Among the Truthers versus Extreme Prejudice

Jonathan Kay’s Among the Truthers is getting the most favored royal treatment in the press.  I like the Wall Street Journal headline best: “Beyond the Lunatic Fringe.” I guess that includes anyone who doesn’t swallow the official conspiracy story Al-Qaeda was the sole mastermind of 9/11?

This newly identified “lunatic fringe” would certainly have included John F. Kennedy, who warned his country about a global business cartel that opposed his policies. In fact, Kennedy made several speeches denouncing this cartel (which I call The Octopus, because its tentacles touch nearly everything and it creates wars for profit through dialectical processes).

“We are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy,” warned JFK on April 27, 1961. He began this speech by denouncing secret societies. And this happened at a formal press event that would have been attended by numerous secret society members from many societies, all working as PR shills for an Octopus media corporation. Kennedy was fearless and I guess that’s why the Octopus took him down.

But times have changed, and now there’s a new mindset being constructed. And in this new zeitgeist, anyone who doesn’t agree with the establishment version of events from now on…. is a disturbed lunatic needing psychiatric care and forced medication?

This campaign began slowly with the creation of the word “conspiracism” to describe anyone who believes the world is governed by shadow forces. And under the Patriot Act, these people can be forced into mental hospitals against their will. And if you doubt any of this insanity has actually come to fruition in America, consider that Susan Lindauer’s Extreme Prejudice came out the same time as Among the Truthers, but it won’t be getting the royal press treatment. It will be ignored. That’s because Lindauer was a Defense Intelligence asset who claims prior knowledge of 9/11 was widespread in the intelligence community. Immediately after she began speaking out after the event, she was charged with treason and forced into a mental hospital. Held in jail incommunicado for years and declared “mentally unfit to stand trial” because she would not submit to forced medication, she was finally released in 2009 after all charges against her were finally dropped.

Isn’t it transparent that the lunatic fringe, symbolized by its shining star David Icke, is an Octopus PR creation? First they create a lunatic, then they make sure all who don’t agree with them are lumped in with that lunatic into one big lunatic fringe.

And that’s how they eliminated dissent in our lifetime in America, the land of the free.

No Truth to Osama Murder Story

How come a fake photo of Osama Bin Laden (complete with possible entry wound near left eye) was immediately circulated to the global press? And why did initial stories claim there was a 40-minute “firefight,” when, in fact, the SEAL team met with zero resistance? And why was Bin Laden immediately killed and the body dropped at sea with no further identification possible? And why is the global media acting like Bin Laden has already been proven guilty?

Maybe you’ve noticed by now Bin Laden’s compound was in one of most secure areas in Pakistan, around the corner from their version of West Point. It would be absurd to think the Pakistan military had zero knowledge of Bin Laden’s whereabouts in such an highly-guarded zone. Also absurd is the idea a SEAL team would land in the area without prior approval of Pakistan’s military command.

But the fishiest aspect of this unfortunate operation, which reminds me greatly of Lee Harvey Oswald, is that the most important witness will never take the stand to tell his side of the story.

I believe Al Qaeda is basically an opium-smuggling ring created when the ISI and CIA set up a proxy mercenary army to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. After the Soviet withdrawal, this CIA-trained army, of which Osama was a member, was deployed to the Balkans, the pipeline where opium enters Europe. Opium is the most profit-intensive commodity on the planet, so anyone who gets involved in a large scale will become fantastically rich in a short time. After we invaded Afghanistan, we set-up a relative of the biggest opium war lord into power, and there’s evidence the CIA was providing arms and assistance to this opium war lord. Meanwhile, opium production has sky-rocketed since we took command. The real story is that the corrupt opium distribution system cannot exist without the money getting washed through our global banking institutions. And if we ever get serious about ending the opium cartels who are running this system, all we have to do is follow the money into the banks.

Immediately after Bin Laden was pronounced dead, a 9/11 family member personally asked Obama to drop the Gitmo investigation. Obama reportedly walked away without answering.

