Wednesday, October 22, 2014
I don't pretend to understand how we are still governed by the Puritans. They were, after all, noted for their hatred of Christmas celebrations and their inability to dance.
You see, the Puritans are still running things. They have an undue amount of influence in our society. All it takes is for some mother somewhere to get upset and use the Internet and, voila, we are rolling on down a barely-there country road in New England and the horse is hacking up a lung and the disapproval of the locals is upon us. Whatever our sins, we are wrong, and the Puritans are there to remind us that fun is for sinners and sinners burn forever in Hell.
They have, for the most part, died out. But your moms is still outraged and, when she sees something she doesn't like, it tends to go viral immediately because self-important outrage is the gasoline that runs the Internet. And that's why Facebook is the Devil.
What did you win, lady? You got some toys off of the shelf. What you won was this--you made us think about Breaking Bad and you made people go tsk tsk. That's about it. You did no harm to the culture but you did make a laughingstock out of the idea that people should maybe explain why drugs are bad to their kids. An action figure is a great conversation starter. Oh, you want to talk about Heisenberg? Well, let's put in Season Four and have a look.
I would be remiss if I didn't point out that, if you don't want your dumb kids on drugs, you should show them Breaking Bad. You should acknowledge the show and the central theme it presents and you should make your dopey offspring watch it. You should introduce them to the idea that, yeah, you can do drugs and things will be fine, but if you're not careful, you'll end up like Jesse's girlfriends.
Breaking Bad should be shown in every school in America. We ought to be teaching this to our kids. We ought to use the action figures as props so we can discuss what matters. Does a barrel full of cash matter more than your family? Why not? Does selling drugs make you rich? Why does the decision to "break bad" look foolhardy and how did the show teach us that lesson? Set against the history of America after twenty years of fighting a war on drugs and the collapse of health care insurance benefits for teachers and the desperation felt by people living in poverty, well. It's the Great American Novel, as told in blocks of TV episodes.
Someone got some phony outrage to play out in the lazy media and we're arguing about some toys? Those overpriced television show tie-in toys that feature characters that will never come out of the box and will end up in that douche's cubicle over there? Really?
As a famous philosopher said, drugs are bad, mmmkay? and Walter White is an essential American character who will end up being part of the academic history of our literature. Instead of Cotton Mather, your idiot kid and his dumb little buddies should go as Heisenberg for Halloween (good luck banning that, Principal Dumbass). They should get out their Gus Fring impression and go to town. Me, personally, I'm more of a Hank but I want to be Mike. You should be Ted Benecke or Tuco, just so everyone can praise you for your taste. Your son is Jesse because Jesse is not Junior. Your daughter can be Skyler but the old hag who pushes an ATM onto her husband is also a good choice. No television show has ever made prostitution look as unsexy as Breaking Bad. Nobody ever took the Fedora and did with it what Frank Sinatra could not. And nobody gets to be Don Eladio, friend.
Remember Hillbilly Teeth? All you need are meth teeth for the kiddos and then you've got something. The Puritans had terrible teeth. They pulled them out with pliers made out of something found under the bed in a kinky room behind the bad whorehouse outside of town. They made a fetish out of misery, and they lived their lives like the Palins but with fewer snowmobiles.
Seriously, are we that shriveled up and dead as a country? We're talking about toys and we're not talking about the failure of the War on Drugs as it relates to the destruction of at least a million lives if not more? Really?
Friday, October 17, 2014
The war on drugs is absurd beyond comprehension. We are incarcerating people when we should be medically treating their addictions. And then we see something like this:
The Navy Reserve discharged Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter this year after he tested positive for cocaine, U.S. officials confirmed.
The discharge of Biden, a 44-year-old lawyer and managing partner at an investment firm, was first reported by the Wall Street Journalon Thursday. He confirmed the report in a statement to CNN.
"It was the honor of my life to serve in the U.S. Navy, and I deeply regret and am embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge. I respect the Navy's decision. With the love and support of my family, I'm moving forward," he said.
Just so we're clear, Vice President Biden helped create legislation in the 1990s that started to address drug addiction. The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 set aside money for things like this:
$383 million for prison drug treatment programs, including $270 million
in formula grants for states.
There were also "gang related" aspects to the legislation that fought drug trafficking. Was Hunter Biden a seller as well as a user? Was he using while on duty? How long did the family know of this? Did he use drugs while in proximity to the Vice President?
Joe Biden's embarrassment here is what it is. He's not quite the hypocrite that people are making him out to be. When your adult child does this to their own life, what are you going to do?
Clearly, Hunter Biden should be in prison getting treatment for his addiction to cocaine. That would serve as a wake-up call as to how inadequate things are and what we need to do to deal with people who have addictions. The difference between what a black male would get in terms of punishment for crack is not what a privileged white man would get after testing hot on a drug test while serving in the Navy Reserve. What punitive efforts were undertaken by the Navy are unclear right now. They kicked him out--what else did he do besides admit that, prior to military service, he had used drugs?
Treat everyone the same and let's see how fast we see "modern" legislation that addresses drug addiction in this country.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
The failure here is not that Maureen Dowd cannot write; the failure is that, when Maureen Dowd writes, her ridiculously privileged life as a working member of the punditry gets in the way of common sense.
If you go to Colorado and do drugs, you will not come up with anything worth writing about it you've already made up your mind to warn kids of the dangers. Real people with a real life can tell you what drugs do and they don't need an old media bag of nuts to tell them otherwise. Ask a grandma on meth in rural West Virginia if she thinks being on a little weed in a hotel room is a bad thing and you might not like the answer. Kids don't care, kids don't follow, kids just wanna get high.