Why Get High, Get Drunk
by B.J. Delas Armas
on 4/22/2008 06:49:00 AM
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Getting high, getting drunk.
...a physiological state when what you do socially (other than yak up a carpet or break anything) is acknowledged by watchers that there isn't any meaning to what you are doing.
Almost everything is dismissed by the fact that you are drunk/high. We use it in everyday talk to dismiss anything we do that is considered "stupid".
In a society with so much information and by implication so many meanings for everything said and done, getting high or drunk is more of an impetus for people to drop all those meanings as quickly as possible.
One way to act on your instinct, your subconscious without anyone really challenging you. A passive-aggressive response.
This reminds me of an observation in this book I read in intro to Anthro Linguistics called "Constructing Panic." The book is about a woman with agoraphobia, which is a fear of being in a place or situation where it may be difficult to escape or obtain help. The observation was about how this woman would always accept what her husband told her. She would always accept what he said and do what he asked of her.
However, whenever she felt a panic attack coming, she would suddenly become a dominant figure. Her panic attacks would take priority, and she would ask her way out of anything. For instance, a family vacation that she didn't want to take. She was passive and complicit in the trip, until they were on the road, and she experienced a panic attack. She kept emphasizing how she needed to get away. End result, they need to go home, see a doctor, she gets her way. It takes almost a medical "condition" for her to get her way, but in the end, she gets her way.
Getting high, getting drunk, one way to get your way, least in the short-term. You get your way. In this state, no one will be able to challenge you because it's sort of a physiological state, meaning it's kind of "natural" and that no one can do anything about you acting like that.
Labels: Brain, Memory, Psychological Anthropology