Monday, 29 April 2013

Roger and me

Roger Ebert, Chicago film critic extraordinaire, died on April 4th 2013. My memories of Ebert are entirely derived through his writings. I have never met Roger in person.

I first began reading Ebert's reviews when Siskel died. That was back in 1999 and I was still a teenager watching awful movies like The Animal or The Waterboy (sadly admit I witnessed both in theatres). I had been watching the Siskel and Ebert night at the movies up until then, and it was entertaining stuff. They bickered but you knew there was a real opinion behind every comment. Every week they introduced countless new films. It would have been impossible not to tear down the walls and open up. Keeping in mind they were not professional talkers, rather professional writers, and could not BS their way through every review. I have a good BS detector and never once did alarms sound with these two. My own "to thine own self be true"-type honesty had yet to mature, and so as I watched their recommendations of good movies week after week I still would go with friends and catch the latest Sandler flick. But shortly after Siskel died, my curiosity got the best of me and wondered what Ebert looked like in writing. Back then his website was nonexistent. The domain had yet to be registered (as far as I know). Thankfully the Chicago Sun Times had even then an electronic database of his reviews.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Drugs of the mind and body

I have an open-ended question to pose: Is there any moral difference between manipulating our mind versus our body with drugs? After some thought I decided within the world of work (jobs & offices), physical drugs are normal and mental drugs are everyone's dirty secret. By contrast in the world of sport it is the opposite: physical drugs are demonized and secretive while mentally altered states are the norm (or at worst redundant).

For some context on what constitutes "normal" or acceptable in Western society's drug use, here is the United States' top selling drugs of 2012: