Pubdate: Sun, 14 Jan 2007
Source: Nevada Appeal (Carson City, NV)
Copyright: 2007 Nevada Appeal
Author: John Dimambro
Note: John DiMambro is publisher of the Nevada Appeal.
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


Can you hear that? It's my applause for Carson City's  most recent
installment in its dogged battle against  methamphetamine use and
addiction - a TV special  titled, "Crystal Darkness," which aired Jan.
9. My  applause is mainly for Carson City's aggressive support  of
coalitions against this deadly drug - the kind of  support that
continues to give our city a seat in front  of the class of so many
other cities.

Mayor Teixeira's strong belief that this  once-underground subculture
of slow-motion suicide is  now uprooted and above ground, and has been
sprouting  blossoms as ugly as those on the faces of the addicted  and
afflicted, is one of our city's boldest underscores  of war against
this fatality flirtation.

I also believe Kenny Furlong and his daughter Kendra  should be
cheered for their soul-baring testimony. If  what they said looked
easy, it was only because of  their undaunted willingness to share the
nightmare of  the addiction's waking hours with those who are about
to have their dreams marred and broken. Darrell, the  imprisoned
ex-addict, was compellingly articulate as  well.

I do, however, think the show fell short of its  prescribed objective.
Bear with me on this, because  it's harder than you think to be
critical of something  when its intentions were so honorable.

Did the makers of the documentary really identify their  targeted
audience? Was it for the parents? Or was it  for the youth? I think
the intention of the message was  for the youth, but the language was
delivered to the  parents.

If a child's eyes are not pasted to the TV screen, then  something is
not sticking. We have to think like  children and teens when trying to
talk to them. Did  "Crystal Darkness" really talk to them? Or did it
talk  at them?

I still maintain that unrelenting and unmerciful shock  is the most
jarring and terrifying cause and affect of  trying to reach the youth
who are lost in or at the  entrance of the meth maze.

In the documentary, we didn't see the unforgiving  images of
hell-dwelling lives during their addiction.

It's OK to listen to students offering academically  correct
denouncements of meth, but seeing grisly street  scenes of
drug-induced activity, or listening to the  tortured disgorge of words
spilling from a lifeless  mouth that craters the deteriorated terrain
of a  once-beautiful face, are oppressive images that belie  the
nightingale to the fallen angel. We need less talk  and much more
uninhibited visual repulsion.

When a child or a teen looks at pictures of themselves  with something
as common as dental braces, they are  usually repelled by the thought
of cosmetic  imperfection.

What would happen if they saw a real person - not a  picture - but a
real person in motion and sound, whose  droned voice whistles through
a forest of rotted  tree-stump teeth, with eyes that are lit only by a
  broken bulb vacancy sign, and facial flesh that reeks  of irreparable

Some cynics would claim that such shock would only  cause
uncontrollable laughter from the youth whose  faces have already
fallen into the toolbox and come out  with enough piercing to make
complexion impurity seem  like improvement. But again, if we for a
moment think  like them, even they wouldn't want their questionable
beautification by metallic punctures upstaged by the  indisputable
ugliness of meth's decomposition  properties. Again, the impetus of

If the senses of our youth are not shaken by the  bruised numbness of
the brain and its failure of  structured thought that can no longer
put a sentence  together, or even an expression of pure and
decipherable emotion, or trace its own path toward  life's treasure
trove of memories, then feeding their  eyes with the dead skin of a
person who is not well as  consequence to the necrotic powers of meth
may jar  their deathwatch with sudden life.

Maybe we can then look at them and ask, "Is it all  clear to you now?"
And we can hear the answer we all  long to believe, "Yes. Crystal."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake