08 August 2005

The New York Post Saves Democracy

Cocaine On The Brain

So I'm rocking a sea-green rocking chair in my newly reconstituted living room today, waiting for the heat to die down. My apartment is newly filled with Cape Cod furniture culled, I suppose, from elderly cottage owners without heirs, courtesy of the girl moving in this fall.

I'm rocking in a sea-green rocking chair (upholstered in what I believe is courderoy) but that, of course, is not the story. The story, which I can't really believe I missed, was printed here about two weeks ago in the indefatiguable NY Post. It describes a plot, which I imagine taking place in a hacienda somewhere secluded, perhaps with a helicopter landing pad and expensive black and silver cars in the driveway that winds for three and a half miles through virgin forest. Cicadas are beginning to chirp in the distance. Dinner and drinks have been served. Nervous young men with guns are darting eyes and staying as still as possible. Now, as dusk falls, the men are getting down to business.

The plot is this: Osama Bin Ladin tries to buy hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cocaĆ­na from Columbian drug lords, have it poisoned, and then funnel it into the U.S.

A balmy South American breeze wafts through imported palms. The Columbian drug lords in the hacienda thank Bin Ladin for his time and say they'll get back to him. There are cordial handshakes.

Several weeks later, in a We regret to inform you... the Columbians graciously decline the offer to poison the United States' cocaine supply, citing concerns that this could effectively destroy the market for coke in the US and invite military retaliation, and tell Bin Ladin they hope he understands that, while the offer is a unique and interesting one, it doesn't mesh with their current organizational goals.

Imagine, if you will, the terrifying alternative. With eighties nostalgia shrugging Members Only jackets onto O.C. cast members and eightballs being razored and stacked into lines on celebrity mirrors, the plot conjures up images of the Olsen twins dying horrifically over a glass coffeetable in New York while, across the country, child actors, hardcore investment bankers, indolent trust fund children and most of LA county meet a similar fate.

To some of you, this may be a comfort. For me, I refuse to give in to the easy laugh. The Olsen twins can foam at the mouth and twitch from poisoned cocaine all they want, but what about the millions of ordinary Americans who aren't emaciated faux-boho NYU billionaires? What about my neighbor with the taste for blow?

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