I remember the New York City garbage strike of 1981. It lasted 17 miserable days and gave the sweltering summer air of Manhattan the bilious aroma of the steam room at Plato’s Retreat. You’d step into the street and your stomach would clench as tightly as an altar boy’s bunghole at the sound of a Priest’s footsteps.
When I returned to New York a couple of years ago, the place certainly smelled better than it used to, but there was still a hint of piss in the air, with some notes of decayed rat and subway fumes. Not exactly what you’d call appealingly aromatic - more like something concocted in the perfumeries of Hell.
Men’s Direct, purveyors of “luxury grooming products,” has their own take on what NYC smells like and I salute them for having highly discriminating snouts. Their olfactory nerves interpret Manhattan’s scent as…
[...] a lovely sunny day in the Big Apple City. The air is filled with the scents of lilac and rose from the vast and majestic Central Park. You are walking along Times Square under the mild and fresh breeze from New York harbor. Enjoy this modern, crisp and invigorating fragrance with sparkling and sourish notes of apple.
Top: Green and crispy apple
Heart: Juicy apple, Lotus flower, Jasmine, Lilac, Rose petal
Base: Caramelized apple, White musk, Vanilla, Caramel”
Is the product called “The Scent Of Departure” because people around you will get up and leave once they get a whiff of it?
Jason David, a 35-year-old single father from Modesto, showed up at Harborside in June 2011, desperately looking for a new treatment for his son. Jayden, now five and a half, has Dravet Syndrome, a severe, rare epilepsy sub-diagnosis that affects infants and children. When he was four months old, he started having seizures. Anything could set them off, including laughing and playing. “When he’d see a bounce house,” David recalled, “he’d get so happy he’d have a seizure.”
Only about eight hundred children in the world are thought to have Dravet. By the age of four and a half, Jayden was having three hundred to five hundred myoclonic seizures per day. He also was taking 22 different medications, including powerful anti-psychotics and anti-seizure drugs that are dangerous even for adults. “When you look at the side effects you think — pardon my language, but — you think they’re fucking safe? No fucking way. Half of them read: ‘committing suicide, dreams, yelling, screaming, going crazy, pain, suffering, seeing things, delusions, hallucinations.’
“My son would be crying and laughing at the same time,” David continued. “I have video of him screaming and tripping out of his mind. We had to get his liver tested every six months. The medicine was killing him. He’d had a grand mal seizure that lasted an hour and a half. He’d been in an ambulance 45 times in the last year. Seeing your son in an ambulance — it just kills you. I lost my ex-wife, my car, my business, my family, my life.”
David told his story to Andrew DeAngelo, the younger brother of Stephen DeAngelo, founder of Harborside. Andrew DeAngelo is a manager at Harborside who leads a monthly support group for seniors and families using medical marijuana. Jayden’s doctors at UC San Francisco had referred David to Harborside. “They told me, ‘Yeah you should try medical marijuana,’” David said. He was one of many parents quietly being referred to Harborside by UCSF for treatment of serious illnesses and symptoms that don’t respond to modern medicine.
Mainly, it was for appetite stimulation for kids with cancer, and pain management in paraplegic children, Andrew DeAngelo recalled. There’d be no smoking or vaporizing for the kids, of course. DeAngelo recommended edible cannabis or tinctures — extractions of the plant in glycerin or alcohol. Kids need just a drop. Many of the tinctures are barely psychoactive. DeAngelo started seeing parents who had kids with epilepsy, or autism, or a combination of both. “When I met Jason, he was the parent that was suffering the most out of all the parents I had met so far,” DeAngelo said.
Harborside gave David a tincture that was supposedly high in cannabidiol. Abbreviated as CBD, cannabidiol is produced by pot plants and has a multitude of medicinal properties. It’s anti-inflammatory, for example. And the federal government has patented it as a neuroprotectant for strokes. But it hasn’t been developed by pharmaceutical companies. You can’t buy a CBD pill at Walgreens.
