(This week, I’m truly honored to have spoken to two East Coast Burners that are truly larger than life. If you’ve partied in NYC in any significant fashion you’ve probably seen them out, dressed to the nines. They’re four time Burners with a unique perspective that we’d all do well to learn from. Diva PsychicStar (Patricia) repurposes furs & The Geniuz (Jeremiah) commands broadcasts. This is a deep dive folks, so turn on one of their favorite sets from playa, from White Ocean, Robot Heart, Pink Mammoth & Distrikt, while you read!)1. How was Burning Man 2015?! How did this all start for you two? Burning Man 2015 was challenging! It was our fourth Burn with each one being different and each one offering a new experience and takeaway. It takes a lot of money/effort to trek across the continent from New York to join the tens of thousands of Burners for an event culminating months of regional festivals and camp fundraisers. Our style is to mitigate as much of the dry, dusty Playa harshness as possible by bringing as many creature comforts and tried and true costumes as we can. We have always been RV campers, which gives us a leg up when it comes to daytime sleeping and shelter from the dust storms. Continue reading
For some holiday weekend reading, here’s a fascinating story from Natural News on the role the big pharmaceutical companies have played in the development of the global drugs market.
Re-blogged from Natural News
The secret history of Big Pharma’s role in creating and marketing heroin, LSD, meth, Ecstasy and speed
Most consumers think that street drugs are in an entirely different class than prescription drugs, and they believe that pharmaceutical companies would never manufacture or sell street drugs. But guess what? As you’ll read here, drug companies actually invented many of the street drugs now considered to be the most devastating, including heroin and meth (“ice”). That’s right, we need Pharma Watch Dogs, lots of them; groups, sites and movements.
Here are seven facts you probably never knew about the connection between street drugs and pharmaceutical companies:
1. Heroin was launched as a medicine by Felix Hoffman, an employee of Bayer, only a few days after he invented aspirin. Bayer immediately applied for a trademark on the term “heroin,” then began marketing the drug as a cure for morphine addiction. It was also marketed as cough syrup for children.
2. Parke-Davis, a subsidiary of Pfizer, promoted and sold cocaine. It even produced a “cocaine injection kit” complete with a syringe for shooting up. Skeptical? You can view the picture yourself by clicking www.NaturalNews.com/gallery/articles/ParkeDav…
3. A subsidiary of Novartis, Sandoz Laboratories, introduced the world to LSD in 1938, marketing it as a psychiatric drug named Delysid. This same drug company also created saccharin, the artificial chemical sweetener.
4. Drug giant Merck pioneered the commercial manufacture of morphine from opium and was a heavy pusher and marketer of cocaine. Merck also patented MDMA (Ecstasy, the rave drug). After World War II, Merck also began producing pesticides and food preservatives.
5. Ritalin is “speed” for children. A chemical amphetamine, Ritalin is made of controlled substances that would land you in prison if you sold them to a kid on the street, yet the drug is currently prescribed to millions of schoolchildren in the United States to treat a “brain chemistry condition” that was invented by the drug companies.
6. In the 1930’s, drug companies marketed amphetamines as over-the-counter inhaler medicines for treating nasal congestion. Tablet amphetamines were also widely available in tablet form and frequently abused by students, truck drivers and other groups.
7. Meth was originally synthesized by chemists and later refined by drug companies. During WWII, “meth” was actually prescribed to soldiers by the U.S., Germany and Japan. Even Hitler was known as a “meth head” by his own staff. By the end of the war, millions of military personnel were addicted to the drug.
Today, meth (“crank”) is made from ingredients found in over-the-counter cold medicines. While a meth epidemic sweeps America, destroying entire communities and even threatening some states (Hawaii in particular), drug companies insist their cold medicines should remain over the counter and not be classified as controlled substances. There is currently no legislative effort whatsoever to ban over-the-counter cold medicines containing the chemicals used to create meth.
Also related: Coca-Cola really did contain cocaine during its first few decades on the market (it also contained kola nut extract, hence the name). Cocaine was later removed from the formula and replaced with caffeine, a substance that is similarly addictive and serves much the same purpose.
Once you realize the connection between street drugs and prescription drugs, it’s easy to figure out why Big Pharma is such a strong supporter of the Partnership For A Drug-Free America — because they don’t want consumers getting their drugs from street dealers, they want people buying their drugs from drug companies! Drug companies’ attempts to outlaw street drugs are little more than a way of eliminating the competition and monopolizing the drug market.
Ultimately, Big Pharma is just another drug pushing cartel that has the same goals as any drug dealer: Convince customers they need your drug, get them hooked on it, and eliminate the competition.
The only difference is that Big Pharma has been so successful at dealing drugs that it has enough funds to buy off Congress, the Food and Drug Administration and practically the entire psychiatric industry (not to mention medical schools and mainstream media outlets).
Today, more than 40 percent of the U.S. population ingests FDA-approved synthetic chemicals manufactured and marketed by drug companies.
Drug companies think this number is too low. Their goal is to have 100 percent of the U.S. population taking not just one drug per day, but multiple drugs every day, for life.
Over at burningman.com, Caveat Magister’s attempts to laugh off the Burner community’s Commodification Camp concerns – Why Am I Making Fun of Burners and 12 Shocking Revelations About Ultra-Rich Plug and Play Camps – went down like a lead balloon.
Commenter Metapony likened it to the 2007 DPW workers rights protest at BMHQ, during a Regionals Conference:
This burning blog posting mocking people and misrepresenting the issue reminds me of something…
Oh yes, I remember! This is like the time there was a small protest across the street from the Burning Man office (during the spring regionals summit in 2007) and the BM Org sent a bunch of people out to make fun of them…
So carry on that fine tradition of misrepresenting and mocking folks with real issues, CM. Good job.
This is an interesting chapter of Burning Man’s history that I had never heard of before. From Bright Path:
Today, Feb. 18, 2007, a few workers, some with their heads covered by paper bags, staged a small demonstration outside of Burning Man headquarters in San Francisco to protest what they say are reductions in pay, forced “death waivers” and lack of adequate health care for the workers who primarily clean the desert up after the Burning Man event.
Now that I’ve seen the video, it definitely has some resonance with the current situation.
The protest begins in a fairly low-key fashion, with 2 of the protestors afraid to show their faces for fear of losing their jobs or future art grants. Caleb, the unmasked protestor, is very well-spoken about the reasons for their protest. Then, Burning Man HQ’s doors open and some other protestors stream out to disrupt the protest with a protest of their own: mocking the seemingly valid concerns about pay cuts, medical treatment, and possible violations of labor regulations.
At the time these events occurred, he spoke out on tribe.net about the sock puppets that were dispatched to attack him as revenge against his peaceful protest. People wondered on ePlaya if the counter-protestors were acting independently, or if they were sent out by BMOrg to misdirect the situation. Some of the protestors were identified as Regional representatives of the Org.
Does anyone know the real story behind this? Was it all just a Cacophony-style prank, another Big Farce – or were the protestors expressing legitimate concerns? Did BMOrg ever respond seriously, or was the pranking the extent of it?
If you feel like protesting today, sign the petition against Commodification Camps.
[Update 11/2014 9:32pm]
A Burner who was there that day at the Regional conference but wishes to remain anonymous contacted us and provided some further details. I asked:
Were the protestors concerns fake? Did BMOrg do anything about them? When the anti-protestors learned what the protest was about , what did you do then? Did you go back inside and report back to anyone, or did nobody care?
Anonymous Burner replied: