By Seth McLaughlin - The Washington Times December 11, 2013, 10:36AM
Sen. Rand Paul added his name to the list of lawmakers opposing the bipartisan budget deal carved out between House and Senate negotiators, saying it is “shameful” to restore previously agreed to spending cuts in exchange for promises of future deficit reduction.
Mr. Paul, Kentucky Republican and likely 2016 presidential contender, said that the two-year spending proposal is like many that have come before it.
“There is a recurring theme in Washington budget negotiations. It’s ‘I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today,’” Mr. Paul said in a statement. “I think it’s a huge mistake to trade sequester cuts now for the promise of cuts later.”
Separately, House Speaker John Boehner, a supporter of the budget deal, sharply attacked outside conservative groups that have attacked the compromise, charging that critics opposed the agreement even before knowing what was in it.
Every day at 18:00 GMT we'll send you a fresh batch of over 100 Kindle books which you can browse through and download to your Kindle device or Kindle app right away.
Posted by editor on Saturday, December 07 @ 22:33:51 PST (178 reads)
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Far Gone Travels
:: Far Gone Travels ::
Posted by editor on Friday, November 08 @ 18:34:51 PST (492 reads)
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Wisdom's Maw: The Acid Novel Goes 'Live' Via Kindle
Wisdom’s Maw: The Acid Novel, now considered an underground classic, "factionalizes" the CIA's LSD experiments of the 1950s/60s, known as Project MK-Ultra, and their influence on the counterculture
Published on 05 November 2013 (WireNews+Co) New York, NY
Wisdom's Maw: The Acid Novel [Far Gone Books, 1996]--suppressed in the early- to mid-1990s to publishers' concerns of potential libel, as well as of information contained within, which the Intelligence community deemed "not for public consumption"--has been released via Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FSG7NCE
Wisdom's Maw began as an investigative journalistic effort for High Times magazine in 1990, its author Todd Brendan Fahey then earning a Master's degree in Professional Writing at University of Southern California; Fahey had set for himself the goal of opening the lid on one "Captain" Alfred M. Hubbard--a former OSS agent who imported 100% of America's LSD from Sandoz Laboratories in Switzerland in the very early 1950s and would turn on Aldous Huxley and Timothy Leary to their first-ever acid trips. Al Hubbard became a real-life Johnny Appleseed of LSD and is a central protagonist within Wisdom's Maw. Fahey's exhaustive journalistic effort found its way into the November 1991 issue of High Times [http://www.fargonebooks.com/high.html] and would soon spawn a novel.
The published article, "The Original Captain Trips," gained attention of Hunter S. Thompson's publicist, William Stankey, who would represent Fahey for nearly five years and to no avail. Nearly every major publisher in New York had read the manuscript of Wisdom's Maw by end-1995 and all deemed it "subversive, untouchable and potentially libelous," as major characters--names changed but still living--spanned, among others: Ken Kesey, Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary and Sidney Gottlieb (Director of the CIA's Project MK-Ultra; the LSD and mind control experiments upon which this novel is based).
Wisdom’s Maw: The Acid Novel, nearly two decades hence and having been published independently via Far Gone Books in 1996, is considered now an underground classic. The 1st and only print edition was reviewed to 5-star acclaim within The Village Voice, High Times and a host of underground magazines, 'zines and campus newspapers.
The novel's "back cover blurb" was penned by Ernest J. Gaines (The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman; A Lesson Before Dying), recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Grant; Pulitzer Prize nominee and winner of the John Dos Passos Award.
With a resurgence of interest in psychedelics for medical and therapeutic use and a shift in attitudes concerning the "War On [some] Drugs," Todd Brendan Fahey's Wisdom's Maw: The Acid Novel sheds light on the origins of the US government's interest in LSD and its key role in the coming counterculture.
Far Gone Books published Wisdom's Maw: The Acid Novel (author Todd Brendan Fahey) in 1996, and which was and is considered one of the most controversial American novels of the past 50 years--since William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch.
