Posted by editor on Friday, November 08 @ 18:34:51 PST (475 reads)
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Wisdom's Maw: The Acid Novel Goes 'Live' Via Kindle
Wisdom’s Maw: The Acid Novel, now considered an underground classic, "factionalizes" the CIA's LSD experiments of the 1950s/60s, known as Project MK-Ultra, and their influence on the counterculture
Published on 05 November 2013 (WireNews+Co) New York, NY
Wisdom's Maw: The Acid Novel [Far Gone Books, 1996]--suppressed in the early- to mid-1990s to publishers' concerns of potential libel, as well as of information contained within, which the Intelligence community deemed "not for public consumption"--has been released via Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FSG7NCE
Wisdom's Maw began as an investigative journalistic effort for High Times magazine in 1990, its author Todd Brendan Fahey then earning a Master's degree in Professional Writing at University of Southern California; Fahey had set for himself the goal of opening the lid on one "Captain" Alfred M. Hubbard--a former OSS agent who imported 100% of America's LSD from Sandoz Laboratories in Switzerland in the very early 1950s and would turn on Aldous Huxley and Timothy Leary to their first-ever acid trips. Al Hubbard became a real-life Johnny Appleseed of LSD and is a central protagonist within Wisdom's Maw. Fahey's exhaustive journalistic effort found its way into the November 1991 issue of High Times [http://www.fargonebooks.com/high.html] and would soon spawn a novel.
The published article, "The Original Captain Trips," gained attention of Hunter S. Thompson's publicist, William Stankey, who would represent Fahey for nearly five years and to no avail. Nearly every major publisher in New York had read the manuscript of Wisdom's Maw by end-1995 and all deemed it "subversive, untouchable and potentially libelous," as major characters--names changed but still living--spanned, among others: Ken Kesey, Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary and Sidney Gottlieb (Director of the CIA's Project MK-Ultra; the LSD and mind control experiments upon which this novel is based).
Wisdom’s Maw: The Acid Novel, nearly two decades hence and having been published independently via Far Gone Books in 1996, is considered now an underground classic. The 1st and only print edition was reviewed to 5-star acclaim within The Village Voice, High Times and a host of underground magazines, 'zines and campus newspapers.
The novel's "back cover blurb" was penned by Ernest J. Gaines (The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman; A Lesson Before Dying), recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Grant; Pulitzer Prize nominee and winner of the John Dos Passos Award.
With a resurgence of interest in psychedelics for medical and therapeutic use and a shift in attitudes concerning the "War On [some] Drugs," Todd Brendan Fahey's Wisdom's Maw: The Acid Novel sheds light on the origins of the US government's interest in LSD and its key role in the coming counterculture.
Far Gone Books published Wisdom's Maw: The Acid Novel (author Todd Brendan Fahey) in 1996, and which was and is considered one of the most controversial American novels of the past 50 years--since William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch.
Posted by editor on Friday, November 01 @ 22:47:51 PST (424 reads)
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Kindle upload of Wisdom's Maw: The Acid Novel coming soon
Posted by editor on Tuesday, September 24 @ 21:02:57 PDT (1576 reads)
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No kidding! Children not welcome to dine here
Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
Eatocracy.CNN.com September 20th, 2013
It’s a great time to be very young. If you’re a Brooklyn-dwelling one-year-old, you can take DJ classes. (Local DJ Natalie Elizabeth Weiss is teaching kids to mix electronic music. “You can’t pick up a cello when you’re three months old but you can push play,” she said.) If you’re four, chances are there’s a yoga class and a sushi-making seminar just for you and right in your neighborhood.
But there are some things kids can’t do now, and one of them is to hang out with their parents at several restaurants around the country. Unless you have a fake ID that says you’re over 10, be prepared to be shut out of the following spots.
La Fisheria - Houston, Texas Kids under nine are banned after 7 p.m. To be crystal clear on this point, the following statement is posted on the restaurant’s door: “After 7:00 pm, people over eight years old only. For your understanding, Thank you. We are a family friendly restaurant, and we also respect all of our customers so we introduce this new policy to the restaurant. Thanks for your understanding.”
Chef Aquiles Chavez told KHOU News, “We find children that are crying, some kids running under tables and our customers don’t like. Seven o’clock is not a time for children, especially when we serve drinks and wine.” But before 7 p.m., any children who aren’t picketing the place can enjoy a dedicated kids menu including items like Mexican mac and cheese.
McDain’s - Monroeville, Pennsylvania Kids under six are not allowed into McDain’s. Owner Mike Vuick told MSNBC three solid reasons why: “One is the increasing number of small babies that can’t be controlled. They can’t be quiet and really they can’t be expected to.”
Second, he cited kindergarten-age kids who “have shown increasingly poor manners.” Third, he faults parents who “act like we’re the ones being offensive” when restaurant staff ask them to quiet their children.
Luigi Q - Hicksville, New York This Italian restaurant has been banning kids under 14 since it opened almost 20 years ago. Says owner Luigi Quarta, “Most people who come in come to enjoy a martini or a bottle of wine after working all day. They are delighted they don’t have to be around all the crying. I love children and they love me but this restaurant is the type of place where they don’t need to be.”
Grandview Saloon & Coal Hill Steakhouse - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania No children under six is the rule at this steak house on Mount Washington. And that applies to everyone. Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Gaby Sanchez and his wife tried to take their 10-month-old baby to the restaurant for lunch in May to celebrate a win against the Detroit Tigers the night before. They were shut out.
The Sushi Bar - Del Ray, Virginia You have to be an older kid to get into this sushi spot, in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Sushi Bar has a no patrons under 18 policy. They say it “allows us to provide the perfect environment for small groups and couples out on ‘date night’.” Owner Mike Anderson has four other restaurants, all kid-friendly.
He told MSN that he decided to do this after checking out the crazy, kid-filled scene at one of them, Mango Mike’s. “There must be 50 kids in that joint. It’s pandemonium. We ran it by some parents that had kids, and I would say eight out of 10 thought it was a great idea. They said, ‘You’re on to something here’.”
