Maybe it's just me, but it almost seems like a real crime to me for someone involved in something other than entertainment-related journalism to be so wasteful and dismissive of the opportunity that they have to be a real force for change in this world. I'm thinking of this because that was my reaction to Slate Magazine's article, Meth Madness at Newsweek
and it actually pissed me off enough to write them a letter.
For all the good that does, I know.
It's just that I'm always offended by waste. Waste of resources, waste of energy - in this case, the waste of a writer's opportunity to affect an audience and give them information that they could actually use
to make the world a better place.
No, it's much easier to, as ~R~ used to put it, be 'clever, clever, relevant never'. It's much more amusing
to give the finger to Newsweek
and show them up for being 'scare-mongers' - which they are, I won't argue that - than it is to provide an example of what it is that Newsweek
should actually be - a magazine staffed with writers who wish to do more than sensationalize and stun their readers, maybe actually involve
them in the story in a meaningful and worthwhile way. In a way that leads to a change in the American public's habit of being spectators in the Bread and Circuses parade of what we should be afraid of today.
Yeah, fuckin' hippie, I know. Well, fuck me then.
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 18:50:17 -0700 (PDT)
From: "D. " <********@yahoo.com>
Subject: Meth Article is Clever but Irrelevant
Though this can be said of just about any article -
you can't please all the people all the time, of
course - I found Jack Schafer's article on 'Meth
Madness at Newsweek' offensive and shallow.
While the death count due to meth may be low by Mr.
Schafer's standards, the effects of this particular
drug are painful and terrible in the extreme, maybe
precisely because it doesn't kill as many victims but
instead allows for thousands of walking wounded. If
the author of the article had perhaps personally known
as many people as I have who have gone from being
human beings to barely sentient corpses, he might not
be so dismissive of the horror that meth causes.
There are people that I know who would perhaps be
better off dead than continuing to just barely
survive, bringing pain to themselves and their
relatives and friends who have to watch the
disintegration of a functional person into a skeleton
with little more than an appetite to carry them
forward from one day to the next.
Taking the opportunity to poke fun at Newsweek is one
thing, but the time might have been better off spent
flexing some actual journalistic muscle and going out
to maybe interview some of the victims - the users and
those who try to help them out of their use - than
just gathering statistics and making clever jibes.
Perhaps suggesting ways in which the American public
could be involved in creating a cure, in the form of
activism to change existing 'war on drugs' legislation
or providing information on treatment programs or
volunteer opportunities for those who really give a
damn about being a part of the solution instead of
just being an audience - that might have been a
valuable use of the platform that journalism provides.
Just a thought.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Yeah. Fuck me.