Timothy Leary’s New Book On Drugs

I always sort of liked Timothy Leary, but I never took many drugs and never really read any of his work. I've sat through a few videos in which he came off as a good-natured eccentric — spaced out, but with a sharp sense of humor.

This book is a surprise. Published by Re/Search, purveyors of books about pranks, punk rock, and body modification, it may not make you want to become an "enlightened" acidhead, but it should leave you with at least one insight: Timothy Leary was a damn fine writer. Who knew?

I interviewed Leary On Drugs editor, Hassan I Sirius, by email to get the scoop on this new collection of Leary's writing.
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about the book!

JAYDEN DEVEREUX: I was mostly surprised by the quality of Leary's writing and his seriousness of purpose. How did you go about selecting materials for the book?

HASSAN I SIRIUS: My approach was pretty much exactly what you've just implied. Most of the content was selected for the quality of the writing and for the calm lucidity of Leary's thoughts about drugs. With all the recent positive reports about psychedelic research (Time magazine even had a story titled "Was Timothy Leary Right?") — and with the growing awareness of the destructive nature of drug prohibition, it seemed wise to try to make this a fairly serious contribution to our collective knowledge and thinking regarding drugs, particularly of the psychedelic variety.

Leary wrote a lot of material, some of it frivolous, some of it caught up in the battles and in the hype of a particular time period. And some of that material may not stand up to scrutiny. I think I mostly selected materials that stand on their own. You don't have to understand the sixties or the seventies all that well to get something out of these pieces. They really are pretty much focused on drugs – descriptions of experiences and visions, theories, observations and so forth.

JD: The theoretical material is a bit dense. He had a scientific orientation.

HIS: Yeah. Even when he was living in a teepee at the height of the hippie movement, he never cancelled his subscription to Scientific American. And even though he started using all those eastern Hindu metaphors that became so popular then, he was also seeing it all in terms of genetics and DNA, very early on. It was not that long after the discovery of DNA – less than a decade — and this really impacted on his vision of psychedelic experiences from the start in 1960. You can pretty much find him intuiting evolutionary psychology even in his earlier writings. He went on evolutionary trips, experiencing the emergence of life and its evolution toward humanity. He assumed everybody would have that trip, which is one place where he went a bit astray.

JD: I was able to understand most of it. Most of his arguments for psychedelics don't seem particularly wild. But what I really enjoyed was the stories. Some of those are pretty wild and pretty intense. The political section is almost scary. Can you say a bit about that?

HIS: Yeah, well some of the trip stories are pretty intense too. But you're probably referring to the story involving Mary Pinchot, who was one of President Kennedy's lovers. And it seems pretty clear that she involved Leary in a successful conspiracy to turn JFK on to LSD. The material, in this case, is from his autobiography, Flashbacks. But in Flashbacks, this particular narrative was sprinkled throughout the book as you go through his life chronologically. When you actually isolate the sections about Pinchot and then stitch them together as an entry, it makes a stronger impression.

The other thing you may be referring to is the conversation at the end of the book that Leary had with a hardball Swiss political operative with various intelligence connections while he was in exile from the U.S. government in Switzerland. The entry is almost painful in its sophistication and leaves the book on a solemn note — we are still all prisoners of men who lust for power, from Leary's point of view.

JD: What were Leary's favorite drugs?

HIS: I guess they all had their place. He was a social drinker and he was a social guy… so that amounted to a fair amount of drinking. It's sort of funny – he's always celebrating great moments in the psychedelic revolution with a glass of champagne or something along those lines. Mind you, I don't see anything wrong with it. And he always thought LSD was an extraordinarily marvelous invention. In a 1988 article included in the book, he writes about "good old LSD" and marvels that it's still the best. There's a segment on heroin. He wasn't crazy about heroin, even though he found it pleasant when he tried it… and he makes it clear that he wasn't happy about the dominance of coke and crack in the drug culture during the 1980s.

JD: Do you think he would be happy with all of the psychedelic research going on now?

HIS: He was alive to see it begin again and he commented on it favorably. Yeah, he would be thrilled with the positive reports. People forget he started out examining these drugs in a therapeutic context. On the other hand, he denounced control of drugs by the medical profession, particularly later in his life. He took a libertarian view that adults have a human right to do what they want with their brains. But at other points, it's clear that he prefers the medical model to leaving it in the hands of the drug warriors.

JD: So what does Leary have to say to us now?

HIS: Well, read the book. It's not so much reflective of the politics of the moment – although plenty of lessons about that can be found in there — but most of the material is really reflective of a search for meaning, and self-understanding, and peak experiences that people can find valuable no matter what is going on in the world.

In this book, what you get, mostly, is a very thoughtful and sensitive Leary pondering the meaning of it all.

Click here to buy the book!

See Also:
Prescription Ecstasy and Other Pipe Dreams
Hallucinogenic Weapons: The Other Chemical Warfare
Counterculture and the Tech Revolution
Don't Call It a Conspiracy: The Kennedy Brothers

Expect Trouble Activating Your iPhone

While fans with bulging wallets crowd the Apple stores, Apple already knows they're doomed. Apparently, they fully expect iTunes to choke on all the traffic from iPhone activations.

Apple wants to dissipate as quickly as possible the crushing mobs at their retail stores, so they've promoted the first-of-its-kind online activation heavily:

Activating iPhone takes only minutes as iTunes guides the user through simple steps to choose their service plan, authorize their credit and activate their iPhone, Apple said. Once iPhone is activated, users can then easily sync all of their phone numbers and other contact information, calendars, email accounts, web browser bookmarks, music, photos, podcasts, TV shows and movies just like they do when they sync their iPods with iTunes. --AppleInsider.com

The only problem is that all those requests at the same time will put a huge strain on Apple's iTunes servers. But, at least then, they don't have to deal with a lynch mob at the retail level.

10 Zen Monkeys has received an anonymous tip from an Apple Store employee -- and he wasn't afraid to admit he's not happy about the fact he hasn't been with Apple a year and therefore isn't getting a free phone -- outlining a memo that was sent around, informing managers on how to deal with surly iPhone customers who can't connect to iTunes, which is the only way to activate their phones.

In the memo, employees are told to expect some customers to return to stores in person to complain, though it should be a small number.

"We've been told to be courteous, polite, and even apologetic. And then suggest that they go home and try again an a little while. And under no circumstances will they be allowed to activate their phones in-store." So if you're thinking that -- think different.

"Another important little tidbit," said the anonymous Apple employee, "Good luck calling Apple or AT&T to complain. Both companies' customer support lines will probably be massively busy."

The best strategy is to wait until later in the weekend to activate your phone, he said. We say to Apple, "Good luck with that."

See also:
Paris Hilton v. iPhone
I'm a Mac v. Bill Gates
5 Sexiest Apple Videos

This article is satire

Pregnant Nympho Sex

Pregnant Nymphos

Pregnant sex is hot.

My bulbous-bellied, hormonally-horny spouse is pursuing me around the house, ramming her enormous nipples into my mouth, ravaging my genitalia ten times a week.

She's usually a laid-back, bored type of lover, but lately, she can't get enough meat in her oven.

Nobody told me pregnancy entailed passionate, crazy, kinky boinking like this — truth is, I feared my wife would just get fat, bossy, fetid, weepy, and frigid. I even stockpiled porn, bunkering up for nine months of wanking that I'm now too drained to even consider.

"Blood is marching to my groin and mammary glands," moans my wife. "My pussy's always sopping wet because I'm in a constant state of desire."

I suspect she's just a heated freak, imagining things — but physicians back up her frothy analysis. In The Pregnancy Book: Month-by-Month, Everything You Need to Know From America's Baby Experts, authors William Sears, M.D. and Martha Sears, R.N. state that "some women become aroused more easily and climax more quickly, pleasurably, and frequently ... during the middle months of pregnancy, than at any other time in their lives."

Titillating promises also exist in the guidebook's "For Men" section: "Some women experience new cravings, stunning their mates with sudden and unexpected voracity. Don't be surprised if your pregnant partner turns tiger." Yabba-dabba-do!

