Addictions

For some reason addiction has been a reading theme of mine in recent days. I am lucky to not have an addictive personality. It doesn’t really run in my family and I’ve never felt too much of the intense need for a substance/behavior. I often joke with myself that I don’t have the commitment for addiction. If there is one thing that runs in my family it is a commitment to constantly-shifting passions and interests. The men in my family tend to delve intensely into certain hobbies/subjects/ideas for a couple months at a time and then discard them for new ones (anyone who has read this blog for a significant amount of time will recognize this in me).

I often try to feed productive addictions though. Horn is a notoriously difficult addiction for me to sustain. Composing is catching on surprisingly well, but we’ll see how long that lasts. I like the feeling of desperation and loss that comes when I haven’t been creative for a time. The pain of fruitful withdrawals can be productive.

Anyway, here are a few perspectives on addiction I’ve come across in recent days:

From one of my favorite reads, Crispin Sartwell’s site, comes an intensely personal description of addiction:

Hating inanimate objects seems entirely senseless. Mere things have no intentions, make no decisions, commit no crimes. They aren’t guilty of anything. Why or how would you hate elements of the periodic table, clouds, liquids, rocks?

Nevertheless, far more than I hate any person, I hate alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, tobacco, methamphetamine, heroin. These stuffs or substances, these chemicals and vegetables and the fumes they emit when immolated, take away everything I have and everyone I love, every time. They are mindless, worthless, without value. They are empty. Meaningless. But they are the theme of my life. I came here to think, to study, to write. I came here to make love, to make babies, raise children, make a home, a garden, find some quiet joy. And my life has been dedicated to alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and annihilation.

Addiction, I tell you, isn’t an epic tale of redemption, material for your amazing memoir and appearance on Oprah. It isn’t a James Dean movie, a Hemingway story, or a Jimi Hendrix/Kurt Cobain song of suffering, hyper-intense genius. It’s dying by choking on your own vomit. It’s common as excrement and as profound: reeking, valueless, purposeless, pointless, meaningless.

There’s no little essence of wisdom suspended in the whiskey, no sparkling geode crystals inside the rock, no signal in the smoke. There just is nothing there.

Read on. It gets quite personal and very devastating.

A more light-hearted take from Caveh Zahedi:

And a completely ridiculous take by the awesomely-named Kim Komando on so-called Digital Drugs:

We all know that music can alter your mood. Sad songs can make you cry. Upbeat songs may give you an energy boost. But can music create the same effects as illegal drugs?

This seems like a ridiculous question. But websites are targeting your children with so-called digital drugs. These are audio files designed to induce drug-like effects.

All your child needs is a music player and headphones.

Understanding Binaural Beats

There are different slang terms for digital drugs. They’re often called “idozers” or “idosers.” All rely on the concept of binaural beats.

It is incorrect to call binaural beats music. They’re really ambient sounds designed to affect your brain waves.

For binaural beats to work, you must use headphones. Different sounds are played in each ear. The sounds combine in your brain to create a new frequency. This frequency corresponds to brain wave frequencies.

There are different brain wave frequencies. These frequencies are related to different states like relaxation and alertness.

Digital drugs supposedly synchronize your brain waves with the sound. Hence, they allegedly alter your mental state.

It would be really annoying if it weren’t so hilarious.

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