In Darren Aronofsky’s Pi (1998), the young protagonist Max Cohen is a brilliant Math genius at an unspecified downtown New York City university. He discovers a 216-digit string of numbers that hinted at “The true name of God.” Max tries to unite math, computers, drug use and kabballah to uncover the secret of the universe. Like his hero Alastair Crowley, who attempted a similar feat almost a hundred years earlier, his attempt failed miserably and painfully. The film earned Aronofsky the Directing Award at Sundance and high praise from Roger Ebert.
Daniel Genis was a young and ambitious student at New York City’s elite Stuyvesant High School with a proud history of mischief and unorthodox ideas which he now downplays. He was mesmerized by the movie and the promise of enlightenment and he believed that he could succeed where his hero Max Cohen failed. He enrolled at NYU and studied Math.
Aronofsky came out with Requiem for a Dream in 2000, in which a heroin junkie sobs as he takes the family TV to sell it for drugs while his mother is watching. He is so sorry for his behavior, but he just can’t help himself. The need for drugs is too strong. Of course, this is complete fiction and never happened before in the history of drug abuse. But Genis was mesmerized by the scene.
This came at the perfect time, because the young Genis was starting to realize he was not cut out for a life of math research, nor was he likely to make much progress at Kaballistic number theory, despite his mother’s unflagging encouragement that he could do whatever he set his mind to. Unsure of his future, he was thinking of going into the creative biz like his hero Aronofsky. Realizing that he had to start to curb his penchant for mischief, he got a job at a literary agency and cultured a heroin habit. Now he could hide his trouble-making behind a claim of ‘addiction’, which would at least make for a decent drug memoir of the kind that was popular at the time. He racked up a huge debt to dangerous drug dealers and then proceeded to rob people at knifepoint, apologizing profusely as he did so, just like the kid in the movie. Though he could never quite master the regretful sob, he still netted approximately $700. He was soon caught and was dubbed by the press as the “Sorry Bandit“, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
While in prison he completed his memoir, which he sent to Aronofsky but hasn’t heard back yet. He also became actively involved in AA programs, in which he learned that he was powerless to heroin, which caused his crimes. He was completely vindicated! Of course, this was a pretty lame excuse behind bars, so instead he would call himself “a Robot Zombie for Aronofsky.” This gave him instant credibility in the yards.
He went on to lead NA programs and his only regret was that he had to skip past the first 5 minutes of NA videos because they contained the “12 Steps” that was banned as ‘religious’ by New York State Courts. Otherwise he could freely explain the principles of the cult religion to the other prisoners all of who were mandated to treatment regardless of whether they had used drugs, and were then taught that they were powerless to drugs and alcohol due to a ‘seratonin imbalance’ in their ‘hypocampus’, although much to his indignation many of them became active users despite his spirited explanations of the dangers of drugs. (Although Genis didn’t have easy access to the scientific literature, he relied on his high school biology as he understood it, along with a well maintained stash of Discover magazines from the 80’s generously lent out by a lifer serial rapist-killer named ‘Scheherizade’ in return for various favors left unspecified.)
Since getting out of prison, Genis wrote a book Narcotica, and hopes to use the proceeds from the novel to repay the victims of his crimes and use the balance to help fund his Prozac prescription (he doesn’t want to rely on mom for everything, though he gets a kick out of calling her his ‘drug dealer’).
He has also caught up on the Aronofsky filmography and is now pursuing ballet dancing and building an ark in his back yard and interpreting his dreams as esoteric instructions from “The Creator”. He also picks compulsively at suspected imperfections on his body in the hopes of either correcting them or determining if they might be a symptom of a more serious illness, though as yet he has not achieved much success either way.
- The Origin of Sin – We once lived in the Garden
- AA’s Satanic Roots – Have a drink and do what thou wilt
- Lie Like the Wind – How to know if AA is right for you
- Welcome to the Club – How to cure a heroin addiction
- Powerlessness as Religion – Only the good die young
- You Are So Brainwashed It’s Funny – Who will pay for their sins?
- The Problem of the Jews: a Lesson in Brainwashing Propaganda – How AA bamboozled a country
- The Drinking Club – Watch what they do, not what they say
- Does Addiction Take Away Free Will? – We lived in the Garden
- Cory Monteith: The Cult of Powerlessness Claims Another Victim
- I Call Blackout – I did what??
- Rat Addicts and the Science Of Addiction – The best of 60′s Science Fiction
- A Conversation with Dr. Drew Pinsky – 13% and proud
- School for Scoundrels – What you actually learn in the rooms
- AA is a Pagan Cult – Putting the ‘pagan’ in propaganda
- The Little Psychopath Could: How the Addiction Myth creates new Drug Addicts