Airplanes next! Please!
Posted by editor on Sunday, September 22 @ 10:23:44 PDT (1815 reads)
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Wisdom's Maw: The Acid Novel (Kindle edition; watch on YouTube)
Dear Friends of Liberty,
Before it hits Kindle, here is a free download of the underground novel Wisdom's Maw [Far Gone Books, 1996], which "factionalizes" events surrounding the CIA's LSD experiments of the 1950s/60s and their influence on the subsequent counterculture; the cast of characters includes Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, Aldous Huxley and veiled portraits of prominent architects of Project MK-Ultra and other notable figures of the era.
Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels believed that if one told a big lie and repeated it many times that the majority of the general public would believe it. In fact, Goebbels further believed and said, “the bigger the lie, the more it will be believed.” Such techniques were not invented by Hitler or Goebbels. Vladimir Lenin was aware of their effectiveness prior to Hitler’s rise to power. Telling lies to the general public is not only not new, it also is not a governmental practice restricted to foreign lands.
After William Casey's first staff meeting as head of the CIA in 1981, he was quoted as saying, "I'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." And one may recall the lies of the Nixon administration during the Watergate investigations of the 1970s in its attempt to deny its innumerable crimes. What they all believed and knew is that you could fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, and too many of the people too much of the time. What Casey and other American politicians also know is that you need not fool all of the people all of the time, since if you fool enough of the electorate enough of the time, you could discredit the rest of the people and get re-elected as well as push through your political agenda. Recall that Hitler seized power by fooling only a third of the people.
Of course, politicians employing propaganda to achieve political ends and control of the populace need the assistance of the media to do so. Radio and films were used very successfully by the Nazis to brainwash the people of Germany against the Jews and other races. Today the radio, the press, television, and the internet are all exploited by governmental forces to distort the truth and disseminate false information in order to achieve political ends. Yes, political ideology, driven by greed and desire for power and control, justify the means however untrue and unjust the message is. So one should not be incredulous about whether this technique of deliberately promulgating disinformation is occurring today in our American debate about taxes...
Posted by editor on Saturday, June 15 @ 11:02:49 PDT (809 reads)
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Posted by editor on Saturday, June 01 @ 01:58:54 PDT (533 reads)
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Wisdom's Maw: The Acid Novel (YouTube film promo)
Posted by editor on Wednesday, April 24 @ 01:56:43 PDT (569 reads)
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Why Doesn't Everyone Love Jazz/Fusion/Progressive Rock?
by Todd Brendan Fahey
I listen to music. Whilst traveling, writing, surfing the Web...aside from time asleep or in the shower or teaching, I'm listening to music. And came to me, after returning from somewhere recently, a desire to hear Pat Metheny's gorgeous instrumental album Watercolors. And it was after I was possessed with an overwhelming need, was impressed upon me that it was not necessarily this particular album that I needed to listen to: but the entire ethos and structure that defines Watercolors.
And then hit me just as deeply, the question of why others don't possess this same need. To hear other than 4/4 time and recycled formulae which (to quote chef Anthony Bourdain) any reasonably-trained bonobo monkey could master in two to three weeks time.
I queued up the album on my computer's MP3 player, and found myself performing keyword searches for all music of related genre: (in no particular order) Romantic Warrior, Return to Forever; anything at all by guitarist Al DiMeola, who was for a brief time part of Return to Forever; DiMeola's spiritual compadres Paco de Lucia and John McLaughlin; John McLaughlin's monster ensemble, the Mahavishnu Orchestra; French electric violinist Jean-Luc Ponty; Frank Zappa's aggressive three jazz-period LPs (of which Jean-Luc Ponty was a part); the ambidextrous and, many will say, terroristic drum work of Billy Cobham and his Glass Menagerie (as Cobham was part of John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra years earlier); and into Miles' In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew period (on which McLaughlin played guitar); and of the Dixie Dregs, whose guitarist Steve Morse is possibly the only man to ever hold a candle to Al DiMeola; oops, check that, then into Steve Howe's work with Yes, of a five album stretch (The Yes Album; Fragile; Close to the Edge; Tales of Topographic Oceans, and Relayer) that is, to my ear, unequalled in all of "rock"; and then comparing Yes's keyboard genius Rick Wakeman with that of Genesis' equally-deft (and, to me, more beautiful) maestro Tony Banks..., and then Banks to Kit Watkins of Happy The Man, which ate it, utterly, at the Box Office and were forced to disband for over 20 years, depriving me and those of my cast of mind something akin to essential vitamins and nutrients...
After suffering through 1980s New Wave and now the atrocity that is "hip hop," I'm wondering if there might be some kind of neurological explanation as to those persons who naturally gravitate to the music laid out above.
Even when listening to my favorite all-time vocalist, Van Morrison, I root out stuff like "Summertime in England" (from his criminally-neglected 1980 masterpiece, Common One) or the heart-rending "Linden Arden Stole the Highlights" (from his equally-neglected Veedon Fleece). And I scoff at those who say: "OOooooo, 'Brown-Eyed Girl'; I love that song."
Meandering through reviewers at Amazon.com, I find that there are a thousands of folk with ears like mine. I guess that should be good enough.
But, somehow--given that many of the musicians I adored and whose works I still reach for have long given up trying to "make it" in "the business"--it's not. ("Cold comfort for change" - Roger Waters)
Posted by editor on Tuesday, April 23 @ 06:48:23 PDT (588 reads)
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April 19, 2013
Over the past four months, "traffic" to my family of sites has soared to upwards of 400,000 "hits"/monthly. Tailored toward news and opinions which reflect "small government," decentralized Jeffersonian values and self-sufficiency, SiaNews.com / FriendsOfLiberty.com / LibertyThink.com are also critical of US government surveillance of its own citizens and provide solutions to the Federal Reserve's monopoly on "money."
