Songs that feel like a shot of heroin

My relapse hit list. I hope you like my tracks.

You don’t have to have ever used an opiate in your life to enjoy these songs. For those of you that haven’t, you’ll probably get the vibe anyway. For those of you that have, this is my “relapse” playlist. Not literally. I don’t relapse. I exercise free will. Choose life, Mark.

Regardless, drug use is not some “temporary failure of judgment” (the definition of a “lapse”). It’s a choice; often a medical necessity. But I couldn’t think of another word for “experiencing an opiate after a period of abstinence”. Revisit, maybe. I realise the word has a medical definition that could be used to describe the same circumstances. But the cultural definition is negative. We need to change the semantics if we’re going to change cultural attitudes.

1. Heartbeat – Wire

Anticipation. This is a really interesting song. It’s like the language of music is all but stripped away here, leaving pure feeling. Be careful listening to it. It has magic. It was originally intended as a love song.

2. Cosmic Dancer – T. Rex

Preparation. Nostalgia, a love song. A relapse revisit track. Not my favorite. But it’s nostalgic.

3. Ocean – The Velvet Underground

Here come the waves. Take a shot of heroin [never take a shot of heroin] and I think you’ll find this is Lou Reed’s ultimate heroin song, not that other one. I could shoot up to this song 365 days a year.

4. Long, Long, Long – The Beatles

Warm glow. Obviously, if you listen to this one repeatedly, it will turn bitter. Another one only suitable for a relapse revisit playlist. This is a nice sleepy song to play on guitar. The feeling of playing it matches the feeling you get listening to it, which isn’t as common as you would think.

5. Indian Summer – The Doors

Sedation. This beautiful, simple song is an outtake from The Doors’ first album. You may wonder why the hell it was cut. Supposedly, it’s the first song they ever recorded together.

By the way, just say no to drugs.


Meet Alexander Trocchi, Junk Philosopher

Alexander Trocchi

“If eternity were available beyond death, if I could be as certain of it as I at this moment am sure of the fix I have only to move my hand to obtain, I should in effect have achieved it already beyond the pitiless onslaught of time, beyond the constant disintegration of the present, beyond all the problematic struts and viaducts with which prudence seeks to bridge the chasm of anxiety, with the ability to say, avoiding unseemly haste: “I’ll die tomorrow,” without bothering to intend it, or not to intend it, as bravely as the fabled gladiators of ancient Rome.”

“For conventional men all forms of mental derangement save drunkenness are taboo. Being familiar, alcoholism can arouse only disgust. The alcoholic humiliates himself. The man under heroin is beyond humiliation. The junkie arouses mass hysteria. (The dope fiend as the bogeyman who can be hanged in effigy and electrocuted in the flesh to calm the hysteria of the citizens.) … I remember thinking that only in America could such hysteria be. Only where the urge to conform had become a faceless president reading a meaningless speech to a huge faceless people, only where machinery had impressed its forms deep into the fibres of the human brain so as to make efficiency and the willingness to cooperate the only flags of value…”

“Whenever I contemplated our poverty and how it situated me, apparently at the edge of an uncrossable gulf at whose far side strolled those fortunate few who lived their lives in well-mannered leisure, I felt like a tent pegged down in a high wind. Sermons on the sanctity of hard work, and there were many such sermons, were offensive to me. I thought of my mother’s hands, and of her poor bent body, and of her boundless admiration for the chief symbol of that class towards which all people of my acquaintance aspired, the class which did not work, the class of whose scorn my father was afraid, thinking only of money as he did, because he did not have any, because each shilling was doled out to him until he was driven to pawn the spoons…”

“For a long time I have suspected there is no way out. I can do nothing I am not. I have been living destructively towards the writer in me for some time, guiltily conscious of doing so all along… a decadent at a tremendous turning point in history, constitutionally incapable of turning with it as a writer, I am living my personal Dada. In all of this there is a terrible emotional smear. The steel of the logic has daily to be strengthened to contain the volcanic element within. …To lose my identity as a writer is to lose all social identity. I can choose no other any more than I can seriously sustain that. I am being left with a subjective identity, something I am discovering (or not) in the act of becoming.””Sometimes, at low moments, I felt my thoughts were the ravings of a man mad out of his mind to have been placed in history at all, having to act, having to consider; a victim of the fixed insquint. Sometimes I thought: What a long distance history has taken me out of my way! And then I said: Let it go, let it go, let them all go! And inside I was intact and brittle as the shell of an egg. I pushed them all away from me again and I was alone, like an obscene little Buddha, looking in.”

