Maybe I dropped acid in the 70s, and maybe I didn’t. I plead the fifth, but I know a drug song when I hear it, and Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” is definitely one. While Grace Slick claimed it was about following your curiosity, the song became the mantra for the psychedelic age of LSD, magic mushrooms, and mind-altering experiences. I played the song so much back then, I worn the album out, leaving only annoying static where the soundtrack once was.
Even the book Alice in Wonderland upon which the song was based had questionable drug references. Alice drinks potions and eats mushrooms to make her larger or smaller. There’s a hookah smoking caterpillar, although what he’s smoking isn’t fully explained. Critics continue to debate the drug references made by Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, in Alice in Wonderland. While most scholars don’t believe Dodgson was using drugs, you have to admit, his fondness for take photographs of half-naked and naked children, is at best, creepy. But I digress.
Imagine my surprise when I was jolted from my writing with the sound of “White Rabbit” blaring during a commercial for Celebrity Cruises.
A beautiful redhead drifts off to sleep poolside on the luxury liner. She shrinks, literally, into a world of wonder and explores the cruise ship’s psychedelic, Cirque du Soleil grandeur. At the end, she’s awakened by what looks to be the ship’s Captain, who welcomes her aboard. Cue the tagline, “Wonder Awaits.”
What they heck are they selling? Come aboard our cruise ship and you’ll be whisked away on an LSD trip? Seriously? Clearly, they are appealing to us boomers who grew up in the era of sex, drugs and rock and roll, but using it to sell a cruise?
The commercial plays constantly, and every time it comes on I have to quote a line from When Harry Met Sally, “I’ll have what she’s having.” Sign me up!