Loving the Unlovable: Why Addiction is a Disease, Not a Crime

I want to preface this post by saying I have never pondered as long & hard about a post as I have about this one.  I’ve been mentally composing it for three days now.  I awoke at 2:30 this morning & knew I’d never have any peace until I wrote this.  Eventually I got up at 4:00 am & started writing it.  If this post offends anyone, I’m sorry but I’m not sorry.  This is too important of a subject to ignore or discuss with useless euphemisms.

This Saturday I found out the painful news that a classmate of mine from high school died.  Out of respect for his family & many friends, I will simply call him John.  His death was shocking news for several reasons, the most obvious of course being that he was young & presumably healthy.  However, it was even more shocking for me because this past Wednesday John had sent me a link to a new band he’d discovered on YouTube which he thought I’d appreciate & asked for my thoughts on the song.  As it turned out, I got busy with work & other obligations & didn’t get a chance to listen to the song . . . Furthermore, on Friday night I sent John an article about one of our mutual favorite bands, Asking Alexandria.  I had just read that the band’s lead singer (Denis Stoff) had abandoned them & that their previous frontman (Danny Worsnop) was rejoining the band, at least for their upcoming tour.  Because I knew John was such a huge fan of this band, I was sure he’d be interested to hear the news, so I sent him the link.  He responded within a few minutes, saying how excited he was to hear that Worsnop was back in the band & recommending that I listen to their debut album & let him know my thoughts on it.  Within 12 hours of that conversation, John was dead . . . And now I will never be able to share my thoughts with him on any of this music because he is gone forever . . . asking alexandria logo

No one is coming out & saying exactly what caused John’s death, but a quick Google search revealed to me that John had an addiction problem spanning at least the past two years about which I knew absolutely nothing.  Due to that & the fact that no one is specifying a cause of death, I am highly suspicious that drugs were involved which brings me to the point of today’s post.addiction-pain

Our country has a serious drug problem.  And I don’t just mean the number of people who use drugs.  Obviously that is a problem.  But what I really want to talk about is the way our country treats addiction & those who suffer from it.  We’ve been fighting the “war on drugs” for decades now & anyone with the least bit of common sense can tell you that it isn’t working.  You don’t need to be a scholar on this subject to know that prescription drug abuse (largely of opiates/narcotics, aka pain pills) & subsequently heroin has skyrocketed in this country in just the past decade.  With this of course comes a huge increase in deaths related to drug abuse, as heroin is arguably the most deadly & addictive drug known to man.  In fact, for the first time, more people have died in Virginia (my home state) of opioid/heroin overdose than from car accidents in the past year.heroin-death-stats

With all of this in mind, I think it’s high time we asked ourselves if the way we’re “treating” addiction in this country is working.  The obvious answer is no.  Criminalization & imprisonment for drug use are CLEARLY not solving the problem.  It didn’t work for John, & it will never work for anyone because addiction is a DISEASE.  Is it a (largely) self-imposed disease?  Absolutely.  (There is some evidence that suggests a genetic predisposition towards addiction.)  But I don’t see anyone arguing that people with lung cancer or COPD should be incarcerated or denied medical treatment even though their disease is almost always related to smoking, an activity in which they obviously CHOSE to engage.  Nor do I hear anyone arguing that type 2 diabetics should be punished for (largely) causing their own disease due to poor diet & lifestyle.war-on-drugs

The difference of course is that addicts are one of the last groups of people on whom it is safe to look down, to despise.  Frankly we all enjoy the feeling of being better than somebody.  It’s just human nature.  But it is no longer societally acceptable to look down on women, gays, lesbians, Muslims, Jews, Italians, blacks, etc (& rightfully so), yet drug users are still safe to despise.  I am guilty of this myself, as a nurse & just as a person.  How many times we have all thrown around the work “junkie” without stopping to think about the HUMAN BEING behind that word?  As Russell Brand, a reformed heroin addict, has stated so eloquently,“It is difficult to feel sympathy for these people.  It is difficult to regard some bawdy drunk & see them as sick & powerless.  It is difficult to suffer the selfishness of a drug addict who will lie to you & steal from you & forgive them & offer them help.  Can there be any other disease that renders its victims so unappealing?  Would Great Ormond Street [a children’s hospital in London, think St. Jude’s] be so attractive a cause if its beds were riddled with obnoxious little criminals that had ‘brought it on themselves?'”  As my mom, a teacher, has often observed, it is usually the folks who are most unlovable who need love the most.dark-days

