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enough to kill a small horse
March 27, 2008 9:03 PM   Subscribe

"I found these in a red photo album marked "Darlene" at a swap meet in Huntington Beach, California." The Cocaine Photos. Images from a more innocent time.
posted by oneirodynia (91 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Okay, who didn't have that girl as a babysitter when they were little?
posted by padraigin at 9:11 PM on March 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


[Note to self: Burn photos.]
posted by humannaire at 9:11 PM on March 27, 2008


and then they recorded a hit single.
posted by moxiedoll at 9:12 PM on March 27, 2008


Immortal.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:13 PM on March 27, 2008


I DO COCAINE!!!!!!
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 9:14 PM on March 27, 2008


they make snorting coke look so innocent...
posted by Lillitatiana at 9:14 PM on March 27, 2008


Tag: "Delorean"?
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 9:15 PM on March 27, 2008


Fiasco da Gama@ Tag: "Delorean"?

This one.

posted by ArgentCorvid at 9:18 PM on March 27, 2008


Well there's a picture of a DeLorean in this photo and the inventor of the car, John DeLorean, was eventually arrested for some kind cocaine smuggling operation.
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 9:18 PM on March 27, 2008


Fiasco da Gama, see here and here.
posted by Jimbob at 9:18 PM on March 27, 2008


Snap!
posted by Jimbob at 9:18 PM on March 27, 2008


sigh - i remember it very well - and then people figured out that with some 151 and baking soda they could make crack out of that coke and really get wired

my problem was that i'd always want to do one more line until i started feeling strung out and sick - and that when people started smoking it, i got even sicker when i tried it

thank god for that - you have no idea how thankful i am

i watched people ruin their lives over that stuff, including the woman i lived with for 10 years

i wonder how those guys made out
posted by pyramid termite at 9:19 PM on March 27, 2008 [4 favorites]


Thanks corvid, jimbob and postirony.
First I was confused, now I think it's awesome. In a minute I'll want some more.
Of the delorean, of course.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 9:21 PM on March 27, 2008


i wonder how those guys made out

I imagine we'll find out shortly.

Such is the power of the interweebs.
posted by CynicalKnight at 9:22 PM on March 27, 2008


I'd like to introduce exhibit 'A', your honor.
posted by davelog at 9:25 PM on March 27, 2008


Nothing like a big fat line and a Hines Root Beer.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:26 PM on March 27, 2008 [6 favorites]


It's a hell of a drug.

For faux-arm-wrestling next to a delorean poster.

...hell of a drug...
posted by Navelgazer at 9:26 PM on March 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here's that DeLorean poster. It shows up on the wall in the record playing picture- I don't know if they were so cool they had two, or if this was an evening of redecoration and blow. Maybe both.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:28 PM on March 27, 2008


Oops, I'm an idiot. Jimbob beat me to it.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:29 PM on March 27, 2008


OMG, my hair was just awful back then.
posted by mattoxic at 9:30 PM on March 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Ah, youthful indiscretion. At least they're fairly modest. Twenty years later, this album would be full of kids wearing phat pants, sniffing vapo-rub and sucking on binkies and dancing to anthem trance while rolled out of their skulls. Backrubs and light shows optional.
posted by mullingitover at 9:31 PM on March 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


These days if you want to see pictures of people taking drugs and acting cool you only have to go as far as facebook.
posted by puke & cry at 9:34 PM on March 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


I wonder where all their furniture went.
posted by tellurian at 9:40 PM on March 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


DeLorean poster? Duran Duran? That hair? That 'stache? The "mirror" and briefcase combo?

