions on rooftops and a possible night in jail, that’s up to you. Jim Morrison’s lesson of personal freedom means pursuing your own breakthrough by whatever means necessary. For some people, that may just mean reading lots of poetry, or commuting with nature. It doesn’t have to be the kind of hedonism that gets you dead. The prophet gets himself dead, that’s why he’s the prophet and you’re not. Morrison’s own pursuit of the hedonistic ideal had, by the time Waiting for the Sun was recorded, progressed beyond mystical and cool into intolerable and sad, according to his less insane bandmates.  “This was no longer a young man’s drinking; it was a full-grown man’s drinking.” according to Ray Manzarek. Ray and the others understandably failed to see the glamour in Jim’s self destructing. There’s a disconnect between the romantic ideal of the tortured poet and the everyday reality of dealing with a rampaging drunk, which boils down to a lot of sheer aggravation. Miraculously enough The Doors continued to produce music of an incandescent quality right up until the end. It may be because Morrison managed to summon his mystical spirit despite being a walking trainwreck, and had the theatrical timing to die before his work suffered in any way, that everything we know about the perils of alcoholism flies out the window and we’re still mesmerized by the glamorous illusion of an all powerful Lizard King who could do anything. What should have been a cautionary tale remains a fever dream of a sexy martyred shaman who touched something greater than himself.


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