Tag: drug abuse

A Malaise of Meaning: What’s with ’90s music?


Before the rise of atheism and Communism, there was Nietzsche and Dostoevsky. Both men managed to pick what would come after the retreat of religious faith, and fans of both authors point to them as nearly having ESP with regard to the future zeitgeist.

I was thinking of the predictive power of art while listening to horrible punk and emo music from the late 1990s and early 2000s. I think it explains the increase in government corruption, the rising suicide rate, and the opioid epidemic. Almost all the songs are musically repetitive and very few could… how I put it… sing? They yell in a manner related to the musical instrument about how they find school boring, society unfair, and their attempts at coitus unsuccessful.

All these topics are fine sources of artistic inspiration, but these songs seem devoid of any depth. However, like Michel Houellebecq’s novels, the emptiness seems to paint a fascinating picture of ennui, though with far less artistic skill.

Projection and Illusions


One year ago this week, I had to bury the cold dead body of someone I loved more than my own life. Ten days earlier and just before noon, I had answered the phone to hear a stranger from the medical examiner’s office in another town tell me she was dead.

For the 15 years prior to that moment, she had been systematically dismantling herself, beginning in small ways but eventually moving on to big, unsustainable ways. She died like the character in The Sun Also Rises went bankrupt: gradually then suddenly.

Heather Mac Donald joins Seth Barron to discuss homelessness on the streets of San Francisco and the city’s wrongheaded attempts to solve the problem.

“San Francisco has conducted a real-life experiment in what happens when a society stops enforcing bourgeois norms of behavior,” writes Mac Donald in City Journal. For nearly three decades, the Bay Area has been a magnet for the homeless. Now the situation is growing dire, as residents and visitors experience near-daily contact with mentally disturbed persons.

Erica Sandberg joins City Journal associate editor Seth Barron to discuss the deteriorating state of public order in San Francisco.

The Bay Area’s most densely populated and desirable neighborhoods are being destroyed by lawlessness and squalor. San Francisco now leads the nation in property crime, according to the FBI. “Other low-level offenses,” Sandberg reports for City Journal, “including drug dealing, street harassment, encampments, indecent exposure, public intoxication, simple assault, and disorderly conduct are also rampant.”