Posted by editor on Friday, November 01 @ 22:47:51 PST (445 reads)
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Kindle upload of Wisdom's Maw: The Acid Novel coming soon
Posted by editor on Tuesday, September 24 @ 21:02:57 PDT (1589 reads)
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No kidding! Children not welcome to dine here
Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
Eatocracy.CNN.com September 20th, 2013
It’s a great time to be very young. If you’re a Brooklyn-dwelling one-year-old, you can take DJ classes. (Local DJ Natalie Elizabeth Weiss is teaching kids to mix electronic music. “You can’t pick up a cello when you’re three months old but you can push play,” she said.) If you’re four, chances are there’s a yoga class and a sushi-making seminar just for you and right in your neighborhood.
But there are some things kids can’t do now, and one of them is to hang out with their parents at several restaurants around the country. Unless you have a fake ID that says you’re over 10, be prepared to be shut out of the following spots.
La Fisheria - Houston, Texas Kids under nine are banned after 7 p.m. To be crystal clear on this point, the following statement is posted on the restaurant’s door: “After 7:00 pm, people over eight years old only. For your understanding, Thank you. We are a family friendly restaurant, and we also respect all of our customers so we introduce this new policy to the restaurant. Thanks for your understanding.”
Chef Aquiles Chavez told KHOU News, “We find children that are crying, some kids running under tables and our customers don’t like. Seven o’clock is not a time for children, especially when we serve drinks and wine.” But before 7 p.m., any children who aren’t picketing the place can enjoy a dedicated kids menu including items like Mexican mac and cheese.
McDain’s - Monroeville, Pennsylvania Kids under six are not allowed into McDain’s. Owner Mike Vuick told MSNBC three solid reasons why: “One is the increasing number of small babies that can’t be controlled. They can’t be quiet and really they can’t be expected to.”
Second, he cited kindergarten-age kids who “have shown increasingly poor manners.” Third, he faults parents who “act like we’re the ones being offensive” when restaurant staff ask them to quiet their children.
Luigi Q - Hicksville, New York This Italian restaurant has been banning kids under 14 since it opened almost 20 years ago. Says owner Luigi Quarta, “Most people who come in come to enjoy a martini or a bottle of wine after working all day. They are delighted they don’t have to be around all the crying. I love children and they love me but this restaurant is the type of place where they don’t need to be.”
Grandview Saloon & Coal Hill Steakhouse - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania No children under six is the rule at this steak house on Mount Washington. And that applies to everyone. Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Gaby Sanchez and his wife tried to take their 10-month-old baby to the restaurant for lunch in May to celebrate a win against the Detroit Tigers the night before. They were shut out.
The Sushi Bar - Del Ray, Virginia You have to be an older kid to get into this sushi spot, in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Sushi Bar has a no patrons under 18 policy. They say it “allows us to provide the perfect environment for small groups and couples out on ‘date night’.” Owner Mike Anderson has four other restaurants, all kid-friendly.
He told MSN that he decided to do this after checking out the crazy, kid-filled scene at one of them, Mango Mike’s. “There must be 50 kids in that joint. It’s pandemonium. We ran it by some parents that had kids, and I would say eight out of 10 thought it was a great idea. They said, ‘You’re on to something here’.”
Airplanes next! Please!
Posted by editor on Sunday, September 22 @ 10:23:44 PDT (1836 reads)
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Wisdom's Maw: The Acid Novel (Kindle edition; watch on YouTube)
Dear Friends of Liberty,
Before it hits Kindle, here is a free download of the underground novel Wisdom's Maw [Far Gone Books, 1996], which "factionalizes" events surrounding the CIA's LSD experiments of the 1950s/60s and their influence on the subsequent counterculture; the cast of characters includes Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, Aldous Huxley and veiled portraits of prominent architects of Project MK-Ultra and other notable figures of the era.
Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels believed that if one told a big lie and repeated it many times that the majority of the general public would believe it. In fact, Goebbels further believed and said, “the bigger the lie, the more it will be believed.” Such techniques were not invented by Hitler or Goebbels. Vladimir Lenin was aware of their effectiveness prior to Hitler’s rise to power. Telling lies to the general public is not only not new, it also is not a governmental practice restricted to foreign lands.
After William Casey's first staff meeting as head of the CIA in 1981, he was quoted as saying, "I'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." And one may recall the lies of the Nixon administration during the Watergate investigations of the 1970s in its attempt to deny its innumerable crimes. What they all believed and knew is that you could fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, and too many of the people too much of the time. What Casey and other American politicians also know is that you need not fool all of the people all of the time, since if you fool enough of the electorate enough of the time, you could discredit the rest of the people and get re-elected as well as push through your political agenda. Recall that Hitler seized power by fooling only a third of the people.
