Lay off Amy Winehouse.

At a Sunday bike fix not long ago Val had some music playing on his bike’s loudspeakers. It’s a setup with an old car amp and speakers on panniers on the back of the bike running off an ipod. Kinda dinky.

A song came on with the most beautiful smokey blues voice and I asked him who was singing. Sure enough it was Amy Winehouse singing “Back to black” from her latest album. I was very impressed. I had no idea quite how good she is.

The discussion came up about her supposed drug use. Fancy that, a musician doing drugs. What will the world come to! ;-) Of course, when you think about it drug use has sometimes seemed almost mandatory for anyone in the arts and music scene. Before there was heroin and tablets there was always wine, hash and opium. For many thousands of years these things were available legally.

It is no coincidence that opiate drugs work so well because they fit the endorphin receptors in the human brain. How many thousands of years were these plants cultivated by humans for exactly that purpose?

A large part of the complaint about Ms Winehouse came from the US trash media. I’m beginning to wonder if it wasn’t because they’re jealous of her talent. The US media seem to think they’re the whole point of evolution and planetary development sometimes.

Not to mention inventing the war on drugs. Using “save the children” (TM) as a cover, in spite of the drugs industry in the US being second only to petrochemicals as a money spinner and many large drug companies being based in Texas… conservative politicians have created a you-beaut-wonderful straw man to use as a whipping boy to distract punters every time another one of them gets busted for snorting crack and screwing street kids. There isn’t really a war on drugs or the troops in Afghanistan would be helping set up schools and hospitals, not stuck in a penny ante tit for tat with guerillas armed by the Saudis. Same is true in Colombia. They could have had farms growing food, instead the US wanted coffee and coke, so they set about upending South American economies with standover tactics described as free trade agreements.

Aside from all of that, the real problems with illegal drugs are mainly the fact that they’re illegal. If they weren’t brewed up in backyard dunnies and cut with rat poison, we’d have plenty of pills kids could try out safely. Those who are going to get addicted can always get addicted to legal or illegal drugs and at least there’d be some safeguards and harm minimisation in place.

Humans are always going to want to alter their consciousnesses. Hell, we’ve only really had an egotistic “I” conscious self for a few thousand years anyways. Maybe drugs helped trigger this evolution? If Governments really gave a rats arse about the damage done by illegal drugs they would be setting programs in place and ignoring the hysteria in the media. Or at the very least not exploiting it in the name of re-election. How about exploring some of the reasons why kids want to do drugs? How about some limits on the emotional abuse and sexual content of advertising that pushes people over the edge? (And if you think that’s an overstatement consider that advertising is known to affect and alter the physical function of your brain).

In the meantime give Amy a break. The last thing the poor girl needs is to be a scape goat for a slow news week in Hollywood. Heh, the people that castigate her on television look like they’re made of plastic anyway.

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