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High, low of 'Breaking Bad' on-, off-screen

TV show-inspired teachers recreate a banned recreational drug, land in jail.

ET Bureau|
Nov 20, 2019, 08.48 AM IST
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Life imitating art may have laid the after-effects of the professors’ meth-making addiction at the door of 'Breaking Bad'.
There is a reason why professional busybodies sometimes demand a ban on ‘dangerous make-believe’ products. Two chemistry teachers in Arkansas were arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, a highly addictive, illegal recreational drug, mirroring what pop culturewalas know to be straight out of 'Breaking Bad', the classic TV series about a high school science teacher who starts making meth and becomes a drug trade lord.

One of the arrested ‘speed’ profs had, in a university magazine interview earlier, said how much he enjoyed 'Breaking Bad'. So, the TV show being an ‘inspiration’ is very much on the cards.

Meth was synthesised way back in 1893 by Japanese chemist Nagai Nagayoshi. But no one had then thought of turning it into a ‘lifestyle’ drug. That came when, during World War 2, it became the (Nazi) party drug and started being (mis)used by the German armed forces as a performance- and wakefulness-enhancing drug. But in our times, crystal meth is identified as a seriously damaging drug, and up there on the substance abuse menu.

In this context, life imitating art may have laid the aftereffects of the professors’ meth-making addiction at the door of 'Breaking Bad'. Instead, the two culprits are behind bars and the TV show on Netflix. And the rest of us can take a chill pill.

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