Am I the only one who thought: too good to be real?
posted by dontoine at 9:41 PM on March 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


dontoine, good point. I'd say real, you can see it in their faces, people don't look like that these days, a look of "Let's party, dude! Rock!". There is something about faces that gives away the spirit of the time - like in WWII movies, the biggest problem with recent movies are the actors, they don't have the 1940s look, no amount of props can help.
posted by stbalbach at 9:52 PM on March 27, 2008 [7 favorites]


The only thing missing is the bitchin' Camaro.
posted by ninjew at 10:00 PM on March 27, 2008 [5 favorites]


has nobody else noticed how fat those lines are?
posted by grubby at 10:09 PM on March 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


I can't believe that no one so far has commented yet on how shitty it is to put compromising photos of strangers up on flikr.

if someone were to find a photo of say 8 or 10 dudes crammed into a bathroom so as to maximize the effect of a shared flute-sized joint that some one may have rolled once for novelty's sake, and put it on flickr, I'd be unhappy. hypothetically. but that's just me.
posted by Dr. Boom at 10:18 PM on March 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


Seem like pikers, like those guys with the pristine comic book bongs and a lot of talk. Yeah, they've got a lot of coke trappings, but look how much ceremony there is -- lots of set up, sparkly-clean cutting glass, not a lot of vanished rails and not a lot of coke. More like:

Buddy: "Hey John, you're way into cocaine, lets get some!"
John: "Uh, yeah, let me, um, make some calls or something..."
...
(hours pass)
Everyone, over meager score: "YAY! WE HAS COCAINE! TAKE PICTURES OF IT SO WE'LL NEVER FORGET!"

Bonus: That's some schwanky carpet...
posted by Ogre Lawless at 10:23 PM on March 27, 2008 [5 favorites]


I thought the best comment was "Dad?"

And I kinda agree with Ogre: they're youthful amateurs. I want to see the followup photographs from a couple of years down the line...
posted by jokeefe at 10:33 PM on March 27, 2008


Ironmouth: Nothing like a big fat line and a Hines Root Beer.

"Life Ain't Nothin' But Girls and Powder. And Root Beer."

Brilliant.
posted by loiseau at 10:40 PM on March 27, 2008


Darlene looks like an amature with her hair like that.
posted by Sailormom at 10:48 PM on March 27, 2008


Interesting how pretty much the whole time I had "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" by QOTSA playing in my head.
posted by agress at 10:48 PM on March 27, 2008


These photos are kind of like the very first sound recordings; at the time they were made no one thought that future technology would enable public playback and exposure.
posted by Tube at 10:50 PM on March 27, 2008 [5 favorites]


I can't believe that no one so far has commented yet on how shitty it is to put compromising photos of strangers up on flikr.

At least a black bar over the eyes. Dr. Boom's right, this is a shitty thing to do to someone, what with the worldwideness of it all and such. They're probably all high-ranking members of their respective state Republican parties by now.
posted by mediareport at 10:51 PM on March 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


Cocaine: It's a hell of a flickr set.
posted by Poolio at 10:56 PM on March 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Interesting how pretty much the whole time I had "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" by QOTSA playing in my head.

Unfortunately, for me it was "Centerfold", by the J. Geils band. Ugh. Just popped into my head with the picture of the dude in his sweats putting on a record.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:57 PM on March 27, 2008


Before crack there was what we see here: "Coke Classic".
posted by Tube at 11:29 PM on March 27, 2008


It's okay guys - I have a feeling they're just doing synth coke.
posted by item at 11:30 PM on March 27, 2008


This is the most epically coked-out photograph I've ever seen in my life. Look at that dude. "YEAHYEAHYEAHYEAH We'resnortingcokewe'resnortingcokewe'resnortingcokewe'rehavingacokepartyit'sAWESOME!" On this night, many cigarettes were bummed and lifelong friendships were forged, until 3 hours later when no one wanted to talk to anyone. I never understood the attraction to coke. It just seemed like a dumb brain-bashing let's-get-fucked-up drug, like alcohol. I was more into mystical experiences and things that made me relaxed. I guess it attracts the type "A" personalities. Every time I did it, I just gave everyone my cigarettes and rambled about nothing.
posted by DecemberBoy at 12:07 AM on March 28, 2008


You know, on closer inspection, some of you appear to be right: they don't appear to actually be snorting the cocaine. It looks like they've got maybe a gram on that mirror, and they're just cutting it up into different lines. There's a couple pics where they're posed like they're snorting it, but they aren't actually snorting it. Posers. My two best friends in the late 90s were such fiends, the way they (mostly) quit was a moment of clarity after they hatched a scheme where they would get money to score for someone, buy the coke, then beat the living shit out of each other and leave visible marks so they could say they got jacked and keep it. Someone realized how retarded and coked-out this idea was, and that was cause to slow it down. Cocaine is a helluva drug.
posted by DecemberBoy at 12:28 AM on March 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


Such is the powder of the interweebs.