Marijuana that contains CBD seems to modulate the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis — that is, an internal balance. It’s been used since biblical times to treat nervous disorders like epilepsy. It’s thought to help restore balance in the nervous system as well as the immune and digestive systems. According to lab research, CBD dampens the activity of the human nervous system at the site of what are called the “CB1” and “CB2” nerve cell receptors. These receptors are spread throughout the body’s nervous system.
Marijuana with high levels of cannabidiol also worked for David’s son. CBD is thought to act like a precision-guided warm blanket, calming Jayden’s overactive nervous system at key receptor sites. “Jayden had a seizure every day of his life, until the first day I gave him CBD,” David said. “It was the first four days in his life that he had went seizure-free. I was crying. I was happy crying instead of sad crying, which was new.”
The tincture worked for four months, but the second batch from the same tincture-maker didn’t work. “For two months my son started getting bad,” David said. Jayden’s doctors thought it might be a case of “honeymoon stage”: Some mainstream drugs are known to quell seizures for a month or two, and then seem to lose effectiveness.
But David had another idea. What if Harborside tested the tincture to make sure it was the same one as before? “I had done my research,” he said. “I knew they tested.”
In fact, it was one of the few places in the world where such a thing was possible.
They’ve done tests on lab rats using marijuana to mitigate and control induced seizures going at least as far back as 1977. It’s absurd that something like this—success where nothing else was working for this little boy—is being interfered with by the Feds in 2012, especially when examples like Jayden’s story show what possibilities cannabis has for medical science! This kid got his life back. He really doesn’t have to take 22 pharmaceuticals per day!
What would do if you were in Jason David’s shoes? I know what I’d do. Luckily Mr. David lives here in California. What about families in similar situations elsewhere? Should their children be forced to suffer because of brain-dead, antiquated drug laws from the 1930s when an organic substance that humankind has thousands of years of experience with could make their lives better? For what compelling reason? The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Obama administration need to check their heads on the matter. Michelle Leonhart, that fucking half-wit who runs the DEA needs to be pushed aside pronto. The American public at the very, very least deserves a competent DEA administrator Someone capable of a complex thought… or even a simple one. That’s not Leonhart’s strong suit, thinking, is it?
It’s TIME. As remarkable stories like Jayden David’s get around and as more and more people read about these kinds of benefits occurring with intelligent and intuitive medical cannabis treatment, it seems to me that the tipping point on marijuana law reform will be reached quite soon.
Below, Jayden David and his dad, Jason on Weed Wars.
I greatly admire Neil Coslett‘s award-winning animation Killing Time at Home from 2003, it’s a dark little tale that stays with you long after viewing. Originally produced by Nicola Black as part of the Mesh scheme, which Blackwatch Media ran for Channel 4 television in 2000 and 2007, producing 27 new digital animations that were shown on TV and at film festivals. It would be good to see Black kick-start a scheme like this again, and hopefully have Coslett make a follow-up to his superb wee film.
Because I’m not a fan, I had no idea that one of the recurring plot elements of the 726 Star Trek TV shows and 11 films are the numerous nebulas, ionic disturbances and gaseous anomalies encountered by the crew of the Starship Enterprise. In this totally silly clip, Vernon Wilmer digs deep into the existential pants of the men whose job it is to confront and monitor these often deadly vapors.
In the early 2290s, Starfleet were keen to investigate gaseous anomalies and equipped all starships with specialized probes that could monitor them. They also dispatched the USS Excelsior on a three-year mission to chart anomalies in the Beta Quadrant in 2290.
Normally I’d be too ashamed to share something like this with Dangerous Minds’ high class readership. But there is a narrative arc, some real tension and drama, in this video that can’t be denied. The memory of it still lingers in my pores like the insistent scent of a week-old omelet made of sulphuric acid, brussel sprouts and Limburger cheese.
