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Trippin' With No Place To Unpack

What fuels our experimentation? What causes us to take that hit or drink that beer? I remember when I was three years old and I decided to write the word “butt” on a piece of paper. I then heard my mom coming up the stairs and quickly erased it with the guilty feeling that I was now a bad kid because of it. As I grew older I began to make excuses for the things I did and the new things I tried and slowly begin to “slow dance with the devil”. I was drawn to this documentation by Dimmock because it stirred a feeling inside of me that I believe many of my peers share. A false mindset that I am so much different than the addicts documented, and that I would never be able to slip as far as they had. Indulging in these horror stories helped me to realize what made them who they are and helped reflect tendencies in my life that related me with these subjects.

I have been to many school drug meetings and have been told countless times that marijuana is a gateway drug. I seldom listened to what these speakers had to say because they seemed old and far from street saavy. But then I watched as my friends began to smoke weed. The true potheads would smoke and smoke, letting the day softly slip through their fingers like sand through a clenched fist. I heard their complaints that they weren’t getting as high anymore and were looking for the new thing to do it for them. Jessie, one of the junkies documented in this report, said this about the subject of getting high:
Jessie: “And I remember leaning back. And I was on a cloud. And there was not a worry in this world. It just relaxes you. Takes away any of the concern. No fears. No worries. It doesn't do that forever. After awhile you're just doing it to stay straight, to stay normal. And you're not getting the same effects anymore. And then that's why they say you're chasing, the first hit. Cause then you're just doing it to try and get that same feeling that you got in the beginning. But you never really get that. You may get glimpses from time to time. But you never really get that. “

Jessica Dimmock did what many are afraid to do, she melded the thick line separating journalism from art. Art is a subject with an unlimited freedom of expression and often artists chose to dig into the darker side of our world. The general public decide to not indulge themselves in art because they believe it to be morbid or too sinful. But as stated in the article, the highest ratings of television watched is often in times where are country is experiencing a disaster. This raises the question, are people lying to themselves? Many people are afraid to look at something like this because they know that they may find a way in which they relate to these junkies and that is unnerving for them.

Listening to Jessie's stories among others was eye opening for me. Many Americans try to block these stories out as an attempt to try and act like they are not really happening. In order to gain a full understand of the world, we must also study the underworld and its inhabitants. Find out how they got to that point and what decisions were made that separated them from the general public. Studying these people will help us to change our ways before we slip to a spot right next to them.

One of the final questions asked to the reader in this articles was this:
Do you need to react with a form of action if you are to participate in "the looking"?
Not much can be done to help a junkie unless they first decide that they want or need help. This question addresses helping yourself. I looked at these people with hurt and sadness because I felt bad for them and their actions. But the biggest emotion I felt when looking was a feeling of fear. This text acted as a mirror into my life and mindset. Reading this taboo story was the first form of action, the next is to stop the free fall before it is too late.


Art isn’t necessarily about understanding, it’s about the artists manipulation and biases, creating their expression not their subjects. Dimmock is using other peoples experiences to give to us, to fill our addiction, of creeping on other peoples lives. She’s taking pictures of these people at their lowest and presenting them to the world for us to judge, to tear apart, when that’s the last thing a Junkie needs. It’s beautifully horrifying, the photography is tremendous and incredibly depressing. Dimmock didn’t give us these photographs, and follow these people around for us to feel better about ourselves, or try to help people or to help ourselves. It’s almost selfish to only think of ourselves when looking at these pictures, but how can we not? That’s one of the main points Dimmock brought up, we, as Americans, love this kind of stuff. It’s a fashion statement, it’s cool to be into drugs or to have smoked pot. It’s cool to do the unknown and to experience dangerous things. And our favorite thing to do is to stare at a car wreck on the side of a road. Dimmock is just giving us another car wreck to look at, to judge, to gossip, not to make ourselves feel better about ourselves or encourage us to not do drugs. If you just stop at the original article given to us you could think these people all died of ODing, but if you go on to explore you’ll see that they do try to work it out, and that their lives aren’t worthless, and the Junkies don’t feel sorry for themselves because they know they’re the ones that messed up.

First of all, I want to say that I think your intro paragraph is great- the questions were so compelling, they drew me in and made me want to read more. I think it is great that you took a topic and related it to people our age so we can easily understand the situation that is presented to us.

While I think the approach you took to addressing the article is great there are some things that I have to disagree with. I think your statement about there being a thick line separating journalism and art is a bold one. In my opinion journalism can be one of the most artistic things ever produced. Journalists, as well as any other writer, can use imagery and extremely vivid and descriptive words to paint word pictures and create scenes in the reader’s mind.

Another statement you make that I do not exactly agree with is that “the general public decides to no indulge themselves in art because they believe it to be morbid or too sinful” and that “artists choose to dig into the darker side of our world.” I agree with the second statement but I believe artists do dive into the dark topics because it is what people want to see and hear or read about. Humans today are naturally fascinated by addicts and the horrific things in today’s society- they do not “choose not to indulge” in it, but rather seek it out. I think if you ask most people, they will admit to it, too.