Saturday, May 31, 2008

DB#12 This one time, at Burning Man. Reposted from Eplaya.

Last year was my first Burn, and my reasons for being there had nothing to do with getting laid. Nevertheless, after three or four days of walking around seeing some of the most beautiful women I had ever seen (We had some in our camp even!) some of whom were wearing only shoes and a smile, I was feeling a bit randy, to say the least. All you men know what I'm talkng about, those Playa Princesses that you still think about on an almost daily basis. I decided to go out that night and see if I couldn't do something to remedy the situation.


I started this little adventure at the Root Society Dome, well I guess technically I started it at Thunderdome right before that, when I spoke briefly to an Aussie Angel with an accent and perfume that drove me crazy immediately. Alas, that was not to be, she was with a group of friends who decided they wanted to leave almost immediately so with barely even a "G'day" she was out of my life forever. That's when I headed over to the Root Society, I hoped to meet some girls on the dancefloor and indeed I did, I danced for about five hours and in that time I "met" three women. I put met in quotes because it was so loud in the dome I have no way of knowing if they understood a word I said. It went something like this; I would be dancing (or what passes for dancing in my case) I'd spot a girl who seemed to be alone and try to catch her eye. If she gave me a smile I'd work my way across the floor and proceed to dance with her. The first couple of times I made the mistake of trying to start a conversation.

Me: "HI!"

Her: "Hey!"


Her: "WHAT??"

Me, louder: "WHAT'S YOUR NAME???"

Her, louder: "WHAT?"



The third girl I didn't even try to speak to, I just motioned that it was really loud by covering my ears and then pointed outside. She nodded and we walked outside where we promptly ran into her boyfriend, who'd apparently been looking for her at another camp. After introductions were made he told her that the party was way better at the other place and invited me to go with them. I said no of course, but did manage not to slug the guy as he and his incredibly hot girlfriend were hugging me goodbye. (That last part was a joke, they were very nice people really!) Anyways I'd had enough for one night, so I returned to my camp, to my enormous canvas tent in which I slept alone.


The next night I decided to ride a few art cars in hopes of meeting someone in an environment where I could actually hear something besides bass and possibly get myself laid, but the only thing I got was VERY, VERY, DRUNK. Damn those Bar Cars, I love them! I didn't meet any single straight women until I was three sheets to the wind with the fourth sheet fast approaching. Finally I met a beautiful girl, and guess what? I actually REALLY liked her, she was smart and funny as well as beautiful! But I'm getting a little ahead of myself. A few minutes prior to meeting her, the art car I was riding nearly hit a darkwad and our driver, who was almost as shitfaced as I was, was forced to slam on the brakes rather hard, jostling everyone on board. Unknowingly, and not a little drunkenly, I spilled the entire contents of my cup right into my lap. A few minutes later, having at long last jumped ship and once more afoot, I met the abovementioned beautiful, smart, and funny girl. We were talking about our Burn experiences so far and flirting, and I was actually scoring a few points, despite my state of total inebriation, when for seemingly no reason at all she turns and walks quickly away. I'm wondering if it's something I said or if, like Lewis Carroll's white rabbit, she was just really late for something. It's then that I notice the wet patch on the front of my jeans, clearly visible and far too perfectly round to be anything but what she thought it was. That poor girl will always believe she was being hit on by a sloppy drunk who'd recently pissed himself! I wanted to chase after her and explain but I knew there was no way she was going to buy my ridiculous story which just happened to be the truth.


Feeling rejected and oddly humiliated (I didn't do anything damnit!) I headed back across the Playa in the direction of camp. I decided that "Bernie" had a better chance of getting laid than I did. But things like rejection and humiliation can't survive in the desert, and before I made it back to my camp my pants had dried and I found a really good party at the gay camp near home. (5&G)


What happened was I met a cool straight girl, and while she was not the most beautiful or even the funniest or smartest, she did take pity on me and drag my drunk behind to her tent and have her way with me, after which she promptly showed me the door. That's how I knew it was pity and not lust! In fact I think I may have been the recipient of one of those "gift fucks" someone mentioned before! I didn't mind being used in the slightest!


The morale of the story is this: If you're looking for it you're probably just setting yourself up for diappointment, but in BRC good things will almost always happen when you least expect it!

Friday, May 30, 2008

DB #'s 6-11! One Lonestoner deserves another, or Fuck you, I know what I said!

It's been several days since my last blog entry so this one is extra long to make up for lost time. I've been preoccupied with Burning Man stuff, my apologies to all my faithful daily readers.

Both of you!


The other day, just for fun, I tried Googling Lonestoner to see what would pop up. I've Googled myself plenty of times but this was the first time I've tried Googling an alias. (Sounds dirty doesn't it?) The results were quite unexpected. First off let me start by telling you a little about the name and how it came to be, at least in my case.


My very first internet screenname, way back in the old dial-up AOL days, like 94 or 95, was bongheadbob. While apt, this name could in no way be called original. One night, while sitting up alone and smoking some herb, I was trying to think of a new name, and it occured to me that most of my herb smoking was done alone, and that I very much preferred it that way. I'd always been a loner, and at age 13 was well on my way to becoming a stoner. I was a stoner loner... I was like the Lone Ranger of pot smoking. No wait, I was...

The Lonestoner!

And indeed I was. Keeping my silent vigil over the sleeping masses, blowing smoke rings of protection, my only companions Jay and Conan, and sweet Mary Jane. And so it began.


Getting back to the Google results, I say the results were unexpected mostly because of one Douchebag, who has the nerve to call himself Billy Bud Toker (of Da Unda Hoggs, no less!) a wannabe gangsta rapper who not only took it upon himself to claim the title of Lonestoner, it's the title track of his album! Naturally I was curious to hear the song, but after much searching the closest I got was a 30 second sample. It was enough to go from curious to furious. For those of you who are interested, you can purchase the song for about a quarter, but after listening to the sample I can promise you won't get anywhere near your money's worth. Luckily I won't have to take any legal action against Mr. Toker, since he seems to have faded back into the obscurity from whence he came, but it still pisses me off to have my nome de plume associated with that kind of garbage.


The other search results weren't nearly as infuriating, and some were downright cool, like Lonestoner the banjo player!

Then there was Lonestoner the online Pokemon player, with an impressive record of 0 and 1.

And who could forget this hopeless romantic from Kentucky:

I believe this one might be an old account from way back in my hardcore gaming days:*%20lonestoner/?game=bf2

And of course there was the REAL Lonestoner:


A Google blog search will turn up this blog, but thankfully no others. All in all I guess things could be worse, and I like to think there is a little bit of Lonestoner in all of us!


And now I'd like to end this post with a bit of gibberish verse, reposted from Crypto's nonsense thread on Tribe. The first one is mine, the second is by my Tribefriend Adam and was the inspiration for my gobbledygook.


Lyrics+babbling stream of consciousness=?

By: Lonestoner and various artists


I was born a thorn away from the rotten petals, a forgotten rebel, crafted in the absence of Heaven's heavy hands to develop an evident level of benevolence, so it's probably better I sold my soul to the devil and gave Jebus the shirt right off my back. .


Like Buddy I know about the keys, and the door, and the bees, and yes they call me the breeze, I keep blowing down the road. The only road that I have ever known, and I can't wait to get on the road again, drinking beers and smoking tea. This infantry life's the life for me..., for nothing in this world is free. Except Freedom. NO, wait... .


The killer put his boots on and, walked on down the hall!! He was late for work. Killing was his weekend hobby, just a little something to pass the time while his wife was out of the house. She was supposed to be shopping but in reality she was going down, down, down, to Cedartown to sleep with his brother. Oh brother, where art though? Am I my brothers keeper, and please won't you be, oh please won't you be, my neighbor? I'm not the lizard king, I'm the king of cats. I like funny hats. .


I built a bridge across a stream of consciousness that almost seemed to be overflowing. Up Shit Creek with out any paddles, but still I'm frantically rowing. Reaping what I'm sowing, Wait, without even knowing, I seem to have started badly rhyming. I hate this stream of consciuosness shit I need to quit, I'm over it, hit the switch I'm done with this, that's why I'm not a poet, and the red, red, robin goes bob, bob, bobbin along...


My seeing-eye dog chased a car around a blind corner, you should have fucking seen it, damn your bloodshot eyes! I had to quit using my computer for awhile because of a really nasty virus. This PC works fine I'm just a sick, sick bastard...


I got the rockin pneumonia and the boogie-woogie flu baby, so hit ctrl, alt, delete, and end this task.


Here's Adam's:

... so I was a hippy mall-rat supertramp; entirely unfocused on anything other than my own self-similarity. I saw that in a dream that was a lot like a Williams S. Burrough's novel written on used single-ply toliet paper. Therein my existence became entwined with dust that will never... EVER... dislodge it's grainy little soul from my Coleman sleeping bag. The woman at the free psyllocibin coffee shop was emphatic that I needed to wake up all of my strands of DNA. It was time then to catch the glactic green turtle train to the rainforest which was recently raised to the ground due to the rising demand of cheep beef. I made the journey and sat with all of the now homeless forest critters smoking bongloads and commiserating over what a fucking bummer it is to be out of a home.


