Instead of all these ridiculous and useless activities – Spanish, yoga, sign language, natural sciences, etc – wouldn’t it make more sense just to let two-year-olds out into the beautiful playground in the wooded area and let them run themselves silly?
For those who don’t read carefully, I’m not saying Spanish is useless. I make a living teaching Spanish, so I definitely don’t think it’s useless. I’m talking very specifically about the preschool schedule of two-year-olds.
They have the best playground I’ve ever seen in my life and they do take kids out. But I’d prefer for the kind did to stay outside all day instead of all these crap “educational activities.”
Fortunately, I have a prescription for hydrocodone. I took one of those pills, and it brought the pain under control. Now I can do my work, and get on with my day. When I tell you that I thank God for this medication, I mean it literally. It makes my work possible when I’m in pain. I’m really fortunate in that this medication does not make me feel high. It stops the pain, but that’s it.
And that’s precisely how people get addicted to opioids. They keep expecting “a high” – hallucinations, elation, feeling good – which never happens with this sort of drug. So they decide they are not the addictable kind and keep ingesting the poison. Their brains start manufacturing pain – there’s a medical term for this that I don’t remember right now – to keep getting the drug. The pain becomes “chronic” because it’s necessary to get a fresh dose.
People need to get massively educated about opioids. Or they will keep getting addicted. It is absolutely mind-boggling that even educated folks with every resource at their disposal believe they aren’t addicted because there is no recognizable “high” when the very nature of their pain screams addiction.
There is zero difference between this and alcoholics who say “I just drink socially, I can quit any time, I’m not addicted.”
A couple of years ago, over beers at a bar in Texas, my dad — a white construction worker from rural Kansas, described in my piece — shocked me by saying, “If you get past everything you’ve been told and really read up on it, ‘socialism’ doesn’t sound all that bad.”
I’m pretty sure the Dad was trying to get his idiot daughter to like him by saying crap he doesn’t believe but still, it feels like somebody is spitting in my face when I read this kind of thing.
And it’s not about forgetting or because the Socialist USSR hasn’t existed for a long time. Cuba is there right now. Venezuela is starving at this very moment. But they don’t care. These idiot kids read something that seemed profound to them on Twitter and now they know that socialism isn’t all bad.
Illouz concludes her book with a story of a brain-damaged person whose brain damage resides in the part of the brain that is responsible for emotional or what we call intuitive decision-making. The patient with this defect preserved all of his rational capacities. In fact, he became hyper-rational because there was no emotional baggage lying in the way of his decision-making.
And you know what? He couldn’t make any decisions. Even trying to choose between two dates for a doctor’s appointment was an insurmountably task. The poor fellow would conduct an exhausting cost-benefit analysis of every possible consequence of choosing either date, and that would go on forever.
Observing this patient helps us think about the ways in which the demands of contemporary capitalism turn us into these hyper-rational idiots:
While industrial and even advanced capitalism enabled and demanded a split self, shifting smoothly from the realm of strategic to domestic interactions, from the economic to the emotional – the internal logic of contemporary capitalist culture is different: not only is the cost-benefit cultural repertoire of the market now used in virtually all private and domestic interactions but it is also as if it has become increasingly difficult to switch from one register of action (the economic) to another (the romantic).