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    • Michael Stuart Kelly

      New upgrade with simpler interface   05/13/2016

      Once again, the fine folks at IPB made a new upgrade and things might not be where you started to learn they were. However, this is one time where I think they actually improved things for navigation. There are only a few big buttons: When you click on one of those buttons, some other stuff opens up, depending on which button you click. (Later Note: These only appear when zoomed in or in the mode for smartphones/tablets.) I'm learning this as you are, so I suggest you do what I am doing: click on these big buttons, see what they open and fiddle with the software some. Ironically, you will find there is a lot that is intuitive. That's what I'm discovering. (Later note: I just discovered that I was viewing the site zoomed in too far to see the normal view. The menus are still there with the old buttons, but when I zoom in too much, they disappear and the new buttons appear. I believe this zoomed in way is what the site looks like on mobile devices. I'm going to mess with it some more, then maybe make some explanations.) Sorry for the inconvenience. Still, over time, I hope you end up liking these changes. Michael

"F@^& all you junkies and f@^& your short memories"

7 posts in this topic


Well, that was depressing.

Interesting approach though.



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This artist is addicted to scapegoating.

I hope he recovers someday.

I even suspect he is an active user of drugs and/or alcohol feeling guilty and lashing out to make it feel better. (It never does, though.)

There's one thing that makes me hostile to him. Supposing some addict looking for a way out and help (which is the purpose of this section) listens to this garbage, gets even more bitter from the hatred he/she perceives in this song, and overdoses.

Is that what this smarmy artist wants? To kick people when they are down and struggling to get back up--so much so that they kill themselves?

I wonder how he himself will ever make amends to the dead.

This dude doesn't even have a halo to slip down. All he has is a mediocre soapbox to fall off of.

To you folks out there who are seeking to climb out of hell, this is the kind of crap you will encounter sometimes. Don't fight it. Just move on.

That jerk doesn't care about you.

I do.



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Mike -

I didn't mean to impugn any of the participants on this board, most of whom I'm sure are suffering with their own legitimate demons. I am not one to cast stones at the variety of broken souls who have been victimized in one form or another. I posted in a spontaneous fit of angst about a meta-issue related to the world of recovery. So if any reader took this personally, I hereby apologize.

But since the ball is rolling, allow me to continue.

I'm fairly confident this song was born out of a particular circumstance unique to the artist, and was not intended as a critique of recovery as such. Indeed, the artist is most certainly quite familiar with the culture of addiction and recovery. The title of the album from whence this track came is "The Thirteenth Step".

Furthermore, I think you would agree with me when I say the causal factors which account for addiction are as varied as the day is long. Perhaps for some the cause is genetic, for others, environmental. Perhaps some turn to drugs because they are born novelty-seekers, and drugs provide the excitement that similar spirits get from skydiving. And perhaps others turn to drugs because their lives are full of hardship, abuse and pain, which they wish to escape. Quite different routes to the same destination...n'est-ce pas?

More to the point, the "acting out" behaviors of addicts affect the people in their lives in quite different ways. For some, the worst thing they do is serve as a painful dissapointment to their friends and family when measured against their potential. That's fairly benign. But other souls can do quite a bit more damage, some of it irreparable. Leaving aside the literal "irreversable" of involuntary manslaughter, there is still the case of ruthless, selfish, insensate souls who leave a trail of broken promises and false confidences in their wake. These shameless users can and will cause the innocents around them to make choices and decisions that have far reaching consequences -- and for the innocents, these consequences are usually for the worse. If these dysfunctional relationships last over long stretches of time before the addict is in recovery, a case can be made that it is not the addict who is the victim, but the people around him.

So, having painted this picture, is the general thrust of the song still so illegitimate to your mind?

The situation is doubly offensive when the addict, now having beaten his addiction, finds his life improved in sundry ways due to his association with a 12 step program. As I have seen with mine own eyes -- AA has got to be, quite simply -- THE best networking opportunity out there. Where else will you rub shoulders with figurative captains of industry, with individuals from other walks of life whom you would NEVER had known otherwise. And because of the intimate nature of the program, you are getting the "real them", not the mask of their public persona. Hence, many friendships blossom into quite lucrative business deals and social opportunities.

(In fact, this phenomenon has so impressed me that I have seriously considered checking into the program and playing up my (relatively minor) drinking, just so as to get in on that action. Shades of Edward Norton in "Fight Club" I guess you could say. Yes, I am that cynical)

But to return to my point: So you have an individual who irrevocably altered the lives of those around him in negative ways, some of which are permanent, and then, after having been buoyed by the AA Networking Club, no longer sees any gain from associating with the individuals of the former life. The unfortunate innocents get to languish with the scars they bear, while the recovered addict is reborn as a hero.

