The Addictive Nature of Virtual Reality

The following essay by Nick McAvelly is the second in a series about virtual reality (see Part 1). It was originally published at The Frozen North in a slightly different form.

The Addictive Nature of Virtual Reality
by Nick McAvelly

The addictive potential of virtual reality will come as no surprise to anyone with experience of addiction. Life is a gey rum do at the best of times, and as any serious drinker will tell you, there is nothing better than altering your consciousness so that life no longer matters. The experience of addiction is described in Jack London’s autobiographical book, John Barleycorn. London writes: “I achieved a condition in which my body was never free from alcohol. Nor did I permit myself to be away from alcohol. If I travelled to out-of-the-way places, I declined to run the risk of finding them dry. […] The gravity of this I knew only too well.”

London was not the only writer who knew what it was to use alcohol. Charles Bukowski also laid the facts down for his readers:

“Frankly, I was horrified by life, at what a man had to do simply in order to eat, sleep, and keep himself clothed. So I stayed in bed and drank. When you drank the world was still out there, but for the moment it didn’t have you by the throat.” (Charles Bukowski.)

There are a lot of people who have experienced full-blown addiction, and there are many more who have yet to do so. We have all walked into a Starbucks or a Café Nero and discovered that everyone in there is busily swiping their agile little fingers across the screen of an iPhone, with only a peripheral awareness of what is going on around them. Many of us have binge-watched our favourite TV shows and identified, to varying degrees, with the main characters. In ye olden days, some of us will have read and re-read our favourite books, and built up an image of what the characters looked like in our own minds. How many of us who saw the actor Gary Sinise appear in the film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand initially thought to ourselves, “That’s not Stu!” And how many of us now approach a Michael Connelly novel with an internal image of Harry Bosch that bears a remarkable similarity to Jimmy O from the Sons of Anarchy? There has always been a crossover between a fictional world created by someone else and our own imaginary experiences. If it is possible to have that crossover experience, and to interact directly with the characters in a fictional world, then our own lives can be temporarily forgotten. The new virtual reality will be the most addictive experience of them all, more than the finest whisky in the whole of Scotland, more than medical grade opiates.

It’s a given that a globally accessible VR system will have a pornographic aspect encoded into it, so that users can have virtual sexual encounters with virtual porn stars. This would make the owners of the new system a fortune, so it is inevitable that this will happen. Users of the new system will also be able to indulge in revenge fantasies, by virtually throwing their bosses out of an office window and so forth. It should be noted that people can already live out such fantasies, in the understanding that they are nothing but fantasies, because violent and sexual scenes can already be found between the covers of a supermarket paperback, or accessed online at the click of a mouse. However, in the new virtual reality, experiences such as these will serve as a gateway drug, and long-term users will be able to progress to deeper levels within the system, where dark and previously undreamed-of fantasies can be virtually fulfilled.

The world around us is becoming more dangerous and corrupt with every week that passes, which makes an escape into an addictive state of altered consciousness even more appealing. But we need to understand that a global VR system will be used by the rulers of the darkness of this age to serve their own purposes.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

“Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” (Job 2: 1-2)

The adversary has always tried to corrupt human beings, so that he can try to escape his own fate. If Satan can demonstrate that reality, as it has been experienced here on earth, cannot be judged according to God’s moral laws, then Satan can defend himself before the Creator.

Here is the Luciferian defence:

Premise 1:   If reality as it is experienced here on earth can be judged according to God’s moral laws, then all who rebel against God will receive their just deserts.
Premise 2:   If God does not give humanity their just deserts for rebelling against God, then the consequent in the above conditional statement is false.
Conclusion:   If the consequent in that conditional statement is false, then reality as it is experienced here on earth cannot be judged according to God’s moral laws.

Satan has always tempted human beings, so that they give themselves over to evil and are deserving of punishment. If God does not give them their just deserts, then Satan can argue that God’s moral laws cannot be used to judge anything that has happened throughout human existence here on earth. Therefore, nothing Satan has done on this earth can be judged according to God’s moral laws. It follows that any punishment meted out to him by God would be unjust.

In the alternative, Satan would have successfully corrupted humanity, so that God would be obliged to condemn His own creation. If Satan himself is to be forever condemned, then the archetypal rebel will strive to bring everything and everyone down with him, so that nothing of God’s creation will survive his own demise.

