Category Archives: LSD

The Pencil Today:

HotAirLogoFinal Wednes II


“When the civil rights battle was won, all the Jews and hippies and artists were middle class white people and all the blacks were still poor.” — Jonathan Lethem



All the coolest things happened in the ten year period before I became old enough to participate in them. Here’s a list of events I’d have attended or been part of had I been 18 years old and not still terrified of being grounded for a couple of months by Ma or clunked on the head by Dad:

Summer of Love

I Wished

How I longed to have been there!

Accordingly, for the first few years of my youthful independence, I tried to do everything that I couldn’t when I was a tadpole.

I mean, I even burned my Selective Service System registration card the day I got it in 1974, even though the draft had been effectively ended at least a year by that time. I felt revolutionary. I must have looked like a dope.

Some six months before that great act of resistance, I concocted a foolproof cover story, bundled up some clothing, a tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush, and pocketed the entirety of my wealth — some $12, IIRC — and set off with five pals for southern Indiana and the Erie Canal “Soda” Pop Festival.

Soda Pop Festival Ticket

Where Did I Get $20?!

It would be my first rock festival and, I was certain, would be as cool, as transcendent, as culturally significant, as oh wow! as Woodstock. I was 16 years old.

This was my cover story: I was a member of the Astronomy Club in high school. In fact, by Labor Day weekend 1972, I’d already been elected vice president of that august group. The only nerdier guys were the Chess Club members, some of whom were also members of our gang. The Astronomy Club twice a year would hold a weekend camp-out some 50 miles west of Chicago on one of our members’ uncle’s property where we’d set up our telescopes, keep running counts of meteors, and when we got too cold, huddle in cars and look at the Playboy magazines that one of us invariably brought.

I told my parents the Astronomy Club camp-out would be early that year.

“Okay,” Ma said as I shoved off. “Just be careful.” I nodded and walked a couple of blocks to a prearranged meeting point. There, in a rusty old black Ford blaring the 8-track strains of the “Concert for Bangladesh,” sat not my pimply-faced geeky brethren but three hippies named Bart, Karen, and Gaye. Behind the Ford was an even rustier faded blue Rambler containing two more hippies named Ronnie and Sunshine.

I never found out what Sunshine’s real name was. He’d earned his moniker because he was mad for Orange Sunshine, a type of LSD that made other kinds of acid seem like something your Mom would take.

Orange Sunshine

A Four-way Blotter Hit Of Orange Sunshine

Sunshine always had a faraway look in his eyes. Faraway.

Bart, Ronnie, and Sunshine were in their mid-20s. Karen, Gaye, and I were in our mid-teens. Bart and Karen were a couple, which we — self-regarded free-thinking and free-loving freaks — thought nothing of. I was madly in love with Gaye. She was the first white chick I ever knew who had an Afro.

As we barreled south on Interstate 57, I even tried to hold Gaye’s hand, which she allowed me to do for all of 13 seconds. The rest of the time she spent staring out the back window of the Ford, looking for all the world like a lonely puppy. I wouldn’t let myself realize it at the time, but she was mooning over Ronnie, following us in the Rambler. She was madly in love with him.

The Erie Canal “Soda” Pop Festival originally was slated to be held in Chandler, Indiana but county officials there quickly put the kibosh on that idea. After scouting around for a new site, the organizers discovered a piece of oxbow land just east of the the Wabash River called Bull Island, near New Harmony. Because the big river had changed its course over the years, Bull Island, originally part of Illinois, by then was on the Indiana side of the river. Ergo, Indiana authorities had no jurisdiction over it. And, like that, the festival had a new home.

Evansville Courier-Press Photo

The Way In

I took a hit of Orange Sunshine that Saturday night, my first acid trip. I’d hardly ever smoked marijuana to that point. In fact, I’d only drunk alcohol a handful of times. “Don’t worry,” Ronnie advised me, “this is gonna be freaky.”

Freaky was his word for wonderful.

