Living is easy with eyes closed,
misunderstanding all you see
It's getting hard to be someone but it all works out
It doesn't matter much to me
--Strawberry Fields Forever, The Beatles
Semolina pilchard, climbing up the Eiffel Tower
Elementary penguin singing Hari Krishna
Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen
--I am the Walrus, The Beatles
There is none so blind
As he who will not see
We must not close our minds
We must let our thoughts be free
--Everything is Beautiful,
The man who comes back
through the Door in the Wall
will never be quite the same
as the man who went out
--The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley
This article on the agrarian origins of all things repressive and succor in alcohol led me to the following riffs on a recent post on the two old druggies glad-handing in the White House, command central for the war on drugs (Just say NO!)
Mr. Obama mightn't have fit in with the boys and become the cool cuke we call President had he not found himself while chilling out under the influence. Sir Paul couldn't have done Lucy in the Sky and Sgt. Peppers without benefit of his drug-enhanced breaking through to the other side (though we might've benefited by missing out on Yellow Submarine.) Most pop musicians have probably been one toke over the line at one point or another.
This is not to advocate for drug use. Life is surreal enough sober, and transcendental understandings can come as easily to a sober mind as one under the influence. But one in five of us smoke tobacco cigarettes (American Heart Association), and the Centers for Disease Control say 443,000 people in the U.S. die prematurely from the effects of smoking or secondhand smoke. Add to that the 15,000+/- deaths per year caused by drunk driving, and the reasons for prohibiting "drugs" seem rather feeble.
In a world without drugs, would all music be of the Amy Grant-Urban Christian variety, and all writing be like Jonathan Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" or Anne Bradstreet's ode to her husband? Or worse, just vapid, like "Eat, Love, Pray"?
Of course, drugs are responsible for a lot of dross in the creative fields, too. Maybe we neither need drugs, nor need to banish them. People want what they want, and they will find a way to obtain that thing, legally or no. They don't always do right, and it is not government's role to shepherd them into the right corral.
It is government's job to stay solvent to provide for necessary services; to provide for the general welfare. To this end, they are not doing well. Perhaps this is one spot where they could staunch the bleeding and turn an "enemy" into a profit-maker.
Just a thought.
Labels: war on drugs hypocrisy