(fixed)
posted by joe lisboa at 12:55 AM on March 28, 2008


Those are monster lines.
posted by spaltavian at 1:03 AM on March 28, 2008


There isn't much evidence that it's really cocaine. Or did super cynical mefites suddenly start believing everything they see in picture form?
posted by PenDevil at 1:43 AM on March 28, 2008


There isn't much evidence that it's really cocaine.

I guess if you weren't there, you wouldn't know. My own bet is that it was the first time they'd ever copped a piece that big -- straight off the kilo block, unchopped and uncut -- and they wanted to document the event.

The early 80's were a very different time. Pre-crack, pre-Len Bias's death, the War on Drugs had been put on the back burner, pot was almost quasi-legal in many states, and everybody and his mother did a little cocaine.

On preview: what Ogre said.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:18 AM on March 28, 2008


So wait, is this a lot or a little cocaine?

These pictures make me sad, because they're contemporaries of my brother, who died last year after long periods of substance abuse. Although he probably hated Duran Duran.

And, it reminds me of my complex, inconsistent feelings about them drugs - I don't really think they should be illegal, or, at least, know the 'war on drugs' is a crock. But, seeing 'young' people, glorying in and glorifying it makes me so sad. Like the novelty mirror.

My brother wasn't even much into coke, he was mostly a boozer. And this is probably Nancy Reagan wiring in my head.

I love 'found' photos, however. And good photography should make you feel something, even if it's sadness.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 4:17 AM on March 28, 2008


It's sad on so many levels. Bad hair, bad fashion, no furniture, dumbest drug ever...
posted by fixedgear at 4:24 AM on March 28, 2008


I wonder what the Fotomat clerk thought of these .... oh, wait, wait, maybe they could develop them because one of them worked at Fotomat.
posted by R. Mutt at 4:26 AM on March 28, 2008


I'm assuming one of the participants also had some sort of connection with a photo developing lab. Otherwise, these photos would be at the bottom of a file box in a police station basement right now.
posted by tfmm at 4:26 AM on March 28, 2008


That girl reminds me of Ann Margaret. Also, the tight jeans, oy!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:28 AM on March 28, 2008


R. Mutt: Jinx, Snort me some Coke!
posted by tfmm at 4:31 AM on March 28, 2008


dumbest drug ever...

Sure coke is dumb but come on, kids are injecting cat laxatives these days and stuff made out of drain-o, but doing a couple bumps is the dumbest ever?
posted by Pollomacho at 4:59 AM on March 28, 2008


I don't know what it says about me that after looking at those photos, I desperately, desperately want some root beer.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:00 AM on March 28, 2008 [8 favorites]


I'm assuming one of the participants also had some sort of connection with a photo developing lab. Otherwise, these photos would be at the bottom of a file box in a police station basement right now.

Or, and this may be shocking to some people, the photo-mat in the Winn Dixie parking lot may have been operated by a couple of stoners.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:01 AM on March 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


i wonder how those guys made out

I think the words "swap meet" in the original post provide a valuable clue.
posted by Shepherd at 5:54 AM on March 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


God, I hate that shit.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:11 AM on March 28, 2008


The photo-mat guy wouldn't have looked twice at these because it is clearly not porn.

The really sad part is these people thought they were 'cool'. All they did was conform 90% to the norms of the times. Members only jacket? Check, Mini Mullet? Check. Duran Duran poster? Check. Coke? Check. Furniture? Furniture?
posted by Gungho at 6:12 AM on March 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


These remind me of the friends I left behind around 1990 when I started working for a living. I remember running into them a couple years later.

“Dude… I just quit my last job… I’m gonna go work at Sunglass Hut. The pay is better and I can make money on the side selling Oakleys under the table.”

I wonder where they are now. I don’t miss them.
posted by bondcliff at 6:22 AM on March 28, 2008


dumbest drug ever...

Weaselshit coffee is dumber. Because it's weaselshit.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:56 AM on March 28, 2008


I'm surprised that no one has figured out who these people are yet.

The current clues are:

Huntington Beach

Darlene

Hires and/or Deloreans


Come on Internet Super Sleuths, show your stuff!
posted by Dr-Baa at 7:01 AM on March 28, 2008


OMG DAD?!
posted by shmegegge at 8:20 AM on March 28, 2008


My guess is this all took place in 1983.

NOW YOU.
posted by grubi at 8:42 AM on March 28, 2008


They're probably all high-ranking members of their respective state Republican parties by now.

We can only hope.

And yes, that's a lot of coke, and those are "monster lines" and I have no doubt whatsoever that they're actually snorting it.

Also agreeing with everyone who mentioned what a horrible drug it is. Ugh.
posted by jokeefe at 9:00 AM on March 28, 2008


OMG DAD?!

I LEARNED IT BY WATCHING YOU
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:09 AM on March 28, 2008 [4 favorites]


Not a stick of furniture in the place but they have the essentials: blow, Floyd and root beer. Classic.
posted by MikeMc at 9:20 AM on March 28, 2008


I'm assuming one of the participants also had some sort of connection with a photo developing lab. Otherwise, these photos would be at the bottom of a file box in a police station basement right now.

Spoken like someone who has forgotten that, in the pre-PATRIOT 80s, we still had a tiny bit of privacy; everyone hadn't been fucking brainwashed by their government into an OMG TERRORIST WHO WILL THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!! mentality; and the Fotomat clerk had not yet become an agent of Big Brother. I hated the Reagan era as much as the next bleeding-heart liberal, but if he had been caught in a scheme to wiretap the the entire country without any judicial oversight at all, you can bet he would have been out on his ass, not negotiating telecom immunity and flipping the electorate (and "Democratically controlled" congress) the collective Bird.
posted by The Bellman at 9:30 AM on March 28, 2008 [2 favorites]



i wonder how those guys made out


Dont worry, Im sure they'll find themselves either unemployed or simply hated by small-minded people thanks to the jerk who decided to post such pictures to the public internet. I guess at the end of the day its still a snitch and entertain ourselves to death society. Heaven forbid someone take privacy seriously and do a simple blur on their faces.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:09 AM on March 28, 2008


Although he probably hated Duran Duran.

Yes, but pretending you liked Duran Duran probably got you laid. Besides, after the uncensored version of the "Girls on Film" video started airing on cable channels, the opinion of a lot of boys about Duran Duran changed from "Fags!" to "Whoa, these dudes sleep with models, and they put hot naked chicks in their videos."
posted by jonp72 at 10:19 AM on March 28, 2008


i wonder how those guys made out

With that much coke, they probably made out for hours, and felt like gods for having such stamina.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:23 AM on March 28, 2008


So wait, is this a lot or a little cocaine?

More than a sixteenth, but less than an eight-ball?

I think the briefcase signifies it's their tentative first steps into dealing. They're hoping that in six months time, that'll be one of those aluminium Haliburtons, filled with either hundred dollar bills or a couple of kilos.

God, I hate that shit.

Oh, I don't know. There's something curiously reassuring about spending large sums of money in order to feel unhappy, anxious and depressed. Can you get any more money out of the ATM? I'll gladly pay you Tuesday...
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:24 AM on March 28, 2008


Dont worry, Im sure they'll find themselves either unemployed or simply hated by small-minded people thanks to the jerk who decided to post such pictures to the public internet. I guess at the end of the day its still a snitch and entertain ourselves to death society. Heaven forbid someone take privacy seriously and do a simple blur on their faces.