Pundits began using Osama’s death as a reason to end the torture investigations to no avail. Seems to me many 9/11 families ought to be smart enough to figure out the government’s been lying from day one about 9/11, and they could have brought back the most important witness alive but instead murdered him in cold blood in his bedroom in front of his family.

And now we’re supposed to be happy about this? And here’s the real rub: the person sheep-dipped as “the courier,” the Gitmo detainee, whose waterboarding supposedly made this operation possible, is the only other person besides Osama killed at the scene!

Very convenient he won’t be offering any views on this situation in a pubic court room. I saw some potential benefits to this operation:

1) Obama’s approval record was sinking, and the release of a birth certificate and now death of Osama are just what he needed;

2) The NSA/CIA may be close to a virtual monopoly on raw opium, along with whatever other crime syndicates they are working with;

3) Arab extremists will be forced to respond, insuring the cycle of death for profit continues (we are, after all, a “war” economy);

4) The 9/11 Truth Movement just lost a lot of credibility and will continue to erode as much of it is a controlled operation;  and, possibly most important:

5) The Gitmo torture investigation can now eventually be closed without public protest; and the “softening-up” process to make this possible has already begun in the media, thus insuring a former president and vice-president are not found guilty of war crimes.

All hail the House of Windsor?

The royal wedding is finally over and the global media blitz was certainly a case of “Wag the Dog” par excellence, creating the necessary awe to maintain the standings of the House of Windsor. In case you didn’t know, the “real” name for this royal family is actually Saxe-Coburg, which may be one reason they never use a last name. Dropping the “Windsor” insures their preeminence as the world’s leading royal family anyway. A top CIA official (Frank Wisner) once bragged about owning everyone of importance in the media, people he “played” like a giant Wurlitzer. Wag the Dog, it seems, is more real than unreal because our media is actually a controlled cartel, manufacturing consent for an agenda supporting the Oligarchies that really rule the earth. But if you know the puppets are playing the organ, the tunes can sometimes give away some secrets.  And while I’m on this subject, is there another royal family on earth treated with anything like the reverence afforded the British-German House of Hanover/Windsor? It seems strange for our supposedly democratic press to lavish so much attention supporting a class system that exists only to ensure a small minority maintain control over vast reserves of wealth and power. Isn’t that system an extreme form of racism? We know many film and TV studios, (as well as their Wall Street backers), are run by persons of Jewish descent, perhaps because Older Money swallowed the world’s primary profit centers (the biggest of which used to be sugar). According to Robert Anton Wilson, the Jewish wing of the global banking elite controls 20% of the system’s wealth. I guess that figure was provided by Bertrand Russell, so you can take that for what it’s worth. While some researchers claim the Federal Reserve is secretly controlled by the Rothschilds, how come Rothschild weddings are never seen or spoken of, much less celebrated with this intense hero-worship? The Rothschilds are, after all, accepted members of European royalty, just as “royal” as the House of Hanover. Seems to me the Pope may be the only living person who enjoys such universally positive promotion as the Windsors.  I suspect they may play a somewhat larger role in our lives than some realize. You’d almost think this was America’s royal family, not a former adversary in war. And if the wedding coverage isn’t enough to convince you of this possibility, consider the biggest impact on our Federal Reserve system in recent time was made by a man knighted by the Queen of England for service to her country. What’s that all about?

Ira Einhorn and the Origins of Earth Day

Maybe you’ve read some of the disinfo stories about how the counterculture was supposedly a government plot to divide and destroy the country? How government agents secretly encouraged rampant drug use in the 1960s to poison the minds of a new generation, allowing them to be brought under the influence of “new age” ideas?

I don’t believe most of these stories, especially the ones that paint Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters as being involved in such activities. Yes, Kesey did get his first taste of acid through a CIA-program, like a lot of people at the time, but anyone who studies his life immediately realizes Kesey was not on anyone’s leash. The same can be said for Abbie Hoffman, Stephen Gaskin and many other important leaders of the counterculture movement. Which is not to say intel wasn’t trying to exploit the counterculture, turn it violent and lead it off a cliff. Obviously, any social movement of any size will be quickly penetrated by intel. That’s what they do. And there are a number of suspicious characters, like Ron Stark, who obviously had secret agendas. Another such character is Ira Einhorn, who sometimes gets credited as one of the founders of the environmental movement.

Einhorn’s early claim to fame was his role as “master of ceremonies” at the first Earth Day celebration, but you won’t find that mentioned on the wikipedia page covering that event today, probably because he recently died on April 3, 2020 while serving a life sentence for murdering his ex-girlfriend, Holly Maddux, who was found stuffed in a trunk on his porch in 1979. Although portrayed as a “hippie guru,” Einhorn’s associations and connections seem much more related to CIA activities than anything to do with the hippie counterculture.

He was mentored in paranormal research by Andrija Puharich, a former army officer who has interesting connections not only to the intelligence agencies but also to the oligarchy that really rules North America. Puharich is best known today for bringing Uri Geller to fame, but he was also involved with MK/Ultra research at Fort Dietrick, as well as organizing black magic seances in upstate New York with members of the Bronfman and DuPont families, among others. You can find background material on Puharich in both Peter Levenda’s Sinister Forces (now out-of-print and very expensive), and Hank Albarelli’s A Terrible Mistake (both published by Trine Day).

There’s probably enough in those two books to convince you that anyone mentored by Puharich should be looked at with suspicion.

After Einhorn’s arrest, Arlen Specter, the Warren Commission lawyer who invented the “single bullet” theory, came to his rescue along with Barbara Bronfman, heiress to the Seagram fortune. At the time, Einhorn claimed he was being framed by the CIA because of his left-wing political activities.

Specter managed to get him a very low bail, which Bronfman posted, and Einhorn fled the country, probably with funds provided by Bronfman. In 1997, long after he was convicted in absentia, Einhorn was located living in France under a new name with a Swedish girlfriend. After a long and protracted extradition struggle, Einhorn was finally brought back to Pennsylvania on July 20, 2001, and put in jail to serve his life sentence.

The lesson to be taken from all of this is the potential realization that all popular mass movements eventually become penetrated by intelligence operations. The environmental movement of today, spearheaded by Al Gore, is undoubtedly also a carefully-constructed operation. The rightwing has their apocalypse, centered on the Middle East and ideas about “rapture,” while the leftwing has their apocalypse, centered on the imminent collapse of our environment. Apocalyptic thinking is crucial to maintaining mass mind control because fear is the foundation. The most apocalyptic of all the sixties cults was the Process Church of Final Judgment.

Pedophilia and the Vampire Mythology

Ever wonder why the vampire mythology seems to resonate so well today? Could it possibly be because there is a form of multi-generational violence being perpetrated that has been going on for a very, very long time? Pedophiles are the closest thing to vampires we have because abused children so often turn into child abusers later in life. And institutionalized pedophilia seems to run high these days, especially in the Catholic and Mormon cultures. When I brought up this fact on Quora recently, someone responded: “extraordinary charges demand extraordinary evidence.” I suggest anyone seeking this evidence read Nick Bryant’s recent book, The Franklin Scandal (http://franklinscandal.com/)

Or even easier, just watch Conspiracy of Silence.

Produced by the BBC, Conspiracy of Silence was scheduled to appear on the Discovery Channel on May 3rd, 1994, and was suddenly pulled days from that air date. All known copies were purchased and destroyed by person(s) unknown. Someday America is going to have to face the reality children have been routinely bought and sold as sex toys, and at least one of these operations seems to be protected by the CIA since many children make useful assets to help blackmail and control corrupt (but connected) individuals. Some of these children have even been turned into programmed robots under hypnotic commands. The Manchurian Candidate is real and the programs have been going on at least since the 1940s, when Nazi scientists were secretly brought into this country to continue their investigations into mind control.

Music, Math & Marijuana

In January 1990, High Times news editor Steve Bloom returned to the office from a trip to the Bay Area and brought with him a flyer for an April 20th event to be held at the top of Mount Tamalpias in Marin County. The flyer indicated that “420” was California police code for “marijuana smoking in progress.” Bloom thought the flyer was funny and a bit ridiculous, but I felt otherwise. Since I’d recently started my research into the spiritual history of cannabis use and was deep into the Rig Veda, I seized on the flyer as evidence of the spiritual powers of cannabis. “I’m gong to re-focus all my ceremonies around 4:20,” I told Bloom. “We can use 420 to spread awareness about the spiritual aspects of cannabis.” From that day on, I began holding 4:20 PM ceremonies in my office at High Times and proselytizing about 4:20. That’s because there’s a connection between math, music, marijuana and spirituality. Numerology has always intrigued me.

Imagine my surprise when Bloom published a one-paragraph mention of the flyer in his news section that month, but failed to mention my promise to use the number to help build the legalization movement, something I thought was pretty important news. I was disappointed I’d failed to penetrate my missionary zeal to my news editor, but remained undeterred and made 4:20 council the central focus of my legalization group, The Freedom Fighters, which at the time may have been the largest pro-pot organization in the world. The next time I returned to the Cup in Amsterdam, I brought 4:20 council with me, and it’s been there ever since. In fact, the 4:20 councils at the Cup were videotaped for 15 years, and highlights can be found on my Youtube site.

Eventually, the Cup crew, specifically the Temple Dragons, began holding 4:20 AM celebrations at the Quentin Hotel lobby. (This was Rocker T’s idea.) The 4:20 AM ceremonies quickly became crowded when word leaked out they were the best parties at the Cup. Hundreds of people took photos of themselves in the Quentin lobby next to a clock as proof they attended a 4:20 AM ceremony. In 1997, I began using 420 as a central element of the Whee! festival in Oregon, and the following year, the ceremony was picked up on by the Seattle Hempfest. If Whee had been allowed to continue, it would be as big as the Seattle Hempfest, but just as I was forced to give up the Freedom Fighters, I was also forced to give up the world’s biggest hempfest.

After 420 caught on, the tour agent, Air Tech, changed their name to “420 Tours.” They set up a website and were soon contacted by Steve Waldo, who indicated he and his friends started the 420. I flew out to San Francisco to meet with Steve and check out his claims. I returned to the office a few days later and announced I’d discovered the origins of 420, and it wasn’t a police code.

Unfortunately, then-publisher of High Times Mike Edison disputed my story and refused to accept the Waldos were, in fact, the true originators. Imagine my surprise when many years later Bloom tried to take credit for “discovering” 420, when he was one of those at the office that could never connect with my efforts along these lines. For Bloom, my attempts at forging an untainted ritual tradition for modern stoners was a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, and I’m sure he feels that way today.

Thus began my odyssey to tell the true history of 420. Now many people spread false stories and stake claims on having a better explanation, but no one can document the use of the term “420” as a reference to marijuana prior to 1971, other than Steve Waldo. And no one can document 420 ceremonies outside Marin county in the early 1990s aside from mine. It’s strange to read Cannabis Culture claim they were using the term in the mid-1990s (several years after I began my 420 ceremonies) when, in fact, Marc initially ridiculed my 420 council at the Cup when he attended the first time. I’m sure that’s where he heard about 420 for the first time, although he later wrote my attempts at “hippie spirituality” were out-dated, which broke off our relationship for a while, although I’m happy to say all that’s been patched up.

My homage to Samo in Beat Street

Just a curious question that recently dawned on me after watching the Basquiat film. Seeing that you were the original writer of “Beat Street,” was the Ramo character a not-so-thinly veiled reference to Jean-Michel and his SAMO moniker? If so, what a prophetic ending! –James

Great question, James. I don’t know how I came up with the name Ramon, I knew I had to switch up all the names and was looking for something original that had style. In my original script, a central character catching on fire in a subway tunnel was named Ramon, and his tag was DJ Ramo.

In dropping the “n,” I must have been thinking about Jean-Michel’s tag, Samo. So I guess it is sort of a nod in his direction. The climax in my script involved Ramon catching on fire in a subway tunnel. It was a depiction of what happened to Ali when he was painting one night with Futura 2000. A spark by a passing train set off a can of spray-paint whose nozzle was hissing. Ali was covered by flaming paint and barely survived. While in the hospital, he gave a famous interview to the New York Times about the dangers of graffiti writing. In embellishing his story, he claimed to have been abandoned by Futura while on flames.

