Week In Review: February 6 to February 10, 2012

In the past week, Points investigated a pair of provocative questions:  “Where do people get their drugs/alcohol?” and “What makes for an addict?” Our contributors addressed these issues with their typical wisdom and élan, covering subjects as varied as Michael Jackson’s sleep patterns, the immigrant Jewish experience, and the language of the LCBO. For your personal reference, please enjoy our Week In Review.

Monday: The week began with the third instalment of Emily Dufton’s wonderful “Debate for the Ages” series, “Civil Rights or Civil Disobedience, or Doing Drugs in the Free World.” Using the Nixon-era White House Conference on Youth as the locus of her discussion, Emily investigates the ways in which discussions about the “right” to use recreational drugs have developed throughout the War on Drugs era.

Tuesday: We were extremely pleased to feature a post by Dan Melleck,  the Editor-in-Chief of our sister publication The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs, the official journal of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society. Much like Emily’s post, Dan’s “Semantics, Addiction Concepts, and Abnormal Drinks: A Reflection on the Historical Language of Habit” discusses the public language of addiction and abuse, taking us us into Dr. Melleck’s fascinating research on the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO).

Conrad Murray: Sinner? Saint? Neither? Both?

Wednesday: Alexine Flack’s great Hump Day post considers the ethics of Michael Jackson’s now-disgraced former physician, Dr. Conrad Murray. In “Michael Jackson’s Addiction Problem,” Alexine considers Murray’s role in Jackson’s untimely demise and asks what we should ultimately make of il dotore.

Thursday: One of Points‘ head honchos, Joe Spillane, sat down with Georgia State’s Marni Davis to discuss her new monograph, Jews and Booze: Becoming American in the Age of Prohibition. In their compelling discussion, Professor Davis elaborates on a central question: “What happens when the cultural attachments and economic practices immigrants bring with them to their new home are seen as incompatible with American conventions?”

Friday: As is the norm, the work week ended with, “Friday Reads,” our weekly roundup of interesting news stories and long-form periodical pieces.