Thursday, January 19, 2012

Huey Lewis, Look No Further

In the twentieth century, we have seen the rise of the “common man’s” drug… 

and “designer” drugs… 

and pretty much all addictive drugs. (See here and here for excellent resources on the history and status recreational drug use in America)

In fact, prior to this era people were stuck with opium, tobacco, and alcohol to satisfy their recreational drug desires. It was a very boring time for those sorts of people. However, with the development and popularization of cannabis, heroin, amphetamines, LSD, cocaine, and a host of others as well as variants of these, drug users entered an exciting new era! There were drugs for the wealthy, the poor, and everyone in between. Plenty of new users joined in the fun of substance abuse! The 1960s and the 1970s were the golden age.

But then something happened.

Around 1980 or so, substance abuse in many of its forms began to decline! What was the matter? Were drugs becoming scarce? Maybe people were getting bored. Maybe they were just sick of all the side effects of those drugs. Huey Lewis and the News reflected this sentimentality in their hit 1984 single I Want a New Drug:

" I want a new drug
One that won't spill
One that don't cost too much
Or come in a pill "

Well, Huey, I've got news for you: the new drug is out! This is the miracle drug you were after; it doesn't affect your stomach, your equilibrium, or your energy (probably). It doesn't stick any nasty chemicals in your body or have any long-term effects on health (hopefully). Just pay a small monthly rate to a local provider and you'll get instant access with no hidden costs (usually). And the best part: it's totally (mostly) legal! I'm talking about the internet.

What? Were you expecting some substance to inject, ingest, or inhale? How pedestrian of you. This is the drug of the future! Don't believe me? See articles here, here, and here. The internet has been shown to have effects on the brain similar to those of cocaine. See, it's a designer drug! You should know, of course, that there is some risk of addiction. If you're worried about that sort of thing, I don't know why you wrote the song; either way, though, there is a community for people who suffer from internet addiction.

One great thing about this new phenomenon is its versatility: like throwing your money around? Get addicted to online gambling! Like talking? Get addicted to forums and chat rooms! There's an addiction out there suited to your wants and needs, just waiting for you to come along and try it. Careful, though. If you like the games you might want to watch yourself: one man died from playing video games for 50 hours straight, and a married couple let their infant daughter starve to death as they played a game which, ironically, consisted of raising a virtual child. It's all here. Just make sure that you game responsibly.

Have I not convinced you yet? I know you were looking for a drug that "makes me feel like I feel when I'm with you"; I don't know who you had in mind there, but maybe you should try out Facebook. Social networking lets you connect to people in ways you never have before; you aren't actually effectively communicating, but who can tell the difference? As long as you "feel" like you are getting close to someone, who cares if you actually are? No wonder this is one of the more popular addictions right now.

And for the person on the go, try cell phones! They're small, they're portable, and they cause dependencies as well! Again, keep in mind, there's support for you in case you get out of hand.

So stop inhaling smoke and start plugging in. The drug of the twenty-first century is here!

(To anyone not familiar with blatant verbal irony, this post is most certainly NOT intended to encourage substance abuse or addictive behavior of any kind. Don't do drugs.)

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