Futura actually put out the fire and took him to the emergency room. After the story was printed, however, no one would believe Futura’s version and he was forced to join the Navy to get a ticket out of town for a few years. My original script was called Looking for the Perfect Beat and was very, very different from what eventually came out. In fact, the main characters’ names were almost all that survived. Someday, maybe Looking for the Perfect Beat will actually get produced.

Henry Chalfant was a super cool dude, one of the first photographers to document NYC graffiti. Manny Kirchheimer was the first filmmaker, and his film “Stations of the Elevated” is online. While I was working on Beat Street, Henry was just completing Style Wars, which was largely the work of Tony Silver. Tony I didn’t like so much. It was Tony’s idea to build Style Wars around Cap.

Belafonte and his crew already had my script, a realistic portrayal of a budding rap group trying to make a record. Slice of life and It also had a Romeo-Juliet style story concerning a South Bronx rapper hooking up with a girl from a privileged background.

But when Belafonte got a sneak preview of Style Wars, everything changed and my script was tossed and they began writing a new one using my characters names, and it was all about Cap, who they renamed Spit.

Cap was never mentioned in my book or my script. But when I asked Phase 2 who were the current kings, Cap was the first name he mentioned. “You have to give him props, because he’s so up,” said Phase.

Graffiti was divided into crews and crews had conflicts that sometimes included dissing each other’s work. Sometimes it involved tag rights, like the conflict between Snake and Snake-1. Snake 1 began adding “king of all snakes” to his tag.

Cap was not the loner they portrayed him as. He was in the Morris Park Crew, some of whom were dust heads. Instead of asking Phase or Tracy about Cap and his crew, Silver focussed on the younger writers in opposing crews building Cap up as the evil villain of graf, dissing the most sacred rules. Some of those kids were scared to death of Cap in real life, but in the film they talked big shit about how somebody was going to cap Cap. I imagine some of that drama could have been coached and encouraged by Tony.

Eventually, Cap was run out of the crew so demonized was he by Style Wars and Beat Street.

 

Why I think Dr. Drew is a jerk

Is there a bigger media whore on TV today than Dr. Drew? I actually crossed paths with him a few years ago at the National Association for Campus Activities’ annual convention. We were both there to to present 15-minute samples of our respective college lectures. His was a solo talk about teen sex, while I was doing my “Heads versus Feds” debate on marijuana legalization against former NY DEA chief Robert Stutman.

Seconds before I was scheduled to take the stage, however, Pinksy collared me and began ranting about how a recently invented cannabis antagonist was going to make it impossible for people like me to ever get high on cannabis again. His plan was to have all known users of cannabis forced to take this new drug. He was smirking, gloating and trying to pump as much negative energy into me as he could. When I pointed out that I was about to take the stage in front of thousands of people to promote a program that actually educated students about real facts about marijuana, he ignored me and continued his diatribe a few inches from my face until Stutman came over and told him to lay off. At the time, I had no idea who Pinsky was, but I did form an opinion of him as a jerk based solely on that incident.

It’s interesting to note his much-hyped cannabis antagonist drug went down in flames very soon after this confrontation. Yes, they did develop a synthetic drug that blocked the primary cannabis receptor site. But after studies with the drug revealed people who took it became severely depressed, the drug was scrapped. If Pinsky did his research, he’d know that the endogenous cannabinoid system is actually one of the most important, and least understood, systems of the body, and it is essential to maintaining a healthy immune system, as well as creating feelings of bliss and inner peace that occur naturally through exercise and/or meditation.  And that is why these same feelings can be achieved with cannabis, which duplicates the body’s own natural cannabinoids. Although this system is essential to creating and protecting neurons in our brains, it is located throughout the entire body, especially in vital organs. The other day I was channel surfing while at a motel immediately after at “Heads versus Feds” debate, when I caught a few seconds of Pinksy’s new TV show. He was interviewing porn star Capri Anderson about intimate details concerning her association with Charlie Sheen, who has lately replaced Lindsay Lohan as Pinksy’s favorite celebrity target. Pinksy believes Charlie should be forced into a psyche ward and have all his assets seized as he is legally insane and not able to care for himself. The reason for this is because Sheen (like most people on this planet) likes to get intoxicated.

It was absolutely creepy to watch Pinsky manipulate Anderson into talking about her intimate sex life. He also kept reaching over and fondling her knee during this interview, which made it clear he derives some sexual pleasure from his interrogations. It’s absurd to think Pinksy is doing anything other than glorifying the worst aspects of celebrity culture through these programs. He’s not part of any solution to our growing cultural narcissism since he clearly is a media whore who revels in sticking his nose into intimate details of celebrity lives that are actually none of his business. He does this to achieve ratings, not to help anyone. If Pinsky truly wants to do something to help people with addiction issues, he’d be much more effective referring them to ibogaine centers in Canada, since ibogaine has a much better success rate than the 12-step programs he currently promotes. And he needs to realize that cannabis has nothing to do with hard drugs, and some patients with addiction problems could actually benefit from medical cannabis.

 

Remembering Basquiat

During the winter of 1979, I moved to New York City and was crashing at Eddie Korvin’s loft in Tribeca, then a desolate area. Eddie had hooked up with my girl friend’s older sister, and after we both graduated from college, we migrated to Eddie’s, hoping to carve out a life in New York City.

Eddie was easily the coolest dude I’d ever met, running his own recording studio (Blue Rock) in SoHo. His step-dad was a famous European actor and chef, and he showed up for dinner one night with Eddie’s mom. Julia Child’s name came up frequently, and it was the first time I realized Julia was an OSS operative posing as a gourmet chef. Eddie’s stepdad had begun his career in film and theater by producing an anti-Franco documentary prior to the Spanish Civil War. When asked who her favorite amateur chef was, Julia replied “Charles Korvin.”

The greatest singer-songwriter from my college town (Thom Bishop) was also in attendance that night. I was a listener, not a talker. Nothing much happened with the tracks I watched Thom lay down at Blue Rock, including a haunting cover of “Endless Sleep,” but in 1987 Profile records released his album “Restless State of Grace.” More recently, under the pseudonym Junior Burke, he released a fantasy novel, The Cold Last Swim that opens with James Dean shooting Ronald Reagan on live television and gets weirder from there.

Eddie was quite the talented chef himself, and aside from Blue Rock, was the American agent for Chateau Gloria, a delicious red wine from Saint-Julien that was always available in abundance at Eddie’s, along with super kind bud, and, sometimes, a few lines of cocaine.

After dinner, Eddie guided us to an after hours club on Houston to provide me my first taste of New York City nightlife. There was a bebop jazz combo performing in a basement bar when we walked in. While I was standing at the bar, a black approached me and smirked: “Are you sure you’re in the right place?”

Until then, I hadn’t realized how out-of-place I looked in my button-down shirt and ski jacket, and I got very self-conscious. I’d just arrived from graduate school in the Midwest and it would take a year or two for me to assimilate into a New York sense of style. I was so punctured by the comment that I never forgot the dude, although it would be several months before we met again. I took off the ski jacket and rolled up my sleeves.

Actually, my next encounter was with the art, not the man. One hot summer afternoon,  I traveled to the Lower East Side to interview Fab Five Freddy. At the end of the interview, Fred showed me a postcard for an opening at the Annina Nosei Gallery. “Wow, what a great painting!” I exclaimed the second I saw the image of two primitive figures with a roast chicken being placed on a table.

I didn’t know much about Jean Michel at the time, but I did know something about current directions in art. After years of the dominance and eventual dead-end of minimalism, there was an obvious yearning for color and imagery. I’d recently written the first magazine profile on Julian Schnabel for the now-defunct Horizon magazine and knew imagery was on the way back. But I was startled by the originality of that postcard. I think Fred was a little let-down by my sudden burst of excitement. I’d been looking at his work for an hour (he was hoping to sell me something) and hadn’t reacted so strongly to anything he’d shown me of his own. I got the impression Fred was feeling a bit overshadowed by his friend Jean Michel’s exploding talents. Like many graffiti writers at the time, Jean Michel was making the switch from writing on walls to painting on canvas. But he wasn’t making “graffiti-style” paintings at all, rather he was creating an entirely original vocabulary.

