Monthly Archives: June 2009

My column got spiked

Over the weekend I wrote my Morning Star column, which this week is about LSD. Then yesterday, for the first time, the editor refused to publish it. 

The subs told me: “Not that we’re anti-drugs or anything, but he reckons you’ve crossed a line by actively, massively advocating the stuff.”  

So I’ve written them something new, which I’ll email in the morning, though it’s probably too late for this week’s copy of the paper.

Meanwhile here’s the column they didn’t want. If you regularly read this blog but not my MS columns, it’s worth remembering this was written for print, not a blog, with their house style in mind (ie. it’s a bit different from most of my blog entries and not so readable onscreen!) and also it might be old hat because I’ve boffed on about this subject here already. But anyway… 

Chris thinks we should all get high.

Of all the illegal drugs that I think should be legalised – which is all of them – top of my wish list for a Get Out Of Jail Free card would be LSD.

I know when you argue for legalising drugs, you’re supposed to place your argument within the context of accepting that they are fundamentally a Bad Thing. Drugs are bad, m’kay?

I know legalisation or decriminalisation are meant to be presented as a strategic change-of-approach for combating drug use. I also know lots of people have ruined their lives by getting hopelessly addicted to substances, legal or illegal.

But with all that in mind, the point I want to make is: acid is bloody fantastic and, if you haven’t had a go before, I think your life would almost certainly improve if you tried some tomorrow.

What else have you got on? Get home from work and spend dinner time discussing whether Kate should’ve won The Apprentice, or why the nazis got two seats in Europe? Doesn’t sound like much fun to me. Then you’ll probably watch telly.

No access to a dealer? Ask anyone you know in the arts, or your scruffiest friend, or best of all, your kids’ coolest mate, to hook you up.

In one go, you’ll not only score but also your son or daughter will suddenly have fat kudos to spare, once the school rumour mill finds out their parents know how to party.

What you need is a warm summer evening, some trustworthy old friends and a pleasant field. Maybe take a picnic. Don’t try LSD out clubbing though, because you’ll get your head done in.

“Mind expanding” is a clichéd and vilified phrase, yet it is drop-dead accurate, when referring to acid. Apart from what you may get up to while you’re not quite in control – which is itself largely myth – it’s about as dangerous as a cup of coffee.

On acid, I have thought, visualised, smelled, heard and imagined in ways different to those which my mind was/is capable of straight. It’s not in any way a replacement for ‘real’ experience, however it is a powerful, memorable additional experience.

Cocaine is a drug about me, me, me. Marijuana is a drug about doing nothing and eating crisps. Booze is a drug about fighting, crying and kebabs. MDMA (ecstacy) is about hugging people on the dancefloor while the beat goes on.

But I believe LSD is a drug about tapping directly into whatever it is that we channel as creative. So, almost God then. A direct line to the part of our brain we most need more of in our existence.

By the way, sorry if the acronym “LSD” sounds scarily out-of-date and a bit faux-hippie, especially when most kids talk like an episode of The Wire and blow their allowances on ounces of cocaine.

I only started calling it LSD recently because I realised that when you say “acid” in the United States, quite a few people don’t actually know what you’re talking about. I guess the nickname never filtered across the Atlantic properly.

At the end of last year, I got back into acid as a creative tool, after a long, long break and I’ve been working on some improvised (mainly piano and electronic) music under its gorgeous influence, ever since. I set up recording equipment in the living room, get high and play piano or mess around with beats until I get bored and do something else. No idea whether it’s any good – only time will tell – but it’s a lot of fun and I feel that the rest of my creative life has been enrichened by the experiment.

Quite apart from unbanning the stuff, it should probably be on the national curriculum or added to MMR.

Amid the MPs’ expenses scandal, we’re finally beginning to understand the extent to which we, the public, can not know stuff. Conspiracists and engaged sceptics have understood this all along; that assuming huge, grand sleight-of-hand tricks upon the wider public can’t take place because of checks and balances is just poppycock.

So here comes the next layer – that they’re all junkies as well. Those who seek to control our personal behaviour through the making of laws are either rattled out of their minds on expensive whisky, snorting cocaine, or, it turns out, stealing every duck pond they can get their grubby mits on.

Let’s do a substance analysis of all the pipework in the Houses Of Parliament. If they don’t find just the fattest, fuck-off-est proportion of cocaine, I’ll be very surprised.

More than that, it’s a grand addiction to stuff. Material possessions as the mark of status – the classic capitalist fail. You know, the current recession is one of the biggest arguments I can think of for living the life you really want to live. Fuck the law and the fear of poverty; if there’s a thing you want to try or a place you need to visit, you’ve got to just do it.

And if that includes taking a beautiful hallucinogen that will make even just one evening unforgettable, then stop being such a pussy and go for it.

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