Thursday 27 September 2012

Drugs! Live!

I caught a bit of of Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial, Channel 4's much-hyped 'experiment' with MDMA, on TV last night. What a rum do - it was like stepping back into the Sixties, when recreational drugs were 'new' and this kind of thing was always going on. I kept expecting to see Malcolm Muggeridge any minute,  or that nice Michael Ramsay,  Archbishop of Canterbury.
The difference this time was that drugs are no longer 'new' and exciting (least of all Ecstasy) - but neuroscience is. That's why these unfortunate guinea pigs were undergoing their Ecstasy experiences in the confines of an MRI scanner - it's a wonder none of them went round the bend. The aim was, of course, to see what was going on in their brains as the drug got to work, though I'm not sure what this was supposed to tell the white-coated neuroscientists, or the notorious Prof David Nutt, who was one of two Profs sitting in elevated seats. Nutt was wearing a short-sleeved shirt with a tie - a look that only works on Andy Sipowicz - and sweating rather a lot. There was talk of finding potential medical uses for MDMA, perhaps in treating depression - a funny way to go about doing the research, in a TV studio, but there you go...
And one of the volunteers taking the drug was none other than Lionel Shriver, author of one of the worst novels I have ever attempted to read (We Need to Talk about Kevin). She came across as rather sweet, in a slightly nerdy kind of way, putting me in mind of Sheldon's girlfriend Amy in Big Bang Theory. I warmed to her... But I felt my time would be better spent sleeping than watching any more of this stuff. I went to bed.


  1. Lionel Shriver is a leading proponent of the Population Matters cause - the idea that we need to save mankind by getting rid of people.

  2. That Kevin book is ghastly. What is the point of it? It went on and on. I didn't want to talk about it at all with my book club members so bunked off for the night.

  3. A wise move Mary - when I started on it, I thought it must be some kind of joke, but apparently not!
    I wonder if Amy's signed up to Population Matters? I hope not...

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