I was going to write about this inane finger-wagging from that longtime defender of basically medieval Parliamentary democracy, The Toronto Star:
There were so many bits, too. Like agreeing that nothing political happens in the street. But you’re lucky, Chantal Hebert, because Margaret Wente was watching the Ken Burns prohibition documentary while abusing her Dexedrine prescription and doing shots of instant coffee espressos (I invented those once to impress a girl).
Wente, of course, shows us that Half of all Americans and The California Medical Association – two groups she lumps together as “social progressives”- Libertarians, Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs and Neil Reynolds all agree that drugs should be legalized. How does she prove this? By saying so. And, as you can see, because she manages to quickly list off every possible category of person, saying is clearly enough. But where’s the twist? Where’s the Wente perspective on taking drugs to write columns to take drugs to?
What is it with Globe writers and reading a single book and thinking that they’ve been given an honorary degree? Last week it was Simpson blathering on and on about the war of 1812 not being so hot, as if that’s an insight about wars, and here we have column-favourite Wente tossing off lines like “Just ask the parents of any 15-year-old who’s developed a taste for weed”:
All this because of one book that has given Margaret Wente all the information she needs. Historically, one book has been all you ever needed to understand everything. Think of understanding hating corporate vampires without reading No Logo, or knowing what God wants us to do without reading the Bible. Clearly, one book is all you need to be an expert, so long as you agree with the book. And as long as the book is “information-packed”, right?
Well, at 256 pages, it must have a lot of information. By my estimation, that’s at least half as much information as Fingerprints of the Gods, and boy, howdy, did that book have a lot of information. Did I mention that FotG contained everything I ever needed to know about the true origins of civilization?
That amends the list, then: No Logo, Bible, Fingerprints of the Gods, Drugs and Drug Policy. And I guess To Kill A Mockingbird. And that’d be everything you needed to know. But enough about my favourite movie novelization of all time, and back to this book that solves the problem of drugs, and why the police won’t let us have them despite the fact that they are clearly so fun.
Wow, it sounds just like Traffic, doesn’t it? Wente laments that, as dreamy as they are, Cocaine and Heroin will likely never become legal. Because of “public sentiment”!
Finally, and I say finally because her actual conclusion Wente points out what we already all know, deep down in our hearts: we’re not doing Coke and/or smack because we’re pussies who don’t want to break the law. Abcesses and septum damage? Nothing to do with my decision to keep my distance from foo-foo dust and horse. Gremmies. Junk. Shabu. Aunt Hazel. Belushi. Of course, probably the best anti-drug campaign of all time is this photo:
Drugs will probably turn you into Keith Richards hanging out with the bad guys from The Crow. If you’re lucky.
About the author: Matt Collins reads and judges the four major newspapers every week.
You can read past volumes of No Good News [here]