Today’s lunchtime reading is this fabulous long feature from Rolling Stone about David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, two Orthodox kids from Miami who got wound up in the highest levels of geopolitics when they become major arms dealers for U.S. war efforts. Oh, also they smoke, like, tons of pot. Those kooky kids!
If nothing else, it shows that Jonathan Franzen’s depiction of a teenage arms dealer in Freedom is no exaggeration. If anything, Franzen should have had his character, Joey Berglund, wear a yarmulke. “People at parties would ask us what we did for a living,” Packouz relates.” The girls were models or cosmetologists. The guys were stockbrokers and lawyers. We would say we were international arms dealers. ‘You know the war in Afghanistan?’ we would say. ‘All the bullets are coming from us.’ It was heaven. It was wild. We felt like we were on top of the world.”
The Stoner Arms Dealers [Rolling Stone]