Best Unintentional Drug Song Ever

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If you ever see The Zombies’ version of You Really Got A Hold On Me in a cinematic drug scene, it’s because I put it there or some hack in LA stole the idea from me. And yes: only this Zombies version applies. There is no other cover of this song that bleeds heroin from an open vein like this. There are, in fact, very few songs this ironic in existence.

Try it out and see how it fits.

Heroin: Art and Culture’s Last Taboo

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diogenes-1860

These are the best journalistic pieces I’ve ever read/listened to that delve into the history of junk philosophy. The author doesn’t seem to have ever been a heroin addict, which is wonderful. What joy, to see our little tribe of philosophers in extremis considered on its merits by the outside world! Andrew Hussey deserves a round of slow, lethargic applause.

The Article: Heroin: Art and Culture’s Last Taboo — by Andrew Hussey, The Observer

The Radio Version, which is even better: BBC Radio 4: Heroin, by Andrew Hussey — on Art, Creativity and Heroin 

The drug did not give Baudelaire visions or hallucinations, even if he had wished for them; instead, it threw him into a profound meditation which detached him from the world and made him understand it more clearly…

Heroin users don’t need to do anything or go anywhere: they just are.

This above all is what makes the heroin user a threat to a society built on speed and movement. Heroin, in contrast, makes the individual deeply introspective. Beyond the “dirty junkie” cliches and the fear of disease, one of the reasons why heroin is still taboo is that it wipes away the sense of responsibility to the collective, to the herd. This is why heroin users are usually characterised as self-destructive narcissists who don’t really deserve to survive their habits.

But it is clear that artists who are heroin users have a clearly developed sense of negativity in relation to society, and that has its own aesthetic. This indeed is the true art of heroin – to refuse life, to refuse society; terrifyingly, in every absolute sense: to just say “no”.

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Professor Andrew Hussey: dean of the University of London Institute in Paris

 

Shakespeare on Heroin

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Newly reformulated and cut with iambic pentameter.

Relapse Day 7: Bad Scene, Act I

To use or not to use, that is the question—
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The stabs and shots of outrageous misfortune
Or tie up Veins against a sea of troubles
And by injection, end them? To dream, to sleep—
Ever more; and with a shot, put to end
This Heartache, these thousand unnatural shocks
Our brains are heir to? ‘Tis a preparation
Devoutly taken. To walk the world asleep…
To sleep, perchance to Wake! Aye, there’s the rub,
For on our heroin, what life may come,
While we flee in disdain this mortal coil,
Must give us pause, despite all the Thoughts
That make Absurdity of waking life
For who would bear the stripes and bars of time,
The prosecutor’s wrong, the social scorn,
The pangs of junky love, the Law’s decay,
The insolence of officers, all spurns
The world merits but we are forced to take
While we ourselves might our quietus make
With a bare syringe. Who would these troubles bear,
To grieve and sweat under a broken life,
But that the dread of losing our escape,
From sobriety, that unsought country
Travelers avoid return to, slows our Time,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than withdraw to a world we care not for.
Thus Suffering does make Junkies of us all,
And thus the golden rays of opium
Are sicklied o’er, with the pale cast of Dreams,
While enterprises of great pitch and moment,
Are tossed by Time as currents turn awry,
And we yield to Inaction.

Original free verse:

