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Mill Valley Literary Review 2019 #15 - Salutes Psychedelia
"These are Tales of the Great Drug Runners..." Interview with co-founder of the group that fueled the Counterculture Revolution with 130 million hits of Orange Sunshine LSD and mega-tons of first-ever-in-U.S. Afghani hash. Michael Randall of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love speaks about what the sixties were like before LSD, his smuggling life, tripping around with Tim Leary, Albert Hoffman, Owsley, Jimi, plus his continuing gospel of spiritual expansion. Interview in Salon.
“But then it got out of the lab.”
"It's a real power trip." Legion TV series: non-linear, intentionally obscure and designed to mess with your mind. (Created by Noah Hawley of Fargo fame.) Final Season 2019 immersed the viewer with retro-psychedelia design, costuming, alternate reaities, and the unreliable protagonist's cult group.
Psychedelics are having a renaissance. They are being taken seriously once again. Usually by mouth. No, seriously, new studies show that psychedelics can radically change how we view ourselves and can be used to improve our mental health and outlook.
In celebration of Woodstock's 50th Anniversary, soon after Summer of Love's Anniversary, a renewed interest and nostalgia in those times, fashions, and mind-altering fuels have been peaking. T.C. Boyle released his novel this spring on The WORLD'S GREATEST LSD SHOWMAN - TIMOTHY LEARY (see sidebar). Recent movies include Rolling Thunder Review, Echo in the Canyon, Rocketman, Framing DeLorean, Woodstock doc, Abbey Road all played at our local theater within a few weeks (photo below). Psychedelics' impact and tendrils of influence have lit up and tilted our society, affecting even those who have not partaken. All personskind's - screw it, mankind's - lives and consciousness have been affected by the mushrooming ripple effects.
Go ask Alice. Or Allen Ginsberg, Aldous Huxley, Robert Lowell, Charles Olson, Maynard Ferguson, Charles Mingus, Coltrane, the Beatles, Hendrix. OK, really almost all of the rock bands of the 60s. True, LSD wasn’t for everyone, some had bad reactions and "bad trips" or worse. Like that guy who thought he was an orange and was afraid that if someone "squoze" him he would turn into orange juice. Or the guy who felt like Superman and jumped off a roof. True or urban legends? See what Brotherhood of Eternal Love co-founder Michael Randall has to say in our Salon interview. Even for those who just said, NO!, the influence has been there.
Science writer Michael Pollen states in a "Vice" interview: "...there is in this country today a fairly expansive and thriving underground consisting of serious professionals, many of them trained therapists in one modality or another, who are administering psychedelics to people in a very controlled environment. You wouldn't call this recreational use: These are guided journeys, by people who really know the territory. What they're doing is they're risking their freedom every time they do this, but there's so convinced of the value of this that they do it anyway. Some of them were working above ground when it was legal, going back to the early seventies, and some were trained by those people."
Ken Kesey. Kesey voluntarily (Me! Pick me!) took psychoactive drugs, including mescaline and LSD, as part of Project MKUltra. This was waaay before most had even heard of these substances. He wrote the book One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in 1959. How many people read, attended the theatrical production, and saw Cuckoo’s Nest with its five Oscars? Kesey, the Merry Prankster, Trips Festival leader, the hero of Tom Wolfe’s metal-flaked, The Electric-Kool-Aid Acid Test had untold societal impact. How many read Castaneda’s don Juan books? 28,000,000 sold. Peyote sales hit close to that number, too. ; )
Marin County musician, Carlos Santana, in his 2014 memoir, states that he was on mescaline during his electrifying set at Woodstock. (Having seen Santana numerous times in Golden Gate Park, Bill Graham productions, etc, I would say that was not the only time.) Santana? Influential? Popular? 100,000,000 plus records sold. Those of us who wished we were at Woodstock, but washed our hair and returned library books instead, left no stone unturned to see the film version the following year. On a big screen, with decent sound, well, OK sound before Ray Dolby, and the right “warm-up” treats, it felt like we were there. Wait, did Wavy Gravy say, "Eat the brown acid, man" or don't eat it?"
Steve Jobs and allegedly the double-helix-dude-what's-his-name, and many other out-of-the-box thinkers answered Jimi’s query, “Are You Experienced?”
In the NYT* report, Oct. 2018 by Laura M. Holsun, Dr. Johnson said: “For decades, though, researchers have shunned the study of psychedelics. In the 1960s, they were on the cutting edge of neuroscience research and understanding how the brain worked. But then it got out of the lab."
Research stopped, in part, because the use of mind-altering drugs like LSD and mushrooms became a hallmark of hippie counterculture. Dr. Johnson said that in 2005, he volunteered to work in the “bad trip” tent at Burning Man, the festival in the Nevada desert known for rampant drug use.” Ya’ think? (Matthew Johnson, is an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins.)
Drug laws appear to be loosening. On the other hand, a mish-mash of local, state and federal laws make possession and use of drugs an ongoing conundrum (dude, conundrum is like a mashup of cannabis and Drum rolling papers!). For instance: If cannabis is kinda sorta legal in California but you are getting high in a Federal Park, can a Park Ranger bust you? Who cares? Light up and hope you don't end up at Lompoc. But you could because Federal (National) Parks, Forests and lands are not technically California. "Yosemite has the most citations for illegal herb of any national parks. Coming in close behind is a federally-owned park right in San Francisco - The Golden Gate National Recreational Area." The Kindland 2017. "PSA: You Cannot Smoke Pot in National Parks, Ever."
"California prisoners can possess pot but not consume it, appeals court rules." IJ headline. Lafayette, CA attorney Dan Horowitz said, “I have a client who’s facing life in prison for allegedly shipping marijuana to Missouri, yet California inmates can have it in their prison cells. It’s insane,” he said.
Cancer Patient in Chicago Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Marijuana Chocolates.
Neuropharmacology, a medical journal focused on neuroscience, reports that researchers (see Dr. Johnson above) from Johns Hopkins University recommended that psilocybin be reclassified for medical use – arguing its benefits in helping treat PTSD, depression and anxiety and helping people to stop smoking.
June, 2019. “Oakland became the second city in the United States to decriminalize magic mushrooms and other natural psychedelic drugs after the City Council passed a resolution on Tuesday night.
The California city joins Denver, which passed a similar measure back in May, in decriminalizing the possession and use of psilocybin - more commonly known as magic mushrooms - and other entheogenic, or psychoactive, plants and fungi for adults.
Magic mushrooms would remain illegal under both federal and state laws. Entheogenic substances are considered Schedule 1 drugs under the federal Controlled Substances Act, which categorizes drugs that have potential for abuse and no medical value.” Fox News
"Ocasio-Cortez wants to make it easier to study magic mushrooms, other psychedelic drugs." The Rep. filed legislation to make it easier for researchers to study the therapeutic and medical benefits of certain psychedelic drugs such as magic mushrooms amid a growing national shift in attitudes toward the substances.
For FURTHUR (sic) reading: Michael Pollan, T.C. Boyle, Ayelet Waldman discuss "The Highs and Lows of LSD Literature." Psychedelics are back, now in the language of health and wellness. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/12/books/lsd-books-pollan-waldman-doyle.html Plus, the web site https://www.psymposia.com shares fresh perspectives on how emerging psychedelic science and drug reform shape society, and appears to promote legalization of psychedelics for medical use. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) submitted their MDMA PTSD expanded access protocol to the FDA on January 14, 2019.
Creation: Alex Segal
Where were these miracles when we needed them? (Tahoe City Thrift, 2019)
MillValleyLit promotes the work of emerging writers, interviews well-known authors and should-be-known personalities, reviews books, and reports on the literary scene. MillValleyLit has hosted events and salons and been featured in numerous publications such as San Francisco Magazine, Marin Magazine, Marin IJ, and Marinscope newspapers.
MILL VALLEY, California - Home to The Mill Valley Film Festival, Mt. Tam, Muir Woods, redwood trees, Dipsea foot Race, waterfalls, rock stars, artists, & WRITERS, WRITERS, WRITERS.
