Myths of Mexico: The U.S. Media’s Simplistic Depiction of the “Drug War”

Editor’s Note: Guest blogging at Points today is Michelle García, journalist, film maker, and the co-founder and director of the Border Mobile Journalism Collective, a citizen journalism video project on the U.S.-Mexico border created in collaboration with the National Black Programming Consortium.  She recently completed “Against Mexico— The Making of  Heroes and Enemies,” a documentaryContinue reading “Myths of Mexico: The U.S. Media’s Simplistic Depiction of the “Drug War””

Freaky Friday: *Go Ask Alice* Forty Years Later

Editor’s Note: Former Contributing Editor, now Esteemed Guest Blogger Brian Herrera reminds us all what to do when logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.  His meditation is cross-posted from his Performations blog. Forty years ago, Go Ask Alice was published.  In the intervening years, it has remained in print and on library shelves, garneringContinue reading “Freaky Friday: *Go Ask Alice* Forty Years Later”

Thoreau’s Lament on Cider’s Fall

Henry David Thoreau’s (1817-1862) essay, “Wild Apples,” was published posthumously in the November, 1862 edition of The Atlantic Monthly.  In it, Thoreau celebrated the history, beauty, fragrance, taste, and meanings of apples and apple trees – i.e., both regarding apples in general and wild apples in particular.  His essay ended with a rueful lament suggesting that, owing to the riseContinue reading “Thoreau’s Lament on Cider’s Fall”

Who Bought Whom? Revisiting “Bowman’s Compromise”

As I reported in my 1991 dissertation,(1) the fledgling Research Council on Problems of Alcohol voted to narrow its future scientific attentions to studies of alcoholism only in the autumn of 1939.  Future Council research on other alcohol-related topics, including possible new studies of alcohol’s effects on the human organism or society, would henceforth beContinue reading “Who Bought Whom? Revisiting “Bowman’s Compromise””

Recovery Lifestyle, 2.0

Today witnesses the launch of, a new “sober lifestyles” site offering “addiction and recovery, straight up” (their words, not mine).  The site is the brainchild of former magazine publisher and recovering alcohol abuser Maer Roshan, who discovered recently while getting sober that in recovery you find “people who are united by their values, unitedContinue reading “Recovery Lifestyle, 2.0”

The Points Interview: Barbara W. Grossman

The fifth installment of the Points Interview takes us on our first venture into biography as a dimension of drugs history.  Here, we talk with Barbara Wallace Grossman, author of A Spectacle of Suffering: Clara Morris on the American Stage (Southern Illinois University Press, 2009).  The work tells the story of the actress Clara Morris, whoseContinue reading “The Points Interview: Barbara W. Grossman”

Oxy is the New Meth

The New York Times gleefully reports today on the bust of  Staten Island Oxycodone ring whose leaders shilled the pills out of ice cream trucks parked in the borough’s suburban neighborhoods.   This is slightly different in substance but identical in tone to recent stories about “pill mills” in South Florida and Ohio that have identifiedContinue reading “Oxy is the New Meth”

Los Angeles: City of No Surprises

Everyone, including the writer/director, producer, and stars of the film, had figured Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone a long shot in all the Academy Awards categories for which it was nominated last night–Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay (from the novel by Daniel Woodrell).  Nevertheless, it was particularly depressing to seeContinue reading “Los Angeles: City of No Surprises”

POINTS Guide to the 83rd Annual Academy Awards

In case you hadn’t heard, the 83rd Annual Academy Awards will be distributed on Sunday evening. And even if you haven’t paid attention recently (or ever), it might be of interest to you as a POINTS reader to recall that Oscar – the nickname for film industry’s most prestigious award for achievement – has longContinue reading “POINTS Guide to the 83rd Annual Academy Awards”


Television narrative has long mined drug and alcohol use and abuse for inciting incidents. As a plot device deployed to inaugurate conflict within a television narrative, drugs and alcohol can really do the trick, whether for single episodes or for multi-episode story arcs. In a dramatic series, this or that beloved character might become addictedContinue reading “RehabTV?”

%d bloggers like this: