10 PM EST, HBO….
April 25, 2011
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August 4, 2010
August 2, 2010
“Seest a man diligent in his calling, he shall stand before kings, he shall not stand before mean men.”
This page is not yet five months old, and already, we may boast of a few things. More people have come here to read about Ecstasy than used the NYC homework helpline in 2009-2010. We are proud to have all of you. Especially those pill reporters who took the time to test or sample their pills, or both, and submit their findings to www.pillreports.com, and then took more time to come here and make comments about their experiences, or to exchange a kind word.
There was steamroller, who famously plugged a Blue Pokeball and then hopped in his car for a drive from Los Angeles to San Diego.
chemlover out in Texas who we must thank for reporting and testing from an important area to know about–a border area where we know a lot of pills are coming from.
And how could we forget Florida’s most diligent and meticulous tester, the great kaspk, who not only has time for Pill Reports and for us, but who also videotapes his test results and youtubes them?
That’s just to name a few. We have to thank all of you, because whatever it is that we’ve put together on this little page is being noticed. A few weeks ago, I was contacted by www.dancesafe.org’s president, who likes what we do over here, and he asked me to join forces with Dancesafe and do some writing and some analysis of Ecstasy, to track some trends in Ecstasy, to track certain pills, and obviously, to reduce harm in our community. To put the relationship between Dancesafe and Crack in some perspective, I would refer you all to the incomparable Special Ed’s lyric, about the finder and the founder (“You was the finder/I was the founder/I was around a/long time ago”).
It is an enormous honor for me to be recognized by Dancesafe, undoubtedly the most important institution in our scene there has ever been. I was practically a kid, going to www.dancesafe.org multiple times a day, debating about my MDA pills (Sunflowers, Ones) fervently, or checking out other pills, or just scrolling through pics of pills and trying to familiarize myself with their chemical composition. I even made a close friend through Dancesafe–perhaps the friend I respect most–on Dancesafe.
How’d that happen? We were arguing about pills, of course. If I never had any association with Dancesafe after that, I’d say I had won big, because friends for life don’t grow on trees. But Dancesafe’s kid, their little boy, who would still be at Sound Factory at this time 10 years ago, or at mixed night at Limelight, is all growed up. And for some reason, the institution has taken notice, of little old Crack and his Pokeball and Quebec amp updates, and our breakdown of www.ecstasydata.org’s lab results.
It’s not like we don’t have our own credentials either, forgive the lack of humble speak. I have sat in Dr. Shulgin’s living room on Mount Diablo, and watched black hawks soar through the Shulgin’s skylight, while Sasha showed us his picture albums–looking at photos from house parties of Timothy Leary and Oscar Wilde’s sons, among others–while the Dr. asked me questions I am still contemplating 6 years later. When I started this page, it was partly with a wildly selfish intent–to promote my writing, and the film company of my partners and me, a little outfit we call Formula 411. Dr. Shulgin is one of our projects, Terry Singeltary Sr., the world’s foremost researcher on CJD and pryon disease, is another.
Of course, I am a bit of a historian on the New York underground–proudly so–and my fiction is defined by realism and my crystal clear memories of New York’s scene, from the 1990’s on, and it is funny and disturbing as hell. I am very honored to bring my New York City roots to Dancesafe, and promise to represent my underground hardcore, while learning and analyzing your underground–particular talents of mine.
Hey, I can barely set an alarm clock, and straight up, I am a scientific layman, but I will analyze your pills and data every which way, so that you know exactly what you are dealing with. My pleasure. It’s my calling–I’ve always said it was, and now at my advanced age, when I should be thinking about golf or some shit, I am still dissecting pill reports. Don’t get the idea that this particular layman is going to be bad for your knowledge of the scene, and that my reports won’t be chock full of information. And Dancesafe’s, and my own scientific experts vett these reports so that any layman issues come to you with a distinguished expert’s polish.
Please follow the work that Dancesafe and I do in collaboration, as well as the work that each site does independently. Note the links in our right panel, and take advantage of them. The essence of Formula 411, my essence, is that of the greatest heroes of our past–the ones who put it on the line for the common good, who weren’t afraid to have a voice, despite however “illicit” the cause might seem to some–like Franklin, Voltaire, and Shulgin.
While I possess neither the wit or intellect of any of those men, I do possess a similar spirit when it comes to fighting for and preserving our rights. Dancesafe is a vital resource to the community, and the loss of any such resource would we be a clear danger to the scene. With your help, Dancesafe isn’t going anywhere, and now Crack has been given an invite to the party. To their credit, they have rolled out the red carpet for me so far as well, helping me along greatly and welcoming me to an enormous degree.
