A Dennis Miller Rant

What are we doing spending billions of dollars trying to keep people's private lives in order? And I'm talking about legal-aged, consenting adults here. Not kids. We obviously have to take special precautions to protect kids. But what is this Orwellian hang-up of ours of sticking our nose into other grown-up's affairs? What concern is it of ours if some mindless stoner wants to spend his life hooked up to a Turkish skullbong?

Now I'm not pro-drug. They obviously cause a lot of damage. But I am pro-logic, and you're never going to stop the human need for release through altered consciousness. The government could take away all the drugs in the world and people would spin around on their lawn until they fell down and saw God.

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but it seems to really enrage the vast cheese-dog and beer-quaffing nation out there when someone decides to waste his own life chasing down chemical euphoria. And I'm not sure why. Our displeasure with someone hell-bent on self-ruination through drug use seems really disproportionate to its direct impact on us. And as a matter of fact, we amplify that impact when we attempt to enforce unenforceable laws. It not only costs us billions but puts us in harm's way as addicts are driven to crime as a means to an end.

Why do we chase druggies down like villagers after Karloff? Let them legally have what they already have and defuse the bomb.

You know, I think the hysteria about drugs is oftentimes baseless, and this comes from me - a man who has never done cocaine in his life, although I did smoke dope upon occasion during my stint as as student at Oxford in the late sixties. And the war on drugs is more often than not fruitless and patently hypocritical. Be honest with your-selves, now, what drugs are the most dangerous to most Americans? It's a no-brainer -- cigarettes and alcohol.

Those are the statistical champions by hundreds and thousands of deaths. And wouldn't you rather shoot a game of pool with a guy smoking a joint than a guy drinking whiskey and beer? Someone smoking a joint doesn't all of a sudden rear back and stab his partner in the eye socket with the cue stick, okay. He's too busy laughing at the balls.

And as far as harder drugs go, if somebody wants to shoot up and die right in front of you, more power to him, you know. It's his call. And you know, the herd has always had a way of thinning itself out.

We aren't stupid people, no more than anyone else in the world. So why are we obsessing on habits that harm no one but the habitual, while we let real problems slip even further out of reach?

We seem to be willfully turning away from reality, and from logic I add, to punish people who in many instances are doing an extremely fine job of punishing themselves, thank you. And in some cases, they're not even punishing themselves, but rather just following age-old spawning instincts that are woven as deeply into their brain as their need to watch "Seinfeld".

Is there anything more fruitless than trying to legislate sexual behavior? You know, according to the law, you can't even get a blow job in Georgia. No wonder Sherman hustled through there.

And really, if you stop to think about it, who is hurt by the time-honored, unavoidable trade of prostitution? Only the guys who pay extra to be hurt. There is no sane reason to cling to this archaic legal attempt to curtail an activity that will be around until the end of time. You know, you could come back to this planet ten thousand years from now and Man may have evolved to the point where he doesn't even take in nutrition through a hole in his head anymore, but I guarantee he'd still be cruising Ninth Avenue and trying to get a knob shine from somebody named "Desiree".

What sort of perfect Harrad Experiment society are we striving for, folks? One where you will be forced by the rigid puritanical mentality of your pinheaded, Gladys Kravitz neighbors into a tightly constricted, overly regimented existence? A life safe from the temptations, and rewards, of the flesh? Well, if that's your kink, go for it.

But for the rest of us, let's save the money we're wasting trying to regulate other people's private lives. If an individual wants to smoke a joint, shoot up, or munch blotter-like Tic Tacs and drop out, then let him.

Let's put the billions we're wasting on a drug war fought by fitness fanatics on steroids and three-martini senators rolling in pork back in the educational system. Let's free the courts and jails of lonely men and broken women who feel the need to buy and sell sex. Let's let the hookers and their johns have a safe building somewhere, off the streets, inspected medically, and taxed up the wazoo. Let's go from there to tax liquor and cigarettes 500 percent, so that those industries can pay for safe, ine-lane, drunk-proof highways and air-purification systems.

Most important, let's stop pretending that people are going to lead the lives that we tell them to lead. Let's stop pretending that a few simple prohibitions on substances and activities will yield up a nation of Beaver Cleavers, polite, clean, sexless, and ready to serve their fellow man, no questions asked.

People are people. They are going to do with their lives what they want to do, whether you like it or not. There is nothing you can do about them that won't break the bank, overcrowd the prisons, or corrode an already oxidized judicial system. People are perennially going to continue to get fucked up, and fucked, and we are going to continue to get fucked over if we don't concede the fact that there is absolutely fuck-all we can do about it.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

Copyright 1996 by Dennis Miller
from Dennis Miller, "The Rants", 1996, Doubleday Books, NY