Schlagwort-Archive: English

Drug Tales


Societies are coined by their rules. Rules evolve, grow, diminish, change, are abolished or introduced. Rules reinforce a certain mindset or, a certain mindset reinforces a rule.
Some shift in the public opinion, new scientific findings, beliefs, political aims and rules are changed. This isn’t bad at all. It is just important to remember, that rules have grown, and are constantly outgrown.
In his book Chasing the Scream Johann Hari describes the circumstances in which a new set of rules came into existence. The Prohibition of certain drugs, like cocaine, heroin and marijuana, which are now illegal in most countries around the globe. Before the Prohibition these drugs were sold freely and there were many products which contained them in small amounts.
Johann Hari shows, that this Prohibition was a Choice. It was made, promoted and reinforced by people with a certain mindset and certain aims. Shockingly racist ideas and actions where at the heart of the Prohibition: Drug use was attributed to black people who were allegedly behaving antisocial or even criminal in its wake, “forgetting their place”. White drug users weren’t prosecuted likewise. Billie Holiday, one of the greatest artists of all time, was prosecuted and died due to the treatment she received.


Johann Hari doesn’t belittle the potential harms of drug use. On the contrary, he focuses on them. He has himself witnessed what harm drugs can do to a person. But he also shows, that by the way we treat addiction, we add to that harm rather than diminishing it.
The Prohibition of drugs never grew out of its unscientific, preachy, socially cold and racist foundations. A lot of the things we believe to know about drugs are myths created by people who wanted to wipe addiction from the face of the earth.
In his book Johann Hari shows it is high time to question the Prohibition of Drugs, which by now has evolved to a War on Drugs with thousands of deaths, among law enforcers, drug distributors and innocent bystanders alike.
I recommend this book for everyone with five paws. It is the most important book I have read this year. The book has been published in german by S.Fischer: Drogen, die Geschichte eines langen Krieges.
5 pfoten copy


Circling thoughts


Mae has secured a job in the most fascinating firm of the world. She’ll earn a lot of money in a cool office. Her parents are about to get their insurance paid. She is beside herself with joy. But we all know she’ll have to make some painful choices and pay a horrible price as this book is a dystopia. It is Dave Eggers „The Circle“.

And what choices can a woman make? It has to be a choice between men, of course. There is Mercer her EX, whom she still likes though she doesn’t admit it to herself. Then there is Kalder, a mysterious co-worker or spy, with whom she has hot sex. But he disappears again and again and is unreachable. We all know how important it is for women to be called… Then there is the plain guy. He is reachable, nice most of the times and he is vulnerable. We all know how much women like vulnerable men. He’s a zero in bed though.

And then there are the Three Wise Men. The founders and so on of the Circle. Wow. There’s the mysterious one. The fatherly one. And one is a predator (sharklike capitalist).

Now, I don’t want to get into details about the rest of the book, because it is so predictable in the first place. I only want to add that besides unconvincingly stupid or cliché characters and a very boring plot the book has some important things to say about our habits of using the internet, especially social media, and how dangerous that can be. I recommend anyone interested in these topics to read „No place to hide“ by Glenn Greenwald. Or „1984“ by George Orwell. There are also some parts in „The Circle“ that illustrate this problem pretty good. It is just not enough to read the boring, and one might argue misogynist rest.

1 pfote copy