Lysergacide: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Whanztastic, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. Whanztastic BohemianAmerican Defenestrater Monthly Donor

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    armstrong.png



    Lysergacide:
    A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream


    By Jeffrey Stange


    Introduction

    “I was raised Episcopalian but then I experienced Euphoria and found Christ.” ~ Anonymous

    Lysergacide. L. Euphoria. Acid. LAD. Call it what you will, lysergic acid diethylamide, more commonly known as LAD, has had a more massive impact on American history than any other pharmaceutical product. From it sprung a new culture which developed its own art, music and literature. This drug, simple to produce and extremely potent even in the tiniest of quantities, is not even 100 years old. It was introduced into an impetuous world and managed to make things a little more tolerable. Or insane. It depends on who you ask.

    Despite its relative youth, LAD managed to slip itself into the most distant, perhaps even contradictory, corners of American society. Lysergacide, at one point or another, was taken by the inquisitive intellectual and the suffering sharecropper, the converted cultist and the eager evangelical, the white warrior and the “new negro”, the tempestuous teenager and the anxious antediluvian, the conservative capitalist and the progressive proletarian, the demoralized doughboy and the pertinacious pacifist.

    Of course, this is not to say that LAD received universal acclaim and acceptance. There were many who opposed this drug, this “Menace to Society.” Like any change, there were people and powers who were threatened by this new influence, a raising tide of people who appeared to act differently, live differently, and even think differently. And these were not just foreign menaces, immigrants who could be easily identified and curtailed. This new challenge was domestic-born; it was sometimes even one’s own children.

    I am, however, getting ahead of myself. This is always the danger of writing about history - we see our events from our current position (the future, where the results are evident). Rather than being content on how the world looks from our own position, must always strive to understand what happened in their specific contexts. How else can we come to understand why it is the Hubert Humphrey, then Mayor of Minneapolis, so vehemently opposed the expansion of Walgreen, which is now the largest company in the world? Such an action seems silly, even futile from the modern perspective. Yet such actions were taken. This does not mean that we should forgot the big picture! Indeed, when dealing with LAD, the entire point was to try and comprehend the big picture, whatever it may be.

    The big picture is to follow the historical trends that LAD found itself parallel to and those that it magnified. Walgreen, mentioned above, is the largest company in the world. This is certainly a development that is directly tied to the disbursement of LAD. There are other occurrences and people that also find themselves intertwined with the history of LAD, whether we like it or not. Who are we to speculate what A. Mitchell Palmer’s career would have looked like if it were not for LAD? Would anyone, save for the hermetic historian, know the names of Hemingway, Hand, Aslinger, or Whiteman today if LAD had never been? Could they be identifiable as people we know them to be in our world? Would there still be Thelemites or Pentecostals? It is impossible to know (although enjoyable to speculate on).

    The purpose of this work is multiple. One, I hope to offer a comprehensive but precise history of LAD, from the very first drop. Second, I shall try to the immediate social, political and economic impacts that LAD has had on history, including the reactions against. And third, I hope to use LAD as a window to understanding the United States between the wars, and perhaps beyond.

    So, like any story, we shall start at the beginning...


    *** Armstrong image by Emperor Norton I


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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2010
  2. SpazzReflex Induce vomiting if contacted

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    The Roaring, laughing, coughing, gagging, stumbling, passed out on the floor from an OD 20s...
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
  3. Cuāuhtemōc Instagram Fiend Banned

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    Consider this subscribed.
     
  4. Emperor Norton I Calbear's Love Child

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    This is the greatest thing in the history of mankind ever.
     
  5. archaeogeek Banned

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    All I can say is: at last. And it looks awesome :D
     
  6. Emperor Norton I Calbear's Love Child

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  7. SavoyTruffle I am the modren man

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    Trippy, man. :D
     
  8. Emperor Norton I Calbear's Love Child

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    I just had an idea: might this leap ahead color film? With everybody stoned out of their mind, it seems like there'd be initiative for film companies to work hard at the one element a stoned mind latches onto, which is colors. Unless psychedelics can already have the mind colorize pictures, in which case that's moot. I don't know since I've never partaken.:D
     
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  9. Whanztastic BohemianAmerican Defenestrater Monthly Donor

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    Hmm... this is interesting, especially considering that their were silent films in color.
     
  10. archaeogeek Banned

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    Man, color silent movies with costume designers on psychedelics would be awesome...
     
  11. Emperor Norton I Calbear's Love Child

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    The problem with that pre-technicolor process is that it was insanely expensive and arduous. Basically, they'd have to go through with a paint brush and paint every cell and frame one by one. There might be incentive, however, to invest heavily in development of color, and thus achieve technicolor or some other cheap color process some years earlier.
    Or, barring that, color filters were often used (when they'd put one that'd make an entire frame orange, or green, or blue), so maybe they'd just get used more often and become perhaps more extravagant.

    EDIT: Idea for extravagance which is think is really good; you know in the 60's how they'd take liquids or whatever, and put them into a bowl, and project them at concerts to make it all psychedelic? What if they did that with those color filters? Either by using the actual color filters or just projecting from a different camera overtop the film image.
     
  12. Silver Shamrock Active Member

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    Just out of curiosity, how is lysergacide pronounced? Random question, I know, but ... yeah. I'm curious. Is it lie-SIR-gah-side?
     
  13. archaeogeek Banned

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    Was it done by the same way early photographs like Prokudin Gorskii did?
     
  14. Emperor Norton I Calbear's Love Child

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    I'm pronouncing it "Lie-Sir-Ja-side"
     
  15. Emperor Norton I Calbear's Love Child

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    How did he do it?
     
  16. archaeogeek Banned

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    I forget the particulars lol. IIRC he took three monochrome pictures with color filters a lot like how digital photographers would do today for B&W (ironically), and then I have no idea how the rest of the process works. Wiki says something about colored light for correction...
     
  17. Emperor Norton I Calbear's Love Child

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    I don't believe they did it like that in the OTL. From everything I've heard, they just took the raw image in black and white and painted over everything one by one. Unless you're talking about technicolor.
     
  18. Whanztastic BohemianAmerican Defenestrater Monthly Donor

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    I imagined pronunciation to be closer to "lie-Sir-ja-side", except given accents do to accents and so forth. Given the fact that of where it will be first synthesized, the Inland Northern American English dialect may have impact on it. That is a little bit of a teaser.

    Going with the color filter idea, rather than manually coloring every frame, could it be possible to project a film through what is basically a cheap kaleidoscope, a tube rotating with colored items in it, that doesn't distort the image quality? That would be a cheap way of creating a psychedelic effect.

    Also, I need a good Altword for 'psychedelic', it being the direct creation of Humphry Osmand and Aldous Huxley. I very much doubt an earlier generation of acid droppers would come up with the same exact term. So I am open to suggestions of a new word and perhaps the person who creates it.


    I feel like I owe some slight explanation of where lysergacide and LAD comes from to those who are unsure, just for the record.


    Lysergacide is my invention of what it could be named if being sold by a company. Lysergacide comes from
    lysergic acid diethylamide. LAD is obviously the initials of lysergic acid diethylamide. OTL's LSD comes from the fact that it was first synthesized in Switzerland and used the German spelling Lysergsäurediethylamid. So TTL gets LAD instead of LSD.

    Also I admit borrowing the subtitle from the seminal work Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter Thompson, a crazy story. Not to give a lot away but just considering how the search for the American Dream happened during the 20s and then 30s, with higher highs we can expect lower lows.
     
  19. Emperor Norton I Calbear's Love Child

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    Hmm, that's a bit tricky. Psychedelic is just so catchy and well known that's it's hard to break away from. Would you go with taking from Greek routes (soul-to manifest), perhaps switching to Latin (Soul=Anima; Manifest=Manifeto; "Animanifesto"?), or something English? There may even be original timeline terms out there which were never popular or never took off that could be used.

    Maybe you could run with the whole Kaleidoscope thing and go with "Kaleidoscopic" or "Kaleidopic/Kaleidospic/Kaleidpic" (kal is Greek for "beautiful" and eidos is greek for "form").
     
  20. MacCaulay Banned

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    This is fucking AWESOME. You'd better keep going with this. This might be one of the most original ideas I've seen in a long time.