I have been reading and talking to many people for an article I’m writing about gambling addiction. I came across this, in the New York Times from 2005:
Q. I gamble as a social outlet. I’d much rather do something to reform society, which is in a mess at the moment…If a healthy environment gave addicts the release they seek in drugs, there would be no addicts.
Your comment taps into the idea that recovery from addictive disorders is a voluntarily maintained lifestyle characterized by sobriety, self-care and citizenship. The reality is that our current environment is one that promotes consumption, recreation and instant rewards, all of which are very reinforcing and compelling to the brain.
It would be interesting if we invested as much energy into making our society one that promotes health, instead of just looking to treat the psychiatric side effects of that so many of us experience as a result of the way our society is organized.
As I have gotten older, I have found that some of my convictions have softened with a growing awareness I feel about all of the things that I do not know, in some cases, cannot know. I have been more comfortable saying those words: “I don’t know.” On the one hand, I worry that if I lose convictions, my life will feel tepid. It will feel like I am not really alive, or that I don’t really believe in anything. But on the other, I feel a bit of relief. Because losing some of my convictions has meant that I’m less exhausted by the disappointment I have felt when the world does not act the way I had wished it would.
Check out another great episode of kehottopics.
They’re baaaaack. Keith & Elaine are tired and depressed because of the Polar Vortex and Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death, so they decide to take a little trip to the fantasy land of their dreams.
On the recent WTF with Marc Maron episode featuring Lena Dunham, Lena and Marc have an extensive conversation about how she has become a flashpoint for white privilege. She recounts being back at her alma mater, Oberlin College, and being asked how she felt about being a “line item” on the list of people who exemplify white privilege. Maron is a bit appalled or confused by that comment, so Dunham tries to explain the controversy she incites. In this explanation, as in so many things, she exemplifies her incredible maturity. She says that she values the “dialogue” that has happened around the issue of who is represented on television and seems to understand, if not identify with, her critics.
As someone who doesn’t resent Lena Dunham and in fact loves her, what I’ve always genuinely wondered is why is it that the people who resent her don’t seem to resent so many other pop culture examples of white privilege or wealth privilege to nearly the same degree, if at all? I have a theory of why they don’t that I’ll explain in a second. But I guess my question is, why aren’t these people up in arms about “the Hills,” or “the Kardashians,” “Real Housewives” of wherever-the-heck, “Rich Kids of Beverly Hills,” which are all shows about people who not only are economically privileged but flaunt their privilege and take it for granted? Why is Lena Dunham—a person who, unlike the people on those other television shows—has worked hard and pursued something aside from making money, the source of so much resentment?
And here is my theory about why, and you can tell me if you agree, because I genuinely don’t understand why Lena Dunham provokes the kind of rage she does. Lena Dunham provokes resentment and anger in people precisely because she is trying to pursue a dream outside of the modern American one of making and spending money. For some reason, people are perhaps less threatened by and resentful of a better off person who just wants to be rich than one who wants to find some kind of meaning in life aside from money. And I would guess it is because of envy that those people feel they were never encouraged to pursue a unique kind of dream the way they believe Lena Dunham was. I don’t know. I’m asking you. I just think it’s fascinating, because I get so much more annoyed and upset about the Kardashians and the housewives than I do about Dunham, who I think is funny and honest and creative. I totally agree that there is an under-representation of many different groups on TV, but if we’re going to make room for those groups, let’s cancel the Housewives and the Beverly Hills kids first.
Here is a never before seen episode of hot topics. Keith and I decided to test out our online dating personas on television to see if anyone would go out with us. Check it out for yourself.
Season 1, Episode 18. Because the show has caused them to fall behind on their internet dating, Keith and Elaine decide to merge their online dating personas with their show. Things don’t go quite. as. planned.