I Sing the Body Electric Kool Aid

Reading obits about Hunter Thompson, I reflect on the fact that I drank Wild
Turkey pretty much exclusively for years after first reading Fear and Loathing.
The other drugs I came to on my own—though
I didn’t have a gonzo approach to them at all.  That would be my late brother Ewen, who had a
similar taste to Hunter’s for ingesting hallucinogens and testing perception in
challenging ways. 

Ewen liked to visit a
huge & noisy Nathan’s Famous (a hotdog & hamburger joint for those of you in red states) near our home on Long
Island under the influence of the drug whose effects Wolfe described in Kool Aid.  This kind of adventure would have overtaxed an introspective tripper like
me. Unfortunately for him, in between his visit and the previous one, someone
had the bright idea of locating a surplus DC3 airplane on the lot next door,
for promotional reasons we never properly ascertained.  This led to an interesting series of
ontological dislocations on his part…

I also had a good friend who did a concentrated course of
the same medication one summer in the early 70s (about 50 treatments in a 2
month period).  He worked at McDonalds
and later described the experience of working the grill while the sizzling hamburgers
talked to each other.  He ended that
treatment after a long spell under his bed, having seen a stream of
interplanetary aliens racing out onto the street from behind a home in his suburban
neighborhood as he passed by (kids with party hats on, he later realized).

One mistake I’m seeing in alot of the coverage is
thinking that Hunter invented something.  He actually reflected something already there,
always incipient in the culture, at that point in time.  A hells’ angels approach to electric kool aid is
about the best way to capture the concept…

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