That Was Sooo Six Months Ago
Your new column "Some Frequently Asked Questions" [“On Sea Lions, Space Elevators, Swanson, Lorenzo Lamas and More!” Feb. 22-28] is a transparent imitation of “The Areas of My Expertise,” and it embarrasses me to think that there are people living in this city who actually find this forced randomness funny. This writing style is tired, irritating, and it shows an incredible lack of creativity.
I'm curious if either Ms. Carr or the unfortunate editor assigned to this piece actually laughed at it even once. Or were you so absorbed in the task of aping a literary style from six months ago that you didn't even stop to consider your audience?
Sometimes I wish you weren't a free paper just so I could cancel my subscription.
The last couple of weeks I've been reading the letters from your readers about meth [“Run a Red for Meth” et. al.]. Being a former user, dealer and now author on the subject, I feel compelled to add my two cents on the issue. For years in the late ’50s and early ’60s speed was thought to be a wonder drug. Doctors prescribed it left and right in the form of Benzedrine to cure everything from depression to revitalizing tired housewives. In this day and age when we are under so much pressure to do more in less time, it does, unfortunately, seem to be the perfect antidote.
In my book, Tales From The Tweak Side, I wrote: "Speed doesn't lend itself very well to glamour or elegance. It is rough, aggressive and very, very fast. It is underground, paranoid, dirty and ugly. People close and lock their doors, draw the shades over their windows and generally hide from the outside world when they do speed. It is shadowy and frightening at times. But what it lacks in social graces it more than makes up for in strength and raw power. And it is these raw elements that give it and its users the ability to do the most incredible things. It allows you to do more of everything that you ever wanted to do. Most importantly it gives you more time. The average person is awake for about 12 to 18 hours a day. In that time you get maybe 8 to 10 productive hours a day. On speed you can double that amount. Triple that amount, hell on a bender you can get 72 or more productive hours out of a 'day.' It’s unbelievable! It’s fantastic! It’s no wonder that it’s so popular."
That being said, this kind of behavior is inherently dangerous. Especially when one uses it week after week, month after month, for years on end—it does indeed take its toll. Lives are ruined, brains are addled, bodies are wrecked, and these are the lucky ones who didn't go to prison.
But here in America we worship the here and now: If it feels good, do it; if you want it, grab all you can get. We are stressed to the breaking point to do more, buy more, be more, work more, make more. We can never have enough. This drug delivers the drive that we need to keep up with all these demands, and in these times of hyper-consumerism, when everyone is racing around demanding more of everything, is it any wonder that there is a meth epidemic in this country?
Free to Choose
I was very saddened by this last letter [RE: Letters, "This Is Your Life On Speed,” Feb. 22-28] and the potential effect it is going to have on your readers. It was full of the typical "meth is horrible—no questions asked" bullshit. It was just the typical case of an out-of-control drug fiend, which is simply not the case with every person who uses meth, drinks alcohol or uses other drugs. In all my years of meth use, I have never met anyone even close to this extreme! And yet, the letter writer’s example is all you see in the anti-meth ads, news specials, satires about meth, etc. It's disgusting!
Nobody seems to focus on the fact that every situation is as unique as a snowflake and deserves a chance to occur if it's not directly harming others. My experiences with meth were more of enlightment, intense creative expression and consistent affirmations of the divine—surely not your typical "one way ticket to misery" as Deborah Rivera so calls it and seems to believe it has to be for everyone. I'm not only "rooting for meth," but for every one of our God-given rights and the freedom to make our own choices—without having to spend the rest of our lives locked up in cages for making them. When people allow the blame to be placed on drugs, drug dealers and drug users because there are negative sides to drugs (there are positive and negative sides to everything), corrupt forces sneak in and use it to their advantage. We live in a world where every dollar counts and where every joy and experience can distract us from producing (or wanting to produce) those dollars for ourselves (or for others who wish to take them from us).
People need to wake up and realize that a world "free" of any form of personal exploration and experimentation is truly not a "free" world at all and may be just what money-hungry, soulless, selfish jerks need to more efficiently keep people working to the bone for them. Overwork a poor soul to death and you'll see what happens, it's just as sad and pathetic as what happens to people who overdo meth—or any substance, for that matter. The difference is that the choice is in someone else's hands. Somewhere, people seem to be tragically missing the point.
Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter.