"We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are."
("Hallucinations have always had an important place in our mental lives and in our culture. Indeed, one must wonder to what extent hallucinatory experiences have given rise to our art, folklore, and even religion."
---Oliver Sacks, in his book HALLUCINATIONS. [From the back cover of the first Vintage Books edition, 2013: "To many people, hallucinations imply madness, but in fact they are a common part of the human experience."])
("People are not persuaded by what we say, but rather by what they understand."
---from a fortune cookie I found on a sidewalk)
("The spectator makes the picture."
("I quote...almost every day. Part of that is because if you dispense your own wisdom, others often dismiss it. If you offer wisdom from a third party, it seems less arrogant and more acceptable."
---Randy Pausch, in his best-selling book THE LAST LECTURE.)
("Although I have milked many cows, the butter I churn is my own."
("The tale grew in the telling."
---George R. R. Martin, quoting J. R. R. Tolkien.)
("...the telling takes me home."
("When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
("The Beatles had first tried cannabis in 1964 when Bob Dylan introduced them to it..."
"Bob had listened to the lyrics of 'I Want to Hold You Hand' and, thinking one of the lines was 'I get high,' had assumed this was a reference to drug-taking and that the boys were seasoned users. When he mentioned this to John, he was told that the line was in fact 'I can't hide' and that none of the Beatles had tried drugs..."
"That was when Bob offered to initiate them."
---Cynthia Lennon [John Lennon's ex-wife], in her 2006 book JOHN.)
("We believe we're seeing the world just fine until it's called to our attention that we're not."
---David Eagleman, in his book INCOGNITO--The Secret Lives of the Brain.)
"Tripping opens you to the idea that everything you know is wrong."
("There is another reality, the genuine one, which we lose sight of. This other reality is always sending us hints, which without art, we can't receive."
---Saul Bellow, 1976.)
("You hear this other deep reality singing to you all the time, and much of the time you can't decipher it."
---Leonard Cohen, at age 82, quoted by David Remnick in an article "How The Light Gets In". Remnick's article mentions Cohen's use of LSD. The New Yorker, 10.17. 2016. ["LSD" is d-lysergic acid diethylamide.])
("how shocking the obvious can be / if you're not ready for it."
("...a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."
---Paul Simon, in his 1968 song "The Boxer".)
"Tripping opens you to the idea that everything you know is wrong."
("There is another reality, the genuine one, which we lose sight of. This other reality is always sending us hints, which without art, we can't receive."
---Saul Bellow, 1976.)
("You hear this other deep reality singing to you all the time, and much of the time you can't decipher it."
---Leonard Cohen, at age 82, quoted by David Remnick in an article "How The Light Gets In". Remnick's article mentions Cohen's use of LSD. The New Yorker, 10.17. 2016. ["LSD" is d-lysergic acid diethylamide.])
("how shocking the obvious can be / if you're not ready for it."
("...a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."
---Paul Simon, in his 1968 song "The Boxer".)
("Everything that you see is observer-determined."
---Robert Lanza, M.D.)
(“Bertrand Russell once remarked that the stars are in one’s brain.”
---R.D. Laing, in his 1967 book THE POLITICS OF EXPERIENCE.)
("The Brain---is wider than the Sky..."
(All "we experience directly is a virtual-reality rendering, conveniently generated for us by our unconscious mind from sensory data plus complex and acquired theories [i.e. programs] about how to interpret them."
---David Deutsch, in his 1997 book THE FABRIC OF REALITY.)
("Illusion is the only reality."
("Let us admit...the hallucinatory character of the world."
---Jorge Luis Borges, quoted by Judith Thurman.)
("The subject of painting is a state of mind."
---Frederick Gore, in his book PAINTING: Some Basic Principles.)
("...what we know, or think we know, is perceived through a dense series of veils--culture, language, historical moment, and biological development. We and the world around us are always hidden from ourselves by ourselves."
---Wes "Scoop" Nisker, in his book CRAZY WISDOM.)
("That is the way we live nowadays: driving along a road between hallucination and amnesia. As long as you are moving you are O.K...."
---Romesh Gunesekera, in the short story "Road Kill". The New Yorker, 12.2. 2013.)
("I woke up in between
a memory and a dream"
"So let's get to the point,
let's roll another joint"
---Tom Petty, in his song "You Don't Know How It Feels".)
("The world presented to us by our senses is nothing like reality."
---Amanda Gefter, in her article "The Case Against Reality", about the research of cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman. The Atlantic, 4.26. 2016.)
("Reality is not what it is."
("Neither the various appearances of things nor things themselves are reality."
("...there is no such thing as an objective reality."
---Albert Hofmann, in the 1984 book THE OMNI INTERVIEWS, edited by Pamela Weintraub.)
("...psychology has...assumptions often so implicit, so removed from conscious awareness, that we don't know we have them."
"...our implicit assumptions affect the way we look at and control what we will find to be the 'meaningful' facts."
---Charles Tart, in his introduction to the 1975 book he edited, TRANSPERSONAL PSYCHOLOGIES.)
("...our awareness of the world around us is extraordinarily limited. We are all simply unconscious to an unbelievable degree."
---M. Esther Harding, in her 1965 book THE "I" AND THE "NOT-I"---A Study in the Development of Consciousness.)
("To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost blind you draw large and startling figures."
("human kind cannot bear very much reality."
("I have to admit that sometimes the artist's story, if I am informed of it, adds to and affects what I see."
---David Byrne, quoted by Michelle Broder Van Dyke, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, 10.14. 2009.)
("When I am asked a question, I tend to answer with a story."
---Bruce Conner, quoted by Kenneth Baker, the San Francisco Chronicle, Summer 2009.)
("The universe is made of stories, not of atoms."
---Muriel Rukeyser, 1968.)
("Stories only happen to people who can tell them."
("...good stories change people..."
---Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, PhD, of the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, in a 1.15. 2015 lecture.)
("History's written from what can be found; what isn't saved is lost, sunken and rotted, eaten by earth."
("In public, I feel I have an obligation to be, if not clear, vivid."
---John Perry Barlow)
Marcel Duchamp noted that the significance of a work of art depends upon the context in which it is viewed. Both the location where the image is seen and its place in art history are important.
For the past 31 years, my "business" card has read: "MIND-ACTIVE DRUGS: INFORMATION, RESEARCH, AND CONSULTATION".
(“A report in 2012 by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse revealed that medical schools devoted little time to teaching addiction medicine — only a few hours over the course of four years.”
---Natalie Jacewicz, National Public Radio website, 7. 27. 2017.
“...most medical professionals who should be providing addiction treatment are not sufficiently trained to diagnose or treat the disease…”
---from the 2012 CASAColumbia report.)
(“...there is little to no education within medical education curriculums around addiction…”
---Michael Botticelli, head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
“...medical schools have not done a good job in educating students about all of the complicated issues related to substance use, substance use disorder, and addictions.”
---Dr. Todd Griswold, director of medical student education in psychiatry, Harvard Medical School.
Both of the above quotes are from a 5.17. 2016 StatNews report by Melissa Bailey.)
(“...undergraduate medical education concerning substance abuse is woefully sparse.”
---Kothari, Gourevitch, Lee, Grossman, Truncali, Ark, and Kalet in Acad Med. 2011 Jan., online article: U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.)
(“Many of us were even taught--incorrectly--that opioids are not addictive when prescribed for legitimate pain. The results have been devastating.”
---U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, quoted by Steven Reinberg, HealthDay News, 8.25. 2016.)
I am a psychedelicyberepidemiologist.
(PSYCHEDELICYBEREPIDEMIOLOGY: The study of how psychedelic states of consciousness are spread via the Internet.
["All colors affect us psychologically."
"They all have a major impact on the way we feel and act."
"Some reactions to color are physiological and completely involuntary."
"Many people are motivated by inner compulsions rather than by rational thought."
---from PANTONE HANDBOOK OF COLOR FOR INTERNET (1998).]
[The Apple Macintosh PowerBook 140, released in October 1991, was "...the very first notebook computer created by Apple..."
"Codenames for this model are: Tim Lite, Tim LC, and Leary."
["The impulse to use hallucinogens is a kind of empathy with the electronic environment."
["Apple exemplifies one strain of influence that is particularly unappreciated: the crossover between counterculture spirituality and tech culture."
"...this phase of Silicon Valley culture...was a distinct period from the 1970s hippie/tech crossover, which was documented...in John Markoff's book WHAT THE DORMOUSE SAID."
---Jaron Lanier, in his 2013 book WHO OWNS THE FUTURE?.]
["The Internet is...an expression of 1960s counterculture."
"It's...an electronic commune."
---Lev Grossman, TIME, 12.27. 2010.]
[“...you have the counterculture, the Grateful Dead, LSD, all happening in the same place that you get Apple computer and the internet born…”
“...they had in mind recreating the commune."
---Franklin Foer, author of WORLD WITHOUT MIND: THE EXISTENTIAL THREAT OF BIG TECH, speaking with Michael Krasny, KQED, September 2017.]
["A Kind of Electronic LSD?"
---G. Pascal Zachary, in an article about "computer whiz" Jaron Lanier and "artificial reality".
The Wall Street Journal, 1.23. 1990.]
["In a side street in Berkeley California, the epicentre of the counterculture in the 1960s and 1970s, I found what could well be the birthplace of the phenomenon."
---Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC News, 1.25. 2011, in the article "Hackers and Hippies: The Origins of Social Networking". (In 1973, as part of the "Community Memory" project, a computer terminal was placed near a bulletin board in a record store in Berkeley and other places that were easily accessible by the public, allowing local users to communicate with each other, form groups, etc.)]
[According to Mike Power in his 2014 book DRUGS 2.0: THE WEB REVOLUTION THAT'S CHANGING HOW THE WORLD GETS HIGH, the first thing ever sold online, in 1972, was a bag of marijuana.])
("Whenever I design a chip, the first thing I want to do is look at it under a microscope--not because I think I can learn something new by looking at it but because I am always fascinated by how a pattern can create reality."
--- W. Daniel Hillis, in his 1998 book THE PATTERN ON THE STONE--The Simple Ideas That Make Computers Work.)
("Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it."
(“Many scientists say that the American physiologist Benjamin Libet demonstrated in the 1980s that we have no free will. It was already known that electrical activity builds up in a person’s brain before she, for example, moves her hand; Libet showed that this buildup occurs before the person consciously makes a decision to move. The conscious experience of deciding to act, which we usually associate with free will, appears to be an add-on, a post hoc reconstruction of events that occurs AFTER the brain has already set the act in motion.”
---Stephen Cave, The Atlantic, June 2016.)
("...we are not aware of all that creates us."
---Mary Lamia, psychologist, interviewed by Michael Krasny, KQED, 7.18. 2017.)
("...and I did not make myself."
---Alice Moore, in a blues song recorded in 1929.)
I am a hallucinographic designer and I write poetry.
"jdyf333" is my nom de psychédélique. (I am also known as "Davivid Rose"...and many other names.)
("Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth."
("A poem is good until one knows by whom it is."
("Language is a drug."
("...my art is to make uselessly beautiful artifacts."
---Jonathan Lethem, quoted by Leah Garchik, the San Francisco Chronicle, 10.30. 2009. Lethem, a writer, was answering a question Michael Lerner asked about "the artist's social responsibility".)
(Some of my work, published as a coloring book for adults:
LSD DOODLES--CATALOGUE NUMBER ONE
[Exploding Mandala Press, Berkeley, California, 1991.] Issued in a very tightly-controlled limited edition. Each copy came with a set of color pencils, a pencil sharpener, and a packet containing 25 doses of CLEARLIGHT brand "Microdose" LSD.)
Ut pictura poesis ("as is painting, so is poetry")
(A copy of a 1981 chapbook of my poetry, A LANDSCAPE OF WRISTS, is in the Library of Congress, and in the libraries of the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at Santa Cruz, the University of California at San Diego, and California State University--East Bay. A copy of a 1971 chapbook of my LSD poetry, STARVE THE MOTHS, is in the library of the University of California at Berkeley. A copy of a 1970 chapbook of my poetry, CROSSFIRE: 14 ACTS, is in the Bibliotheek Universiteit Van Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Copies of The Open Cell, a literary publication that published some of my poetry in 1969, are in the libraries of the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of California at Santa Cruz. Some of my poetry appeared in THE ANTHOLOGY OF UNDERGROUND POETRY [edited by Herman Berlandt, and published in Berkeley by Poets' Commune Publications, 1970].)
(Other chapbooks of my poetry:
VISIONS...VIOLET & PERSIMMON 
MAXIMUM BEVERAGES--HURRY! 
MAPLE SYRUP 
COLLECTED DRUG POEMS 1969-1975 .)
I recently scanned and placed online approximately 4,000 pages of the 'poetry' I have hand-scribbled since 1969.
(“There’s a bad moon
on the rise and I’ve got
quite a stash”
---Cedar Sigo, in his 2010 poem “Stranger In Town”.)
("...no non-poetic account of reality can be complete."
---John Barrow, in his book THEORIES OF EVERYTHING: The Quest for Ultimate Explanation.)
("For poets, contradictions are not mistakes. They are compulsory."
---Fintan O' Toole, writing about W.H. Auden. The New York Review of Books, 10.22. 2017.)
("...he was in the middle of an endless jabber."
"...that never-ending, non-stop flow of words..."
"He was babbling away..."
"...his voice, going on and on..."
"Dylan loved telling stories that never ended..."
"I rarely got a word in edgewise..."
---from CAITLIN--Life with Dylan Thomas, by Caitlin Thomas [with George Tremlett].)
("...intense, as usual, smoking like mad and talking at his normal super-fast pace."
---T.R. Reid, author of THE CHIP, describing microchip co-inventor Robert Noyce.)
("...if you got into a discussion with him, you kind of had to pack a lunch."
---Bob Weir, describing LSD chemist Owsley Stanley, in an article by Robert Greenfield, Rolling Stone, 7.12. 2007.)
("Berger often speaks in sentences that stretch to paragraph length and have many asides, footnotes, and complete diversions from the point."
---Jon Cohen, describing Theodore Berger, a biomedical engineer and neuroscientist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, in an article Cohen wrote titled "Memory Implants". MIT Technology Review, May/June 2013. The article is illustrated with a photograph of Berger drinking a Red Bull energy drink. ["They told me I was nuts a long time ago," Berger says with a laugh.])
On October 10, 1971, high on LSD and driving the first (and only) car I ever owned, a 1954 Ford Mainliner (with the words "WHAT A RUSH!" painted across the back), I picked-up poet Julia Vinograd and drove to the "Festival of Underground Poetry" then being held at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum, and publicly read some of my poetry there.
("Funny, infuriating, dangerously familiar, hauntingly strange, way too intellectual, true despite itself: poetry is the same as it ever was."
---Marke B., San Francisco Bay Guardian, 5.1. 2013.)
("The poet makes himself a seer by a long, prodigious, and rational disordering of all the senses."
"...even if, crazed, he ends up losing the understanding of his visions, at least he has seen them!"
---Arthur Rimbaud, 1871, in a letter to Paul Demeny.)
("The real voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."
("We live in a world made out of language, woven from consciousness, whether we ever allow ourselves to know it or not."
---Daniel Pinchbeck, in his book BREAKING OPEN THE HEAD---A Psychedelic Journey Into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism, 2002.)
("Words after all are symbols, and the significance of the symbols varies with the knowledge and experience of the mind receiving them..."
---Benjamin Cardozo, U. S. Supreme Court Justice.)
("Language is a tailor's shop where nothing fits."
("...the deeper we go into this, both written and spoken language become less and less adequate as a medium of expression. If I could arrange it we would have a session of visions ourselves and you would then understand."
---Manuel Córdova-Rios, describing the effects of ayahuasca to F.B. Lamb in WIZARD OF THE UPPER AMAZON.)
("The Chinese...thought that the best way to write history was to obtain a real picture of a time moment in the past by collecting...coinciding events, which together give a readable picture of the archetypal situation existing at that time."
"...Western historians despised this way of writing, because they did not understand it. They said it was ridiculous to collect a few random facts and put them together, it was idiotic."
---Marie-Louise von Franz, in a 1969 lecture about synchronicity and "the psychology of meaningful chance".)
("The Indian tale...repeats itself regularly as an integral part of its nature."
"In modern times...we have a huge body of self-conscious, over-disciplined expression in which the main purpose of narrative, telling a good tale, gets lost."
---Tristram P. Coffin [editor], in INDIAN TALES OF NORTH AMERICA--An Anthology for the Adult Reader.)
("...my thinking spirals: it does not go ahead in a straight line."
"...I have found, in the process of teaching, that most students do not understand one's ideas unless they are repeated--under differing analogies or in varying forms of words, as a musician constructs variations on a theme."
---Alan Watts, in his 1973 book CLOUD-HIDDEN, WHEREABOUTS UNKNOWN--A Mountain Journal.)
("We live in a post-era era..."
"This new reality seems to have manifested in the literary world in what must undeniably be called a new literary genre. For lack of a better word, let's call it Translit."
Translit "...is not unlike watching a TV show that's simultaneously happening on multiple channels..."
"The Translit author assumes the reader has the wits to connect the dots and blend the perfumes."
"The Translit reader knows there is a spirituality lacking in the modern world that can only be squeezed out of other, more authentic eras."
---Douglas Coupland, in a 3.11. 2012 review of Hari Kunzru's book GODS WITHOUT MEN. The review, titled "Convergences", was published in The New York Times Book Review.)
("...most artists worthy of the name are loners and renegades. They operate without licenses---or Ph.D's---striving to be themselves as only they can, as clearly and intensely as possible. This is very hard work..."
---Roberta Smith, art reviewer, The New York Times, 11.12. 2010.)
Anton Chekhov believed that the role of an artist is to ask questions, not answer them.
("LSD doesn't give answers, just questions."
("A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament. Its beauty comes from the fact the author is what he is. It has nothing to do with the fact that other people want what they want. Indeed, the moment that an artist takes notice of what other people want, and tries to supply the demand, he ceases to be an artist."
---Doris Stricher, contemporary French visual artist and art historian.)
("You cannot be a creator and be hailed as one by the public...you have to choose between making art and being regarded as an artist. The one excludes the other."
"It is the desire to strengthen the existence of my works that obliges me to show them."
---Jean Dubuffet, quoted by Lucienne Peiry in her book ART BRUT--The Origins of Outsider Art.)
("...the only value left is the belief in the artistic process itself on the grounds that in creativity alone resides true humanity."
---Horst de la Croix and Richard G. Tansey (revisers), in GARDNER'S ART THROUGH THE AGES.)
("Marketers and filmmakers are often quietly at war. 'The most common comment that you hear from filmmakers after we've done our work is "This is not my movie," Terry Press, a consultant who used to run marketing at DreamWorks SKG, says. 'I'd always say, "You're right--this is the movie America wants to see."'"
---Tad Friend, The New Yorker, 7.8. 2013.)
"I am for an art that is political-erotical-mystical, that does something other than sit on its ass in a museum."
---Claes Oldenburg, 1961.
(“The only place to go in art is too far.”
("Creating art is a search for truth, and viewing art can be a catalyst for profound understanding."
---Cay Lang, in her book TAKING THE LEAP.)
("Someone driven by an inner fire of artistry, irrespective of the world's rewards, was simply off the map of his reality."
---Alice Schroeder, describing Warren Buffett, in THE SNOWBALL: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life.)
("I had to decide whether to have too little or too much in my life...That was an easy one. I chose too much."
---Elaine Pagel, quoted in an article by David Remnick, The New Yorker, 4.3. 1995.)
("...a rich and hectic life..."
---Chrixcel, describing me in an article about doodles. [fatcap.com, 1.2. 2012].)
("jdyf333 is an outsider artist / poet / acid tester in California with a wicked sick drawing hand. His brilliant textures are secretly encoded alien circuits from the future, embedded with autonomous holy LSD patterns."
---Danny Glix [acidskull.com, 2.18. 2010].)
("A man is worked on by what he works on."
("A mesmerizing group of pictures. The spatial illusions are endless, and scale and dimensions continually in flux."
---Roberta Weir, commenting on some of the images I have made. [facebook.com, 1.20. 2011].)
("...a mindblowing Flickr account..."
"...lysergically lovely imagery."
---Marke B, writing about my hallucinographic designs. [San Francisco Bay Guardian (sfbg.com, 10.17. 07)].)
(Abstract art "represents direct manifestation of creative thought processes as they might appear in computer designs."
---Marshall McLuhan, in his 1964 book UNDERSTANDING MEDIA: THE EXTENSIONS OF MAN.)
("Uninterested in drawing by hand, much less in wielding a paintbrush, he describes himself as someone who makes paintings but does not consider himself to be a painter."
---from "Dots, Stripes, Scans", a positive review of "a beautiful show" featuring the computer-made art of Wade Guyton. The show, at the Whitney Museum, is called "Wade Guyton: OS". The review was written by Roberta Smith, The New York Times, 10.5. 2012.)
("...when purpose has been used to achieve purposelessness, the thing has been grasped."
---from THE SECRET OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER)
("The Tao that can be told is not the real Tao."
("Polka dots are a way to infinity."
("Banksy's work embodies everything I like about art."
"He has a gift: an ability to make almost anyone very uncomfortable."
---Shepard Fairey, writing about underground artist Banksy, whose identity remains unconfirmed. Fairey was quoted in TIME, 5.10. 2010. TIME named Banksy as one of "The 100 Most Influential People In The World".)
("He rarely missed an opportunity to be notorious and strange."
---Jaron Lanier, describing Nikola Tesla.)
("The more defiant something is of the instinctive, the typical, and the sufficient, the more highly it is prized. This is why we have the 'Guinness Book of World Records,' the Gautama Buddha, and the Museum of Modern Art. They represent the repudiation of the norm."
---Louis Menand, The New Yorker, 11.25. 2002.)
("To be creative, you can't have inhibition, and you can't do what everyone else is doing."
---Emily Zitek, Cornell University psychologist, quoted by Jacquie Itsines, Psychology Today, April 2015.)
("Art derives a considerable part of its beneficial exercise from flying in the face of presumptions."
("Imperfection and incompleteness are the certain lot of all creative workers."
---H.G. Wells, in EXPERIMENT IN AUTOBIOGRAPHY.)
("Close as I can, this is how I remember it. I could be wrong about some things. Most everybody is. "
---Diane di Prima, in the "Author's Note" to RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE AS A WOMAN: The New York Years.)
(I have done my best to be factually accurate in this "autobiography" because, as Antonio Munoz Molina once said, "A drop of fiction taints everything as fictional.")
("...writing for posterity and writing for simpletons can sound exactly the same."
---Janet Maslin, in her review of Mark Kurlansky's book READY FOR A BRAND NEW BEAT--How "Dancing In The Street" Became an Anthem for a Changing America. The New York Times, 7.5. 2013.)
("...a Stephen Jay Gould essay in Natural History magazine, in which Gould reflects...on how deceptive and inaccurate, when he has gone back to check, his own memory of things has sometimes proved."
"...memory being ever ingenious, self-serving, and unreliable...even when we think we remember something clearly..."
---Jay Neugeboren, in IMAGINING ROBERT--My Brother, Madness, and Survival.)
("...the human mind is adept at sugar-coating the past by censoring unpleasant experiences..."
---Thomas B. Cole, M.D., in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 11.28. 2012.)
("A psychologically complete and honest confession of life...would require so much indiscretion [on my part as well as on that of others] about family, friends, and enemies, most of them still alive, that is simply out of the question. What makes all autobiographies worthless is, after all, their mendacity."
---Sigmund Freud, giving his reasons for refusing to write an autobiography.)
("Every autobiography is obviously a work of fiction."
"...because of the liability of memory, that just has to be true."
---Michael Chabon, quoted by Lou Fancher, Oakland Magazine, December 2016.)
("Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful."
("It's not what you light, it's what you don't light."
---John Alton, cinematographer.)
("Non-fiction prose is tricky when one is writing about friends and peers who wish to remain anonymous, settings that are clandestine, and activities that are illegal."
---Amber Dawn, in the preface to her 2013 book HOW POETRY SAVED MY LIFE--A Hustler's Memoir.)
("James Joyce once said that all novelists have only one story, which they tell again and again."
---Joan Acocella, The New Yorker, 5.16. 2011.)
("What goes on inside is just too fast and huge and all interconnected for words to do more than barely sketch the outlines of at most one tiny little part of it at any given moment."
---David Foster Wallace, in his story "Good Old Neon".)
("'Jesus,' I said 'Does anybody tell the truth around here?'
'I do,' she said. 'You do.'
I looked at her and for a minute she was eight and I was ten and we were hiding in the doghouse while Ma and Pa and Aunt Toni, on mushrooms, trashed the patio."
---George Saunders, in the short story "Home" in his 2013 book TENTH OF DECEMBER.
"The person I'm highest on right now is George Saunders..."
---David Foster Wallace)
("The poet remembers. You can kill one, but another is born."
---Czeslaw Milosz, 1950.)
I am a male who was born at a U.S. military base in Japan in 1951.
(My favorite Cy Twombly drawing, lala, was made in New York City in 1951.)
(“Klaatu Barada Nikto”
---from the 1951 movie The Day the Earth Stood Still.)
(In 1951 a group of three people [Albert Hofmann, a pharmacologist, and a novelist] were the first to explore the effects of LSD in a nonlaboratory setting.)
I grew up in North Carolina, South Carolina, France, and New Mexico. My parents claimed that the first thing they ever heard me say was "Keep your cotton-pickin' hands off me!!"
(“Of all that Orient lands can vaunt
Of marvels with our own competing,
The strangest is the Haschish plant,
And what will follow on its eating.”
---John Greenleaf Whittier, in the opening lines of his poem “The Haschish”, written in 1854. This poem was the first mention of cannabis by an American author.
“John Greenleaf Whittier’s antislavery poem ‘The Haschish’ deems cotton to be ‘The Haschish of the West’ because of its power to distort men’s minds is even greater than ‘the hempen Haschish of the East’.”
---Stephen Rachman, in his 2006 introduction to Fitz Hugh Ludlow’s 1857 book THE HASHEESH EATER--BEING PASSAGES FROM THE LIFE OF A PYTHAGOREAN.)
My father's mother was said to have been one of Andy Griffith's Sunday school teachers. My father's dad reminded me of the comic strip character "Snuffy Smith". He used Tube Rose brand snuff.
(Mount Airy, North Carolina ["Mayberry"], where my father was raised, was once well-known for the [illicit] "moonshine" liquor produced there. My mother told me that the first time she went there with my father, he immediately fetched her a taste.
One of my most vivid childhood memories is of the time my father showed me how to distill alcohol. He made moonshine from beer that South Carolina summer afternoon in the late 1950s. Later we went to a drive-in movie theater and saw Thunder Road, starring Robert Mitchum as a moonshine runner.
My grandfather and my uncle in Mount Airy had associations with the illicit liquor business, according to my brother, who himself at one point in his youth was a crazily brave and skillful transporter of illegal booze.
["As young Junior Johnson ran 'shine for his family, driving like a bat out of hell evolved into more than just a necessity. In order to outrun the cops, he built the fastest cars and invented gutsy driving moves...His racing savvy soon turned into his passion and Junior crossed over to NASCAR, where he became an instant star."
---from THE LAST REAL AMERICAN HERO, part of an explanatory essay about "Midnight Moon", a spirit produced by Piedmont Distillers, co-owned by Johnson and located a short drive from Mount Airy.]
["Now this ain't no ordinary Chevy
The motor and suspension ain't the same
Whiskey as you know is very heavy
And getting through is what they call the game"
---John Dawnson, in his song "Whiskey", recorded in 1972 by the New Riders of the Purple Sage.])
("The days of Mayberry are long gone."
---Paul Torres, former executive director of the Denver, Colorado Civil Service Commission, quoted in an article written by Jesse Katz, Los Angeles Times, 6.18. 2000. Torres was commenting on the fact that Denver hired Ellis "Max" Johnson to be a police officer, even though the police department knew he had used marijuana, crack cocaine, LSD, methamphetamine, PCP, mescaline, and Valium. ["84% of Denver's police applicants--and at least 65% of its recent hires--have acknowledged some past experimentation..."])
In 1969, I hitchhiked from North Carolina to Berkeley, where I traded my high school graduation present, a Timex wristwatch, for 2 orange tablets containing LSD.
(“...as is often said, nothing is strange in California.”
---Dame Shirley, in a 1851 letter from a gold mine.)
("I am listening to a rhythm which has been just the same for millions of years and it takes me out of a world of relentlessly ticking clocks."
---Alan Watts, describing "...the rhythm of the waves..." experienced while he was beside the sea, 1970.)
Shortly after my first psychedelic experience, which was at a beach near Big Sur, California (at one point I felt like I was in the scene depicted in the painting "The Persistence of Memory" by Salvador Dali) I was jailed and convicted of the crime of "Malicious Mischief" for the act of making a 2-inch line in a patch of wet cement in Berkeley. (I had intended to write the word "Peace".) I was also charged with possessing a marijuana cigarette, but the prosecutor said he would dismiss the charge if I pleaded guilty to making the line in the wet cement. While in jail I was the victim of an unprovoked brutal assault.
I TOOK LSD APPROXIMATELY 5,000 TIMES BETWEEN 1969 AND 1992.
(Joe Bageant first took LSD in 1965.
"Five years later I was still taking it at least once a week, and to this day I consider LSD the promethean spark of whatever awakening I have managed to accomplish in life."
"Despite the claims of graybeard stock brokers and aging realtors at cocktail parties, the majority never took part in the movement."
"Oh, they smoked pot, talked the talk, but that's about all."
---Bageant, in his 2009 essay "Skinny Dipping in Reality: The Great Hippy LSD Enlightenment Search Party".)
("Most of the people who walked around the Village looking like Beats in 1960, like most of the people who walked around San Francisco or Berkeley or Cambridge looking like hippies in 1967, were weekend dropouts. They were contingent rebels. They put on the costumes; they went to the concerts and got high; and then they went back to school or back to work. It was a life style, not a life."
---Louis Menand, The New Yorker, 8.24. 2015.)
(A few of the well-known people who have lived in Berkeley:
Francis Ford Coppola
Marion Zimmer Bradley
Philip K. Dick
("On most issues in Berkeley there are as many views as there are speakers, and as many people to tell you the rest of them don't know what they are talking about."
---Susan Dunlap, in her 1993 novel TIME EXPIRED.)
("Name a modern police technique or technology and there'e probably an influence that can be traced back to the once famous August Vollmer, Berkeley's top cop from 1906 to 1932. He's responsible for the squad car and police radio dispatch...he promoted fingerprinting for investigations...one of his officers even invented the lie detector. Vollmer also hired the first female officer..."
---Darwin BondGraham, East Bay Express, 2017.)
("The summer seemed to last forever"
"Those were the best days of my life"
"I knew that it was now or never"
"O yeah, back in the summer of '69. Ah hah, it was the summer of '69, oh yeah, me and my baby in '69. Ohhh, it was the summer, summer, summer of '69, yeah."
---Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, in the song they wrote, "Summer of '69", recorded in 1984.)
(The "Bryan Adams 'Summer of '69' Syndrome" is a very bad thing, according to an article written by Ian Williams, "Trash That Baby Boom", Washington Post Magazine, 1.2. 1994.)
("In 1969, the internet's predecessor, the Arpanet, sent the first message from a computer at the University of California, Los Angeles, to one at Stanford University in Palo Alto."
---Popular Science, special issue, "100 Inventions that Changed the World.")
(The novel HOUSE MADE OF DAWN was written by N. Scott Momaday, a Native American of Kiowa descent who was teaching at the University of California in Berkeley at the time the book won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969.
"...the ecstasy of the drug called peyote."
---quote from the back cover of the first printing of the paperback edition.)
("Forty-four percent of Americans say they have tried cannabis, according to a new Gallup poll.
The American research-based consulting company, which is best known for its opinion polls, says this is the highest percentage to admit having tried the drug since it first started asking the question in 1969--when only 4 percent said they had sampled it."
---Michael Walsh, Yahoo News, 7.22. 2015.)
("It's hard to overstate the tension that crackled through the country back then."
---Amanda Ripley, describing 1969, in The Atlantic, November 2016.)
(Two images that I feel strongly evoke those times:
One of the photographs that Arthur Schatz made in 1969 of Jack Nicholson smoking marijuana and listening to a record. Nicholson is holding a joint up, away from his face, and looking "directly" at the camera. His mouth is partly open in the beginning of a slightly lopsided grin.
A classic photograph that Nacio Jan Brown made around the same time, of Jack Leary, with his arms crossed, seriously gazing at the photographer while standing on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley.
[Of all the aliases I have used, "Jack" is my favorite...])
("The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or be black, but by getting the public to associate hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities, we could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."
---John Ehrlichman, domestic policy chief for president Richard Nixon when the administration declared its War On Drugs in 1971. Ehrlichman, speaking in 1994, was quoted by Dan Baum in Harper's Magazine, 2016.)
("To erase the grim legacy of Woodstock, we need a total war against drugs. Total war means war on all fronts against an enemy with many faces."
---Richard Nixon, in his 1990 book IN THE ARENA: A Memoir of Victory, Defeat, and Renewal.)
I became a federal fugitive in 1972 after being brutally beat and threatened with death by federal agents who were angry because I declined to cooperate with them following my arrest for alleged involvement in an MDA deal. (Before becoming a fugitive, I appeared in court and pleaded NOT GUILTY.) MDA, called "The Love Drug" by some users in the 1960s and 1970s, was code-named EA1298 by the U.S. military. The "EA" in the code-name is an abbreviation of Edgewood Arsenal, a site in Maryland where chemical agents were stockpiled. At the time I was arrested, I did not know that MDA had been made illegal approximately a year before.
("...they all took MDA and predictably fell in love with each other."
---Mark Vonnegut, in his first autobiography, THE EDEN EXPRESS, 1975.)
("The drug is said to promote harmonious interpersonal relationships."
---Eugene Schoenfeld, M.D., writing about MDA in his 1968 book DEAR DOCTOR HIP POCRATES.)
I fled the country more than once.
("A strict observance of written laws is doubtless one of the highest duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation...are of higher obligation."
---Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to John B. Colvin, 1810.)
(A wise person once wrote "The Holocaust was legal. Slavery was legal. Legality is a matter of power, not justice.")
("I know not what course others may take but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
("...I'd rather be a free man in my grave, than living as a puppet or a slave."
---Jimmy Cliff, in his song "The Harder They Come".)
("The creak of a stair that had not creaked before; the rustle of a shutter when no wind was blowing; the car with a different number plate but the same scratch on the offside wing; the face on the underground that you know you have seen somewhere before: for years at a time these were the signs he had lived by; any one of them was reason enough to move, change towns, identities. For in that profession there is no such thing as coincidence."
---"John Le Carré" [David Cornwell] in his 1974 novel TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY.
Indeed, if people were not extremely skilled at playing "Spy-vs-Spy", I often refused to associate with them when I was part of the illegal psychedelic drug world...)
("Only the paranoid survive."
---Andrew Grove, CEO of Intel.)
("...the price he paid for still living was a certain uncomfortable amount of anxiety."
---"Kickaha", in Philip José Farmer's 1967 novel A PRIVATE COSMOS.)
("You don't even know my real name"
"This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no foolin around"
---David Byrne, in the words he wrote for the song "Life During Wartime", recorded in 1979 by Talking Heads.)
(Late one night when I was a fugitive, not long before my final arrest, my favorite taxi driver told me the DEA was following me. I went back to the apartment I rented, and without turning on the lights, I cut and dyed my hair, shaved off my mustache, and put on a suit and tie. Leaving behind more than a million squares of perforated blotter paper that had not yet been soaked with liquid containing LSD, I placed my copy of the 1965 U.S. Army field manual SURVIVAL EVASION AND ESCAPE just inside the door of my apartment, so that it would be the first thing the narcs saw if they entered…
A week later, a dear and brave friend [a psychedelic grandmother] went to the apartment and retrieved the unsoaked blotter paper. As the Beatles sang--”I get by with a little help from my friends...I get high with a little help from my friends…”)
("...in the grand tradition of artists and criminals everywhere, I'd used a lot of names..."
---"Ryder", in Richard Kadrey's novel KAMIKAZE L'AMOUR.)
("...poetry...should pay no attention to its real name."
---Brian Patten, in PENGUIN MODERN POETS 10--THE MERSEY SOUND--ADRIAN HENRI--ROGER MCGOUGH--BRIAN PATTEN, a 1974 revised and enlarged edition of a book first published in 1967.)
(Sixties political and social activist Abbie Hoffman was arrested and charged with intent to sell cocaine in 1973. He declined to go to court and became a fugitive in 1974. He surrendered to authorities in 1980. He once said the efforts of his friends to protect, hide, and transport him was the purest love he had ever experienced. That was my experience also. I will forever be grateful to all the many people who, at great risk to themselves, helped to keep me from being caught.)
After being a fugitive for 13 years, I was arrested on a federal charge of "Conspiracy to Distribute LSD". I was in possession of very small amounts of 2C-B (with a handwritten note and explanatory diagram by the academic chemist who made it and gave it to me), MDMA ("Ecstasy") (samples of 4 different batches, including 2 given to me by a for-profit chemist who was arrested 24 years later at the largest MDMA ["Ecstasy"] lab ever seized in California. [MDMA ("Ecstasy") had been classified a Schedule I Controlled Substance a couple of weeks before my arrest.]), marijuana, a psilocybin mushroom, codeine, valium, and traces of powders containing cocaine and heroin. Also, very pure LSD in crystalline form and a quantity of gelatin pyramids containing LSD. For reasons unknown to me, the conspiracy charge was dismissed, and, for reasons unknown to me, I was never charged with possessing any of the drugs. The MDA charges were apparently dismissed because I demanded my "Right to a Speedy Trial" and it took the prosecutor too long to find the legal records of my 1972 case.
("Often it is not possible to dissipate the compulsive need for an addiction. In such cases the destructive craving can be rechanneled into a positive beneficial addiction..."
---Michael Lesser, M.D., in his book NUTRITION AND VITAMIN THERAPY, 1980.)
Dr. Lesser, a doctor in Berkeley, treated me for chronic kidney stones in the 1980s. Before I was scheduled to appear in 1986 before federal Judge Samuel Conti to face the 1972 charge of "Failure to Appear in Court", I wrote the judge a letter containing the above quote by Dr. Lesser. I knew the judge had probably read a transcript of a telephone conversation DEA agents had recorded in which I said to a heroin addict that perhaps he should take LSD instead of heroin. I explained to Judge Conti that many people I had known died from using heroin, but I did not know of any instance where someone had died from using LSD. I wrote that I first heard of MDA when some radical Berkeley rioters I knew told me that it was a drug that made them feel intense affectionate love for everyone they met, especially police officers. It seemed to me that it was better for people to hug than to break windows and set fires. Judge "Maximum Sam" Conti was well-known to be VERY harsh when sentencing people in drug-related cases. Because I did not want to give the judge the satisfaction of being cruel to me, and because my attorney told me that it was certain that I would receive the maximum sentence, my attorney made an agreement with the prosecutor stating that I would accept a sentence of five years in prison for "Failure to Appear In Court", a felony, but when it came time for sentencing, Judge Conti surprised my attorney by refusing to accept the agreement, and he sentenced me to two years in prison instead. I served 15 months.
("I've had one myself, and it's so horrible it makes you want to die."
---Steven Kaplan, MD, director of the Iris Cantor Men's Health Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, describing kidney stones. Kaplan was quoted by Richard Laliberte and Gail Saltz in an article in Women'sDay, "10 Symptoms He Shouldn't Ignore", 6.7. 2011.)
I was not issued a Social Security number until I was 35 years old (1986).
Capitalism tends to encourage greed, although on a well-regulated and very small scale capitalism might sometimes be beneficial to a community. I am vehemently opposed to large-scale capitalism.
("The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets."
---John D. Rockefeller)
("I'm running a business."
---Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan, "explaining why the pharmaceutical company raised the price of the EpiPen, a lifesaving portable injector for those with severe allergies, from $100 to more than $600 each..." TIME, 9.12. 2016.)
("...hard-driving vicious cutthroat financial killers, the kind of people who leave blood all over the boardroom table..."
"Those are exactly the kind of negotiators the United States needs..."
---Donald Trump, in his 2016 presidential campaign.)
("...thousands of the bank's employees used customer data to open more than two million fake bank accounts, including more than five hundred thousand credit-card accounts."
"...the egregious fraud indicated a corporate culture gone badly awry..."
---James Surowiecki, The New Yorker, 11.7. 2016, describing what Wells Fargo bank did from 2011 to mid-2016.)
(“...the Department of Justice is open for business…”
---Jeff Sessions, Attorney General of the United States, news conference, 8.4. 2017. Sessions was nominated for the job by Donald Trump…)
("The business of America is business."
("His job appears to be to convince a generation of people who want to do good and do well to learn, instead, remorselessness. Forget rules, obligations, your conscience, loyalty, a sense of the commonweal. If you start a business and it succeeds, Linkner advises, sell it and take the cash. Don't look back."
---Jill Lepore, describing award-winning entrepreneur and author Josh Linkner. The New Yorker, 6.23. 2014.)
("I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul."
---William Ernest Henley, in his famous inspirational poem "Invictus", written in 1875. What Henley wrote is NOT true.)
("If you work hard and play by the rules, this country is truly open to you. You can achieve anything."
---Arnold Schwarzenegger, when he was governor of California. What Schwarzenegger said is NOT true.)
("...it's an article of faith that people succeed or fail because that's what they deserve."
"If you believe that net worth is a reflection of merit, then any attempt to curb inequality looks unfair."
---James Surowiecki, a financial writer, The New Yorker, 7.7. 2014.)
("[God must be just, right?] In a series of surveys, respondents religiosity correlated with belief in a just world, belief that capitalism is fair, social and economic conservatism, acceptance of income equality, and belief in the fairness of the American social system.
No, life's not fair. And in a cruel twist, our wish to see it as fair keeps us from making it so."
---Matthew Hutson, The Atlantic, June 2016.)
("...emphasis on sharing in subsistence economies can be readily explained by the fact that an individual householder can do little else with his surplus but share it with his kin and neighbors."
---Scarlett Epstein, in her essay "A Sociological Analysis of Witch Beliefs in a Mysore Village", published in the periodical The Eastern Anthropologist, 1959.
"It can be stated as a theorem valid in a high percentage of cases, that the greater opportunity for profit in any social-cultural situation, the weaker the ties of social kinship become."
---R. Linton, in the essay "Cultural and Personality Factors Affecting Economic Growth", published in THE PROGRESS OF UNDERDEVELOPED AREAS, edited by B.G. Hoselitz, 1952, and quoted by Epstein in her essay.)
(Tobacco grower George Washington, the first president of the United States, inherited his first 10 slaves in 1743 when he was 11 years old. Washington later built and owned one of the largest distilleries in the country, producing large quantities of whiskey. He ended up paying taxes on 135 of his slaves by 1774. Washington owned many slaves until his death in 1799.
---from GEORGE WASHINGTON AND SLAVERY: A DOCUMENTARY PORTRAYAL, a book by Fritz Hirschfeld that was published by the University of Missouri Press in 1997.
George Washington's picture appears on the front side of every $1 bill in America. More than 2 billion of them were printed by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing in 2012. His picture is also on the front of each 25 cent coin made since 1934. Approximately 1.5 billion 25 cent coins were made in 2013.)
(DNA tests have shown that Thomas Jefferson fathered at least one child [some say as many as 6] with his slave Sally Hemings.
Thomas Jefferson's picture appears on the front of every 5 cent coin made since 1938. Approximately 1.6 billion 5 cent coins were made in 2015.)
("I'll tell you why I like the cigarette business. It costs a penny to make. Sell it for a dollar. It's addictive. And there's fantastic brand loyalty."
---Warren Buffett, once one of the largest shareholders in the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, speaking to John Gutfreund in 1987. The quote is from BARBARIANS AT THE GATE: The Fall of RJR Nabisco, written by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar in 1989. The book was a New York Times bestseller.)
("...demand for it made viable the early American colony of Virginia, supercharged the Atlantic slave trade, and helped reshape the world economy."
---David Sim, history professor, University College London, writing about tobacco, in response to the question "What is the most significant fad of all time?" The Atlantic, April 2017.)
(“James W. Johnston: ‘Cigarette smoking is no more “addictive” than coffee, tea or Twinkies.’
R.J. Reynolds CEO’s written testimony for a 1994 congressional hearings denied what the tobacco industry had known for decades: Nicotine is addictive.”
---Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, National Geographic, June 2017, in the article he wrote “Why We Lie”.)
I STRONGLY BELIEVE IN HARM REDUCTION. For two decades I earned my keep by doing nonprofit quality-control work for psychedelic drug distributors. It turned out to be a WAY more dangerous occupation than I thought it would be!
(Necessitas non habet legem ["necessity knows no law"]: When I learned about the quite vast quantity of LSD being clandestinely manufactured, I realized that attempting to influence the flow of the inevitable flood was a far better strategy than trying to stick my finger in the dike.)
