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Artist Sebastian Horsley on More 4 News drugs debate

From:     blp
Category: ArtLife
Date:     05 March 2008
Time:     03:40 PM


The story is that some international body has censured England for setting a bad example to young
people by doing too little to discipline its celebrity drug abusers. Artist Sebastian Horsley,
representing 'libertarians' apparently (a few tough on crime Tories may be pleasantly unpleasantly
surprised at this) faced a former 3am Girl (to whit, celeb dirt disher for The Mirror) who talked
reasonably if unimaginatively enough about the harm the drugs trade does to poor people in the Third
World and made the obvious point that a lot of cocaine users were now probably less concerned about
said harm than that done by plastic bags to marine life. 

Horsley, looking like a Dickensian villain in a black coat buttoned up to the neck and an outsized
black top hat, when asked if he'd ever thought about where his drugs came from, replied as if the
question was outrageous, 'I got them from my dealer.' Had he ever thought about where his dealer got
them? He said it didn't matter. What about the, you know, all that stuff the 3am Girl just mentioned
about harming poor people? He said suffering was just part of the fabric of life and you couldn't
legislate against it and anyway, who's to say that out of this devastation something good might not
come? Not surprisingly, no one was thinking quick enough (I wouldn't have been either) to suggest
the non-cowardly thing to do might be to test this theory of suffering out on himself first. Of
course he might then have replied that he'd once had himself crucified. If he'd been quick-thinking

Whatever actually was said in reply, Horsley became impatient at this point and cut to what he
obviously felt was the chase: 'Look, people take drugs because they work', going on to wax lyrical
about how they made you feel you were in bed with a beautiful woman forever and suggest that the
clue to the appeal of ecstasy is in the title. And what if you could buy ethical drugs, sourced from
some village in Columbia or Bolivia. People wouldn't buy them, opined Horsley, now speaking for the
entire drug taking community, including addicts. 'The appeal of the apple to Adam is not the apple
in itself. It's because it's forbidden.' Oh mate. So, you mean, they're not taking them because they
work after all? 

I guess Will Self wasn't available. 

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