Too straight edge…to visit concerts. A letter to Ray Cappo

Yet I am also going to write inviting letters. Not open letters, that medium has been spoiled by schoolteachers. If you call something an ‘open letter’, everyone runs away, because then some schoolmarm starts ‘polemicising’ again with a ‘sharp pen’. No, it is going to be inviting letters. The first one I am going to write to Ray Cappo, the singer of Youth of Today. No no, these are not skinheads. These are straight edge hardcore punks. I saw the band when I was 18 in the squat bunker in Eindhoven. Straight edge means: no drinking, no smoking, vegan, no system drugs. Very close to the position I’ve managed to put myself in now. Ray Cappo is a Hare Krishna, and a fervent advocate for animal and tree rights just like I am.

Youth of Today in concert

To the distinguished Mr Ray Cappo,

May I thank you at length for the energetic way in which you brought a rather simple message into my life: that if you want things to change you must become assertive, and that you must above all change yourself because that has a ripple effect on the cosmos. Oh Ray, we met about 30 years ago in Eindhoven, in a squatted bunker. A very dynamic concert, and even now, at 52, you stand there with enough energy to do the handstand three times during your concert, that is inspiring for me and also for young people, I think.

Thank you also for being such a pioneer for change, real change as Veganism is, a different religion, a different view of animals and trees. I myself have recently invented a new form of straight edge: straight edge with psychedelics. I’m sure it already exists somewhere, but I don’t think it exists in the form that I cast it in. But fear not, I won’t come and preach to you about using mushrooms or beautiful colours that you might miss in this life.

But I do want to talk to you about the forest, because as a Sage I took on the obligation to represent the interests of the forest in the world of men. And you have always been a spokesman for the forest as well, so in this concert you talk about giving trees the same rights as people. And this is about the most basic right of all: the right not to be a product. Trees have the right to live out their entire lives. There are no other species that also ‘cut down trees’. They are now turning the forest into a bio-industry, planting, chopping, planting, chopping. That is evil, and they do not understand anything about what a forest is and how it works, and that you cannot disturb the mycelium constantly like that.

Fortunately, there is still some real science here and there. You can hardly miss the news: it was recently discovered that mushrooms can speak ‘up to 50 words’ to each other. I put ‘up to 50 words’ in inverted commas because that’s another flag for the psyborg parasite. Oh, it’s only 50 words. But that was in the sample that was studied.

In other words, science has already provided the hard evidence that Roald Dahl’s story about screeching trees feeling hurt when you put an axe into them – fifty years ago, under the parasitic normalcy, this was still so unthinkable that people called it an absurdist story. And now? Just reality.

Ah. But a ‘reality’ that our society is not equipped for. If I were a psyborg, I would read this and think, ok, trees and mushrooms can talk. But what is that a metaphor for?

It is not a metaphor. Ouch! Now the same bot is going to quickly suck up other metaphors elsewhere. Imagine, a tree with as much right to exist as a human being. Whats next?

Yes, Ray Kappo, what next? How can you live in a world where everything lives and everything has the same rights? Where we don’t need a priest to ‘translate’ what an invisible Sock Puppet God has to tell us? Ray, I know very little about your Krishna faith. Why exactly did you choose that faith? Are you suffering from the Hank from Breaking Bad effect? Because that was my first thought when I saw that live video, hey, Hank from Breaking Bad. And he was also very much against ‘drugs’. I think the old drunks in the bunker didn’t know how to interpret you. They thought your positivity was a moral message. Like, let’s be positive together. But I always understood it as an energetic positivity, coming from a Universe where everything has now changed into pure energy. May I thank you again for being such a great contributor to this world.

Yet there is also a kind of dilemma in this amplified form of music. I love rock, and rocking, and rock n roll, and I am convinced that the spirits of the Amanita Muscaria sing ‘take a stand’ as a kind of anthem in gnome land, yet I also have many friends who now have Tinnitus, despite the earplugs, and I myself never go to concerts anymore now that I am mainly training my senses. They’ve just turned those speakers up and up over time, instead of teaching people how to use their ears. Still, you can’t expect a rock band to play acoustically. How do you feel about this dilemma, Ray?

Please help me, Mr Cappo, I have become too straight edge…to visit concerts!

Your affectionate friend,

Martinus (m(dot)benders(at)

Mountains, giants and mushrooms – in this fairytale-like collection, magic whirls and swirls, yet another reality breaks through as well – the whole world turned into The Shining, and the pilgrimage to Szymborska’s grave, a simple stone in Krakow, fails at the last minute; a journey without check marks across sixteen national borders to his daughter, however, succeeds. In its combination of fairy-tale nature, historical background and eerily topical reality, this collection of poems is Benders’ best since he lost count.


You have no time to read this, but that is because you are no longer human. If something of the original person were still alive in you, the old mycelia of childhood, then you would learn a lot from this book, indeed, with its magical knowledge, it might become your most useful possession. A book about the human imagination, and how it managed to get into the iron grip of trans-dimensional cockroaches. Furthermore, there are also magical tips to substantially improve your life and your time acceleration, and M.H.H. Benders also makes light-hearted mincemeat of the entire Dutch literature, what more could you want!

If you don’t want to crawl around mars like a cyber insect under a scrubbed boot – which is on the agenda – then you’d do well to read this book.

The first collected work of Martinus Hendrikus Hogervorst-Benders comprises no fewer than 712 pages and weighs in at least 1.4 kilos in thin print. It is the most ambitious collection written in the last thirty years, and certainly one of the highlights of Dutch literature as a whole, in line with Snoek and van de Woestijne. Anyone with a heart for literature and who wants to read an ambitious book brimming with cast-iron poems instead of yet another typical Dutch-language ‘masterpiece’ will be delighted with the purchase of this brick.

The Microdose Bible is the worlds most comprehensive and complete oversight of mind altering substances, teacher plants and mushrooms. Dutch mycologist and philosopher M.H.H.Benders takes you on a magical journey full of wonder about what teachers nature has to offer. Includes the Psychosupersum, a guide that describes all known mental disorders and offers wisdom for their treatment. 

This book will be published end of 2022.