This week’s cover reunites four of the main actors from Breaking Bad, the iconic television show about the stupidity of the drug war. What? You do not think so? Well, tell me it was about something else. But for the drug war, absolutely none of the violence in the show would have been necessary. None of it. You do not see the Johnny Walker gang shooting it out with the Jack Daniels gang. But you saw the equivalent between gangsters during Prohibition. And you see it now, just not over alcohol distribution anymore. Just drugs. All of the existing drug violence we experience is due to a specific policy choice: violence is better than drug use. Seems kind of perverse, does it not?

Indeed, it does.

Who said it?   

In a quiz, EW quoted a line from the TNT television show Claws: “You got this, okay? Right now you are at a barbecue in Hyannisport and all the Kennedys are there, event the s—ty ones.” Which raises the question: Isn’t that the only kind left?

Claws, by the way, is not about dinosaurs or falcons or grizzly bears. The title refers to a group of women with very fancy, long fingernails. Who run drugs. Because the Drug War creates and subsidizes the black market. As noted conservative hero, economist and tv critic Milton Friedman said, “If you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the government is to protect the drug cartel. That’s literally true.” It also is the impetus for lots of popular culture. Also literally true.

The Must List

EW recommends you see the movie Sorry to Bother You. They claim writer/director Boots Riley “weaves a searing, timely take on capitalism,” among other things. I am going to go out on a limb here, because I have not seen the movie, but I am going to bet that Boots searing take is not exactly going to be pro laissez faire. 

What do you know?!! When I get to the actual review of the movie 27 pages later, reviewer Chris Nashawaty refers to the “flights-of-fancy detours Riley has up his Marxist merry-prankster sleeve.” Hey, what could be more worth of merry pranks than an ideology that has killed hundreds of millions of people in the last century alone?

EW also recommends the move Sicario: Day of the Soldado.1 Soldado is a sequel to the excellent 2015 film Sicario. I love both of these movies for many reasons, not the least of which is writer Taylor Sheridan’s screenplays.2 He creates complicated, dark characters deeply involved in, you guessed it, the violence of the Drug War. Both movies deal with the cartels and travelling across the Mexico/Texas border. Both show the depravity of the cartels. Unfortunately, the United States government is not portrayed as being any less depraved. Hey, what can I tell you? Drugs are bad, mmmkay? So illegal government operations using violence to fight the cartels it created by the Drug War is totally necessary. It is for the kids.3 EW describes Soldado as “a tense, bloody romp set against the desert backdrop of the U.S.-Mexico border.” Sounds good, does it not?

In the actual review of the movie twenty pages later, David Franich had some harsh words for it. He says “Day of the Soldado is our generation’s Rambo: First Blood Part II, a half-mad sequel transforming a traumatized political parable into a fantasy of all-American murder gods.” Franich completely misses the point. Rambo became a cartoon in the sequels. No one is a cartoon in Soldado. The characters in Soldado are all too real. Plus, unlike Rambo, none of the Americans in Soldado are portrayed as heroes or even good guys. Rambo, perhaps, became an American murder god. The main characters in Soldado, American and otherwise, are just plain old murderers. Maybe that is even why they named the movie “Sicario.”

Real Talk with Bill Maher”

In an interview hyping his HBO stand up special Live from Oklahoma, Makes makes one accurate comment. When asked what liberals can do to combat Trump, Maher says “don’t make it so easy to hate them [with their] political correctness bulls—, you know?”

Indeed, we do.

 

  1. Sicario means “hitman” or “assassin.” Soldado means “soldier.”
  2. Sheridan has also written the excellent Hell or High Water and Wind River, among other things.
  3. The Drug War. Not the movie.