Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Tai chi ... chai tea

The Chicago Free Press this week just covers the hell out of crystal meth (apparently for the second time in a month) and fourth time in a year. After the Michael L. Jackson cabbie killing and the Howard Brown development director bust, it's obviously a big deal. They tackle it from every conceivable angle, and paint an extremely frightening picture. And yet, it left me wanting much more.

Now, I'm pretty much a civil libertarian when it comes to issues like the legalization of drugs. The fact is, they're widely available regardless of the laws. But I read enough this week to think that the gay community, at least, is really hurting itself. My guess is that our meth epidemic is probably based on an interplay of self-hatred and physical pleasure. Not too dissimilar to our HIV epidemic. Very simply put, we still don't like ourselves or each other very much, and we do what we can to distance ourselves from that. Physical pleasure -- intense physical sensation of any kind -- is a good way to get your mind off of your crappy life. So are drugs and alcohol. The better we deal with all that, the more likely we are to create real change.

Until then, however, there are concrete things we, as a community, can do outside law enforcement solutions or even therapeutic solutions. One way might be to boycott Fireball. With apologies to Camille Paglia, the body worship, A-list, orgiastic world of Fireball has negative repercussions for both attendees and the rest of us. Obviously, the selfish hedonism represented by Fireball will find its level - those who want to party & play will find a way to do it with or without this outlet. But to me, there's an inextricable link between the crisis that we are experiencing and the mindless exclusionary world of a Fireball.

So why not boycott Fireball?

That means you, Free Press. If it's true that 20%-30% of the attendees were on this killer drug during the circuit party, and that there are legitimate concerns about financial impropriety, and that the gosh darn founder overdosed there a year ago (before he killed the cabbie this year) ... maybe it's time for you to distance yourselves a bit.

Boycott Fireball, Free Press.

While we're at it, as a community, we can boycott Bacardi, Steamworks, Ice Mountain, and the other sponsors. (Ice Mountain knows exactly why bottled water is so popular at these events.)

Boycott Fireball and its sponsors, anyone?


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