Mill Valley's literary pedigree is impressive, more so for a town of barely 14,000: Jack Kerouac, Gary Snyder, Peter Coyote, David Harris, Martin Cruz Smith, Alan Watts, Sam Shepard, Jack Finney, Don Carpenter, Gina Berriault, Kay Boyle, Louis B. Jones, Wright Morris, Michael Murphy, Elsa Gidlow, Joyce Maynard (J.D. Salinger's companion), Tom Barbash, Cyra McFadden, poets Jane Hirschfield, Maxine Chernoff, Echo Heron, Yoko Ono, John Lennon, Anton LaVey and Tupac Shakur (Tam High School!). The late Tom Clancy often wrote in Mill Valley.
Writers who call(ed) Marin County home include Isabel Allende, Dave Eggers, George Lucas (San Anselmo), Jack London, Jan Kerouac (Kerouac's daughter, also a writer), Ram Dass, Stirling Silliphant, Shel Silverstein, Sterling Hayden, Susan Trott, Catherine Coulter (Sausalito), Leonard Gardner, Robert Hunter (San Rafael) and Van Morrison (aural poets), Philip K. Dick (Point Reyes Station), Barnaby Conrad, Joe Eszterhas (Tiburon), Richard Brautigan, Amy Tan, Anne Lamott, Ambrose Bierce (San Rafael); Poet Aram Saroyan (son of William Saroyan), Joel Cohen, Jim Carrol and Herman Berlandt (all Bolinas); Danielle Steel (Stinson Beach), Jacqueline Winspear, Allen Drury, T.C. Boyle, Gerald Nicosia, James Dallesandro. Julia Child lived in Ross while attending Branson School.
Writer connections: Ernest Hemingway's son -Jack, and grand-daughters Mariel and Margaux lived in Mill Valley's* Boyle Park area in the 60's. Papa's nephew still lives in Tiburon (editor, writer). John Steinbeck's connection: Ed Ricketts - marine biologist author\Steinbeck inspiration - "Doc" in Cannery Row, Lee in East of Eden -Rickett's son, Ed Jr., lived in Mill Valley. Ricketts, Sr. was also a muse to Joseph Campbell and Henry Miller. A student of S.F.-born Robert Frost's Dartmouth College lectures lives in Tiburon. This is stretching it but we love the story: Dylan Thomas once hit Mill Valley on a book tour and drank mightily at “The Deuce” - the iconic 2 a.m. Club on Miller Avenue. In a hilly Mill Valley neighborhood nicknamed "Poet Hill" all streets are named after poets. In San Anselmo, the Sleepy Hollow neighborhood and streets are named after a former resident's good friend, Washington Irving. As far as we know, Washington never slept here.
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"The Mill Valley Literary Review drags the literary journal kicking and screaming into the 21st century." San Francisco Magazine
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Opening Field of Lights photo by Scott Roberts - ScottOfTheWorld.com, instagram.com/ScottOfTheWorld.
The Field of Light display at Sensorio in Paso Robles is an art display made up of nearly 60,000 solar-powered lights on 15 acres situated just off Highway 46 East. Thousands of color-changing fiber optic lights transform a Paso Robles landscape at the long-awaited art display off Highway 46 East.Internationally-acclaimed artist Bruce Munro has premiered his largest artwork to date - an enormous multi-acre walk-through installation. The Tribune
*Janis romps on her Psychedelic Porsche, the 1964 drop-top 356C 1600 Cabriolet. The car was parked outside the Hollywood hotel where Joplin died of an overdose in 1970. Sotheby's auctioned in 2015 for $1.7 mil. https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/janis-joplin-porsche-auctioned/ See new Janis bio, "Janis: Her Life and Music" by New York writer Holly George-Warren. Includes her Marin County life in Lagunitas and Larkspur.
Line art: Creation by Alex Segal, Fairfax artist pencil 23x23.
Sands Hall at Copperfields Novato, CA: Perry King.
Trump on Peyote: Carl Macki, Fairfax, CA
Alice book shrooms: Igor Siwanowicz.
Sidebar insert photos and uncredited photos: J. Macon King.
Sponsor promotional photos and info provided by sponsors.
*"Psychedelic Mushrooms Are Closer to Medicinal Use (It's Not Just Your Imagination)" https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/03/science/magic-mushrooms-psilocybin-scheduleiv.html
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