In another disturbing case of Breaking Bad plot lines entering into the realm of reality, university students and professors from a middle class backgrounds are reportedly using skills honed in tertiary study to manufacture Class A narcotics in an effort to stay on top crippling HECS debt – with an increasing number of students being recruited to cook for Los Pollos Hermanos much larger crime syndicates, which may of may not be masquerading as fast food chicken restaurants.
The front page of today’s Daily Telegraph contains a special investigation into what it calls “a growing trend of young people from middle-class backgrounds with no criminal records being arrested” for effectively doing a Walt; that is, taking the mad skills their science teachers taught them and applying them to the manufacturing of drugs, including, but not limited to, highly cited incidents of ecstasy and GHB. It might not be meth, but it’s still pretty heavy. The report notes several examples, including one university professor arrested and charged with drug-related offences and a 21 year-old university student sentenced to five years imprisonment after being caught with 1500 pills. You’re welcome, Vince Gilligan.
Largely anecdotal evidence is also relied upon to suggest that bikie groups are also recruiting chemistry undergrads to cook for them, while Asian crime syndicates are said to have been in the practice of recruiting, extorting and intimidating students to cook for them for much longer. There are, however, no figures or direct evidence to suggest bikie gangs are canvassing uni bars for aspiring chef de parties.
The intrusion of art into life and vice versa – let’s call it the Waltification of the middle-class – follows on from an incident earlier this year in which a 55 year-old man named Walter White was wanted and subsequently hunted on meth-related charges in Alabama for trafficking methamphetamine.
Much like Hollywood’s famed Bling Ring – a rookie crime syndicate of social climbing twenty-something fame whores who exposed the stupidity of celebrities like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan through robbing them blind and doing talk show rounds to chat about it – you’d think that for these industrious twenty-somethings it’s only going to be a matter of time before A Coppola comes knocking. That, or Underbelly.