Built for Speed?
Methamphetamine has reclaimed a place in the lexicon of 'party' drugs. Hailed by nocturnal adventurers, condemned by raver idealists, is speed a sleepless dream or an addictive nightmare?
by Brian Otto
Here at the end of the millennium, the pace of modern life seems fleeting -- a whirl of minutes, hours and days. In dealing with the changes, humans have equipped themselves with the tools to move faster, more efficiently. At the same time a dependence for the marketing, high-speed transportation and pharmacology of this modern age has evolved. In a race to outdo ourselves, we have moved dangerously toward the fine line between extinction and evolution. Therefore, the human capacity to handle the velocity becomes a fragile balance.
Our generation (see Gen X, 20-somethings) could be considered the sleepless generation. An age of society's children weaned on the ideals of high-speed communication and accelerated culture has prided itself in mastering many of the facets of human existence -- doing more, sleeping less.
The machines of this age have in a way enabled us to create a 24-hour lifestyle. We have pushed the limits of the modern world further -- ATMs, high-speed modems, smart bombs and bullet trains. However, the limitations of human existence, like sleep, may still provide the stumbling block for infinite realization. That is, without chemical aid.
In many ways, capitalism fuels the idea. Our society is based upon the mass consumption of these substances. Cultural ideals, while seemingly benevolent as 'Have a Coke and a smile' have sold the link to chemical substances like caffeine and nicotine to 'the good life.' Today, stimulants are the bedrock for consumer culture. For our generation, this appeal was heightened by raising the stakes in the '80s on what it meant to have fun.
Late night clubs,