Of course, politicians employing propaganda to achieve political ends and control of the populace need the assistance of the media to do so. Radio and films were used very successfully by the Nazis to brainwash the people of Germany against the Jews and other races. Today the radio, the press, television, and the internet are all exploited by governmental forces to distort the truth and disseminate false information in order to achieve political ends. Yes, political ideology, driven by greed and desire for power and control, justify the means however untrue and unjust the message is. So one should not be incredulous about whether this technique of deliberately promulgating disinformation is occurring today in our American debate about taxes...
Posted by editor on Saturday, June 15 @ 11:02:49 PDT (839 reads)
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Posted by editor on Saturday, June 01 @ 01:58:54 PDT (541 reads)
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Wisdom's Maw: The Acid Novel (YouTube film promo)
Posted by editor on Wednesday, April 24 @ 01:56:43 PDT (577 reads)
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Why Doesn't Everyone Love Jazz/Fusion/Progressive Rock?
by Todd Brendan Fahey
I listen to music. Whilst traveling, writing, surfing the Web...aside from time asleep or in the shower or teaching, I'm listening to music. And came to me, after returning from somewhere recently, a desire to hear Pat Metheny's gorgeous instrumental album Watercolors. And it was after I was possessed with an overwhelming need, was impressed upon me that it was not necessarily this particular album that I needed to listen to: but the entire ethos and structure that defines Watercolors.
And then hit me just as deeply, the question of why others don't possess this same need. To hear other than 4/4 time and recycled formulae which (to quote chef Anthony Bourdain) any reasonably-trained bonobo monkey could master in two to three weeks time.
I queued up the album on my computer's MP3 player, and found myself performing keyword searches for all music of related genre: (in no particular order) Romantic Warrior, Return to Forever; anything at all by guitarist Al DiMeola, who was for a brief time part of Return to Forever; DiMeola's spiritual compadres Paco de Lucia and John McLaughlin; John McLaughlin's monster ensemble, the Mahavishnu Orchestra; French electric violinist Jean-Luc Ponty; Frank Zappa's aggressive three jazz-period LPs (of which Jean-Luc Ponty was a part); the ambidextrous and, many will say, terroristic drum work of Billy Cobham and his Glass Menagerie (as Cobham was part of John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra years earlier); and into Miles' In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew period (on which McLaughlin played guitar); and of the Dixie Dregs, whose guitarist Steve Morse is possibly the only man to ever hold a candle to Al DiMeola; oops, check that, then into Steve Howe's work with Yes, of a five album stretch (The Yes Album; Fragile; Close to the Edge; Tales of Topographic Oceans, and Relayer) that is, to my ear, unequalled in all of "rock"; and then comparing Yes's keyboard genius Rick Wakeman with that of Genesis' equally-deft (and, to me, more beautiful) maestro Tony Banks..., and then Banks to Kit Watkins of Happy The Man, which ate it, utterly, at the Box Office and were forced to disband for over 20 years, depriving me and those of my cast of mind something akin to essential vitamins and nutrients...
After suffering through 1980s New Wave and now the atrocity that is "hip hop," I'm wondering if there might be some kind of neurological explanation as to those persons who naturally gravitate to the music laid out above.
Even when listening to my favorite all-time vocalist, Van Morrison, I root out stuff like "Summertime in England" (from his criminally-neglected 1980 masterpiece, Common One) or the heart-rending "Linden Arden Stole the Highlights" (from his equally-neglected Veedon Fleece). And I scoff at those who say: "OOooooo, 'Brown-Eyed Girl'; I love that song."
Meandering through reviewers at Amazon.com, I find that there are a thousands of folk with ears like mine. I guess that should be good enough.
But, somehow--given that many of the musicians I adored and whose works I still reach for have long given up trying to "make it" in "the business"--it's not. ("Cold comfort for change" - Roger Waters)
Posted by editor on Tuesday, April 23 @ 06:48:23 PDT (595 reads)
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April 19, 2013
Over the past four months, "traffic" to my family of sites has soared to upwards of 400,000 "hits"/monthly. Tailored toward news and opinions which reflect "small government," decentralized Jeffersonian values and self-sufficiency, SiaNews.com / FriendsOfLiberty.com / LibertyThink.com are also critical of US government surveillance of its own citizens and provide solutions to the Federal Reserve's monopoly on "money."
