Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


There and back again, a PSA
June 7, 2011 10:22 AM   Subscribe

Fed up with drugs, a comic about the dark side of chemical salvation. By Charles Saucisse.
posted by Taft (77 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Awkward translation, but otherwise, excellent.
posted by empath at 10:29 AM on June 7, 2011


I love these kind of outfield commentaries that don't really fit in the standard drug-positive/drug-negative dichotomy.
posted by Taft at 10:30 AM on June 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


More like a clumsily-executed, humorlessly cynical, indiscriminately negative little screed against drugs in general.
posted by clockzero at 10:30 AM on June 7, 2011 [14 favorites]


I don't think it was at all indiscriminately negative. I thought it was just refreshingly honest.
posted by empath at 10:32 AM on June 7, 2011


I bet you thought Go Ask Alice was a really authentic reflection on drug culture.
posted by nasreddin at 10:34 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Btw, the second link is fairly not work safe-ish, if anybody can figure out what you're looking at.
posted by empath at 10:34 AM on June 7, 2011


I bet you thought Go Ask Alice was a really authentic reflection on drug culture.

I don't think I've ever read a book about 'drug culture', whatever that is.
posted by empath at 10:38 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, France seems like a pretty depressing place.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:38 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Empath, I think you might consider that real life is actually way more complex than this.
posted by clockzero at 10:39 AM on June 7, 2011


humorlessly cynical

I found it hilarious and cynical thank you very much.
posted by Taft at 10:39 AM on June 7, 2011


I thought it was just refreshingly honest.

Really? refreshing? Have you never seen a psa or an after school special about the bad side of drugs? I thought the comic was pretty trite.
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:40 AM on June 7, 2011


I think you might consider that it's just a fucking comic strip.
posted by empath at 10:40 AM on June 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


Like drugs themselves, it seems like a lot of the joy and pain that can happen was lots in translation for me.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:41 AM on June 7, 2011


Have you never seen a psa or an after school special about the bad side of drugs?

I've seen tons, and this comic absolutely comes from a different place.
posted by Taft at 10:42 AM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


He insulted my friends. The drugs, not the people.
posted by Splunge at 10:43 AM on June 7, 2011 [7 favorites]


This is the sort of thing that at one time would have irritated me to the point of wanting to try drugs. Now it just seems like the one-sided scribblings of someone who had a very unhappy adolescence.
posted by kinnakeet at 10:43 AM on June 7, 2011 [10 favorites]


this comic absolutely comes from a different place.

france
posted by Greg Nog at 10:43 AM on June 7, 2011 [15 favorites]


Talking about "official medicine" alongside the illegals is a good idea. Actual amphetamines are prescribed in some cases of ADHD, and it's worth knowing a) that quality controlled amphetamines might be an interesting experiment for anyone if taken in very low doses and b) how dangerous prescribed amphetamines really are. However, lumping all prescribed pharmaceuticals together is exceedingly dumb. Antipsychotics ~= antidepressants ~= mood stabilizers etc.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:44 AM on June 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think you might consider that it's just a fucking comic strip.

You might do the same, since you seem to keep making comments about it.


Drugs are benign, it's the humans who are taking them that bring everything to the table.

Fears, loves, prejudices, angers, experiences.....

This is one person's view. Some will agree, and some will not.
posted by gcbv at 10:45 AM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think you might consider that it's just a fucking comic strip.

Yeah I noticed it's a comic strip ( I'm good at identifying them). And I said it was trite. What's your point?
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:47 AM on June 7, 2011


His other comics are pretty terrible too. I mean, when you have shitting in someone's mouth as a theme for more than comic, you can really tell you're scraping the bottom of the barrel.
posted by nasreddin at 10:47 AM on June 7, 2011


Have you never seen a psa or an after school special about the bad side of drugs?

I'm sorry, do drugs not have bad sides? Is it not okay to talk about the bad sides of drugs? Have you guys never had a bad experience with drugs? I did not at all get the impression from this that he is telling people not to do drugs. It's just a mildly cynical take on them.

