May 19th, 2014


(no subject)

Last night we watched Gravity. I didn't really know anything about it going in, and I'm not sure my amusement was an appropriate response, but as it turns out OMG IT COULDN'T POSSIBLY GET ANY WORSE!!?!111 (in space) movies are for some reason hilarious in my head.

I made three keepers for Cullen's boots while it was playing, but mostly I watched it and the cgi was pretty cool. Also, nice of them to acknowledge that space is silent and have more realistic explosions. But I'm still trying to work out how Wosserface (she had a name, right?) managed to do all that space-crobatic stuff on CRITICALFLASHING1%OXYGENMOTHERFUCKER amounts of air, then stopped to have a conversation with Floating-Off-Into-Space Guy for a couple of minutes before going into the breathable place. I guess because Moar Suspense, and It Couldn't Possibly Get Any Worse...

Anyway, I recommend it. It was dead hilarious and had good bits and I actually did want her to live. All positives. I suspect that Super Space Geeks would get pissed off with it.

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This morning this came on my radar. Mexican cannabis growers are apparently turning to opium. According to the article, this has been a trend over the last few years since 2007, and the demand for heroin in the US has increased 75% in that time. The DEA says that it's a flow-on from prescription medicine abuse, that people are seeking heroin because they are addicted to Oxycodone and it's cheaper, and that cartels are 'putting pushers outside methadone clinics' in order to boost sales.

Meanwhile, Mexican farmers are saying that it's the slow legalisation of cannabis (including medicinal marijuana growing) that is reducing the street price and harming their livelihood. Opium is now a better option for them.

I have no doubt that prescription drug abuse is an increasing problem in one of the most medicated countries in the world. I have no doubt that legalising marijuana is reducing the profits to drug cartels. I am less sure that there are pushers outside methadone clinics drumming up business for heroin - I thought the myth of the pusher was well dead and buried by now. And also, in Western countries heroin statistics are almost inextricably tied to levels of inequality. The greater the inequality, the higher the rate of problematic heroin use. Last time there was a surge in heroin misuse, when heroin culture became a thing, was in the late 70s and early 80s, just before and during the Reagan/Thatcher years - coincidentally the last time that the inequality gap was suddenly widened in a major way.

I'd suggest that the reason for the increase in heroin demand in the US is complex and very likely includes many factors, those mentioned in the article included. However, I think that if we ignore the increasing inequality that came along with the GFC as a factor, the picture will never be accurate and therefore the problem will be much more difficult to address. I know the DEA's job is enforcement, but the reality is that when it comes to addictive harmful drug misuse as an artefact of inequality, enforcement is about the least useful way of addressing it. You know?