Time shifted drastically upon meeting the roadside shaman with rapsheet a mile long. I am sure that he put something in my drink because I started this post in the nineteenth century and it is now a quarter past eleven in the new millenium. I can't sleep when I think about what it is that one would need to conquer their little slice of the world. I scream for donuts but all I get is powdered sugar, there's no substance there for a person in need of doughy goodness. Not that any of this makes any sense at all. It is not supposed to make sense and their are people trying to save my soul by putting it in a jar under their kitchen sinks right next to the two-year old bacon grease.


Then everything folds in upon itself again and there is a break in the world of make believe and what truly is. They dance in constant flux always breathing into each other, kissing without ever touching, bending but not breaking.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

DB#3 Gay Marriage legalized!

It's about fucking time. Now maybe the rest of the country will follow our lead and come out of the dark ages. Gays have the right to fuck up their lives just like straights do, why should us straight people be the only ones miserable? Half of all marriages end in divorce anyway right? So legalizing gay marriage will increase the rate of "Happily Ever After" by fifty percent! It's simple mathematics... The bottom line is that it's nobody's business what two consenting adults choose to do except for the two consenting adults in question, period. The world has much more important things to worry about. For all you gays, congratulations! Now get off the computer and get to work, you've got a fabulous wedding to plan girl!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

DB#5 -Luv Storrey part1 a short story by Robert J. Day, copyright2008 Robert J. Day

This is the first part of an as yet unfinished short story, my newest. I'm not sure where this story is headed but I do know it's nowhere nice...
Jim Jones was a mess, both literally and figuratively speaking. He was twenty-seven years old, unemployed, and still living with his mother in her tiny two bedroom apartment. Jim's mother was nearly eighty, and suffered from severe Alzheimers and dementia, the state paid the rent for the tiny apartment and provided a caretaker for Mrs. Jones. The caretaker, Mrs. Galloway, was supposed to be a full-time, live-in caretaker, but Mrs. Galloway was a large black woman, and Mrs. Jones was unabashedly racist, and verbally abused Mrs. Galloway at every opportunity. Mrs. Galloway pretended not to mind, but Jim, who was no racist himself and thought all that stuff was rather silly, was humiliated by his eccentric mother's behaviour, and so he convinced Mrs. Galloway to move out and allow him to take care of his mother himself. Nowadays, Mrs. Galloway only came by twice a week to clean up the apartment, the rest of the time Jim and his mother were alone together in the small apartment.
Jim took care of his mom the best he could, cooking their meals, washing the dishes and doing other household chores, and cleaning her up when she had one of her "accidents." Lately there had been a lot of "accidents." His mother's Alzheimers was so bad that she often mistook Jim for her brother, Tony, who had been dead for over five years, and if he tried to clean her up when she was like this, she would scream, and yell at him that she was going to tell Daddy that he was "tryin to get at her again." Other times she called him David, and told him she loved him still even though he'd left her all those years ago. Jim didn't know who David was, his mother had never mentioned him before she got sick, but he was pretty sure she'd once told him his father's name was Paul, so maybe David was some guy she knew before him.
They had no other living relatives, and Jim had no friends. Truth be told, Jim hadn't had a real friend since the second grade, when his best buddy Wesley had moved away. Jim wasn't as smart as the rest of the kids in school, and had to be in the "special" class. Also, his mother had made all of his clothes herself from old scraps of clothes she brought home from the thrift store where she worked. His clothes never seemed to fit right, and with all the patchwork and mismatched buttons, they were obviously handmade. The other kids teased him mercilessly, and everyone, even the kids in his "special" class, called him Patches. The name had followed him all through his school years, and he had remained a social outcast until he dropped out in his sophmore year when his mother had begun to show the first signs of Alzheimers. He was nineteen at the time, and his intention had been to get a job and help pay off some of the medical bills that were even then piling up with a rapidity that was nothing short of amazing, or so it seemed to Jim.
Finding a job turned out to be a lot harder than he thought though. Jim was not a particularly big boy, he was in fact quite scrawny, and as we've already established, he wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer either. Also, he was painfully shy, so when he was interviewed the interviewer more often than not came away with the impression that Jim was severely retarded, instead of just a little slow. After several months, Jim was able to get a job at a local fast-food burger joint, but it was just like high school all over again, his co-workers put him down every day, and called him "Corky." One of the men he worked with, Bryan, would torment him everyday, knocking his hat off his head, and kicking over his bucket of fresh mopwater, scalding Jim's feet and soaking him up to his knees. Once when Jim was taking out the trash, Bryan had snuck up behind him and kicked the garbage bag out of his hands, causing it to burst open in the parking lot. "Better hurry and pick up all this shit Corky!" said Bryan, laughing. Jim had been having a really bad day, and he just couldn't take it anymore, so he screamed at Bryan to leave him alone, and then Bryan had stopped laughing and started smiling in a way that made Jim afraid. He punched Jim in the stomach as hard as he could, knocking all the breath out of him in a single surprised whoosh, then he had punched him in the face repeatedly until his nose started gushing blood, and he finally stopped. Jim was afraid and humiliated, and he'd ran all the way home, crying hard and holding one hand over his injured nose in an attempt to stop the bleeding. Jim had never gone back to that place again, not even to get his first and last paycheck, the thought of facing Bryan again was just too terrifying.
Jim tried to find another job, but it wasn't long after the incident with Bryan that his mother's Alzheimers took a turn for the worst. So Jim asked Mrs. Galloway to help him sign up for public assistance, and he had been taking care of his mother ever since. The only time Jim left the house was when Mrs. Galloway was there to keep on eye on mother, then Jim would go down the block to the supermarket on the corner and get whatever groceries they needed. This was the only break he got, and he tried his best to make the most of these little adventures, sometimes he would stop at Baskin Robbins and treat himself to a chocolate cone, or he would have a chicken sandwich and fries from the Diner next store if there was enough money left over.
Most of the time though, he went straight to the supermarket, and the reason for this was quite simple; Lindsey might be there. Lindsey was one of the cashiers at the market, and she was also the most beautiful girl that Jim had ever seen. Even though he'd never said a word to her he was in love with Lindsey, or at least he thought he was, he wasn't exactly sure what love was, he just knew that whenever he saw her he felt dizzy, and his heart threatened to beat it's way out of his chest.
The thing he liked most about Lindsey was that she was both beautiful and kind, Jim was too afraid to use her checkout lane when he paid for his groceries, (he would have had to speak to her) but he always used the lane next to hers and he saw the way she was nice to all the customers as she rang up their purchases with a smile. She wasn't there every time Jim went to the supermarket, but when she was there Jim forgot about all of his troubles for as long as he was in the store. His crazy mother, his sad friendless life, all of these things ceased to matter to him when he walked through the automatic doors and saw her standing at her register.
When she wasn't at her usual place however, Jim would immediately begin to wonder where she was. Had she gotten another job? Or, worse yet, had she been in an accident? Was she hurt? Had she been kidnapped, and was she tied to a chair in a basement somewhere, waiting for Jim to come and rescue her? These and other equally ridiculous scenarios would play out in Jim's mind while he shopped, and Jim would be in a state of near panic until the next time he went grocery shopping and saw Lindsey standing in her usual spot behind the register in checkout lane number four.
And so it went for some time, Jim lived out his sad life alone with his mother and twice-a-week Mrs. Galloway, and the only real happiness he knew was seeing his beautiful Lindsey at the grocery store. Then one day she spoke to him, and everything changed forever.
It happened quite unexpectedly, but it started out as just another ordinary shopping day. It was a brisk fall day, the air outside crisp and pure and cold. Jim whistled cheerfully to himself as he prepared to leave, shrugging into his old jean jacket with it's many brightly colored patches. He watched a few minutes of General Hospital with his mother while waiting for Mrs. Galloway to arrive, then bade them both goodbye with a hug and a promise to come straight home he had no intention to keep.
His heart felt lighter on the walk to the supermarket, as it always did, but it fell to the floor when he walked through the automatic doors and saw a woman who was clearly not Lindsey standing at register four. Jim was immediately filled with the usual fear that he would never see her again. Something's bad happened to her, I just know it, thought Jim, as he pushed a cart up and down the aisles looking for items on his list. He began to daydream, imagining Lindsey being held captive by ninjas in an old abandoned warehouse downtown. Who would be brave enough to take on the skilled ninjas singlehandedly and rescue the beautiful cashier? Jim, that's who!
"I like your coat." Her voice came out of nowhere, simultaneously bringing him back to reality and causing him to blush a scarlet crimson. She was stocking shelves, and he'd been so caught up in his fantasy he'd managed to walk right by without seeing her. Now he wished he'd kept right on walking, because he had no idea what he was supposed to say.
"You're not at your register." As soon as the words were out of his mouth Jim realized how stupid he must sound, but he felt a little better when she smiled at him. Then he realized she was smiling at him, and he felt as if he might pass out, just faint dead away in the middle of the pasta and sauces aisle. Just a few seconds ago he'd been ready to rescue her, whisk her away from danger like a slightly retarded Spider-Man, and now that she was standing there next to him it was just too much.
"Yeah, they made me stock shelves today, Mr. Nuvoski said I spend too much time talking to the people and I take too long to ring them up, and then my line gets long, so he said I have to stock shelves, since the store is so busy from everybody buying stuff for Thanksgiving and since I'm too slow and I talk too much."
This was as close to Lindsey as Jim had ever been, and now that she was right there next to him and he'd heard her speak, Jim realized something. Lindsey was "a little slow" just like he was!

To Be Continued...


Daily Blog#2! Disc Golf Craze Sweeps Nor Cal!

At some point, perhaps during one of my periods of incarceration, Disc Golf replaced Hackey Sack as the "official" sport of stoners in Nor Cal, and I didn't get the memo. Apparently it's a new state law that if you are between the ages of 13 and 40 and you party, you must also play Disc Golf. I've only tried it a couple of times, but I can see the allure. It's the same allure that most outdoor sports have for stoners, it's all about getting fucked up in the great outdoors. I'm all for that, so while I find Frisbee Golf to be mildly entertaining at best, I still see a set of Discs in my future. Or maybe I'll just kick the Hackey Sack around while everyone else is "golfing."


If these guys spent as much time playing real golf as they do throwing Frisbees around, they'd not only be playing a "respectable" sport, they might eventually be on a first name basis with both the prosecuting attorneys from the D.A.'s office, and the Judge. It's all about networking!

Stag Camp Crazy!

This is what happens when I don't write everyday!

Give us this day our daily Blog!

Allright, so after many years of unabashed hatred and disdain I've been dragged kicking and screaming into the world of internet blogging. Just because you have internet access and too much time on your hands does not mean the world cares about you and wants to read your diary! I still believe that, and I still harbor a great deal of hatred and disdain for most bloggers. The difference is I am a true professional, a craftsmen of the highest order. I am a writer. I always have been, I started writing as soon as I'd learned to really read, in the second grade. It's what I was made to do, and it's what I'm best at.


But ever since Burning Man last year I have been suffering from a near crippling case of Writer's Block. In fact I've written almost nothing of substance at all with the possible exception of a few of my more witty and/or intelligent posts on various message boards. Amidst all the clutter and bullshit there was some decent writing, decent enough to save for later publication perhaps.


Which leads me back to blogging. Instead of rambling on about my cat or the mean girl at work, I'm going to use this blog as a place to post and receive feedback about some of my fiction, and also as a place to write something new everyday. EVERYDAY being the key word! You see I think I may have shaken off the Writer's Block, the muse that I had all but given up on and left for dead has been buzzing around inside my skull lately with increasing frequency. It could be the Great American Novel, or it could just be some really good hashish, but either way I will write a new blog post everyday.


So the mean girl at work kicked my cat today...

In the News today...


Well it looks like Barack Hussein Obama will be our next president. I'm not sure how I feel about this yet, but I do know it's good for race relations in this country, and an Obama/Hillary? ticket certainly beats the hell out of McCain and whomever... Still, he's no JFK, as I've heard him being compared to, or even FDR. The douchebag idiot from Rolling Stone was right about his (Obama's) charisma, I'll give the swine that much. Being a good showman and being a good President are not totally mutually exclusive, but I think only time will tell if Obama represents real change, or just the same old song and dance with a newer, younger, fresher, and slightly blacker face.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Why Drugs Are Illegal. From the book Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do, by Peter McWilliams

