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Sunday, May 8, 2022

Bring On the Handcuffs

Although others have raved about it, I could only endure one episode of Dopesick, the mini-series depicting the sleazy role the Sackler family played in facilitating the oxycontin crisis. I've similarly resisted reading Empire of Pain (2021) by Patrick Radden Keefe, a non-fiction account of the same reprehensible tribe, even though several readers I respect have recommended it to me. 

My resistance thus far to both the mini-series and the book - as good as each may be - is directly linked to a stomach-churning disgust I experience each time I think about one of these reprobates luxuriating in one of their palaces or sunning themselves on one of their yachts. Do you ever wonder when one of these plutocrats of our new gilded age will pay a price even remotely commensurate to their crimes? Do any of these creatures ever feel any shame for their role in destroying so many lives?

Recently, both my daughter and my wife have tried to convince me that the mini-series and book perform a valuable public service by shining a light on the heinous acts of these vultures. Although they haven't yet dislodged my resistance, their persuasive argument has my attention. But what will really inspire me to watch the Sackler misdeeds re-enacted - or read about their strategy to enrich themselves as lives were ruined - is watching a few of them taken away in handcuffs, a la Bernie Madoff. Even better, how about a nice group picture of the whole bunch sharing a jail cell?  


  1. I agree. Michal Keaton's performance is worth the watch, however. If there is a hell, the Sacklers will have a suite.

    1. Anonymous; In the one episode I watched, Michael Keaton indeed stood out. Thanks for the comment.

    2. Working in the medical field I see opioids used daily for post op surgical pain. While I am grateful for the medication for my patients, I will always question the ethics of it's origin after reading this book. Empire of Pain was so thoroughly researched, which is an amazing feat considering the family's continued silence when it comes to interviews. Keefe did an great job showing both sides, however visceral my reaction to the Sackler's denial and lies. I would highly recommend as it is worth reading. When I find a great non fiction writer I stick with them!

    3. Marisa; Ignore that "anonymous" thing; blogger has been glitchy lately when people try to comment. And thanks for the comment. I've heard only good things about Keefe's book but I'm still inclined to wait to read it until after a few of the Sackler vultures spend some time in jail. Of course, I could change my mind given how difficult it can be to find worthwhile non-fiction.

  2. I don't know why it says anonymous, meant to say Marisa :)