We also keep a hard eye on North Korea and China's support of this monster regime.
Should your products, business or self-interest, present and future, match this sensible criteria, please consider placing a top- or sidebar banner advertisement on these sites.
The Department of Homeland Security (through the U.S. Army Forces Command) recently retrofitted 2,717 of these ‘Mine Resistant Protected’ vehicles for service on the streets of the United States.
Although I’ve seen and read several online blurbs about this vehicle of late, I decided to dig slightly deeper and discover more about the vehicle itself.
The new DHS sanctioned ‘Street Sweeper’ (my own slang due to the gun ports) is built by Navistar Defense (NavistarDefense.com), a division within the Navistar organization. Under the Navistar umbrella are several other companies including International Trucks, IC Bus (they make school buses), Monaco RV (recreational vehicles), WorkHorse (they make chassis), MaxxForce (diesel engines), and Navistar Financial (the money arm of the company).
DHS even released a video on their newly purchased MRAPs. Via Pat Dollard:
The MRAP featured in this video is was in Albuquerque, New Mexico for Law Enforcement Day which was held at a local area Target Store. This MRAP is stationed in El Paso, Texas at The Homeland Security Investigations Office. MRAP is a Mine Resistant Armor Protected Vehicle.
Posted by editor on Monday, March 04 @ 15:22:39 PST (741 reads)
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From the Senator who brought you the 'indefinite military detention' clause...
by Simon Black February 27, 2013
"There is no bar to this nation's holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant." -- US Senator Carl Levin
My dictionary defines the word "sociopath" as "a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.
I don't know about you, but it seems to me that someone who tries to award himself the power to lock people up indefinitely, without due process, is expressing extreme antisocial attitudes. And quite possibly a lack of conscience.
Psychologists might deem such an individual a sociopath. Yet in the Land of the Free, they're elected to the United States Congress.
This is the world of Carl Levin, a Senator from Michigan who championed the indefinite military detention clause in last year's National Defense Authorization Act.
In Levin's world, it's perfectly acceptable to hold US citizens on US soil without charges or trial, based merely on the suspicion of terrorist activity in the sole discretion of the government.
This, of course, is a rather convenient position for someone who has been in government for nearly the totality of his adult life. At age 78, he's been firmly ensconced in the US Senate since 1979 and was a politician at the local level prior.
Mr. Levin is now at it again.
In our ongoing conversations, you and I frequently discuss the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)-- a small part of a 2010 law which I typically describe as the 'most arrogant piece of legislation ever passed.'
FATCA imposes additional reporting requirements for US citizens with foreign financial accounts, as well as heaps of obligations for foregin financial institutions.
FATCA casts an enormous net, affecting banks, brokers, and even gold depositories. And its requirements are so onerous that, as I reported last Friday, even Swiss logistics giant ViaMat has dropped US citizens from storing gold abroad.
The law itself was tiny... a mere 18 pages. But the IRS regulations which came out of it total more than 500 pages. It's unreal. Absurd, really.
Apparently, though, 500 pages of oppressive regulations aren't enough for Mr. Levin. And his new bill, S.268 "CUT Loopholes Act" aims to raise the bar even higher.
Section 102 of the bill, entitled "STRENGTHENING THE FOREIGN ACCOUNT TAX COMPLIANCE ACT", proposes a number of increased reporting requirements for both banks and individuals.
There is also a provision to expand the FATCA net even further by defining "non-FATCA institutions". Essentially, this would give the Treasury Department all the domestic legal authority they need to bully anyone in the world. (Again, anti-social behavior?)
The bill goes on for nearly 100 pages, covering everything from increased penalties (up to $10 million) to simplifying the process for the government to confiscate your assets.
Levin is really pulling out all the stops to make it as difficult as possible to do business overseas, and to hold assets in a safe, stable jurisdiction abroad. The end result will be fewer options to protect your savings, and more government control.
If passed, this bill will be one small step for Levin, one giant leap towards capital controls.
