Updated on February 8, 2006, 10:22 PM - Written by Tim Buttner
Never in my life could I possibly have imagined that I would sympathize with a drug dealer. Drugs are illegal, no glorify, wastes of lives. They cause problems in both the mind and the physical body, and not to mention the social lives of the user. To me the abuser isn't exactly the person at fault, but it's the dealer… the shipper… the manufacturer. In my eyes, those who make these immoral drugs available are people of no worth who cannot do a decent job for a decent reason. The story of George Jung in the movie Blow, directed by Ted Demme and starring Johnny Depp, changes my view. I managed to actually see the human side behind some of these monsters, and discovered that not all involved in drug trafficking are wholly evil.
I can't say how many times I've seen this movie, but I can assure that it has been quite a few. The first time I saw it I felt very down. I felt so much pity for the man who had tried to leave behind his ugly past life for a quiet life with his daughter, who he loved more than anything in the world. The sad truth was that he only knew how to do one thing well and that was the only way he knew how to make money. The movie puts a face to these faceless monsters, which are destroying the minds of our fellow Americans, that we create in our mind. The face we are introduced to is one of a boy who grew up in a family of money problems. Despite his father telling him that, "Money isn't real," young George doesn't grasp his meaning and swears never to be poor. When he is unable to figure out what to do with his life he comes upon drugs. Drugs take a hold on his life, and he soon becomes ensconced in the profit he can receive from transporting them into the country. The background we receive adds that much more pity and understanding of where this person is coming from and what possibly was going through his mind. It takes his going to jail to make him an even larger monster.
Most Americans view jail as a great correctional facility, but to face the truth it often forms more hardened criminals. George Jung went in with knowledge on how to smuggle Marijuana into the States and came out with a contact with the Columbian Cartel. He moved up from a minor drug to a major one. Cocaine has more addictive power than Marijuana, and it has greater profit revenue. George even became addicted to it himself. He was good at smuggling; it was all he knew. Once released, who would hire a former Marijuana smuggler/dealer? The Cartel. George didn't have much of a fighting chance, he had set his fate the day he decided to smuggle drugs. Only one thing could bring him out of it.
George had a baby girl, Christina, and she was his angel. He wanted to be a good father to her like his was to him. He managed to get out of the business due to double-crosses amongst those he thought to be his friends. When his wife threw him a birthday party, she invited a large number of old friends from the Cocaine business and had Cocaine in the household. The Feds and the DEA busted the party. George took the wrap, and posted bail. When he went to get his money out from the Columbian banks, where he had stored it… it was gone. What could he possibly do? He had no conceptual knowledge of how to gain the kind of money he needed. He went to jail and was released, but it had cost him his marriage and his daughter. Once out he did everything to win back over his daughter. He wanted to live with her and raise her. He wanted to be to her what his father was to him. Alas, he needed money so that he could take care of her and bring her to California. How to get the money but what he knew best. He was set-up from the get-go. His daughter has yet to visit him since his imprisonment. A human side to the story. The tape he records for his father at the end of the movie, where he finally comes to understand what his father had told him about money all those years ago, is an epiphany that shows his tragic faults. He never intended to hurt anyone or have a negative affect. He simply wanted to make money and be happy. As his father had told him all those years ago: "Money isn't real." Or "You don't need money to be happy," in the true meaning of what he was saying.
Though I see know a human face to the drug smugglers and feel some pity, it is difficult to completely not feel that they are wasteful and useless to society. After all, they are. More so than before the first time I saw this movie, I want to help out all those effected by drugs, even those in the business of selling them. Starting one person at a time you can work your way down the line until there isn't even a market of employees to distribute the drug. When the Kingpins have no underlings, how will they move their product without implicating themselves?
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