("The pursuit of a drug-free society seems quixotic, and its nobility is tarnished by the associated hatred and contempt for drug users."
---Robert MacCoun and Peter Reuter, in their excellent book DRUG WAR HERESIES--Learning from Other Vices, Times, and Places.)
("...belief in the beneficent properties of LSD has been, over the years, as strong a motivating factor in the production and distribution of the drug as the profits to be made from its sale.."
---from the DEA document "LSD in the United States".)
(The findings from a study that used information collected over 13 years about 480,000 American adults to investigate the relationship between psychedelic drug use and criminal behavior were published October 17, 2017 in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. [“The relationships of classic psychedelic use with criminal behavior in the United States adult population” by Peter S. Hendricks, Michael Scott Crawford, Karen L. Cropsey, Heith Copes, N Wiles Sweat, Zach Walsh, and Gregory Pavela.]
“Having ever used a classic psychedelic (LSD, DMT, mescaline, psilocybin, etc.) was associated with a 27 percent decrease in the odds of committing larceny/theft, a 12 percent decrease in the odds of committing assault, a 22 percent decrease in the odds of arrest for a property crime, and an 18 percent decrease in the odds of arrest for a violent crime in the past year.”)
("I had been hearing about acid all year, but tended to discount it."
Then, in New York City on New Year's Eve, 1963, she ate a sugar cube containing LSD, and had her first "trip".
"I looked at him, and for the first time I saw him clearly. I saw him moving down a dead end street, saw how desperately he needed this acid, or something, anything, to open him to possibility...he was drying out, cut off from his sources of nurture, relentlessly driving himself...I again offered him some acid. Though this was hardly the right moment, I tried to tell him about the flames all matter was, but that just made him nervous. He put his small hand up against his fine, thin nose, in one of his characteristic gestures that signaled that he was at his wit's end. Then I did something that shocked me, even then: I tried to force a cube between his lips, but he clenched his teeth. I felt I was trying beyond all reason to save his life, and perhaps it was true. I gave up after that, amazed that I had actually tried to use force."
"'I don't want' I said to Jo, 'to ever come down'. And it was then she gave me a great gift, something I carry with me to this day.
'You won't', said Jo.
And somehow I knew she was right. I never would."
---Diane di Prima, in RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE AS A WOMAN--The New York Years.)
("John talked me into investing the $150...in the...LSD business so that we could get motorcycles for Christmas, but I gave away all the acid the same night I got it."
---Pam Tent, describing late summer 1968 in San Francisco, in the 2004 book MIDNIGHT AT THE PALACE--My Life As a Fabulous Cockette.)
An avid reader, I eventually amassed a 10,000+ item drug research library.
(One of my favorite book titles: EVERYTHING I KNOW I LEARNED ON ACID, a collection of quotes [John Lennon, Andy Warhol, Jack Kerouac, Groucho Marx, and others]. The book, by Coco Pekelis, was published in 1996.)
My entire lifetime "earnings": $2,143.
After I officially became homeless in January 1993, I applied for (and continue to receive) disability payments. I have lived "on the street" for more than 20 years...
THE WORLD IS MY STUDIO!
("Not all those who wander are lost..."
---J. R. R. Tolkien in THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING.)
("'Hey, mister, can you tell me where a man might find a bed?'
He just grinned and shook my hand and, 'No' was all he said"
---from the song "The Weight", which was written by Robbie Robertson and was recorded by The Band in 1968.)
(Every time I have been detained or arrested or in jail or in any kind of legal trouble, I have refused to give any information or assistance to any law enforcement officers or prosecutors, because I STRONGLY believe it is morally wrong in such circumstances for a person to cooperate with the authorities in order to save their own skin.)
(Psychedelic drug communities are a magnet for predators. There are many "wolves in sheep's clothing" in these communities. [One of the worst was Charles Manson.] It would seem obvious that a person distributing illegal drugs definitely does NOT ever have license to injure or kill, but I have observed quite a few users deliberately and repeatedly ignore that fact when their favorite drug supplier was behaving in a way that caused harm.)
"...where to draw the line between loyalty to a community and resistance to evil."
---Freeman Dyson, writing about the question faced by theoretical physicist Max Planck, who was the originator of quantum theory. Planck, a German, was very loyal to his country. He refused to flee Germany during World War II, and acted in obedience to the "murderous whims" of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.
("Uneducated, and lacking any mystical or spiritual interest, many young people have travelled from across the country to find money, stimulation and easy sex in the Haight and to exploit the flower people they assume are still living there. Some have grown long hair and assimilated the hip jargon in the process, but they resemble true hippies in no real way."
---David E. Smith, the Medical Director of the Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic, 1970.)
(Alfred M. Hubbard was the "Johnny Appleseed" of LSD in the early 1950s. He gave MANY important people such as Aldous Huxley their first LSD experience. It has been said that when he saw what he considered to be the degradation of the LSD scene, he reacted by becoming a special agent of the FDA and helped raid clandestine laboratories.)
("Over the course of the year I worked at [a retail store], we got into tons of brawls with Haight Street acid trip casualties who would come in and harass us over one thing or another."
---Ayn Imperato, a punk, in her 1999 book DIRTY MONEY and Other Stories. The quote is from the first page of the first story in the book. I suspect that many punks have never met a true hippie, as David Smith called them. Many punks mistakenly believe that the alcohol-abusing and methamphetamine-addicted predators who came to rip-off the hippies ARE hippies. Punks love getting drunk on alcohol and violence. They also tend to stink of sweat, vomit, piss, and shit.)
(["in the 1980s"]..."I noticed quickly that most of the foot soldiers" of the punk "camp"..."held special contempt for hippies--we saw them as posers."
"Hippies were perceived as ineffectual, narcissistic, and horribly stuck in the past."
---arrrgh-bot eggplant, in Slingshot, summer 2016, Berkeley. These quotes are another example of the sad fact that punks, and many others, suffer from the delusion that the predators that came to take advantage of the hippies [and the many lost and mentally ill people who, in a desperate attempt to find social acceptance, mimicked the extremely distorted image of what the ignorant and prejudiced mass media had taught them that a hippie was] WERE hippies.)
("The hardcore scene died toward the end of the eighties. 'It got too violent,' Tollett said. 'Bands like Circle One, Suicidal Tendencies--their posses were nasty.'"
---John Seabrook, in his article about Paul Tollett, the impresario [and former promoter of punk music] who stages the Coachella music festival. The New Yorker, 4.17. 2017.)
In my life, any minimization of complicity has been more the result of luck than will.
(And I doubt the amazing and precious luxury of walking deserted city streets, speaking to no one for many months at a time, of being seriously able, every waking minute of every day, "To see a world in a grain of sand" while standing thunderstruck in the middle of a sidewalk, 'happy as a bird with a french fry' would have been afforded me if I had not been a quietly polite clean-shaven Older White Male in Berkeley...)
My current online "bibliography" consists of 4,482 scans of the covers of some of the books, etc. that I have attempted to study.
("No one who is lacking legal authorization should attempt the synthesis of any of the compounds described in these files, with the intent to give them to man. To do so is to risk legal action which might lead to the tragic ruination of a life. It should also be noted that any person anywhere who experiments on himself, or on another human being, with any of the drugs described herein, without being familiar with that drug's action and aware of the physical and/or mental disturbance or harm it might cause, is acting irresponsibly and immorally, whether or not he is doing so within the bounds of the law."
---from a book by Sasha Shulgin.)
I have always seen patterns, both superimposed on things when my eyes are open, and in the dark. The patterns changed after I started taking LSD, becoming more sharply geometric, and the colors have changed as the years have passed. Except when I am on high doses of LSD, I usually have quite a bit of control over the patterns and I can make them disappear if necessary. Although the patterns I draw are based on what I see, I find it impossible to accurately draw the multi-dimensional patterns and shapes that I perceive! My father was in the U.S. military and I was raised on military bases until 13 years old. It turns out that many of the places we lived were, at the times we lived there, places where the U.S. government conducted secret experiments on soldiers and others, without the subjects permission or knowledge, using LSD and other hallucinogenic substances. At "The Church Committee Hearings" in the U.S. Congress in 1976, the CIA said that they had done such things, but not to American children. Both of my parents were Caucasian American-born United States citizens at the time of my birth in 1951 at a U.S. military base in Japan. (Around the time the CIA was apparently conducting some of its first experiments with LSD, also in Japan, Projects Bluebird and Artichoke...) Interestingly, and for reasons unknown, I did not become a U.S. citizen until I was 9 years old. (I guess I had been "a boy without a country".) I had to go to Washington, D.C. and answer questions posed by a judge before I received a Naturalization and Immigration certificate. My parents, with myself present as an infant, had contact with a CIA agent while we were in Japan. The agent was an uninvited guest at their first wedding anniversary party, which they recall as being quite a memorable affair. Only years later did they discover that the guest at the party was a CIA agent. They attributed his presence to the fact that my mother was a librarian at the base and she had refused to divulge to military intelligence officers the names of soldiers who read certain communist publications which they had planted there. Only years after forming this theory did they realize that the father of my Japanese nursemaids was a doctor who had served in the Japanese military in the infamous "Unit 731" that had done horrific experiments on Chinese prisoners, and that perhaps the U.S. authorities, who had secretly given amnesty to these doctors because they felt it was important to American security to know what the doctors had learned, were concerned that my parents would leak information about this top-secret amnesty program...
When I was a youth, I spent time every summer with my mother's mother and my mother's father in Greensboro, North Carolina. I attended Vacation Bible School there each year, and frequently walked over to the nearby Woolworth's store to have a snack at the lunch counter. (I was not consciously aware at the time that African Americans were not allowed to sit there.) In early 1960, there were "sit-in" protests by African American college students at this "whites only" Woolworth's lunch counter, which soon spread to other southern cities. The protests received significant media attention and the President of the United States expressed his support. Eventually the Woolworth's stores were forced to abandon their extremely wrongful policy of racial segregation. A section of the lunch counter is now preserved in the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History.
(“...I couldn’t see why, if a black person could buy a comb at a counter, they shouldn’t be allowed to sit down at the lunch counter.”
---Brigadier General James R. Townsend [retired], one of my relatives, in a 1978 interview conducted by Eugene Pfaff. Townsend was the city manager of Greensboro at the time of the sit-ins. [Among many other things, he had served on General Douglas MacArthur’s staff, helping to plan the invasion of Japan.])
(When I was between six and twelve years old I sometimes walked while sleeping. I remember we went on a family camping trip to Doughton Park, in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, where one night we saw a HUGE meteor, a fireball that lit up most of the sky. Later I went to sleep and dreamed that I was dripping wet and walking down a stream with steep rock walls on each side and a full moon in the sky above. I walked under a bridge and as I came back out into the moonlight I looked down and near the moving reflections of the moon on the surface of the water I saw several snakes, which freaked me out. I woke up and realized I had not been dreaming, that it was the middle of the night and I was standing in moving water near a bridge that was quite far from the tent I was sharing with my brother.
["Up on the Blue Ridge Mountains, there I'll take my stand"
---line from the traditional outlaw ballad "I've Been All Around This World".])
("In my last nightmare, a monster lit my cigarette."
---Richard Krech, poet, speaking to me one afternoon as we got high in Berkeley in 1972.)
When I was 12 years old and living in France, my parents took me to visit the Douaumont ossuary. Inside the building I viewed the remains of 130,000 of the approximately 230,000 soldiers who died nearby during in the Battle of Verdun in 1916. Piles of skulls and bones stacked to the ceiling. In front of the building lies a cemetery with 25,000 graves. I was monumentally shocked, and have been very, very deeply opposed to war ever since.
I am NOT a Christian. But I do very strongly believe in following the Christian commandment that "THOU SHALT NOT KILL". Obviously the commandment also means that one should never in any way support killing. To follow the commandment "THOU SHALT NOT KILL" means that one absolutely cannot give money or support to the military, and that one cannot give money or support to (or vote for) any member of any political party that supports the military or capital punishment. There are many ways to stop people who are doing great harm. Killing may sometimes seem cost-effective, but there are far better solutions.
(“We burned down a whole lot of hooches today of these people who don’t cooperate with us, you know? I don’t really understand it because if they are, you know, not VC and we do that to them--you know, treat them bad--then they’re going to turn VC. The Army does everything backwards.”
---MIchael Holmes, sent to Vietnam in 1968, in an audio recording he sent to his parents, family, and friends in Williamsville, Missouri. Holmes was later killed in Vietnam. [From the 2017 documentary "The Vietnam War", directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.])
("...Burns's new documentary series, about the Vietnam War, begins with the claim that the war 'was begun in good faith, by decent people, out of fateful misunderstandings.'"
"...to make such a claim is incredibly distressing, given that there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary."
---Greg King, in a letter to The New Yorker that was published in November 2017.)
(After I became 18 years old, I sent a letter to the Selective Service System, explaining that my parents met while they were both serving in the U.S. military [my mother was a commissioned officer at the time], that I was born on a U.S. military base, and that I had spent my first 12 years living on U.S. military bases. I wrote that I had taken so much acid in Berkeley that I knew they would definitely think that I must have serious "dain bramage", and that I was VERY, VERY strongly opposed to the war in Vietnam. I explained that I was going to adopt an alias, go underground, and take whatever nonviolent actions I thought necessary to help stop the military from continuing to, as Thoreau wrote, “...commit violence and shed innocent blood.”)
("...man is bound to the first and most fundamental command of the Bible, not to kill..."
---Erich Fromm, in his book PSYCHOANALYSIS AND RELIGION.)
("No killing is the first precept of Buddhism and must never be violated."
I am a vegetarian. (When I was in jail in Oakland, California, the other inmates and the guards were enraged because I did not eat meat. The guards mixed bacon bits in all of my food, including orange juice. I survived on peanuts that I bought at the commissary, and the vitamins and sandwiches that my lawyer smuggled into the jail.)
(“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.”
---Paul McCartney. [In the late 1960s and the early 1970s, television screens became kind of like glass walls, with news programs for the first time ever giving the public an immediate glimpse of the horrifying death and destruction that war brings.])
("I will...never do harm to anyone."
---from the Hippocratic Oath, which is an oath historically taken by by doctors and other healthcare professionals. [Translated from the Greek original by Michael North.]
"Primum non nocere" is one of the principal precepts of modern medical ethics.
[It is a Latin phrase that means "First, do no harm."])
(Brutal communist dictator Joseph Stalin ordered the deaths of between 10 and 20 million of his fellow Russians. During World War II, the United States allied itself with Stalin in the war against Germany and the Axis. American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt justified the alliance by saying "It is permitted in times of grave danger to walk with the devil until you have crossed the bridge."
["I think legally speaking there's a very solid case for impeaching every American president since the Second World War. They have all been either outright war criminals or involved in serious war crimes."
---Noam Chomsky, author of many, many books and Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).]
My father was a decorated bombardier in the American Army Air Forces during World War II. He used a LOT of amphetamine ["speed"]. He killed thousands of civilians in Europe and Japan. He told me that the first time he and and the other crew members were ordered to bomb non-military sites they became quite enraged, because they felt they should be attacking soldiers, not killing women and children. After the war, my father was very upset and he spent time recuperating in a psychiatric hospital.)
("From the earliest childhood, American boys are taught that it is wrong--the greatest wrong--to kill."
---from "Psychology for the Fighting Man, Prepared for the Fighting Man Himself". A team of psychologists cooperated with the military to produce this document, which was widely distributed to soldiers during World War II.)
("The mystery to me is that anybody at all, no matter how strong, can keep his spirit from breaking down in battle."
---Ernie Pyle, writing during World War II.)
My father also flew bombing missions during the Korean War.
("An incendiary gel that sticks to skin and burns to the bone, napalm was, from its earliest days, tested with civilian targets in mind."
"In early trials...researchers experimented not on mock-ups of enemy weapons systems, vehicles or even armaments factories, but 'full-scale replica German houses'--complete with furnishings. They even scoured the West Coast for 'traditional tatami straw mat flooring' to outfit similar Japanese model homes."
"...on March 9, 1945, almost 700,000 pounds of napalm fell on Tokyo in less than an hour..."
American forces dropped "an estimated 32,000 tons" of napalm on Korea. "We killed over a million civilian Koreans..."
"...388,000 tons of napalm bombs" were dropped on Southeast Asia by America and its allies during the Vietnam war."
---Nick Turse, the author of KILL ANYTHING THAT MOVES: The Real American War in Vietnam, in a review of Robert M. Neer's book NAPALM--An American Biography. The review was published in the San Francisco Chronicle, 3.29. 2013.)
(In Vietnam in 1972, Nick Ut took a photograph, "The Terror of War", showing terrified children, including an injured 9-year old girl, fleeing a U.S. aerial napalm attack. The photograph won a Pulitzer prize. In September 2016 the Prime Minister of Norway posted the picture on Facebook, and Facebook removed her post. (After much public complaint, Facebook restored the post...)
(Micah Johnson, who in 2016 killed five police officers in Texas, and wounded seven others, was formerly in the military, and served in Afghanistan.
Gavin Long, who in 2016 killed three police officers in Louisiana, was formerly in the military, and served in Iraq.)
("We need them in times of war. If we don't have enough, we manufacture an artificial pathology in their basic training. As long as they're confined to a military life or a combative sport, or even a police force, we can keep them in stock. If you put them out in the civilian population, they'll cull the weak, the stragglers, and the elderly."
---a character in Carol O'Connell's 1994 novel MALLORY'S ORACLE, describing sociopaths.)
In 1968, U.S. Army soldiers in My Lai, Vietnam killed more than 350 unarmed civilians, mostly women, children, and elderly people. A U.S. helicopter pilot, Hugh Thompson, saw what was happening and, by pointing a gun at the U.S. soldiers, was able to stop the slaughter. In the fall of 1969 news of the killings was published in the United States, and I, like almost every decent American, was sickened and deeply outraged. After U.S. Army officer William L. Calley, Jr. was convicted in the United States for the premeditated murder of 22 Vietnamese civilians in My Lai, he served 3 and a half years of house arrest. In 1974, Richard Nixon issued Calley a limited Presidential Pardon.
"I was ordered to go in there and destroy the enemy. That was my job that day. That was the mission I was given. I did not sit down and think in terms of men, women, and children. They were all classified as the same, and that's the classification we dealt with over there, just as the enemy. I felt then and I still do that I acted as I was directed, and that I carried out the order I was given and I do not feel wrong in doing so."
---Calley, in a courtroom statement.
"An atom bomb on Hiroshima isn't a massacre, but a hundred people is a massacre. I don't understand."
---Calley, in an interview with John Sack, Esquire, November 1970.
(Former Nazi Kurt Waldheim was the Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1972 to 1981. There was an international controversy in 1985 when it came to light that he had lied about his military history.
["Yes, I knew. I was horrified. But what could I do? I had either to continue to serve or be executed."
---Kurt Waldheim, in answer to a question about Nazi massacres. TIME, 4.7. 1986.]
The original signatory copies of the United Nations Charter were printed in Berkeley in 1945.)
("During Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's November 1983 visit to the U.S., Ronald Reagan told Shamir that during his service in the U.S. Army Film Corps, he and fellow members of his unit personally shot footage of the Nazi concentration camps as they were liberated. Reagan would tell this story again to others, including holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal. But Reagan was never present at the liberation of the camps. Instead, he spent the war in Culver City, California where he processed footage from the liberation of the camps."
---Luke Brinker, Salon, 2.7. 2015.)
("You are murdering people! I saw what we did to people. I saw."
---protester who identified himself as an Iraq War veteran, shouting at American Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, 10.13. 2011, at a House Armed Services Committee hearing. [Quoted by Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, 1.28. 2013.])
("...Nixon's 'madman theory': our enemies should recognize that we are crazed and unpredictable with extraordinary destructive forces at our command, so they will bend to our will in fear. The concept was apparently devised in Israel in the 1950s by the governing Labor Party whose leaders 'preached in favor of acts of madness,' Prime Minister Moshe Sharett records in his diary, warning that 'we will go crazy' if crossed..."
---Noam Chomsky, in his 2000 book ROGUE STATES--The Rule of Force in World Affairs.
---inscribed on a broken wooden ruler that had belonged to a young student. Found in 2005 in an alley in a very low-income neighborhood in the San Francisco bay area. The inscription was probably inspired by one or more of the references to one or more of the pop culture versions of the "madman theory" that I seem to often hear being expressed in "gangsta music".)
("If it takes a bloodbath, let's get it over with."
---Governor Ronald Reagan, April 7, 1970, in a speech to the California Growers Council in Yosemite. Reagan had in fact ordered law enforcement officers to silence protesters in Berkeley. After placing tape over their badges and name tags, the officers started shooting the protesters. One person was killed [James Rector], one was blinded [Alan Blanchard], and many protesters were wounded by law enforcement gunfire. Most of the victims were shot in the back as they fled.)
(On May 4, 1970 at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, Army National Guardsmen fired 67 shots at unarmed demonstrators who were protesting against the war in Vietnam. Four students were killed [Jeffrey Miller, Allison Krause, William Schroeder, Sandra Scheuer] and nine others were wounded, one of whom [Dean Kahler] suffered permanent paralysis. Student John Filo made a photograph of a fourteen-year old girl screaming over the body of Jeffrey Miller. The photograph won a Pulitzer Prize.)
("All of a sudden, the man who called for a bloodbath on our college campuses is supposed to be Dudley 'God-damn' Do-Right?"
---Gil Scott-Heron, in his 1981 song "B"-Movie, commenting about newly-elected president Ronald Reagan.)
("Remembered as a war that was lost because of betrayal at home, Vietnam becomes a modern-day Alamo that must be avenged."
---Jerry Lembcke, who wrote the book THE SPITTING IMAGE: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam. Lembcke shows that the story that antiwar demonstrators spat upon returning veterans was a lie. Many people believed the lie, which still feeds the ugly and unreasonable backlash against the 60s.)
("If this is the place where America goes looking for its national soul, then this is where America finds that its soul, after stewing in the primal resentment of the backlash, has gone all sour and wrong. If Kansas is the concentrated essence of normality, then here is where we can see the deranged gradually become normal, where we look into that handsome, confident, reassuring, all-American face--class president, quarterback, Rhodes scholar, bond trader, builder of industry--and realize we are staring into the eyes of a lunatic."
---Thomas Frank, in his book WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH KANSAS? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America.)
("The truth is, facts don't matter anymore. Trump supporters know their president is insane. They just don't give a shit."
---Peter Wade, Esquire, 4.29. 2017.)
("...the catastrophic devaluation of intellection that seems to have occurred in American society: the willful repudiation of rigorous thinking, and objective facts, that helped propel Trump to victory."
---Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 4.17. 2017.)
(“I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock…”
“Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.”
“What I want to do is kill the fucking leakers…”
---Anthony Scaramucci, White House communications director, in a July 2017 telephone conversation with Ryan Lizza, of The New Yorker. [Published: The New Yorker, July 27, 2017.] [Steve Bannon was Trump’s chief strategist. Reince Priebus is the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, and also served as White House chief of staff.])
("...I popped the cork on a bottle of ice-cold Prosecco, and poured a glass for all the grown ups."
"...Matthew [the author's son, who is described as having Asperger's Syndrome] had warmed up the Beatles Rock Band Game..."
"The wine flowed generously."
"At one point I went to the kitchen to fetch another bottle of wine, and came back to see a room full of family, all singing the Beatles together. 'Here comes the sun,' my family sang in unison. 'It's all ri-i-ight.'"
---Rod Dreher, in his 2013 book THE LITTLE WAY OF RUTHIE LEMING, describing Christmas in a small town in Louisiana after his sister Ruthie, who was born in 1969, died of cancer. She was married to an Iraq war veteran, and she liked football and deer hunting. Dreher, who was born in 1968, is an extremely confused and very ignorant conservative Christian. His first book was CRUNCHY CONS: THE NEW CONSERVATIVE COUNTERCULTURE AND ITS RETURN TO ROOTS.)
("...she was swept up in a vision of a time before this one, composed in equal parts of Saturday Evening Post covers, Lassie reruns and a nostalgia for what she’d never known.”
---T. Coraghessan Boyle, in his 1995 novel THE TORTILLA CURTAIN, describing a woman who sells real estate in wealthy communities near Topanga, California.)
("I eat fatback. I spank my children."
"I want mothers who smell like bacon, fathers who smell like pipe tobacco."
"I want to think about God."
---Suzanne Britt Jordan, a writer who lives in North Carolina. Excerpted from an article that Jordan wrote that was published in The New York Times and reprinted in Reader's Digest, June 1976. It is clear that Jordan has serious mental health issues.)
(Amphetamine user Jeffrey R. Macdonald was a U.S. Army Special Forces ["Green Berets"] doctor who brutally murdered his pregnant wife and his 2 children, aged 5 and 2, in early 1970 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. [Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega received psychological-operations training at Fort Bragg in the nineteen-sixties.] Macdonald lied in court, saying that "hippies" killed his family, and that one of the killers had chanted "Acid is groovy, kill the pigs".)
("...people on acid saying 'Wow' while their toddlers set fire to the living room."
"She genuinely loathed the hippies, whom she associated with characters like Charles Manson..."
---Louis Menand, The New Yorker, 8.24. 2015, describing the contents of a very influential 1967 Saturday Evening Post article "The Hippie Generation: Slouching Towards Bethlehem", written by Joan Didion. She had previously contributed to William F. Buckley's conservative weekly The National Review, and she was a big fan of John Wayne. She was also an amphetamine user.
"...for twenty and twenty-one hours a day I drank gin-and-hot-water...and took Dexedrine...and wrote the piece."
---Joan Didion [describing writing "The Hippie Generation: Slouching Towards Bethlehem"] in the preface to her 1981 paperback that included the article.)
("...the Pentagon Papers showed conclusively that the government had perpetrated a vast deception on the American public."
---Alice Schroeder, in THE SNOWBALL: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life. The Pentagon Papers, a secret study commissioned by U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, showed that the U.S. would lose the war in Vietnam. They were leaked by Daniel Ellsberg to The New York Times and the first excerpts were published in 1971.)
("Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
---Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963.)
("I am not only a pacifist, but a militant pacifist."
("If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a bloody and violent measure, as it would be to pay them and enable the state to commit violence and shed innocent blood."
---Henry David Thoreau, in his essay "Civil Disobedience". Two postage stamps honoring Thoreau have been issued by the United States Postal Service, one in 1967, and one in 2017.)
("...if you want money for people with minds that hate
all I can tell you is brother you'll have to wait"
---John Lennon, 1968, in the Beatles song he wrote, "Revolution".)
("If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor."
SILENCE IS CONSENT
("...there is already developing a sort of 'LSD underground man', in the Dostoevskian sense of the term---a man who, in Dostoevsky's words, 'would rather that his hand wither off than that he carry a single brick to build the crystal palace'..."
---Frank Barron, in CREATIVITY AND PERSONAL FREEDOM, 1968. Barron, who formerly taught at Harvard University, was a Research Psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley.)
"He took a (probably LSD-inspired) vow of poverty long ago..."
"On principle, he refuses to pay taxes, which has landed him in prison twice."
---Jocelyn Silver, writing about famous San Francisco attorney J. Tony Serra, now more than 80 years old. Vice.com, 7.10. 2015. J. Tony Serra is the brother of prominent sculptor Richard Serra.
("The lower I am, the more proper my place seems; and the higher I am, the stronger my suspicion that there has been some mistake."
("Outside of society--that's where I want to be..."
---Patti Smith, in a song.)
("American colleges came into being with the express purpose of training young men for the ministry."
---Caitlin Flanagan, Atlantic, March 2014.)
("...schools are organized enterprises designed to reproduce the established order..."
---Ivan Illich, author of DESCHOOLING SOCIETY.)
(Politician Janet Napolitano, the fourth person to serve as United States Secretary of Homeland Security, was selected in 2013 to be the President of the University of California system.)
("The arts have always had vexed relations with the money that pays for them. The cash that built the museum, the concert hall, the ballet theater, the university campus, was probably the fruit of cruelty, exploitation, and theft, but the blood and dirt was laundered out of it from one generation to the next until it smelled sweet."
---Edward Mendelson, in his review of a book about Nicolas Nabokov. [Nabokov was secretary-general of the CIA-funded Congress for Cultural Freedom, which was founded in 1950 and shown to be linked to the CIA in 1966.] The New York Review of Books, 9.24. 2015.)
("...every brushstroke testified to the usury, extortion, and downright dirtiness that was essential to every fortune made."
---Alexander Lee, in his 2015 book THE UGLY RENAISSANCE--Sex, Greed, Violence, and Depravity in an Age of Beauty.)
("This is what you should do: Love the earth and sun and animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone who asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward people, re-examine all you have been told in school, in church, or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your very soul, and your flesh shall become a great poem."
---Walt Whitman [from the preface to the 1855 edition of LEAVES OF GRASS])
("There is no money in poetry, but there is no poetry in money..."
("It's selfish to pursue your passion, unless it's going to make you a lot of money, in which case it isn't selfish at all."
---William Deresiewicz, formerly a professor at Yale, derisively describing one of the assumptions of mainstream people who are obsessed with accumulating wealth. The quote is from his book EXCELLENT SHEEP: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life.)
One afternoon in 1965, I was folding newspapers for my newspaper route when suddenly I heard my voice on the television. I looked up and was amazed to view, on an education news special, about 20 minutes of myself (holding a plastic model of a human brain) speaking about my theories of how ESP might possibly be explained...
When I went back to North Carolina in 1991 to visit my parents for the first time in 22 years (in fact the only time I have been able to afford to visit them in more than 40 years), they picked me up at the airport. Instead of taking me directly to their house, they took me to the site of a building that had at one time been a hospital, asking me if I remembered what happened there. They said that when I went there I was one person, and that when I came out, I was an entirely different person, and that they suspected that the government had in some way "programmed " me while I was there. When we went to my parents house, they gave me letters (that they had saved for 26 years) from the research facility that rather vaguely explained what the researchers planned to involve me in.
("...one of the purposes of the North Carolina Advancement School is to try to find out some important things about how our children learn, and also some of the things that might make learning difficult for them. In order to do this, it will often be desirable for your son to take part in various learning studies."
"If you have any objection...please contact the school as soon as possible."
---from a letter L.F. Conant ["Director of Research and Development"] sent to my parents.)
("...supported by funds from the federal government...major research projects of J.A. Gergen have included...EEG studies of underachieving male adolescents in collaboration with the late L.F. Conant [psychology]."
Some of the research was done at "Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina".
---from "IBRO Survey of Research Facilities and Manpower in Brain Sciences in the United States" [sponsored by the International Brain Research Organization] published in June 1968.)
(["...some of the things that might make learning difficult for them."] Calls to mind an infamous and horrific experiment: Dr. Wendell Johnson, a speech pathologist at the University of Iowa in 1939, studied stuttering. Experimenting on children at an orphanage, he and an assistant were able to cause severe and permanent negative effects in some of the children. Some of these orphans suffered greatly for the rest of their lives. [Johnson thought that if he could cause people to stutter, he might then be able to learn how to cure people of stuttering. I wonder if something similar was going on at the North Carolina Advancement School--perhaps Gergen and Conant thought that if they could cause students to underachieve, they might then be able to learn how to help students who were underachieving...])
(Also a bit reminiscent of this:
“ ...a Harvard University laboratory in which staff members of the Department of Social Relations conducted research on human subjects. There, from the fall of 1959 through the spring of 1962, Harvard psychologists, led by Henry A. Murray, conducted a disturbing and what would now be seen as ethically indefensible experiment on twenty-two undergraduates. To preserve the anonymity of these student guinea pigs, experimenters referred to individuals by code name only. One of these students, whom they dubbed "Lawful," was Theodore John Kaczynski, who would one day be known as the Unabomber, and who would later mail or deliver sixteen package bombs to scientists, academicians, and others over seventeen years, killing three people and injuring twenty-three.”
“...among its other purposes, Henry Murray's experiment was intended to measure how people react under stress. Murray subjected his unwitting students, including Kaczynski, to intensive interrogation -- what Murray himself called 'vehement, sweeping, and personally abusive' attacks, assaulting his subjects' egos and most-cherished ideals and beliefs.”
“By the late 1950s, according to some, Murray had become quite interested in hallucinogenics, including LSD and psilocybin. And soon after Murray's experiments on Kaczynski and his classmates were under way, in 1960, Timothy Leary returned to Harvard and, with Murray's blessing, began his experiments with psilocybin. In his autobiography, Flashbacks (1983), Leary, who would dedicate the rest of his life to promoting hallucinogenic drugs, described Murray as ‘the wizard of personality assessment who, as OSS chief psychologist, had monitored military experiments on brainwashing and sodium amytal interrogation. Murray expressed great interest in our drug-research project and offered his support.’”
---Alston Chase, The Atlantic, June 2000.)
(A Google search shows that a J.A. Gergen was interested in "War Crimes and State Immunity...". I have been unable to determine if it is the same J.A. Gergen who may have experimented on me...)
("What might have happened" can sometimes be reasonable conjecture. When "what might have happened" becomes "what must have happened", it is a delusion, and can sometimes be a symptom of serious mental illness such as paranoid schizophrenia. Correlation does not imply causation.)
(Former LOOK magazine editor George Leonard, author of WALKING ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD: A Memoir of the Sixties and Beyond, visited the facility while I was there as part of his research for an article on education.)
What happened was that when I was 13 years old and in the eighth grade, my parents were told that I was going to fail that year and have to do the eighth grade again unless I was allowed to go for several months to Winston-Salem, North Carolina and participate in a residential "education experiment" called the "North Carolina Advancement School" (NCAS).
("While I was onstage doing my act to churchlike silence, a guy said to his date, loud enough that we all heard it, 'I don't understand any of this.'"
---Steve Martin, in his autobiography BORN STANDING UP--A COMIC'S LIFE, 2007. Martin was describing performing in Winston-Salem ["This town smells like a cigarette"] in June, 1975.)
When I arrived at the school, I asked why I had been selected and I was told that I had the lowest grades of anyone in the eighth grade class at my school, but that when I had been given an IQ test I had made a "perfect" score, answering all questions correctly. I told the NCAS people that I doubted the IQ test results were accurate, since, because my dad had been in the military, I had gone to many schools (I attended the 5th grade in South Carolina, the 6th grade in France, and the 7th grade in New Mexico) and had thus taken the same IQ test many times. I told them that in the instance they were referring to, knowing already that I was plenty smart (because of the previous test results) I only answered every fifth question and then penciled in the answers to all of the other multiple-choice questions in an utterly random fashion.
After extensive testing I was told that I was to be part of an experiment in self-education. It was called "Group O". I was given an office, unlimited funding, and absolutely no adult supervision, free to come and go from the campus and the dorms as I saw fit. My parents were not allowed to visit. I really had FUN! My research project was a study on the subject of extrasensory perception. I was already well-read on the subject and I contacted the parapsychology lab at Duke and J.B. Rhine and associates at the Foundation For Research On The Nature Of Man gave me valuable assistance in my work. I had already become skilled at hypnosis (I suspect my frequent hypnosis of my classmates before I was selected for NCAS may have been one of the reasons why I was selected) so I designed and did tests for telepathy, precognition, psychokinesis, etc. using other students that I had hypnotized as subjects. When I read a report of experiments using LSD, etc. in ESP tests, I was fascinated. Having no access to LSD, I designed tests where I had my subjects (some hypnotized and some not) sniff glue. In other tests I administered electric shocks, sometimes in addition to hypnosis and glue-sniffing...
("...you are opening the gates of hell!!!..."
---powerful North Carolina legislator's wife, yelling at me about my ESP research, during her visit to NCAS.)
("The intake of drugs in connection with divinatory practices is probably as old as mankind."
---Cavanna, Roberto and Servadio, Emilio in ESP EXPERIMENTS WITH LSD-25 AND PSILOCYBIN: A Methodological Approach, 1964.)
("The results indicated accurate comparisons in approximately 1 in 3 of the targets for LSD, with a rate of only 1 in 10 for the no-drug control condition."
---David P. Luke, commenting on the research by Cavanna and Servadio, in "Psychedelic Substances and Paranormal Phenomena: A Review of the Research", the Rhine Research Center, in the Journal of Parapsychology, Durham, North Carolina, 2008.)
("In 1964, Federico Fellini experimented with LSD under the supervision of Emilio Servadio, his psychoanalyst during the 1954 production of La Strada."
("HALLUCINOGEN---An intoxicant and narcotic, according to the additives used. It produces telepathy, fantastic visions, hallucinations, and other psychic effects. It is precognitive and psychic in its results."
---from page H-3, TABER'S CYCLOPEDIC MEDICAL DICTIONARY by Clarence Wilbur Taber [10th edition, 1965]. [I think the above definition is rather weird...])
("MORE THAN HUMAN is a sci-fi novel by Theodore Sturgeon...in which a band of exceptional people 'blesh' [that is, blend and mesh] their consciousness to create a kind of super-being. 'I turned everyone on to that book in, like, 1965...This is what we can do; this is what we can be.'"
---Phil Lesh, quoted by Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, 11.26. 2012.)
Two things I "learned": One was that one of my subjects appeared to me to be able to influence the flight paths of model rockets (Estes Industries brand solid fuel). The other thing was that when doing the standard ESP card test (where I kept a written record of each trial), one of my subjects appeared to me to have twice guessed the EXACT order of the Zener test cards before the deck had been shuffled, even though in the real time tests his scores were never any better than chance.
(I now realize that my ESP experiments were so unscientific that the results were meaningless. [Although it is clear that just because something is difficult to study in a lab setting does not mean that it does not exist. A good example is the effects of substances like LSD which have the potential to trigger profound psychedelic experiences. Because many of the effects of such substances are well-known to be determined by set and setting, scientists in a sterile lab run by a researcher who may have had a huge argument with his wife earlier in the day may observe phenomena in a test subject who has been given LSD that is extremely different from the phenomena that might be seen when a test subject ingests LSD in, for instance, a beautiful house in a natural setting with the test subjects dear friends present.] At the time, I was a big fan of science-fiction novels. More than a few of them mentioned J.B. Rhine and his ESP research. I was quite thrilled to have made contact with Rhine, and I am rather certain that I was unconsciously driven to inaccurately interpret my so-called "evidence" in such a way as to make it appear that ESP exists.)
At the time, I concluded that perhaps "time" is not what it seems to be...
("...the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one."
("Independent theoretical physicist Julian Barbour goes so far as to suggest that time does not exist..."
---Marcus Chown, NewScientist, 10.1. 2011.)
("...the present is the only thing that has no end."
---Erwin Schrödinger, in his book MY VIEW OF THE WORLD.)
("...hauntology---the notion of how the present is haunted by both past and future..."
---BAM/PFA [University of California, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive] ["Art Notes"] Sept/Oct 2010.)
("Could today be tomorrow?"
---Surrealist Dorothea Tanning, in a poem published at age 101.)
("The past is never dead. It's not even past."
---William Faulkner, in REQUIEM FOR A NUN.)
("Forever---is composed of Nows---
(At the time of my research, I did not consciously realize how intensely interested the government might be in such matters. I now suspect the person who appeared to me to have altered the flight paths of the model rockets, and the person who appeared to me to have guessed the exact order of the cards before they were shuffled may well have ended up being removed from their homes and placed in government custody for further study...Yikes!!)
("We want them to generate a particular type of thought."
---teacher at NCAS, quoted in "The Development and Evaluation of a School for High Potential Underachievers 1964 - 1967" [USOE Cooperative Research Project #H-173]. This research paper about NCAS also mentions a encephalographic study of brain waves.)
("You are capable of much more than you think you are. You are capable of almost anything."
"I can put you in a situation where you'll pull a trigger and kill someone you don't know."
---Richard Farson, quoted by Rasa Gustaitis in her 1969 book TURNING ON. Psychologist Farson was one of the founders of the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute in 1958 in La Jolla, California. Prominent associates at the institute included Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow.)
In 1992, I told my NCAS story to a person who had been one of my large-quantity crystal LSD suppliers. He amazed me by showing me that he had been involved with ESP research at Duke at the same time that I had contact with the researchers there... and then had come to Berkeley where he became an associate of Jack Leary, et al.
In 1993 I finally recalled making many reports to my ex-advisor at NCAS, esperanto advocate Dr. Hazel Naugle, about LSD and the Berkeley counterculture in 1969, using a payphone in the Student Union building on the UC Berkeley campus to call her in North Carolina.
I did a google search of NCAS and it turned out one of my dorm advisers (some of them, recruited to work at the school from east coast ivy-league schools, had very long hair and were obvious hippie-types) at NCAS, Damon Rarey, had died. In Memorium to him the following was written:
"Damon Franz Rarey "created the first nationally broadcast computer animations" and "...co-founded Aurora Systems, the first company devoted to the design and manufacture of computer videographic systems..."
---Howard E. Daniel, Yale Class of 1966.
"Rarey's co-counselors at NCAS included Sandy Blount, Greg Teague, Robert L. (Reebee) Garofalo"
"Damon deserves to be remembered in the history books as the first graphic artist to use computer graphics on a regular basis in television."
---Dick Shoup, co-founder of Aurora Systems.
"Damon and I and our friends were never big druggies. We mostly only got stoned on special occasions, like it being Tuesday or something like that. I only remember one truly memorable stone. I guess that's something of an oxymoron, isn't it? In his senior year at Yale, Damon was living with Reebee and another roommate in an apartment in New Haven. Sometime during that year Connie moved in with him. At some point, some of us who were the North Carolina wing of our group came up to visit. It was just when "Sgt. Pepper" came out. None of us had heard it, except maybe Reebee. Reebee had made a light machine. It was a work of art and a work of love. It was a 4 x 8' plexiglass sheet stamped so as to refract light, the kind you could put in the window of a bathroom. The little refracting surfaces broke up any image behind it. Out of a second sheet of the same stuff, Reebee had cut four large circles. He had mounted them at the corners on the back of the main sheet, each one on a spindle so it could turn. Each was connected to a large makeshift belt that was connected to a small electric motor. When the motor turned, all the wheels turned very slowly. The light going through the two layers of Plexiglas constantly changed refractions like in a kaleidoscope. Behind the center of the sheet and behind each of the circles, he had mounted different colored Christmas lights in various arrangements. The lights were wired to a keyboard so that each key lit a different color and/or a different part of the board. So . . . there we were, having gotten stoned, sitting on the couch, all leaning back listening to Sgt. Pepper for the first time in the dark watching the light machine that took up much of the opposite wall being played by a professional percussionist who was totally in tune with the music. When the first guitar intro started for the first cut of Sgt. Pepper and the lights came on, in time with the music and changing color and pattern to fit the mood and story of the music, our little minds melted and ran out our little ears. We all knew it was a special day in the history of the species."
"We were working at a brand new residential school for 'underachieving' eighth grade boys from all over the state of North Carolina. We were in an old hospital building in Winston-Salem, my hometown. The school was Capital 'I' Important, funded by Ford and Carnegie and the Office of Education. It was the first integrated residential school in the South..."
---Sandy Blount (Blount later became a prominent psychologist at the University of Massachusetts.)
(Part of my education at NCAS was to meet under a tree on the far side of the campus two afternoons a week with an attractive young woman who said she was a college student. She told me to read two books, A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA by Richard Hughes and LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding. We had lengthy conversations about the meanings of these books.)
("In addition to the sensory effects, hallucinogens create mental states in which patients become unusually open to suggestion."
---Charles S. Grob, UCLA psychiatrist, quoted by Denise Gellene, the Los Angeles Times, 11.19. 2006, in an article about legal medical research conducted by Grob using psilocybin, the active ingredient in "magic mushrooms". [The psilocybin was produced in small quantities under special Drug Enforcement Administration permits.])
("...well-known studies of hypnosis demonstrate that inflammatory responses on the skin of subjects in trance can be induced or prevented by suggestion, and these effects are immediate. A hypnotist can touch a subject in deep trance with a finger, representing it as a piece of hot metal, and a blister will appear at the site of contact. Conversely, suggestion can prevent blistering in response to contact with a real piece of hot metal."
---Andrew Weil, M.D., in his book 8 WEEKS TO OPTIMUM HEALTH, 1998.)
("Fogel and Hoffer reported that they were able to counteract the effects of LSD by hypnotic suggestion and, conversely, at a later date evoke typical LSD phenomena in a subject who had not ingested the drug that day."
---Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D., in his book LSD PSYCHOTHERAPY.)
(Psychologist Charles Tart once stated that all states of consciousness are trances, and that what we call "normal" waking consciousness is just "consensus trance".)
(While I was in prison in Arizona in 1986, I continued my ongoing study of "covert hypnosis" [also known as "indirect hypnosis"]. Through an inter-library loan from the University of Arizona, I was able to obtain unpublished papers written by psychiatrist Milton H. Erickson, who was a founding president of the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis. I was a member of a group of prisoners who were secretly engaged in learning about hypnosis. [We were able to experience the necessary privacy while hypnotizing people because we used a classroom that we had rigged so that it could be locked from the inside.])