–Alexander Trocchi, Cain’s Book, 1960

Meet Mark Renton, Junk Philosopher

Mark Renton

Mark Renton, Junk Philosopher

“…ma concept ay success and failure only operates on an individual rather than an individual and societal level. Due tae this failure tae recognise societal reward, success (and failure) can only ever be fleeting experiences for me, as that experience cannae be sustained by the socially–supported condoning of wealth, power, status, etc., nor, in the case ay failure, by stigma or reproach.

…Why should ah reject the world, see masel as better than it? Because ah do, that’s why. Because ah fuckin am, and that’s that… Basically, aw ah ask is that cunts mind their ain business and ah’ll dae the same. Why is it that because ye use hard drugs every cunt feels that they have a right tae dissect and analyse ye? Once ye accept that they huv that

Irvine Welsh, Junk Philosopher

Irvine Welsh, Junk Philosopher

right, ye’ll join them in the search fir this holy grail, this thing that makes ye tick. Ye’ll then defer tae them, allowin yersel tae be conned intae believin any biscuit–ersed theory ay behaviour they choose tae attach tae ye. Then yir theirs, no yir ain; the dependency shifts from the drug to them. Society invents a spurious convoluted logic tae absorb and change people whae’s behaviour is outside its mainstream. Suppose that ah ken aw the pros and cons, know that ah’m gaunnae huv a short life, am ay sound mind etcetera, etcetera, but still want tae use smack? They won’t let ye dae it. They won’t let ye dae it, because it’s seen as a sign ay thir am failure. The fact that ye jist simply choose tae reject whit they huv tae offer. Choose us. Choose life. Choose mortgage payments; choose washing machines; choose cars; choose sitting oan a couch watching mind–numbing and spirit–crushing game shows, stuffing fuckin junk food intae yir mooth. Choose rotting away, pishing and shiteing yersel in a home, a total fuckin embarrassment tae the selfish, fucked–up brats ye’ve produced. Choose life.

Well, ah choose no tae choose life. If the cunts cannae handle that, it’s thair fuckin problem.” — Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting, 1993

DEA Investigates Journalists For Krokodil Abuse

Krokodil Tears

NEW YORK, MONDAY, 4:31 PM — Journalists are hysterical over krokodil, the new designer drug that is being abused by Rupert Murdoch’s employees and scaring the sanity out of reporters everywhere. One alleged journalist spoke to us confidentially, saying, “It’s perfect. There’s nothing else to write about. And this story gives you a serious buzz. No one read my last article, about the dog that saved a pet hamster by swimming underwater. But people injecting gasoline, and flesh falling from human limbs in time for Halloween, man, people love that. “Flesh-eating krokodil”. See? That’s a what’s-it-called. Anyway, I can come up with this stuff constantly. I just make it all up as I go.” The alleged journalist then looked nervous and shouted, “I am a golden god!” before spinning around at high speed in an office chair.

Journalists may have something more to fear than the truth, however, as several DEA spokespersons have admitted the agency believes journalists are actually getting high on the krokodil story itself, exhibiting disorientation and delusion. However, one spokesperson added, “It could be Rupert Murdoch is just playing another one of his famous pranks. Like when he tapped the dead girl’s phone. For Halloween.”