To use or not to use, that is the question—
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The pains and miseries of outrageous misfortune
Or tie up Veins against a sea of troubles
And by injecting, end them? To dream, to sleep—
Forevermore; and by a shot, to say we end
The Heart-ache, and the thousand unnatural shocks
Our brains are heir to? ‘Tis a preparation
Devoutly to be taken. To walk the world, asleep…
To sleep, perchance to Wake! Aye, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of heroin, what life may come,
When we have shuffled away to deny this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes Absurdity of so painful a waking life
For who would bear the stripes and bars of time,
The prosecutor’s wrong, the society’s scorn,
The pangs of junky love, the Law’s decay,
The insolence of officers, and the spurns
That society merits yet we are forced to take
While we ourselves might our quietus make
With a bare syringe. Who would these troubles bear,
To grieve and sweat under a broken life,
But that the dread of losing something in our escape,
From an unsought country, whose sobriety
No traveler wishes to return to, collapses the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than withdraw to others that we care not for.
Thus Suffering does make junkies of us all,
And thus the golden rays of opium
Are sicklied o’er, with the pale cast of Thought,
While enterprises of great pitch and moment,
Are lost to time and turn awry,
And we lose ourselves to inaction.

Kurt Cobain’s Heroin Kit

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kurt cobain works

You can tell a lot about someone’s personality with a simple glance at their works. An unkempt cigar box. A dirty spoon. Cotton Q-Tips. The inescapable black marks of carbon from flame on metal. The hyper-real clutter of a ritual made to escape reality.

The world’s most famous heroin kit belonged to Kurt Cobain, and now we can stare at it in misery and angst thanks to the Seattle Police Department and their newly developed crime scene photos that are just back from the lab, twenty years too late.

An old cigar box named after an Irish singer and poet. It isn’t very dirty but it’s a bit spartan. Maybe he didn’t use this kit much. Maybe it was a backup. Maybe he just wasn’t as much of a junky as he’s been made out to be. The spoon is dirty and it looks like it has been used two or three times without cleaning. When he cooked up he let the heroin really cook, which left rings of the drug where the water evaporated. He wasn’t compulsive about it, he didn’t try to soak up every last drop clean from the spoon or save every used cotton. It didn’t matter.

There’s some cut left in the spoon. The heroin is street quality black tar. He wasn’t trying to score better gear. Maybe he just didn’t care.Two standard 1cc BD insulin syringes, but at least they’re fresh and new. Nothing to stir with except the plunger end of the syringe. Not even a cup for the water from the sink.

The cotton in the spoon is a huge misshapen lump. Those adept guitarist’s fingers working the cotton off a dirty Q-Tip and fumbling to make a pathetic cotton ball. The dirty towel laid out. A chunk of the drug chosen and placed in the dirty spoon. Going to the sink to drip water in, no longer caring if it spills. Watching the drug liquefy and cook above the flame of a cheap disposable lighter. Stirring with the plunger, carefully removing the cap, tying up with a piece of towel and sending the drug home, wondering if it will change things but knowing nothing will.

There’s nothing to clean up with. Just the dirty towel. No alcohol swabs. Just the open, oozing tube of Dr. Hauschka’s Rosencreme to anoint the burning, sensitive skin.  It may be a mess, but everything’s in it’s right place. And when the ritual is over, it will all go carefully back in the box.

Put the cap back on the syringe, put the spoon back in the box and close the lid and smoke an American Spirit without an ashtray and write about your life in red ink and stab the words into the dirt in an act of defiance against the terrible and absurd rituals of a life in pieces. That’s who Kurt Cobain was. And if you ever find yourself in the Northwest of the United States, go out at night and head west to the water. Stare into the cold darkness of the Pacific. If you feel that darkness staring back at you, then you’ll understand in the moment before you turn away what it might have felt like to be Kurt Cobain.

 

Kurt Cobain crime scene gear

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Ross Ulbricht Not the First Admin of Silk Road

Ross Ulbricht, now on trial for masterminding the online drug exchange The Silk Road,

Ross Ulbricht is actually a libertarian economic theorist

Ross Ulbricht’s LinkedIn Photo

may not have been the first administrator of that site or even the first to use the alias “Dread Pirate Roberts”, according to a text file posted to Pastebin on October 2, 2013, which describes the history and evolution of online drug markets including Silk Road. In the film The Princess Bride, Dread Pirate Roberts is a pseudonym used by multiple people who take on the same mantle of a masked crusader as the others before him retire or die and replace their predecessor in the role.

