Leonard Cohen died last week.
Leonard Cohen told us “Things are gonna slide – slide in all directions. Won’t be nothin’ you can measure any more. The blizzard of the world has crossed the threshold, and it’s overturned the order of the soul. When they said, ‘Repent,’ I wonder what they meant…”
It’s crazy time, babies, and here’s the best advice I’ve given myself: hope for the best and prepare for the worst, and I couldn’t be more serious about either. Also, have a chat with a racist or try to understand the struggles of a working class neighbor. Make bridges, not enemies, but always be prepared to immediately confront and attack a bully. This is the only tactic that works with bullies. One warning is probably fair, but then hell on earth. No joke. It’s an all-in bet that it helps to be committed to beforehand.
On another note, this weekend VICE ran a great interview with the Robert Greenfield, author of a new biography on the Acid King. Here are a few words…
Though not a household name, Augustus Owsley Stanley III, a.k.a. Bear, was an underground hippie legend who some say is largely responsible for the zeitgeist of the 1960s counterculture movement, thanks to the ultra-pure LSD he manufactured. Put it this way: If Bear wasn’t on the scene, there would literally be no acid in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.
Bear manufactured millions of hits of “White Lightning,” the cleanest LSD this side of Albert Hofmann, at a time when the drug was still legal. He’s directly credited with expanding the minds of many of the most influential figures of the 60s, including John Lennon, who once tried to obtain a lifetime supply of Bear’s potent product. The chemist even used the money he generated selling LSD to help fund the early days of the Grateful Dead when they resided in Haight-Ashbury. He also worked as the Dead’s sound engineer, even creating their “Wall of Sound” and the notorious “Steal Your Face” logo, inspiring the dancing bear icons, and recording some of the band’s best recordings, live and in the studio.
His influence was omnipresent, even if below-the-radar of the pop culture canon, and would have continued to affect and inspire lead figures of the era if he wasn’t arrested by federal agents in late 1967. (LSD was made illegal by late 1966) Once he was released from prison, Bear never made LSD again, though he continued to be involved with the Grateful Dead and the counterculture scene until his death in 2011.
Here’s a collection of 77 YouTube videos entitled “Timothy Leary, Owsley Stanley, Hunter S. Thompson & MKULTRA.” God bless the United States of America.