We also keep a hard eye on North Korea and China's support of this monster regime.
Should your products, business or self-interest, present and future, match this sensible criteria, please consider placing a top- or sidebar banner advertisement on these sites.
The Department of Homeland Security (through the U.S. Army Forces Command) recently retrofitted 2,717 of these ‘Mine Resistant Protected’ vehicles for service on the streets of the United States.
Although I’ve seen and read several online blurbs about this vehicle of late, I decided to dig slightly deeper and discover more about the vehicle itself.
The new DHS sanctioned ‘Street Sweeper’ (my own slang due to the gun ports) is built by Navistar Defense (NavistarDefense.com), a division within the Navistar organization. Under the Navistar umbrella are several other companies including International Trucks, IC Bus (they make school buses), Monaco RV (recreational vehicles), WorkHorse (they make chassis), MaxxForce (diesel engines), and Navistar Financial (the money arm of the company).
DHS even released a video on their newly purchased MRAPs. Via Pat Dollard:
The MRAP featured in this video is was in Albuquerque, New Mexico for Law Enforcement Day which was held at a local area Target Store. This MRAP is stationed in El Paso, Texas at The Homeland Security Investigations Office. MRAP is a Mine Resistant Armor Protected Vehicle.
Posted by editor on Monday, March 04 @ 15:22:39 PST (734 reads)
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From the Senator who brought you the 'indefinite military detention' clause...
by Simon Black February 27, 2013
"There is no bar to this nation's holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant." -- US Senator Carl Levin
My dictionary defines the word "sociopath" as "a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.
I don't know about you, but it seems to me that someone who tries to award himself the power to lock people up indefinitely, without due process, is expressing extreme antisocial attitudes. And quite possibly a lack of conscience.
Psychologists might deem such an individual a sociopath. Yet in the Land of the Free, they're elected to the United States Congress.
This is the world of Carl Levin, a Senator from Michigan who championed the indefinite military detention clause in last year's National Defense Authorization Act.
In Levin's world, it's perfectly acceptable to hold US citizens on US soil without charges or trial, based merely on the suspicion of terrorist activity in the sole discretion of the government.
This, of course, is a rather convenient position for someone who has been in government for nearly the totality of his adult life. At age 78, he's been firmly ensconced in the US Senate since 1979 and was a politician at the local level prior.
Mr. Levin is now at it again.
In our ongoing conversations, you and I frequently discuss the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)-- a small part of a 2010 law which I typically describe as the 'most arrogant piece of legislation ever passed.'
FATCA imposes additional reporting requirements for US citizens with foreign financial accounts, as well as heaps of obligations for foregin financial institutions.
FATCA casts an enormous net, affecting banks, brokers, and even gold depositories. And its requirements are so onerous that, as I reported last Friday, even Swiss logistics giant ViaMat has dropped US citizens from storing gold abroad.
The law itself was tiny... a mere 18 pages. But the IRS regulations which came out of it total more than 500 pages. It's unreal. Absurd, really.
Apparently, though, 500 pages of oppressive regulations aren't enough for Mr. Levin. And his new bill, S.268 "CUT Loopholes Act" aims to raise the bar even higher.
Section 102 of the bill, entitled "STRENGTHENING THE FOREIGN ACCOUNT TAX COMPLIANCE ACT", proposes a number of increased reporting requirements for both banks and individuals.
There is also a provision to expand the FATCA net even further by defining "non-FATCA institutions". Essentially, this would give the Treasury Department all the domestic legal authority they need to bully anyone in the world. (Again, anti-social behavior?)
The bill goes on for nearly 100 pages, covering everything from increased penalties (up to $10 million) to simplifying the process for the government to confiscate your assets.
Levin is really pulling out all the stops to make it as difficult as possible to do business overseas, and to hold assets in a safe, stable jurisdiction abroad. The end result will be fewer options to protect your savings, and more government control.
If passed, this bill will be one small step for Levin, one giant leap towards capital controls.
Posted by editor on Thursday, February 28 @ 14:45:39 PST (655 reads)
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FriendsOfLiberty.com/Sianews.com sets monthly traffic high (January 2013)
Friends of Liberty Access Statistics
We received 16841740 page views since July 2002 Today is: 01/02/2013 Busiest Month: January 2013 (311084 Hits) Busiest Day: 4 November 2006 (35923 Hits) Busiest Hour: 08:00 - 08:59 on November 11, 2008 (6383 Hits)
Posted by editor on Friday, February 01 @ 00:04:16 PST (827 reads)
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SiaNews.com/FriendsOfLiberty.com/LibertyThink.com Hit by DNS Attack
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I have asked Herr Webmaster to enquire of the ISP of the nature of this downtime. Apologies to Readers who were logging into the generic "Default message" of the DNS disruption.
Posted by editor on Sunday, December 16 @ 13:18:53 PST (972 reads)
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What Went Down in Newtown, Connecticut
by Todd Brendan Fahey December 16, 2012
The 'sperg child was twisted; his Mom was a domineering/perfectionistic tyrant; his Pop left the family years ago (probably 'cos his ex- was unbearable); he was alone in a house with a control-freak mother, who he blew away with one of her own weapons; hadn't had contact with his older bruh for two years; had 0.00 friends. And he went to that elementary school to blow away young children, 'cos he didn't have the balls/gumption to go back to his old high school to do that same to "the bigger kids" who teased him back when. He was a coward; highly-strung and emotionally retarded, and was bound to snap in some way. What y' gonna do with a human like that?: Bright enough to not be institutionalized; pampered (and obviously criticized) by Mommy, with whom he was still living. There is no solution that I can see for such a fragile and legally-tenuous situation.
Posted by editor on Sunday, December 16 @ 00:44:27 PST (1165 reads)
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''Ain't Gonna Come 'Til I'm Ready''
One of my very favorite songs. Written, sung by (lead and backing vocals), all instruments played by, and recorded in his own home studio--by the same man: a genius named Karl Wallinger. This entire song (the entire album, actually, titled: Goodbye, Jumbo; "technically" by "a band" called World Party) is the work of one human; blows my mind.
(Search for the mp3 file online; solly: Can't upload tunes to this Website...yet.)
Posted by editor on Monday, October 15 @ 08:28:43 PDT (1034 reads)
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[Flashback]: Todd Fahey: the Wisdom’s Maw interview
Posted on September 1, 1998
An interview with Todd Fahey about his gonzo conspiracy theory novel Wisdom’s Maw
SPIKE note: This interview first appeared in the print zine Carbon 14. Todd Fahey is still without a UK publisher for Wisdom’s Maw, despite rave reviews from every sector of the literary press. Go figure, as they would say in America.
About five months ago, we received a copy of Todd Fahey’s book Wisdom’s Maw. I’d seen ads for it somewhere. Or maybe saw his Web page. Either way, I had definitely heard about it before it appeared in our mailbox. (Which kind of makes sense now that I know a little more about the book and its author.) Personally, I’m not that enthralled by conspiracy theories, although I am fascinated by Larry’s insistance that JFK was killed by Woody Harrelson’s father, but even I was intrigued by the theme of this novel. Was the whole 60′s counterculture “beatnik” revolution the result of the CIA screwing around with college kids’ lives and minds? Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg government pawns? And how does that tie in with JFK’s assassination? You’ll have to investigate for yourself. I recommend a visit to Todd’s Web page (http://www.fargonebooks.com) which explores the book’s terrain more than this interview. -Leslie
Carbon 14: How long had Wisdom’s Maw been completed before you decided to self-publish it?
Todd Brendan Fahey:Wisdom’s Maw was conceived at the turn of 1988-89, in a period of increasingly heavy LSD usage for me. I was living in Santa Barbara, CA and had been accepted into the prestigious & ultra-expensive Professional Writing Program at USC for the Master’s degree – this after having basically been run out of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University for writing “too much like Hunter Thompson.” It is important to note that, at that time (Spring 1988), I had never read Hunter Thompson. Not a word. I’m fairly sure I’d never even heard of him (I’ve spent many hours on this question and poured over all my old college folders. and there is no evidence at all of my ever encountering his work). I can pinpoint the exact moment that I recall discovering Thompson, and it was not until I bailed ASU in May of ’88 and moved back to Santa Barbara. This is an absolutely critical point if anyone is to fully appreciate my writing. I am not a “Hunter Thompson clone” (though one could do much worse). I share with Thompson the “black comedic” cast of mind; I am also an inveterate outsider and loner, with tendencies toward misanthropism.
“No one knows better than I how fucking tough it is to get published”
CI4: What are the advantages you’ve found to being self-published?
TBF: Being self-published means basically to be a one-man (in my case) whole-service industry. I am the shipping clerk, the order taker, the PR mouth, the advertising specialist – the training for which has been all on-the-job. By the time I’m through with this whole Wisdom’s Maw process, I really feel I could and should command a $100k yearly salary at a NY publishing house. ‘Cause, if Wisdom’s Maw takes off as a seller, it will be me & no other who got it there. The real advantage to me in this process, is to meet people like you. Truly, that’s been the human bonus. I am on pretty cozy terms now with the ed/pubs of most of America’s best counterculture magazines. No one knows better than I how fucking tough it is to get published, and to be able to just pick up the phone and say, ‘Hey, buddy! I’ve got John Barlow hangin’, wanna see the interview? Groovy. Let’s do cola soon. Ciao,” is kind of a mind-boggling thing. (I’m kidding about the cola – haven’t touched it since 1987.) The horrendous disadvantage to self-publication is, obviously, the money. I’m in hock about $20k to Citibank right row and they ought to be conscious of remaining REALLY NICE TO ME, because it would be incredibly easy to declare Chapter 7 and call this whole thing a bad dream. But I want to keep Far Gone Books running. And so it’s not in my best interest to go belly-up.
CI4: What influence have psychedelics had on your writing?
TBF: I have a deeply-embedded fear of being ‘straight.’ I’ll be frank about it. I have been enamored of chemicals since my childhood and it is surely the bane of my existence. I lost my wife over it just this past year. I love her and respect her enough to have finally told her, ‘l can’t promise I will change & a promise is what you want.’ So, we divorced after 5 1/2 years of a rewarding and tumultuous marriage. She did not know about my LSD intake during the writing of Wisdom’s Maw. I hid it from her – an LSD addicton that sometimes went for 40 days in a row – and in hiding my usage, psychologically, I almost destroyed myself. I am digging myself out of the wreckage that is lies as we speak.
[For the record, it was my soon-to-be-ex-wife - just after I had told her about my LSD years - who laid out the book in Adobe PageMaker. She is a wonderful Mormon woman. I can't thank her enough. The getting out of this book is one of the miracles of modern medicine. Maybe someday I'll get a chance to write about it.]
My relationship with chemicals is an uncomfortable one. To be very honest I am either bored of the “sober life,” or else it scares the shit out of me. I don’t know which. From the age of seventeen, I don’t think I’ve been straight more than a week at any given period. My survival is a testament to the strength of the human will. I had a hideous relationship with alcohol from 1982-1986 (from the age of 17 to a wizened 22, when I went through rehab.) I relapsed to the bottle in ’93, after about the 120th rejection of Wisdom’s Maw. I ‘drank-to- die’ until Thanksgiving of ’95 – a fifth of Wild Turkey a day. I’ve shed many tears over the memory of those days. I was so desperate to get Wisdom’s Maw published.
CI4: Is Wisdom’s Maw your first book?
