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.

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.

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.

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

Hit Songs Squares Didn’t Realize Were About Drugs: Midnight Cowboy

midnight-cowboy-poster

Harry Dean Stanton, in the 2012 documentary, Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction:

“[singing] Everybody’s talkin at me…
–This is a heroin song, by the way. It was written by Fred Neil. It was inspired by Luke Askew, an actor.”

Luke Askew was a blues singer and actor who appeared in Cool Hand Luke (1967) and Easy Rider (1969), among many other credits.

Bill Paxton in an interview with AVClub.com:

“Luke was with Fred Neil one time, and they were stumbling around, they’d both shot up and were on heroin, and Fred Neil said to Luke, ‘Man, how do you feel?’ And Luke looked at him and said, ‘You know, everybody’s talkin’ at me, and I can’t hear a word they’re sayin’.” 

Fred Neil

Fred Neil

Everybody’s Talkin’, the theme song from John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy (1969), is performed by Harry Nilsson in the film. But the song was first written by Fred Neil and recorded by him in 1966. Nilsson covered the song in 1968 and the director chose it over Nilsson’s proposed theme: I Guess the Lord Must Be In New York City. Nilsson’s cover of Everybody’s Talkin’ made him rich and famous. Fred Neil wasn’t interested in fame and retired from music in 1971.

 

Neil’s original version is better suited to the song: slow, sad, dreamy, and lonely:

 

Nilsson’s cover, which is the only version most people have heard, is faster and radio-friendly. It’s oddly upbeat, although that trait arguably fits opening of the film:

 

Bill Paxton on Luke Askew:

Luke Askew

Luke Askew

“[Luke Askew] had been a great actor, and he’d also been someone Bob Dylan first identified with when he went to New York and decided he wanted to play in the coffeehouses. He used to see Luke singing the blues… 

Most people think [Harry] Nilsson wrote that song, because he made a hit out of it in Midnight Cowboy, but Fred wrote that. [Sighs.] Luke Askew, man…”

 

From Easy RiderLuke Askew as Stranger on the Highway:

Billy: Where ya from man?
Stranger on the Highway: Hard to say.

Stranger on the Highway: I’m from the city… Doesn’t matter what city; all cities are alike.
Billy: Well, why’d you mention it then?
Stranger on the Highway: ‘Cause I’m from the city; a long way from the city, and that’s where I wanna be right now.

Stranger on the Highway: [giving Wyatt some LSD] When you get to the right place, with the right people, quarter this. You know, this could be the right place. The time’s running out.

Junk Romance #4: Nicole

“A mild degree of junk sickness always brought me the magic of childhood. ‘It never fails,’ I thought. ‘Just like a shot. I wonder if all junkies score for this wonderful stuff.’” 
-William S. Burroughs

True junk romance is to be totally alone, no matter whose eyes stare back at you with desire.

Relapse brings back the dreams. Withdrawal brings back the yearning. I can feel her calling, her shiver down my spine. We’re addicted to the withdrawal just as much as the high. The relapse makes the agony of her withdrawal worth every second.

In junk dreamtime, she teases me with visions of the ones I loved enough to pose a threat to her. I fell in love with her at first touch. She’s jealous because I fell in love with you at first sight.

I can see your brown eyes staring into mine in that fluorescent room with grey carpet and old computers humming to the drone of a lecture by a woman with an ironic obsession for Robert Carlyle. She can put me there with you right now, years ago, forever, some day soon. Beautiful with your short brown hair and olive skin, your elvish smile, your eyes never too coy to draw away from my gaze. Do you still exist? Will you ever? Junk makes time travelers of us all and gives us scattered dreams where we had lives as smooth as ravens’ claws.

I used to believe in love at first sight until I met her. She taunts me with your ghost and I’ve lost everything but your eyes. Dark eyes that stare into my empty soul. You’ll never exist again at seventeen, in this moment or in my collapsing future. And she’ll never let me go. I’ll only have your eyes watching me from the past, a cruel gift from her as she waits around the corner and in the dark alleys I’m drawn toward as I’m pulled away from you.

brown_eyes

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”.

Andrew-Hussey-003

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

 

Bad Cops, Good Drugs and Self Destruction: If you like FILTH, you’ll love BAD LIEUTENANT (1992)

Abel Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant is a film about your average cop: a corrupt headcase with a gun who was born to be a criminal, but turned out to be a late developer. If you like James McAvoy in Filth, you’ll love Harvey Keitel in Bad Lieutenant. This cop knows how to mix his drugs. He’s also good at mixing his drug taking with a lot of stealing, drug dealing, screaming, whoring, and hard drinking. He does have some problems with gambling, though.

Ferrara is always willing to go to dark places, and in Harvey Keitel he found an actor who could go all the way. This NC-17 B-flick full of drugs, degeneracy, wild nihilism, suicidal apathy, horrific rape, and total self destruction is such a beautiful train wreck to watch that even Roger Ebert thinks it’s wonderful. But it’s not the subject matter that makes the film: it’s Harvey Keitel. The parallels to Jon S. Baird’s Filth (2013) are striking, specifically James McAvoy’s reach-out-and-choke-the-audience performance.

This is one bad lieutenant

Harvey Keitel plays the titular and unnamed Bad Lieutenant, the baddest of bad cops, who makes McAvoy’s Filth corruption seem like schoolboy pranks. Keitel pulls the entire film up from its b-movie vibe. The cinematography is so bad it makes shot/reverse shot look nouvelle vague. But it doesn’t make any difference at all while you’re watching it. The visceral shock of Keitel’s acting makes everything else peripheral. See the stills? They don’t come close to matching the intensity of the performance at 24 frames per second. Rogert Ebert wrote, “Harvey Keitel plays this man with such uncompromised honesty that the performance can only be called courageous…” That’s a delicate way to put it. It’s better described as a performance of beautiful insanity.

Gambling his life away, lying, conning, thieving, stealing evidence, selling drugs, robbing criminals, sexually assaulting teenagers, snorting cocaine, smoking crack, smoking heroin, shooting heroin, shooting at people, shooting at car radios, and drinking to oblivion in a naked stupor while whoring with bondage hookers: this Bad Lieutenant is far too busy tearing his world apart to photocopy an image of his phallus just to pull the department secretary.

BAD.LIEUTENANT-(NC-17.RATING).avi_snapshot_01.30.07_[2014.05.13_04.56.38]Now, if you’re here for the existential nihilism like me, I have to warn you: it’s not really the elusive nihilist film you’ve been searching for, because like most screen nihilists, this Bad Lieutenant comes with a twist. Unlike most filmmakers who deal with nihilistic characters, however, Ferrara’s lens never really makes judgments. The camera just watches. And this is one hell of a spectacle.

If you want to see a more phillosophical brand of nihilism in action, check out Terrence Malick’s Badlands (1973), whose lens is somewhat judgmental but leaves things open to interpretation. Mike Hodges’ Get Carter (1971) glorifies Michael Caine’s nihilist antihero. Mike Leigh’s Naked (1993) is closer to the philosophical mark, and David Thewlis is as mesmerizing as Keitel. Finally, another worthy Ferrara film is King of New York (1990) with Christopher Walken as gangster antihero.

Ferrara is currently filming Pasolini starring Willem Dafoe as the infamous Italian poet, critic and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini, in a portrayal of his final days leading up to his mysterious murder. Let’s hope that film gets released because if there ever was a great cinephile biopic in the making, it’s a story about Pasolini.