Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Decade of Drug Use - The 80's

At first I thought this week was going to be a huge challenge as I had never even heard of "Blank Fiction". When typing into this phrase into google i quickly realised that there is not a concrete definition. I found the following definition on the U.S. Literature website that I think best describes "Blank Fiction".

"Blank fiction is a term that describes the writing of a generation of contemporary US writers whose influence started in the 1980 and is still alive at present in the voice of authors like Dennis Cooper, Bret Easton Ellis and Chuck Palahniuk. Through a flat, affectless, atonal prose and non-committed narrative voices, these writers deal with contemporary urban life, violence, sex, drugs and consumerism."

The link above is to an article written by Jennifer Robison of Gallup website which is a website of current issues and news. The title of the article is "Decades of Drug Use: The 80's and 90's. The article is about public opinion polls on illegal drug use. The article begins with a story of young basketball player who was drafted by the NBA and sadly died of a cocaine overdose.

The article continues by saying by the mid-80s, the introduction of crack cocaine turned youth drug use into a truly terrifying issue. Crack was cheap, plentiful and hideously addictive. Its effects including gang warfare and crack babies were quickly becoming common. A 1986 Gallup poll asked Americans, "Which one of the following do you think is the MOST serious problem for society today: Marijuana, alcohol abuse, heroin, crack, other forms of cocaine or other drugs?" At 42%, "crack" and "other forms of cocaine" beat "alcohol abuse" by eight percentage points even though there are far more alcoholics than crack addicts. Bret Easton Ellis managed to pinpoint all that was wrong with the over privileged youth of Los Angeles and channel it into the form of Clay, Blair, Julian and the rest of the characters in "Less Than Zero". This shows that the continuing partying and drug taking were constant in young adolescents lives.

The article then explains how the went about tackling the problems of drug use such as programs, refusal strategies and emotional coping skills. These skills became apparent in classrooms of schools.

Bret Easton Ellis personifies the problems of the 80's such as sex, drugs and violence and by in large many of these issues still carry on today even though these problems emerged thirty years earlier.

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