Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dan Savage, American Ethicist

Rules of Misbehavior - Benjamin J. Dueholm:

Detail from Fred Harper illo via WaMo

In 2000, Savage answered a letter from a fifteen-year-old boy who was using both meth and heroin and engaging in a regular ménage à trois with his girlfriend and an adult man. The question the teen posed to Savage was not, needless to say, whether he should be having sex before marriage (or high school graduation). Nor, for that matter, was he asking whether it was advisable to take part in a legally risky threesome, or to dabble in hard substances. Rather, the boy’s question was whether he, “a big hippie,” had an obligation to tell the man, “an avid anti-drugger,” about his use of meth and heroin. Savage was not exactly affirming in his response:

“You are an idiot. The drugs you’re doing, young skank, are dangerous and, however careful you are with needles, sooner or later they’re going to kill you,” he wrote. “What should you do about your drug-phobic, statutory-rapist fuck buddy? Well, I’d say that like any good hippie you should be open, honest, loyal, brave, and true. Tell him what the holes in your arm are all about, and give him the option of staying or going. You say you have feelings for this guy, and if that’s the case, you owe him the truth. If that’s not the case, well, then you might as well go ahead and steal his stereo and TV set now.”
Related: Savage and Miller interviewed recently on NPR, discussing their own experiences growing up, coming out, getting married, and starting a family. 
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