TBF: I’ve been writing for a goddamned long time. I wrote my first book-length nonfiction ‘novel’ – a thing called Hell Bottled Up: Chronicles of a Late Propaganda Minister – in 1988, in my first semester at USC. Wrote it in a white-heat in six months, basically smashed on acid. Hell Bottled Up! is an autobiographical novel centering on my two violent years as a right-wing activist in Arizona, during the heyday of Governor Evan Mecham and a revival of the John Birch Society. You drop the name Todd Brendan Fahey around certain circles in Arizona today and you better watch your back. Oh, I’ve lived a really weird life. I became acquainted with conspiracy theory through the John Birch Society in 1984 and am credited with founding the first-ever university chapter of the JBS. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. But I was also a terrible drunk and was more than a little curious about psychedelics.
“But then it dawned on me: ‘Crap, I can’t pull a Hunter, Jr. I just can’t.’”
That manuscript made the rounds of New York for three years, and at one point Faber & Faber fell in love with it, as did Summit Books (Simon and Schuster); and Villard took a look at it. Thunder’s Mouth Press wanted to see it specifically – but my then-agent couldn’t close the deal. I finally shelved it in ’92 , as I was becoming a better writer. I thought I should clean it up, and I didn’t have the strength to look at it again. So, before I had even begun Wisdom’s Maw, I had this other semi-notorious “novel” written and was frustrated about not selling it. So, by the time I got a hundred pages into this incredibly dark and deranged CIA/LSD novel, I was antsy to sell it pre-finish. I must have ridden my agent terribly. I was so certain it was going to be a blockbuster. I just could NOT understand why the NY majors weren’t beating my door down. I still can’t, fools! Now that Wisdom’s Maw is getting great reviews in about every counterculture magazine that matters, I feel vindicated. It’s not selling extremely well, but it’s also not in very many book stores (like 10, maybe.) The chains won’t touch it. I can’t buy a distributor. It’s a monster. I’ve sold about 3000 copies through my Web site and word of mouth. I unloaded 50 copies while I was in Amsterdam; visit any of the English/American book stores there and you’ll find it. They loved it over there.
CI4: What other titles are planned for Far Gone Books?
TBF:Fresh Fruit & Gravity, a first-book of poems by Jim Tolan, will be out in about a month. It’s a gorgeous thing, and at $9.95 (big commercial plug) is a steal, for a signed first. Jim is a friend of mine, a fellow Ph.D candidate at U. of Southwestern Louisiana, and a 1994 winner of the AWP Intro Award for poetry. He is working very much within the Whitman-bardic tradition – the larger “I-as-soul-of-America” thing – and I hope this book wins an award for best small press design, because it is stunning. I’ve been very lucky to have had two hungry graphics guys offer to design my first two books for pocket change. In May, I will release my demented short stories, titled Dogshit Park & other atrocities, which are the blackest things to come out since the heyday of Burroughs, Terry Southern and Hubert Selby, Jr., all of whom are my forefathers. After that, a collection of scholarly criticism on Hunter S. Thompson, which I think will surprise a lot of academics. Past that, I’ll have to figure out my money situation. Any addled philanthropists out there reading this interview should offer up to: firstname.lastname@example.org
CI4: If you aren’t trying to be the next Thompson, where did the idea of a "Fear and Loathing" piece originate?
TBF: As far as this “Fear and Loathing” piece, the story is pretty simple. I sent a review copy of Wisdom's Maw to Smoke (a NY cigar magazine aimed at Gen-X) and their assistant editor loved it. After a few fruitless phone calls back and forth with assignment ideas, they came up with the idea of "Fear and Loathing in Amsterdam." I almost lost my lunch. Really. I walked around in a shit-eating daze for a week. So, I went to Amsterdam, started getting REALLY out of my head, like I hadn’t in several years. (For the record, I stopped eating LSD in the summer of 1994 and, Bog willing, I will never pick up the habit again. Too many reminders. Too much psychic trauma. I’ll probably do it again, ’cause I did it in Amsterdam – some incredibly pure & powerful stuff – but not as a “means of writing.”)
But then it dawned on me: 'Crap, I can’t pull a Hunter, Jr. I just can’t.' I don’t have much going for me these days – I’m probably unemployable in terms of a tenure-track teaching job, even though I will have my Ph.D by May ’97. God bless the school that gives me a gig. A "charitable institution," indeed. I have my writerly reputation and I can’t afford to soil it. So, the article became a ‘How-to-write a ‘Fear and Loathing’ piece,” mixed with some insight on Thompson, who is my patron saint, and then a little segue into this fictional thing that will be Fear and Loathing in Amsterdam: A Gonzo Novel. Aaron Sigmond, editor-in-chief of Smoke, hated what I gave him, and he and publisher Robert Lockwood 'killed the piece.”
I admit, I went totally sideways on it; but I’m the loosest of cannons, and that’s what I do best. My ex-wife loved that about me: “Never, ever a dull moment around the Toddmonster.” It’s going to be a great book and a lot of fun to write; but I like writing. I don’t consider it, as does Hunter, “the most hateful kind of work.” I’d rather be writing than doing just about anything – except maybe cruising the Red Light District of Amsterdam…so let me get back to work.
Posted by editor on Friday, October 12 @ 05:07:58 PDT (991 reads)
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Todd Brendan Fahey's interview with Ken Kesey: (finally) to be published in book
a 240pp booklength collection of interviews with America's First Hippie: to be titled: Conversations with Ken Kesey (University Press of Mississippi, editor Scott F. Parker; Fall 2013):
Posted by editor on Tuesday, September 18 @ 20:09:23 PDT (978 reads)
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A Suggested Survival List
By Chuck Baldwin August 30, 2012 NewsWithViews.com
It’s once again time for my annual survival list column. One does not have to be a prophet to know that we are on the precipice of some potentially catastrophic--or at the very least, challenging--days. In fact, most of us are already in challenging days, and some are already enduring catastrophic events. That is, if one would call being out of work, losing one’s home, facing life-threatening medical conditions without any prospect of medical insurance, several families being forced to live in one house due to homes being foreclosed, etc., catastrophic.
