Monthly Archives: March 2009

Addiction III: Men Behaving Badly

I’ve now gone through one ‘addiction’ that really isn’t one: a pre-disposition to chemical dependency which I have always had and was lucky enough to know about before it became a problem. I’ve also talked about one addiction, in this case a specific chemical dependency, that I have recovered from. Now it’s time to talk about self-inflicted addictions.

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Addiction II: Chemical warfare

Last post I laid out a story which illustrated how clumsy our cultural mores are when it comes to understanding and reasonably treating addictions. We class a very wide range of different behavioural, chemical and cultural issues under one label, ‘addict’, and then write off anyone caught in that net. Clearly, the colloquial understanding of addiction is likely to vary from the strictly technical, but the variance in this case is so large that it defies communication. One has to check with any layman who uses the terms ‘addiction’ or ‘addict’ what they understand the terms to mean: even between people who are from different fields, say a psychotherapist talking to a SHO, one needs to check definitions to be sure you’re both talking about the same thing.

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Addiction I: Pre-disposition

People talk about addiction a lot in our culture. Let me rephrase. People talk a lot of crap about addiction in our culture, to the extent that people have started treating ‘addiction’ and ‘very strong preference’ as synonymous in colloquial language. Hyperbole is all very well, but not when it kills people; and the systematic devaluation of the term ‘addict’ in society is doing exactly that.

I’m writing about this as a kind of prologue to an investigation of the politics and psychology of prohibition, both in general and with specific reference to some of the things which are prohibited in the Europe-influenced Western socio-economic hegemony. Continue reading

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Recessional risks

Recently my pub got burgled. Well, sort of. I mean, nothing was stolen from inside the pub. And they didn’t really have to break in, because the conniving twatproperty developer who owns the plot behind us left his site open to the street for three weeks, thus circumventing our nice, expensive security gates.

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The Courting of Public Opinion

“The prime minister has said it’s not acceptable and, therefore, it will not be accepted. And it might be enforceable in a court of law, this contract, but it’s not enforceable in the court of public opinion”

        — Harriet Harman

Sometimes, I read things in the Metro which make me very angry. This was one of them, though it took a little while to build up steam. Good lord, what on earth is she talking about?

The Court of public opinion? Meaning the one with no oversight, no accountability, no checks and balances: the one dominated by the Daily Star and by Richard and Judy? The court of public opinion, though I might not like it, does exist. It’s the court which decides who wins the X-Factor. It’s the court which watches Big Brother. It’s the court which can’t tell paedophile from paediatrician.

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