Radley Balko\'s Pleasure-Enducing Humor Is The New Heroin

Radley Balko - crack journalist:

Cultural busybodies have long known that in post-this-is-your-brain-on-drugs America, the best way for to win attention for a pet cause is to compare it to some scourge that already scares the bejesus out of America.

...The above examples notwithstanding, heroin is still the analogical drug of choice for classifiers of public and private vice. When it comes to being the New Heroin, heroin, not surprisingly, remains the champ. A Lexis search for “the new heroin,” brings back 74 returns over the last two years, compared to just seven for “the new crack cocaine.” You might say that heroin “is the new crack cocaine” of overly enthusiastic drug war comparisons.

Glen Whitman coined a term to describe the lazy journalism technique that sometimes takes the form, "X is the new Y." He dubbed them "snowclones," after the equally annoying formula, "If Eskimos have N words for snow, X surely have Y words for Z."

I wonder, though - as more and more nattering nannies compare activities they do not approve of to crack and heroin, will they be subject to the boy-who-cried-wolf phenomenon? Or better yet, will their nefarious plan backfire entirely? Instead of the public thinking cheese is as bad as heroin, perhaps people will begin to get the idea that heroin is no worse for society than cheese.

One can only hope. I long for the day when I can purchase chili-crack fries from a drive-through vending/slot machine on my ATV while playing a pornographic MMORPG.

Hmm....this wish of mine sounds vaguely familiar...

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