I know it’s not a new idea, but a MPR talk show the other morning got me thinking again about the contradictory feelings Americans have about ingesting foreign substances. Religion, television, caffiene, alcohol, pot, crack, meth — there’s this kind of continuum (a historically shifting continuum — see the 18th Amendment) as to what’s considered an acceptable drug and what isn’t. We’ve spent billions in the ‘war on drugs’ — and I think the war on drugs is a drug itself. One more distraction from real, intractable issues that our politicians prefer to ignore. Can’t deal with national health care? Start a foriegn war. Can’t deal with corporate feudalism and the growing class gap? Privatize social security.
Drugs are about distraction: avoiding your life by altering your consciousness. It’s not a problem because I don’t feel like it’s a problem anymore — or at least until this show is over, and then there’ll be another one. Or another beer. Or another hit. Or another cup of coffee.
We all do it (I’m all about distraction). What bothers me is that the people who complain most loudly about how bad street drugs are and fight against legalizing pot (as on the MPR show I referenced above) are next in line at Starbucks, or tuned into TV for a few hours the same night. It’s all about altering your state of mind.
What we don’t talk about is what we’re avoiding when we alter our minds. Would meth be at epidemic levels if ours was a culture that provided support and direction to our young people? Al Quaeda is attractive to young, disaffected Muslims the way meth is attractive to young disaffected Americans: it provides a focus for the violence and anger in the human heart.
We do drugs because we want to feel. Different. At all.
We do drugs because we’re hungry. For meaning, emotional connection, purpose. If we can’t find those, then at least we can distract ourselves from wanting them for awhile.
If I can find this company, I will buy their clothing.
I know we’ve talked about it here at our house. Here’s a beautiful little story on the realities: http://www.harpers.org/ElectingToLeave.html
every blog is an election blog, right? politics, shmolitics. but this usa presidential election seems to matter more than most. as if the fate of the world hinges on it.
i wonder, though, if what we lefties are hoping for is not so much a way to avoid a conservative future but a way to forgive the weak-willed past. every dem who talks big now sided with the poor evidence of a puppet president, hungry for war, 2 years ago. our lone voice in the wilderness went down in a freakish plane accident about the same time. did we not protest loud enough before? did we not make our voices heard? did we not say ‘no’ with enough persistent force?
or is it just that half our fellow americans think gwb is doing a fine job as it is. that’s what boggles my mind.
and here’s what grieves me the most: no one is talking publically about why it is that “terrorists” (a pegorative normally spelled s-c-a-p-e-g-o-a-t) would attack the usa in the first place. that seems to me to be the most important issue. what is it about america’s way in the world that angers so many nonamericans? and how might all americans be implicated in that discussion?
perhaps that’s why it never happens.
UPDATE: it sold. good luck to the next owner; make lots of good recordings.
Shameless consumerism. I’m selling the audio system used to record several projects, including the Brett Larson debut record, and several House of Mercy recordings (with Peter Rasmussen at the helm). I’ve listed it on ebay but you can find pics here.
I added the latest glibc docs to the docs section. Mostly because I needed a quick searchable reference as I teach myself C. Of course, I found out afterwards that glibc is not supported on Mac OS X, so it proved kind of moot. But at least the reference is handy and it was a good exercise in usability. I’ll probably use that method again.
I’m playing with the blosxom plugin architecture. It’s pretty geek-cool (should I refer to that as GC?). So now I have an _intro file that always sorts to the top of my blog, but is just a regular blog file like the others. Ah, how I amuse myself.
I also moved the footer of the main page to the end of the blog instead of as a persistent frame. Seems like they take too much consistent real estate otherwise.