A Craft International Rabbit Hole Emerges

images-2Before the second suspect was even captured, I noticed a rush of judgment on some conspiracy sites that the two Russians were patsies and the real bombers were mercenaries from Craft International. The evidence for this was a photo of a cap worn by a man wearing a backpack, who seemed to be a part of a group of military or undercover law enforcement types standing near the finish line.

Craft International was founded by the most prolific sniper in American history, Chris Kyle, who was only recently murdered in a bizarre incident on a firing range in Texas last February.

I immediately suspected this story as having been planted as a rabbit hole to lead citizen researchers astray.

Let me digress for a minute: It was at the second Whee! festival in 1998 that I realized the massive ceremonies I was manifesting were having some sort of an impact on my telepathic abilities. That year I decided to disappear from Mission Control, where I’d been trapped during the first WHEE! and just walk among the people unidentified, as just one of the undercover security team, only my Batman belt was way better than the others, except for maybe 6/22. I became a hippie cop for a few days and polished my hippie shakedown techniques. I was really good at spotting perpetrators, intercepting them and neutralizing their movies. I had invented an elaborate scheme for handling all the cash, none of which I ever touched of course, but all of which flowed into a secret trailer, while everyone else thought it was going into a cashbox at Mission Control that actually only held a few hundred dollars.

I learned that if you tune yourself up right, you can amp up the ability to suss out the disinfo.

One thing you always have to be ready for is a tsumani of disinfo immediately following a major op. The intel apparatus is always first on the scene with what looks like the best info. That’s how they flush the citizen researchers away from the danger areas.

The obvious solution is to identify and question the man with the Craft cap and determine what his story is, does it make sense and is he telling us the truth? Because if he has a completely plausible explanation for his appearance at the finish line wearing a backpack, then you know this story was manufactured disinfo, which means it is a tail connected to a head that knows more than they are revealing. And when you can successfully ID disinfo, it can be very helpful in revealing exactly where they are trying to lead you and what they are trying to lead you away from. It’s a complex game played between the intelligence apparatus and the citizen researchers. In my opinion, professional spooks do not show up at undercover ops wearing their ID bracelets or real company logos. They will always have well-thought-out fake ID’s and costumes. It is part of their game, which is why I don’t buy into the Craft story.

images-1Here are the basic facts as we know them:

1) Law enforcement said they had no record of either brother, yet the FBI obviously has massive files on both, as they should. Post 9/11, how could police say they had zero records? This is very, very suspicious and makes me think their files may have been disappeared or sanitized already.

2) It makes no sense to go on a crime spree after escaping the scene. All that did was bring the entire Boston Police to their location and make their death or capture inevitable.

3) Why were two middle-eastern looking men allowed to enter the area without a search of their backpacks? Post 9/11, isn’t this standard procedure to have inspection stations posted leading into mass public events? You can’t get into Times Square on New Year’s Eve carrying a backpack.

4) The response on TV and the lock-down on the entire Eastern seaboard was beyond what was necessary to capture a wounded 19-year-old. And considering he was bleeding profusely, I don’t understand why dogs weren’t available to track him to the boat immediately.

5) The parents and friends of the pair say they saw zero signs of terrorist behavior? This suggests one of two possibilities: they were sleeper agents under hypnotic control or they were being manipulated and were set-up as patsies. The second possibility seems less likely simply because of the crime spree shootouts. Had they been actual patsies and not willing participants in the endeavor, they would have been far better off surrendering and volunteering their side of the story immediately, which is what Oswald was attempting to do before Ruby killed him.

Don’t think disinfo isn’t important. It brings a lot of information to the table, you just have to invert it to read it properly. It will be interesting to see the next torrent of disinfo. Meanwhile, I am very thankful the boy was taken alive so at least we have hope of getting to the bottom of this incident and what his motivations may have been.

My Theory on Boston

These dudes entered the country after 9/11 and blended in as regular people until being activated as Manchurian Candidates with orders to set off two bombs at the Boston Marathon, despite having no prior record of violence, other than an unsolved triple murder that would not unravel until after the bombing. 

The official story of the capture makes little sense. After being ID’d on TV, they suddenly shoot a policeman and commandeer a taxi to go to NYC for another attack. In real life, the escape plan is the most carefully orchestrated, and these dudes didn’t have one. Similar, in fact, to the way Oswald drifted deeper into the suburbs after the JFK assassination, when a real shooter would have been quietly boarding a plane, bus or train headed toward Mexico.

