Much like Chicken McNuggets, which were introduced in 1983, several of my friends and co-workers have absolutely no idea what it’s like to live in a world without crack cocaine. I do. I still have vivid memories of seeing news reports, much like those seen at the beginning of this documentary
about the devastation crack was causing in cities like Los Angeles and New York in the mid-‘80s, well before it ever reached the piece of shit town in Illinois where I grew up. The one that stands out most to me was about how it had reached the campus of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Not long after that, college basketball star Len Biasdied of a suspected crack overdose just hours after being selected as the number-one pick in the NBA draft by the Boston Celtics.
Back then, the news was constantly relaying tales of the intense effects of crack and the crazy things it was inspiring people to do. They also made a huge deal out of how cheap and addictive it was. To this day, thanks in large part to that initial bad press, smoking crack is the kind of thing that people only do in the punchline of jokes or in the utmost of seclusion. Hearing a friend was doing that would be right up there with hearing a friend was shooting meth or snorting bath salts.