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Cute Glasses of the Week: Green Fairy

15/05/2012

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(These glasses are brought to you by ZenniOptical.com)

Several years ago, a friend gave me a small jar of absinthe she acquired from an overseas trip. She put it in a spice jar for transport. At the time, and for the first time having absinthe not in its original container, I realised something. Absinthe is basically NyQuil, but with a prettier bottle. Yuck. Not a fan, but I still like these glasses. 

Absinthe is illegal in the US for some highly dubious reasons. Like most drugs, this relatively harmless substance had some very high profile negative press and got itself banned. Wormwood, supposedly a hallucinogen was cited as a harmful social ill. What was really being banned was the subculture surrounding it: poets, progressives etc.

This was similarly true of most drugs classed as illegal

Marijuana: Jazz and African Americans

Cocaine: African Americans and the labouring class

Opium: Chinese immigrants

LSD: Hippies

Ecstasy: Ravers

The subculture is really what’s being prohibited, though the drug becomes the scapegoat. You can’t outlaw being Chinese, but you can start indiscriminitely arresting Chinese immigrants on suspicion of selling opium. Cigarettes, coffee and alcohol will never be illegal because they are mainstream and consumed by the dominant culture. 

I’m not backing any of this up with facts or references, because this is supposed to be a fun post. This all goes back to a recent conversation with my husband, whose book I’ll be reviewing later this week as it has now had its US release (hooray!). 

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