Look for our maiden voyage together very soon, as I have analyzed the latest www.ecstasydata.org’s lab results for Dancesafe, and it will go up early in the week. First there, and then here. But this collaboration is a monumentous one in that we are both totally comitted to stamping out bad pills, and speaking for myself, to put pressure on makers to come up with a better and more diverse product for us.
With the help of some friends, we’re going to shine the spotlight at the issues plaguing the scene.
July 28, 2010
The Knicks love a good circus. For one, that is what their seasons are like–part comedic, part greusome, with a lot of ‘how did they manage to do that?’ moments. Not in a good way. Circus’s love their sideshows to keep the people entertained. Knicks’ owner Jim Dolan could have settled with Anucha Browne Sanders, but instead opted for a long, public trial in which Isiah Thomas and then Knicks’ star Stephon Marbury got on the stand and anhilated the team’s flagging image. Do you remember the married Marbury brag in open court about pressuring a 20 year old girl for sex in his Bentley outside the garden? The farther we go back, we can recall Patrick Ewing in open court, admitting to the world that the Knicks’ legend would have oral sex arranged for him with the dancers when he went into Scores by the Gambino Crime Family.
Since the Knicks had no first round pick last year, there was no benefit to them not doing anything and everything they could to have a good record, especially when selling the proposition/fantasy that they’d be signing Lebron James.
The Knicks should have been doing everything and anything possible to win games. And they opt to sit Nate Robinson, perhaps the team’s best scorer, for 5 weeks and 14 games. The Knicks who can not score and on whom Robinson stars. Did they really teach Nate Robinson a lesson? Did they improve their season in any way when the coaching staff banished Nate Robinson, and soured the team’s and player’s relationship, to the point where a scoring machine is traded?
These young players who the Knicks hope to attract have probably all taken note of the Nate Robinson situation, and must have reservations about Mike D’antoni, who was chosen for the job over Mark Jackson, who would have been the far more likely candidate to get along with his players, as he did with his teammates in his excellent career as a point guard in the NBA. Speaking of point guards and fantasy sells, the Knicks latest pipedream is landing Chris Paul in a trade somehow, despite denials by Paul yesterday that he wishes to stay in New Orleans. Paul devalued himself by publicly speaking about a trade, and his denial needed to happen. He’s got to be the good soldier until the Hornets can get him out of there.
But why would they trade him to the Knicks? This is still a very thin ball club with a bare cupboard when it comes to ammo for a major trade. The Knicks need to do whatever they can to improve their roster, and keeping improving it, if they are to have any chance at Paul, who when one thinks about it, can imagine ten or more teams putting together a better package for Paul than the Knicks. Recently Knicks President Donnie Walsh was pandering in the press about Amar’e Stoudemire being the only untouchable player on the team. Even so, I’m not sure that other teams view the Toney Douglasses and Danillo Galinaris as these great young players, the way the Knicks do.
This summer, we heard a lot about D’antoni wanting guys who were right for his up tempo system. But what about when he has a guy like that, like say, Nate Robinson, and he’s unable to get along with him. Make no mistake–Stoudemire and D’antoni did not see eye to eye when they were together in Phoenix, and Stoudemire was vocally critical of D’antoni. It shows a major a flaw–the inability to make relationships work with top players.
The best things the Knicks can do to attract top players, is to keep adding young talent and have a coach with a good reputation with the players. If D’antoni is not that guy, let’s pray the Knicks can get Mark Jackson in there next. He deserves a chance, and after so much shenanigans and scandals, would be a great face for the franchise.
July 5, 2010
Reportedly, Chris Bosh (above) and Dwayne Wade dined together the past 3 evenings in Chicago, and may have hatched a plan to join forces in Miami, though there is rampant speculation coming from all corners this afternoon, on many huge potential free agent moves in the NBA. Chris Bosh, believed by most to be the free agent who covets most the astronomical 6th year for an additional $ 30 M, is said to be considering dropping that dream in favor of another one–teaming up with close friend Dwayne Wade in a warm city, which he is said to prefer.