Meanwhile, the Saudi national who was first ID’d in the media as a suspect, was strangely removed from the suspect list and quietly relocated back to Saudi Arabia, similar to the flight of the Bin Ladin family out of Florida post 9/11.

The grisly triple murder of three men on the 9/11 anniversary two years prior to the bombing was seldom mentioned in the media, although the two events are certainly linked, nor was the death of Ibragim Todashev, the only-known witness to these events while undergoing an eight-hour FBI interrogation at his apartment in Orlando, Florida.

The  intense lock-down on the eastern seaboard was beyond what was necessary and may have served as a conditioning experiment. My guess is the population is gradually being conditioned to accept lock-down with zero freedoms in the name of protecting us against terrorism.

Equally suspicious was the creation of the “nobody died at the Boston Marathon bombing” meme deployed by the Tin Foil Hat Patrol. This meme was also worked into the earlier Sandy Hook school shooting, although in the case of Sandy Hook, the disinfo was transparent, while in the case of Boston, researcher Dave McGowan was more clever in constructing his bogus case. Both memes, however, are equally disgusting and reminiscent of the Holocaust denial movement, another obvious intel propaganda op. The photos purportedly showing crisis actors faking injuries is what finally revealed McGowan as a dedicated tin foil hatter, and it’s remarkable how many people in the conspiracy media maintain the fantasy McGowan’s research was real.

The easiest way to covertly create terror is to run operations through an anti-terror counterintelligence unit.

Al Qaeda is a fiction of the CIA, a collection of drug runners and arms dealers united in secret ops who supposedly went rouge and started attacking the creature that created it. But then so was Communist Russia just a burnt-out hunk of rust with a fresh paint job parading as global threat to amp up the arms race. 

And of course the million dollar question is who has the Manchurian Candidate technology to create monsters like these? Meanwhile, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sits in a super max prison awaiting the outcome of his death sentence appeal.

The Bronx Crusaders


I had a period that lasted less than a year when I was considered a hot, emerging screenwriter. Of course, as soon as Beat Street came out, that myth evaporated because even though the movie did ok, the script was awful, not that they used a word of my dialogue—in fact they didn’t keep anything but the characters’ names.

But there were a few months when I got to know what it feels like to be constantly courted for one project or another. I started working on a couple of treatments before Beat Street came out, one was the story of Frankie Lyman and the Teenagers that I was working on with a young black director, and the other was a comedy about the South Bronx, featuring a parody of Curtis Sliwa battling a local crack-head drug lord.

At the time, I was working on Art After Midnight with art director Flick Ford, and Flick had a business partner named Rob Taub, who was also a comedian who was dying to work on a project with me. Curtis Sliwa had just emerged at the time and I thought his organization, The Guardian Angels, was ripe material for satire. Curtis created an unarmed citizen militia that began riding the NYC subways in uniforms to make the passengers feel safe again and provide a free emergency response team. Before that he managed a McDonald’s in the South Bronx. Curtis turned out to be quite savvy about manipulating public events to promote his all-volunteer force. Who knows, maybe Curtis even inspired me a little, because within in a few years I’d create my own emergency response volunteer force, The Freedom Fighters, the first hemp legalization organization in America, founded by me and Jack Herer just three years later.

Imagine my surprise when five years later, I end up going on the road to major college campuses for a few years debating Sliwa on the issue of marijuana legalization, which he was against naturally. Curtis’s favorite phrase was “sensory mind wing ding,” which was his term for a hippie pothead. We got along great as Curtis is a charming guy and not exactly the Archie Bunker character he plays on stage and when he’s on the radio, although he can lapse into one of those rants anytime, it is often mostly for comic effect.

The cops really hated Sliwa, though. In fact, some of them hated him so much they hired the mob to rub him out. The hit was supposed to take place while he was locked in the back of a taxi cab and everything went off as planned, except Curtis jumped around so much in the back seat they only managed to plug him a few times in the gut. Somehow, he got out of that cab and got to hospital and spent years trying to track down the mobsters and cops who set him up. My impression of Curtis certainly improved after he showed his mettle in this incident, although the media tried to play it like maybe Curtis invented the whole story? Yeah, sure, Curtis shot himself a few times so he could blame it on the cops? Not very likely.

But that film script, Bronx Crusaders? That went out to Hollywood where the bigwigs said “it’s not funny.” See, Len Bias had just died and coke was now considered something you couldn’t joke about, even though I always thought cokeheads were pretty funny. The execs were all rushing into treatment programs. I mean, Cheech and Chong made millions poking fun at potheads, why can’t we have a classic cokehead comedy to match up against Scarface?

Unfortunately, that media company Flick and Rob started was working with all the big corporations at the time and initially very successful, but didn’t survive the rapid technological changes that were on the horizon. In fact, the failure of that business created a cascade of tragedies, the foremost of which was the breakup of Flick’s first marriage. I even trace the dissolution of the wonderful Soul Assassins, who would have been famous had Little Steven’s Underground Garage only been around at the time, with that same spiral of doom, as John McNaughton would say.

Inside the Despicable Family Guy/Boston Marathon Hoax

When I first met Jesse Ventura, the first question out of my mouth was, “how can you support an obvious demagogue like Alex Jones?”

“Maybe Alex feels he has to act that way to get his point across,” smiled Jesse, who is an intensely charming and likeable guy, but, after all Jesse was also in show business for a lot of his life, so I’m sure he understands the importance of role playing in good theater.

But Jones is more than that, he’s the leading edge of disinformation, and constantly getting caught playing despicable tricks on his audience, like the time he claimed Madonna’s halftime performance was an Illuminati Ritual.

More recently Jones tried to connect a Batman movie to the Sandy Hook tragedy, but yesterday he crossed the line when he doctored two clips from a Family Guy episode to make it appear that TV show predicted the Boston Marathon bombing. We need a new word in our vocabulary to describe Jones’ activities. To callously mine such tragedy in order to pretend the media is being employed in some sort of clumsy Satanic Mind Control system has to be one of the most despicable trades known to mankind.

And as disgusting as it is, unfortunately, it’s also about as difficult as falling off a log.

Coincidences are the fabric of the universe and there’s no escaping them or their potential power as lightning rods. This is also how a lot of phony prophets and psychics work, because if you can be vague enough, the coincidences will pull you through. The popular media is an immense stream of data, therefore anytime anything happens you can search that data bank for random coincidences and find plenty. Even between conspiracy stories a century apart you will find plenty, as in the Lincoln assassination and the JFK assassination. In fact, the current stream of disinfo mostly mines coincidences to draw lines to dots that don’t connect. This is really the state-of-the art of disinfo today, which I like to describe as the chaff and flares tossed out behind a jet to pull the heat-seeking missile off target. Only in this case, it’s citizen researchers who are seeking the heat, and the inevitable bizarre coincidences? Well, that’s another flare going off.

As soon as Jones put up his doctored video, someone post a question on Quora asking me to answer how come the national media doesn’t even discuss Jones allegations?

As for the media not giving any credence to any conspiracy story unless it involves unprotected people, like the Sicilian men of honor society: there’s a pretty intense filter on the material presented in the mainstream and whatever David Icke and Alex Jones (two largest fountains of disinfo today) are saying is not going to be covered, except possibly to ridicule it, and then it would be very brief. This is a staged clash of manufactured paradigms designed to draw the centers of energy to their own control. But it will never happen in public. The two sides must be kept isolated because if they share info, they may start to wise up.

I have to wonder who posted that question on Quora anyway? I guess they didn’t know it was a hoax?

I often find myself in Internet duels, sometimes with a guy in Boston who works for the Ford Foundation. He plays multiple roles it seems, all with different online identities. In one he cleverly makes a case for the Rothschild control of the financial system (a played-out gag launched by the John Birch Society). In another he dispatches that same viewpoint with intense accusations of antisemitism and a lot of posturing but few facts. I’m sure many sock puppets are available to help drive and inflame the online dialogue. Instead of drawing people together in harmony, it seems the CIA might be more interested in fostering hostile, negative energies that polarize people. How many jihad sites on the Internet do you suppose are secretly controlled by someone other than the figurehead who supposedly runs that op? You could say the same thing about any violent hate group. I’d imagine many of them trace right back to Langley.

Clash of Paradigms: Chomsky and me

While I was digging around my treasure trove of personal archives, looking for manuscripts for my smashwords site, I happened across a paper I wrote as a final exam in Psycholinguistics 101, an emerging science at the time, and maybe the most important class I ever took. Important because the first thing the professor did was have us read Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolution, which obliterated my entire belief system, and left me struggling to put the shells of that Humpty-Dumpty back together.

What I learned from Kuhn was there is no secret meaning to life, no ultimate purpose, no end to mystery—Just a network of possible paths leading in all directions. However, that doesn’t mean great achievements aren’t being made, just that this parade of history is not the logical sequence we were taught in high school, but a series of paradigmatic clashes between almost random belief systems. See, it doesn’t really matter what you believe as long as you believe something. And if you get a group together and they all agree on a set of beliefs, that group can easily achieve great things, create a new religion, pursue great science, but none of them ever has a monopoly on truth or spirituality or even science. The “truth” is usually not a fixed position, but whatever is agreed upon after a paradigm collision recreates it.

Of course we studied the conflict between Chomsky and the Behaviorists, and Chomsky was the knight in shining armor everyone wanted to follow in that scenario. In fact, a kid from my high school became one of his most brilliant students and our families socialized infrequently. My dad was a famous biochemist who did his post-doc at Harvard, so I got a pretty good peep deep inside the highest levels of the scientific community. Whenever Russian scientists would come to our house for dinner, there’d always be a KGB dude to keep everyone in line. It was easy figuring him out because he wouldn’t know jack shit about biochemistry.

Conversely, when my dad would fly to Russia or some eastern block country for some big Bio-Chem pow-wow, he’d find himself seated next to a CIA agent who’d spend hours probing him before handing over a card and telling him to stay in touch if he ever uncovered anything the CIA might find useful.

My dad served in World War II, not in combat, but he was a staunch patriot who’d do anything to help the CIA, although he never did anything because he never found anything useful I suppose. His entire life revolved around an enzyme he discovered called Chloroperoxidase, which has useful potentials in tracking compounds traveling through the body. I hope someday it achieves wider recognition because I have a small piece of the patent.

But because my faith in anything had been completely shattered after reading Kuhn’s book, I just began looking for flaws in Chomsky’s theory, and saw his group as another scientific cult circled around a shared set of assumptions—what Kuhn called a “paradigm.” And once you have a paradigm you can start manifesting dogmas like crazy.

Much later in life, I began to notice Chomsky was both the whipping post of the radical conspiracy community and the voice of reason for the intellectual left. The conspiracy community refers to Chomsky as “a gatekeeper” and a lot of people treat him like a government shill instead of the government critic he is. I can pretty much assure you Noam is undoubtedly a decent enough chap, who probably adores his grand-kids and plays most of his cards with a true heart. Certainly not the paid-government shill some accuse him of being, just because he refuses to investigate deep political events like 9/11 in any serious manner.

But at the same time, Noam began his career on the Lower East Side, a die-hard Marxist, and the truth of the matter is that wherever you find Marxism in America, you find spooks and skull & bones. Even today after decades of studies, I still can’t figure the spooks from the true believers. Like John Reed. He was a child of the American oligarchy who played a huge roll in spreading Marxism. Was he a spook? The most complex case is certainly MI6 agent Kim Philby. We know he was a spook, but was he a double, triple or just a plane old spook? I know the Cold War was just a set-up to build up the American empire and make a lot of money for the Military-Industrial Complex, while keeping the population under mind control fear mechanisms.

I’m not saying Noam is a spook. Far from it. He’s just a guy who bought into a culture and a paradigm and eventually became the pope of that paradigm. More power to him. And I like a lot of the things he says, like this line:

“Jesus himself, and most of the message of the Gospels, is a message of service to the poor, a critique of the rich and the powerful, and a pacifist doctrine. And it remained that way… until Constantine, who shifted it so the cross, which was the symbol of persecution of somebody working for the poor, was put on the shield of the Roman Empire. It became the symbol for violence and oppression, and that’s pretty much what the church has been until the present.”

Man, he really hits the nail on the head with those lines. See, the cross was the magic sigil of the Christian culture, and Constantine molded it to suit his designs. Sigils are how cultures communicate through the telepathic airwaves. During ceremonies they collect psychic energy and if they get enough, they become players in what is known as “The Collective Unconscious.” Or maybe it’s just in our own minds, but there certainly seems to be some sort of energy transfer taking place when groups of people hold ceremonies, and we don’t fully understand how these transfers take place yet, but if you take peyote and attend a Sun Dance you might be convinced they do in fact exist.

