Business as Usual

Cinco de Mayo. May 5th. No, it’s not Mexican independence day. The 5th of May marks the Mexican defeat of French troops at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Let’s celebrate, amigos.  What were the French doing in Mexico then? Well, they were there to collect a debt. Does it make any difference why they were there, really?  Did the French learn anything by their defeat? Seems not, since theywere defeated by Vietnamese forces in the 1950s. Call it history’s business-as-usual. There’s plenty of misadventures in the history books.  War and peace. Heaven and hell.  A fight to the finish. Love and hate. To the victor goes the spoils, blah blah.   Can’t we all just bloody well get along? Don’t hold your breath.  Racial, ethnic and religious factors spark a lot of conflict. You don’t need a history book, just turn on a newscast. It’s a wounded madhouse!  It’s enough to drive one to drink…

…and disturb one’s sleep.

Reality can be hard to swallow. So, how do we cope?  You need to change the mental scenery, and one strategy or another can help. Maybe a few brews cut it for some, but for others…the booze or even a hit of MaryJane can’t cut through the muck that seemingly darkens the human soul and triggers so much external and internal conflict.  Need a distraction? Need something that’ll really knock you into a new state of mind? Not alcohol, not cigarettes, not your teenage son’s pot, or even those prescription drugs you’ve been abusing. You need to blot it all out! Well, there’s a market for such a need…

…cue the drug cartels, especially those Mexican cartels. They supply the real mind-benders that’ll alter whatever reality is causing one some angst. Angst? These illicit business honchos really have a lot of people jittery. Cue the cops. Authorities on both sides of the Mexican border are busy trying to win another battle of historic proportions, the War on Drugs;  the news continues to report (and show)  corpses, many headless or otherwise dismembered. The dead are usually members of a rival cartel. Turf wars. To better serve their customers, and control the market, a few heads have to roll, ok?  Hey, it’s a business model.  Remember the immortal words of Gordon Gecko: greed is good. Why share the market when you can dominate it? Ask Apple or Wal-Mart about that concept. So, what do the cartels supply their consumers with?:  blow, snow, skag, flake, nose candy, blue heaven, poppers, snappers, ludes, horse or shrooms, among street names for heroin, cocaine, meth and beyond, each of a potential lethal endgame. 

And the obvious dangers of such consumption never seem to hurt the cartel operation’s bottom line. Business never seems to slack off.   There’s always someone needing that fix, from the people of privilege to the the denizens of Desolation Row.  Angst is a pervasive part of having a heartbeat, apparently, for many of all income and class designations.  

In pursuit of happiness… 

… so give me a valium, a vicodin or two, a line to snort, a needle and a spoon, that’ll be my retort, a reply to my disappointment, a soothing psychic ointment, relief that can’t come too soon.  Give me librium or give me meth!  Give me a new vision, a glittering temple of the mind, a psychedelic shrine, a serene scene for the soul. Beam me up, send me along, make me whole, make me strong; our nada who art in nada…nada be thy name… 

Or suck it up, you weak kneed wusses and just have a Corona with a lime, and recall Puebla, back in time…and nevermind…nevermind.

About jharrin4

mass communication/speech instructor at College of DuPage and Triton College in suburban Chicago. Army veteran of the Viet Nam era.
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