Posted by editor on Thursday, February 28 @ 14:45:39 PST (660 reads)
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FriendsOfLiberty.com/Sianews.com sets monthly traffic high (January 2013)
Friends of Liberty Access Statistics
We received 16841740 page views since July 2002 Today is: 01/02/2013 Busiest Month: January 2013 (311084 Hits) Busiest Day: 4 November 2006 (35923 Hits) Busiest Hour: 08:00 - 08:59 on November 11, 2008 (6383 Hits)
Posted by editor on Friday, February 01 @ 00:04:16 PST (834 reads)
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SiaNews.com/FriendsOfLiberty.com/LibertyThink.com Hit by DNS Attack
06:00 - 06:59
07:00 - 07:59
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I have asked Herr Webmaster to enquire of the ISP of the nature of this downtime. Apologies to Readers who were logging into the generic "Default message" of the DNS disruption.
Posted by editor on Sunday, December 16 @ 13:18:53 PST (979 reads)
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What Went Down in Newtown, Connecticut
by Todd Brendan Fahey December 16, 2012
The 'sperg child was twisted; his Mom was a domineering/perfectionistic tyrant; his Pop left the family years ago (probably 'cos his ex- was unbearable); he was alone in a house with a control-freak mother, who he blew away with one of her own weapons; hadn't had contact with his older bruh for two years; had 0.00 friends. And he went to that elementary school to blow away young children, 'cos he didn't have the balls/gumption to go back to his old high school to do that same to "the bigger kids" who teased him back when. He was a coward; highly-strung and emotionally retarded, and was bound to snap in some way. What y' gonna do with a human like that?: Bright enough to not be institutionalized; pampered (and obviously criticized) by Mommy, with whom he was still living. There is no solution that I can see for such a fragile and legally-tenuous situation.
Posted by editor on Sunday, December 16 @ 00:44:27 PST (1174 reads)
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''Ain't Gonna Come 'Til I'm Ready''
One of my very favorite songs. Written, sung by (lead and backing vocals), all instruments played by, and recorded in his own home studio--by the same man: a genius named Karl Wallinger. This entire song (the entire album, actually, titled: Goodbye, Jumbo; "technically" by "a band" called World Party) is the work of one human; blows my mind.
(Search for the mp3 file online; solly: Can't upload tunes to this Website...yet.)
Posted by editor on Monday, October 15 @ 08:28:43 PDT (1042 reads)
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[Flashback]: Todd Fahey: the Wisdom’s Maw interview
Posted on September 1, 1998
An interview with Todd Fahey about his gonzo conspiracy theory novel Wisdom’s Maw
SPIKE note: This interview first appeared in the print zine Carbon 14. Todd Fahey is still without a UK publisher for Wisdom’s Maw, despite rave reviews from every sector of the literary press. Go figure, as they would say in America.
About five months ago, we received a copy of Todd Fahey’s book Wisdom’s Maw. I’d seen ads for it somewhere. Or maybe saw his Web page. Either way, I had definitely heard about it before it appeared in our mailbox. (Which kind of makes sense now that I know a little more about the book and its author.) Personally, I’m not that enthralled by conspiracy theories, although I am fascinated by Larry’s insistance that JFK was killed by Woody Harrelson’s father, but even I was intrigued by the theme of this novel. Was the whole 60′s counterculture “beatnik” revolution the result of the CIA screwing around with college kids’ lives and minds? Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg government pawns? And how does that tie in with JFK’s assassination? You’ll have to investigate for yourself. I recommend a visit to Todd’s Web page (http://www.fargonebooks.com) which explores the book’s terrain more than this interview. -Leslie
Carbon 14: How long had Wisdom’s Maw been completed before you decided to self-publish it?
Todd Brendan Fahey:Wisdom’s Maw was conceived at the turn of 1988-89, in a period of increasingly heavy LSD usage for me. I was living in Santa Barbara, CA and had been accepted into the prestigious & ultra-expensive Professional Writing Program at USC for the Master’s degree – this after having basically been run out of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University for writing “too much like Hunter Thompson.” It is important to note that, at that time (Spring 1988), I had never read Hunter Thompson. Not a word. I’m fairly sure I’d never even heard of him (I’ve spent many hours on this question and poured over all my old college folders. and there is no evidence at all of my ever encountering his work). I can pinpoint the exact moment that I recall discovering Thompson, and it was not until I bailed ASU in May of ’88 and moved back to Santa Barbara. This is an absolutely critical point if anyone is to fully appreciate my writing. I am not a “Hunter Thompson clone” (though one could do much worse). I share with Thompson the “black comedic” cast of mind; I am also an inveterate outsider and loner, with tendencies toward misanthropism.