What is happening today is the established institutions are maintaining their prominence in the telepathic universe by pumping as much energy into their sigils as possible. But in many cases these are fake sigils supported by weak magic whose only real message is “buy me.”

Paradigms & Perceptions

ParadigmbookcoverOnce I crawl into the archives, I can get stuck easily and that’s what happened when I retrieved the short story about my tragic love affair. While I was digging around looking for that ancient manuscript, I found something much older, something I wrote while a graduate student working on a Masters of Science in Journalism at the University of Illinois.

I have no idea what reaction this paper would get in today’s academic world, but I can tell you my professor gave me an A minus. When I asked why it wasn’t an A or A plus (considering the cutting edge brilliance I felt I’d displayed), he explained the paper was too short. Even though I had distilled my major points to their essence, I should have played the game of inflating the language, stacking the citations, and basically blowing hot air into everything, which would have made it a regular A paper.

I felt at the time I was being penalized for being succinct, which I considered the greatest trademark of a great writer, something Hemingway had actually instilled in me. And that’s the way it’s always been for me. I prefer to write short stories and my popular culture histories can all be read in one sitting. I don’t like long tombs. In fact, that was what was so great about Keith Haring: he had that ability to pack a tremendous amount of content into a very simple drawing.

Of course, I decided to update the paper by adding a couple more recent developments since the citations were all from the middle 1970s, which I’m sure seems like a very distant past to grad students today. The one concept I was trying to work out was how cultural symbols are manufactured and what ramifications they have on the subconscious mind. It’s still an area I consider worthy of study, although a lot of the research in this field, like Mark Passio’s, is sophomoric and doesn’t even come close to the truth in my opinion. As someone who worked inside the corporate media for most of his adult life, I can tell you the professional media experts are trained to sell products. They are mercenaries for hire, not Aleister Crowley dark magicians secretly holding black masses and implanting black magic sigils in your brain. The really good ones may get hired by the Pentagon to sell a war, but it’s just another product and another paycheck to most of these media shamans who have these magic skills of mental manipulation. Which isn’t to say they aren’t trying desperately to manipulate you, keep you complacent, filled with pills and booze and so many addictions (like violence porn) that basically render you helpless to resist any orders from the establishment if any of these addictions are suddenly cut off or tampered with. The control mechanisms have been functioning for 2,000 years, there is nothing new under the sun really. It’s a oligarchy running the shows with many secret agendas, but mainly fomenting wars for profit all over the globe, while selling guns in one direction and drugs in the other.

I actually put forth a solution for these problems in my paper, not that anyone will listen to me. I’ve been playing around with magic symbols for a long time, and got involved in a big way when I launched the Freedom Fighters with Jack Herer in 1988. I didn’t realize the full implications at the time, but that group was actually my attempt to recapture the flag and all the Revolutionary War sigils from the right wingers who had so carefully crafted them for propaganda purposes and hand these symbols over to the hemp movement where they belonged.

In order to instantly end all war, first you have to create a paradigm shift that harmonizes religions into one highway leading to one destination. Maybe someone will come up with a concept that can do this, something that would create an instant ceremonial altar, expressing respect to all spiritual cultures. If only someone could come up with a device like that. Maybe someday. Maybe.

The “I Hate LA” Campaign


Writing about my arrival in New York in late 1978 got me thinking about those interesting times. I was a star reporter coming from what had once been a top ten University program that also launched Hugh Hefner and Roger Ebert, to name but a few.

And the first thing I did upon landing in New York City was write an op-ed piece for the New York Times outlining my plan for saving the city, which was going down the tubes at the time. In fact, word in the media was that New York City was going to become a ghost town and go belly up and bankrupt. Real estate had crashed. To give an idea, the Bronfmans scooped up a mansion overlooking the Hudson River not far from where I live now for $400,000. People with expensive real estate were bailing and a stampede was herding into Westchester County. I sometimes wonder now if the whole thing wasn’t a prearranged pump and dump in reverse. Anyone could have made a fortune in real estate just by buying a townhouse or two and sitting on them for five or ten years. That Bronfman house today is probably worth $50 million. When I moved to the Upper West Side, I lived in the ghetto. We had crack heads and street walkers fighting in the streets at 3 AM outside my building. A huge unemployment club hung out on the benches at Broadway at 98th Street, always scrounging change for malt liquors in a bag. But those folks were all wiped away in a flash, their SRO hotels all had strange fires, one after another, and then re-emerged as Yuppie condos. The first really cold winter took care of the homeless population.

Since my specialty was satire and black humor, I wrote an op-ed piece in the hopes that the New York Times would immediately recognize my brilliance and give me a full-time job. I had my sights set on becoming a reporter for the Times. But that letter came back with the standard rejection slip. “Sorry” wrote CMC, whoever that may have been. At least I got a written comment of some encouragement.

Anyway, that brilliant plan to save New York City from bankruptcy is now available on my smashwords site for free. And I did make it onto the staff of the New York Daily News within a few short years, fulfilling my dream of working for a big city daily, and after losing that post (for my wacky comedy style and love of street graffiti, no doubt), I scored a freelance assignment from the Sunday New York Times writing a profile on the National Deaf Theater, and eventually became friends with the Sunday Magazine editors, but never got that choice plum assignment from them I was hoping for.

My Tragic Love Affair

I started out writing short stories and really came up with only one real masterpiece, The Steam Tunnels, which is a Huckberry Finn-style adventure set in the early days of garage rock, just as skateboards were giving way to electric guitars. I put all my best short stories on smashwords, most of them for free, including the first, which was titled East Village and concerned the life of a speed freak named Yukyuk, all based on a true story.

Most of my fiction was either solo profiles or male-bonding buddy-type bromance stuff. Maybe because the first love of my life ended up falling in love with my best friend, which led to many months of a monk-like existence while I hung out with the happy couple, leading us on adventures while I played Butch Cassidy to Larry’s Sundance Kid.

My first real puppy love held on many years and it wasn’t until I was starting graduate school that my full attention was diverted by another female. We ended up moving to New York City together fresh out of graduate school. I found a job with Leo Shull’s sleazy Showbusiness Newspaper and was making less than $150 a week, but that was ok because there were two of us and we had a wonderful sublease in Chelsea with a balcony overlooking the Empire State Building. That, however, was a three month deal, and once the term was up, so was my tragic love affair. Big cities have a way of doing that to young couples, I imagine. Lots of distractions and plenty of opportunities.

The night when I finally figured out I had to let go of this attachment because the thrill was obviously long gone on her end, I sat down and wrote an angry hostile letter that positively dripped with venom because I felt I’d been strung along for months while she secretly dated her new dude. I think pretty quick on my feet and can come up with some pretty terrific negative energies with I want to channel those vibes. I never sent that letter. It’s still in the file here along with almost every other letter I wrote to her or she ever wrote to me. (Yeah, I went around decades ago collecting my correspondence back from almost all my friends.) Oh, and I also tore her picture in half in a frenzy and threw the two pieces in the garbage can. But then a funny thing happened. Like a drowning man, I started flashing on key moments of our history together, suddenly remembering tiny details that had happened years before. I wrote another letter just listing this sudden flash of memories. I guess that’s what was needed to purge the negativity and it worked. The letter was 1,500 words long and written in less than a half hour. When I was done, I carefully retrieved the torn picture and painstakingly taped it back together as best I could and then stashed it away in my enormous archives. The next day, I typed that letter up as a short story and sent it to the New Yorker, the only short story I ever submitted to them. It came back a week later, but the reader had put encouragement on the standard rejection slip: “Try us again.”

When I taped that rejection slip to the wall overlooking my desk, Mark Bussell, who was working on the launch of American Stage Magazine with me, said it looked “pathetic.” Within a few days, however, American Stage would go down in flames after the Circulation Manager discovered the Publisher had totally rigged our advance sales survey, and instead of a 7 or 8% sub rate, the real returns were under 2% or something really awful like that. So I was out of a job, out of work, and out of love, or almost out of love. It’s taken me over 30 years to actually open the file on this and read that story again.

Many weeks later, while I was out of town on Christmas vacation, my old girl friend and her new boyfriend snuck into my apartment using the set of keys I had given her and never taken back. The reason? She wanted to take back the one big gift she’d given me, a painting. And boy this was one wamm-doozle of a painting, probably the best she’d done up to that point. I have a pretty good eye for art, even though I was a total novice when I met her. Thanks to her, I got a pretty good education in modern art by the time I got to New York City.

