Posts tagged Threat Level

i-Give Up

(Via Cerpn @ Google Reader.)

Kids around the country are getting high on the internet, thanks to MP3s that induce a state of ecstasy. And it could be a gateway drug leading teens to real-world narcotics.

At least, that’s what Kansas News 9 is reporting about a phenomenon called “i-dosing,” which involves finding an online dealer who can hook you up with “digital drugs” that get you high through your headphones.

And officials are taking it seriously.

Kids are going to flock to these sites just to see what it is about and it can lead them to other places, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs spokesman Mark Woodward told News 9.

I-dosing involves donning headphones and listening to “music” — largely a droning noise — which the sites peddling the sounds promise will get you high. Teens are listening to such tracks as “Gates of Hades,” which is available on YouTube gratis (yes, the first one is always free).

Those who want to get addicted to the drugs can purchase tracks that will purportedly bring about the same effects of marijuana, cocaine, opium and peyote. While street drugs rarely come with instruction manuals, potential digital drug users are advised to buy a 40-page guide so that they learn how to properly get high on MP3s.

Oklahoma’s Mustang Public School district isn’t taking the threat lightly, and sent out a letter to parents warning them of the new craze. The educators have gone so far as to ban iPods at school, in hopes of preventing honor students from becoming cyber-drug fiends, News 9 reports.

— Ryan Singel, Threat Level (2010-07-14): Report: Teens Using Digital Drugs to Get High

So no, in case you were wondering, there is no bottom to this cognitive barrel: absolutely no drug panic so flimsily contrived that narcocratic Officials won’t use it as an opportunity to issue breathless press statements pleading for greater social control, or so obviously manufactured and transparently idiotic that the responsible gatekeepers of the newsmedia won’t gravely report about the Alarming New Trend, the worried reactions of Concerned Parents & Teachers, and the pressing need for Officials and Concerned Parents to be even more proactive in freaking the hell out, obsessively spying on their sons’ and daughters’ pastimes, taking away teenagers’ possessions, and controlling teenagers’ behavior. It’s not just that you don’t need to demonstrate that anybody is suffering, or even could possibly suffer, any kind of physical harm. The drug scare doesn’t need to involve any actual drugs; apparently it doesn’t even need to involve a physical substance. Or anything but the most tangential connection to basic facts of human physiology. A drug scare story without any drugs nicely distils the one really important feature of every drug scare story: all that you need to work up an adult panic is to find enough teenagers in one place (one or two on YouTube will do) who are trying to convince themselves that they’re having a good time without an adult’s prior approval — if some teenager somewhere is experiencing pleasure, never mind the cause, that alone is reason enough to call the narcs and issue yet another story leading off As if parents of teenagers don’t have enough to worry about…

So here, we find a whole gang of Responsible Adults holding positions of community authority — professional narcs, journalists, teachers and parents — all of them freaking the hell out because some teenagers somewhere might be trying to convince themselves that they’re having a good time listening to MP3s of binaural beat meditation music. A new craze? Sure, evidently there is a craze going on here. But who is it that’s acting crazed?

The politics of fear are the most dangerous mind-altering substance on the market.