Albert Hofmann

Albert Hofmann died yesterday, at the ripe age of 102.  This is significant for two reasons, one being that Hofmann was the “discoverer” of LSD in the 1940’s.  I’ve never read any of Hofmann’s books, but Timothy Leary quotes and discusses him at length in his autobiography Flashback.  Hofmann, like Leary, remained convinced throughout his life that when used in controlled settings, LSD could be a powerful way to treat various forms of mental illness.  I, on the other hand, remain convinced that in uncontrolled settings LSD could be a hell of a lot of fun.

The other reason Hofmann’s death bears mentioning here is that he was the captain of my Fantasy Death League Team, otherwise known as Tupac, or Not Tupac.  This means that, in the nearly three months since we drafted 180 people as likely candidates to pass on, only three have done so, and they were all drafted by me (Hofmann, Charlton Heston, and Arthur C. Clarke), giving me 52 points to everyone else’s donut.  I’m enjoying this mini-run of deathly foresight, but at what point does it start to get creepy?  I’m like that Haley Mills Osmond kid from The Sixth Sense!

Naturally, difficult roster decisions have to be made now.  After much deliberation and input from our team scouts, Bobby Brown gets the call-up to the active roster, and Betty Ford assumes the mantle of Team Captain.

Finally, I now also have a legit argument for the Birds of a Feather Bonus, which to recap is a bonus of 25 points (I think) to the person who can make the most persuasive argument they can about how two of their deceased are linked.  The strongest link for the year gets the bonus.  Of course, if I’m the only one with any deaths I won’t have to stretch too hard to get to that point.  But now I have this: Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey was famous during its theatrical showings for the way the color sequence toward the end of the movie would entice people tripping on acid to go to the front of the theater, lay down on the floor, and basically trip out on all the colors, which caused Charlton Heston, seated in the front row, to scream “Get your hands off of my popcorn, you damned dirty acid freaks!”

The Clarke/Heston linkage is irrefutable, and may well win this league for me before all is said and done.

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8 Responses to Albert Hofmann

  1. mrfares says:

    In 2001, Heston made a cameo appearance as an elderly, dying chimpanzee in Tim Burton’s remake of Planet of the Apes.

    Both 2001:A Space Odyssey and Planet of the Apes were released in 1968.

    I’ll keep looking .

  2. mb says:

    Eh, I think Albert was with you on the fun thing, he just called “Scientific Interest”:

    Hofmann took the drug — purportedly on an occasional basis and out of scientific interest — for several decades.

    “LSD can help open your eyes,” he once said. “But there are other ways — meditation, dance, music, fasting.”

    This blows my mind:

    “For a time, Sandoz sold LSD 25 under the name Delysid, encouraging doctors to try it themselves. It was one of the strongest drugs in medicine — with just one gram enough to drug an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 people for 12 hours.”

    10-20,000 people? 1 gram? Good god man.

  3. Doug Hennessee says:

    The amount Hofmann ingested before his famous bicycle ride home from the lab was something like several hundred times (or more) the “normal” dosage. And it was the real stuff, direct from Sandoz’ own labs.

    It would take an awful lot of meditation, dancing, music or fasting to gain a similar amount of “enlightenment”.

    Any time people write about LSD I’m always curious how it reads to people who have never taken hallucinogenics. It’s a hard thing to explain unless you’ve done it. The writing somehow always dramatizes/romanticizes the experience, while simultaneously falling short of describing the specifics or totality of what it’s like. Some things cannot be experienced vicariously.

    Honestly, I feel sorry for people who’ve never had a good, solid hallucinogenic experience with people they enjoy.

  4. Paul says:

    funny entry

  5. Steve C says:

    That is kind of creepy. What are you? Some kind of reaper?

  6. pipelineblog says:

    At 3, no. If I get the first four, it’s…probably just a fluke, I guess. But first five, yes, that would be creepy. If Bobby Brown and Betty Ford’s unfortunate deaths were somehow connected it would definitely qualify as creepy. Were that to happen, there’s no question I would win the league.

  7. Steve C says:

    Too bad Cary Grant isn’t around anymore. He used to trip his brains out.

  8. Pingback: Memorial Day « Pipeline

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