Why Do People Take Drugs?

(This post was originally published in the Huffington Post)

42-60710618_1200_800_84_c1

So farewell Silk Road. To those of you who’ve only just heard about it since its shutdown, well, it clearly hasn’t been causing you any bother. Just a bunch of wasters who got to stay off the mean streets for a while and got some good shit on the net, like you do on Amazon and eBay, right down to the part where no one worried about paying any tax.

The debate about whether Silk Road was actually a rather good thing or pure evil has thrown up that age-old question: why the heck do you people take drugs? It’s illegal! It’s bad for you! It makes you rape grannies!

See the problem with talking about drugs is that people who don’t take it don’t get it, and those that do sound like imbeciles when they try to explain it. Well, I’m fairly comfortable with sounding like an imbecile, so here goes… Continue reading “Why Do People Take Drugs?”

Why Do People Pretend to be Passionate About Things When They’re Not?

(This post was originally published in the Huffington Post)

2014-06-18-realfake.jpgThis is a story about being cool.

It starts, preposterously enough, with The Police. (For the record: I could’ve gone with the always cool The Pixies to spin this yarn, seeing as they were involved in a similar issue a few years later, but this article is about placing truth over appearing cool, and I can’t imagine a better way to exonerate myself from any pretence of cool than to begin with Sting.)

The band had reformed in 2007. Much hype, much hoopla, much gripe on my part for failing to bagsy a ticket that wasn’t way out (or rather, tout) of my budget, certainly not enough to warrant seeing a band I used to love as a kid but then forgot about because of, well, Sting.

But that’s when I first noticed it, the phenomenon of Facebook Fan Fakery, since updated as Forum Falsities, Twitter Tall Tales, Blogger Bollocks and all-round Social Media Mendacity. Continue reading “Why Do People Pretend to be Passionate About Things When They’re Not?”