I had a dream last night that I was at an airport, leaving to go on a week-long vacation (to Italy, of course!) and was trying to figure out a way to inform you, Faithful Blog Reader, that you wouldn’t be seeing any new posts while I was gone, and upon waking, I decided that this is my sub-conscious’ way of letting me know:
A). That the blog has become so important to me I’m now dreaming about it, and
2). That it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything new (or perhaps, just anything interesting 😛 ), and I’d better get on it!
So today, I return to a topic that’s already been covered here but which continues to fascinate me in the way that it grows in ever-surprising, ever-disturbing, and seemingly unlikely ways.
Such as: How college-educated, mostly white, often male, middle to upper middle class, young-to-middle-aged urban professional, casual drug users – i.e. people who “should know better” – graduate from using a little of this or a little of that to help them keep up with their overwhelming workloads or wind down from them into abusing harder, cheaper, and illegal drugs, and often in seemingly innocuous milieus…such as the IT-laden land of tech industry behemoths running their shows in Silicon Valley, California.
In other words, this is not your father’s heroin addict.
A most recent case in point – the Google executive, a married father of five children who brought a “high-class” call girl aboard his yacht in Santa Cruz, CA for a little afternoon delight and ended up injected with a lethal dose of heroin and left to die alone – wasn’t an anomaly, according this this article featured in San Jose Mercury News (which, I’m happy to note, also contains a quote from an interview with LifeRing’s own Byron Kerr).
It’s apparently just one among the many potential fates waiting to befall his peers coping with high-stress, high-income careers in the IT industry, where the supply-and-demand ratio means one can barely keep one’s head above water on a good day without a pharmaceutical booster (or 12). It reminds me a great deal of the stockbrokers working in Jordan Belfort’s 80’s shady stocks firm as depicted in Martin Scorsese’s 2013 film, “The Wolf of Wall Street”.
Anyone unfortunate enough to have seen the movie (what can I say? I love Scorsese, just not this time) likely knows what I’m getting at. I can just imagine the same non-stop, debauched hookers and blowfest as depicted in “Wolf…” going on behind the closed doors of every tech company in the Valley, from the start-ups to the giants (Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc. etc. etc.), and beyond, where it’s not just a job, it’s an adventure! And everyone’s in on it.
Talk about a weird, scary new facet in American life. Is this really what it takes to make it in the tech industry, or is it just another, updated permutation of the drug culture tinged with hysteria and “Wolf”-like hyperbole?
One gets the sense from the Mercury News article’s comments section it’s long been the former becoming newly hyped by as the latter, and the utter lack of compassion I’ve seen from commenters across the board on multiple web stories about the deceased Google executive, which amounts to “he chose to take the heroin, therefore he chose to die, and good riddance to bad rubbish”, leaves me feeling defeated and cold.
Whatever the hell is going on, I don’t know about you, but I don’t find myself particularly reassured, after all the years we’ve been talking about drugs, alcohol and addiction, this distorted perception that it’s all just a “choice” is as far as we’ve gotten.
And on that light and airy note, I wish you all a happy, healthy and good day, and would love to hear some feedback from any of you who have any thoughts about any of this, as well!