If you really want to understand the pain & desperation that lies behind addiction, please consider reading any or all of the following books:

  • Dark Days by Randy Blythe (recovered alcoholic & lead singer of the Richmond, VA-based metal band lamb of god)
  • Seven Deadly Sins by Corey Taylor (recovered alcoholic/drug addict & lead singer of both Slipknot & Stone Sour)
  • My Booky Wook My Booky Wook 2 by Russell Brand (recovered heroin addict & comedian/actor)
  • Death Punch’d by Jeremy Spencer (recovered alcoholic/cocaine addict & drummer for Five Finger Death Punch)
  • Indie Spiritualist by Chris Grosso (recovered alcoholic/drug addict & philosopher)

I don’t think anyone with a shred of decency could read any of these books & not find themselves feeling a great deal more compassion for those who succumb to the horrors of drug abuse & addiction.  In order to provide a brief insight into the minds of these men who have so courageously conquered addiction, please peruse the following quotes:russell-brand-quote-drug

  • “The mentality & behavior of drug addicts & alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction & unless they have structured help, they have no hope.” ~ Russell Brand
  • “The priority of any addict is to anaesthetise the pain of living, to ease the passage of day with some purchased relief.” ~ Russell Brand
  • “Eckhart Tolle says, ‘Addiction begins with pain & ends with pain,’ meaning that pain is behind compulsive behavior. Eleven years clean, I still feel the urge to medicate pain. Whenever events don’t go my way, my first instinct is to annul the feeling, to look for an external resource to solve the problem. The second part of Eckhart’s edict kicks in here—addiction ‘ends with pain.’ Medication of any kind offers only a temporary solution; it always leads back to pain & becomes therefore predictably cyclical.” ~ Russell Brand
  • “What I wanted was to be in love, to have a companion to look after me- someone to replace my mother.  But before I could persuade anyone to fulfill that function, I found drugs.” ~ Russell Brand
  • “Once I finally got a bit of success, it became clear that my internal deficit of sadness & longing would not really be sated by the things I’d always thought would save me.  This realization made me turn to hard drugs– specifically heroin- in an even more concerted way than I ever had before.” ~ Russell Brand
  • Heroin is a greedy drug, robbing you by increments first of your clothing, then of your skin; finally when it comes for your life it must be a relief.  They’re not present, those people: if you talk to them, they just look beyond you, they’re not really there.  That’s why the invisibility of the homeless scoring drugs . . . is almost by mutual consent: they don’t want to be seen, & no one wants to see them.” ~ Russell Brandaddiction-quote
  • “Then I could lean back & everything was suddenly all relaxing & beautiful.  It was at this point that I knew that I was an addict, though the pain of that realization was greatly mitigated by the impact of the heroin: that’s how it gets you.” ~ Russell Brand
  • “Perhaps heroin had, similarly, held me in times of trouble.  The prospect of relinquishing it was terrifying.  The only reason I did so was because I was more afraid of what was going to happen to me if I didn’t . . . at this juncture I was finally willing to do whatever it was going to take to bring that about- up to & including giving up drugs.  From that moment on, I really did take things, in the textbook rehab fashion, one day at a time.” ~ Russell Brand
  • “…but if we’re really sick & tired of being sick & tired, well, then some shit has got to change.  Other people can (& should) most definitely help us through this difficult process, but ultimately it’s up to us to decide to even begin making the change in the first place.” ~ Chris Grosso
  • “All I wanted to do was find the next party so I could forget & feel alive . . . When you try to describe addiction, I guess there is no better word than gluttony.” ~ Corey Taylor
  • Just because we might act like assholes sometimes does not mean we are defined as assholes forever.” ~ Corey Taylor
  • “For many, many years, my life as an active alcoholic was just like today.  I was surrounded by life, things, & people that could have brought me great joy, grand opportunities I wasted because I sat in a haze of alcohol, drugs, & sadness.  I simply would not & could not get up & walk a few blocks through the fog back to freedom & life.” ~ Randy Blytheaddiction-monster
  • “If you are unlucky enough to have an active alcoholic or drug addict in your life, you probably don’t understand why [they] wil not just stop drinking . . . Or doing whatever substance it is they are doing that is killing them & killing you, that has changed them into this awful person, that makes them do such strange, self-destructive things.  I can tell you why- they are insane . . . And their addiction’s need for drink &/or drugs has twisted their perceptions to the point where they do not even know that they are unhinged, that the problem (if they even recognize that they have one) is their addiction.  They may even pay it lip service, but they don’t truly know yet, know it in their soul- because if they knew, they would stop.” ~ Randy Blythe
  • “…not all drug addicts are horrible human beings.  Most of them just need help breaking the chains of their addiction, not a prison sentence . . . most drug addicts I have known started off as decent, normal citizens, only becoming involved in a life of crime after their addiction led them down that dark path . . . addiction will almost always eventually lead an otherwise sensible person into committing actions that would horrify them if they were not caught in its vicious grip.” ~ Randy Blythe
  • “I had become a mere receptacle for alcohol, a garbage can to throw booze & drugs into.  Now I was empty, just like those bottles, & just like those bottles, all it would take to bring me crashing down was one slight nudge . . . I was desperately unhappy.  It was time to try something else, or I would die . . . I was terrified, empty, & heartbroken; but I dug in & did my job.  That was my first day sober. I haven’t had a drink since.” ~ Randy Blythe
  • In the end alcoholism & drug addiction are almost always horribly lonesome repeat journeys to drink at the wells of despair, & the alcoholic or drug addict often feels as if they are the only person on earth who has experienced & understands their particular pain . . . This is, of course, an illusion; a merciless trick that the substance-fueled & monstrously inflated ego plays on the drunk or junkie.  No one is unique in their addiction.” ~ Randy Blythe
  • “…but somewhere along the way I had allowed myself to get lost in a haze of alcohol.  When I woke up one morning in Brisbane, Australia & realized that no matter how far I tried to run into a bottle, I would always carry my problems with me . . . I gave up the race.  I began to face my problems, to try as hard as I could to live in a manner I could be proud of, & to take responsibility for my own actions & life.  There is no escape.  So I simply stopped running. That was the change in me, that was the big ‘aha!’ moment in my life.” ~ Randy Blythetolle-quote-addiction