Christianity is the only religion that offers a way out of the situation we are in. So-called prophets have come and gone. Their words can be forgotten. Their deaths do not matter. However, when Jesus Christ was put to death by Roman hands almost two thousand years ago, that established once and for all that God was just, for the deserved punishment for our rebellion against God had indeed been meted out. The Luciferian defence was thereby undermined, and anyone who accepted that Jesus was not merely a speaker of words but was in fact the Son of God, and that He had taken our just deserts upon Himself, had a way to evade the only strategy that was left to the adversary.

The devil seeks to possess and to corrupt as many human beings as possible then, so that they will share his eternal fate. And a globally accessible virtual reality system will serve that purpose. Prototypes of this future technology have already been beta-tested, and the addictive potential is there for all to see. For example, one can watch drumcam videos on YouTube of Dave Lombardo, the musician who has played with the Satanic metal band Slayer, and who is currently playing with Mike Muir’s band, Suicidal Tendencies. The drumcam video of “War Inside My Head” is an 11-minute piece of music — with various video cameras placed around Lombardo’s drum kit — which at the time of writing has been viewed over 611 thousand times.

This is an incredibly powerful and addictive performance. Many people will have watched this video multiple times, and the experience could easily be enhanced using a true virtual reality system. One could be in the crowd, on stage playing with the band, one could even adopt the drumming position as the music is being played. The sinister aspect of this can be understood if one looks at the work of Lombardo’s former band, Slayer. One of their albums, Reign in Blood, is just under 29 minutes long. Released in 1986, the band still play its songs live on stage. Those songs are hypnotic and extremely addictive. The first track on the album is about the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. It is entitled “Angel of Death”. If anyone played that album back in the late eighties when it was released, they will find that if they go on to YouTube now, thirty years later, and play a video of that song, they will still remember the lyrics: “Sadistic surgeon of demise, sadist of the noblest blood, destroying without mercy, to benefit the Aryan race …”

The experience of listening to the title track of that album, “Reign in Blood”, was significantly enhanced by the band on at least one occasion, when they had fake blood pouring from the rafters of the concert hall as they performed the song: “Raining blood from a lacerated sky, bleeding its horror, creating my structure, now I shall reign in blood!” At the end of the performance the singer, Tom Araya, smiled and told the audience, “We’ll see you in hell.”

In a virtual reality, it would be possible to experience that album as far more than 29 minutes of loud music. As the album begins to play, one could float through Auschwitz as a demonic figure, observing Nazi medical experiments, before descending into the human form of an SS guard who is committing a murder. Having experienced what it felt like to take another life, one could become immersed in the supernatural forces that were behind the Holocaust, and experience what Slayer tried to replicate live on stage in 2004. In the forthcoming virtual reality system, anything will be possible.

Addicts do not go backwards, and they do not take lower doses of their drug of choice. Addiction only goes in one direction. The writer Dan Fante once explained his motives for drinking: “What I want to say here is that there is a place beyond control and beyond concern that people can go, where the values and the needs of everyday life change completely. Where what matters is moment-to-moment survival to avoid mind pain.” Once a globally accessible virtual reality is established, millions of human beings will disappear into the new system. Long-term users will become so corrupted by the experience that, if they are disconnected from the system and returned to our reality, they will be capable of anything.

If anyone reading this has already journeyed through addiction, and somehow come out the other side alive, be aware that a virtual reality system is a well without water, clouds designed to obscure your mind, carried by a storm of darkness. Consider well the promises of those who would have you give your consciousness over to them, so they can prosper:

“For when they speak arrogant words of vanity, they entice by the lusts of the flesh and by depravity those who barely escaped from those who live in error. Although they promise them freedom, they themselves are slaves of corruption, for by that which a man is overcome, to this he is enslaved. For if after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than to have known it and then turn back from the holy commandment that was delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb, ‘The dog returns to his own vomit,’ and ‘the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mud.’“ (2 Peter 2: 18-22)

27 thoughts on “The Addictive Nature of Virtual Reality

  1. Cogent arguments for theodicy have been around for thousands of years. Many – if not all –
    cultures have wrestled with this idea.

    In our current situation, alcoholism a la Bukowski and London are tame compared to the synthetic drugs available, ones for which the hooked have sold all semblance of their humanity.

    Much of the homelessness that plagues American urban areas (and is creeping into rural enclaves) arises from heavy drug use. Maybe someday our government will do what Chinese authorities did during the Opium Wars brought on by England: shoot the dealers.