In 1981, when Diego Cortez’s seminal “New York/New Wave” show opened at P.S. 1, I was most impressed by a photograph of a train painted by Futura 2000 titled “Break,” and purchased a signed copy from Futura. It was at that show I decided to devote the next few years of my life to researching the origins of hip hop, which culminated in the book “Hip Hop” and film “Beat Street.” Those projects took me to the South Bronx, far away from the SoHo art world Jean Michel had recently invaded.

However, as soon as I completed those projects, I began work on a book titled “Art After Midnight,” which was going to tell the story of the rise of the East Village art scene through the stories of its most famous practitioners: Jean Michel, Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf. I already had solid personal relationships with Haring and Scharf, but knew getting close to Jean Michel was going to present a challenge. One of my closest friends at the time was a gossip columnist for the East Village Eye and also a rival of Basquiat’s over some girl. In fact, there weren’t many scene queens from that time that hadn’t enjoyed Jean’s affections, however momentary.

I called my friend Mary Boone, someone whose rise in the art world I’d helped promote. She was now representing Basquiat and agreed to take me to visit his studio (and home). A few days later, we arrived at Great Jones Street.

The African art scholar Robert Faris Thompson (“Flash of the Spirit”) was just leaving when we arrived. Basquiat ushered us in, and seemed fully aware of my work on hip hop history and treated me with utmost respect.

He guided us to the back room and showed us his latest work, a series of oil stick drawings on paper. The work was phenomenal. Mary had a great eye and tried to pick out the best piece immediately, but Jean Michel coyly put it aside for his private collection. I could see he was pretty savvy about maintaining control over his finances. Before I left, we set up a time and date for me to come back and interview him for my upcoming book.

When I returned a few days later, Jean Michel was still in bed and had forgotten about the appointment, but he agreed to get up to see me. After a short wait, his studio assistant led me upstairs to his bedroom. He had a bottle of first growth Bordeaux and a joint going. He offered me a glass of wine. “It’s a little early for me,” I said, “But I’d like a hit on the joint.”

There was a huge stack of records next to a turntable, and the room contained hundreds of videotapes and a large projection TV. It was really hard to get Basquiat to open up about his childhood, so I began talking about the club scene, specifically Club 57. I was working on a preliminary thesis there was a stylistic divide between the mostly European sensibility of the Mudd Club and the pop/camp culture of Club 57. When Jean Michel said he didn’t really grasp the appeal of the Club 57 aesthetic (“Why do something old and bad?”), I jumped on the comment and began pursuing that line of questioning, which immediately made him suspicious and paranoid unfortunately. Then the phone rang. The second he picked it up, I knew it was Andy Warhol. “I’m doing an interview,” he said, “but I’ve already said too much.” By the time he got off the phone, he’d already decided to end the interview. “It’s like the end of mystery,” he explained. “I can’t do this.”

I was pretty crushed. I’d envisioned several long interview sessions and felt it was unlikely I’d ever be invited back, which I wasn’t. Several months later we crossed paths again briefly at a Kenny Scharf VIP party at Area. I was celebrating the arrival of the proofs of a color insert for my book, “Art After Midnight,” which included double-page spreads on Basquiat, Haring and Scharf that looked spectacular. I put the layouts on the bar and  Glenn O’Brien and Jean Michel both inspected them. I could tell Jean was pleased with his layout. I was hoping the book might resurrect a relationship. Later that evening, I bumped into Jean in a remote corner of the club. He was alone and seemed strangely isolated for such a celebrated figure.

Last night I watched “The Radiant Child,” Tamra Davis’ loving 2010 documentary on Netflix. It’s a powerful film and the most well-rounded biography of Basquiat I’ve come across. I was a little bugged by the title at first since its taken from a Rene Ricard Art Forum article. “Radiant Child” is a reference to a Keith Haring icon and has nothing to do with Basquiat. I wish Tamra had come up with a different title. (In 2018, an even better film by Sara Driver, Boom For Real, explored Jean’s formative years with more precision.)