("The way we perceive the world and experience reality can be dramatically altered by hypnotic suggestion."
"Through hypnotic suggestion a person can be led to believe something that is not there, or fail to perceive something that is there."
"Each of us is subjected, from infancy onward, to a complex set of suggestions from our social environment, and they in effect teach us how we should perceive the world."
"Each of us is literally hypnotized from infancy to perceive the world the way the people in our culture perceive it."
---Willis Harman, in THE REAL AND THE IMAGINARY--A New Approach to Physics [Edited by Jean Charon].)
In 1969 when I was 17 years old, I was very acutely "mainstream". So much so that I had been given the "God and Country Award" by the Boy Scouts of America and was a card-carrying member of a "Police-Specialty" Explorer Scout post sponsored by the Fayetteville Police Department and the U.S. Army Special Forces ("Green Berets") in Fayetteville, North Carolina. After I arrived in Berkeley and first got high on marijuana (I was told it was from Vietnam), I went with my friends to the roof of the Berkeley Inn, a hotel on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. It was late at night and I had a paranoid hallucination: I briefly perceived the capped vent pipes on the roof as being Vietnamese soldiers squatting.
(I met "Green Beret" Barry Sadler, whose song "The Ballad of the Green Berets" was a #1 single, selling more than a million copies in 1966. I was with some Boy Scouts who took a patriotic train ride with him in North Carolina during the Vietnam War. In 1978, in a dispute over a woman, Sadler shot and killed an unarmed man, then planted a gun in his victim's car. Sadler was later shot in the head in Guatemala City for reasons unclear. He died at age 49 from his gunshot injuries.)
The 1969 Woodstock music festival was happening at the time I became 18 years old in Berkeley.
("The fabric of American society...seemed to be coming apart at the seams."
---description of what life was like in 1969 at the time of the Woodstock music festival, USA TODAY, 8.14. 2009.)
("A pivotal event in 20th century popular culture and a signature moment in a generation's legend of itself."
---Mick LaSalle, describing Woodstock, the San Francisco Chronicle, 6.12. 2009.)
([We are currently in "...an age full of descriptions of good and bad trips..."
"After THE TEACHINGS OF DON JUAN: A YAQUI WAY OF KNOWLEDGE became an underground bestseller, it was widely supposed that its author was El Freako the Acid Academic, all buckskin fringe and pinball eye, his brain a charred labyrinth lit by mysterious alkaloids, tripping through the desert with a crow on his hat."
---TIME, March 3, 1973. From an article about Carlos Castaneda.]
[Henry R. Luce, the American magazine magnate, launched and (as editor-in-chief) supervised a number of popular magazines, including TIME, LIFE, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated. He and his wife Clare Boothe Luce both said they greatly enjoyed taking LSD when it was legal.]
["I've always maintained that Henry Luce did much more to popularize acid than Timothy Leary."
---Abbie Hoffman, in his 1980 book SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE.]
Indeed, I have learned that I am not the only person who read the March 25, 1966 issue of LIFE, saw the photograph of a young person in San Francisco high on LSD staring in intense amazement at a light bulb, and was inspired by the photograph to go to California and take LSD!
[“The March 1966 LIFE magazine cover article on LSD led to the psychedelic drug being made illegal by October. But the genie was out of the bottle.”
---Joel Selvin, the San Francisco Chronicle, 5.21. 2007.])
(In 1972, when I was a federal fugitive, I hid out in southern Mexico and took Psilocybe Aztecorum mushrooms that I obtained from an old woman who was a curandera in a small village near the base of the volcano Popocatépetl. Triple-WOW! Later my friends took me to see the absolutely amazing art at the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City, which also influenced me greatly...[Please see book THE MEXICAN NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY by Ignacio Bernal, Román Piña-Chán, and Fernando Cámara-Barbachano, revised edition copyright 1970 by Thames and Hudson, London, England. Illustrated with many photographs of the beautiful art displayed in the museum, including the famous statue of Xochipilli.])
("...hadn't he once been offered a cartload of green bananas plus a full can of potoguaya for her and turned the whole deal down? But before letting that offer go he had taken a look at the tea, that had been of a light greenish cast. 'If it had been the real boge,' he admitted later, 'I couldn't have answered for my actions.' Meaning, by boge, the deep-purple plant that only grows on Mount Popocatepetl."
---Nelson Algren, in his 1956 novel A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE, quoting a pimp in New Orleans. This is the earliest published mention of purple marijuana that I have been able to find. The marijuana that I smoked in 1972 that was grown on Popocatépetl was not purple, but it was Quite Excellently Psychedelic...)
When I visited my parents they took me on a tour of places where we had lived. As we approached the house where I had lived just prior to running away to California and becoming a "counterculture" person, I was looking at the sky and my mom said "Do you remember what happened here?" I suddenly had a vision of a door opening in the clouds, and then suddenly closing. (I was immediately reminded of the squarish and rectangular impasto shapes Vincent van Gogh placed in the far right part of his depiction of the sky in his painting of his home in Arles, "The Yellow House".) I replied to my mom "No! What happened here!" It turned out that when I was a teenager, I had been home alone, when suddenly a naked woman ran up onto the front porch outside my bedroom window and pounded on the front door. Before I could answer, her psychotically-enraged husband, a uniformed police officer who had just caught her in bed with another man, ran up to the porch and started to choke her. The woman's father ran up behind the officer, took his gun and saved his daughter's life by shooting the officer in the head, which killed him instantly. I was found inside our house, speechlessly curled into a fetal position... Until my parents told me the story, I had absolutely no conscious recall of the incident! I had repressed it completely. After they told me, I slowly started to remember...(Learning about the incident helped to explain to me why my entire adult life I had such a powerful fear and dislike of policemen, guns, and women who cheat. They were all issues which threatened to dredge-up a terrifying memory...)
My parents later showed me my base I.D. card from when I was 12 years old and we lived at Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo, New Mexico. (Alamogordo is near where the first atomic bomb was detonated and was at one time the home of spy Edward Lee Howard, born the same year I was. His father was a U.S. Air Force Sergeant, same as my dad was. Howard was a fellow Boy Scout, and later a drug user. In 1985 he became the first CIA officer to defect to the Soviet Union. Holloman was near the site of the Air Force's Missile Test Center, where ex-nazi missile scientists, who had been given amnesty after World War II because of their scientific expertise [Operation Paperclip], helped the U.S. develop America's space and weapons programs.) My I.D. card was marked "TOP SECRET". When I questioned my parents about why my card had those words written on it, they told me that it was so that I could go visit my dad where he worked, a classified area on the base. (Like J. Robert Oppenheimer, I was a dedicated rock collector [my favorite specimen in my rock collection was a piece of Trinitite, a pale green glassy material that was formed from melted sand and dirt during the first atomic explosion] and on hikes to an isolated area of the base in search of rocks I sometimes found typewritten carbon paper that the wind had blown against the surrounding fence. When I held the carbon paper up to the sun I could read what was on each page. Often they were "SECRET" documents. Not wanting to cause any trouble, I kept what I learned to myself and destroyed the pages...) I went to the base library every few days and checked out and read the maximum number of books allowed. I worked through many shelves. The 1964 book MARTIAN TIME SLIP by Philip K. Dick, which had just been published, blew my mind! I remember one non-fiction book I checked out and read was HOW TO MAKE AN ATOMIC BOMB IN YOUR KITCHEN--WELL, PRACTICALLY, written by Bob Bale and published in 1951… For years, I had carried with me the memory of visiting the home of one of my schoolmates when we lived at Holloman. The classmate's parents were from Germany. At the classmates house he showed me the new issue of SUPERBOY comics. Superboy had changed his "secret identity" from Clark Kent to someone with MY first and last name!!! It seriously amazed me! Such a strangely empowering coincidence! After I became an adult, I spent many hours in comicbook stores trying to find a copy of that comicbook, but I never could. I finally decided that perhaps my memory, though very vivid, had been false, although, as far as I could tell, I had never experienced any false memories.
(I had read about Jean Piaget, the great child psychologist, who had claimed that his earliest memory was of nearly being kidnapped at the age of 2. He remembered details such as sitting in his baby carriage, watching the nurse defend herself against the kidnapper, scratches on the nurse's face, and a police officer with a short cloak and a white baton chasing the kidnapper away. The story was reinforced by the nurse and the family and others who had heard the story. Piaget was convinced that he remembered the event. However, it never happened. Thirteen years after the alleged kidnapping attempt, Piaget's former nurse wrote to his parents to confess that she had made up the entire story. Piaget later wrote: "I therefore must have heard, as a child, the account of this story...and projected it into the past in the form of a visual memory, which was a memory of a memory, but false". I had also read the story, recently covered [in 2009] by CBS news, about Ronald Cotton, who spent 11 years in prison after he was wrongly convicted of raping Jennifer Thompson. Cotton and Thompson are now friends and give joint lectures about how memory and eyewitness testimony can be wrong. In front of the camera, using a series of photographs and questions, they implanted a false memory in the mind of the CBS interviewer to demonstrate how easily such a thing can be done. The interviewer was utterly flabbergasted, and more than a little embarrassed...)
(In a famous study by psychologist Elizabeth Loftus, she "...gave two dozen subjects a journal filled with details of three events from their childhoods. To make memories as accurate and compelling as possible, Loftus enlisted family members to assemble the information. She then added a fourth, completely fictitious experience that described how, at the age of five, each child had been lost in a mall and finally rescued by an elderly stranger. Loftus seeded the false memories with plausible information, such as the name of the mall each subject would have visited. When she interviewed the subjects later, a quarter of them recalled having been lost in the mall, and some did so in remarkable detail."
---Michael Specter, in his article "Partial Recall", The New Yorker, 5.19. 2014. Loftus later said that memory is "...a little bit...like a Wikipedia page. You can go in there and change it, but so can other people." Elizabeth Phelps, the Silver Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at N.Y.U. said "The notion of the unreliability of memory has changed courtrooms in America, and it is completely owing to Elizabeth's persistence in the face of a very harsh backlash.")
(I am one week older than Berkeley writer Meredith Maran, who accused her father of sexually molesting her, and did not speak to him for eight years. Maran later realized that the accusation was not true. She wrote a book about false memory, MY LIE, that was published in 2010:
"How could it happen that people who never suffered such harrowing experiences would come to believe that they had?")
("People can recall events that never happened."
"All memories are inaccurate to some degree."
"Identifying false memories may be next to impossible."
---Josefin Dolsten, in an article about the book THE MEMORY ILLUSION: Remembering, Forgetting, and the Science of False Memory, by psychologist Julia Shaw. The title of Dolsten's article is "Don't Believe Everything You Remember". Psychology Today, May/June 2016.)
WHEN I WENT ON THE INTERNET AND DID A GOOGLE-SEARCH, I IMMEDIATELY FOUND THE SUPERBOY COMICBOOK WHERE SUPERBOY CHANGED HIS SECRET IDENTITY TO SOMEONE WITH THE SAME NAME AS MINE! MY MEMORY WAS ACCURATE, NOT FALSE.
("Art is a jealous mistress, and if a man have a genius for painting, poetry, music, architecture, or philosophy, he makes a bad husband and an ill-provider..."
---Ralph Waldo Emerson)
I have not been able to obtain much in the way of gainful employment. (I do not eat pig meat. I am not good at "bringing home the bacon".) The job I had for the longest time was as an agricultural worker, hand-harvesting tobacco in rural Johnston County, North Carolina, near where actress Ava Gardner was born. (The County Seat is Smithfield. When I lived there as a teenager in the late 1960s with my parents and family, there were large racist billboards beside the road as you entered and exited the town. These billboards showed a man on a horse wearing a hooded robe brandishing a flaming cross and had the words "Help Fight Communism and Integration--Join and Support the United Klans of America--Welcome to Smithfield"...)
The New York Times reported that Aero Contractors, Ltd. in Smithfield was heavily involved in "extraordinary rendition", the transport of terrorism suspects to countries where they can be tortured to extract information.
("...a kind of Mayberry 'cloak-and-dagger'..."
---Smithfield resident Allyson Caison, quoted by Joby Warrick, The Washington Post, 2.9. 2012.)
I also worked briefly at a Post Office, a downtown San Francisco popcorn factory, a used-book store in Berkeley, a restaurant, and a ghetto service station...
("He would've had a bigger career if he'd been able to swallow shit, if he'd been able to play the game."
---Nan Goldin, speaking about photographer Peter Hujar. The quote is from an article by Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle, 1.19. 2014.)
("There has to be a point at which you don't compromise anymore, but that may mean that you won't get anyone to sell your paintings..."
---Stephen Sondheim, quoted in The New Yorker, 6.23. 2014.)
("To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered."
("I had never handled money. Not even a penny. Money was the key to everything that was wrong with the world..."
"Rain and I weren't sports fans, what with the obsession over winning and losing."
"Her sigh cut me off. 'Maybe you're better off at Camp Purple Haze. I hate to think of what would happen to you in the real world.'"
---students, in Gordon Corman's 2007 novel SCHOOLED. A hippie, raised in isolation by his grandma named Rain in the remnants of a rural commune, is suddenly thrust into 8th grade classes in a public school. In the end, the hippie kid becomes the school hero. The book was written for young people. "Cap had never watched television." [Back cover blurb.])
One of my cellmates in the federal section of the jail in Oakland, California where I was incarcerated in 1985 (before being convicted of "Failure To Appear In Court" 13 years previously) was the spy Jerry Alfred Whitworth, a former Senior Chief Radioman in the U.S. Navy. He was part of the Walker spy ring which operated for 18 years. Whitworth was a rather stupid and acutely selfish person who sincerely believed he was quite smart. (He very much reminded me of a stereotypical Republican.) He used to toss cheese toast to me in the dining hall like the toast was a frisbee. So surreal!
Whitworth was found guilty and sentenced to 365 years in prison.
("The government justified the severity of Whitworth's punishment by contending that he was the 'principal agent of collection' for the secrets relayed to the KGB.")
("'Jerry Whitworth is a zero at the bone' who betrayed his country because 'he believes in nothing.'"
--Sentencing Judge John Vukasin.)
("...the KGB regarded the Walker-Whitworth operation to be the most important...in the KGB's history."
--Vitaly Yurchenko, KGB officer.)
("Billions of...dollars were expended to repair leaks created by Walker and his network..."
--Fredric L. Rice)
Paul Sjeklocha, a.k.a. Paul Cutter, is someone I knew because he was a fellow prisoner (and a fellow member of TOASTMASTERS) at Safford Federal Correctional Institute, the prison camp in Arizona where I was sentenced to serve 2 years after being convicted of Failure To Appear In Court. (Safford FCI is also where Watergate conspirator John Ehrlichman [former Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs in Nixon's White House] served his time...) Paul (a quite manic but very convincing teller of endless stories of his incredible bravery in the face of a slew of dangerous situations in far away exotic places) had been convicted in 1985 of unlawfully selling missiles to Iran. Paul was known to privately say that he was working hand-in-hand with the CIA at the time he made the sale, and that he had their permission to do so. Shortly after I was released from Safford FCI, the 1985-1986 "Iran-Contra Scandal" came to light. (High-ranking members of the Reagan administration secretly orchestrated the the sale of weapons to Iran. The U.S. Congress had forbidden what the Reagan administration officials considered to be important funding to support a war that, with the assistance of the CIA, was being waged by the "Contra" rebels against the Sandinista government of Nicaragua. The Reagan administration officials secretly diverted some of the money from the sale of weapons to Iran and used it to help fund the "Contra" rebels. Eventually 11 of the officials, including the U.S. Secretary of Defense, were indicted for committing crimes related to the "Iran-Contra Scandal".) In the wake of "Iran-Contra Scandal" revelations, Paul was released from Safford FCI on Appeal. Paul then failed to appear in court and became a fugitive. He was arrested in March 1996 in Arkansas.
Gary Webb, a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News newspaper in San Jose, California, wrote the "Dark Alliance" series of articles in 1996, which detailed how cocaine-dealing Nicaraguans (such as "Norwin Meneses", whose family was close to deposed Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza) were linked to the CIA-backed "Contra" rebels. Webb accurately showed that the CIA deliberately ignored cocaine smuggling by its "Contra" rebel-linked associates. I was friends with 2 Meneses brothers, fellow prisoners when I was at Safford FCI. One of them was a prison librarian, and both of them were members of the TOASTMASTERS group. Many years before the "Dark Alliance" articles by Webb, they very, very succinctly told me that the CIA had cleared the way for their large-scale cocaine-smuggling activities. Webb spoke to me on the telephone from his home in Sacramento, California not long before he committed suicide in 2004, still quite upset that the San Jose Mercury News and the Los Angeles Times had falsely stated that he had recanted the facts of his investigation...
Perhaps because of the important reproductive programming that is shared by all animals, including human beings, many people mistakenly believe that an orgasm is the highest high that can be experienced.
("...most modern music is all about sex. Because sex is the electric current that keeps us moving and makes us human. Sexual love is the closest many of us get to transcendence, which is why it occupies such a huge portion of art and literature..."
---Mary McNamara, the Los Angeles Times, 10.1. 2009.)
("Sex and creative thought, the same kind of high. That's why Einstein looked just so loaded all the time."
("I wanted to depict pleasure...physical pleasure...sensual...tactile."
---Mario Vargas Llosa)
("I spent two years working on this highly complex movie, loaded with FX and C.G.I. stuff, and the most memorable visual turns out to be Amy's, uh, rear in her jodhpurs."
---Shawn Levy, director of the 2009 movie NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN, describing the audience reaction to actor Amy Adams, who played Amelia Earhart in the movie. The quote is from "Art Attack", by Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 6.1. 2009.)
("These fantasies and thoughts exist in every person. Why is it that people are willing to go to a movie and watch someone get blown to bits for no reason and nobody wants to see two girls kissing or two men snuggling?"
("You had a billion dollars' worth of art on the walls, and I'm the only guy that was ever there that didn't ooh and aah over the art. I'd just as soon have a bunch of old Playboy covers on the wall."
---Warren Buffett, quoted by Alice Schroeder in THE SNOWBALL: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life. Buffett was describing spending a weekend with Ronald and Nancy Reagan at the residence of Walter Annenberg.)
("Lets face it--sex makes people crazy."
---Ward Cates, M.D.)
("Both are by law felony crimes punishable by long prison terms."
---Eugene Schoenfeld, M.D., writing about cunnilingus and fellatio [oral sex] in his 1968 book DEAR DOCTOR HIP POCRATES.)
("Strangely my attitude changed after I turned sixty, as if I had been freed from some demonic curse. I could see the world clearly. I felt I had put on an entirely new pair of glasses. Why was this? To put it succinctly it was because I could no longer involve myself in romantic affairs, no matter how much I clamoured and fumed. As soon as I realized this, the world, which earlier I could barely see through the swirling fogs of romance, became perfectly clear, as if the fog had melted away to clear sky."
"Now I see all that I have done up to this point as clearly and indifferently as if I were beholding the life of a stranger. When I was in the whirlpool I could not think at all."
---Uno Chiyo, translated from the Japanese by Rebecca Copeland. [From the introduction to THE STORY OF A SINGLE WOMAN.])
("The lights are on but you're not home, Your mind is not your own."
---Robert Palmer, in his song "Addicted to Love".)
("Much of what we do, we do for reasons that are, to us, both unknown and unknowable."
---my paraphrase of a something that I remember sex columnist and therapist Isadora Alman writing in the San Francisco Bay Guardian.)
("Next to pornography, supernatural horror is the most durable staple in our popular culture."
("I feel you cannot have art without risk. If you can, it is not worth it. I am more concerned with mediocrity than pornography."
---Fred Grandy, actor who became a politician.)
("In early September 2012, The New Yorker found its Facebook page blocked for violating the site's nudity and sex standards. Its offense: a cartoon of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Eve's bared nipples failed Facebook's decency test."
---Evgeny Morozov, "You Can't Say That on the Internet", 11.16. 2012, The New York Times.)
("We are so terrified of inspiration that sometimes we are moved to suppression."
("I'll take my clothes off and it will be
'cause everyone knows that's how you get
("Flesh was the reason why oil painting was invented."
---Willem de Kooning)
("The pleasures of sex count in his work of the sixties."
---Peter Schjeldahl, describing the art of Willem de Kooning.)
("Fashions may change, but sex appeal is always in style."
---Frederick [of Hollywood] Mellinger)
(I greatly admire the 1866 painting by Gustave Courbet, "L'Origine du Monde"...
I also greatly admire the short story “The Metal Bowl” by Miranda July [born 1974], published in The New Yorker, 9.4. 2017.
[The psychedelic art book AYAHUASCA VISIONS: THE RELIGIOUS ICONOGRAPHY OF A PERUVIAN SHAMAN by Pablo Amaringo and Luis Luna was published by North Atlantic Books in 1991. (I have ingested ayahuasca made by Pablo Amaringo.) In the 1990s the unmarked warehouse/offices of North Atlantic Books (and MONDO 2000 magazine) were located approximately one block from the 924 Gilman punk music club. For several years, nearly every night I went and searched through the dumpster outside the warehouse. I found many interesting items (corrected manuscripts, unsolicited submissions, photographs, alternate versions of covers, etc.). Miranda July, who wrote plays that were staged at 924 Gilman, is the daughter of Richard Grossinger, the author who founded North Atlantic Books. July grew up in Berkeley.])
(In May 2010 the Picasso painting "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust" sold for $106.5 Million...)
(It has been said that the "paisley" design is a stylized representation of a curled palm frond, a very ancient symbol of fertility.)
("What really counts is to strip the soul naked. Painting or poetry is made as one makes love--a total experience, all prudence thrown to the winds, nothing held back."
("...more than anything, I believe in love."
---Sandy Stier, a lesbian who lives in Berkeley.)
("Ilona is one of the greatest artists in the world. She is a great liberator. Other artists use a paintbrush. Ilona uses her genitalia."
("...going to the grave without having a psychedelic experience [is] like going to the grave without ever having sex.
It means you never figured out what it is all about."
("I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees."
("...men's testosterone levels jump when a new woman enters the room. The simple fact of her novelty is physically exciting. But the same is true for women and their hormones when a new man enters the room. For social, moral, esthetic, parental, religious, or even mystical reasons, we may choose to live with one partner for life, but our instincts nag at us. There is nothing like being new for someone."
---Diane Ackerman, in A NATURAL HISTORY OF THE SENSES.)
("I'm hooked on a feelin', I'm high on believin' that you're in love with me."
---from 1968 pop song lyrics written by Mark James.)
("We try to take off our clothes but are unable to take off the idea of them."
---Geoffrey O'Brien, in DREAM TIME--Chapters from the Sixties.)
I love making erotic hallucinographic designs!
("LOVE IS HELLA DEEP"
---carved into a bus-stop bench)
I intensely dislike politics. I intensely dislike organized religion. I intensely dislike sports. I intensely dislike video games and computer games. I intensely dislike gambling. I intensely dislike drinking beverages that contain alcohol. I intensely dislike using methamphetamine. I intensely dislike Frank Sinatra, and I intensely dislike Frank Sinatra's singing, and I intensely dislike Frank Sinatra's songs. I intensely dislike Elvis Presley, and I intensely dislike Elvis Presley's singing, and I intensely dislike Elvis Presley's songs.
("...Hitler's orders were followed until the very end, even when they were plainly mad and cost millions of lives, including those of his own soldiers. From Stalin to Mao to Idi Amin, the twentieth century surely gave plenty of proof that psychotic leaders...can sometimes infect whole populations with their madness."
---Adam Kirsch, The New Yorker, 1.9. 2012.)
(TO HATE LIKE THIS IS TO BE HAPPY FOREVER by Will Blythe, 2006, is a genuinely disgusting book about the Duke-North Carolina basketball rivalry. It appears that the author, most of his associates and most of his heroes are all utterly unaware that they are suffering from very serious mental illness. The dust jacket photo of the sports fan author shows him holding a bottle of beer...
["Sports is like war without the killing."
---Ted Turner, paraphrasing George Orwell.]
["Many young people are not joining the alcoholic brotherhood of their parents."
"This rejection of alcohol as a socializer...acted to create distance and ill will between parent and child."
---Marc Pilisuk, Lilyan Binder, Claire Brady, Sandra Broemel, Robert Hart, Ann Ohren, William Smolak, and Susan Cady in their essay "Becky and the Telegraph Avenue Lifestyle", which was published in the 1971 book POOR AMERICANS: How the White Poor Live. The essay, first published in the periodical "Transaction: Social Science and Modern Society", was about a young woman and what she experienced while frequenting a section of Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, California in an area that is very close to the University of California, Berkeley campus. Becky was interviewed between November 1969 and January 1970.]
[Researchers Pal-Orjan Johansen and Teri Krebs from Norway's University of Science and Technology in Trondheim said "...in a report published last year in the British Journal of Psychopharmacology that a single dose of LSD was a highly effective treatment for alcoholism."
---Tony Paterson, The Independent, 9.4. 2013.]
---Sports Journalist Bill Plaschke, describing baseball fans in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Times, 4.21. 2011. Plaschke has been named National Sports Columnist of the Year by the Associated Press four times.]
[Some people "...use sports to vent inchoate, barely acknowledged hostility..."
---Reviewer Mick LaSalle (writing about the movie Big Fan), the San Francisco Chronicle, 10.23. 2009.]
[The national Football League agreed to pay $765 million to settle thousands of player lawsuits over brain damage they got from playing football. The plaintiffs included 10 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
---from an article by Tracy Connor, NBC News, 8.29. 2013.]
["...the 'winning is everything' sports culture..."
---the Journal of the American Medical Association, March 2011, describing America's obsession with sports.]
("What we don't get is how often winners will do whatever it takes to win."
---David Denby, in a review of the movie THE ARMSTRONG LIE, about Lance Armstrong, seven-time winner of the Tour de France bicycle race who cheated by secretly taking performance-enhancing drugs, and then repeatedly lied about his drug use. Denby writes about Armstrong that "His attitude is: Don't you get it?" He also writes that "What's most alive" in Armstrong "is his contempt for 'dickheads'--anyone who has ever held him responsible for anything." The New Yorker, 12.2. 2013.)
["...it's an ugly species we belong to and often we overlook the fact that football games and a lot of beer tend to bring out the worst."
---Peter Richmond, an author who likes sports, in an interview with Paul Kilduff, the East Bay Monthly, December 2011.]
["In 2014 forty-five of the fifty top-rated television broadcasts were football games."
---David Cook, The Sun, September 2015.]
["Our allegiance to football legitimizes and even fosters within us a tolerance for violence, greed, racism, and homophobia."
---Steve Almond, in AGAINST FOOTBALL--One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto.]
["Maybe it is time to ask why so many young, multimillionaire professional athletes commit violent assaults."
"...the fanatical importance we attach to winning sports competitions--from little league and grade school on up."
"...many of our most popular spectator sports are unabashed celebrations of violence."
"...the current culture and economy of sports invite the ugly results we so often read about."
"Are our lives otherwise so dull or devoid of meaning that we must cheer winners at any cost?"
---law professor Jay Sterling Silver, writing about a murder committed by football player Jovan Belcher. After the murder, Belcher killed himself. The San Francisco Chronicle, 12. 5. 2012.]
["...games, regardless of how much we may love them, are by definition trivial and superfluous..."
---Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, 2010.]
["When you come to the ballpark, you're walking into a place that is all deception and lies...There's nothing truthful at the ballpark."
---Barry Bonds, quoted in Jeff Chang's book CAN'T STOP WON'T STOP--A History of the Hip-Hop Generation.]
["It would seem we reward the careers closest to childhood skill levels---throwing and kicking balls, or make-believe and play-acting."
---Pamela Boyd, in a letter to the editor, USA TODAY, 11.13. 2009. Boyd was criticizing the extremely high salaries paid to some sports coaches.]
["If you told nine guys to sit down in a waiting room in a dental office, they'll probably start talking about sports."
"Men, to the best of my knowledge, don't even read. When's the last time you heard a man say, 'I've been reading a great book, you'd really like it'?"
---Bryan Goldberg, who, with a few of his friends started the sports website Bleacher Report, which later sold for more than $200 million. Goldberg then founded Bustle, an online publication for women. The quotes are from an article by Lizzie Widdicombe, The New Yorker, 9.23. 2013.]
[Peter Rosenberg is "one of the most influential hosts on hip-hop radio."
"...one of the two or three books Peter has read."
---Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, 4.7. 2014.]
["...she read a lot (unlike Trecartin, whose knowledge of literature and art history comes mostly from talking with people like Fitch)."
---Calvin Tomkins, describing Lizzie Fitch, who works with "video artist visionary" Ryan Trecartin. Influential art critic Peter Schjeldahl called Trecartin "the most consequential artist to have emerged since the nineteen-eighties." The New Yorker, 3.24. 2014.]
["A terrifying display of human idiocy."
---activist, describing the Running of the Bulls. KCBS, 8.3. 2013.]
[Ayn Rand was an advocate of the insanity of ego and competition. More than 25 million copies of her books have been sold. Still very much admired by many conservatives and capitalists, Rand was an amphetamine addict.
(Ayn Rand..."saw altruism as evil and selfishness as good."
She..."lived to see Alan Greenspan, a follower, lead President Gerald Ford's Council of Economic Advisors."
----from a review by T.J. Stiles of the book AYN RAND AND THE WORLD SHE MADE by Anne C. Heller [Nan A. Talese/Doubleday.] The San Francisco Chronicle , 11.1. 2009. Also see the book GODDESS OF THE MARKET: Ayn Rand and the American Right by Jennifer Burns [Oxford University Press.])
("...Rand fueled her endless writing sessions...with amphetamines and by sticking herself with a needle to maintain 'focus'..."
---Nick Gillespie, in a review of the above-mentioned books in WILSON QUARTERLY, Autumn, 2009.)]
Competition is the problem, NOT the solution. COOPERATION IS THE SOLUTION!
["The only winning move is not to play."
---line from the 1983 movie WARGAMES.])
("The medium is the message."
Television is the tent-pole of America's national identity.
("Americans view...five hours of TV each day..."
---Alice Park, in an article about a report by a Harvard-led group. The report was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. TIME, 6.27. 2011)
("...TV evangelists...pornographic bottoms...purple felt dinosaurs and insane white puppies..."
---A.S. Byatt, describing a few of the things that the "airwaves" are filled with. From the title story in her book THE DJINN IN THE NIGHTINGALE'S EYE.)
("...it is impossible in the early 1980s to hear a sentence spoken by a child without an allusion to something shown on TV."
---Gary Shteyngart, in his book LITTLE FAILURE: A MEMOIR, describing living in New York City.)
("...frequently displaying the ugly sight of children being brainwashed by their parents."
---from the back cover blurb of the 1975 paperback reprint of SANITY, MADNESS, AND THE FAMILY--Families of Schizophrenics by R.D. Laing and A. Esterson.)
I am pretty certain that watching television (or movies) is not a good idea! Unfortunately, to make sense of most of what is being presented on a television or movie screen, people have to suspend the obvious disbelief they should have.
("...much of self-identity is generated by television..."
---Steve Seid, in BAM/PFA [University of California, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive] ["FilmNotes"] Jan/Feb 2011.)
Apparently it doesn't take long for most people to permanently forget that they are suspending disbelief and as a consequence actually buy into delusional mainstream propaganda....(Television "programs"...television "programming"...yikes!!!)
ACTORS AND ACTRESSES ARE, BY DEFINITION, LIARS. PEOPLE WHO ENJOY BEING LIED TO ARE FOOLS. (INCLUDING ME.)
("...it's not a lie if you believe it."
---Jason Alexander, playing the character George Costanza in the TV series "Seinfeld".)
("Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."
When Picasso accurately noted that "art is the lie that shows us the truth", he was referring to genuine art, not to movies or television. The extent to which disbelief must be suspended in order to comprehend and/or enjoy a movie or a television show is much, much, much greater than the extent to which disbelief must be suspended, if at all, in order to understand and/or enjoy a drawing or a painting. In the painting of a tobacco pipe, "La trahison des images" ("The Treachery of Images") by Belgian surrealist René Magritte, the words "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" ("This is not a pipe") are written beneath the image of the pipe. To contemplate and/or enjoy the meanings of the painting does not require the viewer to assume the depiction is really a pipe even for a moment. (I am not, of course, entirely able to avoid viewing television and movies, but mostly I try to limit myself to reading written reviews so that I can be well-educated about American television and movie "culture". Indeed, how could I resist reading a review titled "Conspiracies Abound, But Dear Old Dad Just Wants To Make LSD"?? [The review, by Tim Goodman, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, 9.8. 2008, was of the television series "Fringe" ...])
(Read the script? Yes! View the movie? No!)
("In films, a tense, fast heartbeat is often mixed in with the musical score for scenes designed to be scary."
---Diane Ackerman, in A NATURAL HISTORY OF THE SENSES.)
("TV has screwed up millions of people with their little rounded-off stories. Because that is not the way life is."
("...cinema is not a passive presence relegated to the screen, but a dynamic force that leaps off the screen to enter our lives."
---from an item mentioning a book by David Thomson, THE BIG SCREEN: The Story of the Movies--And What They Have Done To Us, in BAM / PFA [University of California, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive] ["Readings On Cinema"] Nov/Dec 2012.)
(Worth reading: THE MOMENT OF PSYCHO--How Alfred Hitchcock Taught America To Love Murder. By David Thomson, 2009. About the 1960 movie.)
(One of my lovers was a psychiatric nurse. I helped her operate a large antiques collective she owned in the Niles area of Fremont, California. We lived in nearby Sunol. Niles was an early site of the American movie industry and many films were shot there, including The Tramp, featuring Charlie Chaplin.)
("We suffer under a mass national hallucination."
"Americans, regardless of income or social position, now live in a culture entirely perceived inside a self-referential media hologram of a nation and world that does not exist."
"Our national reality is staged and held together by media, chiefly movie and television images. We live in a 'theater state'."
" In our theater state, we know the world through media productions which are edited and shaped to instruct us on how to look and behave and view the outside world."
---Joe Bageant, in a lecture, 2009.)
I have never seen David Letterman or his television show.
I have never seen Oprah Winfrey or her television show.
("There is no difference in result between our entertainment industry and Asian or Soviet brainwashing programs. Our revulsion at these is irrational as we have developed more complex and subtle ways of achieving the same end. Far from being a conscious conspiracy, this is a nightmare dream from which we would do well to awaken at once..."
("Acting is different from posing or pretending. When done with precision, it bears a striking resemblance to lying. Stripped of the costumes and grand gestures, it presents itself as an unquestionable truth."
("Acting is fundamentally a childish thing to pursue. Quitting acting--that is the mark of maturity."
("It's not the bloodletting that people come to see in the movies. It's vengeance. Getting even is important to the public. They go to work every day for some guy who's rude and they can't stand, and they just have to take it. Then they go see me on the screen and I kick the shit out of him."
("...even though most folks will say they go to the movies to be entertained, if the truth be told lots of us, myself included, go to the movies to learn stuff. Often what we learn is life-transforming in some way. I have never heard anyone say that they chose to go to a movie hoping it would change them utterly---that they would leave the theater and their lives would never be the same---and yet there are individuals who testify that after seeing a particular film they were not the same."
"...there are certain 'received' messages that are rarely mediated by the will of the audience."
"The fact that some folks may attend films as 'resisting spectators' does not really change the reality that most of us, no matter how sophisticated our strategies of critique and intervention, are usually seduced, at least for a time, by the images we see on the screen."
"Whether we like it or not, cinema assumes a pedagogical role in the lives of many people."
---bell hooks, in her book REEL TO REAL--Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies.)
("All he needed to do was watch TV shows and movies, and take from them performances he liked--memorizing the lines, studying the body language, the facial expressions. He then practiced making the expressions in front of a mirror."
---Diane Belfrey, in her essay "Adrift", describing what her boyfriend, who was extremely clueless in social situations, discovered at the age of ten. The New Yorker, 11.7. 2016. [Children of immigrants have told me they used the same technique to learn how to be "American". And sadly, some children born to sixties "counterculture" parents have also described doing the same thing because they so desperately wanted to be like all their mainstream classmates.])
("Decades before the advent of the personal webcam, historian Christopher Lasch observed that his fellow Americans behaved as if they were perpetually on camera, posing and vamping. LOOK AT ME. Today, many of us behave as if life were a nonstop reality show."
"How did we come to see ourselves as stars?"
"'THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON' was an educational cartoon series produced in 1972 by Sutherland Learning Associates. It was funded by a U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Office of Child Development grant, and screened regularly on the popular kiddie show 'Captain Kangaroo'."
"Each episode was accompanied by the same theme song that went 'The Most Important Person in the Whole Wide World is YOU'."
---Anneli Rufus, in her book STUCK: WHY WE CAN'T [OR WON'T] MOVE ON.)
("'The Truman Show Delusion' is a type of persecutory/grandiose delusion in which patients believe their lives are staged plays or reality television shows. The term was coined in 2008 after the 1998 film The Truman Show."
"There have been over 40 recorded instances of people suffering from 'The Truman Show Delusion' in the U.S., the U.K., and elsewhere." [As of September 2013.]
"One patient said 'I realized that I was and am the center, the focus of attention by millions and millions of people...my family and everyone I knew were and are actors in a script, a charade whose entire purpose is to make me the focus of the world's attention.'"
"'Given the recent feedback about our work, 'The Truman Show Delusion' may be more widespread than we know,' Dr. Joel Gold says."
---from a WebMd article by Suzanne Wright, 2013.)
("The role of knowledge and art, as the ancient Greeks understood, is to create ekstasis, which means standing outside one’s self to give our individual life and struggle meaning and perspective."
"Art and scholarship allow us to see the underlying structures and assumptions used to manipulate and control us."
"The vast stage of entertainment that envelops our culture is intended to impart the opposite of ekstasis."
"We have been conditioned to believe...that the aim of life is not to understand but to be entertained."
---Chris Hedges, "Retribution for a World Lost in Screens", truthdig.com, 9.27. 2010.)
("If reality can be obscured by entertainment, it makes confronting our problems much more difficult."
---Jay Youngdahl, the East Bay Express, 5.16. 2012.)
(It is worth noting that sometimes some forms of pollyannaism, such as religion, may provide some short-term benefits to some people, because when forced by logic to accept certain truths, such as the fact that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FREE WILL and the fact that LIFE IS NOT FAIR, some people become very stressed, which can make them ill.
[A study of the surviving victims of the Wenchuan earthquake, which killed nearly 90,000 people, found that "...those who continued to believe the universe was fair suffered the least anxiety and depression."
---Matthew Hudson, The Atlantic, June 2016.])
("DON'T watch TV...You're giving it all away to ICONS. Icons which are maintained by an electronic media who are trying to make you want to dress like X or have lips like Y...Reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that's being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world."
---Terence McKenna, University of Washington, Seattle, 1994.)
("...It's like that drug trip I saw in a movie while I was on a drug trip..."
---Character in the animated science fiction sitcom Futurama.)
("...to seek the limelight through a hoax is a sad commentary about what some people will do to get on TV."
"...abandoning adult behavior to the god of Being On TV is a serious matter with serious consequences."
---editorial [about Richard Heene and his wife, who falsely stated that that their young son had been accidentally sent aloft in a balloon], USA TODAY, 10.19. 2009.)
(Young boy, speaking to his mother: "Kids need candy! It's food energy! They said so on T.V.!"
Mother, speaking to herself: "How can you argue with The Gospel According to T.V.?"
---from the comic strip "For Better or for Worse", Lynn Johnston, the San Francisco Chronicle, 10.17. 2009.)
("...TV becomes church, with everyone shushing the non-believers."
---Emily Nussbaum, in a review of a television show. The New Yorker, 7.7. 2014.)
("It's only when the TV is on that I get a break to hear myself think."
---anonymous mother, in a letter to Parent's Press, July 2017.)
("...long-term exposure to the language of TV news is detrimental to a person's thought processes."
---Donna Woolfolk Cross, MEDIASPEAK--How Television Makes Up Your Mind.)
(“Kenneth, what is the frequency?”
--- William Tager, as he violently attacked television news anchor Dan Rather in 1986. Tager had the delusional belief that he personally was the target of harmful electronic signals that he was convinced were being beamed into his brain by CBS News.)
(Trump's participation in the presidential campaign "...may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS."
---CBS CEO Les Moonves, in a 2016 speech at a Morgan Stanley investors conference.)
("...photography may blind us to the beauty of a Vermeer painting, or an electronic keyboard may make us forget the magnificence of a Horowitz sonata..."
---James Randi, in the foreword to SECRETS OF MENTAL MATH, a book written by Arthur Benjamin and Michael Shermer.)
Here is a list of some movies I have viewed:
Un Chien Andalou
Rebel Without a Cause
On the Beach
The Day the Earth Stood Still (original)
Dancer in the Dark
2001: A Space Odyssey (Alan Turing's paper "Can a Machine Think?" was published the same year I was born. In the paper, he predicted that computers would be having "human" conversations with people and other machines "in about 50 years". Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick later read what Turing had written, did the math, and made this 1968 movie.)
The Wizard of Oz
A Clockwork Orange
Night of the Living Dead
The Royal Tenenbaums
Gone with the Wind
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The French Connection
Let It Be
The NeverEnding Story
A Scanner Darkly
Conspiracy Theory (I saw it on TV while jailed in Berkeley, California for refusing to sign a ticket. The charge was dismissed the next day...)
Don't Look Back
Scarface (cocaine version)
All the President's Men
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
McCabe and Mrs. Miller
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Capturing the Friedmans
All That Jazz
The Blues Brothers
The Family Man
Dead Poets Society
From Russia with Love
I am Curious (Yellow)
Cool Hand Luke
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?
When Harry Met Sally
The Big Lebowski
The Men Who Stare at Goats
The Ladykillers (Coen version)
The Manchurian Candidate (2004 version)
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
A Day Without a Mexican
Super Size Me
Pumping Iron (25th Anniversary Edition DVD, which includes an interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who says he smoked marijuana and used steroids.)
The Breakfast Club
The Longest Day
The Lord of the Rings (trilogy)
The Lost Weekend
Lady Sings the Blues
King Kong (original)
Invaders from Mars (original)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Blue Sunshine (This is a cheap “trip-sploitation” 1978 horror movie about an imagined side effect of what, in 1972, was my favorite kind of LSD tablet, Blue Sunshine.)
(“The sky was yellow and the sun was blue”
---Robert Hunter, in the words he wrote for the song Scarlet Begonias, first performed live by the Grateful Dead in 1974. [I was very high on hashish and nitrous oxide at the office of my cool dentist, listening to a recording of this song, and he asked me if I wanted him to put a picture on the artificial crown he was placing on one of my teeth. “Yes--a blue sun!” I replied.])
The 40-Year Old Virgin
Road to Morocco
Road to Bali
The Harder They Come
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb
Dazed and Confused
Bonnie and Clyde
Twelve O'Clock High
Some Like It Hot
Bowling for Columbine
Miracle on 34th Street
The Nutty Professor
Ride 'Em Cowboy
Wild in the Streets
The Bad Seed
The Empire Strikes Back
The Toxic Avenger
The Satan Bug
Whistle Down the Wind
The Bridge on the River Kwai
Pretty in Pink
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The Addams Family
Back to the Future
Beverly Hills Cop
The Evil Dead
The Absent-Minded Professor
Around the World in 80 Days (original)
Swiss Family Robinson
Confessions of an Opium Eater
The Narcotic Story (the full-length version of "Goofballs and Tea")
The Grateful Dead Movie
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Demetrius and the Gladiators
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (short 1962 film)
Skaterdater (short 1965 film)
Magic Trip (documentary, 2011)
The experimental films made by artist Bruce Connor that I viewed at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley.
Death in the West
(A 32 minute documentary made in 1976 that vividly exposes the horrific lies told by tobacco companies. This film was very vigorously suppressed by the tobacco industry, whose product is responsible for millions of deaths. [435,000 deaths in the United States in the year 2000 alone, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.] Philip Morris company, the makers of Marlboro cigarettes, got a court to order that this movie never again be shown.)
LSD--A Case Study
(A brief [less than 4 minutes long] anti-drug film by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, made in 1969.
[A woman takes LSD, then goes to a hotdog stand in San Francisco and buys a hotdog. As she prepares to eat, the hotdog turns into a little "troll" and begs her not to eat him, that he has a wife and 7 kids. She ends up biting into the hotdog anyway and it screams VERY loudly. She throws it on the ground and stomps it to death...])
(A driving safety film produced in cooperation with the Ohio State Highway Patrol in 1959. Many mutilated, injured and dead people shown.)
