The War On The War On Drugs

Does anybody still believe drugs are actually good for you? Apparently writer/director/producer Cevin Soling does. Like a relic from the stoned '60s or burned-out '70s, Soling's feature-length collection of 60-odd sketches and bits satirizing the so-called War on Drugs takes potshots at a pretty easy target. Through a nonstop series of fake PSAs, cooking-show...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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Does anybody still believe drugs are actually good for you? Apparently writer/director/producer Cevin Soling does. Like a relic from the stoned '60s or burned-out '70s, Soling's feature-length collection of 60-odd sketches and bits satirizing the so-called War on Drugs takes potshots at a pretty easy target. Through a nonstop series of fake PSAs, cooking-show spoofs, Sesame Street parodies and takeoffs on mental-health films, Soling attempts to make a serious point about the U.S. government's ongoing battle against the use and sale of illicit drugs, and the point he tries to make is legitimate. Civil rights and hundreds of millions of tax dollars are the real casualties of this "war." His argument, however, derails each time he asserts that drugs are "consciousness-expanding" and beneficial, a notion that should have died with Timothy Leary, if not Aldous Huxley. But it seems Soling is a true believer who would have us all knocking on the doors of perception, and he repeatedly makes his point with ludicrous examples. One skit that parodies a classic Sesame Street segment points out that the drug-taking Jimi Hendrix was a far better musician than straight-edged Ted Nugent, while failing to note that Hendrix died of a drug overdose at the age of 28. In another, Soling notes the fate of the male members of the Heaven's Gate suicide cult, who didn't do drugs but did voluntarily castrate themselves, and then asks: What would you rather have, an expanded consciousness or no testicles? Soling is right to question whether PSAs sponsored by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and paid for in large part by our tax dollars are as effective as they claim. But then he goes on to argue that exposure to the ads actually helped create more heroin addicts and contributed to the rise in school shootings, the ever-widening hole in the ozone layer and the death of everything you ever loved or cared about, including, illogically, heroin-addict Kurt Cobain. Of course it's a joke, and Soling's strategy is to use the PDFA's habit of taking credit where none is due against them, but an important point is being lost. Comparing the strategies used by D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) to help kids steer clear of drugs to the tactics of the Hitler Youth is beyond the pale. Like so much dope humor, Soling's logic is fuzzy, and you'd have to be pretty high to find any of it funny.

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  • Released: 2005
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Does anybody still believe drugs are actually good for you? Apparently writer/director/producer Cevin Soling does. Like a relic from the stoned '60s or burned-out '70s, Soling's feature-length collection of 60-odd sketches and bits satirizing the so-called… (more)

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