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The book:

  • Anvilicious:
    • It does go pretty far in service of Drugs Are Bad. For those who can see it, there is also An Aesop about the futility of the Drug War.
    • It also goes pretty far to point out the hypocrisy of rehab clinics and the system itself, also playing heavily on the idea that people who have been broken or tormented by drugs or mental illness are not only discarded but invalidated by their view on reality... in essence, no one would ever believe that the rehab clinic is in fact using drug burnouts to farm the drug itself. Philip Dick likes his irony.
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  • Harsher in Hindsight: The story takes place after the U.S. lost the War On Drugs. As of June 2011, the Global Commission of Drug Policy has declared the war a failure. Uh-oh. And given that the US has been in an opioid epidemic - wherein deaths from overdose of opiates beat out vehicular and firearm deaths starting in 2015 - this is now even harsher, especially in light of the pharmaceutical industry's successful push for deregulation in the late '90s that led to it.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Doing drugs can only end in tragedy, but so can creating a police state where people are too paranoid to form real friendships with each other.
  • Values Resonance: The book's Aesop and theme became more relevant with the general controversy of War on Drugs (namely mass incarceration and racial profiling with no effect on stemming drug-crimes) along with surveillance and loss of privacy in recent era.
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  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Well, Philip K. Dick was a user, but he was clean at the time.

The film:


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