Here is a list of some TV series I have viewed:
The Fugitive (all)
The Ed Sullivan Show (American debut of the Beatles)
The Twilight Zone
The Avengers (all episodes with Diana Rigg)
Weeds (first season)
The Man from U.N.C.L.E
I Dream of Jeannie
My Favorite Martian
The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Leave it to Beaver
Danger is my Business
Lost in Space
You Bet Your Life
The Beverly Hillbillies
Have Gun, Will Travel
The Three Stooges
The Little Rascals (1929-1938 shorts from "Our Gang Comedies")
Saturday Night Live (first several seasons)
I Love Lucy
The Amos 'n' Andy Show
Hee-Haw (first season)
Father Knows Best
The Donna Reed Show
All in the Family
The Jack Benny Program
77 Sunset Strip
The Lone Ranger
The Roy Rogers Show
The Wild Wild West
The Andy Griffith Show
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
My Three Sons
The Addams Family
Twelve O'Clock High
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
The Defenders (original)
My Name is Earl
Game of Thrones (first 65 episodes)
Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood
The Yogi Bear Show
The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show
King of the Hill
The Simpsons (all to 2007)
On more than one occasion I had the very great honor of being invited to visit backstage with master pianist Vladimir Horowitz and his wife, Wanda Toscanini Horowitz. After hearing his truly awe-inspiring performance, shaking the hand of such a genius was a profound experience!
("The recorded performance by Vladimir Horowitz is superlative beyond all description."
---David Hall, commenting on the record "Variations on 'La Ricordanza'" in THE RECORD BOOK--A Guide to the World of the Phonograph, 1948.)
And the hours I spent at the residence of my friend Tom Constanten (TC), composer and former Grateful Dead keyboard player, listening in psychedelic rapture as he made music, were intensely inspiring...
Here is a list of a very few of the MANY musicians I have had the great pleasure to hear perform live:
The Pretenders (Greek Theatre, Berkeley, 1984. Of all the bands I have heard, this was MY FAVORITE CONCERT EVER!
"Like a break in the battle was your part...
in the wretched life of a lonely heart"
---Chrissie Hynde, singing her song "Back on the Chain Gang", in a performance by The Pretenders. [Hynde was born in 1951, less than a month after I was.])
The Grateful Dead (Many shows)
The Rolling Stones (Multiple shows, beginning with the concert at Altamont)
New Riders of the Purple Sage
Quicksilver Messenger Service
Jerry Garcia Band (Including a show I saw while high on LSD at a college in Oberlin, Ohio in 1976.
"The college's architecture is designed for LSD and psychedelic-mushroom experimentation, as it makes sense only when its melting"
"The nice sophomore next door teaches an introductory course on the Beatles."
"Sometimes we'll drop acid and try to puzzle out "And Your Bird Can Sing" while walking up to various buildings and leaning on them."
---Gary Shteyngart, describing being a student at Oberlin College in 1991.)
The Joy of Cooking
Asleep at the Wheel (when they lived in Oakland, California in the early 1970s)
Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen
Country Joe and the Fish
Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young
The Rowan Brothers
John Lee Hooker
Bill Evans and Megan Lynch
Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee
Big Mama Thornton
They Might be Giants
(Tom Constanten [Piano] + Robert Hunter [Words], Ray Manzarek [Piano] + Michael McClure [Words])
Babyland (at the punk club "924 Gilman". I also heard Thee Hobo Gobbelins there. From early 1997 through 2002 I listened to approximately 200 shows there, almost all while outside the building.)
Sylvester (with the Cockettes, 1969. Everyone had taken LSD....)
(MY FAVORITE SONG EVER is the version of "Give Voice" that is on the 2010 album "Misery's End" by Paula Fuga. I am also very fond of one of the versions of the Beatles song "Tomorrow Never Knows" performed by Marshmallow Overcoat.)
(One afternoon when I was 16 years old in 1967, I went to a 7-Eleven convenience store near where I lived in North Carolina and bought my first record, a Jefferson Airplane 45 with "White Rabbit" on one side and "Plastic Fantastic Lover" on the other. Over the next year or so I played the record so many times I almost wore it out.)
("Well I met a girl called Sandoz
And she taught me many, many things
Good things, very good things, sweet things
I met her one sunny morning
It was hot but the snow lay on the ground
Strange things, very strange things, my mind has wings
Sandoz, Sandoz who taught me love
Sandoz, Sandoz heavens above
They could all learn something from your mind
She is very old
You may think she's young
One kiss from her
And you know your time has come
Good times, for all time, Sandoz
---Eric Burdon and The Animals, 1966. Sandoz is the name of the Swiss pharmaceutical company whose employee, Albert Hofmann, synthesized [and took] the first LSD. After much serious research, Sandoz accurately determined that LSD is definitely one of the very safest drugs in the world when used properly. Sandoz manufactured and sold LSD before some of the warmongers panicked and made it illegal. It has been said that some of the warmongers thought that LSD made people more likely to refuse to follow orders.)
("The short-lived first era of rock festivals began in San Francisco. The incubator was Stewart Brand and Ramon Sender's three-day Trips Festival, a kind of 'super acid test,' in Tom Wolfe's famed account. Bill Graham staged the show in the Longshoreman's Hall, in January, 1966."
---John Seabrook, in his article "Immaculate Lineup", The New Yorker, 4.17. 2017.
("Can a person be human without LSD? Or, lets say, without the psychedelic experience? The answer, as far as the writer of this article can see, is a highly qualified, cautiously rendered, but emphatic, definitely NOT."
---Joel Meltz, in The East Village Other, 10.5. 1967.)
("...I saw a documentary showing...people who were taking LSD. The film showed this artist who was just drawing lines, and he was obviously very moved...I thought 'God, that looks like such fun!'".
("A flock of birds took about half an hour to fly across my vision, an incredible fluttering, and I could see every feather. And they looked at me while they did it like, 'Try that on for size.'"
"There's not much you can really say about acid except God, what a trip!"
---Keith Richards, in his 2010 autobiography LIFE [written with James Fox].)
(“I felt like I was tripping.”
---Chris Thile, host of the 1.21. 2017 A Prairie Home Companion show, speaking to Aoife O’ Donovan about hearing her song "The King of All Birds" for the first time.
“Maybe you were.”
---Aoife O’ Donovan, in reply to Thile’s comment. Show recorded in Pasadena, California.)
(When my parents came to see me in California in the late 1980s, one of the first things I did after they arrived was to pick up my guitar and play a song for them:
"Coming into Los Angeles
Bringing in a couple of keys
Don't touch my bags if you please
Mister Customs Man"
The song, "Coming Into Los Angeles", was written by Arlo Guthrie, Woody Guthrie's son, and was recorded by Arlo in 1969. Several years after my parents visited me, a friend introduced me to another of Woody Guthrie's sons, Arlo's brother Joady Guthrie.)
("'The Wild One,' 'Blackboard Jungle,' and 'Rock Around the Clock' caused youth riots in both East and West Germany in 1955 and 1956. In the notorious 'cultural cold war,' during which the C.I.A. covertly supported--and the State Department and American museums and foundations overtly funded--the dissemination of American art, books, literary and intellectual journalism, dance, theatre, and music, the one product that can plausibly be argued to have made a difference in the eventual overthrow of Communism was rock and roll."
---Louis Menand, The New Yorker, 11.12. 2012.)
("Anybody can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple."
("A central motif in contemporary hip-hop is rapping about drug dealing by artists who may not actually sell narcotics."
"It's typically impossible to determine whether they are telling the truth about themselves or simply the truth about their environment, and it's never been clear whether listeners care."
---Sasha Frere-Jones, The New Yorker, 2.13. 2012.)
("Atlanta's 21 Savage, 25, has criticized older 'O.G. rappers' for scapegoating the new generation. 'They say we make drug-user music,' he wrote in November 2017. 'Like making drug-selling music is better.'"
---Neil Shah in an article he wrote that was published in The Wall Street Journal 1.17. 2018. It is extraordinarily disgusting and VERY wrong that The Wall Street Journal supports large-scale capitalism and the presidency of Donald Trump.)
("Music is sometimes a medication from reality..."
---DJ Kool Herc, in the introduction to Jeff Chang's book CAN'T STOP WON'T STOP--A History of the Hip-Hop Generation.)
("All greatness comes from pain."
---Raoul Felder, in a movie about his brother [the legendary songwriter Jerome Solon Felder], "A.K.A. Doc Pomus".)
Here is a list of a very few of some of the things that have influenced me:
The birth of my truly WONDERFUL daughter!
Presenting my daughter to her husband-to-be at their exquisitely joyful wedding ceremony.
(One afternoon when my daughter was about 4 years old, she said to me, with intense seriousness, "Daddy, what is more real--the inside of the curtain, or the outside of the curtain?")
The family gatherings where I was able to spend time with my daughter, her mother, her mother’s mother, and her mother’s mother’s mother. Four generations together!
(When I was very young, my babysitter, mentor, and godfather was Willis Regan, who worked at Bell Laboratories around the time of the invention of the transistor there. Willis, an inventor himself, spoke about how distracted some of the scientists were. He said he saw one of them walk into a wall one afternoon. [Recent research by scientists using brain-imaging technology seems to indicate that just prior to the time of a sudden and profound insight there is a temporary decrease in the amount of visual information received by the brain.] In the late 1960s my mother, father, sister, brother, and I visited Willis' widow in Red Bank, New Jersey. I spent hours in his office reading and being impressed by some of the philosophy books he had studied.)
Viewing the "Anxious Visions" exhibit of Surrealist art at the University Art Museum, Berkeley, 1990.
("As beautiful as the chance encounter of an umbrella and a sewing machine on a dissection table."
---"Comte de Lautréamont" [Isadore Lucien Ducasse], in LES CHANTS DE MALDOROR.)
---dictionary Merriam-Webster's "Word of the Year", December 2016.)
Viewing the "Exhibition of Artifacts from the Tomb of Tutankhamun" at the de Young Museum, San Francisco, 1979.
Viewing the amazing art of Van Gogh, Klimt, and many others at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Viewing "Stations of the Cross--Lema Sabachthani", a series of fourteen black and white paintings made by Barnett Newman between 1958 and 1966. I looked at these paintings at the de Young museum in San Francisco in August 2014 and I was unexpectedly overcome by intense emotion. By the end of the series I was seeing SO MANY NEW COLORS! Sobbing uncontrollably, and barely able to catch my breath, I exclaimed to my daughter and her husband "I have never before been in the presence of such BEAUTY!"
Visits to Manuel Neri's studio in Benicia, California in the early 1970s with artist Peter Hans Loschan. Watching Neri sculpt, and then viewing the truly extraordinary art Neri had collected and placed on the walls of the bathroom.
A visit to the di Rosa residence in the Napa Valley area of California in the early 1970s with Peter Hans Loschan to view some absolutely inspiring San Francisco bay area art.
The Geysers, located in a remote area north of the San Francisco bay area, is the world's largest geothermal field. For about 12,000 years, Native Americans built steambaths there. It is a powerfully healthy place. Among the people who went to The Geysers Resort were Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, and Mark Twain. I hid there among the ruins of the resort for a while when I was a fugitive. I met Many Soulful Women there.
Riding, high on LSD in 1969, on the back of a stripped-down 650cc BSA motorcycle going VERY fast through the Webster Street Tube, an underwater tunnel between Oakland and Alameda. Perinatal!
Visiting Luray Caverns in Virginia and Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico.
While I was a federal fugitive, being a parent-volunteer at Berkeley Hills Nursery School when my daughter was a student there.
MY APPLE ALUMINUM POWERBOOK G4 NOTEBOOK COMPUTER!!!
("The democratization of taste, abetted by the web, coincides with the democratization of creativity. The makers have the means to sell, but everybody has the means to make. And everybody's using them. Everybody seems to fancy himself a writer, a musician, a visual artist. Apple figured this out a long time ago: that the best way to sell us its expensive tools is to convince us that we all have something unique and urgent to express."
---William Deresiewicz, The Atlantic, January 2015.)
While I was a federal fugitive, being a Sunday-school teacher at the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists. (At a time when the church was secretly [and illegally] hiding a group of political refugees that had fled Central America.) After I was arrested, the minister of the church, the Rev. Paul Sawyer, visited me in jail while he was out on bail. A peace and social justice activist, he was arrested more than 60 times.
Paul was also a poet. I was familiar with his poetry before I met him.
(Sawyer "...believed that one's values weren't worth anything unless one was prepared to go to jail for them."
---Dennis McLellan, the Los Angeles Times, 6.11. 2010 obituary.)
In 1966, Sawyer let the Merry Pranksters put on one of their Acid Tests at a southern California church where he was the minister.
While I was a federal fugitive, being the primary car-pool driver for my young daughter and some of her classmates. (I am an excellent driver. Soon I will have been driving for fifty years. I have a clean record with the Department of Motor Vehicles. I have no moving violations.) Before I went to court to be sentenced for Failure to Appear, some of the parents of the children I had so often driven to school wrote letters to the judge informing him that they had trusted me to transport their children, and that they still trusted me.
Studying the extraordinarily excellent drug-literature catalogs issued by Michael Horowitz, the father of actress Winona Ryder.
Listening to boundary-pushing radio performer Joe Frank.
When I was a child I stood on the sidewalk outside of the White House. It was a sweltering hot summer afternoon and far away, Eisenhower walked across the lawn. I will never forget how the bright sunlight reflected from his bald head.
Appearing in a video, "Siberia", made and shown at California College of Arts and Crafts (CCAC) in Oakland in 1984 by gifted poet, author, imagemaker, and mother Dominica Kriz, whose father was the noted Czech Surrealist photographer Vilem Kriz. Dominica was the very first person I met when I arrived in Berkeley at age 17. (In 1984, I was in a store in Berkeley and a young woman came in. She had a colorful tattoo of a phoenix on her upper arm. I looked at her and I said "I once knew someone who had a tattoo of a grim reaper in the same spot on her arm." The woman said "What is your name?? " I told her, and it turned out that she was Dominica, who was the person who had had the tattoo of a grim reaper. I had not seen her since we were both teenagers, over a decade before. On a beautiful sunny day a week later, I visited her at CCAC, and we went to a nearby graveyard and smoked some marijuana. I asked her about another tattoo that she had when she was a teenager. [It was on one of her buttocks, and it was the words "PROPERTY OF" (and the name of a young man who had saved her life).] She slid her bluejeans down and showed me the charming tattoos of Chinese clouds that were where the words "PROPERTY OF" had once been...)
Attending a lecture by Albert Hofmann (the chemist who invented LSD) at Shared Visions in Berkeley. (And speaking with him afterward.)
The charming and AWESOME women who have loved, inspired, and supported me!!! Without their help, I never would have survived!
When I was in prison, the head guard called me into his office and said "where are you from?" I replied "Berkeley". The guard then said "too bad--I am going to make your life A LIVING HELL!!" (It turned out that several years before, the guard had been dosed with LSD by inmates who had put so much of the substance in his coffee that the guard later had to be placed in a psychiatric hospital.) And indeed, for many, many long months, the guard tortured me relentlessly. My life became a hideous nightmare of pain, both physical and mental. To make a very long story short, one day I reached the breaking point. I no longer could bear the weight of the cruelty of the guard and the burden of my intense anger and resentment at how I was being treated. I came to realize the only way I could survive was to GENUINELY AND UNCONDITIONALLY LOVE the guard. I opened my heart, for real, and let the true compassion I knew was there flow into my being, head-to-toe. WOW!!!!!!! What an amazing sensation I experienced!!! Like a gigantic weight had been lifted from my shoulders!!! I looked down at the floor thinking I had actually left the ground and was floating!!! (The rest of the time I was in the prison my life was filled with [relative] happiness. I actually blew the mind of the guard with my new attitude, and he seemed to become a considerably happier person, much to the benefit of all the inmates.)
("Stone walls do not a prison make, Nor iron bars a cage."
---Richard Lovelace, 1642, in a poem he wrote while in prison.)
(I was a very well-behaved child. My father [1923-2016] had a violent temper. When he was older he became a huge fan of Rush Limbaugh, and he greatly admired Sarah Palin. I was often terrified of him because he beat me and whipped me, and in other ways punished me, sometimes severely, often for no logical reason I could discern. My father was fond of alcohol, but I do not remember ever seeing him drunk, or even slightly high. Around the time I completed grade school, my parents made it clear that they did NOT like me or my poetry! When I lived with my parents, my brother, and my sister, I was a polite and respectful teenager. I did not drink, and I had never used an illegal drug, not even marijuana. Clean-shaven and short-haired, I was active in the Methodist church, the Boy Scouts. and the Teen Age Republicans. One day in North Carolina, when I was 17 years old, shortly after I graduated from high school, we sat down for a family dinner at home and my father, without any provocation, launched into a bizarre tirade about how I was a bad person. He then punched me in the face, breaking several of my teeth, and stormed out of the house. My mother said I must leave and not come back. I did not speak to my father for 17 years. I did not see my mom or speak to her for 16 years.)
I met the astoundingly brilliant artist Roger de Shon in Berkeley in 1969. I was very much impressed by his intricate drawings then, and I continue to be very much influenced by his more recent drawings that he so kindly shows me now, more than 47 years later, along with the secret and powerfully revelatory poetry that he finds hidden in a wide variety of prose.
Hearing William Burroughs read his work in Berkeley.
Hearing Allen Ginsberg read his poetry in Berkeley.
("Once when Kerouac was high on psychedelics with Timothy Leary, he looked out the window and said 'Walking on water wasn't built in a day.'"
Seeing Mikhail Baryshnikov dance in a ballet performance in San Francisco.
("...fireworks in his eyes..."
---artist Don Ed Hardy, describing a sailor who was tripping on LSD as Hardy tattooed him. From an interview by Mina Kim, KQED-FM, 11.4. 2016.)
Mind-opening unpublished research information about the underground history of LSD manufacture that "Orange Sunshine" chemist Tim Scully provided to me, especially the stories about Owsley and Nick Sand.
("I remember the first time I took acid and walked outside and the cars were kissing the parking meters."
---Owsley, about something that happened in Berkeley in 1964, in an article by Robert Greenfield, Rolling Stone, 7.12. 2007.)
("When I took LSD, the experience was so magical that I wanted to share it with everyone and make it available to everyone who wanted it. I believed that this would make the world a better place...I believed that others would have experiences similar to those I had, if they tried LSD, and I believed that such an experience would make people gentler, more caring, more conscious and at one with the universe. Now, in hindsight, it appears that LSD doesn't carry a specific message with it. I like the model presented in ACID DREAMS, that LSD is an amplifier."
"I have met many people who took LSD. The vast majority believe they benefited from the experience."
---Tim Scully, in a 2003 email message to Henrik Dahl that was published in The Oak Tree Review, May 2009.)
("One story features a snake-oil salesman--Professor Atmos P. H. Ear--offloading an odorless, colorless, tasteless chemical called "Ever-So-Much-More-So" that when sprinkled on things, supposedly enhances everything; a soft bed would become softer, a fast car becomes faster, and so on."
---Wikipedia, re: the children's book CENTERBURG TALES by Robert McCloskey, 1951.
"The people of the town shake it over everything, and are amazed to find that their water gets wetter, a squeaky spring becomes squeakier, and people's individual characteristics such as a stutter or a tendency toward pomposity become more pronounced. Everything touched by Ever-So-Much-More-So becomes it's heightened self.
Two curious boys finally open the product's container, which appears to be empty. Of course the stranger is long gone, and the townspeople wonder if they have been swindled, but one older man pours it over the earth, and celebrates as the grass becomes greener, the birds sing more clearly, and the world becomes profoundly itself in every way. So is it suggestion or is it real? The story ends ambiguously..."
---Susanna Harwood Rubin)
("The symbolists, who were avid drug takers, delighted in the way hallucinogens intensified all their senses simultaneously."
---Diane Ackerman, in her book A NATURAL HISTORY OF THE SENSES.)
("...touted as a 'rejuvenator' because, in common with children, its users seem to be especially sensitive to color, sound, smell, and touch."
---Eugene Schoenfeld, M.D., writing in 1968 about how marijuana was regarded in the 1800s.)
(In the 2015 documentary THE SUNSHINE MAKERS, brilliant underground chemists Tim Scully and Nick Sand are shown making LSD at their clandestine laboratory in Windsor, California in 1969. In a memorable scene, one of the chemists briefly but very humorously pretends to be a "mad scientist", making "crazy" facial expressions and weird hand motions over a piece of lab glassware...)
(CHILDREN OF THE ATOM is a 1953 science fiction novel written by Wilmar H. Shiras that is set in a future America of 1972. In an email message, Tim Scully recently reminded me of this influential book, which I read in 1961 when I was ten years old.)
Hitchhiking from the East Coast across the United States to San Francisco in 1969.
Hitchhiking from Mexico City to San Francisco in 1972.
My first car ride, from the hospital where I had just been born, to my parents quarters on the base. My mother filmed the trip, and then filmed my father as he carried me, and, balancing me on one of his arms, unlocked the door. Their small and very excited dog started barking.
A journey I took via boat from Japan to Hawaii to San Francisco that began when I was around six weeks old. My father filmed the Golden Gate Bridge as we passed beneath it, and then bought a car and drove us across the country to Mount Airy, North Carolina.
("In man, the sensory experiences during the early post-natal period are of decisive importance for material structuring of the brain, for the acquisition of cerebral mechanisms, and for the symbolization, perception, and comprehension of sensory stimuli."
---José M. R. Delgado in THE REAL AND THE IMAGINARY--A New Approach to Physics [Edited by Jean Charon].)
Experiencing the vastness of the sea, while flying on a propeller-driven airplane between Prestwick, Scotland and Reykjavik, Iceland in the early 1960s.
Monday Night Classes with Stephen Gaskin at The Family Dog in San Francisco. (Many sessions.)
Reading MANY science fiction novels when I was a teenager. (I was also influenced by the intense futuristic art made by Paul Lehr that was on the covers of a lot of these novels. Decades later I became friends with one of Paul Lehr's sons.)
Playing the lead role in the elementary school operetta "Cowboy on the Moon" when I was very young.
Observing as Alan H. Curtis made near-perfect paintings in Novato, California in the mid-1980s. Listening to the near-perfect stories he told as he worked.
Cultural and historical facts I learned from Rabbi Michael Lerner when I attended Beyt Tikkun in Berkeley. (Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover once called Lerner "one of the most dangerous criminals in America" because of Lerner's antiwar activism.)
("On a Friday night in June 1966, two days before my ordination as a rabbi, I ingested a sugar cube laced with the psychoactive entheogen, LSD. I began a slow ascent to a state of consciousness in which all my normal cares and anxieties simply lifted away. As these boundaries dissolved, being became a vast transparent center of awareness, totally open, accepting, loving and ecstatic--an entirely blessed and holy state. My 'I' had disappeared, replaced instead with this center of awareness that was intimately linked with everything, one with the entirety of the universe, a small part of a vast oneness my 'I' had always termed 'God'..."
---Burt Jacobson, TIKKUN, May/June 2004.
"The experiences I had more than thirty years ago using LSD while listening to music first awakened in me a felt sense of the sacred."
---Michael Ziegler, TIKKUN, January/February 2004.)
("Saul discovers LSD and Jewish mysticism at the same time, a chance concurrence that strengthens the validity of both. During his acid trips, Saul experiences the same sense of time displacement and receptivity described in the texts."
"His scholarship is revoked during his freshman year when, in the name of mental exploration, he convinces his roommate to place a tab on his tongue and the resultant bad trip leads to said roommate painting his naked body blue and white and running into the dean's office to declare himself the new Israeli Prime Minister."
---Myla Goldberg, in BEE SEASON--A Novel.)
There was a tiny coffeeshop in Santa Cruz, California that was a very mainstream place, often frequented by elderly retired people. One afternoon when I went to get coffee I saw an old woman whose back was toward me. She was happily cooing at a nearby baby. The old woman turned to face me. It was Nina Graboi, someone I knew. I saw timeless cosmic love RADIATING from her eyes. There was no need for her to speak.
(Nina was born in 1918, and fled the Nazi takeover of Austria when she was a young woman, spending 3 months in a detention camp. She had her first psychedelic experience in the company of Alan Watts and frequently spent time with the people who were studying LSD and other psychedelics at the Millbrook estate. In the 1960s she was Director of the New York Center of the League for Spiritual Discovery. She was the author of ONE FOOT IN THE FUTURE: A Woman's Spiritual Journey.)
Art lessons from Roy M. Edwards when we were housemates in Occidental, California. (Edwards was one of Mark Rothko's studio assistants.)
("To us art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take the risks.
This world of imagination is fancy-free and violently opposed to common sense.
It is our function as artists to make the spectator see the world our way--not his way."
---Mark Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb, in a 1943 letter to the art editor of The New York Times.)
The times when I was a teenager that I got high with Richard Pryor outside of an all-night restaurant on University Avenue in Berkeley. Outrageously hilarious! (His comedy routine "Acid" was written in 1973. The version on his 1976 record is dazzling. The original version is even more profound.)
(A winter visit to Sun Valley, Idaho to help the son of my friend while the son was in a residential drug abuse treatment program there. The pure beauty of the snow, the sky, and the mountains! The air!
It is frightening how much wealth there is in Sun Valley. Driving around, high on LSD at dawn, the roads eerily glittering with ice crystals, I was reminded of
"...a highway of diamonds with nobody on it."
---Bob Dylan, in his 1962 song "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall".)
("He wrote about the difficulty in asserting individual personality within the dimensions of metropolitan life. One solution was to adopt 'tendentious peculiarities,' mannerisms, [of dress, speech, etc.] or other extravagances to attract attention and thus bolster self-esteem."
---Elihu Rubin, who teaches urbanism at the Yale School of Architecture, commenting on the book THE METROPOLIS AND MENTAL LIFE, written by Georg Simmel in Berlin in 1903. Rubin was quoted by Lauren Collins in an article in The New Yorker, 12.5. 2011. The article was about the unusual names that people sometimes use to label their wireless networks.)
Dutifully distributing many fake identification documents to many draft resisters in Berkeley in the early 1970s.
Smoking hash oil with Ed Rosenthal at his house in Oakland. Ed is the world's leading marijuana cultivation expert. The author of many books about cannabis, Ed loves and respects plants more than anyone I have ever met.
Berkeley artist David Lance Goines.
Eating my very first croissant one delightfully sunny morning in our room at a hotel near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris in the early 1960s.
A perfect dinner at Chez Panisse in Berkeley.
A delicious sandwich I ate at Katz's Delicatessen in New York City.
("I'll have what she's having.")
Blissful knishes I ate at Yonah Schimmel's Knish Bakery in New York City.
A most excellent dinner at Pastis in New York City.
("I think everything hangs by a thread, whether it's a relationship or one's business or one's health."
---Keith McNally, creator of Pastis)
Visiting artist Mark McCloud at his house in San Francisco and viewing his unsurpassed and historically significant collection of LSD blotter art. Mark is an exceptionally kind person, and a true psychedelic gentleman.
(The time in the very early 1970s that I took LSD and artist Peter Hans Loschan drove us from Berkeley to Cotati with our good friend the antiwar protester "General Waste More Land" [Tom Dunphy] to visit "Suzy Creamcheese" and Vito, both well-known because they were mentioned in a song by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. On 8.2. 1976, the San Francisco Examiner reported that Tom Dunphy's close associate "General Hershey Bar" claimed in court that Dunphy was "...in reality a CIA domestic spy...")
Standing with Elizabeth Gips in the backyard of her house in Santa Cruz, gazing at the moon. Inside the house everyone was celebrating Elizabeth's 74th birthday. She turned to me and said "There has been so much more pain than I thought there would be..."
(Elizabeth was the author of SCRAPBOOK OF A HAIGHT ASHBURY PILGRIM: Spirit, Sacraments and Sex in 1967/68.)
Observing Mescalero Apache ceremonial dances at their reservation in New Mexico, and without my parents present, attending a religious ceremony there when I was 12 years old.
("The largest organized church founded on psychedelics is the Native American Church, which grew out of the peyotism of the Mescalero Apaches..."
---Frank Barron, in CREATIVITY AND PERSONAL FREEDOM.)
("...a person shares whatever is available to share, knowing that when there is nothing to share others in the community will provide what is needed."
---Claire Farrer, in her book THUNDER RIDES A BLACK HORSE--Mescalero Apaches and the Mythic Present.)
("We can share what we got of yours cause we done shared all of mine."
---Robert Hunter, in the lyrics he wrote for the Grateful Dead song "Jack Straw".)
("A young girl sat down next to me and handed me a canteen of cool water. 'Here,' she said, 'have a drink.' I drank it down and passed it to Skip who passed it to someone else. That was the feeling that day. We all seemed to be sharing everything."
---peace activist Ron Kovic, describing being at an anti-war rally, in his 1976 book BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY. Kovic had been a very mainstream, very patriotic American before he joined the United States Marine Corps, went to Vietnam, was severely wounded and ended up being paralyzed from the chest down.)
(Especially issue number one  of "Mother's Oats Comix"!)
(The first cartoon depiction of a marijuana smoker I saw in a mainstream newspaper was Zonker Harris, a character who first appeared in 1971 in Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury comic strip. In late 1996, just before California voted to legalize marijuana for medical use, conservative Dan Lundgren, the California Attorney General, became quite upset at the pro-marijuana [and anti-Lundgren] sentments expressed in Doonesbury, and publicly called on newspapers not to publish the strip, saying at a news conference in Sacramento “Make no mistake about it. These strips contribute to the national wink-and-nod attitude toward drug use.”)
Attending performances at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.
("All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts..."
---Shakespeare, in "As You Like It".)
("Those roles which, being neither those of Hero nor Heroine, Confidante nor Villain, but which were nonetheless essential to bring about the Recognition or the dénouement, were called the Fifth Business in drama and opera companies organized according to the old style..."
(Perhaps my "autobiography" is but
"...a tale told by an idiot--full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
---Shakespeare, in "Macbeth".)
(“I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.”
---Augusten Burroughs, in his book MAGICAL THINKING: TRUE STORIES.)
Tasty dinners at the Julia Morgan-designed Berkeley City Club when I was a member.
Watching Fireball Roberts drive in some of the stock car races that my father took us to in the early 1960s in South Carolina.
Working as a volunteer in the late 1980s with older severely developmentally disabled people on a locked ward at Agnews Developmental Center in Santa Clara County in California.
Conversations I had with Eldridge Cleaver during the many occasions he sold used books to me.
Camping trips with my parents and family to many locations across the United States (Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Petrified Forest, Yellowstone, Yosemite, etc.) and travelling with them throughout France, and to Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, and Luxembourg. (Stephen Mather, the first director of the National Park Service, was a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.)
Attending "Expo 67" (The 1967 International and Universal Exposition) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Especially interesting was the U.S pavilion, a geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller.
("...Fuller's self-mythology was an elastic tool he stretched to suit the audience and the occasion at hand."
---Gemma Tarlach, Discover, May 2016.)
I was intrigued by the Soviet Union's exhibit, and by "Habitat 67", a modular housing complex designed by architect Moshe Safdie. I was impressed by seeing and listening to a long-haired young man there playing a guitar. Many years later in Berkeley I met and became a friend of the person I saw making music that day!
TRIPPING IN JAIL: It was...unusual...! And they served me meals for free! (Not that I ate much...) And there were guards who were said to be able to protect me if necessary! For once in my life I was not afraid I would get arrested and put in jail...LOL...My associates had sent me a paperback book that had been soaked with much LSD. None of my cellmates knew that I was high, they just thought I was crazy...I was laughing a lot!! My laughter protected me--the genuine "bad guys" were scared of me because they perceived me as being VERY unpredictable...I would look at the bars, and blink my eyes, and then I would change the position of my head and look at the bars again and blink again...I was able to construct extraordinarily beautiful geometric designs from the lingering afterimages of the bars...
"...you got to go through hell before you get to heaven."
---Paul Pena, in the song he wrote, "Jet Airliner", which was a 1977 hit for the Steve Miller Band. I greatly enjoyed my visits to the San Francisco apartment of Paul and his dear wife. Paul, who was blind, later appeared in the documentary "Genghis Blues", after he taught himself Tuvan throat-singing. (The first time he heard Tuvan throat-singing was when he was listening to Radio Moscow.)
(In the early 1960s I spent many hours listening to Radio Moscow and Radio Havana on my Hallicrafters S-38 shortwave receiver. I was an amateur radio enthusiast, and I still know Morse code...)
Blind keyboardist Jay Spell (Jacob Astor Spell, Jr.) was born in Spivey's Corner, North Carolina.
(I attended the first National Hollerin' Contest in Spivey's Corner [population: 48] in June 1969. ["Hollerin'" is what farmers did to communicate over distances before the widespread adoption of telephones.])
He married my Hope Mills High classmate Billie Wooten. I listened to him perform at the Pink Pussycat in Fayetteville. Because I suspected that my very conservative parents would consider the poetry I was writing to be proof of insanity, I kept it stashed at Billie and Jay's residence before I departed for Berkeley.
("The president of the military court, reading in his notes that the defendant hoped to become a writer, asked him what he wrote. 'Poetry,' answered the defendant. He later recounted the court's reaction: 'And they looked at each other with a wild surmise and said "Well, send him to a psychiatrist. He's clearly mad."' The psychiatrist's report led to his transfer to...a mental asylum."
---Charles Glass, in his very important 2013 book THE DESERTERS--A Hidden History of World War II, describing what happened to British deserter John Bain. Glass wrote the book, in part, for those who were "nurtured on false tales" about World War II.)
Jay Spell later played with Jimmy Buffett, Emmylou Harris, John Mayall, Judy Collins, Canned Heat, Tower of Power, Conway Twitty, Ronnie Milsap, Michelle Shocked, and Jose Feliciano.
Blind people can sometimes hear MUCH better than people who have vision!
(And deaf people frequently have better visual acuity than people who can hear.
"These two deaf beings saw the world, visualized abstractions, and thought with their eyes with a speed and clarity my hearing brain could not approach."
"Not only do deaf minds develop visual skills and visual thinking beyond the usual capacity of a hearing mind, visual thinkers collectively create an amazingly rich visual culture..."
---Susan Schaller, in her book A MAN WITHOUT WORDS.)
("It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."
---Henry David Thoreau)
("...to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time."
(When I was a child in the late 1950s, I lived on an Air Force base in South Carolina. I would frequently hike in the woods and gather many sassafras roots, which I took home and made into a tea. I would then remove as much of the water from the tea as I could and add sugar and lemon juice to the resulting syrup. After chilling the syrup in a freezer until it was ice-cold, I would consume large quantities of it and feel VERY, VERY GOOD.
Then I would climb, barefoot, to the very top of a very tall sweetgum tree. Sometimes I would spend hours there, gently swaying in the breeze. A flying squirrel lived in a birdhouse I had built and put on the tree. It was cool to watch him glide from tree to tree. Although I am not fond of heights, I always felt safe in this particular tree. It was so ALIVE! And it was my friend! [Decades later, my parents told me that it freaked them out severely when they saw me sitting at the top of the tree...]
Sassafras contains an oil called safrole, which was used as a flavoring in root beer. In 1960, the FDA banned the use of safrole in food products because they said it could cause liver damage and cancer. Safrole is a precursor for the clandestine manufacture of both MDA and MDMA ["Ecstasy"], and the first "Ecstasy" I ever took tasted like sassafras.
[Sasha Shulgin once suggested to me that I should include the above anecdote in my autobiography.]
There was an outlet pipe from the base storm drain system near our apartment. [Many toad frogs lived around the pipe. Some of them had 5 legs!] Because I was quite small, I could walk into the pipe if I bent over. I often traveled to locations all over the base, and then exited the pipe through smaller pipes that I had to crawl through.
Several years later, when we lived in the French village of Corny, I was still small enough to squeeze myself through the tiny opening of a hidden cave that my brother and I discovered on the side of a small ravine near the village of Dornot. The charcoal-drawn primitive art on the walls of the cave seemed to be very old. I did not go very far into the cave because I was fearful there might be wild animals there.)
Traveling from Acapulco to Mexico City in 1972 when I was a federal fugitive and smoking a joint of "Acapulco Gold" marijuana (that I had rolled using a page from the Bible as a cigarette paper) while listening to a recording of the song "Heart of Gold" by Neil Young. The song seemed to go on forever...
I had an art studio in Berkeley in a basement. The landlords hired an exterminator to rid the building of rats. The person they hired was a cocaine addict who claimed to have been a narc in Peru. He told very lurid stories about torturing and killing people and then dumping the bodies into sewers. The landlords gave the exterminator a key so he could enter my studio. One evening I came back to the studio and when I went through one of the doorways at the back, powdered rat poison that the exterminator had placed in the area over the doorway rained down on me and I accidentally inhaled quite a bit of it. I went back into the room where I usually worked, and feeling strangely euphoric, I laid on the floor on my back, with my arms on the floor and my hands palms up. I saw bright rays of light shooting out of tips of each of my fingers. The rays wove together and converged mid-air in an area below my feet, forming a spiraling tunnel of light. I thought "Wow! This looks sort of like some of Alex Grey's paintings!" I began to float through the tunnel toward something that was indescribable and yet extremely familiar. I really wanted to continue the journey but I realized that I had left my body and that I was probably dying. Several very specific things that I had promised friends that I would do later in the week came to mind and I realized that if I died I would not be able to fulfill my promises. I then floated in reverse out of the tunnel back into my body...! (I complained in writing to the landlords, who were a well-credentialed psychologist and her husband. They were so stupid as to reply in writing with the lie that the cocaine-addicted exterminator had never been hired, that such a person had never been on the property, and that no rat poison had been used. Another lie they wrote in another note was that I was delusional, suffering from serious mental illness, and possibly very dangerous. They hired a scruffy transient as a handyman and apparently manipulated him into assaulting me multiple times. A young acquaintance who had just become an attorney represented me pro bono, and a restraining order was issued that stated that it was illegal for the violent transient to come near me. The landlords evicted me. I refused to leave until they cleaned up all areas of the art studio that were contaminated by rat poison. They refused to clean up the studio and sued me for Unlawful Detainer. We went to court and the landlords lost. They made a futile attempt to bully me into agreeing that I would not ever disclose any of the facts of the case to anyone. I took my art and my art supplies elsewhere and I have never again been anywhere near them or their property.)
All of the poetry readings where I have heard such inspiring words!
("Like Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase...I can see the afterimages of my past gesticulating in an overlapping succession of familiarity..."
---Mati Klarwein. From the 2012 book ELECTRICAL BANANA: Masters of Psychedelic Art, by Norman Hathaway and Dan Nadel.)
I often think of the famous quote by Hans Asperger: "...for success in science or art, a dash of autism is essential."
("Many of the great advances in science and art have been achieved by people with Asperger's syndrome."
---Tony Attwood, ASPERGER'S SYNDROME--A Guide For Parents and Professionals.
"The way they perceive the world makes sense to them...but it often brings them into conflict with conventional [that is, majority] ways of thinking..."
---Lorna Wing, in the foreword to the above book.
Attwood notes that Bill Gates has some traits and characteristics associated with the syndrome, as did Vincent van Gogh.)
("'I love non-autistic people when they're on acid,' he says, because they can, finally, 'come and play in my world with me.'"
---Nick Walker, a doctoral student studying neurodiversity. Walker, who is also an aikido sensei, is autistic. He was quoted by Brandon R. Reynolds in his article "Changing Minds: Advocates Reshape How We Think About Autism", San Francisco Weekly, 10.31. 2012.)
(I have never received any psychiatric treatment. I have never been prescribed any psychiatric medication [antipsychotics, tranquilizers, antidepressants, etc.] and I do not use any psychiatric medication.)
I have never considered myself to be mentally ill, but a doctor recently diagnosed me as suffering from schizophrenia. I think the doctor is mistaken in her diagnosis, but then again, it is said to be a recognized symptom of severe mental illness that the person who is crazy absolutely does not think that they are crazy...
("When your brain isn't working correctly, you don't know that; you can't possibly know your brain is not working correctly--just like someone with Alzheimer's, they don't realize what's going on, they are not able to think, their cognition is gone..."
---Gloria Hill, a former adult family coordinator for the Mental Health Division of Contra Costa Health Services, describing schizophrenia and other serious mental illnesses. Hill was quoted by Ed Connolly in an article, "Emergency Call", the East Bay Express, 3.6. 2012.)
("...the truest sign of insanity: insane people are always sure they're just fine."
Dr. Nidal Hasan, a psychiatrist, shot and killed 13 people and wounded at least 29 others in Texas in 2009.
(Hasan, a member of the U.S. Army, is paid approximately $80,000 a year. The Army has paid him approximately $300,000 since his arrest.
---from an ABC news item written by Ned Berkowitz, 7.23. 2013.)
("One of the most disturbing facts that came out in the Eichmann trial was that a psychiatrist examined him and pronounced him perfectly sane."
"It is the sane ones, the well-adapted ones, who can without qualms and without nausea aim the missiles and press the buttons that will initiate the great festival of destruction that they, the sane ones, have prepared."
---Thomas Merton, in RAIDS ON THE UNSPEAKABLE, 1964.)
Dr. William Ayres, a psychiatrist, was sentenced to 8 years in prison in 2013 for sexually molesting multiple children.
(Sometimes a diagnosis of schizophrenia can be seen as an accusation. If a psychiatrist strongly disagrees with the political [and/or aesthetic] opinions of someone, it is not impossible that the psychiatrist may attempt to marginalize that person. Since people are rarely if ever considered to be qualified to self-diagnose, a person is not taken seriously if they disagree with an assessment made by a psychiatrist...)
"I think our society is run by insane people for insane objectives...I am liable to be put away as insane for expressing that."
---John Lennon, 6.6. 1968, in a filmed interview with Peter Lewis.
("...the kinds of injustice that thrive when the illusion of justice is perfected, and the emotional costs to the artist who cries foul."
---Dan Chiasson, in a review of a new volume of poetry by Claudia Rankine. The New Yorker, 10.27. 2014.)
("...motivation shapes perception."
---Daniel Murrie, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine, explaining that "expert psychiatric witnesses" paid by the prosecution or the defense often give testimony that is biased in favor of the people who have paid them. Psychology Today, May/June 2016.)
"295.60 RESIDUAL TYPE
A type of schizophrenia in which the following criteria are met:
A. Absence of prominent delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior.
B. There is continuing evidence of the disturbance, as indicated by the presence of negative symptoms or two or more symptoms listed in Criterion A for Schizophrenia, present in an attenuated form [e.g., odd beliefs, unusual perceptual experiences]."
---from DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA from DIAGNOSTIC AND STATISTICAL MANUAL OF MENTAL DISORDERS, FOURTH EDITION, 1994, American Psychiatric Association.
["Odd beliefs"? "Unusual perceptual experiences"? It seems to me that the diagnostic criteria cited could easily be interpreted as meaning that what the psychiatrists were saying is that they believe that people who make psychedelic art are mentally ill...])
("...someone with...strong visual imagination will see more colour, and give to colour greater meaning..."
---Frederick Gore, in PAINTING: Some Basic Principles.)
("The principle...described by Leonardo da Vinci in his Treatise on Painting, where he recommended to his fellow artists that they could quicken 'the spirit of invention' by staring fixedly at the stains and discoloration on old walls, until they discovered there 'divine landscapes...battles and strange figures in violent action, expression of faces, and clothes and an infinity of things.'
---Cal Tomkins and the editors of Time-Life Books, in THE WORLD OF MARCEL DUCHAMP.)
("'I love silence,' he said. 'I love to be by myself. I could spend all afternoon looking at the flames in the fire, and when my wife asks me, "what are you looking at?," I tell her, "I'm looking at the world!"'"
---Brunello Cucinelli, fashion designer, quoted by John Seabrook, The New Yorker, 9.10. 2012.)
(The great painting, "Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2", made by Marcel Duchamp, was exhibited in New York as part of the much-publicized 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art. The American public was scandalized.
"That's not art!"
---U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt.
---The New York Times, 3.16. 1913.)
("Art Brut is not just the work of the mentally ill, but also that done by those who resist cultural conditioning, original creators, dissidents..."
---Michel Thévoz, 1980, quoted by Lucienne Peiry in ART BRUT--The Origins of Outsider Art.)
("Between 1968 and 1981, Valium was the most frequently prescribed medication in the world."
"IMS Health, a company that gathers data on health care, reports that in the United States in 2008 a hundred sixty-four million prescriptions were written for antidepressants, and sales totalled $9.6 billion."
"Greenberg basically regards the pathologizing of melancholy and despair, and the invention of pills designed to relieve people of those feelings, as a vast capitalist conspiracy to paste a big smiley face over a world that we have good reason to feel sick about."
"He calls cognitive-behavioral therapy 'a method of indoctrination into the pieties of American optimism, an ideology as much as a medical treatment.'"
"...Greenberg seems to believe that contemporary psychiatry in most of its forms...is mainly about getting people to accept current arrangements."
And that psychiatrists are "...in the game in order to protect the status quo."
He "is repeating a common criticism of contemporary psychiatry, which is that the profession is creating ever more expansive criteria for mental illness that end up labelling as sick people who are just different."
"The profession has been the perennial target of critics who...accuse it of...confusing health with conformity."
