This evening I had an awakening that had been long coming. Born and raised in a middle/upper-middle class neighborhood on the West side of Iowa City definitely had its advantages. It’s a close-knit area, and the schools are phenomenal. It had its disadvantages as well, as I found out tonight.
Entering my junior year of high school, I’ve heard about the kids who drink and experiment. I never can really imagine what they do, or what motivates them to do drugs or drink underage. We’ve all heard the stories in health class about the harmful affects of drugs and alcohol, but never thought all too much of them, most likely. As a part of the University of Iowa Homecoming festivities, I attended a concert on the Pentacrest in downtown Iowa City. What I experienced growing up never would have prepared me for what I saw that night.
As the concert began, it was just people smoking cigarettes, which I’m fine with. We have family friends and neighbors who smoke, so that’s not new to me. However, once the concert got underway, around 9:30 PM, things got downright scary for me. I’ve never seen someone smoke marijuana, but the smell of it wafted over the concert area as the evening progressed. My stomach turned and cramped, and my eyes dried out. It was only a matter of time before one deadbeat came up and offered me some “treats.” They were even flavored! I turned away, and shortly thereafter, he went looking for new customers.
Sure enough, certain groups of people around me were off in their own little world; at a complete disconnect from reality. What begins as laughable “dancing” gets old quick, and the fact that these people only care about getting high begins to bother me. I don’t care if they’re “having a good time” or “having fun,” they’re breaking a rule that exists outside the concert, and should inside as well. It is an act of selfishness; there are families scattered in the crowd, and eight-year-olds shouldn’t have to be exposed to this garbage behavior. There is an effort to regulate Iowa City bars to crack down on underage drinking. Why doesn’t the city care about the “gateway drug” as much?
Later, I saw some quality people drinking or eating (I couldn’t really tell) some odd substance from a Zip-Lock bag. Then having their little trips, hippy dances, and even picture time with the bag. Such careless behavior makes me wonder why people do such awful, harmful things to their bodies. As Sally Field says in the Boniva ad, we have one body and one life. I don’t think these apathetic losers realize that. They don’t realize they probably have a gift hiding somewhere within their “counter-culture” mask. Which, by the way, counter-culture nowadays is just the opposite. What used to be rebelling is now common practice. An earlier band was actually singing about how great smoking pot is. What a wonderful topic! The song provides just another example of the glorification of illegal substances within popular culture.
My first thought was that I hope these bastards don’t see the light of day again; as reparation for their careless actions. I realized, though, that I should not wish evil unto others. Instead, I wish these people would see the light, and stop their self-injurious indulgences. Stop smoking pot, and stop drinking laced crap out of plastic bags. Stop wandering around looking for a high, and stop being so unproductive! It’s scary that these people will someday have the jobs that we will depend on. I’m sure I sound like an old grouchy curmudgeon, but this is really important to me. “[…]Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves” (Romans 13:2). These people are breaking the law, and need to realize that.
Thanks for reading.