2 December 2023. Over the next month or so I’ll be serialising a chapter from Psychedelic Tricksters: A True Secret History of LSD. (Amazon. Also on Kindle: HERE), published in 2022. For this chapter I am especially indebted to Tim Scully’s extensive and generous correspondence with me between September 2019 and May 2020. – D.B. […]
David Black 11 October 2023 In September 1965 Timothy Leary sent Michael Hollingshead, the Englishman who introduced him to LSD during the Harvard psychedelics project, on a mission. Hollingshead flew into London with 5000 trips of LSD and a list of things to do. Firstly, Hollingshead was to rent the Albert Hall for a psychedelic […]
By David Black Rise like Lions after slumber — In unvanquishable number — Shake your chains to earth like dew — Which in sleep had fallen on you — Ye are many – they are few. (Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1819) On 6 January 2021, Donald Trump’s conspiracy to overturn his election defeat made insurrection respectable […]
David Black June 26 2023 The Limits of Politics in the Anthropocene In recent years Left Populism has lost momentum; seemingly eclipsed by the paranoid nativism of the Far Right, or recuperated by zombified social democracy. ‘We’ may still be the ‘99 per cent’, but the implied one per cent are still in charge, and, […]
Unitary urbanism expressed a vision of city planning based on aesthetic and technological innovations in architecture, but freed from subordination to the needs of corporate developers and the endless expansion of private car ownership. Such pleasurable activity as the Dérive had yet to be impoverished by the pollution and noise of traffic jams, and the vandalism of planners and developers. Chtcheglev could still write of a future in which city dwellers would reclaim the streets: “we will construct cities for drifting… but with light retouching, one can utilize certain zones which already exist. One can utilize certain persons who already exist.”v
BY DAVID BLACK 24 November 2022 “We need history, but not in the same way a loafer in the garden of knowledge needs it.” – Friedrich Nietzsche In March 1977 the first national police operation in history, codenamed Operation Julie, carried out what the media hailed as the “biggest drugs raid in British history”. The […]
2 December 2023. Here is the second part of my Substack serialisation of Chapter Six of Psychedelic Tricksters: A True Secret History of LSD (Amazon. Also on Kindle: HERE) The first part of the serialisation is available HERE. – D.B. Owsley Fights Prohibition On January 22 1966 Ken Kesey fled to Mexico to avoid a […]
David Wise Editor’s note: In response to my review of Eric-John Russell’s translation of Jaime Semprún’s book, A Gallery of Recuperation: On the Merits of Slandering Charlatans, Swindlers and Frauds (first published in 1976 as Précis de récupération: illustre de nombreux exemples tires de l’histoire recente) David Wise, co-founder of King Mob, the English radical […]
By David Black A Gallery of Recuperation: On the Merits of Slandering Charlatans, Swindlers and Fraud. By Jaime Semprún. Translated and with an Introduction by Eric-John Russell (MIT:2023) Jaime Semprún (1947-2010), though never a member of the Situationist International (1957-1972), became closely associated with the SI’s founder, Guy Debord; so much so that when A […]
Ben Watson writes about Finnegans Wake, the “incomprehensible” final book by James Joyce which he’s been poring over for five decades …
As regards Trump and Manson it would seem that, unfortunately, the American Psyche has room for both of them.
Earlier this year, in yet another government U-turn, a plan to privatise Channel Four was quietly dropped. But considering how much the content has been dumbed down since its ‘golden age’, should anyone have cared? No and yes.
David Black 21 July 2023 Terry Eagleton, writes in his review of Marx’s Literary Style by Ludovico Silva (London Review of Books, 29 June 2023): “The Communist Manifesto is rife with arresting imagery from the moment of its celebrated opening: ‘A spectre is haunting Europe.’” In Marx’s writings, “the categories that spring to his mind are […]
David Black 21 July 2023 On 30 March 1850, Charles Dickens, having established himself as Britain’s most popular novelist, launched Household Words: A Weekly Journal. In an editorial, headed ‘A Preliminary Word’, he promised his readers that: ‘No mere utilitarian spirit, no iron binding of the mind to grim realities, will give a harsh tone […]