DEA has been monitoring krokodil story abuse on alleged news sites like, and They are not confining their investigation to the Murdoch cartel. The agency says it is now “very concerned” about reports of reports about krokodil that show telltale signs of krokodil story hysteria. “Journalists are getting high on their own product, basically,” said a confidential DEA informant who works in the mail room of a major newspaper in Chicago that rhymes with noon.

The DEA is officially charged with enforcing drug prohibition in the United States and where ever else it feels like, but spends most of its time shooting civilians in developing nations, seizing the assets of everyone it arrests for a drug crime, spending the money it seized from everyone it arrested for a drug crime, lobbying Congress for more funding, and trying to convince the world that drug users are terrorists.

The DEA now has plans to send its sanest operatives to calm the krokodil fever. The agency primarily intends to use make-believe and hand puppets to deflect media criticism of itself. A DEA agent who believed he was off-record explained, “We had to draw a line when they started trying to embarrass DEA, suggesting it was our job to do something about some sick terrorist junkies.” When asked why hand puppets would be used in addition to the regular practice of employing make-believe in such operations, the agent said, “These reporters who are high on krokodil stories are basically like the kids in high school you would sell Aspirin to instead of LSD, and then you’d watch them act like they were tripping out. They are extremely suggestible.”

DEA PR flacks explained today that the hand puppets are necessary to show intoxicated journalists the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behavior–but not when it comes to their drug story abuse itself. An angry man wearing a jacket with the letters DEA printed on the back explained, “It’s not about them, it’s about us. Because we don’t care about a bunch of journalists getting high on a story about a drug they don’t understand. And we definitely don’t care about a few junky terrorists who are injecting gasoline soaked heroin, or crocodile, or whatever you call it. Our job is to protect DEA, not the public. For example, these sock puppets cost $92 a pair, which is a significant savings over our last operational purchase. Our budget is very important to us. It’s one of the things we’re working hard to protect. That and America.”

Early preview access to the hand puppet presentation indicates that appropriate DEA behavior is defined as robbing drug dealers at gunpoint and spending the stolen money on toys and military equipment, including more guns that fire larger caliber bullets, which allows agents to simulate Grand Theft Auto style video game violence in the real world. Inappropriate DEA behavior is defined as having anything to do with public health or drug treatment, which has been called “helping terrorists” by the agency.

A prototype DEA puppet,  for operational use against journalists in the "Crocodile War"

Prototype DEA puppet, for operational use against journalists in the “Crocodile War”

The current DEA operation follows last week’s daring daylight raid by a news crew on a single beleaguered agent in a DEA parking lot. The agent was overheard shouting while fleeing from reporters, “That’s not our job. We just shoot people and take their money.” When finally cornered, the agent attempted to placate the throng of desperate journalists, all showing visible signs of krokodil story withdrawal. He whimpered, “If krokodil exists, and I’m not saying it does, then the ones using it are the terrorists. Because they’re terrorizing Americans with those disgusting skin lesions on their faces or whatever the hell those things are, and also they’re trying to embarrass a federal agency. And embarrassing a federal agency is a federal crime. And they’re antisocial and violent. Only a violent person would do that to themselves.” Satiated with quotes to fill column space, the journalists began to nod off and the unidentified agent drove away at high speed in a black Cadillac Escalade with 22 inch rims.

For now, frantic and confused journalists are seeking their next fix in a search for photographs of facial skin necrosis, which many agree would be an improvement over shots of gangrenous arms.

UPDATE: Facial skin necrosis images have been tracked down by pretend-journalists at the Daily Mail, who have developed a serious krokodil story habit

That was not journalism. And neither is this.