    If there were no illegal drugs, our problems with the southern border would end. Mexico would have to find some solution for its out-of-control gangs. California could even gradually become sane. Our prison system would quickly evaporate, as would the killings in Chicago…

    Lots of those illegal drugs are made legally by Big Pharma.

    • with the government bought and paid for by big pharma as demonstrated by today’s senate ‘vote’ on Obama care’s repeal, not bloody likely. I’m sorry dear, we must wait until the millennium when righteousness reigns upon the earth for the streets to be cleaned up. Personally, knowing what I know, I would Not want to be in big pharma’s shoes standing before the great white throne. There is only one place where a human who holds humanity in that kind of contemptuous disrespect belongs, and that is….with Kermit Grosnell et al.

    • When it comes to Drugs it’s the lives of the Pushers or the lives of your Children. Shoot the Pushers, Save the Children.

    • Down Under, a lot of those “hot” drugs base was smuggled in from China and then “cooked” locally. Now it is made to order in China, smuggled in, then sold to local gangs to disperse with from their “tinny house”.
      A reverse of the British Chinese “opium war” but no executions.

      ……..intercepting 176kg (380 lb) of pure methamphetamine, which is said to have a potential street value of $176 million……
      It comes after police, in June, made a discovery of almost 500kg (half a tonne/ton) of methamphetamine in sand dunes in Northland…..

      An absolute tragedy, and like the States, getting into rural areas.
      New ways of smuggling by reformulating the ingredients.

      “t-boc”, a chemical agent used to disguise other compounds….
      …. ” massive demand for the product in New Zealand. We also pay a premium for methamphetamine compared to countries like the States,” he says.

      “We pay probably around 10 times as much per gram in New Zealand compared to America for methamphetamine.”

      It is a total tragedy for our civilizations and peoples.
      Smashing families, a critical building block of any civilization, jeopardizing and damaging the next generation.

      I do not know what the answer is to this scourge. There is much ‘hand wringing’ but like many crimes smuggling, violence, domestic violence, aggressive robberies, home invasion, it is sort of glossed over and something to be lived with. The mayor of London is perhaps, just a reflection of this, in living with terrorism in big cities.

      It seems we have been sold, and it is better to welcome refugees, immigrants, prostitution is legal, decriminalize marijuana, no new prisons, needle and syringe exchange, allow euthanasia, transgender toilets, gay weddings, blended with so many politically correct creeds.
      Strangely, I can seem to even tolerate in parts, some of what is being sold, as said it is said, “they are people with lives to live”. Am I my brother’s keeper? Can things be black and white?

      But then I wonder just what are our principles, our goals for ourselves, but then how does that fit in with a wish list of our communities, countries, with little or no accountability and responsibility.
      How does the education system fit in with this?
      How does our social welfare system that supplies housing, for a cheaper price than one can maintain a house, pensions, benefits, health. etc.?
      Does a government own our children?, own us? as they control us with the money dish out. Well the paying taxpayer asks this too, as a condition of accounting for the money demanded of him.

      Are we addicted to ‘nirvana’ of all this?, on earth, so we turn a blind eye, (“remove that log in your eye first”) to these problems..
      So who/what has been bought?
      Who/what has been sold?

      Thanks to B&D who hold true, giving aid to others in figuring things for themselves.

  2. Been there, saved out of it, by a sovereign act of God’s own Grace. What the writer has said is true and I wouldn’t doubt for a second that much of what is taking place today is endorsed by big pharma for whom humans are disposable consumers. Be ye well warned, the destination of the path of addiction is insanity.

    • “How to describe this White Logic to those who have never experienced it! It is perhaps better first to state how impossible such a description is. Take Hasheesh Land, for instance, the land of enormous extensions of time and space. In past years I have made two memorable journeys into that far land. My adventures there are seared in sharpest detail on my brain. Yet I have tried vainly, with endless words, to describe any tiny particular phase to persons who have not travelled there.

      I use all the hyperbole of metaphor, and tell what centuries of time and profounds of unthinkable agony and horror can obtain in each interval of all the intervals between the notes of a quick jig played quickly on the piano. I talk for an hour, elaborating that one phase of Hasheesh Land, and at the end I have told them nothing. And when I cannot tell them this one thing of all the vastness of terrible and wonderful things, I know I have failed to give them the slightest concept of Hasheesh Land.