I could not fathom Jean’s attachment to Andy Warhol, whose lust for fame and fortune was guided by his devotion to rightwing dictators and Catholic causes. Warhol’s career was brilliant, of course, but based partially on vampire-ing ideas and energy from Jack Smith, Edie Sedgewick, Marisol, and ultimately Jean Michel.

It was like a scene out of Orwell’s Animal Farm watching Jean take on the lifestyle of the plush-safe he’d once satirized and condemned.

Jean would have had a long, prosperous and fully illuminated life had he stuck with pot and beer, but he quickly moved to cocaine and cabernet, and after he wrecked his nose, fell into smack, which soon dominated his life. It’s important to convey this trajectory to the youth so they understand the dangers of intoxication.

I acted as a messenger between Jean and Club 57, where he used to hang out. Once he got rich and famous, he also got isolated. But I told John Sex how much Jean respected him, and he tried to reconnect, traveling over to Jean’s with Wendy Wild and Dino. When they arrived, Jean was huddled with a phone in the corner. They stayed for an hour or two, but never spoke to Jean, who never put down the phone or left the dark corner he was in. He was trying to order some heroin. Rockets would have been one of the calls.

The crown was the central icon shared by NYC’s greatest writers, so to claim that history had zero to do with Jean Michel Basquiat’s use of crowns is absurd. The deep meaning sprung from graffiti, not the Little Rascals King Features cartoon logo.

https://www.quora.com/Why-did-Basquiat-put-crowns-in-lots-of-his-paintings/answer/Steven-Hager

Secret recipe for Coca-Cola Revealed

Coca-Cola is one of the strongest brands in the world, and its Atlanta-based corporation reaps an annual revenue stream of over $30 billion (on sales of one billion drinks per day).

The drink was invented in 1886 by Dr. John Pemberton, based on a recipe suggested by his bookkeeper, Frank Robinson, who also created the now-famous logo.

Coca-Cola was first sold to the public at Jacob’s Pharmacy on May 8, 1886. The following year, Asa Chandler bought the formula for $2,300 and began the advertising campaign that led to Coca-Cola becoming the dominant soft drink in the world.

Until 1905, it contained coca extract as well extract of kola nut (which provided the original source of caffeine). With the added jolt of coca leaf extract along with the caffeine, the original drink probably put today’s energy drinks to shame. Although the recipe has been one of the world’s most closely-guarded secrets for 125 years, the secret was eventually revealed.

It seems the original formula inked in a friend of Pemberton’s own handwriting was photographed by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 1979, and that photograph was eventually uncovered. The recipe has changed many times over the years: the biggest change being the current use of GMO corn syrup in place of the original cane sugar. Those wishing to achieve something closer to the original taste prefer the brand produced in Mexico, as it is made with beet or cane sugar and contains zero high-fructose corn syrup.

The real “secret” in the recipe, however, is the balance of essential plant oils, which has likely changed little since the original formula. The “7X flavor” is a blend of citrus oils with cinnamon, coriander and neroli oil. Neroli oil is the most common scent used in the perfume industry and blends well with citrus. Lime juice and vanilla are also essential ingredients. After this recipe was recently discovered, some researchers whipped up a batch (including some de-cocainized coca leaf) and some of those sampling the results could not distinguish the results from a real Coke, which leads to the conclusion this may very well be the actual original recipe finally uncovered. Maybe this will help some companies to step up to the plate and produce a healthier version of the drink that still maintains the instant addicting taste of the world’s most popular drink.

The recipe:

Fluid extract of Coca: 3 drams USP
Citric acid: 3 oz
Caffeine: 1 oz
Sugar: 30 (unclear quantity)
Water: 2.5 gal
Lime juice: 2 pints, 1 quart
Vanilla: 1 oz
Caramel: 1.5 oz or more for color

The secret 7X flavor (use 2 oz of flavor to 5 gals syrup):
Alcohol:  8 oz
Orange oil: 20 drops
Lemon oil: 30 drops

Nutmeg oil: 10 drops
Coriander: 5 drops
Neroli: 10 drops
Cinnamon: 10 drops