Saturday, January 7, 2023

Overheard at Booth 2: Molly, A Limerick



Molly, divorced, mother of three,
Used to work at the glass factory
She broke her back,
Got hooked on smack,
And that's how the cartels get rich, you see.

Molly, divorciada, madre de tres,
Trabajaba en una fábrica de vidrio, una vez
Se rompió su espalda
A las drogas engachada,
Por eso, enriquesen los cartelas, tu ves.


Written during the morning, just upon awaking. The Spanish translation may need a little work, but the English says exactly what I wish to say.  This, to me, connects the Mexican drug cartels with the primary source of their income: drugs.  Specifically, Fentanyl is one of the primary sources of income for the Sinaloa cartel, which exploded with violent reprisals against the Mexican government's capture of Ovidio Guzmán, son of El Chapo Guzmán, who has been running the cartel since his dad has been in US Federal prison for the past few years.

The limerick also touches on the reasons for the demand for illegal drugs: a culture in which the family unit is destroyed (divorced, line 1) and the lack of adequate family planning (mother of three), combined with the lack of (or insecurity of) manufacturing jobs (USED to work, line 2).  Such jobs were, in the middle of last century, well-paying jobs which could support a family of three.  However, these days, they are subject to economic "hiccups" and often are the source of immediate layoffs, not only during the COVID years, but whenever owners decide that cheaper labor can be had overseas.

Lines 3 and 4 (the couplet) speak directly to the over-prescribing of opioid medication by doctors who were either misled by or paid off by Big Pharma.   Big Pharma and various large chain Drug Stores have been found guilty over the past few years of deliberately pushing opioid medications, knowing full well that they were addictive.   Millions of Americans like the fictional Molly in this limerick, once they were unable to get prescription medication from their doctors, were unable to function adequately for normal basic daily tasks withOUT these pain-blockers, and have since turned to illegal drugs, such as Fentanyl.  

NOTE: I know that "smack" is the slang term for Heroin (also an opioid), but I do not know if it also can be used specifically as a term for Fentanyl.  I use it here in this poem to mean ALL opioid medications.

And thus, the last line demonstrates the most basic tenets of Economics: where there is a demand, there will be a supply.   

In short, while we Americans can smugly look at Mexico as a "failed state," we truly should look at what society we have created that has caused the conditions that allow the cartels to gain such wealth, power, and arms.

Nothing is ever made in a vacuum.  We are all interconnected.  And as such, we all bear some culpability for the violence that broke out this week in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico.  

And Molly, as much as a victim as she may be, also bears part of the blame.

However, she probably won't ever know that.  She'll just take another pill to ease the pain, while she lets her kids play on her cell phone so they'll be quiet for awhile.

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