Too many people want to turn drugs into magic -- either angels or demons. They're neither. I've tried most of the shit on this list, and he seemed dead accurate on all of them, though obviously you're never, ever going to get across how fucking amazing MDMA is in a web comic.
posted by empath at 10:48 AM on June 7, 2011 [12 favorites]


I guess part of the problem is that drugs are such a charged topic that it's difficult to suss out what someone intends to communicate with broad-stroke stories like this one.

Personally, I'm a little skeptical of narratives that hew so closely to the arbitrary negativity of anti-drug propaganda. They always try to scare people by showing monstrous consequences of drug use while side-stepping issues like the substantively equivalent bad consequences of alcohol abuse or the general misery and bad decisions that people can make without the influence of drugs. That's just my opinion. I didn't mean to antagonize you, empath.
posted by clockzero at 10:56 AM on June 7, 2011


I'm sorry, do drugs not have bad sides? Is it not okay to talk about the bad sides of drugs? Have you guys never had a bad experience with drugs? I did not at all get the impression from this that he is telling people not to do drugs. It's just a mildly cynical take on them.

I don't really have a problem with talking about the bad sides of drugs, but I've also done most of the shit on his list and almost none of it (except for the coke bit, I guess) rang true for me at all.

Really, the guy is just too lazy to come up with his own material instead of borrowing well-worn tropes. You can tell by his other comics. He doesn't even have any ideas he develops. In this one, for instance: the little green guy is sad. Then a girl comes and gives him a blowjob. The end. Or this one: you need to shit in my mouth so we can save our relationship! Oh, now we need to fuck our kids in the ass to save our family! Hahaha! How can you think this juvenile garbage is at all clever or interesting? It's basically Tucker Max in comic form.
posted by nasreddin at 10:56 AM on June 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think you might consider that it's just a fucking comic strip.

That it was FPP-ed means that larger claims are being made for it.
posted by Trurl at 10:58 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


How can you think this juvenile garbage is at all clever or interesting?

Wow those other strips are even weaker than the anti drug one.
posted by Liquidwolf at 11:01 AM on June 7, 2011


Pretty funny/interesting/sad all at the same time.
Sums up some drug users I have known.

Funny how they don't have cannabis in the strip, worse that happens is you become a shut in playing video games wondering why life sucks.
posted by handbanana at 11:08 AM on June 7, 2011


I haven't had much experience with most of these drugs, but he kind of lost me with the section on psychoactive medications. Whatever his experience is ith the other stuff, if he's seriously dismissing the therapeutic value of anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, mood stabilizers, etc. as just avoiding thinking about your life, he's talking out of his ass. I don't need a cartoon to tell me that my mental health problems, and my attempts to remedy them, are merely character flaws, thanks -- there are already plenty of douchebags around to take care of that.
posted by Pants McCracky at 11:09 AM on June 7, 2011 [11 favorites]


Yes they do. Scroll down.

This is bad on almost every level it is possible to be bad.
posted by The Whelk at 11:10 AM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is bad on almost every level it is possible to be bad.

No, rock-bottom would involve naked Rush Limbaugh in some way.
posted by elizardbits at 11:14 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


No Rush is a lover of drugs.
posted by The Whelk at 11:16 AM on June 7, 2011


The Whelk,

My bad, damn mobile phone!
posted by handbanana at 11:21 AM on June 7, 2011


I bet you thought Go Ask Alice was a really authentic reflection on drug culture.

I'm pretty sure Shatner was coked to the gills when he made the film version.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:23 AM on June 7, 2011


The main thing I took away from this comic: Hypothetically, taking Ecstasy might help me put up with its art style.
posted by Kalthare at 11:24 AM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Shut up and cut me a line! lololo made me want to do drugs. Any more of these?
posted by Ad hominem at 11:28 AM on June 7, 2011


Too many people want to turn drugs into magic -- either angels or demons. They're neither.

Fair enough, but then why is the entire comic about how demonic they always end up? Why does the guy's condition get more and more exaggeratedly horrible as it goes on?

