Strung Out…Big Time


It may be because it’s raining right now or I just watched a powerful video on the events of 9/11 that I’m posting this photo. Somehow this drug addict seems emblematic of the mental state of our President. Scrounging around for the next media high to fuel his insatiable ego, regardless of the suffering involved.

This poor guy and Donald Trump desperately need help. I pray they get it.

Nearly Dead


It’s heard to completely understand the opioid crisis until you see it up close and personal.

K2 Strikes Again


There’s a new synthetic marijuana around here that would appear to be taking a real hold on the pot smokers. It’s called K2 and if you’ve never heard of it, I hadn’t, look it up. The dealers on the path that we take every day through Boston Common to get to the subway are really messing their customers up. The tragedy of this scene is that less than 200 yards from where this kid is lying, there are million dollar condos with very rich people in them that don’t give a damn about him.

No wonder there are so many people that are fed up with the great divide between rich and poor.

Bucolic Boston to Drug Alley


The distance between the photographs in my previous post and this one is about 100 yards.

Drug of Choice?

It use to be the one below.

Pretty simple to use. Open the bottle and keep the glass full. The addiction for some never came but, for others 1 drink became too many and 20 wasn’t enough. For those folks the only real cure was total abstinence.  Very hard to achieve but the choice was pretty clear. Do it or die.

Many abstained… A higher percentage of the addicted didn’t stop.

They died.


Now things are different. Much more complicated.

Our modern drug is more sneaky. It doesn’t come with a warning label. Pregnant women and young children use it all the time. It can be very useful and wonderfully entertaining. Total abstinence is almost impossible.

But the price for becoming addicted is crippling personal isolation in a digital world teaming with digital avatars masquerading as real flesh and blood. We “friend” ,”link”,”tweet” and “post” (as I’m doing now) in an amorphous electronic universe populated by those who interact by tapping symbols on plastic or glass. 

We’d do better sitting together on a couch eating popcorn and arguing about California Chrome’s chances for the triple crown.

Or even, yes ignore what I said above, some bar stools cheering for the Red Sox.





Creativity’s Emergency Switch

Kill(ing) Switch

Booze and creativity are a celebrated pairing in artistic folklore. Ernest Hemingway, Dorothy Parker, Raymond Chandler, Jackson Pollock all drank like hell and produced great stuff, right? The fact that what they drank eventually killed them is conveniently forgotten, because it’s much more fun to believe that alcohol frees inhibitions and helps to access one’s muse rather than slows reflexes, rots the brain and promotes paranoia.

However, before I sound too much like Carrie Nation it must be said that a few belts of vodka indeed can, on occasion, be creatively helpful because muzzling our superficial jabbering consciousness can help release intuitive insight from a deeper well. Saying it differently, without some kind of mental conditioning, (meditation, yoga et al) our minds are rarely peaceful enough. Getting a good buzz-on can numb past regrets and future fears enough to let in the whispers of an heretofore blocked creative direction.

So far so good, but there’s a downside to late night searches for artistic breakthroughs at McSorley’s Saloon. Relying on chemicals to unblock creativity eventually becomes a loser’s game. Creative substance abuse can’t be sustained. The body builds up a tolerance for the drug of choice and more and more is needed to keep a decent high going. Then more and then even more isn’t enough. Alcohol, cocaine, heroin, it doesn’t matter, eventually the stuff kills.

Keith Richards excepted of course.

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