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McKenna, Terence

Terence McKenna, NYC, Jun. 1994 (Gabe Kirchheimer).
(b. 1946) Ethno-botanist, philosopher, historian, and Nabokavian know-it-all, Terence McKenna is an articulate advocate for psychedelics as a crucial part of humanity's collective birthright. In a nutshell, he believes that having relinquished our Paleolithic utopia, mankind is in a headlong rush to a millenarian apotheosis slated to occur December 21, 2012 (as determined by his TimeWave software). The best way to prepare for that date, he explains, is through the ingestion of "heroic doses" of psychedelic drugs from the tryptamine family, specifically smoked DMT and psilocybin mushrooms.
    One of the world's great rhetorical ravers, McKenna was affiliated briefly with the early-'90s rave scene. Harvard emeritus Richard Evans Schultes, the world's preeminent ethnobotanist, hailed McKenna's Food of the Gods (1992) as a "masterpiece of research and writing," but McKenna is probably best known for The Archaic Revival (1991). Other works include the autobiographical science fiction True Hallucinations (1993) and The Invisible Landscape (1975), co-written with his ethnopharmocologist brother, Dennis. A May 10, 1996 lecture at UCLA's Veterans Wadsworth Theater was nearly canceled when an unidentified busybody, objecting to McKenna's message invoked an antiquated bylaw prohibiting discussion of drug use on the campus. After the ACLU intervened, the speech went on as scheduled.

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