Last Saturday, at our Prenatal Yoga class, I queried several other mothers-to-be about their maternal libidos: "My boobs are ripe and juicy, and my vagina is hungry," confesses Stephanie, in her seventh month. "I walk down the street thinking about sex with every man that passes by, because they smell musty like animals — when I get home, I immediately want it doggiestyle, because it's so comfortable."

"She's quicker!" grins her husband Darryl. "No half hour of grinding required, unless she wants multiple orgasms. Suddenly, I'm a stud!"

My wife is panting uncontrollably, her kundalini inflamed by the class's contortionist postures. Impatiently, she pulls on my belt, to hurry me home for some humping.

Ten minutes later, I'm getting naked-nookie-slurped again — this time, on the stairs. Used to be, her only erotic time-space was under the sheets when TV programs weren't promising, but now, every second and centimeter of the planet has copulatory potential.

What about my lust, you're wondering — does the wide-waisted waddler turn me on? YES! Why?
  1. It's Perverted. Mounting a pregger-lady is like screwing your Mom. Naughty. Incestuous. My cock stiffens now when I see nine-monthers struggling down the street.

  2. New Flesh. My wife's figure has bloomed so big, it feels like I'm cheating on her with a zaftig mistress — quite pleasurable, after the decade of skinny monogamy that I've suffered.

  3. Checking On Junior. This Daddy likes poking his head down the hallway, knocking on the cervix door to say "Hi!" to his son.

  4. Stress Reduction. If I wasn't romping wild with my wife, I'd just be worrying about college tuition, and my spawn metamorphosing into a Littleton monster.

My final advice to future fathers is this: Encourage your womb-mate to dabble in midwife quackery.

For example: My wife's never allowed me to enter her sphincter — but yesterday, she read in a midwifery text that her "perineum" needs softening, to help it expand elastically when our child is crowning. The perineum is a chunk of gristle lying nastily between rectum and vagina.

"You'll massage it for me, putting a finger in each hole, and squeezing hard," explains my wife.

"Goodie!" I agree.

"Eventually," she blushes, "something ... wider ... needs to stretch the tight cavity — my perineum needs pounding, like abalone..."

"This Dad will do his duty!" I promise. Finally, anal sex has family value!

See also:
Screech's Sex Tape Follies
World Sex Laws
Why Sarah Palin's Sex Life Matters
Japanese Nose Abuse

Virtual Screech, Sexual Superstar

Dustin Diamond played the innocuously nerdy "Screech" on the Saturday morning sitcom Saved by the Bell — so everyone's curious how he's handled the transition to adult video star. After reviewing the tape, we can report that Dustin, now 29, wields a video camera at a bachelorette party gone wild. There's a bride, her bridesmaid, lots of champagne, plus Dustin himself — a horny standup comic trying to coax them out of their clothes.

The plot of the tape is at least as unpredictable as an episode of Saved by the Bell. (Will the bride-to-be sober up? Will Dustin convince them to model lingerie?) But the real potency of this mystery is what's Dustin like? After 11 years of playing the luckless high school nerd, originally on the Disney channel, it's jarring to imagine him in a drunken hotel room orgy.

So as a public service, we've replayed the DVD, transcribed Dustin's dialogue and created an appropriate avatar to read it.

To see "Virtual Screech," click on this hyperlink.

(Note: your browser must allow JavaScript popup windows)

See also:
Screech's Sex Tape Follies
Dustin Diamond vs. Sgt. Harvey
Dana Plato, Porn Star

Death? No, Thank You

Aubrey de Grey The founder of PayPal just gave "mad scientist" Aubrey de Grey $3.5 million to research immortality.

It's unclear whether former PayPal CEO Peter A. Thiel did this for all of us, or just so he can guarantee his place at the front of the line for the eventual treatment. Regardless, a better way to spend excess millions is difficult to conjure.

"Rapid advances in biological science foretell of a treasure trove of discoveries this century," said Thiel. "I'm backing Dr. de Grey, because I believe that his revolutionary approach to aging research will accelerate this process, allowing many people alive today to enjoy radically longer and healthier lives for themselves and their loved ones."

Right on. I always knew I was meant to live forever. How? Because, when I really think about it, it's totally unfair that there will come a day when the universe won't include me and my little world. It just doesn't make any sense. On the other hand, it makes all the sense in the world that, just as others have died before me, so shall I.

