Thursday, February 6, 2014

Vale smackhead

I suppose my problem with the handwringing about some celebrity junkie snuffing it is I just don't sign up to the smug liberal orthodoxy. I don't believe "addiction is a disease". Some inconclusive science that people with an agenda have run with. Our desire to be compassionate to people who suffer from their choices. Our understanding that yes, your environment moulds you, sometimes presents you with choices that won't work out well for you and doesn't equip you well to make. A mix of these things has led us to deny all responsibility, to create an orthodoxy of victimhood: that none of us ever chooses anything -- we are just passive victims of the world round us. Yet the same people believe in a just world: that they have earned their privilege, their comfort. That their intelligence and good fortune are personal triumphs, not also products of the world they inhabit.

I feel sorry for addicts. Sorrier for guys who turn to drugs because life is miserable and it makes it bearable to live in squalor without much hope of a good life than I am for celebrities who often just do drugs because they can. But each has made a choice. This is the road they took. The drugs didn't walk through the door and force themselves into their arms. Some choices are tough but they are still choices.

I'm not a moralist about drugs. I've done my share. I avoided smack because I know I'm the kind of person who will return to it like a dog to vomit, that no matter how painful life is, I cannot indulge in things whose consequences I do not want to risk. I'm not particularly judgemental about people who make different choices. But I don't believe rich white celebrities are victims of anything. You can walk away.

Also, I just don't care enough about these people to actually feel sad they died. Are you kidding me? It's some dude who was in films. Everyone dies and the world travels on.


Blogger Paula said...

I also find it hard to care about rich celebs (white or non), even though I'm a bit more sympathetic than you to addiction generally. I don't think a lot of people can simply walk away, however stupid they they were to begin, nor does the average person have the ability to project consequences as you described. That said, I don't get the massive display of emotion people exhibit online for someone they haven't met. Fucksake, if they have such big FEELINGS for fellow humans, there's probably a neighbor who could use some help. I confess to sometimes having a twinge of sads for a celeb I esp liked, such as James Gandolfini, but... meh. I wonder if this collective "grieving" is simply an awkward mechanism for people to connect with each other? Because it makes no sense objectively.

February 7, 2014 at 12:38 AM  
Anonymous Looney said...

I think addiction is better termed a mental illness and should be treated as such, rather than treating the addicted as criminals. But in the end, the mentally ill have to seek help, or, if they're forced into treatment to begin with, at some point have to take ownership of their condition, the process, and the choices that need making.

February 8, 2014 at 3:55 AM  

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