Saturday, February 15, 2014

Day 194 of 365: The Blase of Addiction

I had dinner last night at a Japanese steakhouse. As part of the usual fanfare of hibachi, the cook squirts saki from a squeeze bottle. I laughed and commented on how it really says something about my drinking habits if I'm buzzed off of a swallow's worth of watered-down saki. The next day, one of my friends posted on Facebook about how getting blizzed-drunk is accepted in our society, when any other type of drug use is frowned upon.

It's funny, how many things we judge as "right" or "wrong" are based purely on what society instills upon us. Well, if we get down to it, everything that we judge as right or wrong is technically a social construct, but that's for another time (and for a group of sociology nerds). But think about it: think about all the different taboos we have. Think about what we deem acceptable and what we deem inappropriate. And, aside from the actions that cause obvious and blatant harm to innocent people (which tends to be the common denominator in the most basic taboos), there doesn't seem to be a real reason.

Getting drunk out of your skull is not only accepted, but lauded in some occasions. We have the commercials on the TV, we have alcohol carted out at every sports event, music festival, party, wedding... People joke about being total alcoholics with as much tepidness as admitting the sky is blue.

It's why people are so slow to connect "alcoholism" with "addiction". Because that's what alcoholism is: an addiction to alcohol. Alcoholics are addicts, but we don't feel comfortable saying that. Why? Because compulsively drinking is not taboo. Crack is taboo. Meth is taboo. Shit, even weed is still taboo on some levels. But not alcohol. Not even cigarettes.

I could go on a tangent about the absurdity of blindly listening to society's values. From slutshaming to religion, but there will be a time and a place for all of that.

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