Back in the day, our grandparents swallowed goldfish, sat on flagpoles or squeezed into telephone booths to have a good time and become members of the “in crowd.” Then times picked up a bit and when our parents came around, they began to go to Beatles concerts, peace marches and disco bars, all because that was the thing to do. And out of that “free love” era we were inevitably hatched.
Generation X, as they so often refer to us, although much different as the previous generations, still must find a way to assimilate into the norm. Yes, we also emphasize on what “in thing” is trekking society. We dress almost in uniform, styling all the trendy back to school ensembles, coloring our language with all forms of slang, hanging out at all the coolest coffee houses. Even with generations separating us, we all have had trends affect us, and for Generation X that problem has gone from yesteryear’s marathon dancing to shooting up with drugs.
Somewhere in the mix of all that good old fun, drugs were introduced as not just an optional pastime, but as a well-accepted trend. The initial start was small and almost unrecognizable as cigarettes began to seep into the fashion scene of the ’20s as they became a necessary accessory that plastered magazines and infested women’s purses.
Then, as if rotting lungs were not enough, someone began to shine the lime light onto alcohol. There probably was not an exact date when beer was introduced at parties, but we can assume that even after Grams and Gramps had a big football win, beer was a beverage at the post-game party.
Pot was quite a delicacy for the ’60s flower children as they protested the war with a banner in one hand and a joint in the other. Socializing with others meant sharing a smoke.
Smoked-filled bars, among other unappealing places, became the home for adventure seekers questing for something with more kick than previously tried components. Cocaine and acid hit the scene with quite a trip, as trend seekers kept them alive and in circulation throughout the ’70s and ’80s.
Marijuana reemerged in the ’90s as the music and lifestyles of the ’60s and ’70s began to trickle back into the mainstream. Aftershocks of the old trends were not limited to rock legends.
Well, now as we are approaching a new millennium, we are embracing a society that still yearns for that underground drug scene. And answering its call is heroin. Being a seedy metropolis favorite for some time, and now being given its day in the sun by the film and music industries, heroin is a habit that middle-class suburbia will hopefully not continue to adopt.
Movies such as “Pulp Fiction” that let you drive in the front seat with John Travolta as he flies through cloud nine after a quick test of his newly-bought heroin, gives us the impression that this drug is in and worth a good trip.
Not playing into the hoopla of Hollywood, “Trainspotting,” a low-budget film recently released in major theaters, emphasized the savage and lush Scottish underworld filled with drugs and all its unappetizing side effects. “Trainspotting” gives us a insight on heroin and its horrible effects.
The movie-like life does not have a happy ending. What does when you are led into the world of drugs just because your friends do it? Too much is shoved onto us today. Do not buy the idea that cool can be bought and injected. Read the fine print. Trends come and go, but one’s life should last as long as possible. The fad, just like the high, only lasts a short moment in time.
Echelle Avelar, a sophomore journalism major, is sports editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.