Opiates Of All Sorts…

From the great state of Marijuana I can report that things are gong swimmingly. I am probably naive but a couple of years of legality doesn’t seem to have much effect on the everyday workings of Denver. They are finding teenagers are turning more to alcohol than to the weed. Probably easier to raid the parents’ liquor cabinet than to break into their stash of hash.

The rise of heroin as a cost effective alternative to Oxycodone and Vicadin bespeaks a pain prescription dispensery run amok. One of the more curious aspects is its ehttps://www.themonastery.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/addiction-help.jpgpidemic proportions in rural America. Does that mean there is more initial pain there or is boredom and lack of “other” diversions contributing to the malaise?

That being said I heard a startling statistic in passing that caused me to perk up. Apple logged $28 billion in app sales in 2016, including $3 billion in December alone. Incredibly the sales for just New Year’s Day were $240 million. Currently they offer 2.2 million apps in the AppStore. Numbers can be boring but these are astounding for their implications.

25% of them are games, followed by business, education, lifestyle and entertainment making up 60% as a total. If you take out business and education it means there are almost 900,000 downloads for leisure time. I see my grandkids logging a lot of screen time and the latest edition of Super Mario should keep them entertained for some time to come. Today’s youth spend about 7-8 hours per week playing all sorts of strange stuff. Habits at this age are tough to break. We not only use them as babysitters but perchance should I bring up the word “addiction” of a sort. No TTG, it can’t be that bad. Sorry mes amis, tis true.

Getting back to dollars and sense to play on words, where does one get the money to buy all these things? Some are free but others cost x initially and y over a period of time. There is a thing called Clash of Clans that grosses $12 million per month in user fees.The answer to everyone’s prayers? A little drum roll please. Enter King Visa and Queen MasterCard and various other royalty. 80% of all purchases are put on plastic and that number grows exponentially each year. Convenience is wonderful but does it forestall reality?

It seems the average American(whoever that is) maintains a balance from month to month of $16,061. The average interest rate is 15.36% You can go from a low of 12% to 23% for the worst credit. That is $747 billion on loan with an annual interest payment of $111 billion. I have not mentioned, mortgage, autos, student loans et al but suffice to say that all comes to $132,529 per household or a grand total of $12.35 TRILLION in consumer debt. Should that be listed in the opiate or hallucinogenic form of treatment?

Another dirty little secret is the porn industry. Worldwide it is a $97 billion industry with $12 billon from the US alone.In America, the Beautiful, child pornography is tagged at $3 billion per annum and growing steadily. People spend more time on porn sites than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined. 30% of all data transferred across the Internet is porn related. No deviance here just people having some good clean fun.

Sorry if I have bored or boggled with the above numbers but I think it tells a lot about ourselves. Whether it is booze, boobs or gaming we have a variety of ways to while away our hours of leisure. I don’t say this so much in a moralistic way as much as reflective. You can do whatever floats your boat. You can also say it is the other guy or gal and not you. That might be very true. But in essence if we base our standards and expectations on who we are and how we act as a people doesn’t this become part of our national persona?

We constantly complain there are not enough hours in the day. We don’t have time to read, become educated on current events, volunteer, exercise, vote, pay attention to our kids or our spouses. Yadda Yadda Yadda. Really? Come on man I just want to kick back and relax. You are no fun at all. For instance,Children aged 2-11 watch over 24 hours of TV per week, while adults aged 35-49 watch more than 33 hours, according to data from Nielsen that suggests TV time increases the older we get. The average American watches more than five hours of live television every day. I am so sorry for interrupting your free time.

Trust me I am as bad as you are. I get borderline comatose on New Year’s Day watching bowl games or on Sunday watching my Broncos. I love playing solitaire or just beating golf balls until my hands bleed. In a big golf tournament on TV I can watch every shot. Do I feel guilty? Probably not but I do often admit to a tremendous waste of time. I guess what I am trying to say is no one should get nuts in overindulging in anything but when it becomes a regular occurrence we should have a talk with ourselves.

People who are alcoholics, drug addicts, overeaters or over spenders do so because it takes them into another world. They are not very happy with theirs. Whether it is poverty in a monetary or spiritual sense it feels good to get away. The only way to overcome that is having that heart to heart talk with one’s self. You deal with reality and embrace it, not run away from it. I am not sure we personally or as a country are very good at that. Probably time for an intervention.

As always
Ted the Great

I have already given you too many.

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