Brandon Tierney of ESPN Radio told ESPNEWS earlier that Bosh is likely to sign with Miami or Houston, who the Raptors would be willing to sign and trade Bosh to, because sending him to the Rockets would not be looked upon as the Raptors helping a player who is orchestrating his free agent destination in coordination with James and Wade, which many owners are not pleased about. See Bossh’s career stats below:
If Bosh is dead set on that sixth year, then Houston is likely to land him, but if a 5 year max contract from Miami starting at $ 16.7 M, is sufficient for Bosh, then he will go to the Heat who will then retain Dwayne Wade, it is thought. Since all of these free agent deals have player opt outs after year 3, Bosh could theoretically negotiate an even more substantial deal from the Heat at that time. But if Bosh believes he might decline before his opt out, he may be more likely to suit up with Yao Ming in Houston on the 6 year, $ 126 M contract he would get in a sign and trade.
Bosh, at only 26, will probably still be a top player in 3 years, giving the Heat the edge. Also, we have heard and read reports that Chicago has offered Dwayne Wade less than a max deal, and that they pressed him very hard for a commitment on Saturday, and were unable to sign him. Wade, who has cited family reasons as his top determinant, would get 6 yrs at $ 126 M from the Heat, and that type up contract would no doubt help his family, while giving him an opportunity to continue his career in Miami and to team with close friend Bosh.
Tierney told ESPNEWS that if Bosh goes to Houston, the New York Knicks would be in play for both James and Wade, who would offer Dwayne Wade and Lebron James 5 year, $ 96 M contracts. Tierney believes that Wade’s first preference is to team with Bosh, but that his next preference would be to team with James in New York. Tierney also thought the Knicks’ flexibility with regard to next off season gives them a decided advantage with James, who could take the year to hand pick the impending free agent or a trade scenario that would net him the next guy he would most like to play with. Carmelo Anthony and great James friend and super point guard Chris Paul, among the names he mentioned.
Anthony will be a free agent but Paul would need to be acquired in a trade. Other notable free agents next year will be Nene, Tony Parker, Tayshaun Prince, and David West, among others. In order for the Knicks to sign a free agent to a max contract next off season and to have enough room to sign a first round pick, they would need to shed approximately an additional $ 7 M from their payroll. They will also have the option to use a mid level exception next year.
Though Tierney was very positive about the possibility of Lebron to New York, many media reports have James choosing the Chicago Bulls, who have a much stronger roster than the Knicks and a much better chance to win big sooner. I tend to agree with those reports, and to disagree that Wade and James to New York could be some type of package deal, because the Knicks signing of Amar’e Stoudemire, which looks to be imminent, would limit the Knicks to only one more max contract free agent addition.
More likely, the Knicks will see James go elsewhere, and settle on a sign and trade for David Lee and some second tier free agent acquisitions.
July 4, 2010
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See 50 Days Later @ the link below:
June 27, 2010
A grieving Toni Bernette (Melissa Leo) above.
My brother’s gone. Lotta people gone. The people left have to worry about the day to day.
In Treme’s s1 e9, entitled “I Wish Someone Would Care”, David Simon did the unthinkable, killing off Creighton Bernette, played by John Goodman, who, if he wasn’t the show’s biggest star, then certainly a strong case could be made for him as its most pivotal character and most ardent advocate for the beleaguered city. Bernette, disgusted by events in New Orleans post Katrina, jumped off of a New Orleans’ ferry boat in “I Wish Someone Would Care” in a defining moment for the young Treme, David Simon’s and Eric Overmanyer’s latest masterpiece in television realism, which comes on the heels of HBO’s Generation Kill and the cult classic and our favorite television show ever, The Wire.
We have lampooned Treme a bit early on for being too dependent on obscure jazz terminology, and New Orleans, for as a city as dire as it is post Katrina, would still make Simon’s and Burn’s depiction of Baltimore look like the demolished city and the crescent one look like a washed out cradle of culture populated by a few displaced musicians. But Treme distinguished itself as master reality television in its own right with a tremendous first season, who by the weight of characters and action, now have us hanging on the fate of new Orleans’ great displaced community. Treme built to the Bernette suicide with deft foreshadowing, and went back to it’s most pressing storyline as it opened s1 e10, “I’ll Fly Away” with detectives talking to Toni Bernette (Melissa Leo), Creighton’s wife, and relaying to her the story of the ferry operator, who a fellow rider told shared a smoke with Creighton Bernette, saw the “big guy” walk over to the edge, looked back a minute later, and that man was gone.
Toni Bernette, a pit bull of an attorney and perhaps the only character besides the musicians who has gotten anything done professionally in Simon’s post Katrina Treme, tells the officers that the man could have easily gone inside the boat and may have been taking a ferry “joy ride” when they tell her the big guy did not get off the boat in Algiers, and proceed to ask her if Bernette was under any pressure or whether he was on any medications. The next time we see Toni Bernette, she is crying hysterically on her couch when her daughter, Sophia (India Ennenga) comes home looking for word of her father. Toni just shakes her head in the negative, and the two embrace each other on the couch.
The news is read in the local paper by Davis McAlary (Steve Zahn) and Janette Desautel (Kim Dickens, Deadwood), together at a breakfast cafe, and both recognize that they know the man from the ferry–McAlary teaches piano to his daughter and Bernette’s wife is McAlary’s attorney, and Desautel recognizes him too, from her closed up restaurant, and says “that’s Cray.”
Albert Lambreaux (Clarke Peters), the chief, readies his band of Indians to march, as they are hunkered down in the throes of the final preparations on their magnificent costumes when he is paid a visit by a police commander, who tells him he is worried that he will not be able to keep the peace between his forces and the tribe during the march. The chief has developed a high profile politically by publicly squatting at a housing complex, shut since Katrina, which is one of many that still have power and are inhabitable, yet the federal government has kept shuttered, because they do not want the residents of such low income housing developments returning to their homes, in what was the poorest city in the nation per capita before Katrina hit. The chief exacerbated his problems with the police by forcefully resisting arrest when the police came to remove him from the complex.
Toni Bernette refuses to stop and mourn for her husband, and arranges for his body to be cremated, over suggestions that she might want to give him a proper New Orleans funeral, with a band, that it might be best for her daughter. Bernette bristles at the notion, and says that everyone else was doing their best every day, and that her husband just gave up. Instead, she will be there for LaDonna’s (Khandi Alexander) family, as David Brooks, LaDonna’s brother, lost in the system since being arrested on the night of the flood, is finally being laid to rest.
Davis, granted a day by Janette to convince her of the virtues of New Orleans in attempt to stop her from moving to New York, having failed in the New Orleans restaurant business, gives it his best shot, starting early at her door, a singer in toe who serenades her when she greets them, and then takes Janette on a day of New Orleans filled activities. That night they find themselves in front of a live band, of course, that Antoine Battiste (Wendell Pierce, The Wire) is playing with in a bar, where they dance to Drink a Little Poison Before You Die, before one last romantic interlude with Janette leaving town the next morning.
The talented violinst Annie (Lucia Miccarelli), who had left Sonny (Michiel Huisman), her piano playing street performing boyfriend hooked on heroin, finds the transient lifestyle very difficult, and returns to Sonny’s place, to find another woman there, and then quickly flees again. It sends Sonny out to a bar to score heroin, which he snorts off a dirty sink in the bar’s bathroom (below) and leaves Annie, the sweet character clearly at a crossroads, who came to New Orleans with Sonny, firmly entrenched in doubt about her future.
The chief’s tribe, late in its march, runs into a another tribe, whose rival chief, adorned in yellow feathers, seems to have Albert beaten, costume wise. The two men come to loggerheads, then shake hands. Delmond (Rob Brown), Albert’s son, explains to a younger tribesman that the two chiefs embraced out of respect, and that it was “respect for respect.”
When police cars screech out to the scene of their march, lights blazing, we see more “respect for respect”, when a senior officer commands some angry cops who are mad at Albert for swinging on a cop during his public stand on housing to get back in their cars. “Get back in your damn car. Now God damn it!”
The next morning, we see Delmond, who also happens to be a successful New York jazz musician, at the airport, waiting for a flight in a seat near Janette, also on her way to New York. We see Annie on Davis’s stoop holding his party invite as he returns home from his last day with Janette, a fitting end of the season for 2 characters who seemed to bond well, impromptu, during the Fat Tuesday celebration. Also, a deserving end for Annie, who has all along deserved better circumstances.
Then, artfully done, the season ends with the funeral of David Brooks, juxtaposed with the night of the storm, showing vignettes of all the main characters and where they were right before and during the storm–all seemingly pretty happy before and some during–notably, Creighton alive and well with his family, Annie and Sonny dancing and kissing in the streets, and giving a face to David Brooks, who had until then, been just a name who LaDonna and her mother pined for, and who Toni Bernette tried so hard to see justice for. It was an excellent way to show the contrast between pre and post Katrina Treme, before showing us something that would have been an injustice had we gone the year without seeing: a proper New Orleans funeral march.
And the recently widowed Toni Bernette marched, and smiled as LaDonna danced.