I remember pounding the pavement with every step as I marched to her pad in another complete frenzy. I wanted to take that painting back as I felt like my child had been taken away. I never did get it back though. But maybe someday it will return. It did encourage me to start collecting other great paintings and now I have a very solid collection, worth real money, not that I would ever sell my art collection.

And that short story is sure a lot shorter than I remembered. But it still holds power and makes me think I should write short stories about my other two great loves, Claudia, the gem I let slip away, and Stacy, who I married and had two incredible boys with. I certainly envy those great love affairs that stick together, like the one Guy Maynard snagged. But it just wasn’t in the cards for me.

The Real Story of 420

It’s always fun waiting to see how the media is going to spin the annual 420 story.

After I investigated the Waldos, I came back to announce they were the real deal and the publisher of High Times went into high gear discounting that notion and acting like I was deluded.  A couple people started crowing about how the Waldos were frauds.

The real story of 420 is not about who found the flyer, who invented it, or who gets credit for anything. The real story of 420 is about celebrating the path of non-violence. Don’t be fooled into thinking marijuana is about getting high and/or making money, although that is as far as many people get with the plant. No, there is something much stronger, much deeper, much more intense going on around cannabis because it is the true sacrament of peace culture and always has been.

The Legendary Phase 2

I ‘d completely forgotten about my first interview with graffiti legend Phase 2, always a mysterious and hard-to-find character—and even more today than when Sisco Kid helped me track him down in the early 1980s.

I remember Phase came all the way down to the offices of the East Village Eye with me while the art director was laying out the story so we could take a portrait of him for the article. While we were there, I convinced Phase to make an illustrated history of graffiti off the top of his head (a portion of which appears at left) and I sat there watching him on deadline telling him to hurry up. Meanwhile, Phase is trying to do his best to honor some of the greatest tags in history. It’s amazing how effortlessly he pulled that assignment off.

I’m pretty sure the art director at the time was Dave Allen, an English dude who’d just arrived in NYC via Los Angeles. It was Dave who told German photographer Andre Grossmann that he should start hanging around with me, as I was onto sometime really big, which I was. Andre took a portrait of Phase for the article and it was the beginning of our collaboration, which would intensify after I moved over to High Times.

Craig Castleman’s book on graffiti had just been published and praised in the New Yorker by one of my favorite writers, Calvin Tomkins, but I found the book riddled with disinfo. Instead of interviewing the top dudes, which is what I was trying to do, the book relied on comments by toys and lesser talents, some of whom (according to Phase) had a distorted view of graffiti history.

Soon, I would be talking with Harry Belafonte about producing my film script “Looking for the Perfect Beat,” which mixed up real stories about Futura 2000 and Phase 2 (two of my favorite writers, although from different generations). I also got a book deal with St. Martins’ Press, although they never knew what to do with the first history of hip hop and actually cataloged it as a “dance book” because it came out as break-dancing arrived. Castleman called me up in a frenzy when he read my book and accused me of ripping him off, even though his book never really delved into anything but graffiti and was nothing like mine at all. Even so, I’d done a better job with graffiti history than he did, and I guess he knew it. And it was up to me to lay out the history of the gangs, the environment that helped spawn the culture, and how gang style evolved into hip hop after people got tired of violence and wanted to just have fun again. There were a lot of people like Castleman hovering around graffiti at the time, but not noticing rap music, break dancing and a whole new style of talking and walking were exploding in the Bronx.

The funniest part was how the Belafonte production team got swarmed by black dudes from Brooklyn who insisted hip hop started in Brooklyn and that Phase 2 and the other dudes I was promoting were really complete nobodies. In fact, when Phase delivered his one line in the final movie, at the big free screening arranged for all Harry’s buddies, Phase was actually booed by many in the crowd? Holy cow, what were they thinking?

After the screening Alisha, Harry’s assistant pointed out those boos as if it was some sort of condemnation of my perspective, or maybe just her rationalization for jettisoning me. After all, they didn’t use my script and the result was a disaster. I only wish someday, someone would actually produce the original script I wrote, which anyone can read on smashwords. Read my story, then go watch the movie and tell me something terrible didn’t somehow go awry with Beat Street.

Anyway, the real reason I wrote this blog was to let people know that the original interview with the great Phase is included in my opus on the origins of hip hop.