The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The Needle and the Spoon

Posted on | February 2, 2014 | 46 Comments

I’ve seen a lot of people
Who thought they were cool,
But then again, Lord,
I’ve seen a lot of fools . . .
Don’t mess with the needle or a spoon
Or any trip to the moon.
It’ll take you away.

When I was a long-haired freak back in the 1970s, everybody knew heroin was a bad drug. There are no “recreational” heroin users, and a junkie will sell his soul to get another taste of slow-motion suicide. Somebody forgot to warn Philip Seymour Hoffman:

Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead of an apparent drug overdose late Sunday morning in his New York City apartment, a law-enforcement official said.
The New York Police Department is investigating, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is working to determine the exact cause of death. The official said Mr. Hoffman, 46 years old, was found dead at his apartment on Bethune Street in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan.
The actor was found in the bathroom of his fourth floor apartment in the Pickwick House around 11:15 a.m. by screenwriter David Katz, who called 911, the official said.

TMZ reports that he was found with a needle in his arm.



  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    What a waste. Phillip Seymour Hoffman was a very good actor. But unlike Robert Downey Jr., he lost in this game of Russian roulette. RIP.

    Downey hinted that he was somewhat like his Tony Stark character in being more conservative after going through the process of kicking drugs.

  • RKae

    Suicide by cliché.

    I got fed up a long time ago. I will not “speak kindly of the dead” when they die by absolute stupidity. They’ve had every warning possible and they laughed in our faces.

  • Mike G.

    Yeah, you think you’re using “Smack” when in reality, it’s using you. Had a Nephew who learned the same lesson as Phillip Seymour Hoffman just learned, last year.

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  • robertstacymccain

    Few are so wise as the ex-fools who learned their lessons the hard way, and lived to tell the tale.

  • Becca Lower
  • Jason Lee

    His 3 kids are the real victims.

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  • Bob Belvedere

    Angel of darkness is upon you
    Stuck a needle in your arm [You fool you!]
    So take another toke, have a blow for your nose
    One more drink fool, will drown you

    Ooooh that smell
    Can’t you smell that smell
    Ooooh that smell
    The smell of death surrounds you

  • Bob Belvedere

    Funny…the Missus and I watched a Skynyrd concert we have on DVR last night.

  • Socialism: Organized Evil

    Boo hoo.

  • tlk244182

    Years ago I was infatuated with a beautiful sociopath who took a fatal overdose of heroin in ’06. It was just as you say. She’d had a million chances and scorned them all. She left a five year old daughter, whose father is serving life without parole. I promised to pray for all three daily for the rest of my life. I’ve missed a few days in seven and a half years, but not many. Knowing the circumstances of her death, I have reason to hope that she made an act of perfect contrition before losing consciousness.

  • Taxpayer1234

    My BFF is one of those. She said, “When I die, I won’t be afraid to go to hell because I’ve already been there.”

  • Zohydro

    Neil Young did the definitive exposé on this crap…

    I denounce myself!

  • Bob Belvedere

    I’m one of those few, brave souls who like both Skynyrd and Neil Young.

  • Zohydro

    Every junkie’s like the setting sun…

  • Bob Belvedere

    I denounce myself before Stacy.

  • SJ Reidhead

    A drug overdose is tragic. Addiction is an illness, not a personal weakness. We have a tendency to forget that at times. Dealing with illegal substances are one thing, but when you know people who have legal addictions to various medications and are allowed to get away with not only doctor shopping, but have pharmacies who repeatedly fill prescriptions is another. As much as I would like to see major drug dealers locked up, forever, I would like to see the same thing happen to therapists and physicians who prescribe certain psych. meds for people, knowing that it basically cooks their brains, turns them into zombie addicts, and they must go through withdrawals and drug treatment the same way a heroine addict would. I have seen so many lives ruined – legally, by therapists who constantly push legal medications on people that those are the ones I want to see locked up, under the jail! And – everything is legal. You get an overdose, and oh well, the person had psych problems. No one bothers prosecuting the monster who turned the person into the addict.

  • DumbCons

    Why do conservatives always seem to take a certain pleasure in someone’s death if it’s caused by drugs? Yes, heroin is a dumb choice, and he should have gotten clean if only for the three children he left behind, but some people are just tortured souls, artists especially, and let’s just leave it at that.

  • DDD

    Some people just think life is a big absurd joke, and simply don’t care. End of story.

  • Dianna Deeley

    Not alone.

  • Zohydro

    Never was much of a Lynyrd Skynyrd fan…

    I’d heard that song, The Needle and The Spoon before… Thought it was Molly Hatchet!

  • Cassone

    “To be doomed to an alcoholic death or to live on a spiritual basis are not always easy alternatives to face,” – Alcoholics Anonymous p.44
    Yes, he had a disease but he also had a choice. Let the canonization begin.

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  • Adjoran

    Like Stacy, I hung with those in the popular culture in the ’60s and ’70s and there were all sorts of drugs around and available. But heroin was always in a different class.

    Junkies were different, a completely different animal from even the worst coke-heads. And their families and (former) friends were usually the first to know, as they would steal them blind first.

  • Kirby McCain

    Rush Limbaugh gave Downey hell for his various public failures. This is so common for actors it’s almost like they feel undeserving for all they have. I enjoyed many of Hoffman’s performances and he will be missed.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    It is an illness and a moral failing combined, because unless you address the moral issues involved…you can never cure the illness.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    And the pusher should always be treated harsher by the law (and when caught often is). But how many victims they do leave in their wakes.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    You completely miss the point.

  • SJ Reidhead

    I can’t call it a moral failing, not when you ‘re dealing with someone who has a genetic tendency to addiction. Then, if a person is dealing with a genetic tendency toward depression, bi-polar, and are pumped full of medication they don’t need, I don’t call that a moral failing. With illegal substances, there is a criminal issue, but I don’t see it as a moral failing. I see it as a weakness. Once the addiction takes hold, nothing is going to stop that addiction until the person decides, themselves, to get help. The reason I say this is because I know individuals who are alcoholics, have problems with prescription meds. It’s very much not moral. It’s also a matter of hitting rock bottom and the person involved finally wanting help.

    You just don’t know how much I loath licensed physicians and therapists who turn their psych patients into addicts. I don’t think they are much better than a cartel leader. They may even destroy more lives that way, legally. It’s very much a soap box to me. I’m not free to tell life stories, but trust me, we’re not talking a moral issue with the people who managed to pull their lives out of the gutter. I swear there’s not much difference between some of the psych drugs and cocaine or heroin – other than begin legal. They’re just as destructive, just as expensive, and just as lethal. At least society has some pity for the junkie. But, the person who has stumbled into a pill-pushing therapist’s clutches is considered a ‘moral failure’. They are given no consideration or benefit of the doubt as the medications destroy more and more of their lives – legally.

    Big Pharma makes big bucks. The therapist makes big bucks. The pharmacy makes big bucks. It’s all perfectly legal. After what I’ve dealt with this year, I even consider some of the meds that are given to medicate and placate Alzheimer’s patients in the same league. So are meds for ADHD. My father was being turned into a zombie, tired, out of it, not comprehending the world around him. Sure, he’s Stage 5 AD, but, when I had a melt-down over the extreme cost of the meds, and began researching what he was taking, we pulled him off everything for the AD. Within 3 days he was far less lethargic. He was ‘with it’ as well as he could be, engaging in life. Sure, he’s in a different orbit, but once in awhile it connects with ours. I am still sickened over the fact that the meds robbed him of several years that he could have been more engaged.

    The same family of meds are being given for ADHD, bi-polar, sleeping disorders, depression. They are addictive, and – in my opinion – pure evil. We recognize illegal substances as evil – but not the legal ones.

    Sorry for the rant.

  • RKae

    I disagree. It IS a moral failing. Addiction as an illness? No. Heroin is addictive to pretty much EVERYBODY who shoots it into their arm. So why would anyone do it the first time? What is the “illness” that makes a person do it the first time; BEFORE any illness of addiction has a chance to exist?

    I had a woman say to me years ago, “I don’t know why anyone WOULDN’T do heroin. Aren’t you curious what it’s like? Don’t you want to experience everything in life?”

    THAT is a moral failing. That is idiocy.

  • SJ Reidhead

    Do you know anyone dealing with depression or bi-polar disorder and trying to deal with addiction to prescription medications for the problem? Have you ever met a young woman who was raped, her therapist keep proscribing medication to help her deal with it? Sorry, that’s NOT a moral failing. I don’t give a rip if someone burns their mind away with illegal substances. Just let them have at it. My concern is for people who have become addicted to medications proscribed to them, by someone they trusted. I just hope you never know the heartache of dealing with this sort of thing.

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  • Freddie Sykes

    I met a guy once who had a 3 inch long, 1/2 inch wide scar on the side of his neck. He had shot up, lite a cigarette and nodded off as it burned down while held against his neck.

    What fun!

  • Quartermaster

    Prescribe. To Proscribe is to forbid.

  • Quartermaster

    The rant is, by and large, legit. Many of the meds given to people supposedly mentally ill are worse than what they put up with from the disease itself. I saw it in my daughter and a kid at church.
    Most of the kids on things like Ritalin just have the problem of being energetic kids. The real problem is with the staff doesn’t want to deal with normal kids and those with chemical lobotomies are far easier to deal with.

  • RKae

    I have an entire family of alcoholics. I chose not to drink. What a simple decision. If you never go down that road, it’s never an issue. If alcohol or drugs are never part of your life – for recreation or “social” experience – you will never turn to them in bad times and wind up overdoing them.

    The only response to drugs and alcohol is “NEVER!”

  • RKae

    I don’t take pleasure in it. I just don’t fawn over them, nor do I ignore it and talk about all their “great acting” or whatever. I’m tired of people poeticizing drug deaths. Recreational stupidity overwhelms and crushes someone, so we eulogize them. No.

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  • cmehusky

    I’m just glad they don’t make 714s no more!

  • Bob Belvedere

    What is you major malfunction?!?

    Here…try this:

  • Bob Belvedere

    In my Experimental Days [to coin a phrase], Heroin was on the other side of a line only fools crossed, just like free-basing.

  • Zohydro

    I’m not really a great fan of southern rock, never was…

  • Zohydro

    So isn’t Samantha Gailey…

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