A couple of hours later as Foghat played “I Just Wanna Make Love to You,” I looked down at my hands and discovered that I’d gashed them wide open. The gaping wound was big enough that I could have sworn I saw the very tendons and bones inside of me. “Oh God,” I shrieked, “I need bandages, quick!”

My plea was so desperate that any number of people leaped up and ran for First Aid supplies.

Evansville Courier-Press Photo

The next morning when I woke up, my pals were laughing at me. I considered this highly insulting; after all, I’d nearly severed my hands. Then I learned what had really happened. A guy was walking around passing out flyers. I stuck out my hand to take one and — wouldn’t you know it? — got myself a nasty paper cut.

That was the extent of my trauma.

Freaky indeed.

As we bathed in the Wabash River that morning, the sounds of Ravi Shankar’s sitar wafted over us. I’ll never forget that moment because it was the very first time I’d ever seen a nude chick. Thank heavens I was waist deep in the river. I loitered there for a long time, not just to catch sidelong glances at her and other unclothed females, but to allow certain parts of my anatomy below the surface to de-tumesce.

Did I mention I was 16?

Evansville Courier-Press Photo

Ravi Shankar At Bull Island

Anyway, Bull Island was a catastrophe. More than 200,000 people showed up; the organizers were prepared for 50,000. Much of the acid sold there was not just a rip-off, it was dangerous laced with strychnine. Before the acts arrived by helicopter, each was advised not to drop any acid purchased at the site. We were lucky inasmuch as Sunshine had dosed us from his personal stash.

Bull Island, the festival, lacked water, food, medical supplies, and toilets. A downpour of biblical proportions soaked the 900-acre site on Friday night. Trucks bringing food into the festival were looted and one was overturned and burned. A kid in a sleeping bag was run over by a car backing up on Sunday night. Three other kids drowned in the Wabash River.

Scheduled acts included Rod Stewart and the Faces, Black Sabbath, the Allman Brothers, and Joe Cocker. None of them performed. Instead, we were treated to the likes of Black Oak Arkansas.

After the festival was over, the stage was set on fire.

Evansville Courier-Press Photo

Aftermath: A Burned-Out Food Truck

I think of all this because I learned Ravi Shankar died yesterday. He was 92. He played at Woodstock as well as Bull Island.

Bull Island was not Woodstock.

The Pencil Today:


“Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy.” — Milan Kundera


We need easy to digest aphorisms, quotes, comments, and charts today. Which is code for: I’m too lazy to come up with original stuff.

It’s a glorious Saturday morning, with the Grant Street Jazz festival set to begin in a couple of hours. See GO!, below, for the the lineup. Today’s GO! is chock-full of things to do — it’s the best events listing in Bloomington, kiddies.

Summer, at last, is enjoyable — as opposed to the earthly hell it’s been for a few months now.

BTW: Woodstock wound down 43 years ago yesterday. Today would have been the anniversary of the most miserable cleanup imaginable.

So let’s be thankful we don’t have to fish missing car keys out of LSD-tainted mud.

Edward R. Murrow:

Ha-Joon Chang:





Dustin Glick:

Here’s how I waste my time. How about you? Share your fave sites with us via the comments section. Just type in the name of the site, not the url; we’ll find them. If we like them, we’ll include them — if not, we’ll ignore them.

I Love ChartsLife as seen through charts.

XKCD — “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”

SkepchickWomen scientists look at the world and the universe.

IndexedAll the answers in graph form, on index cards.


I Fucking Love ScienceA Facebook community of science geeks.

Present & CorrectFun, compelling, gorgeous and/or scary graphic designs and visual creations throughout the years and from all over the world.

Flip Flop Fly BallBaseball as seen through infographics, haikus, song lyrics, and other odd communications devices.

Mental FlossFacts.

SodaplayCreate your own models or play with other people’s models.

Eat Sleep DrawAn endless stream of artwork submitted by an endless stream of people.

Big ThinkTapping the brains of notable intellectuals for their opinions, predictions, and diagnoses.

Click For Full Article

The Daily PuppySo shoot me.