The potential for an escalation of cataclysmic events, however, is very real. Only a “blooming idiot” would call someone who attempts to prepare for “the day of adversity” a Chicken Little now. Anyone who does not see the storm clouds on the horizon isn’t paying attention.
For example, can one imagine what would happen if Russia or China launched a nuclear attack against the United States? (Once again, I encourage readers to watch the CBS TV series “Jericho” to get an idea of how quickly life, and even civilization, could change.) Imagine if there was another 9/11-type event. What would happen if some form of Zimbabwe-style inflation hit the US? What would happen if anything disrupted the distribution of Welfare checks, or food to local grocers? Imagine a Hurricane Katrina-style natural disaster in your town. I think people everywhere are beginning to awaken to just how vulnerable we all really are.
As a result, people from virtually every walk of life have asked my thoughts on how they should prepare. Therefore, I will, again, attempt to share with my readers some of the counsel I have given these folks.
First, a disclaimer. I am not an economist; I am not a survival expert; I am not a firearms expert; I am not an attorney; I am not a physician. In fact, I am not an expert in anything! For several years, however, I have tried to learn from others. I am an avid reader. My work has allowed me to travel extensively. In fact, I have logged over 150,000 miles crisscrossing this great country over the last few years. I have had the privilege of sitting at the feet of--and learning from--many of America’s most learned, most trained, and most qualified “experts” in a variety of fields. What I write today, I have learned from others. I’ve formed my own opinions and priorities, of course, but everything I’m sharing has been said, or written about, before. But if I can share something in today’s column that will help someone be better prepared for the days to come, then my goal will have been achieved.
Analyze your living conditions. Where do you live? Do you live in an urban or rural environment? Is it a big city or small town? Do you live in an apartment or condominium? How close are your neighbors? Do you even know your neighbors? Would you trust them if the electricity was off and they were hungry? Could you grow your own food if you had to? How easily could you secure your home? If you live in a cold weather environment, how long could you stay warm without electricity? These are the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself now.
Over the past several decades, masses of people have migrated into large metropolitan areas. More people currently live in urban areas than at any time in American history. While this may be well and good for times of prosperity, it is an absolute nightmare during any kind of disaster. Does anyone remember what New Orleans looked like after Hurricane Katrina came through? Can anyone recall what happened in downtown Los Angeles during the 1992 riots? Needless to say, any inner-city environment could become a powder keg almost instantaneously, given the right (or wrong) circumstances. And the bigger the city, the bigger the potential problems.
If you live in the inner city, I suggest you consider moving to a more rural location. Obviously, now is a very good time to buy property (especially rural property), but the downside is, selling property is not as favorable. If you can afford it, now is a great time to buy a “safe house” outside the city. If you are fortunate enough to have family or some true friends nearby, you may want to put your heads--and some resources--together in preparation for serious upheaval. Obviously, a team of prepared people is much better than being alone.
If you must stay in your urban location, have some common sense plans in hand in the event of a major disaster. Get to know your neighbors: find out whom you can trust and whom you can’t. Keep some extra gasoline on hand, in case you need to get in your car quickly and leave. Have several exit routes planned ahead of time, in case roads are blocked. Have a “bug-out” bag containing essential ingredients to live on for three to four days. If leaving is not an option, have a plan to secure your home as best you can. You’ll need to think about things such as food, water, medicine, warmth, self-defense, etc. But at this point, to do nothing is absolute lunacy!
Most readers probably know that my entire family and I made the decision two years ago to move 2,600 miles from our home of 35 years in the Florida panhandle to the Flathead Valley of Montana, which is located about 75 miles south of the Canadian border in the Rocky Mountains. I can tell readers without equivocation or hesitation that we are so glad we made this move. We absolutely love it here--all the difficulties and trials associated with such a life-changing move notwithstanding. In fact, I’ve never lived in a place I love so much!
If readers want to learn more about what prompted our move to Montana, please peruse the information on this web page.
During a major disaster, food will quickly disappear. Living for over three decades on the Gulf Coast, I can tell you with absolute certainty that whenever disaster strikes (usually an approaching hurricane, for those folks), food and provisions at the store sell completely out in a matter of a few hours. People panic, and within hours, you cannot find food, bottled water, ice, generators, batteries, candles, etc. In a matter of hours, every gas station in the area will be completely out of gas. Not days. Hours!
Furthermore, almost all disasters include a complete loss of electricity. The water supply is compromised. Bottled water becomes more valuable than bank accounts. Dehydration becomes a very real and present danger. I remember witnessing a man offer an ice vendor $100 for an extra bag of ice during Hurricane Ivan. My wife and I went two weeks (14 days) without electricity in the aftermath of that hurricane. Believe me, I got a taste of just how precious bottled water, ice, batteries, generators, fuel, etc., can become.
I suggest you have a supply of food and water to last at least a month. Many survival experts insist that a six-month supply is the minimum. Personally, I can live a long time on tuna fish or peanut butter. You can purchase MREs from a variety of sources, as well as “camp-style” packaged food from many sporting goods stores. Of course, bottled water is available everywhere during normal times. Stock up! Distilled water will store longer than spring water. Plus, I suggest you have some water purification tablets or a Katadyn water filter on hand. And, if you are able, prepare to grow your own food. In cold weather climates such as we have here in Montana, people quickly learn how to construct and utilize greenhouses in which to grow food. Canning food is another very helpful hedge against deprivation. If your parents and grandparents were like mine, this was standard operating procedure.
Get a generator. Keep a supply of fuel on hand. Stay stocked up on batteries, candles, portable lights, first aid supplies, and personal hygiene items--especially toilet paper. Trust me, during times of intense and prolonged disaster, toilet paper could become more valuable than money. I also suggest you never run out of lighters or matches. You never know when you’ll need to build a fire--and during a prolonged survival situation, fire could save your life. If you live in a cold weather climate, you probably already have some sort of wood stove or fireplace. And don’t overlook the necessity of a good knife.
