Tagged: Drugs

The Stigma of Prostitution

The fall of the (former) Governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer, was a glorious windfall for comedians, political pundits, and connoisseurs of schadenfreude. But lost amid the jeering laughter (and disappointed tears), the competing tendentious agendas, and the grave scholastic commentary was an opportunity for us to collectively ask: what’s wrong with us?  Perhaps we...

This Bud’s for You

According to statistics that many national and international publications consider reliable, almost half of our adult population, around 100 million Americans, have “experimented with” or continue to use marijuana. Given the ordinances against marijuana on most municipal books, some of which are enforced assiduously in certain regions of the nation, we are largely a republic...

The Impulse to Take Offense

All of us, if we search widely enough, can find ourselves a minority group into which we can fit. Even if you’re a white male, there’s always something about you — your religious or sexual proclivities, your dressing habits, your viewpoint on animals or voting rights or the 2nd Amendment — that will situate you...

A Dystopia Called Nacerima

When I was a boy, one of my grade school teachers passed out a Social Studies article about a faraway country called Nacirema. This crazy place was inhabited by natives with strange grooming habits and fanciful modes of transportation and peculiar foods — or at least it seemed that way based on the descriptions. Eventually,...

How the Media Feeds Us Our Cultural Rations

If you aren’t one of the few members of the Media Club, which regurgitates “stories” dreamed up by public relations professionals, you may be blissfully unaware that the popular culture you consume is driven largely by a system of payola that the practitioners prefer to call “news.” The Sunday Calendar section — or Arts, or...

Dog Fighting

My sweet old mutt, Ella, is napping in her corner bed, dreaming, I reckon, of squirrels that are slower than she and big plates of rare prime rib (bone in) that someone mistakenly, providentially, left on the floor for her to bolt. When she was much younger, thinking she was providing essential security for her...

Sicko

“Bowling for Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 911,” Michael Moore’s last two provocations disguised as “documentaries,” were entertaining (and infuriating) because they took on emotional issues — guns, and the Bush administration’s criminal incompetence — that genuinely have two sides to the ongoing story. As demonstrated by the result of our last presidential election, millions of Americans...

Escaping Reality

A billboard prominently displayed on Sunset Boulevard, in Hollywood, urges consumers to “Escape reality…live the fantasy.” In this case, the fantasy is a “Renaissance Faire,” one of those period-costume amusement park re-creations featuring bawdy lasses, brave knights and drunken fools — “’twas too much meade, I doth declare!” — which appeal to those who find...

Poem: The Unsaid Part

The luxury hotel is dreadful. Of course. Between sips of crisp white wine and sideways glances at the predator who tonight might consume or adopt, the mind dashes madly to that certain thing that always Gets a laugh. Do not show weakness. Do not need anything or anyone — and they will need you and...

Department of Predictions: In the Year 2107

From Revelations to Leonardo, Jules Verne to Arthur C. Clarke, mankind has dreamed about what the world will be like dozens or hundreds or thousands of years hence. All of us — well, most of us — wonder what will become of our planet, our culture, our government, our morals when we are no longer...