Perhaps it was the same with in ancient times, endless prurient gossip about where the Maenads were and what kind of orgiastic mayhem they were up to with Dionysius and the Satyrs. But as was the case with Dionysius, and the whole panoply of demigodly debauchery, so it appears to be with “pharm parties.” As Jack Shafer, Slate’s Media Critic, complains, pharm parties don’t exist, and though he keeps writing, year after year, about the fact that they don’t exist, amazingly, the rest of the media keep insisting that they do.
For those of you blissfully unaware of how youth gets wasted, a “pharm party,” as Shafer puts it, is where kids gather to “dump the pills they’ve stolen from their parents’ medicine cabinets into a big bowl and then scoop out and swallow random handfuls.”
It’s not just their parents who aren’t noticing the medicinal depletion: In the very same way that no-one really saw Dionysius turn sailors into dolphins after he himself turned into a lion, no-one has really seen a pharm party. In all the media coverage there isn’t a single eye-witness. Not one. Shafer even finds a historian an ethnographer, Montana Miller, who has been searching for evidence of a pharm party. She has found nothing.
Absence of proof is not proof of absence, of course; but the continued absence of proof is a reliable indicator that something is a myth.