“No one knows better than I how fucking tough it is to get published”
CI4: What are the advantages you’ve found to being self-published?
TBF: Being self-published means basically to be a one-man (in my case) whole-service industry. I am the shipping clerk, the order taker, the PR mouth, the advertising specialist – the training for which has been all on-the-job. By the time I’m through with this whole Wisdom’s Maw process, I really feel I could and should command a $100k yearly salary at a NY publishing house. ‘Cause, if Wisdom’s Maw takes off as a seller, it will be me & no other who got it there. The real advantage to me in this process, is to meet people like you. Truly, that’s been the human bonus. I am on pretty cozy terms now with the ed/pubs of most of America’s best counterculture magazines. No one knows better than I how fucking tough it is to get published, and to be able to just pick up the phone and say, ‘Hey, buddy! I’ve got John Barlow hangin’, wanna see the interview? Groovy. Let’s do cola soon. Ciao,” is kind of a mind-boggling thing. (I’m kidding about the cola – haven’t touched it since 1987.) The horrendous disadvantage to self-publication is, obviously, the money. I’m in hock about $20k to Citibank right row and they ought to be conscious of remaining REALLY NICE TO ME, because it would be incredibly easy to declare Chapter 7 and call this whole thing a bad dream. But I want to keep Far Gone Books running. And so it’s not in my best interest to go belly-up.
CI4: What influence have psychedelics had on your writing?
TBF: I have a deeply-embedded fear of being ‘straight.’ I’ll be frank about it. I have been enamored of chemicals since my childhood and it is surely the bane of my existence. I lost my wife over it just this past year. I love her and respect her enough to have finally told her, ‘l can’t promise I will change & a promise is what you want.’ So, we divorced after 5 1/2 years of a rewarding and tumultuous marriage. She did not know about my LSD intake during the writing of Wisdom’s Maw. I hid it from her – an LSD addicton that sometimes went for 40 days in a row – and in hiding my usage, psychologically, I almost destroyed myself. I am digging myself out of the wreckage that is lies as we speak.
[For the record, it was my soon-to-be-ex-wife - just after I had told her about my LSD years - who laid out the book in Adobe PageMaker. She is a wonderful Mormon woman. I can't thank her enough. The getting out of this book is one of the miracles of modern medicine. Maybe someday I'll get a chance to write about it.]
My relationship with chemicals is an uncomfortable one. To be very honest I am either bored of the “sober life,” or else it scares the shit out of me. I don’t know which. From the age of seventeen, I don’t think I’ve been straight more than a week at any given period. My survival is a testament to the strength of the human will. I had a hideous relationship with alcohol from 1982-1986 (from the age of 17 to a wizened 22, when I went through rehab.) I relapsed to the bottle in ’93, after about the 120th rejection of Wisdom’s Maw. I ‘drank-to- die’ until Thanksgiving of ’95 – a fifth of Wild Turkey a day. I’ve shed many tears over the memory of those days. I was so desperate to get Wisdom’s Maw published.
CI4: Is Wisdom’s Maw your first book?
TBF: I’ve been writing for a goddamned long time. I wrote my first book-length nonfiction ‘novel’ – a thing called Hell Bottled Up: Chronicles of a Late Propaganda Minister – in 1988, in my first semester at USC. Wrote it in a white-heat in six months, basically smashed on acid. Hell Bottled Up! is an autobiographical novel centering on my two violent years as a right-wing activist in Arizona, during the heyday of Governor Evan Mecham and a revival of the John Birch Society. You drop the name Todd Brendan Fahey around certain circles in Arizona today and you better watch your back. Oh, I’ve lived a really weird life. I became acquainted with conspiracy theory through the John Birch Society in 1984 and am credited with founding the first-ever university chapter of the JBS. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. But I was also a terrible drunk and was more than a little curious about psychedelics.
“But then it dawned on me: ‘Crap, I can’t pull a Hunter, Jr. I just can’t.’”
