This evil industry includes a myriad of special interests who are profiting politically, professionally and financially from the mass incarceration of our children, siblings, friends and neighbors, whose only "crime" is the voluntary use of a psychoactive substance disapproved of by the alcohol-, tobacco-, caffeine-, valium-, ritalin- or prozac-consuming majority. The perpetrators of this atrocity frequently and cynically claim that they are somehow attempting to help those whom they are persecuting so brutally. The Nazis made the same claim concerning the Jews.

Any intelligent observer can recognize that the lives of drug abusers are made worse, not better, by Prohibition. In addition to the medical problems associated with their addiction, Prohibition relegates drug abusers to a life of poverty and destitution, theft, prostitution and imprisonment. Overdoses become more likely because of contaminated black-market drugs. Violence is produced by the monopoly on the drug trade by organized criminal groups. Addicts are driven to theft in order to raise the amounts of money needed to maintain a habit at black- market prices.

Prohibition has created a massive system of slavocracy in this country. We have more prisoners than any other nation in the world. One in 32 Americans is either in prison, on probation or on parole. Mass imprisonment has become a $150 billion-a-year industry. Prisons have become the second largest employer in the nation behind General Motors. The War on Drugs is tyranny and slavery. Drug warriors claim to be defending "victims" of drug abuse, a matter of personal responsibility, and then turn around and condemn these unfortunates as felonious criminals and enemies of the state. What we need is not a War on Drugs but a War on Drug Warriors and their lies and charlatanry.

Keith Preston

American Revolutionary Vanguard

Down With Halloween

Three cheers for the "Boo Humbug" piece by one of your best writers, Elizabeth Cogar, in the Oct. 23 issue.

Halloween is, most people believe, the grossest of holidays. May I suggest a campaign against it, starting earlier next year?

James Eichner

Theater Review Falls Short

I am writing to express my great disappointment in Mathis Parker's review of "Triple Play" currently playing at the Firehouse Theatre ("Three's Company," Nov. 13).

Ms. Parker obviously has no idea what the point of Absurdism is as a theatrical form, nor does she know anything at all about "Interview" playwright Jean-Claude van Itallie, an extraordinarily talented playwright and giant of the 1960s off-Broadway theatre movement.

Absurdism is meant to illuminate the pointlessness of existence and lack of definable truth. Language in Absurdism is reduced to a bantering game where words hide rather than illuminate truths. Action moves outside the realm of causality to chaos, space is minimalized, and characters often move in an incomprehensible, voidlike realm. Jean-Claude van Itallie's work is clearly dedicated to exploring the banality of existence while at the same time providing a scathing social criticism.

Did we see any of this at the Firehouse? Who knows? According to Ms. Parker, we got an "occasional shot of silliness," we were in "wacky mode," and finally, a "I clearly don't understand what is going on, so Van Itallie's message is 'probably influenced by marijuana fumes'"-type dismissal, which I found to be an offensive and sophomoric aspersion. This type of surface "gee I kinda liked it but I have no idea why or what it's about" criticism does a disservice to the audience, the actors and most of all the readers of Style Weekly. I applaud Bill Patton and the Firehouse for attempting such a difficult evening of theater.

Perhaps next time, Ms. Parker will do some homework before attending a show she knows nothing about.

Rick St.

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