The World Isn’t Yours

A lot of drugs come with what you might call rudimentary samizdat branding. Ecstasy pills regularly get imprinted with pop culture references for batch designation, for example.

But mostly, illicit drug names are a part of criminal anti-language, or at least they begin as such. If you don’t want the police or the normies knowing you’re doing a drug deal, you switch terms for things they won’t understand. Language becomes a club for members only and you need the passwords for entry. Cocaine becomes Charlie and so on. Even after the mask of anti-language slips and the terms become commonplace, they tend to stick around, because what’s criminal and taboo is also often cool.

In some refreshing instances, a kind of anti-branding occurs. Cannabinoids are dope because they make one stupid and sleepy, for example. Amphetamines are speed or whizz because they accelerate perception and energy levels, famously burning up tomorrow’s energy today.

The powerful drug scopolamine is known as Devil’s Breath, because once inhaled or ingested it renders the victim entirely suggestible. Usually, it is administered during a honey trap (often via lipstick) prior to robbery. I always liked the name Philip K Dick gave his fatally addictive substance in ‘A Scanner Darkly’ – Slow Death, the perfect combination of taboo sales pitch and truth in advertising.

But if ever I felt like viscerally objecting to drug nomenclature, it wasn’t when someone impressed cartoon figures like Donald Duck on a tab of E. Rather it was today, when I read about the drug WY which is wreaking havoc in India. WY stands for ‘The World is Yours’, a complete reversal of what drugs of abuse actually do, which is steal the world from those addicted.

This amphetamine/caffeine combo is disproportionately harming the already marginalised queer community in India, according to Vice magazine. A more insidious untruth I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered than this empty promise from drug dealers to fragile youth.

The lost land of Greater Ireland

Early Irish writings, including the ‘Imramma’ poems, identify Irish monks sailing to North America. Later writings, including the Brendan Voyage do likewise.

Brendan's ship sailing by pillars of Ice - art by Jim Fitzpatrick and copyright to him.

The Norse annals, which were intended as historical records, do likewise, in the Landnámabók and the Annals of Greenland, which itself is written evidence supporting the now-accepted fact that the Vikings had reached North America in the 11th century.

A number of Norse sagas, including that of Erik the Red, also cite Irish sailing and colonising North America prior to the Norse arrivals.

Throughout these texts, this land is referred to as Írland hit mikla (Greater Ireland) or Hvítramannaland (White Man Land) due to the perception of those who were resident there.

Even in 12th century Sicily, the Arab historian Al-Idrisi wrote of the existence of Irlandah-al-Kabirah, or Greater Ireland, located to the west of Iceland.

And the Shawnee legends of the Amerindian peoples near Chesapeake Bay refer to the existence in their history of white men carrying poles and using iron instruments.

And artifacts have been found in locations including West Virginia which bear marks cognate with the Ogham script of ancient Ireland, though this is disputed.

This is all generally hand-waved away by contemporary historians as mere mythology, as they quite reasonably insist on incontrovertible archeological evidence.

Mind you, they used to do the same thing in relation to the Vikings until Anse-aux-Meadows was discovered. Even then, they still attempted to argue away the Helluland site on Baffin Island, even sacking the archeologist and her husband and sequestering her evidence.

I’m always intrigued by such historical disputation, and often wonder cui bono? Could a narrative which supported earlier European engagement with North America in anyway undermine Canadian claims to the wealth in and under the Arctic, for example? Such has been alleged in the past.

In any case, I hope they do find Greater Ireland one day, just as they appear to have already found Vinland and Helluland.