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, games, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Frank Southern Ice ArenaBloomington Community Yard Sale; 8am

City Hall, Showers PlazaFarmers Market; 8am-1pm

Monroe County Public LibraryBasic Literacy Tutor Training, 1st of 4 sessions, call 812.349.3173 to register; 9:30am-1:30pm

Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural CenterOne-Day Retreat: Introuduction to Buddhist Philosophy in Daily Life, led by Ani Choekye; 10am-4:30pm

City Hall, Showers PlazaCommunity Volunteer Fair, +40 nonprofit organizations represented; 10am-1pm

Monroe County Courthouse — Backstreet Missions Fundraiser: A Slice of Heaven, homemade pies; 11am-3pm

First Church of God, Ellettsville — Classic Car Show; 1-4pm

◗ Grant Street between Kirkwood and 6th — Grant Street Jazz Festival, featuring:

  • Mayo Jazz

  • Paul Kirk & Dave Bruker Duo

  • Craig Brenner Duo

  • Monika Herzig Trio featuring Janiece Jaffe

  • Jazz Fables led by David Miller

  • Postmodern Jazz Quartet led by Jeff Isaac

  • Café Cubano

  • IU Jazz Faculty: Pat Harbison, Tom Walsh, Luke Gillespie, Jeremy Allen, Steve Houghton, Michael Spiro;

  • 1:30-11pm

Trained Eye ArtsWriters Guild Social & open mic, potluck snacks & beverages, 3-minute readings of original writings; 3pm

◗ IU CinemaLive action shorts from 2012 Seattle Children’s Film Festival; 3pm

HousebarEnd of Summer Gala, food, alcohol, live music:

  • Tim Baker

  • Deadghost

  • The Vorticists

  • Jerome and the Psychics

  • !mindparade

  • Elephant Quiz;

  • 5-11pm

◗ IU Fine Arts Theater — Ryder Film Series, “The Well Digger’s Daughter”; 6:45pm

◗ IU CinemaFilm: “Beasts of the Southern Wild”; 7pm

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Travis Creek; 7-9pm

Max’s PlaceSuzette Weakley, Broken Fences; 7-9pm

◗ IU Wells-Metz TheatreDrama, “Solana”; 7:30pm

Brown County Playhouse, Nashville — Dave England & the Haters, Forest Gras Experience; 7:30pm

◗ IU Woodburn Hall Theater — Ryder Film Series, “The Pigeoneers”; 8pm

The Comedy AtticNick Griffin; 8pm

Bear’s PlaceWilliams & Company; 8pm

◗ IU Fine Arts Theater — Ryder Film Series, “Polisse”; 8:45pm

Max’s PlaceHoney Locusts; 9-11pm

The BluebirdDot Dot Dot; 9pm

The BishopBobby Bare Jr., Prayer Breakfast; 9:30pm\

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Cootie; 9:30-11:30pm

The Root Cellar at Farm Bloomington — Oldies Night: Elvis, Beatles & Stones Dance Party; 10pm

The Comedy AtticNick Griffin; 10:30pm

Max’s PlaceCarpenter & Clerk; 11pm


◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • “40 Years of Artists from Pygmalion’s”; through September 1st

◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “A Tribute to William Zimmerman,” wildlife artist; through September 9th

  • Willi Baumeister, “Baumeister in Print”; through September 9th

  • Annibale and Agostino Carracci, “The Bolognese School”; through September 16th

  • “Contemporary Explorations: Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists”; through October 14th

  • David Hockney, “New Acquisitions”; through October 21st

  • Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Paragons of Filial Piety”; through fall semester 2012

  • Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan, “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers”; through December 31st

  • “French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century”; through December 31st

◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibits:

  • Coming — Media Life; August 24th through September 15th

  • Coming — Axe of Vengeance: Ghanaian Film Posters and Film Viewing Culture; August 24th through September 15th

◗ IU Kinsey Institute Gallery“Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection”; through September 21st

◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit, “Translating the Canon: Building Special Collections in the 21st Century”; through September 1st

◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesClosed for semester break, reopens Tuesday, August 21st

Monroe County History CenterPhoto exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

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