Suboxone: Corporations and Doctors Exploit Addicts For Profit

Reckitt Benckiser chasing opiate addicts

Reckitt Benckiser chasing opiate addicts

Alexander Trocchi once wrote a dreamy tale (though not perhaps as strange and nightmarish as this one), in which he said there is no more systematic nihilism than that of being a junky in America. Systematic nihilism sounds like an oxymoron, but let’s continue anyway. Another happy storyteller advises we judge the degree of civilization in a society by entering its prisons. Wait. Don’t be frightened. Most of the prisoners here are admittedly harmless. They were persecuted for crimes in which they did no wrong and didn’t hurt a fly. Why would scientists and politicians and corporations want to hurt these harmless souls? Lest you judge this society not harshly enough, let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time, there was an exception made to the not-so-golden rule of leaving addiction treatment in the dark ages, which only served to illustrate it. Two generic potions, buprenorphine and naloxone, were compounded together by an evil corporation with the demonic epithet of Reckitt Benckiser. Reckitt’s financial wizardry yielded a magical patent from these simple, garden-variety potions. He named the newest monster he’d created Suboxone. Curiously, buprenorphine was already in use for the very purpose Suboxone was created. Even curioser, Reckitt added naloxone to poison the new potion!

Meanwhile, buprenorphine was thought to be safer than mean mister methadone because buprenorphine is just a partial agonist. Weak willed. And naloxone, you see, doesn’t mix well with buprenorphine, because naloxone is an opiate antagonist, which is to say it reverses the effects of opiates and can cause people to suffer the tortures of the damned if taken in the wrong way. And the wrong way to take naloxone is to take it at all. Unless, perhaps, you’re dying in the ER from a heroin overdose. It’s not the sort of thing you want for breakfast with your Honey Smacks.

So, evil Reckitt Benckiser bribed Congress and told the certain kind of doctors who don’t care much for their victims–sorry: patients–that the poisonous naloxone would provide for a very instructive punishment. It would happily cause unbearable agony if people misused nasty Suboxone. And if they didn’t “misuse” it, they’d still be taking naloxone anyway, even though it might be quite bad for their bodies! Evil Reckitt and the careless doctors showed little compassion, as they were quite prejudiced toward these people they were supposed to be helping. Governments, too, found the punishment element quite appealing, what with the aforementioned and widespread cultural prejudices that exist toward harmless, innocent, flower-loving, hippie junky scum. After all, these were the same evil scientists, evil doctors, and evil politicians who made sure all forms of prescribed codeine in the land of America would be cut heavily with Tylenol, in order to kill children by inducing liver failure if they tried to enjoy taking the pills! After lots of pressure, even the good doctors in Italy who had been prescribing buprenorphine switched to the toxic Suboxone, the better to protect themselves from the social prejudices generally aimed at their patients.

Before crooked old Benckiser rolled out his toxic potion, the politicians in their Congress rushed to help him by passing an enabling act for doctors to prescribe Suboxone. The National Institute on Drug Abuse helped fund evil Reckitt’s new cash cow with Mommy and Daddy’s taxpayer money, awarding Suboxone orphan drug status—pretending the evil monster was even good enough to be called an orphan drug at all! Reckitt, for his part, claimed he faced poverty and was doing this for all the children of the world. He begged and begged for government aid. Then, in 2011, Reckitt reaped $1.3 Billion in sales of the pointless drug and laughed all the way to the nearest, crookedest JP Morgan Chase Bank.

When Reckitt’s patent was about to expire on the Suboxone tablet, he patented a sublingual film version, and promptly claimed the tablet he had previously sold was killing children (literally, that’s what Reckitt claimed). Insane as it sounds, using this kind of propaganda made a lot of sense, because Reckitt was talking to people who had been brainwashed by hysterical antidrug TV ads in the 1980s. This attempt to keep the harmless patients paying through the nose didn’t work, however, as Reckitt was promptly sued by an eager manufacturer of generic Suboxone, who wanted to join the cash cow. That cash cow is still being slaughtered today since generic Suboxone costs more than generic buprenorphine which does the exact same thing without the added risks and side effects of constantly ingesting naloxone without reason. Why is it so? Because the evil scientists and politicians and doctors, just like drug pushers, conspired to make sure no one can get buprenorphine without the dirty naloxone cut added to it.