"Buy the ticket, take the ride."
-Hunter S. Thompson

It doesn't just apply to the consequences of taking drugs, but also the consequences of allowing yourself to be photographed taking drugs or doing anything else illegal.
posted by baphomet at 10:46 AM on March 28, 2008


I think the briefcase signifies it's their tentative first steps into dealing. They're hoping that in six months time, that'll be one of those aluminium Haliburtons, filled with either hundred dollar bills or a couple of kilos.


It's a cassette tape case.
posted by fixedgear at 10:47 AM on March 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


Spoken like someone who has forgotten that, in the pre-PATRIOT 80s, we still had a tiny bit of privacy; everyone hadn't been fucking brainwashed by their government into an OMG TERRORIST WHO WILL THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!! mentality...

Spoken like someone who has forgotten that, in the pre-Nixon era, government wiretapping and invasion of privacy by bigotted thugs like J. Edgar Hoover was par for the course.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:02 AM on March 28, 2008


This made my day.
posted by jscott at 11:25 AM on March 28, 2008


I'm guessing that's actually coke, but I'm also guessing they're really excited about their first time. As other posters have pointed out, it looks a little too set up. I mean, they're cutting lines on a mirror that says "cocaine" using the coca-cola logo font! You used to be able to win those from the ring toss booths at the county fair (along with the fancy roach...I mean hair clips with feathers on them).

Come to think of it, these guys could have been running the ring toss booth at the county fair.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:57 AM on March 28, 2008


I have a co-worker who I was shooting the shit with over lunch one day, and he turned to me and, in one of the best non-sequiturs ever said to me with complete sincerity, "I really miss cocaine. My house was never so clean as it was when I was coked up and bored."

I was in complete awe at his ability to so neatly throw a shoe into the gears that were my thought process.
posted by quin at 1:55 PM on March 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


STOP SNITCHIN
posted by gene_machine at 3:33 PM on March 28, 2008


Spoken like someone who has forgotten that, in the pre-Nixon era, government wiretapping and invasion of privacy by bigotted thugs like J. Edgar Hoover was par for the course.

Yes, but when Nixon got caught, he was impeached.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:34 PM on March 28, 2008


Um, Nixon wasn't impeached, he resigned. Second, J. Edgar Hoover enjoyed free reign over the FBI for some 30 odd years until he died, but even Hoover was an improvement over beating confessions out of suspects and lynching people.
posted by Pollomacho at 3:38 PM on March 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's a cassette tape case.

That just made it even better.
posted by glycolized at 3:59 PM on March 28, 2008


Um, Nixon wasn't impeached, he resigned. Second, J. Edgar Hoover enjoyed free reign over the FBI for some 30 odd years until he died, but even Hoover was an improvement over beating confessions out of suspects and lynching people.

Um, that stuff didn't stop once Hoover came into power. The FBI was in addition to whatever law enforcement was already in play.
posted by delmoi at 4:02 PM on March 28, 2008


You used to be able to win those from the ring toss booths at the county fair . . .

I now remember being a puzzled young girl at the fair, wondering who liked mirrors with Playboy bunnies, metal band logos, women's pictures and Elvis's face in them. You couldn't really see yourself in them, but you couldn't see the whole picture either, not unless you were right up close! Still, a lot of people must like those mirrors, I thought, but why don't I ever see one hanging up in anyone's house?

