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Trainspotting Satire

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Those who have ventured into the darker corners of addiction know that one of its few consolations, once the fun has worn off, is the camaraderie with fellow practitioners. Substance abuse sets the user apart from the daily lives of ordinary people. No matter how well the addict may seem to be functioning, there is always the secret agenda, the knowledge that the drug of choice is more important than the mundane business at hand, such as friends, family, jobs, play and sex.
Because no one can really understand that urgency as well as another addict, there is a shared humor, desperation and understanding among users. There is even a relief: Lies and evasions are unnecessary among friends who share the same needs. “Trainspotting” knows that truth in its very bones. The movie has been attacked as pro-drug and defended as anti-drug, but actually it is simply pragmatic. It knows that addiction leads to an unmanageable, exhausting, intensely uncomfortable daily routine, and it knows that only two things
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“What do drugs make you feel like?” George Carlin asked. “They make you feel like more drugs.” The characters in “Trainspotting” are violent (they attack a tourist on the street) and carelessly amoral (no one, no matter how desperate, should regard a baby the way they seem to). The legends they rehearse about each other are all based on screwing up, causing pain, and taking outrageous steps to find or avoid drugs. Strange, the cult following “Trainspotting” has generated in the UK, as a book, a play and a movie. It uses a colorful vocabulary, it contains a lot of energy, it elevates its miserable heroes to the status of icons (in their own eyes, that is), and it does evoke the Edinburgh drug landscape with a conviction that seems born of close observation. Drug use is not linear but circular. You never get anywhere unless you keep returning to the starting point. But you make fierce friends along the way. Too bad if they

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