Has it really been a year since Pope Bob left this planet for unknown adventures? I still miss him and I'm still hoping that his remaining family can put together an anthology of his unpublished works. Maybe even the fabled Tale Of The Tribe? Some of the MLA'ers have been talking about completing T.O.T.T. themselves--in which case, I'll definitely be up for helping out with that. In the meantime - there's the two MLA-related Wikipedia pages. The collaborative fiction one and the newest, a page dedicated to the Illuminatus! trilogy. Cool stuff.
As for Pope Bob himself, well, I don't necessarily "believe" in an after-life..but if such a thing 'is' a possibility--I imagine he's still tripping the light fantastic with Arlen, downing pints of astral Guinness with Jimmy Joyce, Timmy Leary and Flann O'Brien, having ol' Ludwig Van teach him piano sonatas and blowing minds everywhere. Hail Pope Bob!
It's also the 102nd birthday of Dr. Albert Hofmann, who, in case you're not aware, was the first to synthesize a little compound called LSD. The man seems far more rational and sober-minded than a lot of "War On Some Drugs" types would have you believe. I've got a recording of Hofmann speaking at a psychedelics symposium held in San Francisco in September 1978. He describes his experiences with LSD with a clarity and focus that only a rational, scientific mind can conjure. You can read that 1978 lecture here.
It would be pure speculation to consider what 2008 would be like, had Aldous Huxley, Humphrey Osmond and Hofmann's view that psychedelics should be studied and used for therapeutic purposes won out over the mass-experimentation model of Leary, Ken Kesey and Allen Ginsberg. Some later counter-culturalists managed to bridge the gap a bit between the scientists and mystics (Terence McKenna comes to mind), but the cat's been out of the bag far too long now and the TSOG won't budge on the matter of keeping psychedelics illegal and "immoral"--so still no scientific testing and the only stuff available is dodgy 'street acid', which may contain a number of things and pure lysergic acid probably won't be one of them. Maybe someday that will change--but for the moment, I'm glad 'Uncle Albert' is still with us.
Check out Bogus Magus' post over at Only Maybe for another R.A.W./Albert Hofmann tribute.