And it was not until today that I remembered this, and knew.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:51 PM on March 28, 2008 [4 favorites]


okay, here's the story: shirtless guy has been kicked out of his parents' house, and this is his first apartment. this explains why there's no furniture, but what he could throw into the backseat of his car in a few minutes seems to be thrown around--the only things worth grabbing were his tapes and a few albums. one of the other two--the girl or Freddie Mercury--has come over with coke in hand to help him celebrate/cheer him up.

then they have an orgy.

weirdly, long haired dude looks exactly like my first boyfriend, Mike. and he used to put the song Cocaine on his stereo system so loudly that i could hear it across the lake in my bedroom. i believe i was supposed to find it a sexy sort of communication. at twelve.

if it is him, he died by crashing his car headlong into an ambulance in the fog. i suspect however, it is not him. Duran Duran fan he was not.
posted by RedEmma at 8:06 PM on March 28, 2008


Red Emma, I decided that stoner mustache dude, "Mark", and new wave-wannabe Orange County guy, "Theo", just got the place together (Mark getting kicked out of his parent's house totally works with this). That's the only explanation for the Duran Duran poster, which Theo hung up right after Mark got all coke cranky during the argument over where to hang the DeLorean poster, put on his sweats, and started playing records. There's no way that a guy who has a framed The Wall t-shirt would own a Duran Duran poster at the same time.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:06 PM on March 28, 2008


I now remember being a puzzled young girl at the fair, wondering who liked mirrors with Playboy bunnies, metal band logos, women's pictures and Elvis's face in them. You couldn't really see yourself in them, but you couldn't see the whole picture either, not unless you were right up close! Still, a lot of people must like those mirrors, I thought, but why don't I ever see one hanging up in anyone's house?

Heh. Kinda like those glass tubes with the tissue-paper flowers that they used to sell at gas stations. I always wondered, "what kind of shitty gift is that? Whose girlfriend would be happy to get that instead of, oh I don't know, real fucking flowers?"

Apparently, stores quit selling these a few years back after a couple undercover cops walked into a ghetto convenience store and asked the clerk, point-blank, "So where can I find the crack pipes?" to which they were promptly shown the "flower tubes." The clerk was arrested on the spot.

In any case, RE photos - there's no doubt in my mind that they're doing real cocaine. At that time in history, there would have been no reason to fake it. And yes, it does look like they have a crap-ton of coke. Look at the baggie that the dude's holding up. It's at least an eight-ball. And eight-ball among 3 people is a TON of cocaine. Like, enough to keep them wired for at least 8 hours. That explains the gigantic lines - although we really have no evidence that they took those lines all at once. (in fact, I think one of the pictures shows a half-snorted line)

And as far as cocaine as a drug? To each their own. It's certainly not a great drug. You're not going to have any philosophical revelations on it. It's not going to make your life better. And to people with the wrong kind of personality, it can be crazy addictive. But I'm hesitant to call any drug "evil" or "bad." For every person who tried coke and became an addict, I'm sure you can point to at least 100 others who had a few lines at a party (or maybe even had their own little party, like the people in these pictures), and then turned out fine.

I've known lots of people who shouldn't drink, but do it anyway. In fact, I've known MANY more alcoholics than I've known dedicated cokeheads.
posted by Sloop John B at 8:58 AM on March 29, 2008


We got a little crazy at a part last night and decided to recreate the photos.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:32 PM on March 29, 2008 [13 favorites]


AZ, I love you and I love the internet. Cheers.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:13 PM on March 29, 2008


The guy who posted the originals just discovered our recreations. That's pretty satisfying.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:18 PM on March 29, 2008


And now it's on BoingBoing where they are busy debating the legality of it all...
posted by fixedgear at 2:43 PM on March 31, 2008


And now she has marked the photos 'private' since I guess she got scared by (armchair and real) lawyers talking smack on her Flickr page and on BoingBoing. Too bad. Wish I would have grabbed them.
posted by fixedgear at 2:01 PM on April 1, 2008


Heh. Kinda like those glass tubes with the tissue-paper flowers that they used to sell at gas stations. I always wondered, "what kind of shitty gift is that? Whose girlfriend would be happy to get that instead of, oh I don't know, real fucking flowers?"

My boyfriend unironically bought me one of those not too long ago. I told him about the crack pipe thing and he was shocked. I think he only got it for me because he was in a gas station and he knows I like small things.
posted by Locative at 1:33 AM on April 11, 2008


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