Thursday, March 02, 2006

No Fun Allowed

Brainwashing class today was less than a hoot, but more than a yawn. The topic: cross-addiction. Quit drinking? Great, but now you smoke too much. Quit smoking? Great, but now you eat too much. Quit overeating? Great, but now you jerk off too much. Quit waxin' willie? Great, but now you play the ponies too much. Quit gambling? Great, but... well, you get the picture. I have a term for this kind of insidious propaganda: "psychological subluxation". Subluxation is the term chiropractors use to bait you into scheduling a return visit, every two weeks for the rest of your life. It's a word that even sounds like it means something. It's like the current psychobabble about addictiveness. By painting with a brush that broad, where anything can be addictive (You have 200 Hummel figurines? Addict!), psychologists and counselors ensure a steady cash stream, since they've convinced people that anything short of anhedonia is self-destructive. It's the new Puritanism: make sure people feel guilty about feeling good, and they'll pay you for it. Of course, this means that the people who genuinely need medical help for addictive behavior end up instead in "talking therapy" with a new prescription for "anti-anxiety" medication in their trembling hands.

It was a telling moment a couple of weeks ago when I was told by my Care Bear Inquisitor that the only thing standing between me and "graduating" (do I get a diploma? Kewl!) was showing attendance at a bunch of AA/NA meetings, since, and I quote, "There's no problem otherwise, since you're all paid up."

Oh, so THAT'S what this is about.

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