---Louis Menand, in a review of two books, MANUFACTURING DEPRESSION by psychologist Gary Greenberg and THE EMPEROR'S NEW DRUG by Irving Kirsch. The New Yorker, 3.1. 2012.)
("There may be as many as 7,000 people who die every year from medication errors..."
---from an Institute of Medicine report quoted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, August 3, 2006.
"'Medication nonadherance is pretty widely recognized as a massive problem,' said Matthew Blum. Nearly 50% of Americans are on one or more prescription medicines and about half are taking them incorrectly..."
---Victoria Colliver, the San Francisco Chronicle, 5.25. 2016.
According to a March 2010 article in American Nurse Today, errors made by medical professionals "...injure 1.5 million Americans a year...")
("You must understand that some of the malpractice out there is so grievous, offensive, and implausible as to beggar the imagination."
---Barry H. Schifrin, M.D., in remarks before the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 1985. Reported by Ralph Nader, Harper's Magazine, April 2016.)
(Martin Shkreli is the founder and former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals. In September 2015, he received widespread criticism when Turing obtained the manufacturing license for the antiparasitic drug Daraprim, which is very inexpensive to make, and raised its price from $13.50 per tablet to $750 per tablet.)
("The modern drug business was built on brain medicines: Valium was the first blockbuster, selling 2 billion tablets in 1978, and Prozac defined the industry in the 1990s."
---Matthew Herper, in Forbes, 3.2. 2015.)
("They say I'm crazy, but I have a good time."
---Joe Walsh, in his 1978 song "Life's Been Good".)
(“Contemporary life requires adaptability.”
“...each society has a vital interest in the indoctrination of infants who form its new recruits.”
---T. Lidz, in his 1964 book THE FAMILY AND HUMAN ADAPTATION.
“Adaptation to what? To society? To a world gone mad?”
---R.D. Laing, commenting on what Lidz wrote.)
("...those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."
---Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche)
("The caterpillar cannot understand the butterfly.")
("The whole universe is completely insane!"
---Mr. Natural, the character drawn by R. Crumb that appears in Zap Comix #1, 1967.)
("According to Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D., psychedelic states of consciousness are often categorized by contemporary psychiatry as psychotic."
"All the cultures in human history except the Western industrial civilization have held psychedelic states of consciousness in great esteem. They induced them whenever they wanted to connect to their deities, other dimensions of reality, and with the forces of nature. They also used them for diagnosing and healing, cultivation of extrasensory perception, and artistic inspiration. They spent much time and energy to develop safe and effective ways of inducing them."
---Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D., in "THE COSMIC GAME--Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness", 1997.)
(In the cartoon "Carpe Diem" by Niklas Eriksson, published in October 2015, a patient in a psychiatric treatment room has gotten up from the couch and is looking at a certificate on the wall. The patient says "Just a minute! It says here you're a qualified PLUMBER." The fake psychiatrist replies "You're hallucinating again, Mr. Burrows.")
(Recently I smoked one toke of some extremely potent marijuana. In a room illuminated by the flame of a single candle I unfocused my eyes and as I gazed at some light-reflecting wrinkles in a sheet of black plastic they were transformed into what looked like an astoundingly realistic painting of a woman playing a piano. Every detail of the scene was extremely clear, every detail of the room in which she sat and of the listeners there was so sharp! I looked away from the scene, got up, moved around, came back and looked again and I could still see the "painting". I have had many thousands of similarly wonderful experiences over the years, usually triggered by hallucinogenic substances.)
("...a delusional disorder, which means you believe things that can't be proved."
---quote from a "WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise", 8.19. 2010.)
("Man can see what is not there, and see it exact."
---Alexander Eliot, in his 1960 book SIGHT AND INSIGHT. Eliot was describing ancient cave paintings.)
(“It just makes me kind of feel small because its like you realize that everything is so big.”
---Quentin, a fifth grade student at an elementary school in Illinois, as he observed a total solar eclipse. National Public Radio, 8.21. 2017.
“the wonder as day and night become one.”
---the last line of a poem Ron Nash wrote about the eclipse and read on NPR.)
("I remember visions (when in bed but not asleep yet) of very big objects becoming very small and of very small objects becoming very big."
---Joe Brainard, in his book I REMEMBER.
I also remember experiencing hypnagogic visions when I was young. In the one I remember most vividly, there was a falling drop of water that seemed both infinitely large and infinitely small at exactly the same time. After having a hypnagogic visual recently, I wrote "I just had a clear look sideways into a place that wasn't there.")
("Just because you have eyes does not mean you can see."
---director Peter Greenaway, in his 2008 film REMBRANDT'S J'ACCUSE.)
("Upon learning to see a man becomes everything by becoming nothing."
---don Juan, in Carlos Castaneda's book A SEPARATE REALITY--Further Conversations with Don Juan.)
(A musician can sometimes hear a melody in things like the sound of water rushing down a stream. Certainly, I have experienced the sound of squealing tires blending with the noise made by wind-blown leaves and the murmurs of passersby as perfect and very pure music, a delightful concert of the random!)
("My ears are sensitized to more than the sound of / the wind."
("You can't lie to people with schizophrenia. They're like people on acid--they can see right through you."
---Thom Hartmann, nationally-syndicated radio host, New York Times bestselling author, and former psychotherapist, 3.9. 2012. Most radio hosts have very little credibility, but I think there is some truth in what Hartmann said...)
The bats in my belfry are paisley!
Once, when I was on LSD, I thought my mustache was a spider crawling across my lip!
("Deborah Kass told me that when she was going to art school in the '70s, she tripped on LSD almost every week and she said she felt it was her 'moral duty as an artist to take the trip.'"
---Ken Johnson, in "How the Drugs of the 60s Changed Art" By Emanuella Grinberg [CNN, 7.16. 2011], an interview with The New York Times art critic Johnson, whose 2011 book is titled ARE YOU EXPERIENCED? HOW PSYCHEDELIC CONSCIOUSNESS TRANSFORMED MODERN ART.)
("Fluorescent dodecahedrons whistled past him in a thick meteor shower which was clearly about to smash apart the spaceship of his identity."
"'I see what you mean,' he said.
Each gasped word, particularly "I', 'see', 'you' and 'mean' seemed to lead down hazardous mineshafts of communication designed by narrow conventions, held up by rotting props and filled with dead canaries. 'What' preserved a comparative innocence."
---Edward St. Aubyn, describing some of the effects of a mixture of mescaline and psilocybin, in his 1998 novel ON THE EDGE.)
("I think a certain degree of obsessive-compulsive behavior is crucial for an artist."
---Loran Speck, quoted by Karen Haber, American Artist, February 1994.)
(Dr. Oscar Janiger, a psychiatrist who gave moderate doses of pharmaceutical LSD to a number of artists and others [including Cary Grant and Anaïs Nin] when the drug was legal, stated that artists could sometimes "maintain a certain balance, riding the edge" while they made art as they tripped.
"In my LSD experiments we ran close to a thousand people, and we found that psychiatrists tended to have negative experiences. The ministers were next. The artists had the most positive experiences. It would seem that the psychiatrist has a strong investment in a particular norm or standard of reality."
---Oscar Janiger, in a 1990 interview with David Jay Brown and Jeanne St. Peter.)
("I wish I could talk in Technicolor.
I can't tell you about it. If you can't see it, you'll never know it. I feel sorry for you."
---from a short film of a mainstream American housewife high on LSD during an experiment at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Los Angeles, California in 1956. [Don Lattin, the author of THE HARVARD PSYCHEDELIC CLUB: How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith, and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America, found the film during his research.])
(Artist Tom Shannon cites the "indelible reference point of LSD" as one of the inspirations for his new work.
---quote from an article by Steve Silberman, Wired, April 2010.)
("The intense emotions surrounding LSD make it forever difficult to objectively judge the artistic merit..."
---Carlo McCormick, in an essay that accompanied the first exhibit of Mark McCloud's blotter art collection.)
("There's a bit by comedian Bill Hicks from 1989, where he asks 'wouldn't you like to see a positive drug story in the news?' Then, he does an impression of a newscaster, reporting about a young man on LSD who...realizes we are all one consciousness.
'There's no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we're the imagination of ourselves. Here's Tom with the weather,' Hicks quipped."
---Blake Gillespie, in her article "Trip for the Cure". about "the largest psychedelic drug conference in history" in Oakland, California. The East Bay Express, 4.19. 2017.)
("If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."
---Henry David Thoreau)
("These are the days ...when originality is taken to be a mark of instability..."
---John Kenneth Galbraith)
("The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
---George Bernard Shaw)
("We've been too polite. If you don't make enemies, you're not being effective."
---Herb Gunther, director, Public Media Center)
("It isn't often that people take a close look at themselves."
---Swedish novelist Åsa Larsson [translated by Marlaine Delargy].)
("I have become a 'crazy fool', one of 'them', the ones who have been discarded by this world, whose visions are greeted with mockery, dismissal, or fear. And I am much happier for it."
---Daniel Pinchbeck's conclusion, after experimenting with a variety of mind-active substances and studying shamanic culture, in BREAKING OPEN THE HEAD---A Psychedelic Journey Into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism.)
("To explore strange new worlds"
[The mission of the starship Enterprise on the Star Trek television series.])
("SINGING NAKED IN A SUPERMARKET
'Schizophrenia, one of psychiatry's deepest enigmas, is a little better understood today due to a recent epidemic of craziness... The epidemic began with the admission of a young man who was violently hallucinating, followed by another young man whom police brought in after they arrested him for singing naked in a supermarket. It was learned that in each case the patient had been using phencyclidine (PCP), a hallucinogenic drug.'
---From the poet Harold Witt's preface to a poem in
A HAROLD WITT CELEBRATION, 1992.)
My research and observation has convinced me that PCP is a toxic substance that should NEVER be used!!! In the late 1960's and the early 1970's large quantities of ersatz "mescaline" tablets were manufactured and sold in Berkeley, California by viciously irresponsible criminals. Instead of mescaline, these tablets contained a uneven mixture of chemicals that included LSD and PCP. The greedy amateur chemists who concocted these tablets knew that LSD, especially when contaminated with manufacturing byproducts, can make people physically uncomfortable, especially in the initial stages of the trip. Adding PCP, which, in low doses taken by mouth, can have a tranquilizing effect, was thought to make the trip "smoother". Dealers found that people were frequently willing to pay more for what they were told was mescaline than for what they were told was LSD. Some ignorant and/or naive users were reported to have taken too many tablets and suffered a PCP overdose.
I do not understand what the writer of the article means by "violently hallucinating". Perhaps he meant the person was violent AND the person was hallucinating? And as for "singing naked", well, most people have done so while taking a shower. Surely, singing is usually a sign that a person is happy! Being naked in a supermarket, however, can cause people with guns to handcuff you and lock you up. I very strongly suspect that the writer of the article knew very little about hallucinogens or schizophrenia, and even less about how the two might possibly be related... )
("As we sort through incoming Ask Erowid questions and reader- submitted Experience Reports, some myths and misunderstandings stand out as persistent and widespread.
One of these myths, which we ourselves heard when we were teens in the 1980s, is that "taking LSD seven times makes you legally insane."
The proposed number of times varies but is usually under ten. Unfortunately, it is difficult to narrow down the earliest date of this word-of-mouth myth. Informal surveys of some of the educated subculture reveal that it was around by the early 1970s and was widespread by 1980."
---from Erowid.org, 2003.)
(“Hello, my name is Tina Strongman and I work at a police station, as a phone operator for 911. Lately, we’ve received many phone calls pertaining to a new sort of problem that has arisen in the inner cities, and is now working it’s way to smaller towns. It seems that a new form of gang initiation is to go find as many pay phones as possible and put a mixture of LSD and Strychnine onto the buttons. This mixture is deadly to the human touch, and apparently, this has killed some people on the east coast. Strychnine is a chemical used in rat poison and is easily separated from the rest of the chemicals. When mixed with LSD, it creates a substance that is easily absorbed into the human flesh, and highly fatal.”
---widely circulated but COMPLETELY FALSE story, circa 1999.)
I was asked by someone in the "BERKELEY" group on Flickr: "I don't understand what your images have to do with Berkeley?" Here is my reply:
Myron J. Stolaroff, the former Ampex executive, noted in 1999 that LSD was the most important invention of the last 1,000 years. No intelligent well-informed person would disagree. Berkeley was world headquarters for LSD, a substance which the government conservatively estimates more than 90 million people have taken. (In 1993 a ranking DEA official, Gene Haislip, stated that the entire global supply was controlled by a group of approximately 100 people in the San Francisco Bay Area.) I was present when much LSD was delivered to the very tiny Buttercup Bakery in Berkeley. A manager of the Buttercup was Kary Mullis, the inventor of the ultra-important polymerase chain reaction DNA test. Mullis famously attributes his invention to the fact that he took LSD in Berkeley. A waitress at the Buttercup was Suze Orman, who at one point lived in a van. She later became a bestselling financial author and had her own TV show. She is now wealthy. Orman was frequently annoyed at the 2 customers, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, who were poor and tried to get free coffee. When asked how Apple got the jump on IBM, Jobs famously said "Maybe they didn't take enough acid." (Or check out the cover story in FORTUNE magazine, "The Edison of the Internet", about long-hair Bill Joy and the U.C. Berkeley computer group.) A google search I just did shows 26,200 results for the quote "There are 2 major products that come out of Berkeley--LSD and UNIX." There was a reason the President of the United States, Richard Nixon, labeled former Berkeley resident Timothy Leary "the most dangerous man in America". The reason, of course, was Leary's advocacy of LSD. (I think Leary had an amazing brain. Some of what he wrote was utterly brilliant. His life, however, was apparently such an intense game-playing ego-circus that we may never truly know if he worked for [or cared about] anybody other than "TIM LEARY". Did Leary associate with persons linked to the CIA and other intelligence agencies? Yes, of course! So did I. There were more than a few spooks in the Berkeley LSD scene, and since you never knew who they were, the possibility of association with them was absolutely unavoidable. I did my best to have NO contact with Tim. I did not want to get arrested or murdered. I was friends with his son, Jack, who supplied quantities of crystalline LSD. [It was the only kind I have ever taken that caused me to hallucinate actual paisley patterns!] More than once, Jack said to me, with a great deal of emotion, "My father is a liar!")
In the words of a popular song from that time ("San Francisco [be sure to wear some flowers in your hair]" by Scott Mckenzie, 1967): "ALL ACROSS THE NATION, SUCH A STRANGE VIBRATION"...
("I never heard anyone really go into this, but the real power of LSD lay in the fact that, if you were a biochemist and your roommate had a trust fund, you could, in a long weekend, produce 5-to-10 million hits. To produce 5-to-10 million hits of any other psychedelic, you would have to have the resources of Upjohn Corporation. I mean it's an industrial-scale undertaking. Because LSD is active in the microgram range, it is unique in that you're not simply able to get your neighborhood or your campus high, you are a political force at the national level. If you're sitting on 5-to-10 million hits of LSD, you have a gun poised at the head of the establishment, and they react to it that way."
---Terence McKenna, Magical Blend, 1993.)
(At one time MUCH LSD was being illicitly manufactured and it was extremely inexpensive, like $500-600 per gram of pure crystal, wholesale. It was not uncommon for each gram to be made into between 20,000-40,000 doses. [$500 divided by 40,000 doses equals a little bit more than a penny per 25 microgram dose.] [$500 divided by 10,000 doses equals five cents per 100 microgram dose.])
("Just after the election of John Kennedy to the presidency, a pediatrician of English extraction working in New York City wrote the pharmaceutical company Sandoz on New York Hospital letterhead requesting a gram of LSD. A package came by return mail to Dr. John Beresford, with a bill for $285..."
---Peter Stafford, in PSYCHEDELICS ENCYCLOPEDIA)
Among the many people who tripped on LSD from that gram were Donovan, Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Paul Krassner, Charles Mingus, Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert [Ram Dass], Ralph Metzner, and Alan Watts.
I met Dr. John Beresford at Peter Stafford's residence in Santa Cruz in the mid-1990s.)
(In early 1970 when I was a teenager, I lived rent-free in a toolshed in a backyard on Blake Street in Berkeley. One night a neighbor I had never met came while I was outside smoking a joint and handed me a very large churchwarden pipe with a meerschaum bowl filled with at least 5 grams of primo hashish from Afghanistan. He also gave me 500 LSD tablets. "Ten cents per tab," he said. "Minimum order 4,000 tabs.")
An article I recently read in a mainstream psychiatric journal suggested that it is considered quite politically incorrect for scientists to openly state to the public the truth that medical research clearly shows that "baseline" consciousness is in fact psychedelic, and what is falsely called "normal" consciousness is heavily filtered (and thus dull, even pathologically so). (Hunt, H.T. and Chefurka, C.M.: " A Test Of The Psychedelic Model Of Altered States Of Consciousness" [in] Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1976 Jul;33:867-76.)
Albert Hofmann, the inventor of LSD who recently died at age 102 noted that science has shown that LSD can allow one to perceive a wider spectrum of color. The example given involved a dog whistle. We can't hear the sound of a dog whistle because we we are only getting a narrow portion of the sound's spectrum. Likewise, normally colors look duller than they actually are because we are only getting a narrow portion of the color's spectrum. Because LSD can allow one to perceive a truer (wider) spectrum of color, it is why colors appear so intensely vivid to people on LSD. Because they actually are! (If you have not ever taken LSD, then it is very likely that you have never seen 'genuine' red. Or 'genuine' blue. Or 'genuine' yellow.)
("If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite."
("...color so vivid they can't even find words for it..."
---John McNally, describing what many people said they saw when they had "near-death experiences", the East Bay Express, 12.2. 2009)
("...a stream of fantastic images of extraordinary plasticity and vividness and accompanied by an intense kaleidoscopic play of colors."
---Albert Hofmann, describing what he saw during his first LSD experience.)
("...living, changing arabesques, moving in rhythm over a geometric background, with infinite variety of form."
---Manuel Córdova-Rios, describing the effects of ayahuasca to F.B. Lamb in WIZARD OF THE UPPER AMAZON.)
Textbooks are still being published that state what has been asserted for more than 45 years: LSD cannot be addictive because after the third day of using LSD, a person can no longer experience any effects. The people who wrote that in the textbooks are, of course, mistaken. I learned that if I radically increased the dosage each day, I could continue to experience psychedelic effects. My self-experiments, which involved taking LSD more than 5,000 times, (often in very, very high doses) were conducted over the course of more than 20 years. After working up to taking 5,000 micrograms per day, I found a safe location, stockpiled babyfood and water, locked the door and made it so that it would be impossible for me to get the door open again unless I was in a competent state of mind. Wearing diapers, I sniffed an initial dose of 10,000 micrograms of the 100,000 micrograms of crystal LSD I intended to take. The rest of the experience is curiously fragmented...so I cannot be sure how much of the other 90,000 micrograms I took, just that when I able to check 11 days later, none was left. My intention was to STRENGTHEN THE PATH between my usual LSD-induced state of consciousness and the mega-dose state of consciousness, so that I could more easily go back and forth between the two. I was not seeking to permanently be in the mega-dose state of consciousness--I cannot perform the basic tasks that are absolutely necessary for day-to-day life when I am that high. After much, much, much vomiting and much, much, much diarrhea, extremely profuse sweating and more than a few convulsions, my headspace was not that much different than from when I (after having developed a huge tolerance) took 2,000 micrograms. But the hallucinations!!! Beyond WOW!!!! Absolutely indescribable synesthesia!!!!! And so many layers on layers on layers on layers of extraordinarily fluid and magnificently intricate 3-D (4-D? 5-D?) patterns!!!! I could not even see my hand when it was directly in front of my face....and after that the hallucinations ceased and all there was, inside and out, was what I had experienced many times before: the classic Intense, Very Pure, and Absolutely Radiant White Light. There was no difference between "me" and the Light.
("Despite all the publicity surrounding LSD, the white light with its karmic accoutrements never assumed as much importance for journalists as it did for acid heads. It was too hard to get a handle on something about which absolutely nothing could be said. Finally there was nothing to say but: See for yourself."
---Geoffrey O'Brien, in his book DREAM TIME--Chapters from the Sixties.)
("...the light was going mad, the brightness had lost all reason..."
---Maurice Blanchot, translated by Lydia Davis)
("Here I am, safely returned over these peaks from a journey far more beautiful and strange than anything I had hoped for or imagined--how is it that this safe return brings such regret?"
("Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream.
It is not dying, it is not dying.
Lay down all thoughts, surrender to the void.
It is shining, it is shining."
---John Lennon, in the Beatles song he wrote, "Tomorrow Never Knows" .)
("...observing several situations in which even a drastic increase of dosage - in one instance to 15,000 micrograms given intramuscularly - did not result in a fully developed LSD experience, it became obvious that high psychological resistance to LSD cannot be overcome just by an increase in dosage..."
---Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D., in LSD PSYCHOTHERAPY.)
("...mostly taking acid was like, well, playing a really good game of softball. Ultimately. Long view. Fun and sweaty..."
---Jon Carroll, born in 1943, in reply to a question about LSD and the 1960s. The San Francisco Chronicle, 7.8. 1998. Many of my LSD experiences have apparently been EXTREMELY different than Jon Carroll's LSD experiences...)
("Grass and hashish were used more often than acid since 'the longer one drops acid, the less effect it has.'"
---Marc Pilisuk et al, in their essay "Becky and the Telegraph Avenue Lifestyle". Becky was interviewed between November 1969 and January 1970.)
("...scientists at the University of Toronto have discovered that creative people possess little to no 'latent inhibition', the unconscious ability to reject unimportant or irrelevant stimuli. As University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson puts it, 'This means that creative individuals remain in contact with the extra information constantly streaming in from the environment. The normal person classifies an object, and then forgets about it, even though that object is much more complex and interesting than he or she thinks.'"
--- ScienceDaily, 10.1. 2003, about a study published in the September 2003 issue of The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.)
("'In a central chapter of "Tristes Tropiques", Claude Levi-Strauss studies the intricate body painting of the Caduveo Indians of Brazil: 'Their faces, and sometimes even their whole bodies, were covered with a network of asymmetrical arabesques, alternating with delicate geometrical patterns.'"
"In 1969, the anthropologist Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff wrote a paper on the Tukano Indians of Colombia and their use of...ayahuasca: 'For the anthropologist it is most intriguing that the Indians maintain that everything we would designate as "art" is inspired and based upon the hallucinatory experience.'"
---Daniel Pinchbeck, in BREAKING OPEN THE HEAD---A Psychedelic Journey Into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism.)
"The entheogen-inspired visionary art of certain indigenous peoples, such as the Huichol yarn paintings and the ayahuasca-inspired art of Pablo Amaringo, often exhibits this style, as does the psychedelic art movement of the 1960s counterculture. Sometimes the patterned art in clothing of indigenous peoples of Middle and South America exhibits horror vacui. For example the geometric molas of Kuna people and the traditional clothing on Shipibo-Conibo people."
[Indeed, on my walls are reproductions of Huichol art, reproductions of the work of Pablo Amaringo, reproductions of 1960s psychedelic art, an original mola cloth, and an original Shipibo cloth.])
("...all you can do is draw incomprehensible weirdnesses..."
---Don, describing tripping on "windowpane" LSD. [From the 1997 book RETRO HELL: Life in the '70s and '80s, from Afros to Zotz, by the editors of "Ben is Dead" magazine.])
("A well-kept secret of the mainstream art world is the role that psychedelic drugs have played in shaping and altering the course of art since the 1960s."
"For the most part, mainstream discourse about art goes on as if the psychedelic revolution were just a minor, tangential distraction."
---Ken Johnson, The New York Times, 12.19. 2008.)
("But where, in this 'Summer of Love Experience,' is LSD itself? Because...without that, none of this."
---James Parker, in his article "What Inspired the Summer of Love?", published in The Atlantic, July 2017. The article was about an exhibition ["The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll"] at San Francisco's de Young Museum, marking the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Summer of Love.)
("...visionary experiences are inescapable to anyone who closes their eyes during the psychedelic experience."
"My art is based on what I saw..."
---Alex Grey, in an interview with Rob Sidon, Common Ground, June 2013.)
("It is unlikely one can fully grasp the radical alterations of consciousness produced by psychochemicals without having had a profound psychedelic experience. And after such an exposure, any suggestion that 'all art is psychedelic', or that artists are naturally endowed with a full-fledged 'psychedelic consciousness', lacks credibility."
---Robert E.L. Masters and Jean Houston, in PSYCHEDELIC ART.)
I draw my time using hallucinations as evidence.
Recent vision research, done at UC Berkeley, showed that there is a reason why judges tend to find eyewitness testimony to be rather worthless: when people's eyes were observed as they "looked" at a table, it was seen that they only looked at a few places on the table, and unconsciously "sketched-in" the rest of what they thought was supposed to be there.
("One of the things I find thrilling about Rembrandt's portraits is all he leaves unpainted..."
"It isn't necessary to paint anything but the front brim of a boy's hat; the first dozen times you see the painting, you won't notice that all Rembrandt painted was a gesture, the merest insinuation of a hat, which the viewer's mind completes from its own experience."
---Diane Ackerman, in A NATURAL HISTORY OF THE SENSES.)
"What is perceived to be seen comes from much more than light entering the retina."
---Flickr user Lachfranque.
YOU SEE WITH YOUR MIND, NOT WITH YOUR EYES...
("I sometimes wonder if our culture, acting in the manner of a single organism---in the way a crowd of people or a classroom of students sometimes can---somehow senses a deep threat to its own philosophical foundations residing in the psychedelic experience. This might help account for the otherwise irrational hatred and repression of the use of hallucinogens, and the smirking dismissal of the psychedelic experience as trivial by so many of our intellectuals."
---Paul Devereux, in his book THE LONG TRIP.)
("Human beings gain a sense of security, false though it may be, from conformity, from the lack of startling differences that would force us to contemplate who we really are. Like Snow White's witch, we don't want to face a mirror that tells the whole truth."
---Susan Schaller, in A MAN WITHOUT WORDS.)
(They "did nothing less than inspire a generation of Americans to redefine the nature of reality."
---Don Lattin, in THE HARVARD PSYCHEDELIC CLUB.)
---Apple Computer advertising slogan, created by Craig Tanimoto, 1997.)
("Steve Jobs has never been shy about his use of psychedelics, famously calling his LSD experience 'one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life.'"
---Ryan Grim, huffingtonpost.com)
("According to a recent survey of 1,000 teens by Junior Achievement, Steve Jobs is the most admired entrepreneur, ahead of Oprah Winfrey. Sixty-one percent of respondents chose Jobs because they said he 'made a difference in/improved people's lives or made the world a better place'...
---Ryan Kim, the San Francisco Chronicle, 10.14. 2009.)
("All of a sudden, the wheat field was playing Bach."
---Steve Jobs, describing the effects of LSD. [Quoted by Jay Cocks, TIME, January 1983.)
("I have no words to explain the effect LSD had on me, although I can say it was a positive life-changing experience for me and I am glad I went through that experience."
---Steve Jobs, in a 1988 signed statement for a Department of Defense Top Secret security clearance.)
("...you can only understand the psychedelic experience by having it..."
---Terence McKenna, 1983.)
("His influence on global culture cannot be overestimated."
---Stephanie N. Mehta, writing about Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, Fortune, 11.23. 2009. Jobs was named "CEO of the Decade" by the magazine.)
("Very aesthetic, very pleasing...no other acid had that quality."
---Jack Boulware, quoting a veteran tripper's description of "Clearlight" LSD, San Francisco Weekly, 8.21. 1996
"Clearlight" LSD became popular in the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 1970s. At that time, most LSD was being distributed either in the form of tablets or paper into which liquid LSD had been soaked. "Clearlight" was a major innovation in LSD packaging. It appeared in the form of tiny machine-cut squares of clear hard gelatin, each of which contained very high quality LSD. Quantities of "Clearlight" were packaged in beautiful wooden boxes. Each box contained 40 tiny bottles. Each bottle contained 100 doses of "Clearlight". It was often sold for approximately $1,200 for each 4,000 dose box. [Weak doses of "commercial grade" LSD tablets were often sold for approximately $500 for 4,000 doses. Strong doses of crumbly "Sunshine" tablets were often sold for approximately $800 for 4,000 doses.]
"I used LSD from approximately 1972 to 1974. I would ingest the LSD...in a hard form of gelatin."
---Steve Jobs, in a 1988 interview.
Unforgettable: the look on Steve Jobs’ face when I showed him a box of Clearlight LSD!
I think it is probable that the design and marketing of Apple computers was inspired by Jobs' use of "Clearlight" LSD.)
("In 2005, his remarks to Stanford graduates included these words:
'Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.'"
---From a description of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. The description was in a CNET article reporting that Jobs, who was 56 years old, had died. The article, to which Tom Krazit, Josh Lowensohn, and Erica Ogg contributed, was published 10.5. 2011.)
(“OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.”
---the last words of Steve Jobs. [From an eulogy written by his sister. The New York Times, 10. 30. 2011.])
(Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain, in their detailed history of LSD [ACID DREAMS: The Complete Social History of LSD, the CIA, the Sixties and Beyond] remark that
"The LSD story is inseparable from the cherished hopes and shattered dreams of the sixties generation".)
("It was a time when the underpinnings of the universe were questioned."
---Ted Kaptchuk, a prominent professor at Harvard Medical School, describing the sixties. The quote is from an article by Michael Specter, The New Yorker, 12.12. 2011.)
("The major hallucinogens are extraordinary tools for stripping your mind bare and showing you things that are normally not seen and dislodging your sense of self. That is not for everybody."
---Susan Blackmore, quoted by Hara Estroff Marano, Psychology Today, January/February 2015.)
("Do you know how many thousands of people all over the world committed suicide after taking LSD?"
"If you promote these activities you're criminals and murderers..."
---excerpts from a letter someone wrote to the editor of Open Exchange Magazine, published in Berkeley in October 2009. [Open Exchange Magazine, said to have more than 330,000 readers per issue, has been published for more than 35 years.]
Here is the editor's reply to the above letter:
"...as for 'thousands' of people dying from acid...the facts don't bear that out..." "According to 'The Consumers Union Report on Licit and Illicit Drugs by Edward M. Brecher and the Editors of Consumer Reports Magazine, 1972,' reviewing over 25,000 documented uses of LSD by nearly 5,000 people: 'No instance of serious, prolonged physical side effects was found either in the literature or in the answers to the questionnaires.' Furthermore, the published LSD literature 'directly records only one suicide and that in a schizophrenic patient.' One LSD death! Compare that to alcohol, which is responsible for about 25,000 roadside deaths each and every year---and it's a legal drug!")
("'Coca-Cola, like other sodas, causes enormous suffering and premature death by increasing the risks of obesity, diabetes, heart attacks, gout, and cavities,' Harvard University nutrition expert Dr. Walter Willett said."
---Lindsey Tanner, Associated Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, 11.5. 2009.)
Coca-Cola is said to be the most recognized brand name in the world.
(The word "Coca" refers to the coca plant, from which cocaine is extracted. Originally Coca-Cola contained cocaine, but now the Coca-Cola being sold contains an extract of coca leaves from which the cocaine has been removed.)
"...seeing a person drinking a Coke is the most normal, natural, common thing you'll see on earth..."
---from a letter to columnist Rich Heldenfels, the Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, Ohio, 10.8. 2011.
("...he shoot Coca-Cola..."
---John Lennon, in the song he wrote, "Come Together".
LSD advocate Timothy Leary was running for Governor of California in 1969, and the song was written by Lennon for Leary's campaign. It was recorded by the Beatles and was included on their album "Abbey Road", released in late 1969.)
Andy Warhol's picture on canvas of a bottle of Coca-Cola, "Coca-Cola (4) (Large Coca-Cola)", was sold for $35.36 million in 2010.
William Halstead was a brilliant American surgeon in the late 1800s. He became addicted to cocaine, and in spite of two long hospitalizations, failed in his attempts to break the habit.
"The operating technique of the now reclusive surgeon had become meticulous to the point of painstaking slowness, characterized by minute attention to detail that enabled him to perceive the physiological characteristics of tissues and of wound healing that eluded his speedier, less observant colleagues. Working with single-minded patience, he developed a wide range of unique methods whose therapeutic results, abetted by the punctilious, biologically-based skills that became known as Halsteadian technique, were remarkably improved over those reported by hospitals elsewhere. The cocaine habit that had resulted in his many peculiarities and his aversion to colleagues was now, with masterful self-control, being used in the service of his art."
---Sherwin Nuland, in a 7.24. 2011 review of Howard Markel's book AN ANATOMY OF ADDICTION-Sigmund Freud, William Halstead, and the Miracle Drug Cocaine, 2011. The review, titled "Blow to the Ego", was published in The New York Times Book Review.
("In the 1970s, if you were the sort of person who did drugs, there was no classier drug than cocaine. Beloved by rock stars and movie stars, ballplayers and even the occasional politician, cocaine was a drug of power and panache."
---Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner in their 2005 book FREAKONOMICS--A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything.)
(“‘We’re smoking coca leaves for your cocktail’...the sommelier...said...holding a tubed black device he called a smoking gun. ‘I don’t know if it gets you high, but we’ll find out.’”
“...a former student...aimed the gun into a glass of foamy pink liquid and topped it off with smoke, then added a coca-leaf garnish.”
---Carolyn Korman, describing dining at a Gustu, a very upscale gourmet restaurant in La Paz, Bolivia. The meal included coca tea, coca bread, and coca butter. The New Yorker, 4.4. 2016.)
(I found powder containing cocaine to be a VERY, VERY addictive drug. I have seen MANY people ruin their lives by using powder containing cocaine!!! I STRONGLY advise people to NEVER use powder containing cocaine, not even once!!!
But I must admit that I found that sniffing powder containing cocaine to sometimes be helpful when doing extremely detailed work. I think that the focused hyper-awareness I accessed by sniffing powder containing cocaine, smoking potent marijuana, and using LSD simultaneously usually assisted me in successfully evading the attention of law-enforcement officials when I, working by myself, was involved in nonprofit quality-control work with LSD, work which required me to accurately measure and package large quantities of doses.
It has been many years since I have sniffed any powder containing cocaine, and I have absolutely no desire to ever sniff any powder containing cocaine again. But I suspect the permanent effects of my use can be seen in some of my ultra-detailed doodles...)
(I was in a halfway house with José Chepito Areas in San Francisco in 1986 following my release from prison. Chepito, a timbales player, was a member of the band Santana from 1969 to 1980. My conversations with him as he sadly strolled the halls in the middle of the night strengthened my belief that cocaine can be a very dangerous substance.)
(The base form of cocaine ["freebase", "crack", "rock"] is EXTREMELY addictive and EXTREMELY toxic. It is usually smoked and it affects the central nervous system VERY rapidly. The salt form of cocaine, which is usually sniffed through the nose, affects the central nervous system much more slowly. EVERYONE that I know that has regularly used "freebase" or "crack" has experienced SEVERE problems because of their use!
["Crack killed Applejack
he jumped in and he couldn't jump back
he was just too blind to see that
DEATH LIVES IN THE ROCK HOUSE"
---Mitch McDowell, whose 1986 song was performed and recorded by General Kane.])
For many years I consumed much coffee, especially coffee prepared as espresso. I now prefer to use caffeine tablets.
THIS DOCUMENT IS IN NO WAY MEANT TO ENCOURAGE THE USE OF ANY DRUG, LEGAL OR ILLEGAL. QUITE THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE! MORE THAN THREE DOZEN OF MY FRIENDS DIED BECAUSE THEY USED DRUGS IRRESPONSIBLY. ALMOST ALL OF THEM WERE VERY GOOD PEOPLE. PLEASE DO NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE THEY DID!!!
I believe people should never drink beverages containing the poison alcohol.
("A 'blackout' is a phenomenon caused by the intake of alcohol...in which long-term memory creation is impaired or there is a complete inability to recall the past. 'Blacking out' is not to be confused with... 'passing out', which means loss of consciousness. 'Blackouts' can generally be divided into two categories, 'en bloc blackouts' and 'fragmentary blackouts'. 'En bloc blackouts' are classified by the inability to recall any memories from the intoxication period, even when prompted. 'Fragmentary blackouts' are characterized by the ability to recall certain events from an intoxication period, yet be unaware that other memories are missing until reminded of the existence of these 'gaps' in memory. ...surveys of drinkers experiencing 'blackouts' have indicated that they are NOT DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL CONSUMED. ...a person experiencing an 'en bloc blackout' may not appear to be doing so, as they can carry on conversations or even manage to accomplish difficult feats. In a 2002 survey of college students by researchers at Duke University Medical Center, 40% of those surveyed who had consumed alcohol recently reported having experienced a 'blackout' within the preceding year."
I have known people who were very upset by the possibility that they had committed acts of violence, even murder, during a 'blackout'.
I have never known anyone to experience a 'blackout' after using marijuana. I have never heard of anyone experiencing a 'blackout' after using hashish or any other cannabis preparation.
In 1980, I was reading a medical textbook and was shocked to see a photo of a child that looked almost exactly like the young daughter of one of my alcohol-drinking friends. The photo was of a child that has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome [FAS], which was specifically identified and named in 1973. Children suffering from FAS have serious brain damage, which is true to a somewhat lesser extent in children who suffer from the far more widespread Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.)
I believe people should NEVER smoke tobacco. (I spent many years being addicted to tobacco. I still find that nicotine can sometimes be a useful drug. Currently I use nicotine polacrilex gum USP in 4 milligram doses.)
I believe people should never use amphetamine or methamphetamine.
I believe people should never use PCP or ketamine. The negative effects such substances can have on the brain seem to be permanent in many of the cases I have observed.
I believe people should never use heroin. The potential for overdose and addiction is far too great. The same is true for other opioids such as OxyContin (oxycodone), which should only be used under strict medical supervision.
(Federal Judge Monti Belot, in sentencing Dr. Stephen Schneider to 30 years in prison for illegally prescribing narcotic drugs [more than 60 people linked to Schneider's
clinic were alleged to have died from accidental overdoses] "...concluded that Schneider deserved a harsher punishment than ordinary drug dealers, because they have no duty or obligation, legal or otherwise, to do no harm to their customers'".
"Mark Sullivan, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Washington, told me that in poor, rural regions doctors are using opioids to treat a 'complex mixture of physical and emotional distress.'"
"Some of these patients could be said to be suffering from what his colleague calls 'terribly-sad-life-syndrome'. 'These patients are at a dead end, life has stymied them, they are hurting. They want to be numb.'"
---Rachel Aviv, in an article she wrote, "Prescription for Disaster--The Heartland's Pain-Pill Problem". The New Yorker, 5.5. 2014.)
("Vicodin, a potent narcotic painkiller, is the No. 1-selling prescription drug in the country. The U.S.--nearly 5 percent of the world's population--ingests 80 percent of its narcotics."
---Tony Dajer, Discover, March 2015.)
I believe people should be VERY cautious when using benzodiazepines, which include Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin. When people become addicted to these substances, the withdrawal symptoms can be severe and quite long-lasting.
I believe people should never use Amanita Muscaria mushrooms. Toxic reactions can result, especially since the amounts of active substances seem to vary from mushroom to mushroom.
I believe people should never use DOB, DOM, or DOC. There are much better ways of altering consciousness!
I believe people should never use "research chemicals" unless they are a very well-educated legitimate researcher.
MDMA ("Ecstasy") seems to have the potential to be a useful substance when administered by a skilled professional in an appropriate setting, but I believe people should never use it recreationally. The same is true of peyote, mescaline, psilocybe mushrooms, psilocybin, DMT, and ayahuasca.
(DIFFERENT DRUGS USED IN DIFFERENT WAYS IN DIFFERENT DOSES DO DIFFERENT THINGS TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE WITH DIFFERENT BODIES AND DIFFERENT MINDS AT DIFFERENT TIMES AND DIFFERENT PLACES.)
Picasso wasn't breathing when he was born, and his face was so blue that the midwife left him for dead. An uncle revived him by blowing cigar smoke into Picasso's face.
(Intoxication by inhaling fumes:
"Experts say a number of today's teens are abusing a variety of household products---some 1,400 have been identified---many of which have no odor and are hard to detect, said local and national authorities."
---Carla Rivera, the Los Angeles Times, 7.23. 2009.)
(FOLIE À DEUX:
In 1971 a friend of mine went to a party in Berkeley and took LSD. After he got high, he said he looked across the room and saw another man, a stranger, who was also on LSD. Suddenly my friend found himself looking across the room at himself. He apparently had switched bodies with the stranger! For months my friend and the stranger were inseparable associates. Even though they had never spoken to each other, they each seemed to know exactly what the other was thinking. It was mind-blowing to be around them! When they spoke to me, one of them would start saying something and the other would seamlessly finish the sentence. They never looked at each other and when they strolled down the street, they were perfectly in step. They somehow got recruited into a bizarre cult centered in a large house in Oakland. The cult was led by an old man who had a barrel of the toxic industrial solvent toluene, a substance that "glue-sniffers" frequently inhale. My friend became the high priest of the cult, and it was his job each morning during the insane worship services to reach into a box, remove clean white cotton washcloths, which the cult leader called "The Lamb", dip each washcloth in toluene, and after placing each washcloth in a ziploc bag, solemnly hand them out to the "Believers". My friend and his associate came to the apartment where I was staying, knocked on the door and, after sniffing toluene from their bags, tried to convince me to join the cult. I said "NO!!", snatched their bags from their hands and threw the bags on the roof of the apartment house. They climbed up on the roof, retrieved their bags and left. Not long after that they finally spoke to each other for the first time and the spell that seemed to possess them was broken. They also quit the poisonous toluene cult.)
(The first known mention of glue-sniffing in print was in 1959. The report was followed by many lurid newspaper stories about glue-sniffing. Because of the widespread media coverage, glue-sniffing, which had been extremely uncommon, soon became a fad. I remember that I heard about it in 1960 when I was nine years old, and that I immediately tried it...)
(LSD is the ultimate "double-edged sword": The more something has the potential to heal you, the more it has the potential to slay you...)
(When used properly, LSD can GREATLY increase intelligence and compassion. It is quite unfortunate that there are so many people who have not experienced [or cannot or should not experience] LSD and thus are suffering from both "Pre-LSD Cognitive Disorder" and "Pre-LSD Perception Disorder"...)
("These sacraments should be used with the utmost caution..."
("...up until LSD, I never realized there was anything beyond this state of consciousness."
"The first time I took it, it just blew everything away. I had such an overwhelming sense of well-being."
"For me, 1966 was the time when the whole world opened up and had a greater meaning...that was a direct result of LSD. It was like opening the door, really, and before, you didn't even know the door was there."
"...those years did seem to be a thousand years long. Time just got elongated. Sometimes I felt like I was a thousand years old."
---George Harrison, in a 1987 interview with Anthony DeCurtis, Rolling Stone.)
"Lucy" is perhaps the most famous fossil ever discovered. The remains were discovered in Ethiopia in 1975 and were at the time the oldest human remains in the world (3.2 million years old). They were named after the Beatles song that was playing on a tape recorder as they were found--"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".
("Time often seems to slow down dramatically...and minutes often turn into hours or days."
---John Santrock [describing one of the effects of LSD] in his book PSYCHOLOGY.)
("After I took it [LSD], it opened my eyes. We only use one-tenth of our brain. Just think what we could accomplish if we could only tap that hidden part. It would mean a whole new world."
---Paul McCartney, quoted by Thomas Thompson in an article about the Beatles, LIFE, 6.16. 1967.)
("And what a boon to my art!"
---R. Crumb, writing about his LSD experiences in THE COMPLETE CRUMB COMICS--VOLUME 4. ["...minds are made to be blown."])
("Purple haze all in my brain
Lately things just don't seem the same
Actin' funny, but I don't know why
'Scuse me while I kiss the sky"
---Jimi Hendrix, in his song "Purple Haze", recorded in in 1967.)
("...not necessarily stoned, but Beautiful..."
---Jimi Hendrix, in his song "Are You Experienced?", released in 1967.)
In one week in 1970 I was offered more than 100 different types of LSD tabs. Police reports from that time estimated 45 different bay area tablet-making machines were in operation. Dripping doses onto paper with an eyedropper was not practical since so many millions of doses were being distributed in Berkeley. The invention in the early 1970's of soak-blotting perforated sheets of paper changed the situation. By the early 1990's the ideal standard unit had become metric, i.e. 100 micrograms of LSD in a tiny perforated square of paper. A "gram" of LSD came to mean 10,000 such squares.
("...a Jewish legend about Rabbi Loew of Prague who, in the sixteenth century, made a golem out of clay and brought it to life by placing a piece of paper in its mouth on which was written the secret name of God..."
