Addiction doesn’t discriminate and it doesn’t compromise. The only way an addict can “overcome” his disease is to stop using and stay stopped. There is no “casual,” “recreational,” or “social” alternative.
I can’t claim to know another person’s demons or mental noise. But, I can attest to the fact that my demons never stop screaming. It’s my job to turn the volume down and not hand them a megaphone anymore. No matter what.
The committee has spoken…
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Today is Super Sunday. They don’t really call it that anymore, do they? Still, the Seahawks and the Broncos will battle it out in a few hours for the NFL crown. Another thing that rests in the past is Bud Bowl. Remember that shit? Billy Bud, Bobby Bud, & Co.? I was 14 the first time Anheuser-Busch bombarded televisions worldwide with kid-friendly advertising for its Budweiser family of beers. Twenty-five years ago.
As a freshman at Roman, I’d already been drunk a number of times in my young life. I also knew well the trappings of alcoholism. But there was a cartoonish, video game-style version of a sport I followed aired over and over again during the biggest game of the year. When I was sure to be watching, as were my friends, as were millions of children across the globe. Say what you want about ethics in advertising. Argue “free-market vs. corporate responsibility” all you wish. Bud Bowl planted (if not watered) the “beer is fun” seed in young minds. In my mind.
Beer was fun. Shit, beer is fun. Just ask dudes with full beards and tight pants, who choke down pumpkin ales while eating shiitake puffs and discussing the merits of a barter system-based economy. Ask chicks who slam Blue Moons and smoke American Spirits. Beer is cool. I stopped drinking just before Bud Light added lime to its recipe. Back then, if we wanted our beer to taste like citrus, we had to bust out a cutting board and get to work. Or buy a squeezie thing of ReaLime. We put lime wedges into Busch Lights. Not the same as a Cherry Stout from some guy’s basement. Which apparently sells well in the 21-35 market in Denver.
So booze doesn’t need to piggyback its way onto the world’s largest annual television event in order to draw a crowd. It’s plenty popular, right there at the front of young minds. Along with weed and illegal and prescription drugs. Much is being made of the fact that this year’s Big Game is to be contested between teams from two states which have legalized marijuana – Washington and Colorado. The punsters have been making Super “Bowl” jokes non-stop. One might say they’re having a field day.
Why am I going on and on about beer and weed and drugs and television? Because that’s the world in which we choose to raise our children. The same one in which we were raised. Yet everyone laments the going-to-hell-in-a-handbasket of society, of the country. Of humanity.
Our media — once-promising as beneficial to all — promotes behaviors that would make our grandmothers shiver. It’s their revolution, after all, and they’re the ones televising it. In HD, 3D, and any other D that increases profits. This has always been the case. TV started as a way to demonstrate the scope and power of technology. NBC, the oldest broadcast network, began as RCA, Radio Corporation of America, which had originally been owned by General Electric, which made – among other things – televisions, TV antennas, and other industry-relevant products. Essentially, GE fed itself by generating the electricity that powered its products that advertised the company that generated the electricity… Early programming, like radio, was sponsored by large enterprises in the big oil (Texaco Star Theater) and tobacco industries. Alcohol ads just make sense.
Yes. TV, radio, the internet, etc, allow information to be instantaneously gained and shared; available to the masses. This ideaexchange, however, is not without its cost: in order to receive the data, we must endure the subliminal stowaway—marketing. Commercials, infomercials, product placement, jingles, slogans, campaigns, etc. Buy, buy, buy!
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My rant started in response to multiple Facebook posts and online news items about the death of yet another famous actor. Hoffman battled drugs and alcohol early in life, entering rehab shortly after his college graduation. Clean, he landed a role on “Law & Order” and thus began his impressive and respected Hollywood career. He won an Oscar for his portrayal of a writer—Truman Capote—who struggled with and ultimately died from complications of addiction. Hoffman had stayed clean and sober for 23 years before admitting relapse in May of last year. He overdosed on heroin.
Last July, I went off about the death of a guy on some dumb TV show. On this blog, I talked about the way the media dominates the day, either with its fake heroes or its alleges villains. The man who died in July had also overdosed on heroin. Addiction alone is the hardest thing a person could experience. Addiction, and death, in the public eye has to be exponentially more difficult. Yet, there it is, on full display each and every day. In movies and music. On TV. In our faces.
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We are addicted to fame. We yearn for it and its trappings. We chase and follow those who have it. We mourn those who lose it. We drink it, smoke it, snort it, and shoot it. We love fame and the famous. Fame is a drug and the longer we abuse it, the worse it will be when we ultimately succumb to it.
The cure? Fame rehab. Cold turkey! We need a program, to help us kick our addiction to fame. This program is brought to you by Living Your Fucking Life and Letting That Be Good Enough.
I’m going to watch the game now. With an ice cold Diet Coke. I’m not trying to slim down, I like to drink it – just for the taste of it.
As always, thank you for stopping by.
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