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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Buckley on a trip to defeat, February 12, 2010
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In this Firing Line episode recorded in color, William F. Buckley debates Timothy Leary surrounded by a studio audience of university students. The debate is entertaining as Buckley and Leary both have a certain amount of charisma, albeit different in kind. Buckley fails to find a hook early on, and Leary dominates the debate. Later in his career, Buckley came out for drug legalization, which doesn't seem surprising after seeing how little he had to say in criticizing Leary. His main objection is that people have historically not needed drugs to make progress in religion and psychology--a flimsy objection in my opinion.

Although Buckley is charming in his way, this was not a great performance. He is haughty and reflexive, and more interested in scoring political points by getting Leary to admit to encouraging drug use than in engaging Leary on the merits. This is a low tactic that necessitates smearing LSD with the degenerate behavior associated with alcohol, narcotics, etc, which Leary points out. However, Buckley doesn't entirely conform to stereotypes of anti-drug conservatives. The debate moderator asks several times whether Leary's animus to bureaucratic control isn't like Buckley's conservatism, and Buckley fails to address this question adequately. My sense is that Buckley has taken a position here that he feels he ought to rather than that he feels is right.

Before this episode, I had never seen or read anything of Leary, and he makes a positive impression. I watched it just after having seen Buckley's debate with Hugh Hefner. Both guests were prophets of a new society and new ethics, but whereas Hefner seemed shallow and disingenuous, Leary seems entirely in earnest in addition to being intelligent and well-spoken. In some ways, he is a forerunner of Rod Dreher's crunchycons, and indeed he calls himself a conservative, expresses his admiration for Buckley and disdain for the society modern liberalism has built, and praises the Middle Ages.

What you won't find here are descriptions of "trips", the technical aspects of LSD, or much reflection on Leary's community of "followers".
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We Need a Program Like This Now, March 16, 2013
This review is from: Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. "The World of LSD" (Amazon Instant Video)
William F. Buckley's Firing Line was the greatest political/social talk show of all time. He provided a debate style format that allowed opposing sides to joust, but respectfully and intelligently, giving the viewer more to think about in one episode than all of media for months gives us today. This 'LSD' episode is not on of the best, but it is interesting and worth watching, all of Firing Line episodes are...
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Firing Line "The World of LSD, March 3, 2014
Buckley is good as usual but Leary was such a lame disappointment...scattered, caught up in sound bites and not engaged in discussion.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Snake Oil {LSD} Salseman Timothy Leary, March 10, 2014
People still look to this crackpot as a prophetic visionary?

The most laughable prediction scenario of Leary's "Turn On-Tune In- Drop Out" culture is that so many people will follow his advice and the entire system of economics will collapse.

Applauded by some...until there's no food on the table....Or jobs to buy food....Or food in the supermarkets.

The consequences of "turning on" will be a slap in the face as soon as that ever happens, I can guarantee you.
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1 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars such a charming man NOT, March 16, 2013
Warning!warning!warning!nut-job Tim detected.Sheez what an idiot.When I look around at the law makers today like Nancy Polosi,and other crazy eyed demmi-gods it makes sence.They had him as a spiritial adviser:)Danger!Danger!Obama and friends are sending out the drones!.....What a mess they've put us in:(
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