      But let me talk with some other traveller in that weird region, and at once am I understood. A phrase, a word, conveys instantly to his mind what hours of words and phrases could not convey to the mind of the non-traveller. So it is with John Barleycorn’s realm where the White Logic reigns.”

      Jack London, John Barleycorn

      It is next to impossible to describe the addiction experience to those who have not actually been there. It’s not that they don’t understand – they cannot understand. I have discussed addiction with medical people and when they expressed puzzlement about why, in the final analysis, human beings would ever do such a thing, I suggested they go on to Amazon and open up the preview of Dan Fante’s “Chump Change” and read the quote that was used in the article.

      They look, they can observe that it is so, that human beings act in such a way – but they do not understand, and never will understand.

      That’s just the way it is.

      If anyone has actually been there, then I would suggest that regardless of their original drug of choice, a virtual reality system would be a very dangerous thing to experiment with. In more ways than one …

  3. The focus is a bit fuzzy, but I take it to mean that virtual reality is an addictive drug more powerful that the real drugs, even the synthetic ones. And that the availability of VR will dissolve human conscience and human feeling in favor of the VR equivalent of lying in bed drunk all day.

    I have my own addiction of choice: reading on the internet all day the real news and analysis on blogs like GoV, Vdare, and various twitter personalities, including some rather open anti-Semites. But, the addiction points to hard-to-read, dense in facts and analysis articles and books which dramatically expand my understanding of the world, should I put the effort into digesting them.

    And one of those TV series, The Walking Dead, made concrete my understanding of the consequences of dissolving social norms and devolving into a state of tribal identity in a lawless territory. You can get the same idea from reading Lord of the Flies, but the gut understanding is not there. And the understanding of what will happen once the cultural Marxists and the Islamists succeed in dissolving all law and social constraints in Western countries.

    Let me be specific. In the Walking Dead, the majority of humanity is dead, and most of the people who are not dead have turned into zombies. The zombies have no brains and the only drive they have is to walk towards potential food (live humans) and try to eat it. But being slow moving and brainless, the only real danger of zombies is if they surprise you, or if they mass up and overwhelm you.

    So, the real focus of the Walking Dead is how humans react under total anarchy. The answer is, they form tribes. Any show of mercy or justice by a member of one tribe towards a member of another has the very real potential of resulting in the death of the entire tribe of the member showing mercy.

    Before watching the Walking Dead, I never understood why American Indians were so cruel to Indians who strayed onto their territory, going so far as skinning alive the wife and children of a family crossing their territory, in front of the husband.

    But, then I understood. Wanderers are potential (and probably actual ) spies. If a hostile tribe knows the camping position of the defending tribe, the defending tribe will be wiped out in a surprise attack. Hence, mercy towards non-tribe members will be ruthlessly wiped from the gene pool, in a very Darwinian fashion. In other words, genetically, sometimes ruthlessness is the only route to survival.

    So VR and drama series addiction is a double-edged sword. Yes, it can anesthetize the population. But, it can also sensitize it. Like the internet, an exploding source of information that government made the mistake of allowing to develop without regulatory oversight, until it was too late.

    Addiction is a genetic trait, like low-IQ, and is neither a path to heaven or to hell. It depends how it’s handled. Donald Trump is perfectly aware of his inherited tendency to addiction and deals with it by foregoing alcohol or drugs entirely. I believe myself to be genetically quite safe from addiction. It’s not my virtue or clean living. It’s my genetic arrangement, for which I can take no credit whatsoever.

    Anyway, VR is not the real problem facing us. Coming right down to it, the problem is the genetic deterioration of populations in advanced societies, and the opportunistic infection of Islam overwhelming our weakened defenses if no counter-measures are developed and implemented.

  4. As I know, first VR projects will be introduced in schools starting in 2019. Perfect new generations.

  5. “Intervention”

    Although some see this program as contentious, and being TV it can be considered dramatized, it does show the real life of how people and families are caught up in the vortexes of addiction.
    It does seem that the addicts really do wish they were not in that situation, but now are possessed.
    They may at times seem insane, but in glimpses of saneness know they are in the “headlights” of a train, paralyzed on the rail track, as they are the ones wrecking havoc on family and friends.

    They often want to forget, loose the pain, questions of their self worth, while sadly continuing many things that cause all these problems, as the chemical formula in the brain owns them.

    For me it gives a different perspective of the problem, that perhaps it is not far away for any family. It humanizes the problems and “There go I but for the grace of God”.

    I may have principles, but it brings a better understanding of the human condition, and why any one should keep those principles, and at the same time, not be a ‘self righteous git’.
    That way you may be of better aid to others in their circumstances.
    There are so many forms of addiction, that even unwittingly we may have, “First take the log out of your own eye, then you can see clearly how to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-5″

    Years ago, in my travels, I mixed with many, sometimes in dubious company.
    I did smoke, (tobacco) and funny enough I did note that smokers are the most generous of people. Always willing to give or share a cigarette.

    People even just smoking marijuana always want the other person to partake. At a party I did not always like the people I was with.
    Often there was always some booze around. What I did was keep a flask, which I put my whisky in. So no sabotage could happen. Then when offered a toke, there is nothing worse than a person turning it down. I would pull out my flask out, and say “No Thanks, I will stay with this, and you enjoy yours.” No offence was taken, and while I would have a ‘slurp’ and let a little bit dribble down my chin (more for the effect of the whiskey smell), no body knew how much I had drunk, (usually very little if with strangers) and of course it is easy to act a bit drunk. Basically I was sober, and was really just an observer, and did not find the others that funny or group I wanted to belong to. There were a lot of lessons to be learnt, from those acquaintances and how things ended up for them.

    Happiness can only be found in your head. With true good friends, you can feel good, better than drunk, and only drink water, well with some good food. 🙂
    “A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” John 10:10
    I do not mean to sound preachy, as figuring and understanding our lives is not all that straight forward. Seek good people, try to be true, and now and again, simply being true, and that can become a habit.

    The greater your feeling of loss and pain, though very difficult, for me, only proves how much you had loved. To numb that pain/grief, is removing that love/memory that could grow on and mature in our lives.

    So many things in our lives, that like “fire can be a great servant, but a terrible master”.

    Very good post, and all thanks to B&D.

    • Like almost everything else, addiction is heavily influenced by genetics.

      Rationally speaking, if you’re an AmerIndian or a Trump, your best strategy is total teetotaling. No alcohol at all. Never begin.

      But, of course, the decision to pursue a future-oriented strategy is itself subject to heredity.

      My idea is that someone not able to support himself, or gain the support of family, be presented with 3 choices:
      1) Very, very low maintenance allowance from the government, not based on number of children, allowing basically only sharing living space with others and canned food;
      2) Large living allowance, allowing amusement and decent housing, on the condition that you and all your children of childbearing age living with you submit to permanent sterilization;
      3) The absolute right to convince anyone like Soros or any non-government funded aid agency that your genes are worth supporting.

      Of course, 4) starve.

      As for addicts, I would dust off an old solution by Charles Murray. Allow people their addictions, but allow all and any discrimination against them. Businesses may refuse to hire addicts, and landlords may refuse to rent to them, no questions asked. This would serve the function of forcing most addicts to inhabit a small locale, away from productive people. If someone is able to maintain an income along with an addiction, then no restrictions.

      Note I am not dealing with any religious, moral or cultural questions concerning addiction. I think it’s not productive. Just like children of criminals tend to be criminal, children of addicts tend to be addicts. Philosophy or theology is not going to change that.

      • Very interesting points RonaldB,
        An election in late September here, where an Member of Parliament, with no shame, no remorse, has admitted with pride that she scammed the welfare system for a number of years, saying it was too mean and she had to feed her child, while doing university studies.
        She with a number of parties are pushing a liberalizing social welfare, with no questions asked, or incentive’s to gain work.

        Some of your points have been raised, in talk back radio and blogs. It will be interesting to see how the next lot of polls come out.

        Another party wants to initiate a basic benefit for all 18-23 whether for study or in work, or to go and surf.

        It seems that people are always happy to spend other government (with no recognition of the tax payer) money, and do not recognize that taxes are demands with major extorting threats.
        This also has been addictive to a population, as the “safety net” is extended with many good intentions, with a convulsion of rules.
        Rules and regulations that own one, once entrapped.

        Criminals, Addicts, do have to be allowed to hit rock bottom, as it is their choice if they want to change. To accept or reject. That is not always an easy thing for family and friends.
        What is happening there is mixed messages from government, and many seem to want to enable the ongoing problems.