JACK NICHOLSON: My point of view, while extremely cogent, is unpopular.
JACK NICHOLSON: That the repressive nature of the legalities vis-a-vis drugs are destroying the legal system and corrupting the police system.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Let's talk about acting for a minute.
CONSUMERS UNION—the highly respected, scrupulously impartial organization responsible for Consumer Reports—studied the drug problem in this nation long and hard.
Its conclusions—yet unpublished—are: This nation's drug laws and policies have not been working well; on that simple statement almost all Americans seem agreed. . . . They are the result of mistaken laws and policies, of mistaken attitudes toward drugs, and of futile, however well-intentioned, efforts to "stamp out the drug menace." [What we have in this country is] aptly called the "drug problem problem"—the damage that results from the ways in which society has approached the drug problem.
The Consumers Union report made six recommendations. I quote:
1. Stop emphasizing measures designed to keep drugs away from people.
2. Stop publicizing the horrors of the "drug menace."
3. Stop increasing the damage done by drugs. (Current drug laws and policies make drugs more rather than less damaging in many ways.)
4. Stop misclassifying drugs. (Most official and unofficial classifications of drugs are illogical and capricious; they, therefore, make a mockery of drug law enforcement and bring drug education into disrepute. A major error of the current drug classification system is that it treats alcohol and nicotine—two of the most harmful drugs—essentially as non-drugs.)
5. Stop viewing the drug problem as primarily a national problem, to be solved on a national scale. (In fact, as workers in the drug scene confirm, the "drug problem" is a collection of local problems.)
6. Stop pursuing the goal of stamping out illicit drug use.
The report, which is nearly six hundred pages long, concludes, These, then, are the major mistakes in drug policy as we see them. This Consumers Union Report contains no panaceas for resolving them. But getting to work at correcting these six errors, promptly and ungrudgingly, would surely be a major step in the right direction.
I'm sorry. I lied. The previous excerpts were not from a "yet unpublished" report. The report was published in 1972. It was published by Consumers Union in book form, Licit and Illicit Drugs. It asked for its proposed changes to be made "promptly and ungrudgingly." Instead in 1972, President Nixon began our most recent war on drugs. How successful has prohibition been? To give but one example: since 1972, according to the office of National Drug Control Policy, annual cocaine use in this country has risen from 50 metric tons to 300 metric tons.
How and Why Drugs Became Illegal
One might wonder after reading the United States Constitution how Congress can justify making laws against drug sale, use, and possession. As we have seen, the enumerated powers given Congress by the Constitution have to do with keeping the national borders strong, keeping the business environment healthy, and collecting taxes. It would take the legal word-bending ability of a lawyer to stretch the enumerated powers enough to include making drugs illegal. Alas, one thing Congress has plenty of is lawyers. Here, then, is the abbreviated story of how and why drugs became illegal in the United States. It is filled with more abuses, horrors, deceptions, and possible harm than any illegal drug has ever done. Prior to 1883, there were no federal laws against the manufacture, sale, use, or possession of drugs. As drugs had been available since before the Pilgrims arrived, the United States seemed to survive—even thrive—with no drug restrictions whatsoever. The primary "drug problem" was alcohol—not marijuana, morphine, or cocaine. Even state laws against drugs did not begin to appear until the late nineteenth century. In California in 1875, a blatantly racist law against opium was passed. Prejudice against the Chinese was high. The city of San Francisco prohibited establishments where opium was smoked. The law—like all drug laws that followed—failed. The large, well-run opium houses closed, but were immediately replaced by smaller, less reputable opium dens. A similar law was passed in Virginia City, Nevada, and similarly failed to work. Rather than realizing that such laws don't work, the Nevada state legislature made even more stringent laws. The state laws didn't work any better than the city laws, but that didn't stop other cities and states from passing laws. When all these laws failed, the United States Congress got involved. (Sound familiar?)
In 1883, Congress used its constitutional power to "lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises" to heavily tax imported smoking opium. That abuse of the tax provision of the Constitution was the foot in the door. What followed was a wedge of misuses and abuses of power that not only tore the door off the hinge, it ripped away the entire front of the house. Once taxation was used to act on a popular but inaccurate belief (in this case that the Chinese were debauching the youth of America by enticing the innocent young into their opium dens), the die was cast. The power to tax, then, was no longer what the founding fathers had intended—a way to raise money—but had become a way to legislate "morality" as well. Making matters even worse, as this was a prohibition act pretending to be a tax bill, its enforcement fell under the Department of the Treasury. From 1883 until 1968, the Secretary of the Treasury had the dual duty as not only Collector of the Tax, but Keeper of the Public Good. Even if the United States needed a Keeper of the Public Good, putting it in the same department as the tax collectors and money counters was probably the worst choice.
The country's first drug ban explicitly targeted the opium of "the heathen Chinee." Cocaine was first banned in the south to prevent an uprising of hopped-up "cocainized Negroes."
Once the precedent that the federal government could legislate morality was established, no one gave a second thought to the law passed five years later prohibiting altogether the importation of certain kinds of opium and preventing the Chinese in America from importing opium at all. The United States Treasury was now giving up revenue (the tariff on the opium imported by the Chinese into America) in exchange for regulating consensual personal behavior. The anti-Chinese prejudice was such that the United States Treasury was permitted to abandon its primary job—collecting and spending money—in exchange for this new mission. Over the next thirty years, taxes on smoking opium went up, went down; smoking opium was banned altogether; the ban was lifted and reinstated again. During this time, the tax ranged from $6 per pound to $300 per pound. All that these regulatory and restrictive efforts accomplished, however, was to build the Chinese underworld (the "tongs"), corrupt the Treasury Department, and increase the nation's opium smoking at least nine fold. The Secretary of the Treasury wrote the Speaker of the House of Representatives on January 12, 1888, "Although all possible efforts have been made by this Department to suppress the traffic, it has found it practically impossible to do so." The United States government, of course, responded with more laws and more law enforcement officers. As this onslaught only affected "the heathen Chinee" [sic] and not "Americans," no one much cared. All other forms of opium—the types preferred by most white Americans—were perfectly legal and modestly taxed. Why should anyone worry about defending the rights of the Chinese? If they wanted to smoke opium, it was said, they could go back to China. A legal precedent, however, was set by the racist opium restrictions.
The next major step in federal drug enforcement was the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act. This act said that all patent medicines containing drugs had to say so on the label and, with later amendments, had to state the amount of the drug. This requirement was a positive step in that it allowed people to regulate the kind and amount of drugs they took. It was only later that this act became yet another weapon in the arsenal used for the federal attack on individual choice. (More on the Pure Food and Drug Act in the chapter, "Regenerative Use of Drugs and Other Unorthodox Medical Practices.") The next major move by the federal government—and the great-granddaddy of all federal drug restrictions—was the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914. The bill's chief proponent was then–Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan, a staunch fundamentalist, Prohibitionist, and famed orator. His oratory on behalf of Woodrow Wilson won Wilson the presidential nomination, and Wilson appointed him Secretary of State in appreciation. Eleven years later, Bryan would lead the prosecution in the Scopes Monkey Trial, winning a conviction against the schoolteacher who had the audacity to teach Darwin's "unbiblical" theory of evolution in the public schools. The Harrison Act, in fact, did not prohibit drugs. The act only regulated and taxed the importation and distribution of "opium or coca leaves, their salts, derivatives, or preparations, and for other purposes." It seemed reasonable to regulate, not prohibit, opium, cocaine, and their derivatives. "It is unlikely that a single legislator realized in 1914," wrote Edward M. Brecher, "that the law Congress was passing would later be deemed a Prohibition law."
Even in the National Report on Drugs, Crime, and the Justice System, published in December, 1992, the United States government admits, The Act was ostensibly a revenue measure that required persons who prescribe or distribute specific drugs to register and buy tax stamps.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines ostensibly as "under mere profession or pretense." The government admits, then, that the law was deceptive. It deceived the legislators who passed it and the public who accepted it. The only people who complained were physicians. This from the National Report: From the first, the Treasury Department held that medical maintenance of opiate addicts (treatment through declining usage) was not permissible, but physicians opposed this view. . . . Initial enforcement included arrests of physicians, pharmacists, and unregistered users.
Six months after the passage of the Harrison Act, an editorial in American Medicine stated, Narcotic drug addiction is one of the gravest and most important questions confronting the medical profession today. Instead of improving conditions, the laws recently passed have made the problem more complex. . . . Abuses in the sale of narcotic drugs are increasing . . . a particularly sinister consequence . . . is the character of the places to which [addicts] are forced to go to get their drugs and the type of people with whom they are obliged to mix.
In 1918, the Secretary of the Treasury appointed a committee to look into the drug problem. The committee found that, in the four years since the passage of the Harrison Act, underground drug traffic was flourishing, "dope peddlers" had established a national organization, smuggling was rampant, and the use of the forbidden substances had increased. What did the government do? Well, of course, it made new and stricter laws. In 1922, it created the Federal Narcotics Control Board. In 1924, it banned the importation or manufacture of heroin in any form, even for medical purposes. Since that time, one of the most effective painkillers known has been missing from the pharmacopoeia of physicians—even though in 1925 Dr. Lawrence Kolb concluded, after an elaborate study, "If there is any difference in the deteriorating effects of morphine and heroin on addicts, it is too slight to be determined clinically." In 1967, the President's Committee on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice came to the same conclusion: "While it is . . . somewhat more rapid in its action, heroin does not differ in any significant pharmacological effect from morphine." Has either of these reports changed the government's mind? Come now. It was, in fact, the heavy restrictions placed on morphine that turned addicts to heroin. Like hard alcohol in place of beer and wine during Prohibition, heroin—being more concentrated—was easier to transport and smuggle. People who were content to drink morphine began injecting heroin simply because heroin was more available and the cost-per-high was lower. (As we shall see shortly, the same is true today in the relationship between crack and cocaine.) Did the new and stricter laws work? Here is an excerpt from an editorial in the June 1926 issue of the Illinois Medical Journal:
The Harrison Narcotic law should never have been placed upon the statute books of the United States. It is to be granted that the well-meaning blunderers who put it there had in mind only the idea of making it impossible for addicts to secure their supply of "dope" and to prevent unprincipled people from making fortunes and fattening upon the infirmities of their fellow men.
As is the case with most prohibitive laws, however, this one fell far short of the mark. So far, in fact, that instead of stopping the traffic, those who deal in dope now make double their money from the poor unfortunates upon whom they prey. . . .
The doctor who needs narcotics used in reason to cure and allay human misery finds himself in a pit of trouble. The lawbreaker is in clover. "
The government's reaction? Why, of course, more laws, stricter enforcement of the laws already on the books, and yet another agency. In 1930, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) was created within the Treasury Department under the direction of Commissioner Harry Anslinger.