If you’re looking for evidence that the decriminalization of drugs, even “hard drugs” like heroin, can actually be effective in reducing drug use & deaths, look no further than Portugal.  Besides, it just seems like common sense to me that as long as drugs are illegal, there will never be adequate rehab facilities & resources to help those suffering from addiction because, after all, who wants to help criminals?  And as long as people are regarded as criminals for being or having been addicts, that criminal history will continue to cripple them for the remainder of their lives.  Is it any wonder that so many of these people never rise above the cycle of negativity when our society is constructed such that they can’t even qualify for a decent job?  As Randy Blythe noted, “It is no wonder to me, even after doing such a short amount of time, that so many men & women released from prisons cannot function in normal society anymore & wind up back behind bars again & again.  Being locked up causes a profound psychic shift to occur.”


Just in case it didn’t set the first time, I’ll share this one again.

To those who may say I am sullying John’s name by writing this post when I have no concrete evidence that his death was actually linked to his addiction, my thoughts are that if John were still here he’d be begging us to talk about this.  Whether his addiction led to his death or not, it is obvious to me that it did have a massive negative impact on his life & on those who loved him.  Ignoring the issue isn’t fixing the problem.  As is often the case in life, the subjects that are the hardest to talk about are the ones we most need to discuss.  I didn’t know John well but from the testimony of those who did, it’s obvious he was a kind-hearted person who loved to serve others.  Thus I believe he would want his death to be an inspiration to those he left behind to open their hearts & minds to those suffering from addiction, to see the human being behind the “junkie” or the “druggie” who can be so easy to dismiss when caught in the throes of addiction.  Until we can learn to see the suffering & the pain behind addiction, until we can learn to see these people as PEOPLE, not criminals, we will only continue to have more Johns & more broken hearts left in the wake of tragic & untimely deaths such as his.

