Andy Divine on the American Opioid Crisis. Political Observer comments

The reader marvels at Andy Divine’s latest essay , after some introductory remarks, a commentary on a ‘deeper American story’ that segues into this description of America’s Opioid Crisis:

The scale and darkness of this phenomenon is a sign of a civilization in a more acute crisis than we knew, a nation overwhelmed by a warp-speed, postindustrial world, a culture yearning to give up, indifferent to life and death, enraptured by withdrawal and nothingness. America, having pioneered the modern way of life, is now in the midst of trying to escape it.

Mr. Divine briefly mentions ‘the economic stress the country is enduring’ as the briefest description of the Crash of 2008, and ensuing Depression that is still with us in 2018. That  Crisis has led, ten years later, to an endemic cultural,existential, political despair about the present and the future. The corporation that is the capitalist model of our present and future is Jeff Bezos’ new Sweat Shop called Amazon. Mr. Divine avoids, at all costs, his advocacy and apologetics for the revelation of The Free Market, that has ended in catastrophe. He avoids the obvious reasons for the Opioid Crisis, except for ‘our own collapse in morality and self-control’ , this merde an integral part of the Neo-Conservative obsession with ‘Decadence’! The moral, political melodrama is framed :

The scale and darkness of this phenomenon is a sign of a civilization in a more acute crisis than we knew, a nation overwhelmed by a warp-speed, postindustrial world, a culture yearning to give up, indifferent to life and death, enraptured by withdrawal and nothingness. America, having pioneered the modern way of life, is now in the midst of trying to escape it.

Mr. Divine then asks the burning question: How does an opioid make you feel? He then spends six paragraphs explaining to the reader how the user feels, and names some of the celebrated users  ‘ including the poets Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats, and Baudelaire, and the novelist Walter Scott including the poets Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats, and Baudelaire, and the novelist Walter Scott — were as infused with opium as the late Beatles were with LSD.’ That Opoids and Hallucinogens are two distinct kinds of drugs is of no concern to this writer.

This followed by a potted history of The Poppy in American life, and other pressing matters like this about Neo-Conservative Daniel Bell:

It’s been several decades since Daniel Bell wrote The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, but his insights have proven prescient. Ever-more-powerful market forces actually undermine the foundations of social stability, wreaking havoc on tradition, religion, and robust civil associations, destroying what conservatives value the most. They create a less human world. They make us less happy. They generate pain.

Or this ‘if’ on Marx, that Bret Stephens found to be eminently quotable:

If Marx posited that religion is the opiate of the people, then we have reached a new, more clarifying moment in the history of the West: Opiates are now the religion of the people. A verse by the poet William Brewer sums up this new world:

Where once was faith,

there are sirens: red lights spinning

door to door, a record twenty-four

in one day, all the bodies

at the morgue filled with light.

Not to be missed is Mr. Divine’s last compellingly readable paragraph, in which he dons the Prophet’s Robe, imagine the scene, starring Charlton Heston, in Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 Hollywood blockbuster Biblical kitsch ‘The Ten Commandments’:

We have seen this story before — in America and elsewhere.
The allure of opiates’ joys are filling a hole in the human heart and soul today as they have since the dawn of civilization. But this time, the drugs are not merely laced with danger and addiction. In a way never experienced by humanity before, the pharmaceutically sophisticated and ever more intense bastard children of the sturdy little flower bring mass death in their wake. This time, they are agents of an eternal and enveloping darkness. And there is a long, long path ahead, and many more bodies to count, before we will see any light.

Political Observer

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/02/americas-opioid-epidemic.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer.
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