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Friday, June 27, 2003

Just the guy every father hopes to see at the door, coming to take his daughter out on a date. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that he's a murderer and a speed freak; it's not like he's going to get a paying job.

Thoughts of drugs turn my attention to the book I just finished: "Reefer Madness," by Eric Schlosser. I recommend it. Schlosser does a good job of exploring the "underground" economy and its effects on the "real" economy, and did almost as good a job of getting under my skin as he did in "Fast Food Nation." Some stats I remembered:

1/8 of the UK's GDP comes from black market activity.
America's #1 legal crop is corn, at $16 billion. The value of the annual marijuana crop is between $4 and $24 billion.
Americans spend more on porn than on Hollywood movies.

Of course, the book is a slightly reedited collection of his excellent reports for The Atlantic...
In the Strawberry Fields
Reefer Madness
Marijuana and the Law
More Reefer Madness
... so you can get a taste of the book there. It's good , but "Fast Food Nation" is great, and "Reefer Madness" unfortunately suffers by comparison. "Fast Food Nation" changed the way I looked at the world -- probably because it wasn't predictable.

Nevertheless, the best writing on porn I have ever seen is not in "Reefer Madness" but rather was a lengthy article on the Adult Video Awards written for Premiere Magazine in September 1998 by "Anonymous" (David Foster Wallace). Keen insight, real heart, and a great sense of humor. Apparently not available online.

 4:24 PM

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