In the Grauniad, Oliver Stone asks, “How did Bush go from being an alcoholic bum to the most powerful figure in the world?”
I don’t know–how does anyone recover from a substance abuse problem and successfully rebuild his career in a brutally competitive industry?
STONE: I think drugs are very much a part of my generation’s experience. We were not only the Cold War generation, we were the drug generation, And marijuana, with its origins in the Sixties, was good. It was a force for good. As was acid. It transformed consciousness. And in Vietnam, it certainly kept us sane.
PLAYBOY: What was your drug use like?
STONE: After the war, I took it to excess. I was using as much LSD as anybody. Even slipped it into my dad’s drink once. What I did turned bad in the sense that it got heavier. My usage became heavier, but not for a purpose. It became an indulgence.
PLAYBOY: How much and what were you using?
STONE: Well, I started more acid, and grass, I suppose, in the beginning. And then I touched on some other things here and there.
PLAYBOY: Heroin? Cocaine?
STONE: Cocaine, certainly. But that was in the late Seventies. Cocaine is what took me to the edge. I finally realized that coke had beaten me and I hadn’t beaten it. So in 1981, 1 went cold turkey on everything. Except an occasional drink here or there, or an occasional, you know, thing, but basically cold turkey. I moved to Paris that year and wrote Scarface, which was a farewell to cocaine.
PLAYBOY: Scarface became a cult hit. Had you quit using cocaine before or after you wrote it? .
STONE: I wrote it totally straight. But I researched it stoned, because I had to research it in South America, in various spots where I had to do it in order to talk with these people.
PLAYBOY: Before you quit, how deeply were you into it?
STONE: I would say it was an everyday thing. Hollywood in the late Seventies was-there was a kind of cocaine craze. And it lasted until later in the Eighties.
But assuming that Stone’s movie hits theaters before November, it might serve as a key teachable moment for the left. It could reinforce the lesson they’ve been so gently trying to teach voters these past eight years, so that they won’t elect another president this fall who both didn’t serve in Vietnam, and who has admitted a youthful dalliance with not just alcohol, but other controlled substances as well, as ABC’s Jake Tapper wrote last year:
In his 1996 memoir, “Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance,” Obama wrote candidly about his high school-era drug use: “Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though.”
And note that Obama may still continue to ingest what most on the left consider the most dangerous, evil, vile drug on the planet, as Tapper noted yesterday.
Update: Related thoughts from BeldarBlog:
Recklessness is a quality that Americans voters should and do try to weed out of their presidential candidates, if you’ll excuse that pun.
Even in the nanny-state America that your party is trying to move us toward, Senator, in which cigarette smoking will eventually become a criminal offense