Life is like a dick; sometimes it becomes hard for no reason. On a hand, as in every drama, it contains many happy, angry, sad, and bitter scenes. On the other, like a hot bath, it feels good while you’re in it, but the longer you stay, the more wrinkled you get.
At the beginning of most dramas, actors are generally in high spirits to perform their best. At the start of our lives, most people feel excited to be alive. When the drama is ending, however, some people may be sick, or perhaps simply tired of the plot. Life is the same. As we age, we eventually get too old to do anything. At the end, all we have are our memories —and even they eventually fade.
But in some ways life differs from drama. Life can never be rehearsed. We have only one shot at life, and when we die there is no more laughing. Life also differs from a drama because it doesn’t forgive, as the real audience is also a court against which there is no appeal.
As Marlon Brando said, “most of the successful people in Hollywood are failures as human beings”, and anyone who has seen Philip Seymour Hoffman acting could sense a drama on its way to happening by realizing it was in his madness he became a terrifying actor —the part of you that’s going to do a great job is the part of you you want to most deny.
Hoffman’s death has been universally greeted as a tragedy. The world of cinema mourns.
Does the law also mourn? It lumps Hoffman together with thousands found dead with needles in their arms in urban backstreets. It treats them all as outlaws. But, are they?
Some people use illegal drugs because their lives are intolerably painful or dull, because it’s the only real personal adventure left to them in their time-constrained, law-and-order, property-lined world —and it’s also a good thing for standard society most addicts bleed on the inside, or this would be a gory, blood-smeared earth.
Such is the double standard that governs the regulation of addictive substances that we have had to develop separate universes. We therefore treat some as “responsible people”, the ones, leaving apart the pharmaceutical poison and religion, that use essentially the only two drugs that Western civilization tolerates: Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energize you enough to make you a productive unit, and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in. It is in the essence of our western civilization to turn nature into commodities and commodities into capital. The live green earth is transformed into dead gold bricks, with luxury items for the few and toxic slag heaps for the many. The glittering mansion overlooks a vast sprawl of shanty towns, wherein a desperate, demoralized humanity is kept in line with legal drugs, television, and armed force.
But, still, offices, schools, hospitals, prisons, even parliaments, are awash in illegal drug use. Their illegality is no deterrent. The courts could not handle proper enforcement; the prisons could not house so much “criminals”.
In Hoffman’s case, didn’t anybody see the elephant in the living room? His friends clearly knew, but the police would have done nothing had they known.
So what do we do? We turn a blind eye to an unworkable law and assume it does not apply to people like us. I think this absolutely disgraceful. Governments, supposed to be our governments, shouldn’t be in the position of converting people who are not harming others into criminals, destroying their lives, putting them in jail. Hospitals and police stations are littered each night with the wretched results.
There are no winners in the illegality of drugs, except the lucky ones who make money from it without getting caught. The only hope is that high-profile casualties such as Hoffman’s might lead a few legislators to see the damage done by these laws and correct their ways. The most raging addiction is inertia!
Sidenote: Answering your inevitable —at this point— question … I used to use drugs, now I make enough money!
Life is a dick – Dugutigui
In the “Diula” language in Mali, the term « dugutigui » (chief of the village), literally translated, means: «owner of the village»; «dugu» means village and «tigui», owner. Probably the term is the result of the contraction of «dugu kuntigui» (literally: chief of the village).