William S. Burroughs: Botanist
Aug04

William S. Burroughs: Botanist

In 1953, William S. Burroughs published his first novel, Junkie, which ended with the ominous line, “Yage may be the final fix.” Burroughs had written the novel during his travels in 1950-52, when he was living in Mexico, as well as visiting Panama, Peru, Columbia and Ecuador. The line was meant to anticipate Junkie’s sequel, Queer, about his travels in South America, although the book wasn’t released released until 1985. Burroughs...

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At the Holiday Inn
Nov24

At the Holiday Inn

Words by Michael Hendrick; Illustration by Waylon Bacon When considering the implications of the affects of drug use on the writing process, it is important to bear in mind that both William S. Burroughs and Timothy Leary opined that there is no affect achieved by the use of drugs which cannot also be altered without the use of drugs, by the mind itself. When considering the affect on the artistic and creative processes, we should...

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Death Within a Chrysalis

by Nick Meador At the turn of the 1960s, Jack Kerouac found himself in a profound state of limbo, the climax of an existential crisis that predated his life as a published author. He had been looking for an “answer” to his problems since his early twenties,[1] yet for a variety of reasons his dilemma remained unresolved. Then a 35-year-old Jack became famous in an instant when On the Road was published in the fall of 1957, and this...

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From Ganja to God

by Geetanjali Joshi Mishra Beatdom Issue 10 They are unmistakable: roughly kept beards, unmanageable, unruly and unkempt hair, chillums dangling from the oral cavity, drinking ‘bhang’ and smoking marijuana; add mysticism, reverence and fear and you will have before you the nativity of the Holy Men of India, the ‘Sadhus’. A Sadhu is a mystic, an ascetic, the one who knows all and is liberated from the materialistic world of humans. He...

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Sympathy for the Devil? Reconsidering the Legend of Raoul Duke on the 40th Anniversary of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Aug01

Sympathy for the Devil? Reconsidering the Legend of Raoul Duke on the 40th Anniversary of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

by Rory Feehan “He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man” – Dr. Johnson (epigraph to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) Early spring 1971 and the first rays of the rising sun creep into a room at the Ramada Inn just outside Pasadena California, where one Hunter S. Thompson is holed up, crouched over his IBM Selectric, hands flashing back and forth over the keys, as though directing a kind of demented...

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Meat from Craigslist
Jul01

Meat from Craigslist

Words by Katy Gurin; illustrations by Waylon Bacon A bowl of oatmeal slithered through Sarah’s guts, slippery like a water weenie, as she cleared out her bookshelves. Her stomach grumbled as she threw On the Road into a big brown box. Most of the books she was giving away she had loved as a teenager and they were books Sarah’s parents had loved in their youth. When she was sixteen, Sarah’s dad gave her The Dharma Bums and she cut...

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Kerouac’s Bad Trip

by David S. Wills In January, 1961, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as President of the United States of America, whilst the much maligned “King of the Beats”, Jack Kerouac, was trying magic mushrooms for the first time, at 170 East Second Street in the East Village.[1] It was Allen Ginsberg and Timothy Leary who were responsible. By this stage Jack Kerouac was soured on the Beats and the following countercultural movements, and had...

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