October 21, 2011
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pill in hand
When we speak of addiction we usually mean something destructive. We understand the malignant aspects as an integral part of the phenomena. To be addicted to something is per definition bad and something that should be avoided.
If you look up addiction in a dictionary you get the following definitions:
– Compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming substance
– The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or involved in something
The latter is exemplified with fast cars, the former with heroin. And I suppose it’s a pretty accurate way to describe the variations of the phenomena called addiction. Compulsive being the operative word in both cases. But how do you end up there? In the compulsive state? In the case of heroin the addictive qualities of the substance itself is usually put forth as the main cause of the compulsion. Heroin causes addiction, that’s what we’re told. If you want to be a bit more precise the addictive aspect lies in the fact that regular heroin use increases your tolerance level, you have to constantly up the dose to achieve the same effect, and it also causes a physical dependence, your body craves it. When it comes to substances those two aspects are what determine if the substance is addictive; increased tolerance and physical dependence. So how does that relate to the fast cars? Well, I suppose one could argue that you need to “up the dose” here too, it takes more to get the same fix, but the whole physical dependence is obviously not applicable. In the case of the cars it’s all on a psychological level.
Yes, there are of course different types of addictions, some of which have to do with things you put in your body and some that only have to do with experience. The common denominator being the whole compulsive aspect. Compulsive indicates that there’s a lack of free will involved. If we go to the dictionary this is what we find:
– The state of being compelled
– An irresistible impulse to act, regardless of the rationality of the motivation
So it has to do with rationality, or rather the lack thereof. Again a rather fitting definition, because most heroin addicts probably know that their addiction isn’t rational. Especially since there is a definite criminal aspect tied to the use of this particular substance. But what about the cars? Or indeed any non substance related addiction? Or addiction to substances that aren’t actually illegal? The experience and the physical aspects are certainly part of it as well as that lack of rationality, but to me the most interesting part of this is where to draw the line. When does a passion become an addiction? When does use become addiction? Read more of this post
October 6, 2011
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"look me in the eyes"
I just found this text and for some reason I didn’t publish it back when I wrote it, but here it is.
I’m on my way home from a friend’s house. It’s about 2 o’clock on Easter Sunday. I’m at the very end of Torstrasse and the combination of having no clue what the S-Bahn situation is like since it’s a public holiday and the fairly warm evening, makes me decide to walk to Alexanderplatz. Walking down Oranienburger Strasse is the fastest way to get to Alexanderplatz from where I am so it’s very much the natural choice, but I still hesitate. I’m not really sure I want to expose myself to that walk tonight, but the option of taking another route isn’t all that appealing either. Especially since Mitte tends to play tricks with my head and make me confused about where I am at times, something that has every potential of leading to rather time-consuming detours and I really don’t feel like that either right now. So I go with the natural choice and start heading down Oranienburger Strasse. The first few blocks are easy, they always are. There’s too many restaurants crammed into too little space for there to be anything but eating and drinking going on in that part of the street. But as soon as you get close to the Synagogue it starts. And I brace myself, try to prepare for what’s to come.
I see her coming towards me. Dark hair, white tights, no heels, that’s unusual, and the ever-present fanny pack. Worn on the front of the body, never on the hip like in the techno crowd. She appears to be somewhere in her early twenties but she’s wearing too much make-up to really be able to detect any age. We don’t look at each other, we just pass like the strangers we are, pretending not to see each other. As she walks away behind me I can feel my anxiety levels rise. I look up and in front of me I already see the next one. She’s having a conversation with a man clad in pastel colors. He looks very gay, nothing like the usual punter, and I catch myself wondering if he’s her pimp. A few steps away there are two more. Blonde hair extensions, dressed in white and with corsets. They all have corsets and hot pants. It’s like a uniform. And at that point I just feel like crying. Across the street there are two more girls, also blonde, they are surrounded by a group of teenage boys and I’m happy I have my iPod so I don’t have to hear anything of the conversation. What is going to be the outcome of that situation? Is this the night when these boys will learn that you can buy access to a woman’s body? I want to throw up when I think about it. Read more of this post