You seem to imply that feeling any sense of outrage is an "addiction to scapegoating". That may well be, but I submit that for anyone with a spine and a healthy sense of justice, such a state of affairs is enough to make the mind recoil. YMMV of course.

That said, I do think you are a fair man with a good heart so I look forward to your response.


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Notice I didn't bash you, I bashed the artist (objectively, I might add--anyone who is trying to recover for real knows exactly what I am talking about).

Doing that, and the following quote from you, makes the danger to fragile vulnerable folks much, much less:

I posted in a spontaneous fit of angst about a meta-issue related to the world of recovery. So if any reader took this personally, I hereby apologize.

Thank you for saying that (not for me, but for those I mentioned).

As to your comments on addiction, it has been a while since I went through my own two recoveries (alcohol, then drugs), but I simply don't know of any addict who has recovered and considers himself/herself some kind of hero for it. God knows, I knew enough addicts, too.

If you see someone who thinks he/she is a hero for stopping, you are looking at a time-bomb for a relapse.

I'm pleased to see you interested in the addiction world, though. Here's a suggestion. There is really only one way to understand the mindset of recovering addicts (the ones who make it). That's to see them with your own eyes. Not through songs. Not through the writings of this person or that (including me). Not through movies. Not through reality TV. See them. And see how they do around others who have not made it.

(There's a model that says you never recover, you are ill for life. If that idea works for any person, OK. That's cool. But it did not resonate with me. I consider full recovery possible--with the caveat that anyone can become addicted again after stopping. But that's another issue.)

Go to an AA or NA meeting sometime and just listen. Or to some other addiction treatment group. Then go back and listen some more. After a while, you will understand the attitude that those who have made it have towards the bull-shitters. It might surprise you, but I will mention it.

You make the bull-shitters feel they matter (and they do--every single one). That you care about them. But you keep it real. You don't let them get away with the BS they like to lay on folks. And you tell your own story to them, which lets them know you are someone who understands them for real. And it's OK.

You see, all of us who have made it have been world-class bull-shitters before recovery. We know what it is existentially. We had to give that up to be able to give up the addiction. (Believe me, there is nothing heroic about realizing what a jerk you are.)

Folks around recovery places who have gotten clean often say to those still in need of a lot of help, "Don't try to shit a shitter."

You are right that there are many reasons for addiction. But to keep it simple, there are two universal aspects. To be addicted, you have to use. To beat the addiction, you have to stop using. These are facts and they are valid for all addictions. And there is one that is about 99.999999999% universal. You need help to stop. You can't do it on your own. (I have known of only a couple of cases.)

Also, there are several different kinds of treatment, not just 12-step. There are ways and ways and ways of stopping. The best way is the one that works for you. Not all people respond the same to different treatments. For most people, it is a long difficult journey.

I know it was for me.

But I made it.

If I can do that (after a 5 year bender, then another 5 years of steady crack cocaine use), I know anyone can. I looked the other day at some old tokens I received from AA and NA. It has been about 14 years since I stopped.

If anyone is suffering and reading this, believe me, it is possible to get better.

You are not alone.



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With all due respect: I'm somewhat disappointed by your decision to ignore the central point of my post. Upon further reflection however, I think I understand your motivation in doing so. If this sub-forum is intended as a "safe house" then I suppose it's for the best that anything which might interfere with an addict's self-acceptance be placed on the backburner. Fair enough. And truth be told, I wouldn't have been able to do justice to the issue without concretizing my thoughts in a manner which compromised my privacy. So we'll stop here. I do want to thank you for your thoughts regardless, as I always pay more mind to folks who have lived Truth and not merely studied it at a far remove.

Which reminds me: Contra your implication, I do have a bit more than a passing familiarity with the world of addiction and recovery. Not as a participant, mind you, but no one who has spent any amount of time in South Beach is immune from exposure to such worlds -- whether it be the world of fevered egos and grasping addiction, or the world of sponsors and relapses. My impulse in posting here was most assuredly a personal thing, and not merely academic. I regret it now, because the odds are good that anyone pledging fealty to Objectivism, reason and logic is not likely to be a careening ball of chaos and destruction, even if they do suffer from addictive tendencies. Perhaps I'm wrong about that, but as you know, it's a big world out there.

And finally, I have to speak out in defense of the original artist. "The Thirteenth Step" is a concept album of sorts, with every track addressing the issue of addiction from various angles, of which my posted song was but one example. The artist in question is not speaking as an outsider but as a guilty participant. I leave you with another track to demonstrate this, partly to make my point, but mostly because it's a rocking good song! Cheers.



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