What would be "refreshingly honest" would be a comic in which all these terrible things happen to one guy, while his two best friends moderate their own drug (and alcohol) use, have largely positive experiences with drugs, deal with the occasional negative drug experience in a healthy way, and are smashing successes in art and business. Instead, every drug user in the comic is a total wreck, in extremely stereotypical ways. That may be an honest portrayal of this guy's personal view of drugs, but it's not remotely honest outside of it.
posted by vorfeed at 11:34 AM on June 7, 2011 [20 favorites]


Made me think of this for some reason.
posted by Evilspork at 11:38 AM on June 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


What would be "refreshingly honest" would be a comic in which all these terrible things happen to one guy, while his two best friends moderate their own drug (and alcohol) use, have largely positive experiences with drugs, deal with the occasional negative drug experience in a healthy way, and are smashing successes in art and business.

Do the drugs make them handsome and give them enormous penises, too?

My experience has been that level-headed people who can moderate their own drug use while consistently meeting their adult responsibilities exist are the exception and not the rule. By I also understand that this is anecdotal and not data.

I also understand that this is a comic strip and that some people might need a hug.
posted by DWRoelands at 12:14 PM on June 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


(Dangit, that word "exist" should not be there. Fooey.)
posted by DWRoelands at 12:15 PM on June 7, 2011


Hey guy, you forgot ethanol. You know, that crazy drug that makes people act stupid, crash their cars, miss work, punch folks, and ruins their health--and kills 75,000 people a year.
posted by Nahum Tate at 12:16 PM on June 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Refreshingly honest would be The Exile... first time it'd ever been intimated to me that the "hippie drug pyramid" (weed/mushrooms good, speed/heroin bad) might be a load of shit
posted by jcruelty at 12:16 PM on June 7, 2011


These MacGuffin pills are SURELY to blame for my lack of self-control!
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:24 PM on June 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've snatched this moment of lucidity amidst the dizzying surges of my lifelong mushroom flashback schizophrenia to state that this comic is unequivocal horseshit, and if this guy did psychedelics more than a scant number of times and in anything other than the worst conceivable settings, then I'm a monkey's fucking uncle.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 12:33 PM on June 7, 2011 [7 favorites]


It's like he wants to expose the truth that everybody else is afraid to say. Except that in this case "the truth" is either well known, or wrong, to varying degrees.

I found the themes, humor, art, and attitude to be appallingly juvenile. I might've really liked this at 18.
posted by Stagger Lee at 12:38 PM on June 7, 2011


Yeah I dunno. I do all kinds of drugs, and the most harmful thing to come of it is usually a stuffed nose and some regrettable emails.

Friends don't let friends do drugs and email ... or text ... or update their facebook status.

dear god oh god WHY did i have to offer to fly my ex out here for my birthday? and why oh why did she say yes? oh well, at least I had the good sense to send the text at 3am, giving it a little "drunk" text plausible deniability.... oh if only...
posted by Sloop John B at 12:41 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


My experience has been that level-headed people who can moderate their own drug use while consistently meeting their adult responsibilities don't wind up using drugs for very long, because they have more interesting things to do.
posted by rusty at 12:44 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


yeah, this is just plain dumb. the truth about drugs isn't black and white and doesn't go from good to bad in a linear fashion. it varies from person to person, from drug to drug, from setting to setting, from time to time, from culture to culture. while there are some commonalities, they are fewer than you think: the same drug can be a savior for one person and a killer for another.

having "been there" also doesn't make you an expert—or make your anti-drug stories any more reliable.
posted by Maias at 12:45 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meh. Completely forgettable writing combined with bad art, with nothing useful to say.
posted by happyroach at 12:46 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]



My experience has been that level-headed people who can moderate their own drug use while consistently meeting their adult responsibilities exist are the exception and not the rule. By I also understand that this is anecdotal and not data.


My experience was that such people became increasingly rare with age.
Either the drugs ramped up, the social expectations ramped up, or both. It's not sustainable, but yeah, plenty of people do mess with drugs and walk out happy and healthy.

But in all honesty, I don't think that drugs are a subject that fit very well into the dichotomy that's been forced onto them by American style drug wars. Like a lot of things, they have enormous potential for bad, but deserve a slightly deeper analysis than the author gives them.

