Benjamin Shepard
Ritalin Turns Fifty Confessions of a Teenage Junkie

If there is one enduring memory from my childhood, it is a small porcelain bowl containing three little white pills. The pills were as ubiquitous as morning orange juice and cereal, “Ben, don’t forget your Ritalin,” my mother would remind me as I rushed to meet my carpool on time.

“Don’t forget your Ritalin.” On any given day, some five million children and adolescents in the United States are given a psychostimulant of one form or another. Theory is that these drugs help young people handle their emotions, feelings, and reactions.

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Benjamin Shepard
Return to Liberty Square Occupy Wall Street, the COOLS, and the Cultural Resistance of Story Telling

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Demonstrator at a May Day demonstration in Tunis, Tunisia holding an English language sign. The Fifth Estate first publicized the slogan but stole it from Terry Southern’s The Magic Christian. Photo: Fedele Spadafora

Early this year, people involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City started talking about the COOLS, the Cultural Occupation of Liberty Square. The point was to get as many people possible back into Zuccotti Park, dubbed Liberty Square, where the movement began. The police carried out a mass eviction from the lower Manhattan park in November.

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