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Home > Culture and Society

Robbie Williams in new drugs shocker #3,747

24 December 2004

Shocking news emerged this week that people may take drugs because they enjoy it. We're gobsmacked. Like everyone else, we'd assumed they do it because they want to slide into a life of degradation, prostitution and bad skin.

In an interview with Robbie Williams, the once-chubby chappie revealed: 'Some of the best times in my life happened while under the influence of drugs.'

Well, we'd take drugs if, like Take That, we'd ever had to do a video like the one early in their career where the lads wore pseudo-bondage gear and basically offered their arses for the inspection of viewers. Something, we must add, that was about as erotic as watching a cow being artificially inseminated by a bored vet.

But do pop stars and slebs in general have some sort of duty to portray drugs as inherently evil?

Apart from the fact that taking drugs to get high is actually quite a logical thing to do, what people tend to forget about drugs is that the UK isn't quite as awash with them as the press might imagine. Unless you hang out with people who regularly take drugs, it's a bloody nightmare even trying to score an eighth of indifferent dope, not least because many South London drug dealers seem to have confused their job description with 'mugger'. It's equally hard getting a wrap of drugs that actually contains enough drugs to have an effect on anything larger than a vole.

But the question remains, if you're one of the dreaded Young People, will you take drugs because Robbie Williams does/did? It's hard to imagine it would be the primary cause, for about a zillion reasons. Is Robbie Williams considered particularly cool among Young People, when compared with, say, 50 Cent? And if you do intend to emulate Robbie, how precisely are you going to finance a coke habit with the proceeds of a part-time job in Londis? And if you're impressionable enough to want to be Robbie Williams, does that mean you also be a pretty boy from a plastic boy band originally marketed to gay men who later turns into a self-pitying, teary, second-rate crooner and egotistical wanker with a fondness for pie abuse?

Probably not. Robbie Williams is guilty of too many crimes to mention, but not of sending our Young People to the pits of drug-induced despair and degradation. Yes, people can get into problems with drugs but who's more likely to be the cause? Is it:

A) Robbie Williams, or
B) You and your mates?

And if Robbie's showbiz anecdotes (including his extensive problems with drink and drugs, which made him fat, apparently) need to be censored, where do you stop? People still idolise Jimi Hendrix. Are we going to rewrite his life story so that he unwound after gigs with a nice cup of tea and a packet of Bourbons? You could call it Hendrix: The Alan Bennett Years.

The fact is, if everyone slavishly imitated musicians, we'd live in a world of non-stop drive-by shootings (gangsta rap), perpetual LSD hallucinations (more or less any artist from the 1960s) and riding white swans, which Marc Bolan strongly recommended but which surely cannot be condoned by the RSPB.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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