By Alan Rogers
The opening is a short essay by Charles Bukowski entitled ‘My Madness’. I prefer the lyricalism of Betjeman personally, but I like Bukowski’s grittiness. He types with nicotine stained fingers. I imagine him in a similar way to how Henry Miller was portrayed in ‘Henry and June’.
DRUG & ALCOHOL ADDICTION CAN TURN PERFECTLY REASONABLE HUMAN BEINGS INTO ERRATIC, VOLATILE MESSES
The issue of reality and fantasy blur under the influence. The video is grainy. Taken in poor light. You are naked and look high. Your eyelids are hooded.
NO PART OF A SUFFERER’S EXISTENCE IS LEFT UNTOUCHED BY THEIR ADDICTION
What is normal? Normalised behaviour is what? The ability to ‘reason’?
CONSTANTLY LYING IS ONLY ONE OF THE CHALLENGING BEHAVIOURS ADDICTS EXHIBIT
MOST ADDICTS ARE HABITUAL LIARS, HOWEVER THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY SKILLED LIARS
You lean forward and appear to snort a line of cocaine from a plate. I assume you mean that most addicts believe they are not addicted. That they could walk away from their addiction anytime they wanted.
IN FACT, MOST LIES ADDICTS TELL ARE’NT FOOLING ANYONE
THERE ARE FIVE REASONS WHY ADDICTS LIE
ONE. TO KEEP USING – ALMOST EVERY LIE AN ADDICT TELLS IS TO DESIGNED PRESERVE THEIR ADDICTION
I am not addicted (or am I?), so do not speak with authority. But I assume you mean that every lie an addict tells about their addiction is designed to preserve their addiction.
TWO. SHAME – EVERY ADDICT HAS MOMENTS OF CLARITY WHEN THEY BECOME AWARE OF JUST HOW MUCH THEY ARE HURTING THEMSELVES
This is interesting. This reminds me of sad video’s I have seen of obese people stuffing themselves with cake then crying because they hate themselves.
THREE. TO AVOID CONFRONTATION – ADDICTS ARE USUALLY NOT GOOD AT PROCESSING EMOTIONS AND DEALING WITH CONFLICT
Not sure about that one. I have found most addicts to be very hostile to champion their addiction. I had one relative who when I asked him not to smoke around my 3 year old asthmatic boy, picked him up and blew smoke in his face.
FIVE. TO CREATE AN ALTERNATIVE REALITY – ADDICTS LIE IN ORDER TO EXPERIENCE A REPRIEVE FROM THEIR DESPERATE SITUATION
I note there is no four. Was that intentional?
You continue to line up more cocaine.
Lie? Or continue to use?
INSISTING THAT EVERYTHING IS FINE, THE RENT IS PAID AND THEIR SOCIAL LIFE IS ACTIVE CAN BE ODDLY THERAPEUTIC
THEY CONVINCE OTHERS TO BELIEVE THEIR TALES OR NORMALCY
THEN ADDICTS GET TO FEEL NORMAL, WHICH IS A FEELING ADDICTS CRAVE
Addicts crave normalcy. Possibly, but not as much as the substance they are addicted to. Or else they would not be addicts.
The video changes to a less grainy texture. The cameraman (I assume Max) has adjusted the settings of the camera? Or perhaps this is a different instance of time.
LIES ARE A SYMPTOM OF ADDICTION
But hard to spot. No? How can you tell someone is lying? Body language? The touching of the face. The turning of the head? Perhaps. But then what if the only way a person has contacted the addict is though the medium of words? Letters and emails. Poems and scuttles of thought thrown into that Bukowski frying pan?
When I sleep; I lie with my hand curled against my face. One finger pushes the bridge of my nose. I find it comforting somehow. Does that make sense? Is it normal?
BUT ADDICTS ARE UNAWARE THAT PEOPLE KNOW THEY ARE’NT BEING TRUTHFUL
Or are they?
You dip down for another line.
ADDICTION IS AN ILLNESS
The commentary is getting a little manic at this point, but the point he makes is relevant. Our choices are made by chemical reactions in the brain. Alter those chemicals and different choices are made.
ONCE IT HAS TAKEN HOLD, SUFFERERS HAVE VERY LITTLE CONTROL OVER THEIR ACTIONS
BUT I ADMIRE ADDICTS
IN A WORLD WHERE EVERYONE IS WAITING FOR SOME BLIND, RANDOM DISASTER
You lay back and start to masturbate. This is as honest as it gets.
THE ADDICT HAS THE COMFORT OF KNOWING
WHAT WILL MOST LIKELY WAIT FOR HER DOWN THE ROAD
SHE HAS TAKEN SOME CONTROL OVER HER ULTIMATE FATE
AND HER ADDICTION KEEPS THE CAUSE OF HER LOSSES
FROM BEING A TOTAL SURPRISE
These are sad words. I am not sure of the source of the sadness, but I feel it.
‘REALITY IS A CRUTCH FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN’T HANDLE DRUGS’ – ROBIN WILLIAMS
The music becomes more upbeat.
The quote is (I am sure) intended to make you laugh. It is a classic ‘reversal’ gag.
ROBIN WILLIAMS WAS CONSIDERED ONE OF THE GREATEST COMEDIANS OF ALL TIME
This is true.
HE WAS ALSO A LIFELONG DRUG ABUSER
And a manic depressive. And a hero. And a villain.
What he was not, was an everyman.
ON AUGUST 11TH 2014 ROBIN WILLIAMS TOOK HIS OWN LIFE BY HANGING HIMSELF IN HIS GARAGE
NO DRUGS WERE FOUND IN HIS SYSTEM
I am left wondering why you made this statement. Are you suggesting that if he had taken drugs, he would not have killed himself? That is in all probability true. But it can only be a hypothesis at best, because nobody knows.
ALL ADDICTIONS ARE BAD, WHETHER IT IS DRUGS, MONEY, SEX OR IDEALISM – CARL JUNG
Can you be addicted to money and idealism? News to me. The sex addiction thing seems a little bit wrong too. We are by design walking sex machines. It is an instinct not an addiction. People who crave sex more than others have a very healthy sex drive. People who do not crave sex at all have an unhealthy sex drive. One is not more normal than the other.
Which is why having a wank is normal. But your bravery is demonstrated even more starkly by showing yourself naked, vulnerable and taking drugs.
You look happy. But the call of the drugs is louder than the call of the orgasm.
The inclusion of Robin Williams is interesting. He is (like he is to so many others) a hero of mine. But it got me thinking how many of my heroes are middle aged white men.
It is sometimes hard to compartmentalise when you view the world from a middle aged white man’s eyes yourself. But most of my heroes are men, most white and those who have survived, are now middle aged or older. The list is endless, but near the top are Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, John Betjeman, Bernie Taupin, Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet.
Please be aware though; you top the list.
The word ‘honest’ best describes this video. And I will be honest in my appraisal. It is not my favourite, but that is because I am naive. I have only smoked weed and got drunk. And it has been years since I did that. It contains that elusive logic that you employ to stimulate discussion, but also drives a hard point home. I hope this does not land you further into hot water. Your art is holding a very large mirror up to the world.
Take Care Missy,
16-19 Upper St Martin’s Lane, London, England, United Kingdom