Me First Generation Inspired Our Drug Woes 

Me First Generation Inspired Our Drug Woes 
Posted by FoM on May 10, 2000 at 15:01:59 PT
By Gregory Kane
Source: SunSpot
The fourth installment of HBO's "The Corner" -- the six-part miniseries directed by Baltimore's own Charles Dutton -- aired Sunday night. Some charge that the drama paints a picture of Baltimore that is too grim and gritty.There are lessons to be learned from it, nonetheless. The most obvious lesson is that the baby boomer generation is almost solely responsible for America's drug nightmare.
"The Corner" follows the addiction of Gary McCullough and his ex-wife, Fran Boyd, and shows how their plight affects their 15-year-old son, DeAndre McCullough. Gary McCullough and Boyd grew up in the 1950s and 1960s. In one scene, Boyd reminisces about the get-high parties she attended in the early 1970s. Years later, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Boyd and her friends and siblings are still getting high. That's inevitable when a generation elevates taking drugs to a near cultural imperative.Yes, we did it. With our music, with our literature and with our movies. We did it at our campus parties in the late '60s and early '70s, when someone inevitably broke out a joint.Most of us tried the joint and then went on with our lives. But the Fran Boyds of the world, seeking a better high, moved on to harder drugs. As a group, we may have been the most hedonistic generation this country has ever had the misfortune of spawning. The leadership of the country is now in our hands. If the nation survives us, it will be a miracle.Look at America's first baby boomer president. It's significant that we had no one better to offer than William Jefferson Clinton. He's conducted himself like a true boomer. Others in his generation heeded the call to get high. Clinton has never failed to heed the screeching of his loins. He had a White House intern perform sex acts on him on (ITAL) our (ITAL) time, in (ITAL) our (ITAL) White House, and then misled the country about it. After he was impeached amid accusations of perjury and obstruction of justice, he didn't even have the decency to resign. He stayed in office, assuring us his conduct was no big deal.Boomers, true to our calling, embraced the idiot. What Clinton did with Monica Lewinsky, we insisted, was his own business. Once again, we boomers genuflected at the altar of Epicurean revelry.Compare Clinton's conduct to that of an earlier president from a different generation -- the one that grew up during the Depression and went through World War II. Richard Nixon's sins have been well documented. But when a constitutional crisis loomed and impeachment was imminent, Nixon refused to let the country go through it. He resigned. He did what was best for the country. Clinton has never failed to do what's best for Bill Clinton.David Simon and Edward Burns, in their book "The Corner," which inspired the HBO special, tell the tale of yet another man who came of age during the Depression and World War II. The story of Gary McCullough's father, William M. "W.M." McCullough, may or may not be told in the miniseries. But it is instructive. The elder McCullough came to Baltimore at the age of 14 with only $1.40 in his pocket. Within a day, he had a job at an iron foundry on South Charles Street. That was in 1942.W.M. stayed 12 years at the foundry before landing a better job at American Standard, a plumbing fixture manufacturer. Soon, he and his wife, Roberta, bought a house on Vine Street, where they raised 15 children. The ravages of the Depression didn't defeat W.M., nor did the backbreaking work he did at the foundry and American Standard. He saved his money and steered clear of drugs and booze while building a stable home life for his family.It was some of his children, like all too many in their generation, who took to drugs. William Jr. got hooked in the early 1970s. Gary, after some success as a businessman, fell in the mid-1980s.The generation that came after W.M. McCullough faced no Depression -- and racism and other social oppressions are no excuse for self-destruction. We lived in relatively prosperous times, which may have spoiled us. We became the country's premier "Me First" generation, devoted to the joy of pleasing ourselves."Can the war on drugs be won?" Dutton asks a cop in a scene from "The Corner.""No comment," the officer answers. A better answer might have been this: "Only if we place all baby boomers under house arrest."Published: Wednesday May 10 2000 SunSpot is Copyright  2000 by The Baltimore SunRelated Articles:What Should You Tell Your Kids About Your Drug Use `Youthful Indiscretions' Less Important Today
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Comment #12 posted by Suspect Stereotype on May 11, 2000 at 15:37:47 PT
It really sickens me...
to watch this man (the articles author) verbally debase himself for the "crimes" of his generation.This is exactly what is wanted from us. We must appologize again and again for the Hippy Movement. So this fool trots out on the stage, puts on the hair shirt, and publically flogs himself. Truely disgusting.The Sixties happened because cultural and historical dynamics decreed that they should happen.The WoD is payback for the Summer of Love.How dare we entertain such alien ideas such as peace and brotherhood. Our fathers died in WWII so we could live under the same regime they fought against. Everyone knows that.SheeshSSPS. First time I suspected that Uncle Sam was a liar was the day, like CongressmanSuet, I learned the term Watergate. I found out they weren't calling him "Tricky Dicky" because it rhymed.
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Comment #11 posted by freedom fighter on May 11, 2000 at 11:48:59 PT
As a baby boomer
I saw a man blowing a boy's head on TV live. I was only 13.And now I m blamed for the problems we are having makes no drug-sense   all. A couple weeks ago there was a NBC 70's movie and I was sad to see the distortion of what really had happened. \|/
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Comment #10 posted by CongressmanSuet on May 11, 2000 at 11:11:00 PT
Lets blame it all on the "Baby Boomers". Seems like I remember a time when it was "all" blamed on Black Jazz musicians, Chinese and Mexican immigrants. What makes this so insidious is the way they have found a way to broaden the definition of "Who is to blame". Now instead of a dreaded minority group to blame, we just target a whole generation...and Kap., I would have to say my eyes were first opened with Watergate.
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Comment #9 posted by Alexandre Oeming on May 11, 2000 at 07:39:44 PT:
Re: Kap't's request
There's such a difference in my self-confidence and personality between high school and college that i can't really remember what my views on politics were before 1993 (when i began college). I can say with certainty, however, that i first noticed my skepticism of our own gov't when i took my first toke in early 1994. I was extremely straight before college (not b/c of anyone telling me to be so, i just was ... i really didn't even know what MJ looked like!) and MJ and my connection to the usenet talk.politics.drugs group came into my life almost simultaneously. Hypocrisy and blatant oppression weren't too hard to pick out after that. I was raised with a deep appreciation for honesty, so these lies i was seeing with open eyes annoyed the s*** out of me, to no end. It still hasn't stopped. I hate the lies wrt the WOsD so much that i would kill myself before becoming the slime that have smoked and still call for current users to be punished. People that don't know the difference still have some chance at respect, but those that know the difference can burn, for all i care. (rant mode off)
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Comment #8 posted by Dankhank on May 11, 2000 at 05:47:37 PT:
MY Fault?
My younger brother who is the Director of Health and Safety at a major private University in Georgia believes this line of drivel, too. So does my Mom.They think that I was seduced by the counterculture and turned away from the "straight and narrow."This in spite of the fact that I spent 22 years and 23 days in the U S Army.Apparently they had hoped that immersion in the military culture would 'fix' me.It turns out that I learned much about the perfidy of the human animal while in the Army.I didn't, however succumb to the lies and hate.The 60's was about finding out the TRUTH.
Hemp n Stuff
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Comment #7 posted by MMMM on May 10, 2000 at 23:16:35 PT
It's not just the govnt...
We live in such a toy-power economy that money is more important than lives. Appearance is more important than content. Pharmaceutical revenue is more important than getting effective medications out on the market -- however, what really hit home with me was when the government lies and starts a war on drugs WHILE ALLOWING SICK AND DYING PEOPLE TO GO WITHOUT EFFECTIVE MEDICATION.THIS IS cruel and inhuman punishment for people who are the least able to fight back. Medical marijuana is approved by American in many states, but THE GOVERNMENT is against what the people want. Um, last time I heard, this country WAS a democracy, but obviously, it's in name only.We're in the decline of America just as history showed us the fall of the Roman Empire. And the ALL EMCOMPASSING CAUSE of this is "drugs". Heck no! It's because we have untrustworth people at the top. No real leaders or role models. No kid wants to grow up to be president anymore. When voting, we'e forced to chose from "the least of all evils". 
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Comment #6 posted by dddd on May 10, 2000 at 22:49:00 PT
Questionable government
In response to Professor Nemos' call,to reflect back to the point in time,when much to my chagrin,I realized that the Uncle Sam,which I had always thought was the red,white,and true blue defender of honor,and justice,was actually controlled by well masked,heavily embedded,devious elements,were the following;(my apologies for the ridiculously long sentence).. The first eye opener was Kent State,which really brought Vietnam to the forefront of the public eye.I believe that was sometime last week,in 1970.I was 15 years old.Back then the national press was relatively less controlled than the bought and paid for national media of today. I always new something stunk in government,but years later,what really convinced me was the film;"JFK". Of course,nowdays,it's hard to believe that there still exsists an apparent majority of misled citizens,who actually believe that the government is on the level. Thanx to the Kaptin for scaring up memories.......................dddd
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on May 10, 2000 at 19:35:39 PT
My 2 Cents
I don't have much to say accept that I thank God that the 60s happened. I was very sheltered but I'll never forget watching little parts of WoodStock on the news at night and feeling that I should be there! I felt a powerful connection with the WoodStock era. I know I'm not alone. It had to happen. It should be respected for the freedom that it brought to many oppressed people including me.Peace, FoM!
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Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on May 10, 2000 at 18:59:09 PT:
Another reason why the antis hate the '60s
A question for all who bother to read the comments: when did you first tumble to the fact that the government is capable of lying?Seriously, when did it hit you? Civics class? Talking with friends? Seeing something on the news that you had witnessed, but the story told was completely at odds with what you knew?For me it was Vietnam and the 60's but I didn't realize until long afterwards that that was one of many turning points. Because when the pols said we were winning, and the people on the ground getting shot at said we weren't, you could see someone was 'fibbing'.The antis of today are the ideological children of those who swore up and down that we could have won the war then if we had muzzled the press. (This is what the military means when they say they have 'learned the lessons of Vietnam". In their operations in Granada, in Panama, and the Gulf War they corraled the media and fed them the informational equivalents of dog chow; something so processed that it barely resembles the original product, but since it's all they are going to get, the press swallows it anyway) They advocated dealing even more harshly with dissenters, locking them up en mass and throwing away the key. Through the COINTELPRO program (whose targets were as divergent as Martin Luther King and quite probably the neighbor who spoke out against the war on your block) they sought to keeps 'tabs' on those they suspected of being treasonous. The 60's mean a time that (to them) the country teetered on the precipice of anarchy. Which accounts for the near mindless ferocity that show towards their prey; in their eyes, they are saving democracy by ensuring that those who would threaten the legitimacy of their rule - by merely questioning it! - never have the same kind of opportunity again. Yep, the 60s were at time of questioning. Questioning that those in power didn't like. Because the questions showed that habit, not thought, were at the heart of policy (benign neglect), that people were dying in an unwinnable war, and that those responsible for the prosecution of that war knew it (the Pentagon Papers) and that despite the very obvious truth of the near harmlessness of cannabis, the government fulminated about it so much that, given all the other lies it had told, it had got to the point that, like the little kid down the block always telling obvious fibs about himself, the government must be lying about that, too.The 60's, in essence were the last time the government could lie...and be believed. Nixon, may he be toasting marshmellows with old Mr. Horns and Pitchfork, actually did us a favor; he showed us that you really can't trust a government that doesn't trust you.Because it always lies to you. Just like it's lying about the DrugWar. And why it hates our questioning it's true motivations.
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Comment #3 posted by observer on May 10, 2000 at 17:31:52 PT
Demonizing the 1960s
(An excerpt from The New Temperance):It is not coincidental that advocates of the New Temperance have so strongly attacked behavior that they claim was at the heart of the "excesses" of the 1960s. The war on drugs and on many forms of sexuality has been fought as much for its symbolic value (i.e., as part of a strategy of eradicating the mythologized "60s") as for any of its more manifest purposes. Writing late in his life, Richard Nixon forcefully pointed us back to Woodstock as a symbolic reason for continuing the war on drugs: "Even today, when most of the prestige media have managed to crowd onto the anti-drug bandwagon, they could not help indulging in a revolting orgy of nostalgia during the twentieth anniversary of Woodstock. The smarmy retrospectives glossed over the fact that Woodstock's only significant legacy was the glorification of dangerous illegal drugs.... To erase he grim legacy of Woodstock, we need a total war against drugs." . . .Another key point about the role of the New Temperance in symbolically eradicating the "60s" is its constant use against members of the baby boom generation, particularly those who might be charged with having some relationship to the social movements of that period. It is not coincidental that Democratic Party politicians from Gary Hart to Bill Clinton have come under relentless questioning about their sexuality, prior drug use, and past participation in political demonstrations (although some Republicans such as former Supreme Court justice nominee Arthur Ginsburg have been caught in the net as well). Reminiscent of McCarthyism's "Are you now or have you ever been a Communist?" questions, political leaders (and many potential civic, corporate, and bureaucratic leaders) are now asked "Are you now or have you ever been a '60s'-style person?" That is, did you use drugs, engage in nonmarital sex, attend anti-war rallies, or burn a flag? 
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Comment #2 posted by fivepounder on May 10, 2000 at 15:59:12 PT
guilt trip
What a crock of an article. After you smoke that first joint all afterwards is due to that joint. Is this a script that ol' Barry edited?
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Comment #1 posted by MMMM on May 10, 2000 at 15:49:19 PT
Let's do the blame game....
Boomers caused the DRUG proliferation? No. Marijuana was used decades ago... in medications, too. It's the laws that caused the problems. Laws that now prohibit patients (and boomers) from getting the right medication. If there is such a think as karma, prohibitionists will rot through eternity. 
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