Enter one of the true villains of the piece—particularly with regard to marijuana prohibition—Commissioner Anslinger. From 1930 until he was forced out of office by President Kennedy in 1962, Anslinger ran the FBN with the same tight reins—and questionable ethical procedures—that his contemporary J. Edgar Hoover held at the FBI.
By 1932, the evangelicals were in desperate need of a Cause and a Leader. Their previous Cause, Prohibition, was obviously running out of steam, as had their previous Leader, William Jennings Bryan. (Shortly after winning the glorious victory for the literal interpretation of the Bible in the Scopes Monkey Trial, he literally ran out of steam and died.) After Prohibition the evangelicals turned to keeping creationism taught in the public schools, censoring those disgraceful Hollywood movies, and ending the drug menace. In the latter Cause, they gladly cleaved to the bosom of their new leader, Commissioner Harry Anslinger.
Poor Harry. Try as he might, he never obtained the recognition and personal glory Hoover did at the FBI—or even that of Postmaster-Turned-Hollywood-Censor Hayes (with his Hayes Office and Hayes Production Code). For some reason, Anslinger had a real seed under his dentures when it came to the subject of marijuana. Yes, he was ruthless in pursuing all those other narcotics violators—the coke-heads and the junkies—but there was something about marijuana that infuriated him. Perhaps it was because marijuana was not officially labeled a narcotic, thus not under his jurisdiction. Perhaps it was his well-documented racism. Perhaps he wanted a drug to call "his own" and hold proudly before the evangelicals as David had held the head of Goliath. Perhaps he wanted to be a hero in the Hearst papers, as Hearst was suddenly printing provocative anti-hemp stories. Perhaps he was on the take from DuPont. Perhaps it was some combination of these.
Dupont? Hearst? What did two business magnates have to do with marijuana prohibition? Plenty. In the mid-1930s, machinery was perfected that would allow the hemp fiber to be more easily and economically separated from the plant. This meant paper, clothing, and other manufactured articles could be produced from hemp at prices far more competitive than ever before. This did not sit well with two American giants: William Randolph Hearst and the DuPont Corporation. Hearst not only printed newspapers; he made the paper on which to print them. If hemp became the primary source of paper, not only would much of Hearst's paper-making machinery become obsolete, but all those forests he purchased could only be used as backdrops for Marion Davies movies. Hearst began attacking hemp at every opportunity. Earlier, Hearst had successfully turned public opinion against Hispanics. Many believe he and fellow yellow-journalism baron Joseph Pulitzer started the unnecessary Spanish-American War. Hearst used the Mexican term for hemp, marijuana, in his many salacious anti-hemp stories. Most Americans never associated marijuana with the hemp their grandfathers grew, or the extract of cannabis their grandmothers took. Hearst's headlines included such joys as
And guess who was quoted in Hearst's papers as saying, "If the hideous monster Frankenstein came face to face with the monster marijuana he would drop dead of fright"?
Yes, none other than "H. J. Anslinger, head of the Federal Narcotics Bureau." Hearst's paper went on to "report," This is not overstatement. Users of the mari- juana weed are committing a large percentage of the atrocious crimes blotting the daily picture of American life.
It is reducing thousands of boys to CRIMINAL INSANITY.
And ONLY TWO STATES have effective laws to protect their people against it.
The marijuana weed, according to Mr. Anslinger, is grown, sold, and USED in every State in the Union. He charges, and rightly, that this is not a responsibility of one State, but OF ALL—and of the federal government.
DuPont, meanwhile, had just patented a process for making paper from wood pulp (which Hearst would use extensively in the years to come). The process, which relied heavily on DuPont chemicals, was not necessary in manufacturing paper from hemp. Additionally, DuPont had recently taken German patents and perfected the "miracle fiber" nylon, to be manufactured from coal tar and petroleum products. Inexpensive, readily grown hemp fibers would put a damper on two of DuPont's future money makers, paper production and textiles. Make of these facts what you will. One thing is certain: Hearst and DuPont made a fortune thanks to the prohibition of hemp.
Anslinger used his position of authority to encourage states and cities to ban marijuana. In 1935, Anslinger announced, In the absence of Federal legislation on the subject, the States and cities should rightfully assume the responsibility for providing vigorous measures for the extinction of this lethal weed, and it is therefore hoped that all public-spirited citizens will earnestly enlist in the movement urged by the Treasury Department to adjure intensified enforcement of marijuana laws.
By 1937, forty-six of the forty-eight states, as well as the District of Columbia, had laws against marijuana. At Anslinger's urging, marijuana was labeled a narcotic and had the same strict penalties as morphine and heroin. The wild reports continued in Hearst newspapers and magazines. Commissioner Anslinger took quill in hand himself on occasion—his prose as bad as his prohibitions. This, for example, from Hearst's American Magazine of July 1937: An entire family was murdered by a youthful [marijuana] addict in Florida. When officers arrived at the home they found the youth staggering about in a human slaughterhouse. With an ax he had killed his father, mother, two brothers, and a sister.
He seemed to be in a daze. . . . He had no recollection of having committed the multiple crime. The officers knew him ordinarily as a sane, rather quiet young man; now he was pitifully crazed. They sought the reason. The boy said he had been in the habit of smoking something which youthful friends called "muggles," a childish name for marijuana.
I don't know about you, but I've never met a pothead that ambitious. In Hollywood, in his famous Production Code, Mr. Hayes prohibited any positive mention of drugs. (Cigarettes, of course, were just fine.) Hollywood joined in the propaganda madness (at Hearst's encouragement?) and made the now-classic Reefer Madness. In 1937, Anslinger rushed through Congress the Marijuana Tax Act. Anslinger had waited because the question of whether or not it was acceptable to use the tax provisions of the Constitution to justify prohibitions was before the Supreme Court. On March 29, 1937, the Supreme Court decided that machine guns could be prohibited by first passing an act taxing them, then using the tax-law to ban them altogether. On April 14, 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act was introduced to Congress. The testimony before the congressional committee was, for the most part, provided by Anslinger, Anslinger employees, and Anslinger reading Hearst newspaper articles, some of which he had written. The hearings were reminiscent of the scene from John Huston's film, The Bible, in which John Huston, playing Noah, has a conversation with God, also played by John Huston. The film was produced and directed by John Huston. The narrator: John Huston. Curiously, neither Hearst, DuPont, nor Anslinger had by 1937 created the myth that marijuana use leads to heroin addiction. During the House hearings, a representative remarked, "I am wondering whether the marijuana addict graduates into heroin, and opium, or a cocaine user." Commissioner Anslinger replied, No, sir; I have not heard of a case of that kind. The marijuana addict does not go in that direction.
And how many doctors were heard in the congressional hearings in 1937? Precisely one. He represented the American Medical Association. The AMA opposed the bill. At least twenty-eight medicinal products containing marijuana were on the market in 1937, the doctor pointed out; drugs containing marijuana were manufactured and distributed by the leading pharmaceutical firms; and marijuana was recognized as a medicine in good standing by the AMA. From an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association (May 1, 1937): After more than 20 years of federal effort and the expenditure of millions of dollars, the opium and cocaine habits are still widespread. The best efforts of an efficient Bureau of Narcotics, supplemented by the efforts of an equally efficient Bureau of Customs, have failed to stop the unlawful flow of opium and coca leaves and their components and derivatives, on which the continuance and spread of narcotic addiction depends.
Like the Harrison Narcotics Act before it, the Marijuana Tax Act claimed—even in the title of the bill—only to tax marijuana. It was yet another deception perpetrated on Congress and the American people: the intent of the bill was never to tax, but to prohibit. Beyond mere deception, however, the Big Lie to Congress was yet to come.
In testifying before the congressional committee, the doctor sent by the AMA said the AMA had only realized "two days before" the hearings that the "killer weed from Mexico" was indeed cannabis, the benign drug used and prescribed by the medical profession for more than a hundred years. Said Dr. Woodward, We cannot understand, yet, Mr. Chairman, why this bill should have been prepared in secret for two years without any intimation, even to the [medical] profession, that it was being prepared.
Anslinger and the committee chairman, Robert L. Doughton,DuPont Dynasties, Robert Doughton was a key DuPont supporter in Congress.> denounced and curtly excused Dr. Woodward. When the marijuana tax bill came before Congress, one pertinent question was asked from the floor: "Did anyone consult with the AMA and get their opinion?" Representative Vinson answered for the committee, "Yes, we have . . . and they are in complete agreement." The Big Lie. The bill passed, and became law in September 1937. Anslinger was furious with the AMA for opposing him before the congressional committee. As the commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, he could prosecute any doctors who prescribed narcotics for "illegal purposes." Which purposes were "illegal" was pretty much Anslinger's call. From mid-1937 through 1939, more than 3,000 doctors were prosecuted. In 1939, the AMA made peace with Anslinger and came out in opposition to marijuana. From 1939 to 1949, only three doctors were prosecuted by the FBN for drug activity of any kind.
In 1944, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia and the New York Academy of Medicine released the La Guardia Marijuana Report, which, after seven years of research, claimed that marijuana caused no violence and had certain positive medical benefits. In a rage, Anslinger banned all marijuana research in the United States. He attacked La Guardia vehemently. In 1948, however, Anslinger dropped the "marijuana causes violence" argument. He made, in fact, a complete about-face when he testified before Congress in 1948 that marijuana made one so tranquil and so pacifistic that the communists were making abundant supplies available to the military, government employees, and key citizens. Marijuana was now part of a Communist Plot aimed at weakening America's will to fight. That this statement was a complete reversal of his congressional testimony only eleven years before went unnoticed. Anti-communism put Anslinger back in the public eye, along with his good friend Senator Joseph McCarthy. It was later revealed by Anslinger in his book, The Murderers, and also by Dean Latimer in his book, Flowers in the Blood, that Anslinger supplied morphine to McCarthy on a regular basis for years. Anslinger's justification? To prevent the communists from blackmailing such a fine American just because he had a "minor drug problem." In 1970, in passing the Controlled Substances Act, the federal government shifted its constitutional loophole for jailing drug users and providers from taxation to the federal government's obligation to regulate interstate traffic. This is as dramatic a violation of the Constitution as the taxation excuse, but it fit the government's plan better. Under this law a bureaucrat—usually not elected—decides whether or not a substance is dangerous and how dangerous that substance is. There's no more messing around with legislatures, presidents, or other bothersome formalities. When MDMA (ecstasy) was made illegal in 1986, no elected official voted on that. It was done "in house." People are now in jail because they did something that an administrator declared was wrong.
The Controlled Substances Act was circulated to the states where it was enthusiastically received; most states have modeled their programs on the federal plan. There is no longer a need, then, to deceive legislators: the agency heads and their minions simply decide what the law is, and that's that. Today, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics is, like its former director Anslinger, no more. How's this for a bureaucratic shuffle: In 1968, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) was transferred from the Treasury Department to the Justice Department, where it was merged with the Bureau of Drug Abuse Control (BDAC) to form the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD). In 1973, during the early skirmishes of the war against drugs, the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD), the Office for Drug Abuse Law Enforcement (ODALE), and the Office of National Narcotics Intelligence (ONNI) all combined to form the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). (I hope you're paying attention: there will be a quiz.) As the war against drugs escalated, one agency was not enough. In 1988, the National Drug Enforcement Policy Board (NDEPB) and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) were formed. The director of ONDCP—now a cabinet-level position—was given the title that Mr. Anslinger (anti-communist sentiments notwithstanding) would have killed for: The Drug Czar.

American Nightmare!

Prison for profit, profits before people ,
Fill up the church and then set fire to the steeple.
Eat up all the sacred cows, and slaughter all the sheeple .
Send the poor to fight the war, if they all get killed just make some more…
Lady Justice has been raped… and Lady Liberty’s a whore.
Corporate collectivism…
Prison for profit…
Why is there no universal healthcare in this country?
Why, in the year 2008, can you not marry whomever you like?
Why does our government, in this time of crisis and economic hardships, insist on continuing to wage their useless and silly “war on drugs?”
How many trillions of dollars will we waste fighting the “war on terror?“
What the hell ever happened to LBJ's “war on poverty?“
Where’s the sorely needed “war on governmental corruption?“

We The People should be waging our own war, against these hypocritical morons who insist on running our beloved country into the fucking ground, all in the name of “freedom,“ when in fact our freedom is the very thing we all stand to lose. (Patriot Act anyone?)
Their real motives are power and money and have no bearing on the well-being of the American populace. Yes, The American Dream is dead and buried, has been for quite some time, but there may still be a chance for it’s resurrection and rebirth, if those of us with the intelligence to read between the lines, and the cojones to do something about it get up off our complacent, pampered American asses, turn off the goddamned television, and take action!
A lot of you are going to find it really easy to write me off as just another anarchist, and that’s fine because if you really believe that then you really believe that putting a bumper sticker or magnet on your vehicle is “supporting the troops.” If you were standing here before me now, you’d likely tell me that the United States is the greatest nation in the world, the best, number one, numero uno, and that freedom isn’t free, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah, yakkity smackity… and you’d get no argument from me.
We ARE the greatest nation in the world, and freedom ISN’T free, but you can spout off any tired old cliché you want to and it still won’t change the fact that people are dying, people are starving, and people are being thrown in prison for choosing the wrong substance with which to medicate themselves. Wake the fuck up America, before it’s too late.
The American Dream is dead. Long live the American Dream.

Friday, May 2, 2008

You are all a bunch of fucking slaves! Mindless drones!

“Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do.” —Oscar Wilde
"But men labor under a mistake. The better part of the man is soon ploughed into the soil for compost. By a seeming fate, commonly called necessity, they are employed, as it says in the old book, laying up treasures which moth and rust will corrupt and thieves break through and steal. It is a fool's life, as they will find when they get to the end of it, if not before." —Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854
I think I would give my left nut to be able to travel around working counterculture festivals like my Tribefriend KK has done, what could be more rewarding? It is truly amazing to me that even among Burners, there are people who remain so fiercely loyal to jobs they don't even like, jobs that are slowly sucking the life out of them and keeping them chained down, keeping them from living their dreams. Hell, just keeping them from living period. Work to live, don't live to work! There's nothing wrong with doing an honest days work for an honest days pay, everyone wants to put food on the table, but unless you are one of the very fortunate ones making a living doing what you love, YOU ARE NOT YOUR JOB. How you pay the bills is NOT what defines you.
Shame on you all for shitting on a man just because he has the courage to follow his heart! Goddamn brainwashed, consumer-driven zombies! Call me an "enabler" if you will, tell me to "find a real job" and to "get a life." Fuck you, I say. Quit your job and go find your real life! I am doing what I love (Writing!) and I will continue to do so, whether or not it pays the pays the bills is immaterial to me, it's what I was made to do, and one of the few things I do really well. I've been working hard since I was thirteen years old, I've quit a million shitty jobs and I'll quit a million more!
I don't know KK personally I'm just one of his many fans and Tribe friends, but it's obvious when reading his writing or what others have written about him that he's no lazy skid row bum looking for a handout. Quite the opposite in fact! I for one would be honored to buy him a few lottery tickets and a lousy pack of smokes, even in spite of the fact that though I've managed to earn a little money, I haven't cashed a paycheck in over five months! I would love to berate you conformist Swine some more, but the sun is shining and the trees are in bloom, and I've a got a date with my sunporch, some good music, and Mary Jane. FUCK YOUR JOB! -LS
"I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables—slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit WE DON'T NEED. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war . . . our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off." —Chuck Palahniuk Fight Club, 1999
"One of the saddest things is that the only thing that a man can do for eight hours a day, day after day, is work. You can't eat eight hours a day nor drink for eight hours a day nor make love for eight hours—all you can do for eight hours is work. Which is the reason why man makes himself and everybody else so miserable and unhappy." —William Faulkner, interview in Writers at Work, 1958
"Sure I could get up every day at dawn and go to a job that does not inspire me creatively at all. Or, I could get up at noon and learn to play the sitar. " - Bill Hicks
"I was called to the bathroom at the cemetery to take care of something. I walked in the bathroom and in the middle toilet right there . . . somebody didn't shit in the toilet, somebody shat on the toilet. They shat on the wall, they shat on the floor. I had to clean it up, man, but before that, for about 10 to 15 seconds man, I just stared at somebody's shit, man. To be totally honest with you, man, it was a really, really profound moment. Cause I was thinkin', 'I'm 30 years old and in about 10 seconds I gotta start cleaning up somebody's shit, man.'" —American Movie, 1999
"We don't have a lot of time on this earth! We weren't meant to spend it this way. Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about about mission statements." —Office Space, 1999
“It was true that I didn’t have much ambition, but there ought to be a place for people without ambition, I mean a better place than the one usually reserved. How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 6:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?” —Charles Bukowski
"My job consists of basically masking my contempt for the assholes in charge, and, at least once a day, retiring to the men's room so I can jerk off while I fantasize about a life that doesn't so closely resemble Hell." —American Beauty, 1999

Food Sharing Camp Article for the Black Rock Beacon's website, written after Burning Man 2007

MLAD #0105w


By: Lonestoner

"We should look for someone to eat and drink with before we look for something to eat and drink." ~Epicurus

Thinking of feeding the Playa people next year? Is it your "American Dream" to impress your fellow Burners with your culinary prowess? Do you want to be the proud chef of the finest eating establishment in Black Rock City? Or maybe you just want to provide a place for dirty hippies with the munchies and danced-out, half-starved ravers to wash down a grilled cheese sandwich with warm Kool-Aid laced with mushroom tea?? Either way, this article provides valuable information to help ensure that your food sharing camp is legal and up to par.

In order to (legally) run a food sharing camp at Burning Man, you will need to apply for a temporary food vendor permit, the application is available for download here: There's a fifty dollar fee to receive this permit, unless you're a religious, charitable, or other non-profit organization, in which case a tax exempt certification or ID number is required. In addition to this, if you are bringing large amounts of propane you will need to notify Harley, Earth Guardian Extraordinaire, at, so she can get you set up with a BRC permit and notify the fire department if there's an emergency. The statutes and regulations for food service to the public in the state of Nevada (revised statutes 446 and Nevada Administrative Code 446) can be read online at the Nevada Bureau of Health Protection Services website: But they are, to quote my esteemed colleague, a long hard read.

To save you a little time and a lot of headache, I contacted a couple of people with experience running a food sharing camp, people who've been there, and done that. The Pancake Playhouse is one of the most well known camps on the Playa, and a great place to have a little breakfast after dancing the night away! Even the Health Department loves them, check out what they had to say about them on page 12 of their official report on BM '05 here:

Cara (Miss Kitchin) Despota, of the abovementioned Pancake Playhouse, was kind enough to respond to my emails and provided the following information. She wrote: "First off, Pancake Playhouse does not store any perishable food, so I don't know anything about that. We use only bagged batter mix and water. Oh, and industrial-sized Log Cabin Syrup too! We have to get a health permit at home, before we leave. Once there, it must be on display before we can start serving. Some years, the Health Dept. comes every day. Other years, it's less often. Each time they visit, they go down a checklist and give us an overall health score. If we have problems, we have to address them, and then the Health Dept. comes back the next day to check up. Some things we have to do: 1. Store all mix, syrup, and water off the ground. We use shelves for this. 2. Cover the floor of the kitchen with tarps or carpet. 3. Everyone in the kitchen must wear a head covering. 4. Servers must wear gloves and use tongs. 5. We may not accept donated items to serve the public. 6. We must wash dishes in a mixture that includes bleach. 7. We must have a designated hand washing station."

