Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Lux et veritas

It is the Yale motto meaning Light and Truth.  Funny when I think of the Ivy League those are two words that don't come to mind in the least.

Yale is the Alma Mater of the Bush Dynasty and the Romney Clan. The Clinton's met there and even Jodie Foster has a degree from said institution.  She took a long break from being a child actor and has a fairly well established pedigree.  There were many actors who have benefited from Yale's acclaimed theatre and arts program and with that I give them a pass but as for any other white bread that found themselves in the acclaimed hall I will pass.    I have not met one single individual that had one ounce of dignity and perspective that possesses degrees from said institutions like Yale.

The "writer" J.D. Vance of Hillbilly Elegy went to Yale and is as a big a right wing douche as any of the others with less colorful backgrounds which may include Dr. Ben Carson who is also a Yale Graduate.  He seems to be on the drugs he administered to patients given his bizarre demeanor and arrogance.   Intelligent? I would not have him remove a fatty tumor from my body but I am sure in his heyday he was a good surgeon. Whatever that means.  I bet that he and John Bolton really yuck it up in Trump Cabinet meetings. Shame Clarence Thomas can't join them.

I could go on with the famous grads of Yale and again realize they have an acclaimed theater college so don't count any of them... HEEYYY Fonzie!   But the bulk of the minds are largely conservative and even those liberal are not very left of the right as there in the esteemed halls one learns early the art of self preservation.

I read this in the UK Guardian and it outs the writer as an Addict and in turn Graduate of Yale who brilliantly reminds the readers that much of the wealth and history of the esteemed school are vested heavily in hypocrisy.  Shocking, I know! Not really.  There is your truth and light.

As an Oxycontin 'junkie' at Yale, I saw how my addiction helped fund the university

Through attending an Ivy League university as an addict, I learned that while I might be considered ‘deplorable’, elites are not much better

Mon 28 May 2018
Matthew Jeffrey Abrams
Guardian UK

I’m a junkie – recovered now for 14 years, but a junkie just the same. A high-school dropout and chronic runaway, I spent my later teenage years shooting black tar heroin and smuggling drugs across the Mexican border – mostly ketamine and OxyContin, the latter of which I also shot. Back then I was a loser, a washout, a petty narcotrafficker, a statistical blip in the opioid epidemic.

But today I’m also a doctor (of the illegitimate variety, mind you). Clean at 19, I spent my later twenties at Yale University earning a PhD, which I completed last spring. There I was a scholar, a student, a teacher,a valued member of an exclusive intellectual community.

Being a junkie in the Ivy League doesn’t guarantee success, but it does guarantee perspective. I learned a lot about America’s upper crust, and I saw much that my colleagues never could. But only last week, during a visit to my alma mater, did I begin to understand the role that Yale played in my own addiction.

Believe me when I tell you that you are not deplorables, that you are assets to this country.

Spring having arrived, I visited Yale, which wears the season well. I wandered the campus before entering Dwight Chapel, which stands in the heart of Old Campus and hosts a small morning AA meeting. I used to attend that meeting quite regularly, although I remember our fellowship being mostly indigents from the nearby New Haven Green and kids from local rehabs. I remember two things: we were opioid addicts, and we were invisible to the Yale community – ignored, really, like unwelcome pests.

And it was then, sitting alone in that musty chapel, when it hit me: to my left stood the Skull and Bones crypt , the secret windowless clubhouse for the country’s most exclusive private society, whose founder’s extended family had become the largest American merchants in the Indo-Chinese opium trade. And beyond the crypt stood Yale’s medical campus, which has received major gifts from the Sackler family, whose wealth comes largely from owning Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin. Purdue Pharma criminally misbranded that drug to make it appear harmless. The company pleaded guilty in 2007 and agreed to pay around $600m in fines.

But behind me, I also realized, beyond the Old Campus quad filled with elite Yale undergrads (one of whom, I’ll never forget, once wore a $70,000 Patek Phillippe wristwatch to my class), stood the New Haven Green. Many times while crossing the Green I was offered heroin and OxyContin, and more than once I saw EMTs attempting to revive an addict with naloxone. What’s more, across the street stands New Haven City Hall, where last October the city formally sued Purdue Pharma for their brazen behavior and illegal practices.

The irony would be comical if it were not so lethal: I once violated federal laws to smuggle a drug across an international border that was manufactured by a company whose malfeasance simultaneously exacerbated my own addiction and, through the personal donations by the owners of Purdue, enriched a university that would later grant me a PhD.

While Oxycontin had almost killed me, it had also helped build Yale’s vaunted Raymond and Beverly Sackler Institute for Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences. So had every opioid addict in my little chapel meeting – so had every dope fiend in America.

I’ve learned much about this country’s powerful and elite, but I have no interest in scolding them. People and places like Yale will never change. I’d rather address my junkie brothers and sisters, and everyone else that this epidemic has touched:

Listen, friends, I have a dual identity, and I have for most of my life. I’m an addict kid and a suburban child, an Ivy-League insider and a dope–shooting outsider, a deplorable and a doctor. I’ve learned first–hand how little regard the wealthy, corporate and institutional worlds have for us, even supposed liberal bastions like Yale. I’ve learned that while we have the privilege of perspective, they have the perspective of privilege. And I’ve learned something else: they are wrong about us. We are not worthless, or weak.

Dear brothers and sisters, believe me when I tell you that you are no less special or brilliant or talented or ambitious than the Yale students I once knew and taught.

Believe me when I tell you that you are not deplorables, that you are assets to this country, that your will and resolve to hustle and survive make you uniquely equipped for the contemporary world. Believe me when I tell you that you are wanted, and useful, and important and deserve to thrive. Believe me when I tell you that I love you, and so do so many others, and that you should never, ever give up.

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