In my ongoing attempt to entertain you by unearthing the worst cover songs of all time, I offer you this particularly putrid gem: Pat Paulsen adding an extra dollop of poop to the already pretty execrable “Hey Jude.”
This is actually quite funny in a smart funny type of way. Paulsen is skewering the whole hippie dippy thing, youth culture in general, and the cornball sentiment of a song that has all the lyrical depth of a Hallmark greeting card. So, in fact, this may actually be a brilliant cover version of “Hey Jude” in that it shines a light on the mindnumbing banality of the tune. Whatever the case, the Indian gets the last laugh.
I’ll admit I was feeling a little down today, that is, until I watched this delightful video of Aboriginal children from the Northern Territory of Australia frolicking their butts off in front of a green screen.
Danzig is so close to the ground as it is, it’s hard to tell when he’s falling.
There’s nothing quite as satisfying (actually there probably is) as watching bigger than life pop stars being reduced to human proportions. Particularly when they’re macho numbnuts like Axl Rose and the odious Glenn Danzig. So kick back and enjoy this compilation of rockers slipping, sliding and face-planting their preening snouts on the floorboards of fame. Set to the theme from the Benny Hill show (“Yakety Sax” by Boots Randolph).
This week marks the 60th anniversary of the death of rocket scientist and occultist John Whiteside “Jack” Parsons. In addition to being a pioneer in the filed of rocketry—at the age of 25, Parson was part of the first US Government’s first official rocket group. He later invented the formulation of the solid rocket fuel that eventually put man on the moon—Parsons was a follower of Aleister Crowley, a one-time associate of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and a self-proclaimed Antichrist.
MARVEL WHITESIDE PARSONS, always know as Jack, was born October 2, 1914 in Los Angeles, California. A chemical engineer and explosives expert, he was a principal scientist in the experimental rocket research group attached to the California Institute of Technology during the 1930’s. Their testing range in the area of Devil’s Gate Dam above Pasadena has since grown to become the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Parsons was also a co-founder of the Aerojet General Corporation.
Together with his first wife, Helen Parsons Smith, Parsons joined the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) in 1941, the same year as his most successful scientific achievement, Jet Assisted Take-Off (JATO). He was very much the young lion of the occult Order and, under the tutelage of Aleister Crowley, briefly served as the acting master of Agape Lodge. His now famous invocation, “The Babalon Working,” was first performed in 1946, with former WAVE Marjorie Cameron serving as Scarlett Woman and L. Ron Hubbard, future founder of the Church of Scientology, channeling words from the ether as Scribe while Jack performed as Priest.
The “Working” reset the course of Parsons’ life, ending his relationship with Aleister Crowley and the O.T.O. In his surviving essays and polemical writings, Parsons anticipated by many years the ethical, moral, religious and social dilemmas of the future.
Parsons died in an explosion of mysterious origin at his chemical laboratory at home in Pasadena on June 17, 1952. His second wife and collaborator, the artist Cameron, preserved and carried on his work until her death in 1995. In 1972 the International Astronomical Union named a crater on the moon (37°N 171°W) after Parsons in recognition of his pivotal role in developing the solid fuel rocket.
Painting of Jack Parsons by his widow, Marjorie Cameron
Lee Perry and The Orb? That’s a match made in psychedelic dub heaven!
Taken from the forthcoming collaboration album The Observer In The Star House, which is out in September, ‘Hold Me Upsetter’ is a neat little slice of bass-heavy shuffle-house. You can download it for free below, and if this is a good example of the rest of the album, then both electronica and dub aficionados have a lot to be excited about.
There’s more info on the album (and some funny pictures of a very young Dr Alex Patterson) over at theorb.com.
Everything about this 1969 fan-made Spider-Man movie by Don Glut (he’s Spider-Man, btw) screams o-mazing! The costumes, the acting, the music, the live action scenes, the Spider-Man action figure, Dr. Lightning’s sweet ride… I could go on, really. Just watch it!
“I’ve got bad news for you. Your father’s dead. But you’re safe and so is the world.”