When asked if she had any funny anecdotes she'd like to share, Miss Kitchin had this to say: "hmmmmm, funny anecdotes, eh? It's all such a blur... ;) Seriously though, I do remember one year (03?) when a girl came by with a really ragged mullet haircut, she'd "lost" at the haircut roulette camp, and made a special pancake-related request. Judging by the obvious brilliance of the haircut stunt, we should have seen that this was a bad idea, but Pancake Playhouse aims to please. So we put down a tarp, had her lay on it, covered her with piping hot flapjacks, and poured syrup all over her bikini-clad body. Why? Well, she asked for it. But it was gross, and she didn't look all too happy about it once the Log Cabin started flowing. Oh well, it made for a weird and wonderful photo opportunity. The other funny thing I can think of has to do with gifting and bartering at pancake playhouse. Our camp has chose to gift food because people need it and also because there's something special about getting a hot meal on the Playa. We don't encourage bartering however, because we don't necessarily *need* a lot of the things that people see fit to gift. Regardless of this, we tend to collect a lot of donations, and this inevitably ends up meaning a lot of scraps of logoed paper, candy, plastic stuff, and... rocks. "Rocks" you say? Oh yes. Loads of them. Big, small, shiny, garden-variety, you name it. So one year, a campmate had the brilliant idea to collect all of the gifted rocks in a sock. On the final day of serving pancakes, we hung the sock up in the kitchen, and invited all potential rock-givers to forgo their hot breakfast, and instead treat themselves to a nice flogging with the appropriately named "rock sock." The rock sock has since become a yearly tradition at our camp, and one that Pancake Playhouse loves dearly. Look, we know you crazy Playa kids love us. And we love you too. But we also won't hesitate to beat you with your own rocks. ;)

I also contacted Gigi Ficklin from the Random Pizza Experience camp, who may not be as loved by the Health Dept. as Pancake Playhouse, but who receive more than their fair share of lovin from hungry Burners! The following is taken from Gigi's email, presented in interview form:

Lonestoner: Hello Gigi, thank you for responding to my query! If you could take a moment to answer a few questions, I would greatly appreciate it! By the way, you guys are awesome, Random Pizza kicks serious ass!

Lonestoner: What would you say was the hardest thing about running a food sharing camp?

Gigi: Now that we've had four years of working out the kinks, it's pretty easy. The first couple of years it was hard to get the ingredients just right so we didn't run out, but then the Playa always provided! Making sure we have one or two campmates to man the operation is hard. No one likes to commit. We've finally come to the conclusion that if no one is motivated, we just don't open til someone is. Hungry Burners don't like to take NO for an answer. People are constantly asking when we will be open. It's probably easier if you don't advertise... open when you want to be. At Random Pizza Experience, we had an easy answer to our hours of operation: "We are open randomly."

Lonestoner: What was the most rewarding thing?

Gigi: People are so thankful! They love you. They bear gifts. They remember you from year to year. They are willing to help with cleanup, even if they've shown up too late for food. You meet great people. Our first year we spent a lot of time in camp because it was so fun. Let the Playa come to you!

Lonestoner: What advice would you give to first-timers to help them prepare for and pass inspection?

Gigi: The Health Dept. is really nice and easy to deal with once you know the rules. And if you get lax about it, you can always play it off if they suddenly show up for an inspection. "Why aren't you people wearing gloves?!" Pretty much all they want is, a hand-washing station (see below), dish washing station (a three bucket system; soapy water, water rinse, and bleach/water sanitize), you must close every four hours to clean the whole kitchen, and store perishables six inches off the ground. Simple.

Lonestoner: Is it true that you aren't allowed to store food in an RV's refrigerator or freezer? I heard it was considered a "home" and therefore unacceptable. If so, how CAN you store food, are coolers okay, are there temperature regulations?

Gigi: I've never heard that about RV refrigerators and haven't read that in the Health Dept. paperwork either. Coolers are fine to store food and we never had trouble keeping up on the ice by buying every other day. When we've been inspected, they would just say, "It looks like this cooler could use some ice," but they wouldn't shut us down for it. Also, we only kept pretty stable stuff. No uncured meats or egg salad, etc. I've heard some camps get a fridge that runs on propane... and one five gallon tank lasts the whole week.

Lonestoner: What type of handwashing setup do you normally use?

Gigi: Hand sanitizer, baby wipes, and plastic food service gloves. I think technically you need water, which we provide as needed and upon request. Keep in mind that at RPE, participants, not camp members, are preparing the food. Because of the high volume, we do the gloves. But technically camp members are only required to wash hands with soap and water.

Lonestoner: Have you ever experienced any problems from the Health Department, law enforcement, or unruly or impatient Burners?

Gigi: The Health Dept. has been super cool. Yeah, we've been shut down, but they tell you how to comply and all you have to do is fix what they require and you are back up and running... even the same day. Labor Day weekend there is a huge chili cook-off in Reno with real paying customers who expect a restaurant level of clean. It's just not the case on the Playa. If a Burner is grossed out by your kitchen, they will probably not eat. So, in other words, the Health Dept. has better things to do.

Lonestoner: Anything else you'd like to share?

Gigi: There is some great food at Burning Man. It's the perfect gift. You use up what you bring and don't have to cart it home. Plus, there is always something to eat for your own camp. We never get tired of pizza.

-Food and drink do indeed make the perfect gift, for we can not survive without them. In a way, you are giving the gift of life, and what could be better than that?

"Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon." ~Doug Larson

Article for the Black Rock Beacon's website, written after Burning Man 2007

Going Green, Or Selling Out?

By: Lonestoner

This year at Burning Man, there was entirely too much controversy over what should have been nothing more than common sense to each and every individual who set foot on the Playa. Anyone not interested in preserving this planet (and especially the Playa!) for future generations has no business calling themself a “Burner” and being there with the rest of us in the first place. No, you don’t have to be a “tree- hugger.” It’s not like the Borg is demanding that everyone immediately go out and buy a hybrid and a houseful of Energy Star® appliances. I attended a panel discussion in the Black Rock commissary on Wednesday, August 29th, along with the usual gang of idiots, and a few honest journalists, among them my colleagues and friends from the Black Rock Beacon. The panel discussion lasted about an hour, and basically consisted of, “Please, tell us more about the same shit you’ve been telling us about for months now!” One of the most interesting questions was posed by me; I asked Larry if he’d ever considered burning a woman in place of or beside the man. He said no, because in 1990, when he drew the plans on which “Bernie” is based, he designed it to be androgynous, neither male nor female. I later learned that some of the DPW and other staff do in fact build and burn a woman, albeit on a much smaller scale than that of the man. One douchebag from the San Francisco Chronicle hadn’t even bothered to read the now infamous ePlaya post by Larry Harvey, in which he responded to the even more infamous Business 2.0 magazine article that started all this HORSESHIT. Hey douchebag, if you can’t do research, you ain’t no reporter! Were companies allowed to display their alternative energy products on the Playa this year? Yes, but ONLY their products, no names or logos! To paraphrase Mr. Harvey, “I challenge you to find corporate sponsorship on the Playa.” Just to put an end to this whole nasty mess, here are a few more quotes from Larry Harvey: - “It’s a natural evolution.” - “We’re growing up.” - “We try to lead by anarchy and example.” - “When we change what we do, we do it year after year, and we’re gonna continue to do it. That’s a promise.” - “If the sixties had been as structured as Burning Man, it might have worked out.” In case you still don’t get it, he was saying that the Borg isn’t trying to cram any beliefs down your throat; it’s merely asking you to GET OFF YOUR DEAD ASSES, JOIN THE FUCKING MOVEMENT, AND HELP US MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE!
That’s not so bad, is it?

Untitled poem from 2007 By: B.J. Raymond

I am a dark man.
I’ve sung Sinatra tunes as I showered, with killers, and sinners, of all shapes and colors.
Better men you would be hard pressed to find, these dark men of all kinds, though you searched far and wide…
I am a wanderer.
I’ve had the urge to “Go Greyhound”, from sea to shining sea, at least a time or three…
Better had it been a covered wagon, on that old highway they called the Oregon Trail.
Or a ship destined for parts unknown, raise the anchor and hoist the sail…
I am an addict and a stoner.
You can always count on drugs to be your friend, right up until the end. Mary Jane is the perfect companion for an introverted loner, she’ll always be my one and only, but even a loner gets lonely…
I am a lover.
I am a lover lacking any significant other, who wants to date a philosophical fool who lives with his mother? A hopeless romantic with emphasis on the hopeless, but I really did love her, and I just hope she knows it. Hi I’m Robert, but everybody calls me Bob, I’d love to take you out to dinner but I haven’t any car and no real job.
I am a writer.
In a double wide trailer, on a road named Taylor, I hide inside my own mind and type worse gibberish than Mailer… Lacking any true inspiration due to the cold hard facts of the situation that I’m facing…
I am an outlaw.
Wanted for consensual crimes for which I’ve served more than my time. The crimes never came close to fitting the punishment, but since when is that even relevant?
Another product of the system, viciously victimized, but not ever a victim.
I’d do it again for the hell of it, if I could only stand the smell of it…
I am a dark man.

Domestic Dispute; writing exercise from Stephen King's On Writing, a must read for any writer of fiction. Copyright 2006

I'm no Stephen King, more like a cross between him and Chuck P. with a little Poe thrown in, but I am a huge fan of his work. I first read On Writing, a Memoir of the Craft, when it was first released, and after re-reading it a couple years ago, took a stab at the writing exercise in the book. Not my best work, but not total shit either.

