Imagine for a moment that you went to a movie. The movie was about an alcoholic who wanted a bottle of whiskey.
That’s it. That’s the whole plot.
He gets close to his scotch, becomes thirsty, mishaps keep him from it, and he hurts other humans, damages them in his obsessive need to get to his scotch. He encounters huge obstacles. But through wit, charm, and deceit, he at last secures it, and drinks it down.
Is that a happy ending?
That’s the beginning of a blog post on “Addiction and Relationships” at www.RiparianChurch.com by a fellow called Otter. Yet, notes the Otter, isn’t that the plot of every romantic comedy every filmed? And more than a few supernatural dramas, we might add. Unlike any other form of intoxication, the giddy high of romance is never condemned, only celebrated. Obtaining the object of obsession is the goal, and when that goal is reached —- “kissed and kissed often, by someone who knows how” (to use the G-rated Gone With the Wind wording) – bluebirds sing and the end credits roll.
Now imagine those soft-focus sunsets accompanying a scene of the ingénue shooting heroin. The euphoric neurological response is identical, after all. But no. Leonardo diCaprio finding ecstasy with Kate Winslett in Titanic, we like. Leonardo diCaprio finding ecstasy with smack in The Basketball Diaries, not so much. Never mind it’s the romance that actually proved fatal.
Popular culture glorifies only one addiction, the addiction to love. There are no feel-good movies about anorexia. Drugstore cowboys and cocaine kings do not get any happy endings. Even the shopaholics in Sex and the City knew their spending habits were dangerous, no matter how deep their denial about their romantic lives.
I realize that I am powerless to be hold back the tide of songs and movies celebrating addictive love, so I’ve decided to do the next best thing: I’m going to even the playing field. Better yet, we’re going to even the playing field. We’re going to come up with some titles praising the less-lauded addictions out there. I’ll start.
“I Can’t Live, If Living is Without Booze”: a full-throated power ballad about an alcoholic and his Jack Daniels.
Speed: a documentary about the daring backyard chemists who mix up methamphetamine in the washtub.
“I Wanna Hold Your Hair”: a classic tune about a bulimic and the loyal friend who keeps her ponytail out of the toilet.
Codependence Day: a big-budget special effects movie about siblings with mushy boundaries.
“The Gambler”: this time, the country ditty ends with the old guy winning the railroad in a card game.
We close with a musical medley to nicotine junkies everywhere: “Every Breath I Hack”/”When Smoke Gets in Your Lungs”/”You Light Up My Pipe”
Now it’s your turn. Go!
THEY’RE ALREADY AT IT:
Britt suggests: Along Came Xanax….My Best Friend’s Needle….The Wedding Drinker….When Heroin Met Sally….