Please, o' mighty Science, deliver me from this paradox! I blame evolution and DNA for this cruel joke, for an imagination able to contemplate forever, coupled with a body that cannot. I blame religion for making humans complacent with a fairy tale promise.

And I blame science.

If the scientists hadn't spent so much time just accepting the premise that we all have to die someday, we might be living forever already. They have worked hand-in-hand with industry and capitalism to provide nearly enough useless consumer goods to allow us to occasionally forget our mortal condition; but really, I could do without about half a billion of those products in order to not have to die.

I'm not the only one. A group calling itself The Coalition to Extend Life recently issued a press release promoting "immortality as a national priority." They want people to sign a petition they hope will eventually be a million strong. "Our elected officials must be made aware there is massive support for immortality now!" it says on their website. You can also become a member for $30 a year, or just buy a $15 t-shirt that says, "REFUSE TO DIE."

On the other hand, metaphorical immortality has been around for a long time. It has been said repeatedly down the ages that fame or greatness, for instance, provides an existence beyond one's physical longevity. Children also offer this legacy benefit.

One can even attain a type of afterlife online. When 19-year-old college student Alicia Kay Castaneda was brutally murdered by her boyfriend with a baseball bat in Orange County, Florida, her website persona, "Enamored," continued to live through her Myspace page. It contains some of her thoughts and experiences, including a poem to the man who killed her, along with animated photo montages. The pages also serve as a memorial and ongoing conversation for the bereaved.

But how long will these artifacts remain online? "Digital immortality comes through these remnants of a person's online life," said Paul Saffo, a Silicon Valley technology forecaster and professor at Stanford University, "but that immortality terminates piece by piece when some tech person somewhere shuts down an account."

It seems that, ultimately, a legacy is not a viable substitute for immortality. And so, allegedly brilliant people like scientiest Ray Kurzweil push the idea of truly living forever. Ray holds audience with U.S. presidents and other very influential folks. He was even recently featured on "The Daily Show" beside Samantha Bee — how much more credibility could a scientist ask for?

Scientific immortality as seen through the public eye may still be an idea worth laughing at, but for how long? When the looming biotech boom starts making real advances, how fast will people's sentiments change, along with their demands? What is it worth to cheat your own death, and further, to imagine your parents and children being able to do the same thing? It could be dangerous to have the masses pondering this thought, and we can safely assume that the almighty leaders of business and state are aware of the possibility for unrest.

Think about people like Magic Johnson and Michael J. Fox and, before he died, Christopher Reeves — how overnight they became memebots for their respective afflictions once they were stricken, in the desperate hope that they could use their celebrity to channel the research and money needed for a cure.

The rest of us walk around sharing a delusion that we'll never die because at our cores, we know that we will. When something like cancer is cured, though, we'll start to imagine that it might be safe to throw off that delusion and replace it with a sense of real possibility. Then watch one of the fastest thought contagions history has ever seen, as each of us in our own way become advocates of curing the "disease" that is mortality. Who deserves to get that cure?

Kurzweil believes the "eternal divide" between haves and have nots is not going to be a fatal issue for the immortalist movement. He cites trends in bringing new technologies to market: at first, the technology is super expensive, doesn't work very well, and is rare; then it is expensive, works OK, and is more widely available; finally, it is super cheap or free, works great, and is everywhere. (Think cell phones or internet access.)

But this scenario assumes that society makes it through the first phase. Fear of death and knowledge of our own demise have driven humankind's deepest desires and anxieties since we appeared. To have that framework suddenly and fundamentally displaced by the promise of a real immortality will have psychological effects we cannot possibly predict.

I can predict one thing with certainty — when the day arrives (if it hasn't already) that I can flip the reaper the finger just by getting gene therapy (and you can bet it'll be covered by health insurance, because gene therapy increases an account's longevity along with an individual's), I'll be willing to do a lot more to make it happen than simply sign some lame petition.

My notion of what constitutes fairness and injustice will be radically altered if some capitalist douchebags get to live forever and the rest of us don't. Sure, it may be that all that's in our future is the death of the planet anyway (thanks to the same douchebags), but dammit, I'd at least like to watch my species' Final Act.