not so subtle
Monday, March 20 2000
We were watching an episode of the show Freaks and Geeks tonight. I've enjoyed earlier episodes, but tonight's script had been hacked into an unrealistic morality play by some anti-drug bonehead. This is the predictable result of a government policy of paying networks to hide messages in their programming. I've been aware of the government initiative for a couple months, but I've never seen anything quite this horrendous.
The way marijuana was presented in this episode, you'd think it was not too different from angel dust. "Be careful with this," the dealer advises as he makes his transaction, "it's powerful stuff." Then there's a locker scene where the pot-smoking freaks are expressing gossipy concern about one of their friends who "smokes too much." They admit that to "stay sharp," they can't be smoking all the time. It was the most stilted dialogue I've heard on broadcast teevee in a long time. Real pot smokers, of course, claim they can do anything while stoned, and that the only thing better than being stoned is being more stoned. They never have regrets about their pot smoking and never once consider what life would be without it.
Just once, I'd like to see drugs presented on broadcast television without any moralizing messages attached. Yeah, yeah, drugs are bad. Everybody knows that message. How about portraying drugs as they really are, with the real language and the real social dynamics? By no means is the reality of drugs a completely pretty picture, but by making up ugly aspects of drugs and thereby destroying realism, the only people who end up being pleased are the ones who don't know drug culture and aren't the targets of the anti-drug message. They're the ones paying, of course, and that money is just one of the many forces destroying the artform of broadcast drama.
Talk about media presentation of drug culture.
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