Obviously, you need to take stock of your clothing. Do you have clothes suitable for extended outdoor activity? What about boots? During a disaster, you would trade your best suit from Neiman Marcus for a good pair of boots. Do you have gloves? Insulated underwear? What about camouflage clothing? These could become essential outerwear in the right conditions. Plus, any “bug-out” bag will need to include spare clothing. And as most folks here in Montana know, “cotton kills.” For extended outdoor wear in cold weather, wool is the only way to go!
Communication and medical provisions are also a high priority in any kind of emergency. How will you communicate with your loved ones when the phones (including cell phones) go down? Portable ham radios are a very valuable resource. But the time to buy (and train to use) one is NOW! A preordained rally point (or safe house) might be something to think about. And what about medical supplies? Do you have enough to take care of routine (and not-so-routine) emergencies? What about your prescription drugs? How long could you function if you were cut off from your pharmacist for any length of time? Also, seriously consider learning about natural, herbal medicines. Those plants growing in your “back forty” might just cure a headache, stop bleeding, or even save your life. Think about it now.
And one more suggestion, while we’re on this subject: the best resources in the world are of little use if one is physically incapable of making good use of them. In other words, GET IN SHAPE. During any kind of emergency situation, physical exertion and stamina become immensely important.
I suggest you have at least some cash on hand. Just about any and all disasters will result in banks being closed for extended periods of time. That also means credit card purchases being suspended. You need to have enough cash to be able to purchase essential goods (if they are even available) for an undetermined amount of time.
Of course, some survival gurus insist that during any cataclysmic climate, precious metals will become the only reliable currency. A little gold and silver could go a long way in a prolonged emergency. For that matter, with the way our fiat money system is coming unraveled, you may want to seriously consider moving your IRA accounts into precious metals, if for no other reason than to better protect your savings. Ask yourself, how much money have I already lost at the hands of these banksters in the Federal Reserve and their toadies in the stock market?
In fact, in a disaster, what is considered a valuable commodity can change rather quickly, as the barter system takes a life of its own. What is valuable is determined by what you need and how badly you need it. In a prolonged disaster, simple things such as toilet paper, canned goods, ammunition, and clothing could become extremely valuable; while cars, video games, televisions, etc., could be reduced to junk status. In antiquity, wars were fought over things such as salt. You might be surprised to learn that there are already active barter groups in your area. I suggest you establish a relationship with these people now!
Speaking of cars, remember that during a prolonged “national emergency” that might involve some sort of nuclear attack or widespread civil unrest, an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) might be employed; in which case, most every late model vehicle would be completely inoperable. Accordingly, if one can keep an older, pre-computer-age vehicle in good working order, he or she might be driving the only non-government vehicle capable of going anywhere. Of course, you might not want to drive it to town!
Needless to say, during any kind of disaster, your safety and protection will be completely up to you. If you really think that the police are going to be able to protect you during an upheaval, you are living in a dream world.
In both the New Orleans and Los Angeles disasters, police protection was non-existent. Lawless gangs quickly took control of the streets, and people were left to either defend themselves or swiftly become the helpless prey of violent marauders. In fact, in New Orleans, some of the policemen actually abandoned their oaths to uphold the law and joined with the criminals, turning their weapons upon the public.
Face it, folks: in any kind of disaster, you must be able to defend yourself, or you and your family will be meat for these animals of society that will quickly descend without mercy upon the unprepared, unsuspecting souls around them. This requires that you be armed! It also requires that you be skilled enough to be able to efficiently use your arms. Therefore, I strongly suggest that you purchase firearms sufficient to keep you and your family safe, and also that you practice sufficiently to know how to use them.
Now, when it comes to a discussion of which firearms are preferable for self-defense, the suggestions are as varied as the people who proffer them. These are my suggestions:
I believe every man (along with his wife and children of adequate age) should be proficient with the following weapons: a handgun in .38 caliber or above, a .22 rifle, a center-fire bolt-action hunting rifle, a semi-automatic battle rifle, and a shotgun.
My personal preference for a self-defense handgun is either a .45 ACP 1911 (either Colt or Kimber), a Glock .45, or a .40 S&W. In the .40 caliber, my favorite is a Glock 22 or 23. In the 1911, I like the Commander size configuration. I prefer either the Model 21 or the Model 30 in the Glock .45. And I will also admit to sometimes carrying a 9mm Glock 19 or a Smith & Wesson .357 revolver. My two favorites in this caliber are the Model 66 with a 2 ½-inch barrel and the Model 586 with a 4-inch barrel. My wife prefers to carry a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver in the snub-nose, J-frame configuration. But this is primarily due to the reduced weight of these weapons for carry purposes. If needed, she could make a good accounting of herself with the Glock 19. If you are someone who has never owned and seldom fired a handgun, I recommend you buy a Glock. They are as simple as revolvers to operate, reliable, and almost indestructible. Plus, they provide increased magazine capacity, and are safe. They are also very easy to disassemble and clean. Of course, in dangerous game territory, you will need the power of a 10mm (the Glock 20 shines here), .45 Long Colt, .44 Magnum, or even a .454 Casull. These calibers are not for the limp-wristed, but when one is facing a brown bear or mountain lion, it is what one will need to survive. Plus, when your life is on the line, you’ll never feel the recoil.
For a .22 rifle, I really like the Ruger 10/22. A Marlin tube-fed .22 is also very effective. The CZ bolt-action .22 just might be the most accurate .22 on the market. For a hunting rifle, my suggestion is either a .270 or .30-06 caliber bolt-action rifle. I prefer the Remington Model 700 BDL or Browning X-Bolt, but there are several fine weapons in this configuration and caliber by numerous manufacturers. In dangerous game territory, a Marlin .45-70 could be a lifesaver. For a battle rifle, I suggest an AR-15-style weapon in .223 caliber or a .308 Springfield M1A. For a shotgun, I suggest a 12-gauge pump. Here I prefer a Winchester Model 1300, which is not made anymore. So, you’ll probably have to choose between Mossberg and Remington. For ladies, however, a 20-gauge shotgun is probably a better choice, and at “bad breath” range (where a shotgun shines, anyway), it is just as lethal.
