A Royal Scribe Publication
16-Dec-2004 - My Year of Living Dangerously
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31-Oct-2004 - Words of Encouragement
31-Oct-2004 - Vote for Kerry Even in Safe States
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30-Oct-2004 - Today's Political News
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28-Oct-2004 - John Kerry's Historic Endorsements
28-Oct-2004 - 25 Years Combating LGBT Violence
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28-Oct-2004 - How You Can Protect Your Right to Vote
27-Oct-2004 - The Last Straw
27-Oct-2004 - Conservative Quotes for Kerry
27-Oct-2004 - Breaking Political News
27-Oct-2004 - Notable Quotes, Volume 5
26-Oct-2004 - Another Look at Taking Back the Senate
26-Oct-2004 - Breaking News of the Day
25-Oct-2005 - Breaking Political News of the Day
24-Oct-2004 - Can the Democrats Regain the House?
23-Oct-2004 - Early Voting Trends
23-Oct-2004 - Bits and Pieces, Volume 4
22-Oct-2004 - Bush OKs New Corporate Tax Cut
22-Oct-2004 - Beware Fox News and MSNBC
21-Oct-2004 - Gymnast Paul Hamm Gets to Keep Gold
20-Oct-2004 - Notable Quotes, Volume 4
20-Oct-2004 - Bits and Pieces, Volume 3
19-Oct-2004 - Movies Released in 2004
18-Oct-2004 - Bits and Pieces, Volume 2
18-Oct-2004 - The Crystal Prison
17-Oct-2004 - What If There's a Tie?
16-Oct-2004 - Notable Quotes, Volume 3
15-Oct-2004 - Endorsements for John Kerry
13-Oct-2004 - Notable Quotes, Volume 2
13-Oct-2004 - Bits and Pieces, Volume 1
12-Oct-2004 - Ranked Choice Voting Hits San Francisco
7-Oct-2004 - Notable Quotes, Volume 1
7-Oct-2004 - Prince Adares Shows Signs of Royal Affinity
7-Oct-2004 - Controlling the U.S. Senate
7-Oct-2004 - Key Battleground States
6-Oct-2004 - Democratic Hopes for the 2004 Elections
6-Oct-2004 - Welcome to The Imperial Gazette
October 18, 2004
The Crystal Prison
As a kid, I was obsessed with L. Frank Baum's Oz books. I read them all, over and over and over, for years. I couldn't quite make out all of the lyrics to the song, but there were clear references to the Oz books: from Ozma of Oz, the wind-up man (Tiktok), the wheelies, and the queen with a hundred heads, Princess Langwidere (who actually only had 30 heads, and who lived in a palace of mirrors so she could admire them all); from The Patchwork Girl of Oz, the Patchwork Girl and potentially the four-leaf clover (a possible reference to Ojo's six-leaf clover); and the Skeksis, a possible reference to the Skeezers in Glinda of Oz, though more likely a reference to Frank Oz's film The Dark Crystal.
I knew the song was an allegory, but I couldn't make out enough of the lyrics to understand it. The I discovered the lyrics around the same time that I found an About.com interview with one of the band members, Baby Daddy, who comments on the song:
Crystal meth. Short for crystal methamphetamines. Also known as tina, krank, tweak, and ice.
The scourge of a generation of gay youth.
Look, I'm not a prude when it comes to experimentation. I've tried my share of different things. Not as many as some of my friends, perhaps, but enough to feel satisfied that I've "sown my oats," so to speak. I don't judge my friends and peers who continue to play around with them.
But I haven't tried Tina. Just like I haven't tried shooting up heroin.
Tina's different. Tina's a harsh mistress.
She works so quickly. She's addictive - hard-core, intense, immediate.
This isn't one person. And it isn't friend-of-friend anecdotes. I run with a pretty clean crowd, but it would take more than two hands to count the number of people I personally know whose lives have been harmed or ruined by the ravages of crystal methamphetamines. And though so many people I know have used ecstasy and other party drugs, none have suffered the way those who use Tina have.
Tina is cutting a swath of death and destruction through the gay community. I take a live and let live attitude to most things, but not this one. Not this time. How many times have I found myself watching another life ruined? Too many.
There's help. Tweaker.org may be controversial to some because it doesn't condemn the community it serves - but that's what makes them effective. In San Francisco, Magnet provides free HIV and STD-testing, but also hosts special events relating to recovery and can provide recommendations for recovery resources. And Crystal Meth Anonymous offers a more traditional 12-step approach to recovery.
Like Princess Langwidere in her palace of mirrors, Tina offers the promise of love and beauty and happiness and comfort. But her crystal palace is nothing more than a dark crystal prison.
© 2004. All original articles and commentaries published on this site remain the copyright of Kevin C. Goebel except where otherwise attributed. You may use excerpts with an attributed to The Imperial Gazette and a link to either www.cosmomovieawards.com/ig or directly to the excerpted article. For additional information, or to be alerted for new articles and updates, please email the Royal Scribe.