Because I am such a staunch believer in the power of music, I feel compelled to share this song by Brandi Carlile which was written from the perspective of a drug addict begging for forgiveness from those they’ve hurt.  Every time I take care of a drug addict I try to remind myself of this song because its lyrics are so powerful & help to remind me of the person behind the addiction.  Here’s a sample of those lyrics:

Tell me, did I go on a tangent?
Did I lie through my teeth?
Did I cause you to stumble on your feet?
Did I bring shame on my family?
Did it show when I was weak?
Whatever you’ve seen, that wasn’t me
That wasn’t me, oh that wasn’t me

But I want you to know that you’ll never be alone
I wanna believe, do I make myself a blessing to everyone I meet?
When you fall I will get you on your feet
Do I spend time with my family?
Did it show when I was weak?
When that’s what you’ve seen, that will be me
That will be me, that will be me
That will be me

In conclusion & in honor of John, I’d like to share the links to a few songs which I’ve found of comfort over the past few days:

6 Reasons Why I’m British at Heart

There has been a curious absence of blogging activity here lately & for that I apologize.  But the holidays are a busy time of year, as we all know, especially if one is a nurse & holiday breaks by necessity don’t actually exist.  However, my husband & I did manage to see all of our families in Virginia, so it was a successful & enjoyable Christmas for us.  british flag

Anyway, it has occurred to me lately that while in actual fact I’m an American (& a Southerner at that), I’m really quite British at heart.  Here are a few reasons why I’ve come to that conclusion.

  1. Many of my favorite authors are British, particularly Agatha Christie & PD James.  I’m not nearly sophisticated enough to honestly say that I spend my leisure time reading such scholarly pieces as those written by Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, or Shakespeare, though those works certainly have their merits, but I can say that British literature was always my favorite in school, though there are certainly some great American writers as well of course.  But there is just something about the way British people write, the phrases they use, the innate dry humor that is so pervasive in their culture, that I just love so dearly & of which I can never, ever get enough.

    russell brand with dog

    Russell Brand on the Jonathan Ross show

  2. If you know me in real life, hopefully you know that I really love to laugh, quite often at my own clumsiness & general silliness.  In any case, most of my favorite comedians are British, namely Ricky Gervais, Russell Brand, Jonathan Ross, & Graham Norton.  If you’re an American, you’ve possibly never heard of any of these genius men, aside of course from Russell Brand.  But I implore you to proceed immediately to that place of great amusement called YouTube & research these gentlemen.  Specifically you should check out the Graham Norton show featuring Marilyn Manson, the Jonathan Ross show featuring Russell Brand, & Ricky Gervais on obesity & religion.  Additionally if you’re not following Ricky Gervais on Instagram, you are seriously missing out on some insanely hilarious pictures.  His account is one of the main reasons I finally broke down & created an Instagram account for myself this past week.  Furthermore Russell Brand’s autobiographies are some of the funniest but also most inspiring & well written books known to man.  (Indeed, reading them completely changed my views on the man.)


    Here’s our adorable corgi obtaining great amusement out of a plastic water bottle.

  3. My favorite dogs in the world are welsh corgis.  Here’s a picture of ours, aptly named Chaucer (my husband actually chose that name after his favorite British author Geoffrey Chaucer).  I love all dogs, but with their stubby little legs, cheerful faces, fluffy butts, & never-ending playfulness, corgis are definitely the best.  It’s no wonder Queen Elizabeth owns so many of them.P1070747
  4. While I’ll confess it’s a new obsession for me, I’m extremely fond of hot tea.  Of course if I were truly British, I wouldn’t have to qualify it as “hot” tea, but being a Southerner I have to phrase it that way for fear of people assuming I mean iced tea which, shockingly, I have never liked.  Sometimes I even like my tea with milk in it.  And what could possibly be more British than that?

    tazo tea

    This stuff is what started my love affair with hot tea

  5. I’m very fond of certain words & phrases (though some of them I think more than I actually say) that are definitely British.  Here are a few of my favorites:
    1. Bloody
    2. Predilection (Americans use this too, but it’s not exactly a common word like it is in England.)
    3. Fancy (as in “I rather fancy a little honey in my tea” or “I’ve taken a fancy to that Indian buffet of late.”)
    4. Wanker
    5. Blimey
    6. Beastly
    7. Bollocks
    8. Gallivant
    9. Not my cup of tea
    10. Queer (NOT used to be mean gay/homosexual)

      british slang

      I don’t actually know/use all of these, but I love most of them & think we Americans should adopt them.

  6. And most importantly one of my dearest friends in the world is British . . . Which of course is the biggest reason why the UK is the number one place I want to visit as far as international travel goes.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that a part of my heart is across the Atlantic, which is why I’m so incredibly grateful for Facebook, WhatsApp, & Skype to help us stay in daily, sometimes hourly, contact.home elsewhere

In all seriousness though, I really do think I’d fit in quite well in England or the UK in general.  The idea of living somewhere with actual decent public transit sounds quite thrilling to me.  And of course London is easily recognized as one of the most culturally & ethnically diverse cities in the world, & it’s certainly quite loaded with Indian restaurants, which of course would make me feel right at home.  Additionally one of my great-great grandmothers hailed from Yorkshire, so at least part, if not most, of my ancestry is indeed British.


My sister attended grad school in England; this is one of her pictures from her time there.

While I cannot say with great honesty that I am truly proud to be an American all the time, I am thankful to be an American because of the freedoms we have here . . . But there will always be a large part of me that feels British at heart.


Oh, look! Another fabulous British thing: BFMV, a Welsh metal band who are seriously awesome.

In conclusion, the British are a people who created the phrase “How’s your father?” as a euphemism for sex.  That’s so absurd, it’s endearing!  I don’t know how one could read that & not become a bit of an Anglophile.

Cheers, everyone!  And happy 2016 to all ya lovely wankers reading my blog today.  I mean that in the most loving way possible, of course.  😉

28 Quotes That Prove Russell Brand Isn’t Such an Idiot After All

I don’t remember when I first became aware of Russell Brand’s existence, but I do remember when Katy Perry married him a few years ago & thinking to myself “Doesn’t she know what he’s like?  How could she possibly think marrying him was a good idea?”  This is not to say that I’ve ever been a big Katy Perry fan.  I’ve nothing against her; I’m just not really into pop music very much, although I will say she does have a great voice & she is definitely gorgeous.  RB and KP In any case, until about a month ago I regarded Russell Brand as one of those silly comedians who would say or do anything for a laugh, had no respect for women, & was just a general idiot.  I honestly can’t remember now what triggered me to start researching him a bit more, but what I quickly found is that he isn’t quite the idiot I always thought.  Quite the opposite in fact.  There’s a lot more to him than meets the eye for sure.  Besides anyone who can beat a heroin addiction definitely deserves a second glance.  And if he happens to be gorgeous, wickedly funny, & have a delicious British accent . . . Well, I’m not going to lie, that helps a bit too. Russell Brand arrives at the MTV Movie Awards in Universal City, Calif., on Sunday, June 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) As I’ve mentioned on here before, people who break stereotypes or somehow prove that they’re a lot more than I initially considered them to be are fascinating to me.  So once I started watching some of Brand’s stand-up comedy & YouTube videos (both interviews of him as well as his Trews clips), I quickly decided that I should go straight to the source, so to speak, & read his own books.  I just finished the first part of his autobiography My Booky Wook, & it reminded me a lot of Marilyn Manson’s autobiography, which I also recently read, in the sense that it was wickedly humorous but also difficult to read at times due to the blunt descriptions of sex & drug abuse.  And yet, as with Manson’s book, I couldn’t stop reading it.  It was ridiculously addicting, as I’m sure Booky Wook 2 will also be.  (That one is next on my to-read list.  I’m just finishing up an Agatha Christie at present, as she is my all-time favorite author.)  There is something about such raw honesty that is incredibly compelling to me, perhaps because it is, above all else, REAL.booky wook So today I thought I would share some of my favorite quotes from My Booky Wook that demonstrate to me how devilishly clever & perceptive Brand actually is, despite his reputation as a junkie Lothario.  I’m not going to edit them (other than to bold my favorite parts) so, yes, there will be cursing.  But it’s more fun that way anyway. 😉rusell brand 2