Whatever you choose, practice with it to the point that you are able to use it proficiently. And be sure you stock up on ammunition. A gun without ammo is reduced to being either an expensive club or a cumbersome paperweight.
Go to your local independent sporting goods store (I don’t recommend the large national chain stores to do your firearms shopping.) and get to know your hometown firearms dealer. Most of these people are kind and helpful folks who will be more than happy to assist you in finding exactly what type of firearm is suitable for you and your family.
I firmly believe that man is created to have fellowship with his Creator-God. I really don’t know how people can face the uncertain future that we currently face without the spiritual knowledge, wisdom, comfort, and power that is made available through Jesus Christ. I believe the maxim is true: “Wise men still seek Him.” I strongly suggest that you seek to possess a personal relationship with God’s only begotten Son. In truth, spiritual preparation is far and away the most important preparation of all. Accordingly, be sure to pack a copy of God’s Word in your survival gear.
And if you have not been able to find a local church where the pastor isn’t afraid to deal with the kind of issues like I am dealing with in this column, I invite you to worship online with us at Liberty Fellowship. People all over America who are tired of these 501c3, establishment churches--who have no clue as to what is going on and who wouldn’t take a stand if they did--are tuning in to hear my messages at Liberty Fellowship every Sunday afternoon. To tune in this Sunday, click here.
And if you think you may want to relocate to the Flathead Valley of Montana, George Hudson, a man at Liberty Fellowship who “escaped” from California to locate here--and who is now helping scores of people from all over the country to resettle in our beautiful valley--may be contacted here.
Please give him a few days to email you back, but he will be happy to try to answer any questions you have about moving here.
I am sure that I have left out several items that others more qualified than me would include. I welcome their suggestions, as I am always desirous to learn from those who are wiser and more experienced. In the meantime, remember your Boy Scout motto: “Be Prepared.”
• If you appreciate this column and want to help me distribute these editorial opinions to an ever-growing audience, donations may now be made by credit card, check, or Money Order. Use this link.
For novelist Todd Brendan Fahey, deja vu all over again is just another day at work. Author of Wisdom's Maw: The Acid Novel, the hotly controversial revisionist history of the CIA's MK-ULTRA LSD experiments and their influence on the Sixties' counterculture, Fahey says he has held his proverbial breath for seven years, awaiting reaction from his idol Ken Kesey, upon whose image he fashioned the novel's protagonist Franklin Moore. "In Wisdom's Maw," says Fahey, "I plant this Kesey/Franklin Moore character deep in the pit of the CIA's LSD mind-control experiments. Franklin Moore is, for all intents and purposes, a willing stooge in the CIA's grandiose scheme to create a human superman via psychedelic drugs and behavior modification."
Ken Kesey, while a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Stanford University (1959-1961), offered himself as a human guinea pig in an MK-ULTRA subproject utilizing such psychedelics as LSD-25, psylocibin, and mescaline inside the walls of Menlo Park Veterans Hospital. It was via Ken Kesey, who disbursed smuggled quantities of then-legal LSD to his intellectual bohorts at Stanford's Perry Lane, that the psychedelic Sixties was born.
Todd Brendan Fahey seized on this esoteric aspect of American history in 1989 while a graduate student at USC's prestigious Professional Writing Program. During his seven-year struggle to see Wisdom's Maw in print, Fahey battled addictions to alcohol and LSD, was married and divorced, hired and fired three New York literary agents, and earned a Teaching Fellowship in University of Southwestern Louisiana's Ph.D program in English/Creative Writing.
Ironically, Fahey's first doctoral-level fiction workshop at USL had him studying under Ernest J. Gaines (The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman), also a Stanford Fellow, and who attended Stanford's fiction workshops while Ken Kesey was writing One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Professor Gaines was shocked and amazed upon reading Fahey's unpublished manuscript in the Fall of 1993, for the verisimilitude of Fahey's rendering of Perry Lane and the Sixties' drug culture. Gaines, in penning a dust-jacket blurb for Fahey's long-suffering manuscript, delivers a closing line which brings Fahey's long, strange trip to a coalescence:
"You have written a very controversial book here; and if it is published and read, you may have to answer some questions to some pretty big boys. I hope you have the backbone for it."
High atop Fahey's list of worries was, of course, Ken Kesey. After 200 rejection slips, Fahey, in the spring of 1995, was contacted by Associated Press reporter Mitchell Landsberg, who, in the course of research for a national feature on Wisdom's Maw, gave Fahey the conclusive news:
"Nearly every New York publishing house has read and enjoyed Wisdom's Maw; and each publisher's legal department finds the novel to be 'potentially libelous.' They fear Kesey will sue [my] ass, and that the book will never make back court costs."
Fahey's only choice, then, was to self-publish this pariah-among-manuscripts. His desperate strategy is paying off in spades. As a Far Gone Book, Wisdom's Maw is drawing rave reviews from every corner of the alternative/counterculture media: The Village Voice, Seconds, High Times, HotWired, Magical Blend, Relix, and Cover all have given the novel top marks; as well, Todd Brendan Fahey is interviewed in the current issues of Mondo 2000 and Carbon 14. Fahey reports in recent days receiving several e-mail notes from Ken Kesey's son, Zane. Says Fahey, "Ken is reportedly flattered; Zane tells me that my heroic portrayal of his father in Wisdom's Maw has freed Ken psychologically to begin several literary projects where he had been concerned about stepping on real people's toes." Recognizing irony squared, Fahey laughs, "My only worry now is, Who will drive the bus? I don't think God made a Neal Cassady for Generation-X."
Posted by editor on Saturday, June 02 @ 00:17:30 PDT (953 reads)
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