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LSD’s influence on pop culture and technology: from Apple to The Simpsons

LSD still has a demonic image, but you owe it a lot. His influence on pop culture and the tech world is undeniable. A concise story.

Every day you face the fruits of the drug. Without acid, the electronics company Apple Inc. may not even exist, let alone the iPhone. the animated series South Park in The Simpsons it had a very different character. And what to say about the piles of albums, literature and films. LSD really isn’t a panacea, but humanity has had a lot of fun over the years.

Albert Hofmann accident

The first LSD trip was an accident. Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann conducted research on lysergic acid in a laboratory, leading to the synthesis of LSD-25 in 1938. Five years later, the genie came out of the bottle, when Hofmann spilled some on his fingers. during a new exam. The chemist became dizzy, closed his eyes and for two hours saw the most beautiful images and the strangest forms in a palette of intense and kaleidoscopic colors. Three days later, he administered 250 micrograms of LSD-25 to himself as an experiment, a considerable dose in retrospect. He got on his bike, watched the world change around him, and ended up on a long ride.

Dr. Albert Hofmann demonstrates the LSD molecule in his laboratory (Image: AFP)

A magic potion was born, but what good was it? In the years that followed, LSD was used primarily by a select group of psychiatrists to investigate mental illness. Experiments were made, but the material still had no social impact. LSD also piqued the interest of the US government. In the 1950s, lysergic acid diethylamide was even considered a truth serum. Both the British secret service MI6 and the American CIA tried to apply it, and the US military also carried out experiments. But that resulted in nothing but confusion.

LSD and the 60s

The real LSD revolution did not begin until the early 1960s. American Owsley Stanley was the first underground chemist to produce mass amounts of LSD, while fellow American Timothy Leary, a drug researcher who became an LSD propagandist , influenced the world with books and articles. He even wanted to add it to drinking water for world peace. The hippie movement was over, acid was the new shit.

Timothy Leary and his wife Rosemary (Image: ANP)

The one who knew nothing about drugs at the time was Ken Kesey, a Christian-raised boy who could fight and study well. To earn some extra money as a student at Stanford University, in 1962 he participated in a Psychology Department study that tested the effects of LSD. He changed his life, and the lives of many others, forever.

one flew over the cuckoo’s nest

Inspired by LSD, Kesey decided to write. “To hell with the facts, we need stories,” he once said. To earn a living, he became a clerk in a hospital psychiatric ward. In one year he wrote the legendary book one flew over the cuckoo’s nestwhich was made into a film in 1975 and won five Oscars.

After writing another book, in 1965 Kesey devised his own variation of “litmus tests.” Together with friends he organized meetings where bands performed and LSD was distributed.

Grateful Dead in Jefferson Airplane

This is where the story of The Grateful Dead began, one of the house bands at these strange gatherings. Eventually one of the permanent locations for these acid tests became the Longshoremen’s Lounge in San Francisco, with ‘test bands’ such as The Jefferson Airplane. It was here that Kesey met LSD guru Owsley Stanley, who made Stanley famous on the San Francisco music scene.

LSD became commonplace among artists, greatly influencing the San Francisco sound of the 1960s. Or as Stanley put it: “What garlic is in food, LSD is in art.” . This happened in Woodstock in 1969 later than ever.

The Beatles on LSD

The Beatles discovered LSD in 1964. Around this time they also began experimenting with their music. “It’s like a key that opens a door to a world where you see things from a different angle,” George Harrison said of LSD. The album rubber soul already sounded a bit different from his previous work, but the radical twist was Stir. Every song on that album is completely different.

Suddenly violins and Indian instruments were heard and for the first time a different song was created as Yellow Submarine. The last track on the album tomorrow you never knowbegins with the phrase ‘Turn off your mind, relax and immerse yourselfquoted from a book co-written by Timtohy Leary.

The album that followed was Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, one of the most influential albums in history. LSD is said to have had a significant influence on this album as well, a fact underlined by the song’s initials. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. However, until his last interview in Playboy, John Lennon has maintained that it is not a reference to drugs.

Apple Computer Company

Time passed and drug use began to take its toll on some artists. In 1970 Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin died, a year later Jim Morrison of The Doors died. Interest in LSD in the music world slowly waned. LSD use also became less and less popular in society. But it continued to be done and a new generation of users emerged: the tech nerds. Less visible, but at least as influential.

Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in the 1970s (Image: EPA)

Steve Jobs was one of them and he came of age on LSD. He stumbled occasionally in high school, and that continued when he entered Reed College in 1972. He even founded an LSD club of sorts there. Eventually, in 1976, he founded the Apple Computer Company with Steve Wozniak, who wasn’t averse to acid either.

Steve Jobs on LSD

The question is whether that would have happened without the LSD. Jobs: “Taking LSD is one of the most important things I’ve ever done in my life. It shows you that life has another side, you can imagine a world that doesn’t exist yet. You can’t remember exactly when it worked, but you know the other side is there. He reinforced my sense of what was important: creating great things instead of making money.”

lsd, apple, steve jobs, clout, pop culture
An excerpt from Steve Jobs biography

LSD still plays a part in creating things that are slightly different, funnier, or better. With many animated series, sometimes you know for sure that they couldn’t have been conceived by a sober mind. It is also known from some series that the inspiration was obtained during the trips.

South Park and The Simpsons

Matt Groening, the man behind The Simpsons and Futurama, is speaks openly about the role of LSD in the creation of his work. Trey Parker and Matt Stone tell in their documentary that without LSD they invented it South Park it would have been a lot less fun and might not even have come into existence. They even attended the Oscars together under the influence of acid.

You can still see the influences in music today. That’s the way I talk kevin parker from Tame Impala recently about the Australian band’s experiences of their intense experiences with LSD. And so we can continue with the list of creatives who benefit from that mistake in a Swiss laboratory. Of course they would all have existed without the drug. We’re not really going to promote usage, but a little thanks to Albert Hofmann is not an unnecessary gesture.

Famous quotes

“It was a fantastic experience, an absolute revelation” – Jack Nicholson

“Not that I would recommend it to anyone, but LSD is an incredible experience. It became clear to me that reality is not a fixed whole” – alan moore (Batman wrote: the killing joke)

“I think that in human evolution it has never been necessary to have a substance like LSD. It’s just a tool to change us into what we should be.” – alberto hofmann

“Nobody stopped thinking about those psychedelic experiences. Once you’ve been exploring, you thought, “I want to go back, but please make it a little easier for me.” – Jerry Garcia (The Grateful Dead)

“LSD was another mirror, but it is not surprising. It was something visual and a kind of self-therapy.” – John Lennon

Also check: Apple founder Steve Jobs was always right (or was he?)

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LSD’s influence on pop culture and technology: from Apple to The Simpsons

Ritika Prasher

Hey! What's going on with TV Shows? I'll tell you. I am a TV show enthusiast that has watched over 500 TV shows and counting. I have the inside scoop on what to watch on Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime, Hulu and more. Every TV show you want to binge watch, I've seen it. Want to know more about me, send me a mail at : [email protected]
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