As a teenager, I subscribed to the whole "prescription drugs make us consumerist zombie sheeps! Crazy FTW!" philosophy. Once you know a few people that actually need medication, you have to back down on that shit though.
posted by Stagger Lee at 12:46 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


My experience has been that level-headed people who can moderate their own drug use while consistently meeting their adult responsibilities exist are the exception and not the rule.

Or maybe you know tons of perfectly functional people who partake of the occasional plant or powder, but they're just really discreet. Responsible adult drug-users often refrain from telling people about their recreational chemicals unless their sure that said people are likely to be on the same page about such things.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 1:00 PM on June 7, 2011 [12 favorites]


Funny how they don't have cannabis in the strip, worse that happens is you become a shut in playing video games wondering why life sucks.

Best that happens is you become Louis Armstrong, Carl Sagan, Willie Nelson, or Willie Shakespeare, so as with all things, YMMV.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:04 PM on June 7, 2011 [7 favorites]


I've seen worse and more frequent negative outcomes from TV addiction.




But let's not talk about my internet addiction, please.
posted by Dodecadermaldenticles at 1:04 PM on June 7, 2011


Most people who do drugs are small-time freeloaders who rarely do enough to really get off, and most of the time can't even be bothered to pay for their own stash. Nobody talks about this, because most of those people don't even consider themselves "drug users". They're just around. And sometimes drugs are around.

But oooh no, forget about all of that. Please, keep your nice friendly Hollywood stereotype where every man who tries drugs loses an arm and ever woman who tries drugs becomes a prostitute.
posted by Sloop John B at 1:08 PM on June 7, 2011


Yeah I'm pretty sure you only notice the fuck ups. There are millions who partake and keep it on the DL. Drugs aren't the business they are selling to dying in the alley addicts and down-and-out raved types.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:09 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Funny how they don't have cannabis in the strip

Except that it is in the strip.

/don't blame you for not reading that far.
posted by zephyr_words at 1:09 PM on June 7, 2011


My experience has been that level-headed people who can moderate their own drug use while consistently meeting their adult responsibilities exist are the exception and not the rule. By I also understand that this is anecdotal and not data.

Here's some data for you, then: nearly half of all Americans 12 and over have used illegal drugs, including 12% of the population (well over 30% for some age groups) who've used within the last year, and 7% (18% for some age groups) who've used within the last month.

I think it's fair to say that we're not living in a dystopia in which nearly 20% of our citizens under the age of 34 cannot "consistently meet their adult responsibilities". Also, the vast majority of people who have tried drugs are not monthly-frequency users, which suggests that they either choose to do drugs once in a great while or choose to quit.

In short: drug users who successfully moderate their use are the rule, not the exception. Which would seem obvious, frankly, since alcohol users who successfully moderate their use are the rule and not the exception, and alcohol is both much more widespread and more addicting than all but two of the most commonly-used illegal drugs.
posted by vorfeed at 1:12 PM on June 7, 2011 [10 favorites]


So...can we at least agree that French people shouldn't do drugs?
posted by MattMangels at 1:27 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Drugs give french people seashells under their eyes.
posted by The Whelk at 1:31 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Drug use should be mandatory for French people.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:37 PM on June 7, 2011


Well, as cartoonish, oversimplified antidrug screeds go, this isn't the worst I've ever seen, but still: yawn. I will give Mr. Saucisse credit in that he at least seems to have actually done the drugs he here condemns - I love superhero comics but goddamn do I start cringing when Spider-Man or whoever goes up against some drug dealer and users that are so clearly written by someone who has never touched a bong in their life. That shit gets embarrassing fast.

Aside from a brief stretch in my twenties where coke and speed were gobbling up just a little bit too much of my life, I've been getting high in various ways since age 15 without any real problems - my overindulgence in food and entertainment has caused me far, far, far more difficulty than drugs ever have or ever will, and this is far and away the norm among every drug user I've ever known ever in my life. It's just that noisy, life-destroying outliers tend to attract far more attention than people who just want to have a couple weed brownies and then go out for an amazing night of dancing. Mellow stories like that don't make for compelling newscopy, so it goes.

