Saturday, April 14, 2007

Song And Dance

You hear about it, unfortunately, thousands of times in local media outlets all over the world every year. The sad consequence of a stupid choice. You play Russian Roulette too long and, eventually, the loaded chamber will turn up in front of the hammer. The laws of probability aren't a failsafe: They're a harsh truth. Sure, you've got a five in six chance of nothing but a click. But that doesn't make that one in six chance go away.

Kids dying of a heroin overdose.

Good kids, too. Good people who loved, cared, and lived good lives. Trouble is, they made a stupid choice, and paid the ultimate price for it. And it wasn't as if that one fatal dose was the only problem. Heroin is a problem from the moment you look at it. Once you cast your line, turning back becomes a long and painful road, one that's unfortunately less traveled by kids these days. Feeling good is alot better a prospect than fixing the problem's cause.

But, when good people who make stupid choices die, how do we remember them?

Once upon a time, a kid I knew died of an overdose. His girlfriend organized a benefit show in his memory. To benefit what, exactly?

Let's look at some cold facts. I know this is going to make me seem heartless and damn-near Arctic, but this is how it goes in the real world.

How can you organize a benefit to remember an overdose victim, when you yourself watched him kill himself, and allowed it to happen? If you loved the guy so damned much, why didn't you intervene? Had you stepped in, chances are better (but not perfect) that he'd still be with you right now, and you wouldn't need to hold a benefit. Sadly, the chances also are that you yourself were on the same juice that killed him. Drugs are commonly shared in relationships. You didn't stop him because that meant you'd have to stop, too.

Yeah, he was a good kid. But seriously. Why celebrate someone's death, caused by his own stupid choice? No matter how good you are to people, it still doesn't excuse making bonehead decisions like getting hooked on a drug like smack.

You can say that the drug has a power over people. Yes, it does. And yes, the quest for that next high drives people to do very stupid things in order to get there. But those people accepted 100% of the responsibility for their actions the first time they decided to ingest that venom. That choice sealed their fate.

And the choice they made to keep going, instead of getting help. And the choice you made by allowing him to do it. You and all of his so-called "friends." Noone stepped in. And now, you're crew is short one member. You're out the love of your life. The world is, indeed, out one good person.

Albeit one good person who made one incredibly stupid choice.

You know the risks of heroin going in. It's not like it isn't drilled into you by the the Drug War zealots, schools, and your parents, from a relatively young age. You know people can overdose and die. You know people will steal, degrade themselves, and even kill for that next high. You know what happens when you go through withdrawal...

All these horror stories. True. And yet still, people make this choice.

And you want to celebrate this choice?

If this show was to benefit anything, I'd think it'd be a rehab center or anti-heroin education.

Not just an excuse to let a few really shitty "hardcore" bands have a stage to act like they're 12 years old while you and your click, having learned nothing from this tragic loss, are in the back room, chasing that next high...