Monstrous Suboxone, of course, should never have been born. Buprenorphine already existed to help people. Reckitt behaved no differently than the mythological drug pusher of those hysterical 1980s taxpayer funded TV ads. The government predictably put its weight behind the giant corporation. Medical professionals predictably cashed in with Big Pharma, and are even now lobbying the government for less arbitrary restrictions on prescribing Suboxone. And we all lived miserably ever after.

So, children, does it all sound pleasant and just? Would you like to be treated as a social pariah without any redeeming qualities except when you’re seen a cash cow for the butcher’s block? Would you like to be subjected to punishment without crime and have force set before you in place of choice? When you get sick, would you like to have no other choice but to swallow medication designed to inflict harm upon you, and pay dearly for that privilege?

If so, maybe you would like to become a systematic nihilist too.

p.s. don’t use drugs

Krokodil Hunters Blame Flesh Eating Horse for Drug War Miseries

Steve Irwin was killed by a sting ray. Not a crocodile.

Steve Irwin was killed by a sting ray. Not a crocodile.

Krokodil, the prohibition-era (i.e. present day) moonshine version of desomorphine (dihydrodesoxymorphine, trade name Permonid) that, according to legend, was previously made strictly for self-use in the kitchens of suicidal Siberian smack addicts, took almost a decade to make it to Moscow (supposedly), and has finally made it to America (maybe). That is, if you can believe the hysterical American media, eager as ever to find an easy monster to frighten-for-cash those millions of gullible saps, all at the expense of a few seriously ill junkies. That’s also if you can disbelieve the DEA, which you already do, unless you’re unfamiliar with their interdiction statistics. DEA says krokodil’s existence in the U.S. is unconfirmed, despite all the hysterical reportage and ridiculous YouTube videos. The media has responded with total confusion, since they don’t quite comprehend that the DEA doesn’t exist to protect anyone’s health and also doesn’t like looking stupid, which the media doesn’t seem to mind.

In Illinois, a few hospitalized users who media are claiming were riding the Russian crocodile say they thought they were buying heroin, and unlike heroin, this stuff made them really sick. DEA is right that it could just be contaminated horse, which, while safe as houses when properly manufactured in a lab, isn’t so safe when it’s made in a hut by prohibition-era (i.e. present day) gangsters and sold by unscrupulous capitalists who cut it down further with whatever’s at hand in the kitchen.

Now, let’s say it was krokodil. Who would put such garbage into their body? Ask the fat idiot next to you at McDonald’s. Then take, for example, a Russian girl in Siberia who bought a bunch of codeine pills at the grocery store and then pretended she was a professional chemist with a pharmaceutical lab instead of a low paid laborer with a dirty kitchen. To her, making krokodil is an act of desperation in the face of poverty and Prohibition. Because if she had access to a decent maintenance program or a supply of safe opiates, I find it very hard to believe she’d make toxic moonshine and inject it into her vein. Sure, the sane thing she could have done was to have used cold water filtration on the codeine to rid it of harmful paracetamol (Tylenol) and just take a substantial dose of codeine to relieve her withdrawal and misery. So, if she really thought the simplicity of a pitcher of cold water wasn’t an option and proceeded directly to advanced kitchen chemistry, then she must have a serious habit, and be in serious need of help—which probably still hasn’t turned up, even if she’s since been hospitalized and photographed for the cover of the local newspaper and is now despised as a krokodil freak.

It’s really the same old story, and America could teach the world a thing or two about the subject if it would bother to learn the lesson itself. Alcohol prohibition in the U.S. led to poisoning, blindness, death, murder and gang wars, just to name a few of its side effects. The government just has a slight problem admitting wrongdoing. Bad habit. It’s currently in denial.

You’d expect the media, at least, to realize that there’s something here a lot more frightening than the drugs themselves; that is, the actual cause of these miseries. They probably do. It’s just that the truth doesn’t sell advertising packages. So don’t count on the media, or anyone else trying to make money in the process, to tell you that the War on Drugs is the real monster. Just be frightened. Because flesh-eating crocodile and contaminated horse pales in comparison.

Child Riding the Krokodil

Child on Crocodile

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