Jack wrote this in July, 2005:
I used to know a guy, a good man, who was also an alcoholic of the sort you’d rather not be too close to. Jay was his name, an ex-Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Air Corps, B24 pilot of um-de-umph hundred bombing missions over Germany during WWII. War hero.
By the mid-1960s Jay had a drinking problem bad enough to be placed repeatedly into the hands of the Texas Alcoholic Rehabilitation Commission to dry out. Finally, in those days a bright new shining light among the mental health medicos was the pre-frontal lobotomy, was chosen as the tool of choice for curing what ailed old Jay….. But the unfortunate side effects were that a lot of him ceased to be Jay.
But those wise medicos knew what was best for him, they’d read all the recent advances and articles, so they strapped him down to a gurney and inserted electrodes on his temples and shot the juice to him. Several times.
I’d heard about all this, thought it was fairly awful, but what the hell. A few months later I was among a group of young folks friends of his who got invited to spend a day on Galveston Bay cruising around in Jay’s cabin cruiser down there.
Jay was wearing a tee -shirt that proclaimed, “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a prefrontal lobotomy”. And he did.
It finally killed him, alcohol, the lobotomy didn’t change that…. but he always believed, afterward, that it was a fairly shabby thing for society to have done to him, that lobotomy. Deprived him of his right to make his own mistakes. At least, it attempted to.
If you boil all that down and scrape the leavings off the bottom of the pot, that’s about the way I feel about the brushwar going on in California about Mega Millions.
And a lot of other things, for that matter.