You never know for sure what you are getting in the underground marketplace...thus EXTREME CAUTION is urged. That being said, I will make a couple of observations. I have noticed that a lot of blotters, tabs, and gels are unevenly dosed. I have observed that sometimes one dose will contain as much as twice as much LSD as another identicallooking dose. In the sixties in San Francisco, doses were frequently 250 micrograms, sometimes 300 micrograms, and even as high as 500-1000 micrograms. In the late 1970s and the 1980s doses went down to 25-50 micrograms on the average (so-called "disco doses"), although at that time I knew of MANY instances when the dose was 7-15 micrograms. In the 1990s the doses went up to about 60-80 micrograms, sometimes as high as 100 micrograms. Currently, there is a lot less LSD on the market. My observation is that the average dose of genuine LSD is weak.
RECENTLY THERE HAVE BEEN MANY REPORTS OF CHEMICALS OTHER THAN LSD BEING SOLD AS LSD. SOME OF THESE FAKE "LSD BLOTTER" DOSES CONTAIN SUBSTANCES THAT CAN BE VERY, VERY TOXIC!!!
(Perforated squares of blotter paper [stamped with the image of a witch] containing fentanyl were seized by police in 2017. Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Perforated squares of blotter paper containing carfentanil were seized in 2016. Carfentanil is 10,000 times stronger than morphine. Carfentanil is marketed as an anesthetic for large animals. Until March 1, 2017, the manufacture and sale of carfentanil was legal in China. VERY large amounts were sold over the internet.)
(“Like many a military brat before him, John experimented with the counterculture. He smoked pot, dropped acid and ate magic mushrooms.”
“By the time he graduated from high school, his primary interests were computer hacking, skateboarding, and the voracious consumption of psychedelics.”
---Graeme Wood, in his article “American Jihadi”, in The Atlantic, March 2017. “John Georgelas was...a precocious underachiever born in Texas. Now he is a leader within the Islamic State.”)
(Georgelas [born 1983] very strongly advocates terrorism. He is likely to be quite familiar with blotter LSD and how it is distributed. And I think it is almost certain that he knows about carfentanil.
Within a few months of arriving in Berkeley in 1969 I became consciously aware that very large amounts of LSD were being distributed from the San Francisco bay area, and that there existed a frightening possibility that military enemies of the United States [or psychopaths] might infiltrate the distribution chain, and deliberately contaminate a large quantity of LSD tablets with toxic substances…)
Descriptions people have recently given me of their trips sound like they took approximately 20 micrograms (what LSD inventor Albert Hofmann called the "swellendosis" or "threshold dose"). Likewise my observation of people at raves makes me think they are taking very low doses. The danger is not only that one might get a substance other than LSD, but also that one might inadvertently get a psychedelic 250 microgram dose when one is used to a 25 microgram dose.
(I have seen people under the influence of a high dose of LSD who, at the time, did not recall that they had taken LSD and "freaked-out" because they thought they had become insane.)
("Loss of ego may be confused with physical death."
"...a person may panic..."
---R. D. Laing, in THE POLITICS OF EXPERIENCE.)
(Survival Systems USA provides team-building sessions for employees of corporations. These employees are placed in the hull of a wrecked airplane, and then submerged upside-down in a pool of cold water to see if the employees can be team players. The CEO of Survival Systems USA says the sessions lead to people discovering capabilities that they don't know they have.
“Yeah--like crushing Rene in accounting's windpipe if she blocks your way out of the death tomb.”
---from the “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” show on National Public Radio, 1.14. 2017. I have observed high dose LSD sessions where people became very DANGEROUSLY panicked and quite VIOLENTLY demanded to be immediately taken to a hospital emergency room because they were absolutely certain that they were dying. These severely panicked people definitely seemed capable of killing anyone that they perceived as blocking their “way out of the death tomb”.)
(LSD is not the only substance that can cause a strong panic reaction:
"...as the Scottish surgeon Arthur Fergusson McGill noted in 1873 in the British Medical Journal, ether often aroused 'great struggling', requiring three or four assistants to hold down the patient..."
---Richard Davenport-Hines, in his book THE PURSUIT OF OBLIVION--A Social History of Drugs.)
("Whenever there is a reaching down into innermost experience, into the nucleus of the personality, most people are overcome by fear and many run away...The risk of inner experience, the adventure of the spirit, is in any case alien to most human beings. The possibility that such experiences might have psychic reality is anathema to them."
---Carl Jung, in his book MEMORIES, DREAMS, REFLECTIONS.
"People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls."
("When psychoactive drugs are used to amplify the psychotherapy process, the use of low-intensity graduated doses, the 'psycholytic' approach, is preferable to the high-dose 'psychedelic' paradigm---with the possible exception of the treatment of alcohol or drug addiction, where the high-dose intense experience may provide longer-lasting relief from relentless cravings and withdrawal sensations."
---Ralph Metzner, in his 2009 book ALCHEMICAL DIVINATION: Accessing Your Spiritual Intelligence for Healing and Guidance.)
("I believe that psychedelic drugs, used carefully, are profound tools for self-exploration...The unfolding of the self through an increase in perception, cognition, and feeling is one level of the trip. On low doses it is all you get, and often it is enough."
---Daniel Pinchbeck, in BREAKING OPEN THE HEAD---A Psychedelic Journey Into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism.)
(Here is the text of a "Product Information Leaflet" that came with a brand of LSD that was distributed in Berkeley, California in the 1980s:
CLEARLIGHT brand "MICRODOSE" LSD(A book about taking microdoses of LSD was published in 2017. [A REALLY GOOD DAY--How Microdosing Made A Mega Difference In My Mood, My Marriage, And My Life by Ayelet Waldman.])
Each easily concealable packet contains twenty-five CLEARLIGHT brand "MICRODOSE" LSD squares.)
Utilizing unique variations of modern homeopathic techniques while working in a dry, dark, low-temperature environment, each of these perforated thin sheets of food-grade sterile paper is evenly saturated with a cold solution containing a highly-refined form of pure pharmaceutical d-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), rapidly cold-dried, and immediately sealed in airtight packages. During the drying process, various bells and cymbals are used to ecstatically consecrate each batch. The result of twenty-five years of intense research, these paper squares contain absolutely no binders, buffers, disintegrants, coatings, lubricants, fillers, colors, inks, dyes, sugars, wheat, corn, gelatin, or artificial flavors.
These squares are amazingly versatile psychic tools that have a wide variety of uses. For example, there are numerous ways in which these squares may be employed by a bona-fide healer to catalyze a balanced physical/mental restructuring. Some people consider these squares to be an excellent sacrament if used in an appropriate religious setting. These squares may also prove to be of great value to an intelligent user who is seriously interested in exploring her or his creative potential.
Each one-quarter inch by one-quarter inch square of paper contains approximately five micrograms of active LSD. This is usually considered to be an extremely low dose (One microgram is one-millionth of a gram). Many, many, many studies of the effects of LSD have been made by the scientific community. The doses given to people by "legitimate" researchers have ranged from ten micrograms to fifteen thousand micrograms per dose. The dosage most often mentioned in popular literature is one-hundred micrograms. The first measured dose of LSD taken by a human was two-hundred and fifty micrograms. Quite a few of the people who have made a serious study of the subject think that in some cases the appropriate dose is one that weighs between three-hundred and five-hundred micrograms. Some people seem to feel an effect after taking as little as one-quarter of a single square of CLEARLIGHT brand "MICRODOSE" LSD.
1. Rinse your mouth thoroughly with room-temperature distilled water.
2. Using clean stainless steel tweezers, detach one square from sheet. Place this one square under your tongue.
3. Keep your mouth closed for twenty-five minutes, occasionally using your tongue to gently move the square from one side of your mouth to the other. Very gently chew the square between your teeth for three minutes.
4. Remove the square from your mouth. Discard the square.
5. Swallow one mouthful of room-temperature distilled water. (Distilled water is available at most grocery stores.)
If you follow the instructions provided in this "Product Information Leaflet", between thirty and ninety minutes after placing one of these squares in your mouth you will usually begin to feel its effect. No matter what the dose, the immediate effects of LSD usually last for between eight and twelve hours. The most important factors determining the course of an LSD experience are "set" and "setting". "Set" refers to the user's psychological "attitude". "Setting" may be defined as the physical and social environment surrounding and interacting with the user at the time he or she is using LSD. It is crucial that you have at least two quiet days to prepare yourself before taking this substance, that you have no pressing personal or business matters to distract you on the day you use these squares, and that you spend at least several days following your use meditating, contemplating, and integrating. It is extremely important that you do not use these squares until you have read and studied all of the following books:
1. THE NATURAL MIND: A NEW WAY OF LOOKING AT DRUGS AND THE HIGHER CONSCIOUSNESS by A. Weil. Published by Houghton-Mifflin, 1972.
2. LSD PSYCHOTHERAPY by S. Grof. Published by Hunter House, 1980.
3. THE ROAD TO ELEUSIS: UNVEILING THE SECRETS OF THE MYSTERIES by R.G. Wasson, C. Ruck, and A. Hofmann. Published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978.
4. REALMS OF THE HUMAN UNCONSCIOUS: OBSERVATIONS FROM LSD RESEARCH by S. Grof. Published by Viking, 1975.
5. PSYCHEDELICS: THE USES AND IMPLICATIONS OF HALLUCINOGENIC DRUGS by B. Aaronson and H. Osmond. Published by Doubleday, 1975.
6. THE JOYOUS COSMOLOGY: ADVENTURES IN THE CHEMISTRY OF CONSCIOUSNESS by A. Watts. Published by Pantheon, 1962.
7. THE HUMAN ENCOUNTER WITH DEATH by S. Grof and J. Halifax. Published by Dutton, 1978.
8. LSD: THE CONSCIOUSNESS-EXPANDING DRUG by D. Solomon. Published by Berkley-Medallion, 1966.
9. THE DOORS OF PERCEPTION by A. Huxley. Published by Perennial Library, 1970.
10. THE PSYCHEDELIC EXPERIENCE: A MANUAL BASED ON THE TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD by T. Leary, R. Metzner, and R. Alpert. Published by Citadel Press, 1970.
11. AMAZING DOPE TALES AND HAIGHT STREET FLASHBACKS by S. Gaskin. Published by The Book Publishing Company, 1980.
These squares are not cheap. The price we are forced to charge reflects the fact that the necessarily large-scale production, packaging, storage, and distribution of such an easily recognizable dosage form of a highly illegal drug creates many expensive legal hassles. Also, we spend a considerable amount of time and money on painstaking and thorough research. Part of this research has involved the examination of tens of thousands of different specimens of LSD. Almost one-hundred percent of the specimens we studied were at least somewhat decomposed due to improper manufacturing, handling, and/or storage. Most of the so-called "commercial" doses we have seen contained approximately fifteen micrograms of active LSD. Every individual dose of LSD we looked at contained either colors, animal byproducts, or multiple unidentified chemical contaminants. We have found that there is a rather wide variance in dosage within many of the numerous batches of illicitly-made LSD available on the underground market.
Do not use these squares (or any other drug) if you are breastfeeding a baby, if you are pregnant, or if you are of child-bearing age and expect to become pregnant. Do not use these squares if you have epilepsy, or if you suspect a latent disposition to epilepsy. Do not use these squares if you have a history of mental illness. Do not use these squares if you are driving a motor vehicle, or expect to drive a motor vehicle. Do not use these squares if you are addicted to any drug, especially the benzodiazepines, which include Xanax and Valium. Do not use these squares unless you are in the presence of another person who is a willing and experienced guide. Do not inject, smoke, or nasally inhale these squares. The effects that can result from combining drugs (or from combining food and drugs) can be uncomfortably unpredictable. We strongly recommend that you take these squares on an empty stomach. We strongly recommend that you do not use or be under the influence of any other drugs while using these squares. (Tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea, cocoa, and chocolate are all drugs. All herbs are drugs.) We recommend that you do not eat any food during the twelve-hour period that follows placing one of these squares under your tongue. We strongly recommend that you drink a sufficient quantity of high-quality water while using these squares. Do not drink tapwater, however, as it frequently contains harmful substances. Using, possessing, distributing, selling, manufacturing, or conspiring to use, possess, distribute, sell, or manufacture LSD is illegal. Arrest, torture, fines, and/or imprisonment may result from being caught using, possessing, distributing, selling, or conspiring to use, possess, distribute, or sell these squares.
It is important to always allow the sealed packet to come to room-temperature before opening, otherwise moisture from the air may condense on the squares and cause the LSD to become less potent. Make sure this product is always kept sealed airtight in a cool, dry, absolutely dark, and very well-hidden place. Always keep this "Product Information Leaflet" attached to the outside of the packet containing the paper squares. This packaging is not child-proof. If you even suspect that you may possess this substance anywhere near a child, we insist that you transfer the squares, in their original packaging (which includes this "Product Information Leaflet"), to a larger unbreakable childproof medicine container. (Child-proof medicine containers may be obtained from any pharmacy.) Please keep these squares away from anyone who is uninformed, unintelligent, or irresponsible.
("...how pretty it is!"
---Ayelet Waldman, who suffers from severe depression, quoting her first thought as she started to feel the first effects of her first dose of microdose LSD as she looked out her window at a Dogwood tree in full bloom. She was extremely impressed by how positive her thought was. [From her 2.16. 2017 appearance at a City Arts & Lectures event in San Francisco.])
(The first batch of microdose LSD I saw was manufactured in Berkeley around 1980. It was called "CLEARLIGHT brand MIND VITAMIN TABLETS" and came in labeled shrink-wrapped brown glass bottles, each containing 100 tablets. Each tablet contained 100 milligrams of ascorbic acid and 5 micrograms of d-lysergic acid diethylamide. These tablets were given away, not sold. [The people that seemed to get the most benefit from the tablets were a major symphony orchestra chorus. MANY of the singers took the tablets over the course of perhaps 6 months, and said their experiences were “wonderful”.] The second batch of microdose LSD [“CLEARLIGHT brand MICRODOSE LSD"] I saw was manufactured in Berkeley around 1988. It came on perforated paper. 400,000 doses were manufactured. Each dose contained 5 micrograms of d-lysergic acid diethylamide. The majority of this second batch was seized by the DEA around 1992 or 1993. The portion of the batch that was distributed was given away, not sold.)
(My advocacy of microdose LSD caused me to receive multiple death threats. [Here is a note someone sent me: “By using high doses of LSD, I seriously risked both my freedom and my sanity in an attempt to make the world a better place. Now you are trying to tell me some horseshit about how people should do the opposite and strengthen their egos and ingrain their prejudices by using microdose LSD? FUCK YOU!!! You’re an asshole and a traitor!!!”])
("Psychedelic drugs are poised to be the next major breakthrough in mental health care."
---from an article by Roni Jacobson, Scientific American, 9.1. 2014.)
(One of my jailmates when I was in the San Francisco County Jail in 1985 was Arthur Kleps. I was the only prisoner who knew that he was the founder of the Neo-American Church, which advocated the use of marijuana and hallucinogens as sacraments. Kleps was the author of THE BOO-HOO BIBLE: The Neo-American Church Catechism and Handbook and MILLBROOK: A Narrative of the Early Years of American Psychedelianism.)
I have seen people get high on five micrograms of LSD...usually very receptive people who were in an optimum Set and Setting...
I have on multiple occasions personally observed LSD manufacturers making very large quantities of doses that contained approximately 18 micrograms of LSD per dose. Admittedly, many of the persons who bought the doses thought they were very, very weak... Sometimes I wonder if some of these manufacturers were clandestinely working for the government. I observed one of them as he made into tablets and blotters approximately twenty kilograms (!!!!) of crystalline LSD over the course of more than 2 decades. And he was never arrested...!!!!
(Perhaps he was a "dry-snitch" and that was why he was never arrested. A "dry-snitch" is someone who is not consciously aware that they are being allowed by law enforcement and/or intelligence officers to engage in illegal activities. These authorities do not arrest the "dry-snitch" because they have decided that in the long run the strategy of waiting and then carefully orchestrating the arrests of the associates of the associates of the "dry-snitch" is much more effective than arresting the "dry-snitch" himself.
["I'm Uncle Sam, that's who I am; Been hiding out in a rock and roll band."
---from the song "U.S. Blues", performed by the Grateful Dead.])
(Likewise, one can surmise that there might be such a thing as a "dry double operative", that is, someone who is consciously an informant but unconsciously is attempting to subvert the efforts of their law enforcement and/or intelligence handlers.
[Richard Aoki was a revered San Francisco Bay Area radical political activist (and an FBI informant) who gave the Black Panthers some of their first guns and firearms training in late 1966 and early 1967. In a 2007 interview he said "People change. It is complex. Layer upon layer."
---the quote is from a letter by author and investigative journalist Seth Rosenfeld that was published in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, 9.26. 2012. Rosenfeld discovered that Aoki was an informant after studying more than 300,000 pages of FBI records that were released to him as a result of five lawsuits he brought under the Freedom of Information Act.]
["There's a man with a gun over there, Telling me I got to beware."
---Stephen Stills, in his song "For What It's Worth", recorded by Buffalo Springfield in late 1966.]
["Tangle within tangle..."
"...a texture so intricate as to be incredible and yet true."
---Winston Churchill, quoted by Montgomery Hyde in his book ROOM 3603--The Story of the British Intelligence Center in New York During World War II.])
("The most serious danger in clandestine operations comes not from spies or infiltrators but from the inadequacy of the human beings who compose the underground. One of the most critical areas of underground work is the teaching of members to maintain silence. Normal curiosity leads members to find out more information than they should know."
---A.R. Molnar, J.M. Tinker, and J.D. LeNoir, in HUMAN FACTORS CONSIDERATIONS OF UNDERGROUNDS IN INSURGENCIES, a 1966 Department of the U.S. Army pamphlet.)
("Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D.: 'In my work, I've certainly had my share of...[LSD]... personally, and I've worked with many, many hundreds of people in over 4,000 psychedelic sessions...'
Bart Brodsky: 'Do you think that Tim Leary and others who wanted to popularize LSD in the 60s may have been wrong in their, say, enthusiasm for the drug?'
Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D.: 'I think the major problem was that the image of the experience was kind of one-sided. If you're advertising something you don't necessarily talk about the negative side of the phenomenon. And so, I think they were very accurately portraying the positive potential. You can have really ecstatic experiences, of course, with unity, tremendous expansion of consciousness, and that I think should be emphasized. But what wasn't talked about is that we can also have a kind of hellish, disorganized experience, and there can be negative consequences to this.'"
---The above quotes are from a conversation Bart Brodsky had with Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D. Grof, the author of the 1980 book LSD PSYCHOTHERAPY, did his research when LSD was legal. The conversation was in 1992, and was published in Open Exchange Magazine, January 2011.)
("Awareness means the capacity to see a coffeepot and hear the birds sing in one's own way, and not the way one was taught."
"A little boy sees and hears birds with delight. Then the 'good father' comes along and feels he should 'share' the experience and help his son 'develop'. He says: 'That's a jay, and this is a sparrow.' The moment the little boy is concerned with which is a jay and which is a sparrow, he can no longer see the birds or hear them sing. He has to see and hear them the way his father wants him to."
"...awareness...spontaneity...and...intimacy...may be frightening and even perilous to the unprepared."
"...some games are urgently necessary for the maintenance of health in certain individuals. These people's psychic stability is so precarious, and their positions so tenuously maintained, that to deprive them of their games may plunge them into irreversible despair and even psychosis."
---Eric Berne, M.D., in his 1964 book GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: The Psychology of Human Relationships.)
("The thinking of a two-year old is already conditioned. Language constitutes the starting point for conditioning, which is evidently why one can no longer speak of complete independence from culture. From this point onward, the objects that meet the child's eye and everyone else's, and the accepted ideas surrounding him offer specious conventions for his views and thoughts."
---Jean Dubuffet, quoted by Lucienne Peiry in her book ART BRUT--The Origins of Outsider Art.)
("At a dinner party in 1965...the host spiked our drinks with LSD."
"...the walls moved, the plants talked, the other people looked like ghouls and time stood still. It was horrific: I hated the lack of control and not knowing what was going on or what would happen next."
"...John felt differently...he was...fascinated. He had enjoyed the lack of control and the weirdness. What for me had been the end was for him only the beginning."
"...John threw himself into it with abandon..."
"Within weeks of his first trip, John was taking LSD daily..."
"I couldn't live with a man who was constantly in another dimension."
"He did everything he could to persuade me to take LSD again.
Finally, I agreed."
"Terry said something to me and immediately transformed into a snake, then an alligator. His voice emanated from a monster that kept moving toward me, every scale on its body shining, glistening and changing color--even the carpet seemed to be breathing."
"...I didn't want drugs. To me they were terrifying and dangerous. I didn't want to tamper with my sanity."
("Leary...started using pseudoscience for propaganda purposes."
---Rick Doblin, quoted by Don Lattin, California, Fall 2010.)
("Brothers and sisters, at this time let us have no more talk of peace."
"Listen Americans. Your government is an instrument of totally lethal evil."
"...blow the mechanical mind with holy acid...dose them...dose them."
"...sabotage, jam the computer...hijack planes..."
"To shoot a genocidal robot policeman in the defense of life is a sacred act."
"Listen Nixon...We begged you to live and let live, to love and let love, but you have chosen to kill and be killed. May God have mercy on your soul."
"Right on Leila Khaled."
"Listen, the hour is late. Total war is upon us."
"Warning: I am armed and should be considered dangerous to anyone who threatens my life or freedom."
---quotes from Timothy Leary's "P.O.W. COMMUNIQUÉ", issued by him shortly after his September 1970 escape from a California prison. I VIVIDLY remember standing on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley in September 1970 not long after I became 19 years old. Most of the businesses had opened their doors and turned the volume of their radio receivers up as Leary's "P.O.W. COMMUNIQUÉ" was read. All of the many people strolling down The Ave stopped walking and stood still. Leary's insane message was coming from EVERYWHERE...)
(“Since he’d stood accused of frying his brain with LSD, he thought he might as well play that card.”
“The essence of his defense was that hundreds of ingestions of LSD had permanently altered his brain, which made it intolerable to be caged in a prison.”
“There’s no arguing that he intentionally adopted the rhetoric of the government and the mainstream media in his defense.”
“Tim was arguing that, in order to understand the nature of an experimental mind drug, he had risked his sanity by taking it hundreds of times over twelve years while keeping precise records…”
“...he was playing to a jury of people who believed that anyway. Again, this was courtroom testimony of someone facing life in prison and having no other defense.”
---Michael Horowitz, Timothy Leary’s archivist, speaking about Leary’s 1973 trial. From an interview with Lisa Rein, Boing Boing, 8.30. 2017.)
(Timothy Leary began secretly giving information about some of his co-conspirators to the FBI in 1974.
"I want to get out of prison as quickly as possible..."
---from a BBC News item about the public release of Leary's FBI files. 6.29. 1999.)
("The book...clarifies my take on...Timothy's years in solitary confinement, and the factors surrounding our decision to become informants."
---Joanna Harcourt-Smith, 2011, on Kickstarter.com, asking for funds to publish her book TRIPPING THE BARDO WITH TIMOTHY LEARY.)
("Psychiatrist Hans Prinzhorn's book, THE ARTISTRY OF THE MENTALLY ILL,  stirred up Europe's avant-garde, not least because many paintings in his collection resembled the most advanced Cubist and Surrealist works."
"Where schizophrenia was involved...ornate designs...(and)...repetitive geometric shapes...filled every inch of the canvases."
"...apparent paranoia, and confusion of animate and inanimate objects...is common among schizophrenics as well as users of hallucinogens."
"When Hitler's Nazis came to power, they used the similarity between psychotic and modernist art to justify their persecution of avant-garde artists, depicting both...as 'degenerate products of diseased minds.'"
---From a review [in Wilson Quarterly, Summer 1986] of an article "The Artistry of Psychotics", American Scientist, January 1986.)
ANIMATE vs. INANIMATE:
(HT: "I've read that your first LSD trip in 1963 changed your whole worldview. You realized that even inanimate objects seem to possess individuality, consciousness. And that, in turn, is why, in your fiction, you've playfully made characters out of, for instance, a spoon, a dirty sock, and a can of pork and beans in Skinny Legs and All. Can you explain a little more about the revelatory trip you took that day?"
TR: "I don't want to give the impression that I hold daily conversations with my household appliances, although my toaster is as old as Drew Barrymore and almost as talented. However, guided by the acid genie, my consciousness did, back in '63, enter -- literally enter -- into a daisy, and that little adventure permanently altered my reality orientations, particularly when it comes to the usual lines of distinction between animate and inanimate. The crown of the daisy is a perfect logarithmic helix. My eyes followed that spiral, around and around, until -- pop! -- I actually went into the flower. What was it like in there? It was a subterranean cathedral made out of mathematics and honey, and occupied -- this is the amazing part -- by an almost palpable intelligence.
You can't talk about something like that without sounding like a lunatic, but let me confess that when I learned that every daisy in every field possesses an identity just as strong as my own, it radically changed my life. Now, a man-made bean can is hardly a living plant, but what I've come to appreciate about inanimate objects, aside from their utilitarian beauty, is the whisper of the Infinite in each and every one of them.
I'd better shut up now before the woo-woo alarms go off."
---From an interview with author Tom Robbins, Hightimes, early 2000.)
("The second most boring thing in the world after people bending your ear about dreams is people bending your ear about their acid trips."
"Nevertheless! I saw immediately that everything...was alive. The chair I sat in was holding me up, with great consideration. The trees outside...waved and said hello. The bedspread on the single bed next to the wooden wall stretched and wrinkled and said hi."
"...once I looked at my dear friend and saw her face two ways at once: full face and profile, and thought, Picasso, big deal! He only painted what he 'saw'! "
---Carolyn See, in her 1995 memoir DREAMING--Hard Luck and Good Times in America.)
(Found on the street: "Cliffs Notes on Kesey's ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST", 1974.
[ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST (by Ken Kesey) was published in 1962.]
[a quote from the Notes:
"The fact that the narrator is insane frees the author from presenting an objective account of the action, for much of the plot takes place in the narrator's distorted subconscious. Kesey suggests that the choice of an Indian as narrator may have come from the association of Indians with peyote, a drug produced from a cactus by the Indians of the southwestern United States. It is at least obvious that the choice of narrator corresponds with Kesey's interest in states of altered consciousness, whether by madness or by drugs. It is his belief that the mind of a madman, like one who is high on drugs, is released from the preconceptions of society and is able to respond naturally and immediately to the moment. This state of altered perception in the book is frequently poetic in its method, seizing upon images as symbols of reality."]
[from the bibliography in the Notes:
Hoge, James O. "Psychedelic Stimulation and the Creative Imagination: The Case of Ken Kesey." Southern Humanities Review 6: 381-391].)
("The visual landscape of schizophrenics lies beyond the grasp of rational people. Their 'cracked minds' may let in light which does not enter the intact minds of many rational people."
---R.D. Laing, 1965.)
("There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
Cambridge-educated Peter Russell has a degree in theoretical physics and is the author of ten books, including THE BRAIN BOOK and THE GLOBAL BRAIN.
Recently he wrote "...there is a trace of sentience...in molecules..."
(The above quote is from "What the Atom Felt", Anneli Rufus, the East Bay Express, Oakland, California, 11.25. 2009.)
Several prominent "underground" chemists, most notably the famous LSD chemist Owsley, stated that the LSD molecule seems to be like a virus, because quite a few of the people who ingest it and have profound experiences on it become very interested in making LSD.
(“...the idea that consciousness exists, in some very basic form, in all matter, even at the level of the atom.”
---Larissa MacFarquhar, in an article about mind researchers, mentioning an idea that David Chalmers has discussed. The New Yorker, 2.12. 2017.)
(If an LSD molecule is "sentient", and if, like a virus, an LSD molecule has the ability to reproduce itself, a person might reasonably conclude that it may be possible that LSD is, in some way, "alive"???)
(Andy Roberts: "Some people have claimed that during a psychedelic experience they have had contact with/been contacted by what might be termed intelligence or entities."
Casey Hardison: "I tend to think that the molecules themselves are entities."
---from the 2016 book ACID DROPS--Adventures in Psychedelia by Andy Roberts. Casey Hardison is an expert psychedelic chemist who made excellent LSD.)
("You see through it--It sees through you"
---what some people said about Clearlight LSD.)
"A woman who writes a computer column for the San Francisco Examiner had received in her mail box a copy of a Gentleman's Quarterly article, in which Timothy Leary is quoted as saying, 'The Japanese go to Burma for teak, and they go to California for novelty and creativity. Everybody knows that California has this resource thanks to psychedelics.' The columnist didn't believe what was asserted by Timothy Leary and others in the GQ article, that the computer revolution and the computer graphic innovations of California had been built upon a psychedelic foundation. She set out to prove this story false.
She went to Siggraph, the largest gathering of computer graphic professionals in the world, where annually somewhere in the United States 30,000 who are vitally involved in the computer revolution gather. She thought she would set this heresy to rest by conducting a sample survey, beginning her interviews at the airport the minute she stepped off the plane. By the time she got back to her desk in San Francisco she'd talked to 180 important professionals of the computer graphic field, all of whom answered yes to the question, 'Do you take psychedelics, and is this important in your work?'"
---Ralph Abraham, in THE EVOLUTIONARY MIND---Trialogues at the Edge of the Unthinkable by Rupert Sheldrake, Terence McKenna, and Ralph Abraham, 1998.
("I just finished working on a ride for a Japanese amusement park which combines 3-D computer graphics, smell-o-vision and moving seats, and had to deal with a lot of computer people. It struck me that they are all acidheads, and major figures in one of our only growth industries."
The following is my comment on an image I constructed, "SELF-PORTRAIT MADE USING LSD AS PAINT":
"LSD is colorless until it starts to decompose. In this picture, the LSD on the surface of the paper has turned brown because it has been exposed to ultraviolet light and air. (Brilliant underground chemists invented a way to synthesize LSD that yielded a purer product than the pharmaceutical LSD scientists and others made so very many studies of before it was made illegal. The LSD I used to paint this picture was EXTREMELY pure. In crystalline form, when it was vigorously shaken in a glass bottle in a dark room, the crystals struck one another and emitted an eerie blue glowing light. When the crystals were crushed with a glass rod in a dark room, bright blue sparks could be observed...)
At the time I made this painting, the 'carrier weight' law was in effect. Under that law, the DEA weighed the blotter paper into which the LSD was soaked, and then calculated the criminal charge as if the paper into which the LSD was soaked was pure LSD in crystalline form. If I had been caught with this painting, and convicted of possessing it, I would have faced a mandatory prison sentence of at least 20 years. It is quite possible that I would have been sentenced to 'life in prison with no possibility of parole'...
Some art critics have written that the significance and importance of a work of 'ART' today is often seen as being directly proportional to the amount of risk taken by the artist.
This self-portrait painted with liquid LSD on paper is not only an image. It was, and is, a political statement."
("Art ought to be a troublesome thing..."
("The knowledge that the paper is dosed cannot but affect how one looks at the picture. Even odder, however, is that the picture has a way of influencing one's notion of the acid. So mighty is the power of suggestion here that it seems to signify some secret knowledge or expectation of the trip, as if the ink could predict, direct, or code one's experience."
("It's when you're outside your comfort zone that you're really creative."
---Sanjit Sethi, director of the Center for Art and Public Life, and an assistant professor at the California College of the Arts [in Oakland, California], quoted by Emily Wilson, the Berkeley Monthly, September 2011.)
("To create dangerously is to create fearlessly..."
---Edwidge Danticat, quoted by Melissa Phipps in Barnard Magazine, Winter 2012.)
(I have been very seriously opposed to "recreational" drug use my entire life. For the last 48 years I have been steadfast in my belief that people who get "high" just because they are bored or want to entertain themselves are quite often making an extremely serious mistake.
I also think locking people up in prison for using or possessing small amounts of mind-active substances of any kind is very, very frequently an utterly irresponsible and immoral thing to do!
I think it is IMPORTANT to make a distinction between drugs and "dope". Drug use can sometimes be a good thing, especially if the drug is an accurately measured dose of medicine that a well-educated and competent doctor has recommended that a patient use in a particular way. [I am NOT saying that all the drugs sold by American pharmacies are what they are said to be. Many billions of dollars worth of counterfeit drugs are clandestinely manufactured and distributed each year.] Using "dope" [a substance that is alleged to be or alleged to contain some drug or mixture of drugs] is always risky, because the user NEVER knows for certain what they are getting or how much of it they are getting, unless they have had the "dope" analyzed by a federally-certified laboratory.)
(I think that if a person means no harm and is causing no harm, then any law prohibiting their harmless activity should not be enforced!
[To which police officers typically reply:
"Perhaps people should not be arrested for engaging in harmless activity. But it is not my job to make that decision. I am not a prosecutor or a judge. My job is to enforce the law. An important part of our legal system is the principle that justice should be blind."]
The American Bar Association instructs its members that the duty of an attorney engaged in public prosecution is not necessarily to obtain a conviction. The duty of an attorney engaged in public prosecution is to see that justice is done.)
("Mainstream society simply has no concept how 'normalized' drug selling has become on inner-city streets."
---Philippe Bourgois, in his book IN SEARCH OF RESPECT--Selling Crack in El Barrio.)
("For the first time, the General Social Survey--a large, national survey conducted every two years and widely considered to represent the gold standard for public opinion research--shows a majority of Americans favoring the legalization of marijuana."
---Christopher Ingraham, the Washington Post, 3.4. 2015.)
(During the course of my career in non-profit quality control, I smoked marijuana every day for 29 of the past 42 years. Marijuana can be a good medicine, and I found that it often inspired me.
My favorite imported kinds of marijuana were Punta Roja Colombian, "Thai sticks", and Mexican from Oaxaca.
I also enjoyed some of the hashish that came from Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Nepal. The hashoil I smoked that came from Morocco greatly lifted my spirits and provided unique insight. "Bubble Hash" made in Berkeley gave me colorful visions.
I even quaffed Hi-Brew Beer [early 1980s marijuana/alcohol beverage].
[In the 1970s I trimmed MANY pounds of marijuana. One of my associates, a taxi driver who claimed that he had “rolled so many joints I don’t have any fingerprints left” was so impressed that he borrowed my scissors and had them plated with gold.]
Surfing on a toke--and when the bowl of the pipe looks like the Grand Canyon, I know I've almost had enough...
[Willie Nelson won 10 Grammy awards, and has appeared in 37 movies and TV shows. More than 40 million copies of his more than 100 albums have been sold. He has smoked marijuana for MANY years. Nelson is an outspoken advocate for the drug and has been arrested several times for possession of marijuana. He was arrested in 2006 for possessing marijuana and hallucinogenic mushrooms. His latest song is titled "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die".
---from an Associated Press news report, 4.21. 2012.]
["He said 'drugs make you too pleased with everything.'"
---Sarah Seiter, associate curator of Natural Sciences at the Oakland Museum of California, quoting David Hockney on the connection between drugs and creativity. Seiter was quoted by Paul Kilduff in an interview about a current show, "Altered State: Marijuana in California". The East Bay Monthly, July 2016 issue.
I think I somewhat understand what Hockney said, and I think there is truth in his statement. I also think that I often find great value and much joy in seeing beauty in both the wheat AND the chaff!]
Here is a list of some of the kinds of cannabis I have smoked that were obtained from "medical marijuana" stores in the San Francisco bay area. [From labels I saved.]
Nor Kali Black Spice
Organic Main Wreck
Organic Super Silver Haze
Sun Grown Purple OG
Dirty Little Pig
Sun Grown Chocolope
Organic Purple Haze
Nor Kali Kaui Kola
Nor Kali Buddha's Haze
Old Grand Huck
Organic Rom Thai
World Wide Widow
Outdoor Organic Humboldt
Outdoor Train Crossing
Lemon Skunk x Royal Orange
Organic Hawaiian Snow
Purple Kush Domina
Organic Ultra Skunk
Sage 'n' Sour
Outdoor Organic Kam
Pot O' Gold
Organic Purple Way
Outdoor Organic Bonkers
Outdoor Organic Goo
Organic Sticky Nurple
Outdoor Organic Trainwreck x White Widow
Organic Purple Ice
Outdoor Organic Purple Mendo
William's Wonder x Northern Lights
Organic Lamb's Bread
Organic Rom Cross
Sunshine Grown Green Dragon
Organic Time Warp
Organic Mantanuska Mist
Purple Peak 19
Organic Cindy 99
Outdoor Organic Hash Plant
Mr. Nice (G 13 x Hash Plant)
Girl Scout Cookies
Outdoor Organic Madness
Outdoor Organic Blue Dot
Outdoor Organic Pure Rezin
Old Mother Sativa
Master Yoda Kush
Also Known As
Northern Lights x Big Bud
All Star Organic Oaktown Wreck
Taffie (This medical cannabis strain is sold in cork-lined light-proof well-labeled tins, each containing 5 joints. The tins come sealed in a bag that contains a Boveda 2-way humidity control packet. This product is distributed by Humboldt Legends, and is labeled Steelhead Sativa. Organically grown in sunlight and harvested by hand. The label has the name [and a copy of the handwritten signature] of the person who grew the marijuana [Scott Davies]. Also the batch number and the percentages of THC [19.5%] and CBD [0.0%]. The label on the back of the tin states that the group of cultivators who call themselves "Humboldt Legends" have been growing marijuana for "forty years". A warning note states that marijuana is a “Schedule 1 controlled substance”. And that “Smoking this product will expose you and those in your immediate vicinity to marijuana smoke...known to the State of California to cause cancer.” “Keep out of reach of children and animals.” "This product may impair the ability to drive or operate machinery." Obtained in the San Francisco bay area, 2017. [After I smoked some of this marijuana in a dark room, I closed my eyes and saw beautiful hallucinations that were extremely complex, with uniquely vivid colors. When I opened my eyes I had a VERY strong urge to write poetry.])
"Top Shelf Rainbow Diesel Minis [Sativa]" [small joints]
"Top Shelf Hell OG Minis [Indica]" [small joints]
"Pacific Remedy Shatter joint, hand rolled in California" "Blue Russian flower, Kosher Kush, BHO Snake" "Indica-dominant" (2017)
Trix Bubble [concentrate]
"Shiva Crystals" [hashish]
Cali Gold H20 [extracted cannabis resin]
"Emerald Dream" ["Single Origin"] [Trinity County, CA] [58% THC] cannabis oil extracted with CO2 [cartridge for use with "Highlighter" vapor pen]
[A few times I have gone for months without smoking marijuana, and then smoked a potent joint. On more than one such occasion I have experienced fearful disorientation, acute paranoia, and horrible physical distress including nausea and a sudden loss of consciousness. CAUTION IS ESSENTIAL!]
I have eaten a variety of cannabis preparations sold at "medical marijuana" stores in Berkeley, including:
"Butter Brothers" brand Brownies, Phat Mints, Blackberry Streusel, Ginger Snaps, Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Peanut Butter Cookies.
"Pura Vida" brand Ocean Spray, Happy Trails, Chocolate Jubilee, and Chocolate Chip Protein Bar.
"Ganja Candy" brand Caramel, Blackberry, and Dr. Pepper.
"Tainted" brand Thin Mints
"420 Grand" candy
HealTHCare "Private Reserve OG" [cannabis tincture in vegetable glycerin base]
"Double-Strength Medi Pills" [cannabis oil capsules]
"Shiva Candy" [hashish candy]
"Auntie Dolore's Medical Cannabis Glazed Pecans"
"Rhino Pellet" [tiny cookie]
"Potlava" [vegan cannabis baklava]
"Orange Zest Awakening Mints" [sublingual 10 milligram THC tablets]
"Breez" brand mints [sublingual 5 milligram THC tablets]
"Kiva" brand Blackberry Dark Chocolate [cannabis oil candy]
"Black Cherry Gummi" [cannabis oil candy]
"Original PLUS Super Potent Hybrid Cannabis-Infused Gummies" ["20 milligrams THC"]
"PureCure Sativa Strips" [preparation for oral use] [from the label: "EXTREMELY STRONG!"]
"Dr. Norm's Extra Strength medical cannabis cookie" "Chocolate Chip Therapy" 25 milligrams THC, "hybrid".
"Full Extract Cannabis Oil" [Indica-dominant strain, for oral use. Full-plant extracted with ethyl alcohol. Dated 12.1. 2015 and provided in a 3 milliliter oral syringe marked for 0.1 milliliter doses. "THC 37.05%"]
Stokes brand "Mint Micros" [Sativa-strain] [small tablets containing cannabis extract]
OMedibles brand "Tree Hugger Medical Cannabis Cinnamon Maple" [high CBD extract mixed with nuts and spices]
Utopia Farms brand "Medical Cannabis Raspberry Macaroons"
"Evil Aunt Emily's Seriously Psychotic Suckers" [cannabis oil candy])
"Sprig" brand citrus soda containing 45 milligrams THC per can. Made in California. 2017.
"Petra" brand "Moroccan mint"-flavored medical cannabis tablets, each containing 2.5 milligrams THC plus matcha tea. Produced in 2017 by Kiva, a not-for-profit collective. Lab tested by CW Analytical. "A micro-dosed blend." Packaged in tins containing 42 tablets.
[It is not uncommon for people to have EXTREMELY negative experiences after they have eaten too much of a product containing cannabis. CAUTION IS ESSENTIAL!]
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT SALES OF SO-CALLED "MEDICAL MARIJUANA" AT STORES IN BERKELEY:
I have seen marijuana contaminated by toxic insecticides that was purchased from (city-approved) so-called "medical marijuana" stores in Berkeley. I have seen marijuana contaminated with other toxic chemicals that was purchased from so-called "medical marijuana" stores in Berkeley. I have seen marijuana contaminated with toxic mold that was purchased at so-called "medical marijuana" stores in Berkeley. As of this writing, there are no enforced standards that designate who may or may not be so-called "medical marijuana" grower-sellers in the city of Berkeley. These for-profit privately-owned stores charge an obscenely high price for their questionable products. THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT MARIJUANA CAN BE ONE OF THE VERY BEST MEDICINES IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!! (Depending upon the type and dose of marijuana, the route of administration, and the set and setting in which it is used.) BUT BEWARE: Greedy and/or stupid capitalists selling untested products grown by greedy and/or stupid amateurs ARE NOT BEHAVING IN A RESPONSIBLE MANNER!
("...marijuana is not legal."
---Ed Rosenthal, interviewed by Paul Kilduff, The Monthly, December 2014.)
("Indeed, positive hits for pathogenic mold are already changing grower operations. 'You smoke ten random samples of cannabis and you've most likely smoked aspergillus [mold],' said Dave, one of the lab's two founders. 'It's in there, often at unacceptable levels. Now it's up to the industry to respond. We also are not in a position where we want to make enemies and piss people off. We want to see it happen in the best way for the movement and the industry to kind of just naturally evolve.'
While the distributed nature of California's cannabis supply network obviously benefits mom-and-pop growers, it doesn't encourage quality assurance. Consequently, Dave and his peers believe that some pot consumers are in danger.
'It's expensive to test every single thing that comes through the door — that's the price you pay with a decentralized supply system,' Dave said. 'But that's what you've got. You've got five pounds coming from here and two from there and one individual. I mean, a dog walks in the grow room, and wags its tail — anything can be coming off that dog's tail. It's gross. Fertilizers with E. coli. Compost teas that they don't make right, anaerobic tea that has elevated levels of E. coli and salmonella...There's no way that this is sustainable. All it takes is one story of immune-compromised people dying from aspergillus infection. The myth that cannabis hasn't killed a single person in 3,000 years is allowed to go on. Well, it's not cannabis that kills people, it's all the shit that's in it.'
[From "The Manhattan Project of Marijuana", David Downs, the East Bay Express, 3.4. 2009.])
(Steep Hill Lab says eighty-five percent of the medical marijuana samples it tests "show traces of mold".
---Peter Hecht, "Pot Lab Fills Need for Oversight", the Sacramento Bee, 4.6. 2010. The owners of Steep Hill Lab in Oakland California [which is NOT a federally-certified laboratory] are extremely in favor of medical marijuana...)
("We find e.coli in hash. We're seeing pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacteria that's found in filth."
---Robert Martin, of the Association of California Cannabis Labs. Martin was quoted by David Downs in the East Bay Express, 4.11. 2012.)
("It's a nasty little secret in the medical marijuana world that many growers spray their plants liberally with pesticides..."
---Robert Gammon, the East Bay Express, 7.28. 2010.)
("...the true danger in untested cannabis comes from the potential pathogens--pseudomonas, aspergillis, and E. coli are routinely found by our laboratory [CW Analytical]."
---David Egerton, in a letter to the editor of the East Bay Express, 7.18. 2012.)
("...Anresco Laboratories conducted tests on all of the cannabis featured at the HempCon Festival held in San Francisco in August 2017. The San Francisco-based laboratory discovered that 80 percent of the cannabis at the festival was contaminated with unhealthy levels of solvents, pesticides, molds, fungus, or various bacteria."
---John Geluardi, East Bay Express, 9.20. 2017.)
(Over the decades, I have seen MANY careless and ignorant people with hands contaminated by perfume, cologne, cosmetics, grease, oils [and a number of other toxic substances] use their fingers to prepare marijuana for smoking. I am dismayed by the amount of marijuana I have had to throw away because of toxic substances that stupid people have allowed their marijuana to come into contact with!)
