A Critic's Meta Review: 4/5

A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick (REVIEW)

I think I have finally figured out what Philip Kindred Dick was alluding to when he wrote of “Substance D”, the life devouring demon dog of a drug that inflicts its users with cravings to no end and causes them to resort to irrational, harmful, and (in some cases) downright comical behaviors in order to satisfy their aching desire to have their unquenchable thirst temporarily stultified for the purposes of passing (if only for a brief moment, to achieve some end) as a functional, healthy human being.

Indeed, something so nefarious can only refer to one thing - well, two things, rather, but both of a similar vein. Cut from the same cloth, if you will. A chip off the old block.


That one doesn’t really work for this situation.

Ah well. They can’t all be zingers, man.

Nor should they all be. Some things must be taken seriously, and addiction is certainly one of them. Too many people find themselves mano a mano with it in the wide ring that surrounds their lives; as a result, each and every year we lose countless souls to the clutches of compulsive decision making.

And what’s the number one killer out there? Or, at least, the number one killer in the United States? Heart disease! With a body count of over half a million a year (nearly a quarter of the U.S. population), heart disease is no joke, whatsoever. Heart disease is, however, absolutely preventable - as long as one maintains a healthy eating regimen.

This eating regimen leaves no room for Substance D.

“Well, what is it then?” you think to yourself as I stroke my chin as if all of the right words are tucked away somewhere in the scruff popping out from under my chin like toothpicks on a club sandwich (careful, man - don’t poke your eyes out on those things!)

I will give you a hint - shift your attention from the latter part of the word, the D, and instead focus on the initial sound you hear - the sound that starts the word...substance.



So addictive that I have literally, on more occasions than I care to admit, taken clumps of brown sugar (at least I am somewhat progressive in the way I poison myself) and poured some water on top so I could literally drink sugar - essentially one step down from mainlining.

And don’t even get me started on salt. I just shoved more nuts down my throat than Liberace after a night at Radio City Music Hall.

Roasted and salted.

I need help, man.

Serious help.

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