Journalist Mike Power (@mrmichaelpower) brought the Pastebin file to public attention on Twitter last week. The file was posted to Pastebin at 11:53 AM CDT on October 3, 2013, two days after Ross Ulbricht was arrested. A lengthy history of the evolution of online drug exchanges, the article makes no mention of Silk Road’s seizure by the FBI or Ulbricht’s arrest and appears to have been written at an earlier date. It concludes its history of the movement with the statement, “…we are in the era of SR [Silk Road], and I think we are already close to unstoppable.

The author refers to “the original DPR [Dread Pirate Roberts]“, suggesting he was writing at a time when he knew or believed that Silk Road was being operated by a subsequent administrator under the same Dread Pirate Roberts alias.

If this is true, Ross Ulbricht may not be the “mastermind” behind The Silk Road at all.

The anonymous author of the document writes:

“I remember actually reading about the idea for SR from the original SR admin on the bitcoin forum prior to him making the site, but the council on BBS essentially came to the idea of a public drug site at the same time as and independently of the original DPR. We also had a massive history and honestly were kind of miffed that some noob was trying to steal the glory (sorry DPR!).

…it used to be about the community and about fighting for our rights and protecting our people, and that is why I have a ton of respect for DPR now because he is on the same page as I am even if he is making a grip of cash at the same time). …

Anyway the rest is history, I ran OVDB for a good bit, but the media blew SR the fuck up, Ene got busted by homeland security, tarpaulin got strung out on heroin and scammed a bunch of people, it just wasn’t worth it for me anymore. DPR had a business model and a reason to keep running his site, SR went from a thousand members to tens of thousands to a hundred thousand from all the media attention and OVDB only had a few thousand at its peak. I decided it is better for us to just get behind Silk Road…

So I think right now we are in the era of SR, and I think we are already close to unstoppable, but I think there will be one more era in the future.”

How to become a heroin addict

This takes serious effort. It should not be taken lightly or attempted by amateurs.

1. Procure hundreds of dollars worth of heroin and a large supply of emergency naloxone kits.
2. Procure several hundred syringes.
3. Inject more heroin intravenously four to six times daily for 28 days.
4. Experience light, slightly noticeable flu-like symptoms.
5. Choose to continue using heroin.
6. Procure several thousand dollars worth of heroin and several hundred syringes.
7. Continue to intravenously inject heroin in increasing dosages with decreasing effects for 56 days.
8. Experience moderate, flu-like symptoms.
9. Choose to continue using heroin.
10. Procure thousands of dollars worth of heroin and one thousand syringes.
11. Continue to intravenously inject heroin in increasing dosages with decreasing effects for 168 days.
12. Experience moderate heroin withdrawal.
13. Procure thousands of dollars worth of heroin and one thousand syringes.
14. Continue to intravenously inject heroin in increasing dosages with decreasing effects for 113 days.
15. You are now a fully physically dependent heroin addict.
16. Continue administering heroin 4 to 6 times a day for several years to partly rewire your central nervous system.
17. Switch to methadone.
18. Stay on methadone for at least five years at a dosage above 25mg per day.
19. Congratulations. Your central nervous system is now permanently rewired and will always require opiates to function normally.
20. Quit methadone for two years. Become violently ill and constantly feel abnormal.
21. Resume methadone, not as an addict, but  as the result of your now permanent physiological dependence on opiates for normal neural function.

Congratulations. You have now evolved into Homo morpheus and require opiates along with your food and oxygen to survive.

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artefact 897

seas of glass and broken tides
the blood that pumps behind your eyes
the curses spat between your thighs
while you sang such sweet lullabies

torn apart vicissitudes
pain in volume’s magnitude
turkish market Prostitutes
could not complain of such abuse

the fiber of your spinal cord
entangled tight in whip and lace
what held us here or in that place,
let loose to fall,
like ancient leather.
Lost to time,
my broken treasure?

Silk Road 2.0 Busted

Nov 6, 2014 – The FBI in cooperation with multiple US law enforcement agencies has taken down Silk Road 2.0, arresting numerous individuals including Defcon, the site’s administrator, according to DailyDot.

Defcon was arrested in San Francisco, the same city from which previous admin Ross Ulbricht was operating the original Silk Road. Ulbricht described the site as a model of his libertarian economic beliefs and a free and safer market for street drugs. The site operated with an eBay-like feedback system that could exclude dishonest sellers. The site’s web presence also purported to protect individuals from the dangers of buying drugs on the street.

The U.S. government seems to disagree, or, more likely, not give a damn about the safety of drug users. The U.S. has fought harm reduction,  needle exchanges, opiate substitution therapy, and provides sparse to no free screening to addicts for communicable diseases that could affect the general population, which is a serious concern given the lack of needle exchanges and harm reduction approaches.

Numerous other drug trade and black market sites were also busted and shutdown in this operation. Read the full article here.

Kurt Cobain’s Mixtapes: Montage of Heck

An ostensibly authentic Kurt Cobain mixtape has been sitting on Vimeo for 2 years without being noticed. It was posted by SpaceEcho, who says he got the cassette personally from Kurt. It sounds exactly like Kurt’s experimental art-tape style. Kurt didn’t just make mixtapes. He made strange, William S. Burroughs & Brion Gysin 89influenced cut-ups from sound.

Montage of Heck runs just over 33 minutes and sounds so familiar it reminds me of a primitive version of Kurt’s later sound montages. Those have a much faster editing pace and make cannier choices before jumping into music. Either it’s real, or someone went to great lengths to imitate Kurt’s audio cut-up style.

At 19m10s a female voice tells you get ready to dance “a wild watusi, a frug, or a swinging halli galli”. I’ve heard that same excerpt on a different Kurt Cobain tape, minus the rest of the dialogue that is included before and after the quote above. In other words, Montage of Heck has more of that particular audio sample than what Kurt used of it on another tape. For that reason alone, I would say this is authentic.

Kurt was also known for giving out mixtapes to just about everyone, even to the kids who were around when he was working as a janitor. There’s actually an NPR story about that that I’ll post later.

Montage of Heck on Vimeo

SpaceEcho’s description: “Mind the length of this one. Find yourself submerged into the voyage depths of hell. Experimental Electronic Communication from out worldly sources through the forces of Cassette. Presenting the full version of Kurt Cobain’s “Montage Of Heck. (1986)

You can watch and download Montage of Heck on Vimeo.

union square

hotels and tourists
trolleyspotting,
a girl alone
trackmarking,
smiles.
you’re so handsome,
she says.
lonely
worn
soft
black skin
still
beautiful
sad, saucer eyes
waiting to be judged
for those scars,
the tracks
the copper moons
she knows I see
as she ripples on the wave of tourists
who came to look for something
once beautiful,
only to walk right past it.
So I took her,
my beautiful shipwreck
in placid seas of pretty tourists
and I led her away.
you’re so handsome,
she said.
I left her
at her salvation army,
walked away
past the homeless shelters,
around the corner,
up a block,
past a parked ferrari,
past the tourists
going nowhere.

unionsquare

no more poetry

circulatory subway map_image_531502111843035769745

hands on my weapon
dirty AWOL veterans
making deals with thieves

wait for violence
feel spontaneous
excitement
enjoy it
while it lasts.

when the knives flash
it becomes pointless.
dull.

go home, have fun
until someone gets hurt.
even better,
hurt harder.
we’re in a lull.

plan for action
fall asleep
in bliss or boredom
feel sorry
for nothing.

hard green eyes
fragile subway maps.
sunlit daydreams.
bound and beautiful.
tied to something, someone, somewhere.
it’s not enough to be alive.
i agree. so,

no more poetry
we’re cynical together
we shot up our dreams