Imagine, if you will, High School Anthony.
I went to a public high school and liked it. Although not a popular kid, and I made social mistakes, my primary social circle had nothing to do with high school. I had a somewhat I don’t get a fuck attitude.
High school takes on a whole new light when you Just Don’t Give a Fuck what anyone there says about you.
There were guys I admired at my high school, and let’s call one of them Bob.
Bob was tall. Bob was well-read and highly educated. Bob was articulate. Bob had a hot sister. Bob was popular with all the pretty girls. The beautiful girls that put out. Guys wanted to be Bob. Girls wanted to fuck Bob. It was great to be Bob.
I wanted to be Bob when I grew up.
Sometime later on Facebook (do you detect a pattern here), I noticed Bob was increasing becoming unhinged over his politics until he was making Facebook videos where he was the most terrible of bullies–disparaging women who did not vote the way he does. I could not believe what I was seeing.
I chalked that one up to “rose-colored glasses” about impressional teen boys. I blocked him and his increasingly also unhinged (no longer hot) sister and moved on.
Now imagine Working Anthony. I may have been young and immature, but I was a pro and a tech.
Occasionally, I had dealings with a guy we’ll call Frank. Frank was sharp, articulate, well-traveled, highly educated, and had this great wit. Sometimes, he would post on the old ARPNET groups and the company’s proto BBS. Thoughtful, empathetic posts with a classical liberal (as opposed to a progressive liberal) viewpoint. Frank was great.
Sometime later on Facebook (do you detect a pattern here), I noticed Frank was increasing becoming unhinged over not just his politics but many other subjects. He was about as paranoid–or more so–than Bob. At least he didn’t turn into a bully.
But he was not, absolutely not, talking like the guy I knew. It was as if he was a different person.
And then I figured it out. Bob and Frank were regular weed smokers. For decades. In my drug intervention classes I took so long ago, they talked about this. Paranoia. Personality drift and degradation. Lack of empathy. Seething hostility.
Weed got them. A moment of silence for Bob and Frank, victims of the drug war.
Drugs are bad, folks, m’kay.
Walk with God. And do not fear.