Young Adults And ODs
With the death of two young adults form Ecstasy Overdoses and the subsequent early closing of Electric Zoo, I wondered why I am not more affected by what is certainly a tragedy.
The thing about teenage deaths, any deaths, is that it matters much more to the people involved than it does to the observer. The secret about death is that for the most part it is a very very subjective situation: when it is not mass or famous death, it is really between the dead and their inner circle in life. So while in theory I am sorry for the two people who died, in practise I don’t much case.
What if, say, a three year old boy got run over by a bus? If you hear about it you care, but if you don’t hear about it you don’t care because death and life never end; they just go on and on and on.
This leads to the question of protecting young people from the evils of drugs, or indeed, life itself. And you can’t protect any one from life, not even yourself. I am not a parent and I think the lack of a child has caused me to roughen over the natural empathy for kids. I don’t quite feel it except on a subject level: abstract I see no future for myself after my death so what happens to the young doesn’t concern me.
Therefore, when I hear a teenager died, if I don’t know that teenager I sort of shrug. Drugs are not Russian Roulette. It isn’t a one in six chance that kids will die if they take drugs, it is more like 1 in a million. Now if you are the one in a million that dies, those are lousy odds. But you can’t look at Ecstasy or alcohol, or any drugs or aspect of life, by the sole concept that you might die.
Yes, you might die. But you might die a million other ways as well.
That doesn’t help the family of the dead babies but so what? Their problem is not my concern. There are too many people to cry for lost souls, you can’t live that way or you will never stop crying. Rather you have to be cold to individual grief and look at hard numbers.
Looking at hard numbers, half a million people have been to Electric Zoo and two people have died. That’s not a crises it is an anomaly.