("Mycobutanil...was found in a product recently recalled by Mettrum Ltd., a Toronto-based medical marijuana company."
Mycobutanil, used to control mildew, is said to emit hydrogen cyanide gas when heated.
"The Mettrum discovery was made recently, when a random screening of the company's products by Health Canada turned up the unauthorized use of pyrethrin, a pesticide...that is also not approved for medical cannabis..."
---Grant Robertson, The Globe and Mail, 3.10. 2017.)
("While I am grateful for access to the pot clubs...I am at a bit of a loss to understand why, given the virtual absence of risk in producing and distributing pot, it is still so expensive."
"What we have...are facilities charging the high end of street prices to people who are already ostensibly facing hardship."
["An ounce for $300 to $400..."]
"...besides basic capitalist greed, why does it still cost so much? Most of the truly disabled and terminally ill are on a fixed income, rendering the cost of pot not at all that compassionate."
--- Quotes from a letter written by Steve Stevens to the editor of the San Francisco Weekly, 1.20. 2010.)
("According to Rand Corporation estimates...legalized...high-grade pot would cost just $20 per pound to produce. And low-grade weed would cost only $5 per pound."
---David Downs, East Bay Express, 10.9. 2013.)
(Since May 2011, four marijuana stores in Richmond, California [near Berkeley and Oakland] "...have paid $486,390 in police fees."
"To some, the situation evokes...the protection racket."
---David Downs, East Bay Express, 8.28. 2013)
(Daniel Rush, the former chair of Berkeley's Medical Cannabis Commission, was charged with 15 criminal counts, including extortion, fraud, and money-laundering. He later pleaded guilty to three felony counts.
["...federal authorities charged him for offering special treatment to one of the applicants for Berkeley's fourth dispensary spot."
---Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside.com, 6.23. 2017.])
("I've never met so many greedy slugs in my whole life."
---Michelle LaMay, chairwoman of the Teapot Party in Colorado, describing having to deal with the more than 3,000 people who have contacted her because they want to start their own cannabis business. [Willie Nelson was arrested in Texas for possessing marijuana on November 26, 2010. Following his arrest, Nelson founded the Teapot Party.] The quote is from an article by Eric Spitznagel, Bloomberg Businessweek, that was published in the San Francisco Chronicle, 11.20. 2011)
("We did $20 million in sales last year."
---Steve DeAngelo, executive director of Harborside Health Collective, a marijuana store in Oakland. DeAngelo was quoted by Kathleen Pender in an article, "Push to Protect Banks on Legal Pot Business". The San Francisco Chronicle, 5.25. 2010.)
("California's medical marijuana dispensaries now generate as much as $1.3 billion in sales and $105 million in state sales taxes each year, according to new---and dramatically increased---state sales estimates by California's Board of Equalization."
"The Board of Equalization earlier this year estimated medical marijuana sales at only $98 million annually..."
--- the Sacramento Bee, 5.8. 2010.)
(The Berkeley Patients Group is "a dispensary with about 10,000 patients in the Bay Area". In 2007 the DEA "pounced on a Southern California offshoot of the Berkeley nonprofit for distributing a federally controlled substance. Agents seized nearly everything on-site as well as $100,000 in funds in a bank account."
"The Berkeley dispensary actually got the money back after the City of Berkeley stood up for it. The city stated in a 2008 resolution 'seizures of assets of medical marijuana dispensaries and collectives have blocked payments of taxes to the state of California and the City of Berkeley.' The city asked federal authorities to back off and they did."
"Berkeley Patients Group, along with two other Berkeley clubs, net about $18.5 million per year."
---David Downs, the East Bay Express, 9.15. 2010.)
("The city of Berkeley filed a legal claim Wednesday in a federal asset forfeiture case against the landlord of a medical marijuana dispensary here, saying it would lose tax money from pot sales if the dispensary is forced to close."
---Doug Oakley, West County Times, 7.4. 2013.)
("Oakland's lawsuit said the closure would damage the city, which expects to collect more than $1.4 million this year in business taxes from Harborside and three other city-licensed dispensaries."
---Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 10.14. 2012. Seeking to prevent the forced closure of Harborside Health Center, a "medical marijuana" dispensary, the City of Oakland filed a lawsuit against the federal government.)
Years ago there was a legitimate drug testing laboratory in California where a user could anonymously have a sample of their "dope" tested. Unfortunately, at one point such drug-testing laboratories were declared illegal by federal law enforcement officials and were forced to cease operation. As far as I can tell, the public does not have legal access to any federally-certified illegal-drug testing laboratory.
("This product was produced without regulatory oversight for health, safety or efficacy."
---quote from a blister-pack containing sixteen 10 milligram THC "Orange Zest"-flavored sublingual tablets that were made August 10, 2016 in Salinas, California for a company in Denver, Colorado. [The main isomer of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the principal psychoactive constituent of marijuana.])
Many of the anti-drug police say they believe that "harm reduction" strategies increase drug use and are thus unacceptable. Some anti-drug police believe that the world would be a better place if users of illegal drugs died...
("Casual drug users should be taken out and shot. Smoke a joint, lose your life."
---Darryl Gates, Head of Los Angeles Police Department, speaking to a United States Senate Judiciary Committee on September 5, 1990. [Gates said the above because he felt casual drug users were guilty of "treason", according to author Martin Torgoff, writing in his book CAN'T FIND MY WAY HOME--America in the Great Stoned Age, 1945-2000.] )
("In 1996, Newt Gingrich introduced a bill mandating the death penalty for bringing two ounces of marijuana into the country!"
[quote from a document published by Unitarian Universalists for Drug Policy Reform].)
("William Bennett, federal drug policy coordinator, said Thursday night he had no moral qualms about beheading convicted drug dealers.
'Morally, I don't have any problem with that at all,' Bennett said when asked on the CNN program 'Larry King Live' call-in television show..."
---Los Angeles Times, 6.16. 1989.)
("Quinlivan told the judges that nobody has the right to use marijuana..."
"Judge Harry Pregerson asked Quinlivan whether it was OK for Raich to die or succumb to 'unbearable suffering.'
'So go ahead and die. That would be all right?' he asked.
'Congress has made that value judgement,' Quinlivan replied."
---David Kravets, the Oakland Tribune, 3.28. 2006, in an article about a hearing before a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Angel McClary Raich is a very seriously ill patient that multiple doctors say must use marijuana as a medicine or she will likely die. Mark T. Quinlivan is an Assistant U. S. Attorney.)
("...good people don't smoke marijuana."
---Jeff Sessions, in a Senate hearing in April 2016. Sessions is now Attorney General of the United States. He is the chief law enforcement officer and the chief lawyer of the U.S. government. It is obvious that Sessions is very mentally ill, as is Donald Trump, who chose Sessions to be Attorney General.)
("I'm a firm believer that drugs are the root of all evil."
---Contra Costa County [California] deputy sheriff Andy VanZelf,
quoted 10.4. 2009 in the Conta Costa Times by columnist Tom Barnidge. "VanZelf [a police officer for 23 years] ...was born to the job--his mother, father, and brother were cops--but that's not why he stuck with it. 'Putting bad guys in jail is very satisfying,' he said.")
(“You can grow enough marihuana in a window-box to drive the whole population of the United States stark, staring, raving mad.”
---Winifred Black, an early Hearst anti-cannabis propagandist, in her 1929 book DOPE--THE STORY OF THE LIVING DEAD.)
("According to the FBI's annual Uniform Crime Report, in 2007 there were 872,721 arrests in the U.S. for marijuana violations."
---Adam Tschorn, the Los Angeles Times, 9.3. 2009.)
("It was downtown San Jose and another police officer had made a stop on three kids who were touring San Jose on a Saturday night. You know, driving around in circles like American Graffiti. And the officer pulled three kids out of the car and he didn't know but one kid panicked and tried to swallow a small bag of marijuana---and I pulled up just to watch and assist if needed and didn't realize what was going on either. And this kid died in front of us choking on a bag of marijuana. He didn't die because of marijuana, he died because he panicked over these stupid laws we have."
---former San Jose, California undercover narcotics detective Russ Jones, quoted by David Downs, the East Bay Express, 5.12. 2010. Russ Jones is a spokesman for the "Law Enforcement Against Prohibition" organization.)
("The general commanding Mexico's drug enforcement unit--hailed by U.S. drugs czar McCaffrey as 'an honest man and no-nonsense field commander'--was detained in 1997 for corruptly collaborating with Amado Carillo Fuentes."
---Kevin Williamson, in DRUGS AND THE PARTY LINE.)
(Because I am a disabled homeless person who has VERY little money, I cannot afford the fee that doctors charge to issue a recommendation that I be allowed to use "medical marijuana". I cannot afford the administrative fee charged for the issuance of a "medical marijuana" card. Even if I had the proper paperwork, I am too poor to be able to pay the high prices the local "medical marijuana" stores charge. I have never grown marijuana. Because I am homeless I have no place where I can grow marijuana.)
A very, very few of the MANY authorities who have been unmasked:
Norman Wielsch, the head of the Central Contra Costa Narcotics Enforcement Team (in Contra Costa County in the San Francisco Bay Area) and a 12-year veteran of the state Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, was arrested in February 2011 and charged with selling methamphetamine and marijuana.
Richard Wayne Parker, BNE, 649 lb. cocaine theft, Riverside, CA., (assisted by 2 CHP officers). 1997
Joshua Wendell Blackburn, CHP, 140 lb. cocaine theft, Santa Ana, CA. 2007
Cary Kent, BPD, evidence theft (286 envelopes opened) and possession of heroin and methamphetamine, Berkeley. 2006
Deborah Madden, San Francisco Police Department crime lab technician, convicted of stealing cocaine. Hundreds of cases were dismissed because of Madden's actions. She told police investigators she used the cocaine to try to control an alcoholism problem. 2013
("...chemist Annie Dookhan pleaded guilty in 2013 to tampering with evidence during her nine years working at a state crime lab." [in Massachusetts]
---Scott Malone, Reuters, 4.18. 2017
"Investigators said she admitted to intentionally contaminating some samples to turn them from negative samples into positive samples."
---Eric Levenson, CNN, "Nearly 20,000 drug convictions dismissed over chemist's misconduct", 4.18. 2017
Sonja Farak, another chemist at a Massachusetts crime lab, was arrested for tampering with evidence and stealing cocaine.)
(FBI agent Matthew Lowry became addicted to heroin. He was arrested on the street in Washington, D.C.
"The counternarcotics agent, according to court documents, was found to be 'incoherent'."
"His car, which had run out of gas, had traces of heroin seized in the drug arrests in which he had participated--along with some emptied evidence bags."
"His theft of drug evidence...forced authorities to free about 30 drug dealers because the evidence used in their arrests had been tampered with."
"Lowry pleaded guilty in late March to 64 counts, including obstruction of justice, falsification of records and possession of heroin."
---Chantal Valery, Yahoo News, 7.9. 2015.)
Guillermo "Memo" Robles, former BPD narcotics officer, drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter, Berkeley. 2007
Enrique Zambrano, a Berkeley waterfront commissioner, brutally beat and severely injured a university professor and his wife and then murdered and dismembered a fellow commissioner who would have testified against him. 1988
("In the summer of 2008, the Oakland Police Department's Internal Affairs Division discovered that more than half of all drug-related search warrants involving confidential informants had been falsified."
"In the end, the scandal cost the city millions of dollars."
"Of the 40 search warrants filed by Oakland police officer Karla Rush between March of 2007 and August 2008, 39 were fraudulent."
Rush lost her job with the Oakland Police Department and is now a University of California police officer in Berkeley.
---Joaquin Palomino, East Bay Express, 8.28. 2013.)
("A suicide note left by Oakland police Officer Brendan O'Brien in September 2015 implicated cops in having sex with a victim of sex trafficking who went by the name Celeste Guap. Eventually, OPD disciplined 12 officers, firing four of them. Prosecutors filed criminal charges against three officers and a retired sergeant."
---Scott Morris, The Monthly, August 2017.)
Gary Dale Baker, who was a member of the Sacramento California police force for more than 20 years, was sentenced to 62 years in prison for repeatedly raping a stroke-disabled woman in her 70s. 2015
Louis Lombardi, a San Ramon, CA. police officer, arrested in 2011 for selling drugs to confidential informants, and for stealing cash, drugs, and guns.
The Sheriff of San Francisco, Ross Mirkarimi, was arrested in 2012 for domestic violence battery, child endangerment, and dissuading a witness.
Before he became President, George W. Bush was arrested for driving while drunk on alcohol. He was convicted of the charge and paid a fine. Bush has publicly admitted drinking "too much", but stated that he stopped after his 40th birthday celebration. (His wife, Laura Bush, once failed to stop at a Stop sign and hit another car, killing a teenage boy.)
("Perhaps that cocaine caused me to exclaim
As I fell to the floor give me more give me more"
---Ray Benson, Chris O'Connell, and Peter Sheridan in the song they wrote "Am I High?", performed by the band Asleep at the Wheel. [Asleep at the Wheel performed at the 2001 George Bush Inaugural Ball. They were scheduled to play at the White House on September 11, 2001.])
Before he became Vice President, Dick Cheney was arrested twice for driving while drunk on alcohol. In a 2011 book that Cheney co-authored, he wrote that he did not like waking up in jail.
Michael William Meyrick, DEA, (supervising officer of the San Jose, CA. DEA office) 2 counts of prowling ("peeping tom") and one count of resisting arrest, San Jose. 1996
Clifford T. Shibata., DEA (a supervisor with 25 years of service) mail fraud, theft of $178,000 from the San Francisco DEA office undercover drug purchase fund, and false statements, San Francisco. 1997
Michael Sullivan, Coast Guard Pacific area chief of response who supervised the operation of 20 Coast Guard cutters and was the Coast Guard's liaison to the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, possession of cocaine and obstruction of justice, California. 2008
Kyle Foggo, CIA (former Executive Director of the CIA and the No. 3 position at the agency) fraud (27 additional charges including money laundering and conspiracy were dismissed in exchange for his guilty plea). 2008
David H. Petraeus was director of the CIA, a former four-star general in the U.S. Army, the former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan (2010-2011), and the former commander of the Multi-National Forces in Iraq (2007-2008). Petraeus, who is married and has two children, resigned from his CIA job after the FBI discovered that he had lied to his wife and was having sex with another woman.
("David H. Petraeus...has reached a plea deal with the Justice Department and admitted providing his highly classified journals to a mistress when he was the director of the C.I.A."
Federal prosecutors noted that Petraeus lied when he told the Federal Bureau of Investigation that he did not share classified information with his mistress.
"Mr. Petraeus has agreed to plead guilty to one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material...
He is eligible for up to one year in prison, but prosecutors will recommend a sentence of probation for two years and a $40,000 fine."
---Michael S. Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo, The New York Times, 3.3. 2015.)
Bernard Kerik, former New York City Police Commissioner (the top law enforcement post in New York) 8 felonies, including tax fraud and lying to the White House when he was a candidate for Director of Homeland Security, New York. 2007
Marion Barry, the mayor of Washington, D.C., was videotaped smoking crack cocaine in 1990. He was arrested by the FBI on drug charges, was convicted of possessing cocaine, and went to prison. In 1994, Barry was again elected mayor of the capital of the United States.
Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto, was forced to admit he used an illegal drug after a video was made that showed him smoking crack cocaine in 2013.
Narcotics Detective Jason Fredriksson, arrested in San Leandro, CA. in 2011 for giving more than a pound of marijuana to a confidential informant. (The informant was a woman who was engaged in an extramarital affair with Fredriksson.)
John Fredriksson, a former Alameda County District Attorney's office Inspector who worked in the prosecutor's office for more than 20 years, arrested in Walnut Creek, CA. in 2011 and charged with 8 counts of sexually molesting a child under the age of 14. (John Fredriksson is the father of Jason Fredriksson.)
John Cunningham, former Richmond, CA. police officer, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for sexually abusing and beating his son, Richmond, CA. 2003
Michael Gressett, former Contra Costa County, CA. Deputy District Attorney (who was a sex crimes prosecutor), arrested for rape, Martinez, CA. 2008
Mark Peterson, the District Attorney of Contra Costa County, was charged with 13 felonies in 2017.
Former Santa Cruz County District Attorney Peter Chang was charged with felony witness tampering in 1999.
Rene De La Cova, DEA, convicted of stealing $700,000, Miami, Florida. 1994 (De La Cova was the DEA supervisor who arrested Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega in 1990)
("Two former federal agents have been charged with wire fraud, money laundering and related offenses for stealing digital currency during their investigation of Silk Road, an underground black market that allowed users to conduct illegal transactions over the internet."
[Silk Road was the world's largest online illegal drug marketplace.]
"Carl M. Force, 46, of Baltimore, was a Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration [DEA], and Shaun W. Bridges, 32, of Laurel, Maryland, was a Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service..."
"Force served as an undercover agent and was tasked with establishing communications with a target of the investigation, Ross Ulbricht..."
"Force...sold information about the government's investigation to the target of the investigation..."
"Force...engaged in a broad range of illegal activities calculated to bring him personal financial gain."
"Bridges...diverted to his personal account over $800,000 in digital currency that he gained control of during the Silk Road investigation."
---from a U.S. Department of Justice press release, 3.30. 2015.)
(“In February 2017, then-Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel accused ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] of using gang raids as a cover to enlist Santa Cruz police officers in immigration enforcement and said his agency would no longer collaborate with ICE. ‘We can’t cooperate with a law enforcement agency we cannot trust,’ Vogel said at the time."
---Darwin BondGraham and Ali Winston, the East Bay Express, 10.11. 2017.)
Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, highly decorated New York City Police detectives who became mafia hit-men, arrested in 2005 for committing 8 murders.
Aldrich Ames, a highly-trusted longtime CIA officer, arrested and convicted in 1994 after many years of spying for the Soviets.
Robert Philip Hansson, a highly-trusted longtime FBI agent, arrested and convicted in 2001 of spying for the Soviets over a period of 22 years.
Daniel James White, ex-police officer, ex-San Francisco Supervisor, and Vietnam war veteran, who murdered San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978. White served 5 years in prison for the murders and committed suicide after he was released from prison.
Gerrit Van Raam was a Field Supervisor of the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, Northern California. Van Raam later murdered 2 people and committed suicide. (A photo of Van Raam was on the cover of ROLLING STONE magazine, February 17, 1972. [It accompanied Joe Eszterhas' NARK, A TALE OF TERROR.])
Former "National Sheriff of the Year" Patrick Sullivan was arrested in Colorado for possessing methamphetamine and offering to sell methamphetamine if his customers had sex with him. 2011
("Van Buren, Missouri--Tommy Adams, county sheriff for a little more than two years, was arrested earlier this month after giving meth to an informant at his cabin on a remote and hilly gravel road, according to a court document. He also allegedly snorted the drug himself with a straw."
"Missouri has reported more than 13,000 meth lab incidents in the past seven years."
"Lloyd Parsons, 37, a member of the Van Buren Fire Department, never figured Adams for one of the bad guys. He described Adams, the married father of an infant son, as professional and knowledgeable. 'I've worked several accidents with the guy and he knew his stuff, even the medical part,' Parsons said."
---Jim Salter, Associated Press, 4.19. 2011.)
Webster Hubbell, Associate Attorney General of the United States, pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion and was sentenced to 21 months in prison. 1995
Arnold Schwarzenegger, the wealthy actor who served as governor of California, has four children by his wife. She left him when she discovered that he had cheated on her and fathered a child with a household employee. 2012
Republican Dennis Hastert, the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, was the third most powerful public official in the U.S. in 2007. Hastert, a former high school wrestling coach, and said to be a homosexual pedophile, was arrested in 2015 and charged with lying to the FBI about the $1.7 million in hush money payments he made to one of his victims.
Robert Bernard Anderson, United States Secretary of the Treasury, pleaded guilty to tax evasion. 1987
Caspar Weinberger, United States Secretary of Defense, indicted in the Iran/Contra scandal. 1986
Henry Cisneros, United States Secretary of Housing, pleaded guilty to a charge of lying to the FBI. 1999
John Fife Symington, governor of Arizona, convicted of fraud, 1997
James Guy Tucker, governor of Arkansas, convicted of fraud conspiracy, 1996
Edwin Edwards, governor of Louisiana, convicted of extortion, 2000
John G. Rowland, governor of Connecticut, convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and tax fraud. 2004
Don Siegelman, governor of Alabama, convicted of bribery, mail fraud and obstruction of justice. 2006
Harold Guy Hunt, governor of Alabama and a Baptist minister, was convicted of a felony for violating a state ethics law and removed from office. 1993
Alabama governor Robert Bentley, a doctor and a staunch family-values conservative republican who was a former Baptist deacon, pleaded guilty to 2 campaign violations and resigned amid a sex scandal. 2017
Rod Blagojevich, governor of Illinois, arrested for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and influence-peddling. 2008
Eliot Spitzer, governor of New York, resigned after he admitted paying to have sex with a prostitute ("I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family and violates my, or any, sense of right and wrong," Spitzer said at a news conference.) 2008
Jim Traficant, U.S. Congressman from Ohio, convicted on 10 counts of financial corruption and sentenced to 8 years in prison. 2002
Walter R. Tucker III, U.S. Congressman from California, convicted on charges of extortion and income tax fraud and sentenced to 27 months in prison, 1996
Dan Rostenkowski, U.S. Congressman from Illinois, convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to 18 months in prison, 1995
Joe Kolter, U.S. Congressman from Pennsylvania, convicted of conspiracy to commit embezzlement and sentenced to 6 months in prison, 1995
Tom DeLay, former U.S. House Majority Leader, was convicted of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering and sentenced to three years in prison. 2011
Bill Clinton: After lying about his sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky, President Bill Clinton was held in civil contempt of court by Judge Susan D. Webber Wright. His license to practice law was suspended in Arkansas for five years and later by the United States Supreme Court. He was also fined $90,000 for giving false testimony. (Lewinsky testified that Clinton inserted a tobacco cigar into her vagina...) 1998
("Recently, the portrait artist Nelson Shanks [past subjects: Princess Diana, Pope John Paul II] divulged that his portrait of Bill Clinton, currently hanging in the National Portrait Gallery, contains a hidden image: a shadow across the Oval Office mantel was painted in the shape of Monica Lewinsky's blue dress."
---Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 4.6. 2015. Lewinsky's famous dress was stained with Bill Clinton's semen. Shanks said Clinton was "...probably the most famous liar of all time...")
(Democrat Anthony Weiner, a former U.S. congressman from New York [who resigned in 2011 after it was shown that he sent obscene photos of himself to a woman] pleaded guilty in 2017 to a charge of sending an obscene image to a minor, and was sentenced to 21 months in prison. Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin [a long-time aide to Hillary Clinton, who served as vice chair of Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign] filed for divorce after Weiner pleaded guilty.)
Colonel David Russell Williams, a 23 year military veteran and the commander of Canada's largest Air Force base, was convicted of murdering 2 women and and raping 2 others. Williams also broke into at least 48 houses, frequently stealing the underwear of young girls, which he then photographed himself wearing. Williams is a decorated military pilot who flew VIP airplanes carrying the Queen of England and the Prime Minister of Canada. 2010
U.S. brigadier general Jeffrey A. Sinclair, who served five combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was charged with a number of crimes, including adultery, forcible sodomy, possession of pornography and alcohol while deployed, and filing fraudulent claims. 2012
("Army Maj. General David Haight, Army Ranger, decorated combat veteran and family man, held a key post in Europe this spring...He also led a double life: an 11 years affair and a 'swinger lifestyle' of swapping sexual partners that put him at risk of blackmail and espionage..."
"Haight was investigated by the Army inspector general, who issued a report in April, and fired him in May from his job running operations and plans at U.S. European Command..."
---Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY, 8.25. 2016.)
("The former chairman of Montgomery County's Republican Party was charged Tuesday drugging a female employee of his Lansdale, Pennsylvania law firm and raping her while she was unconscious.
Robert J. Kerns, 66, surrendered to county detectives Tuesday morning and was expected to be released after posting a portion of the $1 million bail. He faces 19 counts, including rape, sexual assault, tampering with evidence, and lying to authorities.
The charges followed weeks of investigation and represented a spectacular downfall for a power broker who led the county GOP for five years.
Less than a month ago, Kerns shared the spotlight at a party with Gov. Corbett. On Tuesday, he was escorted in handcuffs from court after a county grand jury portrayed him as a 'manipulative and predatory' rapist." 2013)
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, the officer in charge of sexual assault prevention programs for the U.S. Air Force was arrested and charged with sexual battery. The police said Krusinski was in a parking lot when he approached and attacked a woman that he had never before met. 2013
("Like a lot of people of his generation, he experimented in his younger days. Those days have long passed and the experiment has long been over."
---Tom Dresslar, spokesman for California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, in response to a question asking if Lockyer had ever used illegal drugs. Lockyer is a former Attorney General of California.
[From a newspaper article by Julia Prodis Sulek and Josh Richman, West County Times (Contra Costa County, California) 4.13. 2012. The article was about an email message that the press received from the account of Bill Lockyer's wife, Nadia, that stated that "Bill bought and gave me drugs..." Nadia Lockyer was an Alameda County Supervisor at the time the message was sent, and had just been in rehab for substance abuse.
Nadia, who is the the mother of a young child, has admitted that she was cheating on her husband with a boyfriend who is a methamphetamine addict.])
(Judge James Ware is the Chief Federal Judge in the Northern District of California, which includes San Francisco. He is also a liar.
"On June 27, 1997, President Bill Clinton nominated Ware to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, to replace J. Clifford Wallace, who had taken senior status. Ware had a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in October 1997. However, Ware's nomination unraveled amid an embarrassing scandal that ultimately resulted in a judicial reprimand, and Clinton withdrew his nomination of Ware on November 27, 1997. In 1998, Judge Ware was reprimanded by the Judicial Council of the Northern District Court of California for fabricating the story of being the brother of Virgil Ware, a 13 year old black boy shot by teenage racists in Alabama in 1963 on the same day as the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. According to a story Judge Ware had told MANY audiences, he was riding his bike with his brother Virgil on the handlebars when Virgil was shot and killed by white racists. The incident was a real one, however it happened to a different James Ware, as was discovered when Judge Ware's claim was published in the Alabama papers after he was nominated to the Ninth Circuit by President Bill Clinton. The father of the long-ago slain boy contacted the Alabama courts to report that the California judge was impersonating his own son James Ware who was an employee in a Birmingham power plant. The Alabama courts contacted the California courts, who convened the ethics hearing. Judge Ware was reprimanded but allowed to retain his lifetime appointment as district judge.")
(“By his account, he had been awarded a Purple Heart in Vietnam. He’d participated in covert operations for the Central Intelligence Agency. He boasted of an impressive educational background as well--an undergraduate degree in physics and a master’s degree in psychology. None of it was true.”
---Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, National Geographic, June 2017, describing Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Patrick Couwenberg, who was removed from the bench in 2001.)
(“I don’t know anybody who didn’t lie on his resume.”
---Willie Brown, mayor of San Francisco, quoted by Larry Hatfield, San Francisco Examiner, 1.19. 1996. [Brown’s campaign manager, Jack Davis, had accused police chief Fred Lau of lying about having a bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University.])
("A longtime federal judge was arrested in Atlanta, Georgia and charged with using cocaine and marijuana with a stripper while he met to pay her for sex. An FBI agent said U.S. District Senior Judge Jack T. Camp, 67, possessed and used cocaine, marijuana and Roxycodone with the exotic dancer, aided and abetted her possession of the drugs knowing she is a drug felon, and possessed guns while using controlled substances. Camp was appointed to the Federal bench by President Reagan in 1988."
---News report, 10.5. 2010.)
(Alameda County, California Judge Daniel Paul Seeman was arrested in June 2012 and charged with elder abuse and perjury. Seeman is a former Drug Court judge.
"...police and prosecutors, through court records, told a story of a man who cunningly and systematically waged a 12-year campaign to take all of Anne Nutting's money."
---Paul T. Rosynsky, the Oakland Tribune, 6.15. 2012.)
(A news item in the San Francisco Chronicle, June 1975, noted the theft, from the police evidence office, of the $70 million worth of drugs that had been seized in the famous "French Connection" case...)
("...we humans live in an utterly frightening, insane world where our leaders, even if they are sane, must pretend to be insane in order to be electable, presumably to reflect the sentiments of the voters."
---from a letter someone sent to the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, 7.13. 2004.)
("...the whole world is upside-down."
Greg Suhr, Deputy Police Chief, San Francisco, quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle after he was indicted for Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice in 2003.)
("I believed in order and conformity and the need for everyone to abide by social norms."
---former New York City police commissioner and former Los Angeles police chief William Bratton, describing why he was so offended in the late 1960's by artists, poets, marijuana smokers, and LSD users. The quote is from his 1998 book TURNAROUND: How America's Top Cop Reversed the Crime Epidemic.)
(Information about how banks launder money for the drug cartels:
("Anti-narcotics agents working for the US government have laundered or smuggled millions of dollars in drug proceeds to see how the system works and use the information against Mexican drug cartels..."
"As it launders drug money, the Drug Enforcement Administration often allows cartels to continue their operations over months or even years before making seizures or arrests..."
---Yahoo news, 12.4. 2011, about a report that was published in The New York Times 12.3. 2011.)
("...if you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the government is to protect the drug cartel."
---Milton Friedman, in a 1991 interview on "America's Drug Forum," a national public affairs talk show that appears on public television stations. From 1977 on, Friedman was a Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford , and was considered the leader of the Chicago School of monetary economics. Professor Friedman won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science in 1976, and was also the recipient of the National Medal of Science and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the U.S. government in 1988.)
(Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano served only 5 years in prison for his involvement in 19 murders [because he became a government witness]. He testified in 1992 against his former mafia boss John J. Gotti. After leaving the witness protection program, Gravano started dealing the drug ecstasy, and was arrested for running what the authorities called the largest ecstasy ring to ever operate in Arizona. He pleaded guilty to the charges in 2001.)
The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), a Federal agency, conducts "buy/bust" operations, where its agents buy illicit drugs from a dealer and then immediately arrest the dealer. Sometimes the agents do a "sell/bust" operation where they sell drugs to a person and then immediately arrest the person. Occasionally the agents will conduct a "buy/let go" operation and at a later date arrest the dealer. What is not commonly known to the public, however, is that the DEA (and other law enforcement groups) also do "sell/let go" operations where, to establish the "credibility" of their undercover agents to a group of drug dealers, they sell a dealer drugs and do not attempt to arrest the dealer until some future date, frequently after the dealer has re-sold to the community the drugs the police provided him...
("As the U.S. Supreme Court said in Russell, supra:
'The illicit manufacture of drugs is not a sporadic, isolated criminal incident, but a continuing, though illegal, business enterprise. In order to obtain convictions for illegally manufacturing drugs, the gathering of evidence of past unlawful conduct frequently proves to be an all but impossible task. Thus in drug-related offenses law enforcement personnel have turned to one of the only practicable means of detection: the infiltration of drug rings and a limited participation in their unlawful present practices. Such infiltration is a recognized and permissible means of investigation; if that be so, then the supply of some item of value that the drug ring requires must, as a general rule, also be permissible. For an agent will not be taken into the confidence of the illegal entrepreneurs unless he has something of value to offer them. Law enforcement tactics such as this can hardly be said to violate "fundamental fairness" or be " shocking to the universal sense of justice" . . . .'"
[From Docket Number 79-1362
United States of America, Plaintiff-
Apellee, v. Peter Wylie, Defendent-
Apellant. United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Sheldon Perluss, Defendent-Appellant.
United States of America, Plaintiff-
Appellee, v. David Bachrach,
Defendent-Appellant., 625 F.2d
1371 (9th Cir. 1980)])
("Kenneth E. Melson, the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 'told congressional investigators that some Mexican drug cartel figures targeted by his agency in a gun-trafficking investigation were paid informants for the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration.'"
"The ATF 'allowed guns to be purchased in the United States in hopes they would be traced to cartel leaders. Under the gun-trafficking operation known as Fast and Furious, the ATF lost track of the guns, and many were found at the scenes of crimes in Mexico, as well as two that were recovered near Nogales, Arizona, where a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed.'"
"Representative Darrell Issa and Senator Charles Grassley told Attorney General Eric Holder that Melson told them he became 'sick to his stomach when he...learned the full story.'"
"Issa and Grassley said 'The evidence we have gathered raises the disturbing possibility that the Justice Department not only allowed criminals to smuggle weapons but that taxpayer dollars from other agencies may have financed those engaged in such activities.'"
---Richard A. Serrano, the San Francisco Chronicle, 7.7. 2011.)
("Just because something is in the public domain doesn't mean it's been officially released or declassified by the U.S. government."
---Jennifer Youngblood, a spokeswoman for the CIA, explaining why the CIA was demanding information that is already well-known to the public not be published in a recent book written by former FBI counterterrorism expert Ali Soufan. Youngblood was quoted in an 8.26. 2011 article in The New York Times, "C.I.A. Demands Cuts in Book About 9/11 and Terror Fight". The article, written by Scott Shane, mentions that the book details how the CIA withheld information from the FBI about two future 9/11 hijackers.)
("People think they're free in this country. Don't kid yourself. This is a police state. The government can pretty much do whatever it wants."
---Dr. Steven Hatfill, quoted by David Freed, The Atlantic, May 2010. Hatfill was harassed by the FBI because they very, very strongly suspected that he mailed anthrax to people. It turned out that the FBI was mistaken.)
("...a portrait of depravity that is hard to comprehend."
---The Editorial Board of The New York Times, describing "The Senate Report on the C.I.A.'s Torture and Lies." 12.9. 2014.
"...'at no time' did the C.I.A.'s torture program produce intelligence that averted a terrorism threat, the report said.")
("On March 8, 1971, burglars broke into an F.B.I. office in Media, Pennsylvania, and stole hundreds of the agency's files."
"The instigator of the break-in...was...a college physics professor."
Among the others participating was a professor of religion and his wife, a grad student studying child development...
"...they were part of the Quaker-and Catholic-influenced peace movement...which sustained the activities of the Berrigan brothers, among others. The burglars believed that the anti-war movement was being infiltrated by F.B.I. informants..."
The break-in led to the discovery and public disclosure of COINTELPRO:
"Since 1956...a highly secret program...spied on civil-rights leaders, suspected Communists, public critics of the F.B.I., student activists, and many others."
"The program sought to intimidate, smear, and blackmail them, to break up marriages, get people fired, demoralize them."
One of the first documents the burglars read instructed agents to "enhance the paranoia"...
---Margaret Talbot, in her review of the book THE BURGLARY by Betty Medsger. The New Yorker, 1.20. 2014.)
("...you can surveil someone through...microwaves that turn into cameras..."
"...that is just a fact of modern life."
---Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway, in a March 2017 interview published in a New Jersey newspaper, The Bergen Record. The Los Angeles Times, 3.23. 2017, reported that there is no evidence that any microwave or any microwave oven has ever been turned into a camera. [Conway, when caught telling lies, famously denied that the lies were lies. She said the lies were "alternative facts"...])
(Dr. Joe Walker, chairman of psychiatry for Alameda Health System in Oakland, California "...told KTVU there's been an explosive growth of patients at psychiatric hospitals around the Bay Area and across the country."
---from a 12.9. 2016 article by Simone Aponte.)
President Ronald Reagan drank a beverage that contained alcohol on February 9, 1983 at the Eire pub in Boston. (In September 1992, Bill Clinton also drank a beverage that contained alcohol at the Eire pub...)
("If I were just a private citizen---Joe Six-Pack---I would have mixed feelings about not getting a chance to disprove these allegations in court."
---President Bill Clinton, quoted in TIME.)
("...shouting in Joe Six-Pack's ear to wake up and face the unsimplistic facts of life.''
--The Boston Globe, 8.28. 1970.)
(A six-pack is a half-dozen bottles or cans of beer, packaged to be purchased as a unit. The word "six-pack" was coined in 1952.)
(San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan's chief investigator and longtime friend, former DEA official Dan Addario "...is expected to undergo alcohol rehab..."
--- Phillip Matier, SFGate.com, 11.3. 2003.)
("Eliot Ness was an American Prohibition agent, famous for his efforts to enforce Prohibition in Chicago, Illinois, and the leader of a legendary team of law enforcement agents nicknamed 'The Untouchables'."
When Ness died in 1957, he was an alcoholic and broke.)
(“I’m not crazy. I’m not fucking crazy. I’m not crazy.”
---Ruby Falcon, a drunk Chicago police officer, just before she committed suicide by shooting herself in the head. From an article in the Chicago Sun-Times by Matthew Hendrickson, John Seidel, and Sam Charles, 8.7. 2017.)
("I’m a reformed smoker; I think that surprises people. I quit, but then during the campaign, when you’re in a car driving through cornfields, occasionally I bum a cigarette or two. But I did all my drinking in high school and college. I was a wild man. I did drugs and drank and partied. But I got all my ya-yas out."
[from the book BARACK OBAMA IN HIS OWN WORDS by Barack Obama, edited by Lisa Rogak])
("U.S. President-elect Barack Obama failed to give a straight answer when asked on a U.S. talkshow on Sunday whether he had managed to quit smoking. In a country where cigarettes are responsible for one in five deaths and smoking costs tens of billions of dollars in health care, Obama has been under pressure to set an example by giving up his reported two-decade-old habit.
Appearing on NBC's 'Meet the Press' program, interviewer Tom Brokaw told Obama he had ducked answering the question during an interview last month with ABC's Barbara Walters. Noting that the White House was a no-smoking zone, Brokaw asked Obama, 'Have you stopped smoking?' 'I have,' Obama replied, smiling broadly. 'What I said was that there are times where I have fallen off the wagon.' 'Wait a minute,' Brokaw interjected, 'that means you haven't stopped.' 'Fair enough,' Obama said. 'What I would say is that I have done a terrific job under the circumstances of making myself much healthier. You will not see any violations of these rules in the White House.' Obama was often observed on the presidential campaign trail chewing Nicorette gum, which helps ease the craving for nicotine. He has tried several times to quit."
("...Obama downed the full pint in four slurps..."
"'He's the first president I've actually seen drink the black stuff like he's not ashamed of something' said Christy O'Sullivan, an Irish government clerical worker..."
"Michelle Obama...then got behind the bar herself to serve Moneygall's parish priest, the Rev. Joe Kennedy."
---Nancy Benac, AP, 5.23. 2011, in an article about Obama drinking ale at Ollie Hayes pub in Moneygall, Ireland.)
("Just to make sure I'm actually answering your question, am I willing to pursue a decriminalization strategy as an approach? No."
---Barack Obama, in answer to a question ["...when is the war on drugs in society going to be abandoned and be replaced by a more sophisticated and cost effective program of rehabilitation...?"] in a public meeting at the University of Maryland, 7.22. 2011.)
("Obama and his team frequently talk about the president's fondness for beer, and Obama has been photographed many times downing a beer..."
"White House Honey Brown Ale, believed to be the first beer brewed on the White House grounds..."
"White House press secretary Jay Carney announced the beer recipe on Twitter, linking to a blog post entitled 'Ale to the Chief' that included a video on the brewing process."
---quotes from an Associated Press item, San Francisco Chronicle, 9.2. 2012.)
("'Through his resurrection, Christ has conquered death and forgiven our sins so we can live forever...' said Mike Brown, spokesman for the Most Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, Bishop of Oakland."
---From a headline frontpage article by Theresa Harrington in the Contra Costa Times, 4.24. 2011. The article was accompanied by a color reproduction of a photograph of a man drinking from a sacramental wine goblet. According to Roman Catholic theology, the wine in such a goblet becomes blood after being blessed by a priest...)
(Bishop Cordileone was arrested for drunk driving in August 2012.)
("Kirsten Sandberg, the chairwoman of the United Nations panel, said at a news conference in Geneva that tens of thousands of children around the world had suffered abuse by priests. 'We think it is a horrible thing that is being kept silent both by the Holy See itself and in the different local parishes.'"
---Laurie Goodstein, Nick Cummings-Bruce, and Jim Yardley, in an article about a recent United Nations report about the Roman Catholic Church's sexual-abuse scandal. The New York Times, 2.5. 2014.)
(Married evangelical pastor Ted Haggard founded the New Life Church, with a congregation of more than 14,000 in Colorado. He was the leader of the National Association of Evangelicals. Although he crusaded against homosexuals, ABC news reported that for 3 years Haggard had paid a male prostitute for sex, and that Haggard also bought methamphetamine.)
("In an early 15th-century book from the Netherlands, Jesus is being crushed in a wine press, his cross used as a lever, with blood spurting from his body as the juice is from grapes in the making of communal wine."
"Through the ritual of the Mass conducted by a priest, consecrated bread and wine are believed to undergo a literal transformation--transubstantiation--into the living body of Jesus, which can then be absorbed through ingestion by worshippers."
---Holland Cotter, in a review of an art exhibit at the Morgan Library and Museum. The title of the exhibit: "Illuminating Faith: The Eucharist in Medieval Life and Art". The New York Times, 7.5. 2013.)
(Bishop Cordileone was arrested for drunk driving in August 2012.)
("Kirsten Sandberg, the chairwoman of the United Nations panel, said at a news conference in Geneva that tens of thousands of children around the world had suffered abuse by priests. 'We think it is a horrible thing that is being kept silent both by the Holy See itself and in the different local parishes.'"
---Laurie Goodstein, Nick Cummings-Bruce, and Jim Yardley, in an article about a recent United Nations report about the Roman Catholic Church's sexual-abuse scandal. The New York Times, 2.5. 2014.)
(Married evangelical pastor Ted Haggard founded the New Life Church, with a congregation of more than 14,000 in Colorado. He was the leader of the National Association of Evangelicals. Although he crusaded against homosexuals, ABC news reported that for 3 years Haggard had paid a male prostitute for sex, and that Haggard also bought methamphetamine.)
("In an early 15th-century book from the Netherlands, Jesus is being crushed in a wine press, his cross used as a lever, with blood spurting from his body as the juice is from grapes in the making of communal wine."
"Through the ritual of the Mass conducted by a priest, consecrated bread and wine are believed to undergo a literal transformation--transubstantiation--into the living body of Jesus, which can then be absorbed through ingestion by worshippers."
---Holland Cotter, in a review of an art exhibit at the Morgan Library and Museum. The title of the exhibit: "Illuminating Faith: The Eucharist in Medieval Life and Art". The New York Times, 7.5. 2013.)
("...God said to Abraham, 'Kill me a son'
Abe says, 'Man, you must be puttin' me on'"
---Bob Dylan, in his song "Highway 61 Revisited".)
("Ain't no homos gonna make it to heaven..."
---boy, 4 years old, singing in front of a church congregation in Indiana, 2012. The people in the church responded to the song by applauding and wildly cheering. [A radio host on KGO commented on a recording of the audience reaction to the boy singing: "It sounds like a crowd at a sports event."]
Around the same time, Rev. Charles Worley, a minister at Providence Road Baptist Church near Maiden, North Carolina, was reported to have called for homosexuals to be killed, citing a passage about homosexuals in the King James Version of the Bible:"...they shall surely be put to death..." [Leviticus 20:13]. The congregation at Worley's church was said to have given him a standing ovation...)
("...the word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."
---Albert Einstein, in a 1954 letter to philosopher Erik Gutkind.)
("There is no heaven or afterlife...; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."
---Theoretical physicist and best-selling author Stephen Hawking.)
("The great religions are sources of ceaseless and unnecessary suffering."
"Faith is the one thing that makes otherwise good people do bad things."
---Edward O. Wilson, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and former Harvard professor, in his book THE MEANING OF HUMAN EXISTENCE.)
("When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And then we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side."
---Bob Dylan, in his song "With God On Our Side", first performed in 1963. "...you never ask questions when God's on your side.")
("...what people who take LSD experience. To them, everything becomes brightly colored, and they cannot see clearly. They paint some bizarre paintings which no one can figure out, because they just recklessly splash on the colors. After they finish painting, some people say, 'Wow! What a masterpiece!' People actually praise them...This experience is caused by the demon king. When you take LSD, the demons are also at work, making you experience changes."
---from the [Chinese "Buddhist"] Gold Mountain Monastery Newsletter, San Francisco, 1999.)
("...took a sip of his wine and said, nodding at a canvas, 'That reminds me of the time I took seventeen hits of acid.'"
---negative comment about an abstract painting, made by someone who hates art, in Patrick Somerville's 2012 novel THIS BRIGHT RIVER.)
(John Boehner, former Speaker of the U.S. House, smokes cigarettes, "saying 'it's a bad habit'. He says a lot of people tell him to quit, but 'I am who I am.'"
---Yahoo News, 1.7. 2011.)
("Facts are stupid things."
---Ronald Reagan, at the Republican National Convention, 1988.)
("And then the gorilla run knee socks paint porno on the Cadillac. But school laughed and didn't we sing hats?" were Pulitzer Prize winner Leonard Pitts, Jr.'s opening words in a piece published in September 2009. He was paraphrasing members of the Republican party at their convention. He says they have gone beyond mere "intellectual dishonesty" and are apparently genuinely insane. As he wrote, Republicans "behave as if words no longer have objective meaning".)
("...one of the hard facts of history: a nation may lose its power and integrity slowly, in minute particles."
---William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick, in the factual epilogue to their best-selling 1958 novel THE UGLY AMERICAN.)
("We oppose the teaching of...critical thinking skills and similar programs...which...have the purpose of challenging the student's fixed beliefs..."
---from the official platform of the Republican Party of Texas, 2012. Reported July 24, 2012 in the Miami Herald by Leonard Pitts, Jr., who contacted the Republican Party which confirmed that they had released a statement containing the above sentence. The Republicans were concerned about critical thinking skills "undermining parental authority".)
("Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot...used Ted Nugent for Republican campaign appearances a month after the singer referred to President Obama as a 'subhuman mongrel'."
---Mark Binelli, Rolling Stone, 7.3. 2014.)
(Federal courts "sit to ensure that individuals are not imprisoned in violation of the Constitution--not to correct errors of fact."
---William Rehnquist. At the time he wrote the above words, Rehnquist was the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Rehnquist then quoted a 1977 U.S. Supreme Court decision: "'Due process does not require that every conceivable step be taken, at whatever cost, to eliminate the possibility on convicting an innocent person.' To conclude otherwise would all but paralyze our system for enforcement of the criminal law.")
("...21st century America is a place where elections are bought by huge money, where presidents of both parties ignore the basic tenets of the Constitution, where the life-time appointed judiciary spends much of its time helping Big Business tilt the law against the population, and where the major parties resemble each other on most policies."
"...many Americans so accurately perceive the fraud being perpetrated on them that they have decided to tune out."
"That...doesn't prove a person is a bad citizen or dumb. That latter label should be left to those who doggedly pretend that America is still a functioning democracy."
---David Sirota, the San Francisco Chronicle, 7.6. 2012.)
(The horrifying truth is that both major political parties in America have become what the musician Beck called "forces of evil in a bozo nightmare". Almost all mainstream political activity is just "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic"...)
("Going to the candidates debate
Laugh about it, shout about it
When you've got to choose
Every way you look at it you lose"
---Paul Simon, in his song "Mrs. Robinson", which was recorded by Simon & Garfunkel and became a number one hit in 1968.)
("I have a strategy for watching Trump when he delivers his big address tonight: I'll clear my mind and set aside my doubts. I'll use what the actor Margot Kidder, my former mother-in-law, calls 'LSD eyes.' Because if there exists the slightest chance that tonight is the night the madness becomes unstoppable, I want it to tug at me too, at least a little, so I'll have a deep recollection of the turn. That, or I want to be struck aghast, which is impossible if I start already aghast."
---Walter Kirn, Harper's, October 2016.)
(6.2. 2011. BBC news item:
"THE WAR ON DRUGS HAS FAILED"
Former Presidents of Colombia [Cesar Gaviria], Brazil [Fernando Henrique Cardoso], and Mexico [Ernesto Zedillo], current Prime Minister of Greece George Papandreou, former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, and former EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, members of the 19-member Global Commission on Drug Policy, issue a call for an end to jailing users.
"'...repressive strategies will not solve the drug problem...the war on drugs has not, and cannot, be won,' the report said."
"The UN estimates that opiate use increased 35% worldwide from 1998 to 2008, cocaine by 27%, and cannabis by 8.5%."
"Instead of punishing users who the report says 'do no harm to others,' the commission argues that governments should end criminalisation of drug use...")
I have never met anyone who does not use some kind of drug. It is obvious that the "War on Drugs" is actually a "War on People". I strongly urge everyone to use any and all nonviolent means necessary to stop the vicious and insane nonsense called the "War on Drugs".
(According to a report issued by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2010, there were more than than 1.6 million drug arrests in 2009. 82 percent of those arrests were for possession alone.)
("The World Bank estimates that tobacco will kill five hundred million of the present global population."
---Michael Specter, in an article he wrote, "Getting A Fix", about drug decriminalization in Portugal. The New Yorker, 10.17. 2011.)
("Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, an advocacy group, reports that after 40 million arrests and a trillion dollars spent to fight drug use, the number of those who have used drugs is up 2,800 percent since 1970."
---Leonard Pitts, Jr., in an article about why the NAACP has passed a resolution calling for an end to the War on Drugs. The Miami Herald, 8.1. 2011.)
("People like getting high.
Whether to shake off the busy day with a joint or a cocktail, or to break free of normal sensory reality and explore the wild beyond, drugs have always been a part of the human experience, shaping our societies for good, ill, or a complex and fascinating mixture of both."
---Steven T. Jones, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, 8.19. 2009.)
("That drug use is potentially harmful to the user is beyond dispute..."
"...not every incident of drug use harms others; in fact, the vast majority do not. Indeed...it is likely that many if not most drug users never do wrongful harm to others as a result of their using careers--bearing in mind that the majority of these careers are limited in duration and intensity."
---Robert MacCoun and Peter Reuter)
("During a speech on state TV, Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi made the claim that protesters in Libya were given 'hallucination pills' by infiltrating groups."
---CBS news, 2.22. 2011.)
Even though Qaddafi was said by American news media sources to be suffering from mental illness, I do definitely think that ALL secret police agencies have stockpiles of hallucinogenic drugs. Including the secret police agencies that are pro-democracy. (When the CIA said that they had discontinued their research on the feasibility of using LSD, etc. for interrogation and for use in warfare they were very obviously lying, of course.)
(According to Reuters, "On June 9, 1998 a former South African government scientist told South Africa's Truth Commission that in the final days of apartheid the government ordered its chemists to make one ton of ecstasy, for 'riot control'. The scientist, Dr Johan Koekemoer, former head of chemical and biological weapons research at the secret Delta G facility, told the commission that he did not approve of the project and did not trust the motives of those who asked him to make the ecstasy, saying 'I did not believe ecstasy was a good incapacitant and I told my superiors that...ecstasy enhances interpersonal relationships. I told Dr Mijburgh [overall chief of Delta G] I did not want to kiss my enemy'. He personally delivered the ecstasy, in powder form, to Mijburgh between February 1992 and January 1993."
More details on the case from a correspondent in South Africa: "At the moment, there is an ongoing commission of inquiry being held into the activities of the secret service during the apartheid years. The last few days of the inquiry have lifted the lid on the activities of a clandestine government laboratory called the Roodeplaat Research Laboratory. Evidence presented by former lab employees at the commission of inquiry this week, reveal that the laboratory produced all sorts of exotic poisons for use against anti-apartheid activists. These included cyanide, thallium, botulism and paraquat - and, wait for it, ecstasy. According to evidence presented this week, between February 1992 and January 1993, no less than 912kg of Ecstasy `in pure crystalline form' was manufactured by the laboratory. Working on a tab dosage of say 125mgs, that's enough E for more than 7 million hits! The evidence being presented to the commission is that the E was going to be used to `incapacitate the enemy'. The shadowy figure behind the E production was the former head of the army special operations called Wouter Basson who is now facing criminal charges for being in possession of E a year or two back. The evidence presented in court was that he was having the E manufactured for `incapacitating the enemy', but the word is that he was was producing it for international distibution in order to make himself a whole lot of money.")
("A court found a nephew of the United Nations Secretary General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, guilty today of smuggling the hallucinogenic drug LSD into Egypt and sentenced him to 10 years in prison. The nephew, Karim Raouf Ghali, 17, was also ordered to pay a fine of $61,000 and customs duties of nearly $847,000 for the smuggled tablets. The street value of the drugs was not known. His family is expected to appeal the sentence. Judge Abdel-Nasser Ramdan of the juvenile court in Alexandria called it lenient."
---The New York Times, 9.25. 1995.)
("Pickard faced 20 years in prison if convicted in 1988 [for manufacturing LSD] but according to a court affidavit, charges were dropped because he was an informant."
---quote from an article about William Leonard Pickard, "Past director of UCLA drug policy program convicted of running LSD lab" by Brad Greenberg. The article was published in the Daily Bruin, University of California, Los Angeles, 4.3. 2003, and was about Pickard's later arrest and conviction on LSD charges including those related to another LSD lab that was being set up in a converted missile silo in Kansas. In the trial that occurred after Pickard's final arrest in October 2000, the authorities alleged that at one point he had been producing approximately 2.2 pounds of pure LSD [enough to make between 10 to 20 million doses] every 5 weeks.)
(Waldron Voorhees, also known as "Captain Clearlight", bragged that he was the "LSD King" because he "made 250 million" doses of LSD. After his 1992 LSD arrest, Voorhees betrayed his co-defendants by officially admitting he was guilty and agreed to help the DEA. "Voorhees and his attorney agreed for Voorhees to be wired for sound and walk through the Upper Haight to attract street dealers."
---quotes from an article by Jack Boulware, San Francisco Weekly, 8.21. 1996.)
("...intelligence is more important than elimination."
---Nazi counterespionage officer H. J. Giskes, in his 1949 book LONDON CALLING NORTH POLE, explaining why the Nazis sometimes secretly helped British flyers escape from Nazi-occupied countries. These British flyers were completely unaware that that their journeys to freedom were orchestrated by the Nazis. Giskes was quoted by former U.S. Director of Central Intelligence [de facto head of the CIA] Allen Dulles in a book Dulles edited, GREAT TRUE SPY STORIES, 1968.)
(A longtime "friend" of mine came to me and said he had been selected by a group of my friends to do an "intervention" with me. He said that people were tired of me living in an "ivory tower". He claimed people felt that I was unfairly devoting myself to meditating, making art, writing poems, and doing good deeds. He said that in the real world, EVERYONE must do some good things and some bad things, and that because I refused to do my "share" of bad things, I was forcing others to do more than their "fair share" of bad things...
["Just as the conscious part of the psyche is focused in a center that we call "I" and that Jung discriminates as the ego, so the unconscious part of the personal psyche is focused and personified as a sort of alter ego, the shadow."
"If an individual is unaware of his shadow...the elements in his own nature which cannot be accommodated in this shining personality will be projected to someone in his immediate environment."
"...the one on whom the shadow has fallen is unavoidably influenced in an unconscious way by the projection...and...the recipient of the projection may be constrained to live the negative role projected upon him."
"We see this sometimes in a group where there is someone who...never, never raises his voice, never says an unkind thing about anybody. But then his shadow falls on others in the group, and they are compelled to express his negative and all-too-human reactions. They find themselves making critical remarks that are really more incisive and destructive than would be warranted by their own feelings. For there is something peculiarly exasperating about someone who has no shadow. We find ourselves obliged to disagree with him whether we want to or not."
---M. Esther Harding, a Jungian analyst, in THE "I" AND THE "NOT-I"---A Study in the Development of Consciousness.]
[I understand that what Harding has written contains much truth. I understand that I have a shadow. AND I think it is IMPORTANT to be as kind and generous as possible.]
["Virtue is difficult to endure. People resent the bright spotlight of pure goodness. It makes them feel deficient."
---Frances Fyfield, in her novel UNDERCURRENTS.]
["...powered by the overwhelming significance of jealousy in everyday life."
---Chuck Klosterman, explaining "reality" television programming, in his book CHUCK KLOSTERMAN IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas.)
["...perhaps someone...wanted to end a sense of their own ugliness by taking the life of the beautiful thing that gave weight to those feelings."
---Jacqueline Winspear, in her murder mystery LEAVING EVERYTHING MOST LOVED.]
[Jenks and Spoon are robbing Sherman in a rough part of St. Louis, Missouri. Sherman gives them his money and mentions that he is a grad student studying poetry.
"'You gonna be a poet?' Jenks couldn't believe it. Of all the fucked up things."
"As Sherman talked, Jenks felt himself deflate." (Because Jenks realizes that Sherman is "On his way to something better.")
"Spoon moved forward, stuck the knife into Sherman's chest, slammed it down to the hilt."
"Who the fuck he think he is. He think he better than us."
---Victor Gischler, in his 2005 novel THE PISTOL POETS.]
["The need to bring down to our own wretched level, to deface, to deride and debunk any splendour that is towering above us, is probably the saddest urge of human nature."
---Pierre Ryckmans, who writes under the name of Simon Leys, in his book THE HALL OF USELESSNESS: COLLECTED ESSAYS.]
["...the song of a poet who died in the gutter"
---Bob Dylan, in his 1962 song "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall".]
["No one is more hated than he who speaks the truth."
["Humans are very irrational."
---Dennis Elam, a professor of accounting at Texas A&M-San Antonio, quoted by Matt Krantz, USA TODAY, 11.17. 2009.]
["Nothing drives people crazier than seeing someone have a good life."
["...much of what we do and think and feel is not under our conscious control."
"...neuroscience has shown that the conscious mind is not the one driving the boat."
---David Eagleman, a neuroscientist, in his book INCOGNITO--The Secret Lives of the Brain.]
["Losing belief in free will undercuts the rationale for ever hating anyone."
---Sam Harris, a neuroscientist, in his 2012 book WILL.]
[Thomas De Quincey, author of CONFESSIONS OF AN ENGLISH OPIUM EATER, brought the word "subconscious" into the English language. He died in late 1859.]
["...stumbling through the parking lot of an invisible 7-11..."
---Frank Beard, Billy Gibbons, and Dusty Hill, in their song "My Head's in Mississippi", recorded by ZZ Top, and released in 1990.]
["If you'd told me back in law school that within eight years I'd be married with four kids, assorted pets, a van, and a hideous suburban mortgage, I'd have written you off as a major wingnut. It just wasn't part of the master plan."
---Kelly Valen, in her 2010 book THE TWISTED SISTERHOOD: Unraveling the Dark Legacy of Female Friendships.]
["Nietzsche said the best way to enrage people is to force them to change their mind about you."
---Joanna Kavenna, The New Yorker, 7.11. 2011.]
["Would you rather earn $50,000 a year while other people make $25,000, or would you rather earn $100,000 a year while other people get $250,000? Assume for the moment that prices of goods and services remain the same.
Surprisingly--stunningly, in fact--research shows that the majority of people select the first option; they would rather make twice as much as others even if that meant earning half as much as they could otherwise have. How irrational is that?
This result is one among thousands of experiments in behavioral economics, neuroeconomics and evolutionary economics conclusively demonstrating that we are every bit as irrational when it comes to money as we are in most other aspects of our lives. In this case, relative social ranking trumps absolute financial status. Here's a related thought experiment. Would you rather be A or B?
A is waiting in line at a movie theater. When he gets to the ticket window, he is told that as he is the 100,000th customer of the theater, he has just won $100.
B is waiting in line at a different theater. The man in front of him wins $1,000 for being the 1-millionth customer of the theater. Mr. B wins $150.
Amazingly, most people said that they would prefer to be A. In other words, they would rather forgo $50 in order to alleviate the feeling of regret that comes with not winning the thousand bucks. Essentially, they were willing to pay $50 for regret therapy.
This research goes a long way toward debunking one of the biggest myths in all of psychology and economics, known as 'Homo Economicus.' This is the theory that "economic man" is rational, self-maximizing and efficient in making choices. But why should this be so? Given what we know about how irrational and emotional people are in all other aspects of life, why would we suddenly become rational and logical when shopping or investing?
Consider one more experimental example to prove the point: the ultimatum game. You are given $100 to split between yourself and your game partner. Whatever division of the money you propose, if your partner accepts it, you each get to keep your share. If, however, your partner rejects it, neither of you gets any money.
How much would you offer? Why not suggest a $90-$10 split? If your game partner is a rational, self-interested money-maximizer--the very embodiment of 'Homo Economicus'--he isn't going to turn down a free 10 bucks, is he? He is. Research shows that proposals that offer much less than a $70-$30 split are usually rejected.
Why? Because they aren't fair. Says who? Says the moral emotion of "reciprocal altruism," which evolved over the Paleolithic eons to demand fairness on the part of our potential exchange partners. 'I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine' only works if I know you will respond with something approaching parity. The moral sense of fairness is hard-wired into our brains and is an emotion shared by most people and primates tested for it, including people from non-Western cultures and those living close to how our Paleolithic ancestors lived.
When it comes to money, as in most other aspects of life, reason and rationality are trumped by emotions and feelings."
---Michael Shermer, 1.13. 2008.]
[It is "self-evident" "truth" that
"All men are created equal"
---from the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. It is quite obviously delusional to believe that all men are created equal. This declaration reflects the extremely deep roots of the unhealthy human obsession with parity and disparity.])
I agree with Barbara Ehrenreich: I am offended by the "depraved smugness" of people who say that "poverty is a voluntary condition".
(It seems that more than a few people who work 9-to-5 jobs tend to have an intense dislike of artists and poets. Even artists and poets like me who have made absolutely no money from their art or their poetry. Old "friends" see that I am homeless and poverty-stricken and they genuinely feel I deserve to suffer--because they believe that I had fun and/or found meaning in my life while they had to go to work everyday doing doing jobs that they frequently did not like and now they are no longer young and they feel all their painful labor ultimately resulted in their obtaining nothing of real value.
["Trade in your hours for a handful of dimes."
---Jim Morrison, in the song "Five to One", recorded by The Doors in 1968.]
["If I should sell both my forenoons and afternoons to society, as most appear to do, I am sure that for me there would be nothing left worth living for. I trust that I shall never thus sell my birthright for a mess of pottage. I wish to suggest that a man may be very industrious, and yet not spend his time well. There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living."
---Henry David Thoreau, LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE, 1863.]
["Arbeit macht frei" (A German phrase meaning "work makes [you] free".)
---sign placed over the entrances of a number of Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz I, during the Second World War.]
Almost all of my old "friends" have the false belief that I made a fortune from LSD and selfishly did not share any of it with them. Their attitude toward me when they see me poor and homeless defines schadenfreude!
["When I was down
You just stood there grinning"
---Bob Dylan, in his song "Positively 4th Street", first recorded in 1965.]
They absolutely do not believe me when I tell them I did NOT make a fortune--that, in fact, after I subtracted the cost of the materials required to properly handle and package the LSD, and the cost of properly transporting, and storing the LSD from the fees I was paid I LOST money! I was not even able to cover my operating expenses and had to borrow money to be able to eat and pay rent!
["There is far too great a disproportion between what one is and what others think one is, or at least what they say they think one is. But one has to take it all with good humor."
["...Deborah had noticed over the years that whenever she mentioned her art...a subtle change would come over Carla. Her face would harden almost imperceptibly; her manner would edge toward coolness."
"...one day...she realized that at any mention of her art, her friend drew back."
"...the strange aloofness stood out clearly."
(Deborah's doctor said to Deborah:
" 'You always took your art for granted...' "
" '...you managed to do your drawing in spite of every sort of inconvenience and restriction.' "
" 'You were rich in your gift...and now you see how it can be with others who are not so lucky to have a creative calling into which they can grow and grow.' "
" 'There may be many who envy you...' "
" 'You have been taking for granted this rich and prolific gift of yours that so many others would give so much to have themselves.' ")
---quotes from a 1964 novel by Hannah Green, I NEVER PROMISED YOU A ROSE GARDEN.]
["In the infamous Monty Hall Problem, named after the television game show, human subjects seem to pale next to pigeons in mathematical reasoning. A guest on the show has to choose among three doors, behind one of which is a prize. The guest states his choice, and the host opens one of the two remaining closed doors, always being careful that it is one behind which there is no prize. Should the guest switch to the remaining closed door? Most people choose to stay with their original choice, which is wrong—switching would increase their chance of winning from 1/3 to 2/3. (There is a 1/3 chance that the guest’s original pick was correct, and that does not change.) Even after playing the game many times, which would afford ample opportunity to observe that switching doubles the chances of winning, most people in a recent study switched only 2/3 of the time. Pigeons did better. After a few tries, the birds learn to switch every time."
---John Allen Paulos, Scientific American, January 2011.]
[I was explaining the Monty Hall Problem to a friend as we were drinking tea in a restaurant. Another customer (a gambler) overheard our conversation and became quite agitated. He was extremely insistent that the guest should stick with his first choice, because the customer said the odds were 50/50 that the first choice was correct. When I very, very politely informed him that the odds were actually more like 33/66, he stormed out of the restaurant, and got in his car. Then he came back in the restaurant in a state of fury and yelled "You are saying I am stupid!!! Why don't you step outside and tell me I am wrong, that the odds are not 50/50??? I'll punch you out, you insulting #@*#%!"]
[""I think avoiding humiliation is the core of tragedy and comedy and probably of our lives."
---playwright John Guare, quoted by John Lahr, The New Yorker, 5.9. 2011.]
[The pigeons are better than people at solving the Monty Hall Problem because, unlike human beings, they have no ego. LSD has been frequently cited as an inspiration by people working in the computer industry because LSD can lessen the ego and thus make it easier to solve problems. People who have not experienced LSD-induced states of lessened ego commonly believe that their ego is who they truly are. People who have not tripped sometimes think that if they lose their ego they will also lose consciousness. They tend to be quite frightened by the idea of ego-loss because they think that the less ego one has, the less control one has...]
["Jung's use of the word 'self' is different from that of common usage, in which the self is synonymous with ego. 'Self' as Jung uses it has a special meaning; it is that center of being which the ego circumambulates; at the same time it is the superordinate factor in a system in which the ego is subordinate."
---June Singer, in her book BOUNDARIES OF THE SOUL--The Practice of Jung's Psychology.]
["...the prevalent sensation of oneself as a separate ego enclosed in a bag of skin is a hallucination."
---Alan Watts, 1966, in THE BOOK On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are.]
["The texture of...socially shared hallucinations is what we call reality, and our collusive madness is what we call sanity."
---R.D. Laing, 1967, in THE POLITICS OF EXPERIENCE.]
["A human being is part of the whole, called by us 'universe', a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security."
[Civilization exalts the "sensation of oneself as a separate ego enclosed in a bag of skin".
"There is no document of civilization that is not at the same time a document of barbarity."
[THOSE WHO HAVE NOT EXPERIENCED A NON-EGO STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS CANNOT COMPREHEND THAT SUCH A STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS CAN EXIST.
THERE ARE NO WORDS TO ACCURATELY DESCRIBE A NON-EGO STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS.
IT CAN ONLY BE EXPERIENCED.]
["If something is a little foreign, it is strange...If something is completely foreign, it is invisible."
---Susan Schaller, in A MAN WITHOUT WORDS.]
["Aunt Edna...loathes being baffled."
---playwright Terence Rattigan, describing middle-class audiences with conventional tastes. Rattigan was quoted by John Lahr in The New Yorker, 10.17. 2011.]
["What is accepted as 'normal reality' is always a smaller reality than the one safely possible."
---Robert E.L. Masters and Jean Houston, in PSYCHEDELIC ART.]
["At least part of the meaning of LSD today is this: that chemical technology has made available to the millions the experience of transcendence of the individual ego, which a century ago was available only to the disciplined mystic."
---Frank Barron, in CREATIVITY AND PERSONAL FREEDOM.]
[The psychedelic point-of-view:
"...I me mine, I me mine, I me mine."
"...They're frightened of leaving it..."
"...I-I-me-me mine, I-I-me-me mine, I-I-me-me mine."
---from the 1969 song "I Me Mine" by Beatle George Harrison
The competitive mainstream point-of-view:
"Whether I'm right or whether I'm wrong
Whether I find a place in this world or never belong
I gotta be me, I've gotta be me..."
---words and music by Walter Marks, 1967, in the Broadway musical GOLDEN RAINBOW. Sammy Davis, Jr. recorded the song in 1968, and it was a surprise hit, 11 weeks in the "Top 40" for him in 1969. The song also ended up being recorded by Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, and The Temptations.
"He was always extremely competitive by nature..."
"I saw it in him at seven months old."
"He has fought ever since to do exactly what he wanted to do--no matter what."
---Donda West, quoted on the back cover of the book RAISING KANYE--Life Lessons from the Mother of a Hip-Hop Superstar. West, who wrote the book with Karen Hunter, greatly admires her son.]
["It's like I am being held captive by some insatiable monster..."
---Nic Sheff, in his 2007 book TWEAK (Growing Up on Methamphetamine).]
["Many people go about most or all of their lives...under the impression that they are the only 'I', they alone think, sense, experience, and particularly feel; all the others remain to them robots--a situation that results in a great deal of unconscious cruelty. To such people, I am the only 'I'; virtually I am God, a state of unawareness that accounts for the extreme egomania so often met with in adolescents--and in many adults as well."
---M. Esther Harding, in THE "I" AND THE "NOT-I"---A Study in the Development of Consciousness.]
["He didn't register as a person, he was just, you know, there."
"It was impossible not to surrender to the insanity of it all."
---U.S. soldier Jeremy Morlock, in the 2014 documentary film "The Kill Team", speaking about a young Afghan farmer that U.S. soldiers "killed for sport".]
[“To me, they’re not even people.”
---Eric Trump (Donald Trump’s son) speaking to Sean Hannity, 6.6. 2017, about people who strongly disagree with the president.]
["Someone said to Socrates that a certain man had grown no better by his travels. 'I should think not', he said; 'he took himself along with him'."
---Michel de Montaigne]
["Studies at the University of Michigan and Yale found that partisans, when confronted with facts that disproved their preheld beliefs, actually held on to their misbeliefs more strongly. One theory is that this is the brain's way of resolving cognitive dissonance."
---James Poniewozik, TIME, 8.23. 2010.]
["One of my favorite philosophical tenets is that people will agree with you only if they already agree with you."
["People do not process information in a neutral way. Their preconceptions affect their reactions."
"...exposing people to balanced information produced a more intense belief in what they had thought before..."
"It can be exceedingly hard to dislodge what people think, even by presenting them with the facts."
---Cass R. Sunstein, in ON RUMORS: How Falsehoods Spread, Why We Believe Them, What Can Be Done.]
["...there is nothing as mysterious as a fact clearly described."
---Garry Winogrand, photographer.]
["We screen out much of our surroundings because we do not believe certain events occur. Once a friend unwittingly emphasized this to me by reversing an ordinary saying: 'I'll see it when I believe it!'"
"It is quite difficult for us to alter our assumptions even in the face of compelling new evidence."
---Robert E. Ornstein, in his book THE PSYCHOLOGY OF CONSCIOUSNESS.]
[Bigot: "Stop trying to confuse me with the facts!"]
[A recent article by a Harvard professor noted that when people are speaking, they are are only ever wrong in the past tense ("I was wrong"), never in the present tense. And that people are "oddly oblivious to how strange that is."]
["We are normally blind about our own blindness."
---Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist and Nobel Prize winner, in reply to a question about the biggest mistake in the way people think. Kahneman was quoted by Belinda Luscombe, TIME, 11.28. 2011.]
["...anyone who thinks that he or she is wise probably isn't."
"...in general, people who think they're competent are usually less competent than those who think they aren't--the so-called Dunning-Kruger effect."
---Ronald Siegel, Harvard Medical School, in Psychotherapy Networker, March/April 2013.]
["It's not like all you have to do is talk to one another and it'll all make sense. No, there are very serious divides in the country..."
---Dan Hoyle, a journalist who travelled to America's heartland and interviewed some of the people there. Hoyle was quoted in an interview with Paul Kilduff, The East Bay Monthly, March 2013.]
[An "...examination of online activity during the 2014 race-related protests in Ferguson, Missouri, found that liberals and conservatives in the U.S. cited or put forth completely different facts and arguments and seemed hardly to acknowledge each other's existence."
---Emerson T. Brooking and P.W. Singer, in The Atlantic, November 2016.]
[There is "a huge incentive to become truly offended at the speech of others in order to have a lever to suppress their ideas."
---Richard Allen Epstein, professor of law at the New York University School of Law, and professor of law emeritus and senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. MIT Technology Review, May/June 2013.]
["About a year ago I was on a panel talking about multiculturalism. Afterward someone in the audience, one of the authors of the papers, came up to me and said, 'that was fine, except I can't believe you used the word "truth"'...She said the word 'truth' as if she were referring to some obscenity I had used. I asked her what she meant, and she said, 'Well there is no such thing as truth.'...
(If "there is no such thing as truth", then the statement "there is no such thing as truth" is not true.)
(“What I believe to be true is truly unbelievable.”
---John C. Lilly, M.D.)
"Eight months ago, at a talk I gave about the desirability of participatory economics, I noticed a few people ostentatiously 'turning off'. When asked why, one listener courteously indicated that the presentation was obviously unworthy of her attention. By emphasizing evidence, logic, and especially truth, I had turned her off. When I replied that I thought I was trying to be objective and find the truth was sensible, many in the audience thought me obtuse. 'There was no truth.' When I suggested that for a wide range of conditions Newton's Laws were true, I was told they couldn't be true everywhere.
Later, Noam Chomsky recounted arguing with an esteemed panelist before a rapt audience about whether there was an Eastern alternative to Western rationality. Trying to understand, Chomsky asked if beyond cultural differences an Easterner actually 'thinks differently' than a Westerner. Yes, was the answer. Disbelieving, Chomsky asked if the Easterner rejected that a claim is either true or false but not both. Yes. Incredulous, Chomsky asked if this meant a Chinese peasant might tend her rice fields believing it was simultaneously raining and not raining. 'Yes'. Chomsky politely changed the subject."
Both of the above quotes were in "Z Papers", October 1992, Boston.]
["As we know, the real cannot be apprehended directly: we have only (mis)representations of it."
---Hal Foster, who edited the 1983 anthology THE ANTI-AESTHETIC.]
["...the matches and mismatches between...two...signals, one generated inside the brain and the other from the outside world, ultimately define what we perceive as reality. That implies that there is no absolute truth, because the brain is not a mere slave to what, for example, our retinas report to have seen."
"...it is the collision of these two...signals...that generates the...pattern of electrical activity that morphs into one's perception of the world."
---Miguel Nicolelis, M.D., Ph.D., in his 2011 book BEYOND BOUNDARIES: The New Neuroscience of Connecting Brains with Machines--and How It Will Change Our Lives. Nicolelis was named one of the 20 most influential scientists in the world by Scientific American.]
["The postmodern self is a deeply subjective self. And Wilber makes very clear what the implications are of this subjective, or personal, turn on boomers' approach to the world. Rejecting both the traditionalists' God and the absolutist principles of scientific reasoning, the pluralistic mind leaves us only with our own inner, subjective experience as authority, as the ground for truth and action. Pretty frightening when you think of all of the mental and emotional debris that passes through us constantly! As Wilber explains, a number of 'principles' of boomeritis pluralism flow from this subjective stance:
Truth, then, being grounded in subjective experience, can only be relative.
There are no grounds for judging another—because what they are doing might be 'right for them.'
Hierarchy, or placing anyone's experience or authority above another's (especially one's own) experience, is a violation of what is true (that truth is only relative).
The only way to determine what is good and true is by how it makes one feel; therefore, if something hurts one's feelings, then one has been wronged.
Ironically, the result has been a creepy cultural etiquette of niceness. When the only truth is what we feel, then hurting someone's feelings becomes a violation of truth, an affront to what is held holy—ourselves."
---Elizabeth Debold, in a review of BOOMERITIS, a book by Ken Wilber. Debold's review appeared in Issue 22 of "What Is Enlightenment?", Fall 2002.]
["The very nature of any structure that makes one person different and superior to others not only breeds authoritarianism, but is authoritarian in its essence."
---Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad, in their book THE GURU PAPERS--Masks of Authoritarian Power.]
["The term 'bullying" was not used; students were asked how frequently 'mean things' happened to them in the past year. 'Mean things' was defined as 'anything someone does that upsets or offends someone else'..."
---Sharon Jayson, author of an article in USA TODAY, 8.17. 2010. The article was about the annual meeting of American Psychological Association held in Dan Diego, California. The above quote was about an online study of the "bullying" of adolescents. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles, who included Guadalupe Espinoza and UCLA professor of developmental psychology Jaana Juvonen.])
("'Stendhal Syndrome' is a psychosomatic illness that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, confusion and even hallucinations when an individual is exposed to art, usually when the art is particularly beautiful or a large amount of art is in a single place. The syndrome was first diagnosed in 1982.
The illness is named after the famous 19th century French author Stendhal [pseudonym of Henri-Marie Beyle], who described his experience with the phenomenon during his 1817 visit to Florence, Italy in his book NAPLES AND FLORENCE: A JOURNEY FROM MILAN TO REGGIO."
"'Culture shock' is the anxiety and feelings [of surprise, disorientation, uncertainty, confusion, etc.] felt when people have to operate within a different and unknown culture... It grows out of the difficulties in assimilating the new culture, causing difficulty in knowing what is appropriate and what is not. This is often combined with a dislike for or even disgust [moral or aesthetical] with certain aspects of the new or different culture."
(In May 2011, "DistantEchoes" commented on reddit.com that viewing my art "may cause seizures and brain damage.")
("'Pareidolia' is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus [often an image] being perceived as significant. A common example is seeing images of faces in clouds. Carl Sagan hypothesized that as a survival technique, human beings are 'hard-wired' from birth to identify the human face. This allows people to use only minimal details to recognize faces from a distance and in poor visibility but can also lead them to interpret random images or patterns of light and shade as being faces."
"'Apophenia' is the experience of seeing meaningful patterns or connections in random or meaningless data. The term was coined in 1958 by Klaus Conrad, who defined it as the 'unmotivated seeing of connections' accompanied by a 'specific experience of an abnormal meaningfulness.' Conrad originally described this phenomenon in relation to the distortion of reality present in psychosis, but it has become more widely used to describe this tendency in healthy individuals without necessarily implying the presence of neurological differences or mental illness."
"The growing presence in our midst of chemicals that seem to alter consciousness raises questions of the utmost importance for us as individuals and as social beings. Examples of these questions are: What do these drugs tell us about the relationship between mind and body? Are they legitimate tools (in any sense) for changing the mind in a direction of greater awareness? How can society come to terms with the individual urge to alter consciousness? These questions are important because they bear directly on the nature of consciousness, which is, ultimately, the only problem worthy of total intellectual effort."
--- Dr. Andrew Weil
("...perhaps Golding's greatest gift as a novelist was his ability to go into 'Martian mode', showing familiar things from an alien viewpoint.'"
---Dwight Garner, in a review of a book by John Carey, WILLIAM GOLDING--THE MAN WHO WROTE LORD OF THE FLIES. The New York Times, 7.8. 2010.
Psychedelic states of consciousness seem to sometimes provide access to these profoundly valuable alien viewpoints...)
"The effort to see and really to represent is no idle business in the face of the constant force of muddlement."
---Henry James, in his novel WHAT MAISIE KNEW.
("...my soul has been psychedelicized..."
---Willie Mack Chambers and Joseph Lamar Chambers, in their 1967 song "Time Has Come Today", performed by The Chambers Brothers.
I was energized after watching a TV show featuring The Chambers Brothers performing this song in Berkeley. I was forced to leave home not long after, hitchhiked to Berkeley, and took LSD...)
(“Once, when I casually used the phrase ‘thinking outside the box,’ Lovin interrupted me. ‘There is no box,’ he said.”
---Elizabeth Kolbert, describing speaking with environmentalist Amory Lovins. The New Yorker, 1.22. 2017.)
("Most of what my neighbors call good, I am profoundly convinced is evil, and if I repent anything, it is my good conduct that I repent."
----Henry David Thoreau, quoted by Henry Miller.)
("...don't tell me that I should be ashamed for standing up and speaking out. Our democracy was not built on the belief that manners are more important than truth."
---California State Assembly member Tom Ammiano, in a letter to the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, 10.12. 2009)
("...precisely at the point when you begin to develop a conscience, you must find yourself at war with your society."
---James Baldwin, 1963)
("There comes a time, when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't even passively take part. And you've got to put your bodies on the gears, upon the levers, upon the wheels, upon all the apparatus. And you've got to make it stop."
---"Free Speech Movement" leader Mario Savio, University of California, Berkeley, 1964)
("By lack of understanding they remained sane."
---George Orwell, in his novel NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR, describing members of the Party.)
("Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see."
---John Lennon, 1966, in the Beatles song he wrote, "Strawberry Fields Forever".)
("The unexamined life is not worth living."
(As a brilliant Berkeley attorney once said:
"Life is quite often marginal for those who choose to live with a conscience.")
("Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity."
--- T.S. Eliot)
("Intensity is the price of excellence."
("Here's to the crazy ones, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes...the ones who see things differently."
("A newspaper should have no friends."
("Ain't singin' for Pepsi, Ain't singin' for Coke... Ain't singin' for Miller, Don't sing for Bud..."
("I wish to be paid, but I will not be bought."
("...his mind is not for rent to any god or government..."
---from the song "Tom Sawyer" by the band RUSH)
("The refusal to rest content, the willingness to risk excess on behalf of one's obsessions, is what distinguishes artists from entertainers, and what makes some artists adventurers on behalf of us all."
("A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds..."
---Ralph Waldo Emerson)
("I don't pretend to understand the universe--it's much bigger than I am."
("Reality is nothing but a collective hunch."
("Never assume the obvious is true."
("Truth doesn't always win in the marketplace of ideas."
("To see a world in a grain of sand, a heaven in a wildflower, to hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour."
("...It rainbow spirals round and round, it trembles and explodes..."
---Bob Weir/Bill Kreutzmann, "The Other One")
("Create connections, if possible, between everything in the world."
("...interconnectedness defines the here and now...
("One thing illuminates another."
("The objects are placeholders for thoughts, and when they are situated in proximity to one another, meanings can reverberate and ricochet off of each other."
("Drawing is continuity. Everything else is interruption."
("My works were designed to amuse, annoy, bewilder, mystify, and inspire reflection."
("The significance is hiding in the insignificant."
("...the possibility of seeing into, rather than just looking at."
---June Singer, in BOUNDARIES OF THE SOUL--The Practice of Jung's Psychology.)
("I am a part of all that I have met."
---Alfred, Lord Tennyson)
("There are more questions than answers
And the more I find out, the less I know."
("Chaos should be regarded as extremely good news."
---The 14th Dalai Lama)
(“...I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
---Judy Garland, playing the role of Dorothy in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.)
(BECAUSE IT WAS STAPLED TO THE CHICKEN!
“Creamy ‘Lectric Santa Saves”
---bumper sticker in Berkeley.
“...teddy bears with toy cell phones…”
---flea market ad.
“Fist of the Zombie”
---inscribed on a sidewalk.)
A NOTE ABOUT "OUTSIDER ART:
"This is art that can neither be expressively tempered, nor politically corrected, nor marketably slotted by that great vetting, veneering machine called the art industry. So it stays volatile, radioactive, problematically hot. Is this why our mainstream institutions are so reluctant to exhibit it? Because they’re afraid of it, afraid of its unpredictability, afraid of how its intense singularity will react with, clash with, even infect other art? I don’t have an answer, but it is questions like this that keep my passion - crazy, I know - for contemporary art alight."
---from "The Desire to Draw, Sometimes a Compulsion", Holland Cotter, The New York Times, 9.16. 2005 (A review of "Obsessive Drawing", a show at The American Folk Art Museum.)
"There is no nirvana of inspiration that any one drug has unlocked. But they have played a very important role in the lives of artists, writers and scientists throughout history."
---Emily Sergeant, curator of an exhibit at the Wellcome Institute in London, England. The exhibit examined the relationship of drugs and art. Sergeant was quoted in an article "Artists Haven't Abandoned Search for Psychedelic Nirvana of Inspiration", Sylvia Smith, Deutsche Welle, 12.15. 2010.
("...what is at stake is a pattern of seeing, who makes what visible and for whom."
(If I am sitting in a cafe looking at an art book or a volume of poetry, I am not forcing anyone else to see the art or the poetry. If I am sitting in a cafe and music that I do not like is being played over the sound system, while I am there I am being forced against my will to hear something I do not wish to hear [unless the employees turn off the sound system or change what is being played over it when I request that they do so].)
("What is heard knows neither eyelids, nor partitions, neither curtains, nor walls...Sound rushes in. It violates."
---Pascal Quignard, in his 1996 book THE HATRED OF MUSIC.)
("Almost a decade ago, I was browsing in a Barnes & Noble when I came across a book called ROUTE 666: ON THE ROAD TO NIRVANA. It was a music book about a band I liked, so I started paging through it immediately. What I remember are two sentences on the fourth page which discussed how awesome it was that 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was on the radio, and how this was almost akin to America electing a new president: 'It's not that everything will change at once,' wrote the author, 'it's that at least the people have voted for better principles. Nirvana's being on the radio means my own values are winning: I'm no longer in the opposition.' I have never forgotten those two sentences, and there are two reasons why this memory has stuck with me. The first reason is that this was just about the craziest, scariest idea I'd ever stumbled across. The second reason, however, is way worse; What I have slowly come to realize is that most people think this way all the time. They don't merely want to hold their values; they want their values to win."
---Chuck Klosterman, in his book IV--A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas.)
("Keats may not have intended it literally, but the idea of nightingale song working as a drug is not that far-fetched."
"Male nightingales need to influence the behavior of female nightingales, and of other males."
"The song is not informing the female but manipulating her. It is not so much changing what the female knows as directly changing the internal physiological state of her brain. It is acting as a drug."
"The sounds...flood through the female's ears into her brain where they have an effect that is indistinguishable from one that an experimenter can procure with a hypodermic syringe."
---Richard Dawkins, in his book UNWEAVING THE RAINBOW--Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder.)
("Marcel Duchamp called art 'a habit-forming drug.'"
---Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 5.8. 2017.)
"...that whole rock and roll musician thing does not interest me in the least. I just wonder, why are they popular?"
---John Baldessari, quoted by Glen Helfand, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, 7.22. 2009.
("Last year, the editors of ArtReview magazine named the Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei the most powerful artist in the world."
"Ai's resistance to all forms of control--capitalist and communist--manifests itself in one poignant way. He refuses to listen to music. He...prefers the silent spaces of independent thought."
---Art critic and Pulitzer prize winner Mark Stevens, Smithsonian, September 2012.)
(There is "...evidence suggesting that music can cloud reason, stir rage, cause pain, even kill."
---Alex Ross, in his article "The Sound of Hate". The New Yorker, 7.4. 2017.)
("music is the great imperialist of the 'arts'...u can't close your eyes or turn your head to avoid it...many times it slips into your ambience without permission..."
---Tatiana Okalidou, on Facebook.com, 9.27. 2013)
("Without the loudspeaker, we would never have conquered Germany."
---Adolf Hitler, 1938.)
(The Latin word "obaudire", meaning "to obey", contains "audire", meaning "to hear".)
("Where one wants to have slaves, one must have as much music as possible."
"Singing the blues never solved any problems nor, for that matter, has listening to the blues. But Brownie McGhee says, 'I been livin' with the blues all my life--we all have. Singin' and playin' 'em just makes life worth livin', that's all.'"
---concluding words of a review of the 'Berkeley Blues Festival' by Philip Elwood, the San Francisco Examiner, 4.6. 1970. (It was one of the most amazing musical events I have ever had the privilege of attending. "Big Mama" Thornton singing her song "Ball and Chain"!!!!...OMG!)
"We are but a moment's sunlight, fading in the grass..."
---Chet Powers, in "Get Together", a song he wrote in the early 1960s.
Memories “ ...will be lost in time, like tears in rain.”
---actor Rutger Hauer, about what happens when one dies. Hauer wrote these words and the character he plays in the movie Blade Runner spoke them.
"We all leave an unfinished life..."
---Mary Oliver, in her 2009 book of poems, EVIDENCE.
If you can remember what one of my drawings looks like or if you can remember a line of my poetry, then I have physically altered the structure of your brain!
("We are our memories."
---Eric R. Kandel, Science, 12.4. 2009.)
("Columbia University neuroscientist Eric R. Kandel won a Nobel prize in 2000 for proving that memory---which had been regarded previously as fleeting, insubstantial, and not really a subject that could be investigated with a microscope---has a physical basis, and that each new thought and new memory actually alters your neurons at a molecular level."
---Kristan Lawson, the East Bay Express, 3.28. 2007.)
("The dream of artists...is to plant themselves in other people's heads."
---Tad Friend, The New Yorker, 8.16. 2010.)
("It's going to be alive in this space for a limited time then disappear. Just like us. But for people who interact with it, it will be embedded in their minds, so it's not really gone."
---Sun K. Kwak, describing her art which was shown at the "Phantoms of Asia" exhibit at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. Kwak was quoted by Jesse Hamlin in the San Francisco Chronicle, 5.13. 2012.)
("The road is all, the end is nothing."
A selection of my hallucinographic designs may be viewed here:
(Free high-resolution downloads of the images can easily be made.)
(Or you can google jdyf333 and follow the link to my Flickr gallery. Once in my Flickr gallery, please click on one of the first items in my photostream, "An Important Warning". The caption there has links to edited selections of my hallucinographic designs, etc.)
And a selection of some of my poetry may be viewed here:
("There is more to a library than meets the eye":
If you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I will be more than pleased to email you a free copy of my 1,448-item annotated bibliography of drug literature.)
My telephone number is 510-260-9695