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EDITORIAL: Cheers & Jeers Feb. 4

Jeers: to profit, all ways. So Purdue Pharma, the company that brought Oxycontin to the marketplace, and began the opioid crisis that has killed tens of thousands of people across North America (while insisting its drug was non-addictive) didn’t just look at ways to profit from its addictive drug. Documents released in a lawsuit by the State of Massachusetts show the company was even trying to profit from taking on the crisis its own drug had created. The firm bought rights to suboxone, an addiction treatment drug, and considered buying rights to Naloxone, an emergency drug to treat opioid overdoses. Here’s part of an internal company memo on the market to be found in treating addicts: “It is an attractive market …Large unmet need for vulnerable, underserved and stigmatized patient population suffering from substance abuse, dependence and addiction.” An attractive market? Clearly an unattractive company run by deeply unattractive people.

Cheers: to no good deed going unpunished. From a court decision late last week: “On Aug. 3, 2017, police observed Mr. (Thomas) Oliver driving a Ford Explorer near the intersection of Mundy Pond Road and Ropewalk Lane. Mr. Oliver had stopped as a courtesy, to allow a police cruiser to enter the flow of traffic. The police officer (Sgt. Neil Duggan) observed that Mr. Oliver was not wearing a seatbelt. In responding to the seatbelt issue, Sgt. Duggan learned that Mr. Oliver did not have a driver’s licence and was under a driving prohibition.” Now, keep in mind Mr. Oliver is no saint: he does have 18 convictions for driving while disqualified, and more than 60 other criminal convictions on other charges to boot. Still, his decision to let the RNC cruiser into traffic got him two years plus a day in prison, and a lifetime driving ban.

Cheers: to カルマ — we think. So pop star Ariana Grande has joined the growing list of people for whom tattoos in foreign languages went sideways. Grande wanted to get a tattoo of the name of her new album, “7 Rings,” tattooed on her hand in kanji — Japanese written characters. Unfortunately, the tattoo came out representing the words “small charcoal grill.” She then attempted a fix, which some suggest now reads “small charcoal grill finger” followed by a heart. Moral of the story? Tattoos are pretty much permanent, so it’s a good idea to know what your ink is going to say before the needling starts. By the way, the internet says カルマ means Karma — but we’re not sure enough to get it tattooed anywhere just yet. (See what we did there? We used a cultural reference in a completely different culture’s written language. We’re so deep you probably want to friend us on Facebook, just to up your cred.)

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