Stop it Michael, you're making yourself crazy! Mike Jones was indeed making himself crazy, but he had no idea what to do about it. Gina has been in jail over six months now, it's over with. Dr. Trillian said it's time for you to put that whole awful mess behind you. That whole awful mess consisted of a four year marriage that had at first seemed like a match made in heaven. Mike and Gina, anybody who saw the two of them together couldn't deny that here was a couple who was clearly in love. And indeed they had been, Mike had always been shy, so when popular, outgoing Gina had shown interest, he was confused, but Gina was beautiful and Mike was lonely, and four months later they were married at city hall. It was shortly after the marriage that Gina began to change, becoming jealous and paranoid. Mike would walk in the door of their studio apartment after work in the evenings and immediately Gina was on him, accusing him of cheating, of stealing non-existent money from her purse, anything to start a fight it seemed. She became so controlling that Mike was no longer "allowed" to speak to any of the few remaining friends Gina hadn't already scared off. One night, after an especially stressful day at the factory where he worked, Mike broke the rules and not only did he not call Gina to tell her he was on his way home, he went to his favorite bar with a couple of the guys from work and had a much-needed beer. Despite the fact that he hadn't been to his favorite bar a single time since meeting Gina, he only had the one, and then went straight home, but Gina was more furious then he had ever seen her. Mike was a small guy, and by no means a fighter, but even if he had been he was not the type of man to lay a hand on his wife, but Gina had no problem hitting Mike with anything close at hand, including a broomstick, and the large ashtray that sat on their coffee table. Mike was forced to run away from his own house and when his friend Tom from down the block took him to the emergency room his forehead received six stitches, courtesy of that large ashtray which had been a present from Gina's mom. He spent that night on Tom's couch, and in the morning Gina was ringing the doorbell and crying hysterically. After a considerable amount of apologies, promises, and plenty more crying from both sides, Mike went home. A week later, Mike and Gina learned they were pregnant. Pregnancy turned out to agree with Gina, it seemed to Mike that the woman he'd married was back, and that horrible stranger was gone for good. Things only got better when their daughter Emily was born, both of them loved her dearly. Gina was still prone to the occasional bout of jealousy or paranoia, but these instances were few and far between, and although she would scream and yell during one of her "fits" as Mike thought of them, she never became violent or abusive. At least not physically abusive, her tongue was a dagger she wielded like an expert warrior. For the most part though, life was good for the next three years, and Mike was content, if not completely happy. Then one cold November afternoon, he was called into the boss's office at the factory, and asked if he would like to be the new swing shift foreman. It meant a decent raise, but more importantly, health insurance benefits for Emily and Gina. Mike was ecstatic! The boss invited him out for a celebratory drink after work, and Mike felt it would be rude to refuse, so he accepted. He didn't call Gina because he wanted to see her face when he told her the wonderful news. In the three years since Mike's wife put stitches in his head, Mike had come straight home from work every day. This wasn't a conscious decision on his part, but something in the back of his mind caused him to beg off, or give some excuse every time he was invited anywhere after work. Mike really did love Gina a lot, but deep down, he feared her still more. But Mike was on cloud nine that night, and the thought never even crossed his mind that Gina would be angry with him. He had great news! Hell she might even do that special thing for him tonight, that thing she almost never did. So he went out with the boss and they had not one, but several drinks, and he didn't think about the night he made this same mistake years ago. At home, Gina had been growing exponentially angrier, and if she thought of anything besides that night years ago (hadn't he learned his lesson the first time?), it was what she was going to do him once she got her hands on him. Or so Mike imagined, as he sat in his car reminiscing. Only Gina knew what she was really thinking.
His guess couldn't have been too far off the mark, because it was a fact that Gina showed up at the bar with a tire iron. Mike and his boss, Derek, were sitting at the bar. One of the old-timers a few stools down had just told an especially dirty joke, and all the men were laughing uproariously. Witnesses from that night said Mike had been laughing along with the best of them when Gina came up behind him and cracked open the back his skull. She managed to land one more blow across his face, breaking his nose and fracturing his cheekbone before being wrestled to the ground by Barney, the bouncer. "Fought like a wildcat she did!" Barney was fond of telling anyone who would listen. "Stronger'n most men!" Mike himself had been out cold from the first blow, but witnesses reported that Gina began "giggling like a schoolgirl" when the blood began to flow like a river from his head, and then his face and nose. Mike agreed not to press charges as long Gina would give him custody of Emily, and not contest the divorce. Also, he filed a restraining order which made it illegal for Gina to come within 500 feet of him. After much persuasion, Gina's court-appointed attorney got her to take the deal. Derek, perhaps out of guilt, had not only kept Mike's foreman position open during his hospital stay (eleven stitches in his face, and a whopping thirty-three in his scalp, plus a nasty concussion to boot), he'd footed the medical expenses as well. Emily stayed with his parents, until he was released from the hospital two days later, and a week after he'd first been given the promotion, Mike went to work. He resembled something from a horror film, but he was slowly getting better, and he was free from the woman he loved (and feared) who had nearly killed him. Or so he thought.
After work that first day back on the job, Mike was walking to his truck, wishing he'd brought more pain pills from home, and wondering whether Mrs. Jenkins from next door had fed Emily or should he pick something up on his way home. When he got to his truck, he found Gina waiting for him. With a .38 special. That might have been the end of Mike, in fact it's almost a certainty, but Gina had never fired a gun in her life, and had idea how to work the gun's safety, or even what that was. Mike had been begun screaming hysterically at the sight of the gun, and his screams attracted the attention of two guys in the aisle behind Gina, and she was still fiddling with the gun and trying without success to pull the trigger when she was tackled from behind by one of the guys, while the other one snatched the gun out of her hands. It took both of them to hold her down until the police got there and she was struggling the whole time, right up until the cuffs were on her and she was stuffed into the back of a police cruiser. Mike was no help, he sat in the truck and watched the whole scene unfold through eyes that seemed lifeless. He was terrified, and confused, and hurt in a way he'd never dreamed was possible. And he was so very tired.
He was still tired. This had been over six months ago now. Gina was in jail pending trial for attempted murder, and Mike was still working at the factory. Six weeks earlier, his aunt Evelyn had passed away, and left him her small two bedroom house outside of town. It wasn't much bigger than the old studio apartment, but it was paid for, and Emily had her own room, which she liked. Thinking of Emily made him cry a little as he sat there in his truck. She didn't understand any of this, and god willing she never would. Still, besides the fact that his wife was in jail for trying (twice) to kill him, his life wasn't so bad. Dr. Trillian, the psychiatrist he'd been seeing twice a week since the incident with the gun, said he was making a lot of progress, though there was still a lot of ground to cover. Feeling slightly ashamed of himself, he wiped his eyes and started the truck. No time for crying, Emily had a birthday party to go to. She'd been looking forward to it all week, and he'd even punched out early so he could go and pick her up from daycare. Yet all day he'd had this funny feeling that something just wasn't right. That something was in fact horribly wrong, or soon would be. Just quit it Mike, he told himself for the thousandth time that day. It's just your nerves, you been through a lot, you're still a little shaken up. But the feeling that something bad was about to happen lingered as he drove across town to the KIddy Kingdom Daycare. As he usually did when he picked Emily up, Mike found her drawing pictures at one of the tables, sitting alone with a stack of construction paper and box of crayons. Her pictures lately were all the same. Crudely drawn stick figures standing next to crudely drawn house. There were always three stick figures, one smaller than the other two. Mike didn't have to ask who she was drawing, he knew, and it broke his heart every time. She rarely played with the other kids, and the only child she appeared to care for was her friend Amy and it was Amy's birthday party she was going to.
He felt a little better after dropping Emily off, she had actually smiled when she saw the decorations and the huge rainbow piñata hanging in the back yard. Mike thought he would straighten up around the house and then take a nap until Amy's parents showed up with Emily tomorrow. He still had a funny feeling in his gut, but he ignored it. Back at the house (Mike still couldn't think of it as HIS house), Mike started a pot of coffee, and went into the living room to watch the news while it brewed. The coffee would give him a much-needed energy boost for cleaning up the house. The lead story on the five o'clock news was that three inmates had escaped from the county jail while on a work detail. A guard had been killed during the escape, and two of the three had been re-captured almost immediately. The third was still at large. The inmates weren't named, at least not in this newscast, but Mike knew immediately. She was out. But that wasn't all he knew. She wasn't just out, she was here. He realized he'd been smelling Gina's special leave in conditioner since he'd first walked in the door. Leave it to Gina to find a way to get her hair tonic, jail or no jail. Mike sat there, wanting desperately to run, but paralyzed with fear, and as he heard Gina's footfalls coming down the stairs, he began to tremble helplessly.
She was almost at the foot of the stairs before his paralysis released it's hold on him. It was the thought of Emily growing up an orphan that finally did it. He tried to force himself to run, out the door and to the nearest phone to call the police, but she was too close, he knew he’d never make it. In desperation he ran into the kitchen and grabbed the pot of coffee. It had just finished brewing and was scalding hot. He turned around, ready to burn the bitch’s face off, and the last thing he saw was the barrel of the shotgun.
The End?