Anthropomorphizing Wine and God

When I was about thirteen I visited someone who was in an alcohol recovery program, a Glass House. The program was set up so that the person trying to overcome alcohol addiction lived in a house with a bunch of room-mates. Since these room-mates were all involved in the same endeavor the idea was that the group members would benefit by the shared experience, so they did not have to feel alone in their struggle. The program directors also arranged regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in the house itself. I was present at one of these meetings.

They began by invoking the intercession of a Higher Power to help them with their struggle. The AA people don’t care which deity you pray to so long as you acknowledge a power higher than yourself. They do this because, in dealing with addicts, they are charged with helping people who often have lost either the will or the ability to rely on the self as a source of strength from which to draw. The self esteem is not a sufficient bulwark to hold back the forces they are fighting (my life is of no value, I might as well drink myself to death) so the AA program wants you to plug that gap with a Religious Figure. They don’t care if it’s Buddha, Muhammad, Jesus, or Sea Man.

That first part is the externalization of the good, or rather the associating ones self with an external source, kind of like getting a jumpstart from another battery when your own isn’t doing that well. For the purposes of AA it doesn’t matter if that external source is objectively real or not, the operating premise is that if the person believes the higher power is real, that will be sufficient for use as a source of strength.

Similar to the externalization and association with the good, the AA program also takes an inanimate object (the alcohol itself) and anthropomorphizes it. During the regular testimonials of the members of such groups they will talk about how evil, deceptive, and alluring alcohol is. The fact is, nobody wants to talk about how evil they acted and about how they were mistaken or self deceptive about their abilities to deal with alcohol (that would take their self esteem down even further) so instead they talk about how evil and deceptive alcohol is. Even at thirteen I thought this sounded wrong. But whatever, I thought. Maybe these people need a crutch so they therefore will accept dogma. Me, I prefer they go back to drinking. At least there’s honesty in that.

As far as the externalization of the sources of good and evil in substance abuse, Malcolm X and the followers of Elijah Muhammad’s race based religion took it one step further in their battle against heroin addiction in Harlem. Members of The Nation of Islam would fish for potential converts among the heroin addicts in their city. When a receptive listener was found they would encourage him to quit the drug by telling him that he was destroying himself which is exactly what the white man wanted him to do. They would argue that the drug trade in the United States existed only inasmuch as it was allowed by whites and it was specifically allowed to be pumped into black communities for the destruction of the black race.

After days and even weeks of this indoctrination many of these addicts who did not possess sufficient self esteem to get off the drug by themselves would, with the help of members of the Nation of Islam, break themselves of the drug habit that had seemed to control their very lives. They did this because they were given an external locus for their struggle. Rather than fight the seemingly impossible battle against the enemy from within, they rose up against the imaginary (but terrifying) conspiracy from without. In short they exchanged one drug for another, in this case they traded in heroin for the dogma of a race-based theology. In a sense this was the perfect move for a cult: in seeking those who are weak enough to be controlled by an idealogy, what can be a more fertile fishing ground than those who were weak enough to be controlled by a drug?

It can be argued one way or another which addiction evil is worse (heroin or dogmatic theology) but one thing is certain, both of these things can be seen as a threat to a rational world. When the druggies begin responding to the exigencies of their addictions over mutal consent and rationality, that is where the violation of property rights begins. And as far as the dogmatically religious are concerned, their crutch seems harmless enough until they gather en masse on your front yard with their torches and pitchforks. People, the good and the evil do not come from without, they come from within. Recognize this. . . OR I WILL FUCK YOU UP!!!

This message has been brought to you by he letters “F” and “U”.

5 Responses to “Anthropomorphizing Wine and God”

  1. mexi says:

    Man I’m glad I’m done writing that. NOW I CAN DRINK! WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! (crash!)

  2. Phelps says:

    In vino veritas, bitches.

  3. guy in the uNLV jacket says:

    So that’s the day you became a raving alcoholic

  4. L says:

    Stupid comes from within also. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking drugs or religion though, stupid people usually don’t “get over” or “recover” from stupid.

  5. HMT says:

    fucken A+ post here mexi… the key being within. as long as ppl find salvation from things external of themselves (drugs, dogmatic theology) then they will sadly keep chasing their tales. Life is all perception, and you have the keys WITHIN to perceive it as you like – with all the consequences that come with it as well.

    lets play pool soon…

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