That manuscript made the rounds of New York for three years, and at one point Faber & Faber fell in love with it, as did Summit Books (Simon and Schuster); and Villard took a look at it. Thunder’s Mouth Press wanted to see it specifically – but my then-agent couldn’t close the deal. I finally shelved it in ’92 , as I was becoming a better writer. I thought I should clean it up, and I didn’t have the strength to look at it again. So, before I had even begun Wisdom’s Maw, I had this other semi-notorious “novel” written and was frustrated about not selling it. So, by the time I got a hundred pages into this incredibly dark and deranged CIA/LSD novel, I was antsy to sell it pre-finish. I must have ridden my agent terribly. I was so certain it was going to be a blockbuster. I just could NOT understand why the NY majors weren’t beating my door down. I still can’t, fools! Now that Wisdom’s Maw is getting great reviews in about every counterculture magazine that matters, I feel vindicated. It’s not selling extremely well, but it’s also not in very many book stores (like 10, maybe.) The chains won’t touch it. I can’t buy a distributor. It’s a monster. I’ve sold about 3000 copies through my Web site and word of mouth. I unloaded 50 copies while I was in Amsterdam; visit any of the English/American book stores there and you’ll find it. They loved it over there.
CI4: What other titles are planned for Far Gone Books?
TBF:Fresh Fruit & Gravity, a first-book of poems by Jim Tolan, will be out in about a month. It’s a gorgeous thing, and at $9.95 (big commercial plug) is a steal, for a signed first. Jim is a friend of mine, a fellow Ph.D candidate at U. of Southwestern Louisiana, and a 1994 winner of the AWP Intro Award for poetry. He is working very much within the Whitman-bardic tradition – the larger “I-as-soul-of-America” thing – and I hope this book wins an award for best small press design, because it is stunning. I’ve been very lucky to have had two hungry graphics guys offer to design my first two books for pocket change. In May, I will release my demented short stories, titled Dogshit Park & other atrocities, which are the blackest things to come out since the heyday of Burroughs, Terry Southern and Hubert Selby, Jr., all of whom are my forefathers. After that, a collection of scholarly criticism on Hunter S. Thompson, which I think will surprise a lot of academics. Past that, I’ll have to figure out my money situation. Any addled philanthropists out there reading this interview should offer up to: firstname.lastname@example.org
CI4: If you aren’t trying to be the next Thompson, where did the idea of a "Fear and Loathing" piece originate?
TBF: As far as this “Fear and Loathing” piece, the story is pretty simple. I sent a review copy of Wisdom's Maw to Smoke (a NY cigar magazine aimed at Gen-X) and their assistant editor loved it. After a few fruitless phone calls back and forth with assignment ideas, they came up with the idea of "Fear and Loathing in Amsterdam." I almost lost my lunch. Really. I walked around in a shit-eating daze for a week. So, I went to Amsterdam, started getting REALLY out of my head, like I hadn’t in several years. (For the record, I stopped eating LSD in the summer of 1994 and, Bog willing, I will never pick up the habit again. Too many reminders. Too much psychic trauma. I’ll probably do it again, ’cause I did it in Amsterdam – some incredibly pure & powerful stuff – but not as a “means of writing.”)
But then it dawned on me: 'Crap, I can’t pull a Hunter, Jr. I just can’t.' I don’t have much going for me these days – I’m probably unemployable in terms of a tenure-track teaching job, even though I will have my Ph.D by May ’97. God bless the school that gives me a gig. A "charitable institution," indeed. I have my writerly reputation and I can’t afford to soil it. So, the article became a ‘How-to-write a ‘Fear and Loathing’ piece,” mixed with some insight on Thompson, who is my patron saint, and then a little segue into this fictional thing that will be Fear and Loathing in Amsterdam: A Gonzo Novel. Aaron Sigmond, editor-in-chief of Smoke, hated what I gave him, and he and publisher Robert Lockwood 'killed the piece.”
I admit, I went totally sideways on it; but I’m the loosest of cannons, and that’s what I do best. My ex-wife loved that about me: “Never, ever a dull moment around the Toddmonster.” It’s going to be a great book and a lot of fun to write; but I like writing. I don’t consider it, as does Hunter, “the most hateful kind of work.” I’d rather be writing than doing just about anything – except maybe cruising the Red Light District of Amsterdam…so let me get back to work.
Posted by editor on Friday, October 12 @ 05:07:58 PDT (999 reads)
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Todd Brendan Fahey's interview with Ken Kesey: (finally) to be published in book
a 240pp booklength collection of interviews with America's First Hippie: to be titled: Conversations with Ken Kesey (University Press of Mississippi, editor Scott F. Parker; Fall 2013):