Friday, May 26, 2006

Another romantic myth ...

... bites the dust.
I had not known that Mao Tse-Tung was "the greatest drug-addiction therapist in history." Seems millions of Chinese addicts gave up opium after Mao's "credible offer to shoot them if they did not."
Read Theodore Dalrymple's Poppycock.


  1. Again, I never realized the great man was also fiscal conservative.

  2. I know you're engaging in sarcasm, Frank, but am uncertain as to where/what it refers to. Plus, what precise "romantic myth" do you refer to in the title? I'm feeling really dumb today, so forgive the obvious questions.

  3. The romantic myth is that people are helpless to cope with opiate addiction - viz., The Man With the Golden Arm, Hatful of Rain, etc.
    I happen to know from personal experience that you can die from alcohol withdrawal (you can go into convulsions, etc.). No one ever died from heroin withdrawal, which actually is on the order of a bad case of flu. I know a good deal more about this from personal experience, but prefer to keep it in pectore. Does that answer the question?

  4. Oh, the business about Mao was simply a side order. Though it certainly does show that one can shake the habit if given the proper incentive.

  5. I thought being addicted to heroin ultimately led to kidney failure? That's what I was taught at school in one of those anti-drug drives they are so keen on anyway.

    But actually, Frank, I am quite happy to remain in ignorance, so no need to enlighten me.

  6. PS agree with what you say about alcohol poisoining by the way. You can also die of pancreatitis via alchololism if you don't try to stop.....not pleasant either way.