Blah Blah Sickness Blah Drug Policies Blah DOWNTON ABBEY OMG YAY

So I have a cold, which is certainly not the end of the world, but is quite annoying. Symptoms: stuffy/runny nose, sneezing, occasional coughing, head feels like it's wrapped in fuzz, and my ears hurt. Most of that stuff isn't a big deal, but I really hate when my ears hurt. I used to get terrible ear infections when I was a little kid, and it brings back bad memories. And plus it's really painful!!! Whaaaaaaaa, feel sorry for me, give me hugs, etc etc.

I read somewhere - too lazy to look up a link, but I'm sure you believe me - that most of the over the counter cold remedies they sell are pretty much worthless. For the children's versions, they're absolutely worthless and you're better off just using Vapo-Rub, chicken soup and patience for your kids. This is mostly because when they took the psuedoephedrine out of cold products (stupid crystal meth epidemic), they couldn't find anything suitable to replace it. And yes, the pseudeoephedrine stuff is still behind the pharmacy counter, it's just a pain to get to. I would say it's worth it to have to go to all that extra bother, to have less crystal meth on the street, but it doesn't seem to have slowed production down at all. I mean, from what I see on PBS documentaries and Breaking Bad trailers.

You know, with all this talk about legalizing marijuana and all... something keeps bothering me in this whole drug policy argument. Namely.... there are a whole lot more people in this country (from my perspective) who are hooked on legal drugs than illegal drugs these days. I hesitate to use the word "epidemic" because really, I overuse that word all the time, but it's a BIG PROBLEM. At least, a lot of people I've met have struggled with it. Narcotic painkillers, powerful anti-anxiety drugs, amphetamines for ADD, etc - so many people are addicted to these pills. It's like this big silent problem that no one wants to talk about. People don't even think prescription drugs can be dangerous or addictive, and there's not that stigma like if you're using street drugs. But they can ruin your life and kill you just the same.

For the record, I'm conflicted about legalizing marijuana. I certainly don't think we should be locking up people for smoking it, and I support medical usage. But the idea of drugs - even a rather benign one like marijuana - becoming even more socially acceptable... it just bugs me. I know, I know, people are already smoking weed whether it's legal or not. But still. Smoking weed - unless you have glaucoma or cancer - just makes you stupid. We shouldn't be encouraging its usage.

Personally, I think we should work on offering treatment instead of either legalizing OR criminalizing. People who use drugs need help, not jail sentences. I could go on and on about the prison industrial complex and how we have more people in jail than CHINA EVEN, and how a large sector of our economy is built around imprisoning our citizens, mainly poor and disenfranchised... BUT I DIGRESS.

In happier news, I am currently on a Downton Abbey marathon binge. I've finished Series 1 and am on episode 3 of Series 2. Basically, I LOVE THIS SHOW LIKE (FAT FREE) CAKE. What I love most? In order:

1. Dame Maggie Smith, who is without a doubt the best thing about the show. But then, she's usually the best thing about whatever production she's in. Maggie Smith, much like Betty White, can't ever die because I will not be able to go on. She's just so regal, and smart-ass, and British. Seriously, when I hear the word "British" I imagine a big pot of tea, the Union Jack, and Dame Maggie Smith.

2. The shipping potential! Oh, I have so many ships I'm rooting for on this show. Are there ship wars in this fandom? I'm imagining there are, and I'm a little afraid to search out the fandom just because of this. But just watching the show, I'm constantly going "OMG when will they get together?!? Please get together and have stiff upper lip Edwardian babies? Please?!?"

3. The clothes, OMG, the clothes and the set pieces and the architecture and the hairstyles and the art and the cinematography and the CLOTHES!!! It's just so lush and gorgeous and makes me wish I was landed gentry a hundred years ago. You don't really see a whole lot of period pieces during this era - Titanic was my main frame of reference - so that makes it even more fun to watch.

4. Along those lines - you don't really see as much media set in World War I. It's kind of a forgotten war, really. I mean, I learned about it in school, of course. I took a Western European History class where we talked about it a lot. And I read All Quiet on the Western Front in elementary school too of course. But mostly, we learn about WWI as it relates to WWII. Still, over 9 million people were killed in the conflict and it was the beginning of modern warfare, so we should be learning MORE about it.

[Did you know that over 60 million people died in World War II, at least according to Wikipedia? That was 2.5% of the total world population at the time. That's almost as many people live in the United Kingdom today. All gone. I just... I can't even comprehend a number like that. My brain doesn't go that big.]

Anyways, yes. Downton Abbey... fellow fans, come squee with me! I know I'm not the only one on my flist loving this show.
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