Back in the 60s and 70s the drugs of choice were marijuana, LSD and heroin. Though the Beatles may have actually never wrote in I am the Walrus, but the refrain was popular as hell: ” Everybody smokes pot”. For most of my peers, the ones who learned to grow their hair a bit longer, male or female, marijuana was cool. A smaller number of my peers would drop acid, whereupon it would open up the ‘ Doors of perception’ , sometimes to never have them close back. Not for me. You had a smaller percentage who dared to try ‘ horse’ , as that white powder was called then. I never did. Some friends, only one or two, actually went down that sorry road. Pot was fun. The other things were too drastic, even deadly. One can recall, as the 70s rolled in, how President Nixon issued orders to spray marijuana fields in Mexico with powerful herbicides, or just burn them down. Meanwhile, LSD and heroin were easier than shit to get a hold of. Ever ask yourself why?
The 80s brought cocaine center stage. It took off like a Bezos’ rocket! You just rolled up a 100 dollar bill ( to be gauche) and sucked it up the schnozzle. Coke had the opposite effect of pot and heroin. You became ultra focused, speaking in tongues without the mumbo jumbo. The high didn’t last too long, which was good for whomever you bought it from. By the end of the decade it seemed like everyone you met at the disco was flying on the stuff. Sometimes they would fly to the nearest bathroom, because the dealers usually cut it with baby laxative, a sure lookalike powder. DePalma’s film Scarface captured the glitter and evil of that whole lifestyle, exaggerated as it was. As with pot and heroin in the decades previous, cocaine could bring fortunes and even easy side money to those who dealt it.
Slowly, and sadly too surely, from the 90s and up until the present, opioids took center stage. Pills like Oxycontin, which was prescribed for years as pain medicine, now gave a ‘ heroin like’ relaxation at a much cheaper price. Then the new drug of choice for opioid users was Fentanyl, another prescribed severe pain medicine. So many people across America are hooked on those two drugs. It has become an epidemic. People transcending all demographics, with the usual focus on low income individuals, will travel hours to pain clinics to get these drugs… legally. Well, not that legal. Whore doctors sell their souls for the mega bucks they can make at these clinics. Of course, the Big Pharma companies that manufacture these drugs have a whole industry geared by their army of marketers and salespeople to push this crap. They know, deep inside their black hearts, that most of those pills are sold black market to mega millions of opioid addicts.
Ok, so those are the most evident drugs of choice for us Americans. Not really. When you think of it there are other drugs of choice that we take for granted every single day:
* The Boob Tube– 90% of what is on the screen is low brow inane humor, violent action drama for 10 year olds, and newspeak. Plus, Big Pharma has inundated the airwaves with slews of commercials touting drugs for just about anything… ALL with side effects. The insurance industry, especially in auto and health, rams their propaganda 24/7. They got my football hero from 50 years ago, Joe Namath, to push their inferior Medicare Advantage plans ( ” It’s Free!!” ). Like the little kid from the 1919 Black Sox Scandal yelling out to his hero Shoeless Joe Jackson, I say now ” Say it ain’t so Joe!”
* The Two Party Political Scam- Most industrialized nations have multiparty systems… but not ours! Regardless of the BS rhetoric about how multiparty systems are not as efficient, the truth is that our USA two party system is a total ‘Escape from reality’. Isn’t that what drugs do to us? When it comes to key issues of national importance, the Republicans and Democrats both serve their masters of empire. They drug the majority of us who follow one or the other into believing that ‘ Your vote counts’ etc. Yet, for the most part, this Military Industrial Empire owns us lock , stock and barrel. They know that they, the super rich, control the electoral process through lots and lots of money spent for propaganda. John Q. Public can only obtain office by A) hooking up with one of the two parties, B) having lots of money or sponsors with oodles of cash, and C) spouting policy opinions that are compatible with the party they are supporting. If you stick to a principled stance on issues…. campaign support dwindles.
* The ‘Gadgetitis’ drug – I once sat, before the pandemic hit, in my favorite Japanese restaurant on a Sunday afternoon. There were four other tables occupied. The young couple, 30 something, at the next table to me did not engage in one word of conversation. They both sat opposite of each other immersed in gadgetitis…oblivious to each other. The table of four ( two couples) behind me had four gadgets mesmerizing each holder, with little or no real conversations going on. Ditto for the table of three by the door. It seemed as quickly as the patrons got to the place and were seated nothing was imperative but to sink into the electronic When you go to the fitness center there is as much Gadgetitis as there is old fashioned conversation. This is why, in this modern culture, so few Americans have good verbal skills. No one talks…. they TEXT!!
* THE Phony Patriotism drug- During this pandemic, which almost the entire right wing Republican Party said was a hoax, the phony patriots have come out of the woodwork. Led by the textbook megalomaniac, narcissist, misogynist and sociopath Trump, the phony patriots have been running rampant. Of course, after he singlehandedly allowed perhaps hundreds of thousands of Americans to die unnecessarily from the virus, he then got vaccinated and advised others to. Meanwhile, his cabal of phony patriots most likely received the monoclonal antibody treatments, which usually cost over $2000 each dose. Of course, most of the fools who followed this Pied Piper over the cliffs of reason never did receive such relief. How many right wing talk show hosts are now dead because they believed Trump and co. and remained anti vaxers and anti maskers? If you viewed, in detail, the January 6th riot at the Capitol, you would see just how Anti Patriotic their behavior was. This is how powerful drugs work gang. How dare those people call themselves patriots!!!?
If we all wish to live in a more ‘ Drug Free’ nation then digest all that this writer has presented to you.
Philip A Farruggio is regular columnist on It’s the Empire… stupid website. He is also frequently posted on Nation of Change, and Countercurrents.org,. He is the son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen and a graduate of Brooklyn College, class of 1974. Since the 2000 election debacle Philip has written over 400 columns on the Military Industrial Empire and other facets of life in an upside down America. He is also host of the ‘ It’s the Empire… Stupid ‘ radio show, co produced by Chuck Gregory. Philip can be reached at email@example.com