A Festival in the Desert
I have just left Black Rock City, the site of Burning Man, a yearly arts festival and temporary autonomous zone based on radical self-expression, and find myself in the paradoxical situation of being inspired to give written form to things that are utterly inexpressible.
In the desert of Nevada, Black Rock City is constructed entirely of art. It exists in material form for only one week in August every year, and then it disappears, as though into the ethers, its citizens dispersed to various faraway places.
Nov 16, 2015
Obituary for Dr. Albert Hofmann
LSD’s Innovator Dies at 102
When I was first asked to write an obituary in the Fifth Estate for Dr. Albert Hofmann, who passed away on April 29, I felt conflicted. I was not wrestling with how to reconcile his contributions to neurochemistry and the politics of liberation; these seemed self-evident.
Rather, the question was how to write objectively about the father of LSD without talking about my personal relationship to the worlds he opened for me and millions of others.
Aug 20, 2014
The week of April 12 was a very bad one for pirates. It began that Sunday when Navy SEALs executed three pirates off the coast of Somalia who had captured an American ship’s captain. For days, the “daring” rescue dominated headlines in the U.S., without any mention of the socio-economic circumstances that have led to a resurgence of piracy in the region--or of the role the West has played in contributing to those circumstances. Rather, countless stories focused on the Hollywood-style operation: how three snipers parachuted under cover of darkness into the sea, swam to a nearby ship and took out the pirates with three bullets fired nearly simultaneously.
Apr 20, 2014