April 2014
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Jenkem is Real, But It is Not Popular

The Waterglass continues its investigative reporting into jenkem.  Our crack staff of investigative reporters have tracked down an anonymous source who confirms that jenkem — defined as fermented sewage — is real and has been used by street children in Lusaka, Zambia.  Due to confidentiality reasons, we cannot reveal the source.  We can say that this individual has seen first-hand street children in Lusaka, Zambia collecting “faecal material,” placing it in the sun and huffing the gas this process generates.  This individual was shocked to see it. 

Jenkem is used because it is free and because it does not involve property theft.  For example, stealing petrol is a property crime.  We surmise from this that the Lusaka authorities do not consider stealing “faecal material” a crime on par with stealing other, presumably more valuable, property.  Lack of enforcement is tantamount to ignoring the problem.

It must be stressed that our anonymous source does not know how popular jenkem is, or if it is still being used.  If we recall the UNICEF report, only 5.8% of a skewed, unrepresentative sample of street children in Lusaka, Zambia reported having used the drug. 

Jenkem does not seem to be popular in Lusaka, Zambia, and least of all in the United States, where there are no confirmed cases of its use.

According to the anonymous source, the use of jenkem is due to the appallingly poor conditions in parts of Lusaka.  Facing the depths of what anyone would reasonably consider absolute poverty, a small percentage of the poorest of the poor street children in Lusaka turn to “butthash” to escape from the physical and psychological torment of their existence.  From the UNICEF report, it is clear that other huffing drugs, such as gasoline or glue, are preferred over jenkem.

American kids will never turn en masse to jenkem, not only because of the stench and stigma, but because they have a “wealth” of other drugs to turn to first.  There are millions of American poor (36.5 million in 2006), but even the ones that would turn to drugs would likely start with the most high-end drugs they can find (marijuana, cocaine) before resorting to fermented sewage.  It is possible some demented American will try it out of curiosity, but jenkem could never be popular, in any sense of the term.  It’s not even popular in Lusaka, Zambia, and their poverty rivals that of the worst in the world.

Jenkem is real, but it is not popular — anywhere.

What gets lost in the jekem story is that poverty is real, street children are real, and street children in the cities of subsaharan Africa face some of the most awful conditions on Earth.  Some people are so wrapped-up in their narrow-minded, egotistical world that they worry more about their own children getting high off of fecal materials — an incredibly unlikely event – than the very real poverty in Africa — a current, on-going, and widespread problem.   

Give a shit; Give to UNICEF.

8 comments to Jenkem is Real, But It is Not Popular

  • This source of yours needs to be named and exactly quoted, otherwise I cannot accept what he or she or they say as fact in regard to an eyewitness account. This story demands proof.

    I take exception to this statement, as well: “Some people are so wrapped-up in their narrow-minded, egotistical world that they worry more about their own children getting high off of fecal materials — an incredibly unlikely event – than the very real poverty in Africa — a current, on-going, and widespread problem.” Don’t parents have a responsibility to see to their own children’s safety before worrying about what people in Africa are doing? Is it egotistical and narrow-minded to worry about one’s own children? I don’t have any kids myself, but the entire shit-sniffing child population of Lusaka can go to hell as far as I’m concerned, compared to the welfare of my own loved ones. I defy you to find a pair of caring parents who don’t feel the same way about the welfare of their children vs. Lusakan jenkem addicts.

    What troubles me most about the entire butthash issue is that the press swallowed the story without any real reporting that we can attribute. What’s also troubling is that the American public, in general, seems to take what is reported in the American butthash media as gospel truth, no matter what the issue. We know that in order to understand the full context of a story, we need to go to multiple sources and read between all the lines. We’ve done that here, on this very website, and you, Josh, engaged in it with the butthash story.

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  • Joshua

    I’m sorry that I have not obtained permission to reveal my anonymous source. Anonymous sourcing designed to protect confidentiality is a mainstay of the media (American butthash media, too). With this ethic in mind, I will not reveal my source.

    I take exception to your exception because you missed my point. Let me be clear: the chances of an American kid using butthash is so small, it is as close to impossible as you’ll find. To focus on butthash — seemingly at the exclusion of real-world problems — is narrow-minded and egotistical. Of course American parents love their children and will consider them before the children of Africa, but that’s far from the point. The point is that some American parents are focused on imaginary problems when their energies would be better spent on fixing a real problem.

    I’m glad we can “hash” this out.

  • David

    You’re missing MY point.

    The point is that some American parents, faced with all manner of ludicrous stories coming out of the American butthash media, don’t know what to believe. If they don’t know it’s imaginary, why shouldn’t they be forgiven for taking the story seriously?

    Your source is not credible. We hold ourselves here to a higher standard than the ABM. Reveal the source.

  • Brother fight? Bring in the Vampires.

    Hey you guys like My Chemical Romance or the Killers? What do you listen to now, Dave?

    Joshua – you are in Poland now right? Pretty cool.

    As to the source, I remain doubtful, because I am not sure scientifically if this would produce anything – maybe a real scientist should do an experiment – how about writing to mythbusters?

  • David

    Huh. I haven’t bought any new music in years except for the missus. I did recently throw out my tape collection. Oh, and I downloaded “Jimmy Olsen’s Blues” for my cellphone ring. If I want to hear music these days, I just listen to the sound of sweet, sweet crude oil glugging into a vat, like any good neo-con should.

  • von

    I don’t think I can handle this…

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