Ultimately, I'm of the Doug Stanhope school on this issue: "There's only two types of people who are against drugs - the people who have never done drugs and the people who really sucked at doing drugs."
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:41 PM on June 7, 2011 [7 favorites]


My opinion is that LSD peaking in popularity before the rise of portable mp3 players with shuffle function is proof that the universe is godless. Any halfway decent god would have put those things together.
posted by neuromodulator at 2:21 PM on June 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


My opinion is that LSD peaking in popularity before the rise of portable mp3 players with shuffle function is proof that the universe is godless

Also ambien. Dear god, all nights wasted having a bad trip because I couldn't get to sleep. If only I'd had an off switch, I could've saved myself a lot of pain.
posted by Afroblanco at 2:32 PM on June 7, 2011


It's just that noisy, life-destroying outliers tend to attract far more attention than people who just want to have a couple weed brownies and then go out for an amazing night of dancing.

I swear I don't think some of you even read the comic. I saw nothing life destroying in any of these (except maybe heroin). These are just a series of comics about the inevitable come-downs.
posted by empath at 2:41 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, i definitely read it, and was giving it the benefit of the doubt until I got to the cannabis part, where everything unraveled. This was not a description of weed smokers - this was a description of boring weed smokers.
posted by EatTheWeak at 2:44 PM on June 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think it's fair to say that we're not living in a dystopia in which nearly 20% of our citizens under the age of 34 cannot "consistently meet their adult responsibilities".

I don't know that I agree with you there, but I suspect drugs have comparatively little to do with the situation.
posted by invitapriore at 3:01 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


So is the consensus that this is worse or better than the hipster Hitler comics?
posted by blucevalo at 4:00 PM on June 7, 2011


Let's not bring Hitler into this, bluecevalo.
posted by clockzero at 4:06 PM on June 7, 2011


I can't help but feel that most of the drug warriors here are completely missing the point. It's a guys manifesto about drugs--a personal manifesto, not based on data or exceptions but his very particular experience. He presents it in a "chapter" sequence for style and to convey a sort of progression that he's at least perceived in others.

It's poetry not rhetoric, christ.
posted by Taft at 5:05 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I thought the chapter on LSD and mushrooms was fairly positive. Even a cautious endorsement in some ways. "The world is a bottomless well, where questions raise new questions... it's logical that ideas become things and vice versa. You're merging with the universe - you understand - everything - but nobody understands you anymore. That's the price of genius." I mean, I think that's worth it. You can always spend some time after your "realization phase" grounding yourself in reality again so you can interact with people normally. Or you can shut up about your eipiphanies and keep them to yourself. I don't see a big downside here. All things considered, I'd rather have the epiphanies than not have the epiphanies.
posted by naju at 6:36 PM on June 7, 2011


Listen...

Drugs are bad, mm'kay?
posted by EmGeeJay at 10:06 PM on June 7, 2011


I keep hearing on mefi that LSD is coming back and is getting more and more available again....

WHAT ARE THE FUCKING CHANNELS for this new influx of acid? Clubs (which kinds), street? Certain subcultures? I've experienced mescaline and psilocybin but I really want to try some good acid, hopefully in a good environment.
posted by porpoise at 10:11 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


WHAT ARE THE FUCKING CHANNELS for this new influx of acid?

I would also like to subscribe to this newsletter.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:03 AM on June 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


In summary: Ketamine is a decent choice. Don't do it outside.
posted by Theta States at 7:54 AM on June 8, 2011


Interesting art, trite writing.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:12 AM on June 8, 2011


I keep hearing on mefi that LSD is coming back and is getting more and more available again....

Really? Was this recently? I seem to recall someone just saying in some other thread that LSD is at insanely low levels of production/availability at the moment.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:14 AM on June 8, 2011


The police chief in my town did an interview saying that, yes, LSD is on the rise here again. (I get all my hot illicit drug tips from the police, they're useful for that at least.)
posted by naju at 9:24 AM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


The heroin strip was as spot-on as the halucinogen strip not.
The rest were more or less meh
posted by Fupped Duck at 11:46 AM on June 9, 2011


« Older Mixcloud is a website that allows anyone to upload...   |   Influential record producer Ma... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments