The Spectacle of Addiction

Old 03-25-2011, 09:27 PM
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The Spectacle of Addiction

I have been thinking lately about some of the stories in the media lately (Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan) and I was thinking that besides the fact that so many people are focused way too much on celebrities, it also shows how most people view addiction. The way it is depicted in the media - it is quite literally a spectacle. Everybody has their opinion of what is wrong with the person, photos of them high and/or drunk are sold about, the person is disected piece by piece.

I find it very sad and it reminds me of a story I read in high school called The Lottery. Some of you may be familiar with the story. There is a small quaint village. Everyone is happy and pleasant with one another. And they gather every so often, on tradition, to celebrate the "lottery". At first the reader is lead to believe the lottery is good, but the story takes on an eery tone and we realize the "lottery" is actually a form of human sacrifice.

Anyway ... I just find it very disturbing the way something as serious as addiction is depicted as some sort of entertainment.

Anyone notice this? Thoughts?

Here is a link to the short story The Lottery for those who are interested (sorry I know I gave away the ending).

Last edited by Panther; 03-25-2011 at 09:31 PM. Reason: added link
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:40 PM
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I remember that story!

And yes, it is very sad about us that we find entertainment from those famous who people suffer from addictions or untreated mental health issues. It is why those things are still such a stigma because people don't truly understand them. What they do learn is from the Lohans and Sheens of the world. That, to them, is what addiction or mental illness look like.

They don't know all the damage that is behind it for themselves and families. I admit I knew NOTHING about alcoholism until the RABF. I thought that at their worse they were like Otis from the Andy Griffith show.
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:36 AM
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Ooooh, I HATE the way addiction is played in the media. I just read a blog post about the Charlie Sheen spectacle that I loved, suggesting that what Hollywood does to actors like Sheen and Lohan should be considered criminal in the eyes of the public instead of just fodder to feed the celebrity tabloid machine. See also, Celebrity friggin' Rehab.

I'm also frustrated with the Intervention-type shows that love the spectacle of addiction and redemption, but don't teach us anything about detox or recovery. I know there have to be reasons why they don't, clinical or anonymity-related, but I don't know.

I did find an excellent documentary series from HBO called Addiction that I ordered from Amazon. It was about $20, but had 4 discs worth of the latest research information on the whys and hows of addiction, the brain, recovery, and covered all kinds of ground that was incredibly helpful for me to understand. Why compassionate, science-based information like that isn't on TV on the regular is a mystery to me. It doesn't sell advertising, I guess.
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