Young musicians today are more likely than those of previous generations to decry the harm that drugs can cause, according to research in America.
The study, based on an analysis of drug lyrics in English-language popular music since the 1960s, was last week highlighted as one of the few pieces of good news in the annual survey by the European monitoring centre for drugs and drug addiction, the EU's drugs agency.
The research, published by the University of Texas at Austin, explodes the conventional wisdom that popular music encourages teenagers to abuse drugs.
The author, John Markert of Cumberland University, Tennessee, says that although there has always been a generally hostile attitude towards heroin and other hard drugs, teenage listeners today "are being exposed to more negative images of marijuana and LSD than older listeners."
The research comes as British MPs are preparing to vote on Wednesday to approve the reclassification of cannabis.
Songs dealing with illegal drugs have always dotted popular music. In the 1930s, Fats Waller dreamed about a "5-foot" joint in Viper's Drag, and Harry "the Hipster" Gibson posed the question: "Who put the benzedrine in Mrs Murphy's Ovaltine?"
But it was not until the 1960s that it became a constant theme. Markert's study, Sing a Song of Drug Use-Abuse, is based on analysis of 784 songs since the 1960s that explicitly mention an illegal substance. It shows that, while heroin and cocaine have largely been treated with hostility by musicians, their attitude towards cannabis and LSD has changed sharply over the years.
Markert found 100 songs with lyrics about heroin, more than half from the 1990s. But whether it is Lou Reed's "It's my wife, it's my life" from the song Heroin, Neil Young's "I watched the needle take another man" from The Needle and the Damage Done, or Pearl Jam's "It's my blood" from Blood, they demonstrate an increasingly hostile attitude in the 1990s.
Nearly twice as many songs deal with cocaine and they are also generally negative. Some from the 1960s and 1970s such as "She don't lie, she don't lie, cocaine", from Eric Clapton's version of JJ Cale's Cocaine, and the Grateful Dead's "Drivin' that train, high on cocaine", are hardly negative. But by the 1990s the attitude is far more trenchant with rap music presenting cocaine, particularly crack, as a loser drug. It seems there has been a much bigger shift in attitudes towards marijuana and LSD, and musicians use their hostility to drugs to attack the older generation.
Markert says that, while Jimi Hendrix's Purple Haze personified 1960s acid rock, four fifths of the songs that explicitly mention LSD are post 1980 and overwhelmingly hostile. "Contemporary young people view LSD as the drug of older, screwed-up middle-aged people," he says.
The majority of the songs in the sample are about cannabis and generally take a positive approach, although the more recent songs are more equivocal. Few 1960s songs explicitly mention marijuana, mainly because they would have been banned from radio.
The veteran country singer Willie Nelson produced a platinum-selling album, Hempilation, in 1995 singing the praises of cannabis.
In the 90s, several over-30s musicians, such as JJ Cale, Tom Petty and Sheryl Crow, released albums that lauded marijuana and were geared to an older, more marijuana-accepting audience.
They contrast sharply with the message from Biohazard's 1994 Failed Territory -- "another neighborhood gets destroyed by the drug deal" -- which attacks the systemic problem associated with drug use and is shared by nearly half of the 1990s songs analysed by Markert.
"1990s music such as Biohazard's sees nothing good with dope. Drugs are bad; there is no equivocation, no okay drugs such as marijuana or LSD and many of them link cannabis to other drugs such as cocaine as a gateway drug."
The Taiwan of yesteryear was dominated in whole or in part by the Dutch, Spanish, Qing Empire and Japanese. But is the Taiwanese name for a popular edible fish derived from the Portuguese language? Cheng Wei-chung (鄭維中), an associate research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Taiwan History, says yes. The fish in question is the narrow-barred Spanish mackerel, which was listed in early 18th century Qing local gazetteers as Taiwanese specialities alongside milk fish and mullet, according to Cheng’s paper, “Mullet, narrow-barred Spanish mackerel and milkfish: Multiple contextual developments of three certified seafood specilaities in Taiwan, from the
Chen Wang-shi (陳罔市) doesn’t know where to go if she is forced to move. The 78-year-old Chen is an active “sea woman” (海女) in Taiwan’s easternmost fishing village of Makang (馬崗) in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮). When the waves are calm, she ventures out to forage for algae, oysters and other edible marine morsels. She lives alone in the village, as her children have moved to the cities for work, returning for weekends and festivals. “I cannot get used to living in Taipei, and I feel very uncomfortable if I don’t go out to the ocean to forage. I
Aug. 10 to Aug. 16 They called him the “No Problem Doctor” (沒關係醫生) because that’s what he always told his patients when they couldn’t pay up. Operating the only clinic in Changhua County’s Pusin Township (埔心) during the 1950s, Hsu Tsai-chih (許再枝) knew that life was difficult in his remote hometown. “They barely had enough to survive, so it was pointless to chase after them for the money,” an 81-year-old Hsu told the United Daily News in 2002. “I just went with the flow, some offered to pay me back years later but I had already forgotten
A widely criticized peer-reviewed study that measured the attractiveness of women with endometriosis has been retracted from the medical journal Fertility and Sterility. The study, “Attractiveness of women with rectovaginal endometriosis: a case-control study,” was first published in 2013 and has been defended by the authors and the journal in the intervening years despite heavy criticism from doctors, other researchers and people with endometriosis for its ethical concerns and dubious justifications, with one advocate calling the study “heartbreaking” and “disgusting.” The study’s conclusion was: “Women with rectovaginal endometriosis were judged to be more attractive than those in the two control groups.