Yes, I got a bit off track with my Pogues posting exercise. Which seems fitting, seeing as the Pogues are not well known for their attention to detail and sticktoitiveness. I would’ve made a wonderful drunken Irish rock star, if only I weren’t tone deaf and unable to stand the fetid burning tang of alcohol.
I had always intended for this post to be about mine own wildness, that I were the Wild Kat, which is inevitably how I think of it whenever icrank this song. Like it’s an anthem for my harder edges
But I’m just too blistered over to go into it.
I’ve been following Katie Granju’s story about her son’s last days and untimely death very closely. I should know better, of course, seeing as how I make it a habit to avoid the news, YouTube, talk radio and anything else that invites you to develop an opinion after tanking up on emotional stimuli. (TruFact: I just made a typo there, thank you iPad, that said stupimili. I want “stupimili” to be a word indicating any calculated appeal to emotion over reason.)
Anyway, I’ve been reading not only Katie’s story, doled out in bits like a soap opera, but the countless comments from people around the world. It makes me want to reach through my computer and slap the world. Half the commentors are calling for the villains–a man named Russell and a woman named Yolanda–to be “skinned alive”, “buried under the jail”, “shot in the head” and frightened into suicide. Based on nothing more than Katie’s version of the story. And while I support the death penalty I see more and more why other people don’t. Because they assume that the death penalty is a state-sanctioned sort of revenge, a chance to get even with the bad guys. And maybe if this is how people really are, demanding someone else’s blood on the mere sayso of a grieving mother, I ought to rethink my position on the death penalty. I have always considered it the end point on a continuum of punishment for wrongdoing. Like a time-out. And just as timeouts wont unbreak a vase or uncut your sister’s hair, the death penalty wont bring back a lost child.
And it’s really that what gets me. First I better be clear. So far I don’t think Katie is doing what I’m about to complain about. I think, because she has said so, that she’s just trying to make sure her son’s deaths investigated properly. Which is a perfectly reasonable thing for any mother to do when her child dies under mysterious circumstances. But the thing that is driving me wild (staying on theme) is the number of people who are turning Henry Granju into a bloody shirt(google it) for the drug war.
I keep reading that since Henry’s gateway drug was pot, that proves pot should stay illegal. If I ( a non-pot user) can point to five cases of pot smokers who are actively leading lives as productive as any casual drinker, does that change anything?
I also keep reading that since Henry was addicted to and ultimately succumbed to an overdose of Rx pain meds that there should be “tighter restrictions” on legal pain meds. Of course that sets my hackles arising like nothing else can. I know addicts (and hope some will comment here) and I know pain patients. Every addict I know says pain meds are easy to get. I have no idea where they go to get them or how much of their family’s hard earned money they spend on them. But every person I know in legitimate pain from disease is constantly struggling to have their pain managed. Doctors are afraid to prescribe them. Pharmacists are wary about filling them. Our names are checked and cross-checked on databases. There are a litany of procedures we go through to have them approved, filled and stored safely. Yet kids like Henry and women like my addict friends still can get them easily. It isn’t fair. And that makes me angry. Wild, even.