        I do note the non moralizing, but then again it is good to give a glimpse of where you are at, why parts of your life works for you.

        Must head off to work, as I have responsibilities there, and hope I am not addicted to that.

        • “It seems that people are always happy to spend other government (with no recognition of the tax payer) money, and do not recognize that taxes are demands with major extorting threats.
          This also has been addictive to a population, as the “safety net” is extended with many good intentions, with a convulsion of rules.
          Rules and regulations that own one, once entrapped.”

          That’s a very good point. One of the things that could possibly happen with a VR system is that people would become entrapped in that world, and they would have to act according to its rules and regulations (or else be cut off from it.)

          So what if, under those circumstances, the people running the VR system wanted an agent to do something for them in the flat world (aka the “real” world)?

          They’d have their pick of already-corrupted potential agents, whose sense of morality had been corroded after long-term use of the new system …

          What if the rules of the new reality stated that a long-term user could achieve a jump within the system, access to a whole other level … more credits, more power, more of whatever currency is used in the new system?

          If they’d just disengage briefly, and do a certain thing, out in the flat world.

          Say … dress someone in an orange jumpsuit and behead them in front of a camera … something awful like that?

          We’ve already seen people brainwashed into committing awful acts like that. So that sort of thing can happen.

          If a VR system is established, who’s to say that evil people won’t use that system to bend other people to their will?

          To go out into the flat world, where we all exist, and commit what we may call “hate crimes”?

      • “Note I am not dealing with any religious, moral or cultural questions concerning addiction. I think it’s not productive. Just like children of criminals tend to be criminal, children of addicts tend to be addicts. Philosophy or theology is not going to change that.”

        This is an interesting issue, to be sure, but that’s not always true. And even if it is true in any given situation, it could be nature or nurture.

        Or something else altogether.

        Saying it’s one thing or the other doesn’t make it so.

        There are millions of people around the world who, it could be argued, are addicted to their mobile phones, & could not imagine life without them – they certainly seem to be exhibiting patterns of”addictive” behaviour. If addiction was “a genetic trait”, then most of these addicts’ parents would have been junkies. Yet this is obviously not the case. So we can’t blame “nature” then. Rather, in the case of the mobile phone phenomenon, the surrounding culture – could we not think of this as “nurture” – seems to play a more significant role.

        It’s an interesting one … but I really don’t know if there are any clear-cut answers to be had here.

  6. The supply of the root molecules for opiate production can be made in yeast using the proper messenger RNA. No plants are needed. …from Article in Science several years ago.

    • And … there’s always this (from the very first album I ever bought, in my life.

      “She never made it past the bedroom door,
      what was she aimin’ for?

      Gone’ shootin’ … she’s gone … gone, gone gone …”

      I didn’t understand what that song was about when I bought that album on cassette, back around ’78, and listened to it over and over. Later on, I found out.

  7. “Frankly, I was horrified by life, at what a man had to do simply to eat, sleep, and keep himself clothed.”

    Perhaps so many vehemently deny what Bukowski expresses because it is so profoundly true for them. Not that it is the only truth. But life is horrifying for more than a few.

    How many people want to throw in the towel? Many. Much of the time. So when someone comes along and admits to the awfulness of existence it scares the bejesus out of them. Because they’re that close.

    My point is a small one. Relax. Relax when someone regards the whole shebang with a jaundiced eye. The parade will go on. Not because it’s so great, because people can’t help themselves — they’ve got to march.

    • “Perhaps so many vehemently deny what Bukowski expresses because it is so profoundly true for them. Not that it is the only truth. But life is horrifying for more than a few.”

      I believe it is not genetics, nor is it how one has been brought up, that “drives one to drink”. It is one’s perception of reality.

      “And now comes John Barleycorn with the curse he lays upon the imaginative man who is lusty with life and desire to live. John Barleycorn sends his White Logic, the argent messenger of truth beyond truth, the antithesis of life, cruel and bleak as interstellar space, pulseless and frozen as absolute zero, dazzling with the frost of irrefragable logic and unforgettable fact. John Barleycorn will not let the dreamer dream, the liver live. He destroys birth and death, and dissipates to mist the paradox of being, until his victim cries out, as in “The City of Dreadful Night”: “Our life’s a cheat, our death a black abyss.” And the feet of the victim of such dreadful intimacy take hold of the way of death.”

      Jack London: John Barleycorn.

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