  1. So anyway, I didn’t want to go to that sexual treatment center, but all the do-gooders . . . insisted, & I sort of, kind of agreed.  Just to shut everyone up, really, & for the same reason that I finally gave up drink & drugs- because my ambition is the most powerful force within me, so once people convinced me that my sexual behavior might become damaging to my career, I found it easier to think of it as a flaw that needed to be remedied.
  2. I particularly dislike preordained happy occasions.  I don’t mind Christmas so much, because everyone’s involved, as long as they’re Christians or lazy atheists, or Muslim but into tinsel.  But I’ve never had a good New Year’s Eve, & I don’t like birthdays, or any other time when you’re meant to be happy . . . For me happiness occurs arbitrarily: a moment of eye contact on a bus, when all at once you fall in love; or a frozen second in a park when it’s enough that there are trees in the world.  I don’t like New Year’s Eve.  I don’t think bliss could ever be preceded by a countdown & the chiming of a pompous clock, unless that’s what death’s like.  [I was reminded of this quote yesterday while my husband & I were biking around our neighborhood & the gloriously sweet scent of honeysuckle was carried on the breeze, & I thought to myself “How wonderful it is to be alive & experience this very moment!”]honeysuckle
  3. In later life, I have come to realize that any expression of love which ends in a yelp probably requires modification.
  4. [In regard to his father]: He taught me that you can get what you want if you refuse to let circumstances defeat you, & perhaps there is no more valuable lesson.  I only wish I’d felt he liked me more.
  5. I was a connoisseur of the Penguin [a type of candy], which came in yellow, green, blue, & red wrappers.  I was a particular devotee of the blue variety, even though all Penguins are the same below the surface, which I think is as perfect an analogy as we’re likely to get for the futility of racism.racism
  6. The need to find out what will happen if I don’t relent or moderate my actions has been a constant source of difficulty & discomfort in my life.
  7. My dad’s philosophy was (& I think still is) that life is a malevolent force, which seeks to destroy you, & you have to struggle with it.  Only those who are hard enough will succeed.  Most people get crushed, but if you fight, in the end life will go, “Fucking hell.  This one’s serious.  Let him through.
  8. For me, it was more important that people knew I had sex than having sex.  That’s daft, if you live for other people’s perception you can never be happy, but this was no time to ponder that existential blather . . . perception quote
  9. In Grays [his hometown] I didn’t possess anything people wanted.  I was trying to spend a fantasy currency from an irrelevant island.
  10. What I wanted was to be in love, to have a companion to look after me- someone to replace my mother.  But before I could persuade anyone to fulfill that function, I found drugs.
  11. Many years later, when I eventually got clean, I was astonished to learn that I actually don’t enjoy my own company.  I always thought I loved being on my own, but actually I don’t.  It was being on drugs that I liked.
  12. Gravity’s hard to dispute, & breathing, but a lot of things we instinctively obey are a lot of old tosh [nonsense].question everything
  13. What I’ve learned- to my cost- on several occasions in my life, is that people will put up with all manner of bad behavior so long as you’re giving them what they want.  They’ll laugh & get into it & enjoy the anecdotes & the craziness & the mayhem as long as you’re doing your job well, but the minute you’re not, you’re fucked.  They’ll wipe their hands of you without a second glance.
  14. I presume that feeling ostracized & alienated from them [his father & step-father], even within my own home growing up, encoded within me a deep sense of alienation.  That’s why in any group dynamic my identity will always be defined as an outsider rather than from within.  This is also the reason why stand-up comedy is the perfect career for me.  Not just because I’m constantly scribbling notes inside my own mind to deal with the embarrassment I perpetually feel, but also because I’m always observing, always outside . . . The fact that I’ve managed to make it funny is bloody convenient, because I can’t think how else I would make them listen.russell brand with dog
  15. Once I finally got a bit of success, it became clear that my internal deficit of sadness & longing would not really be sated by the things I’d always thought would save me.  This realization made me turn to hard drugs- specifically heroin- in an even more concerted way I than I ever had before.
  16. Heroin is a greedy drug, robbing you by increments first of your clothing, then of your skin; finally when it comes for your life it must be a relief.  They’re not present those people: if you talk to them, they just look beyond you, they’re not really there.  That’s why the invisibility of the homeless scoring drugs on Oxford Street is almost by mutual consent: they don’t want to be seen, & no one else wants to see them.homeless
  17. Of all the consumer products, chewing gum is perhaps the most ridiculous: it literally has no nourishment- you just chew it to give yourself something to do with your stupid idiot Western mouth.  Half the world is starving, & the other’s going, “I don’t actually need any nutrition, but it would be good to masticate, just to keep my mind off things.”
  18. . . . international violence being a two-way street & it being impossible to oppress people endlessly without consequence.
  19. The main problem was I had too much status & not enough discipline . . . I’d be all full of acrimony & revolutionary bile- furious at society, but ultimately furious at myself.LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 02: Russell Brand moderates the Q&A at the
  20. They were quite happy to demonstrate social solidarity through Kit-Kats but if you actually bring homeless people into their lives, it makes them uncomfortable . . . Perhaps the reason it [homelessness] continues is that we somehow think of the homeless as dirty & unpleasant . . .
  21. Would anyone sleep with prostitutes if they weren’t able to dehumanize them?  If they understood that prostitutes were women with lives & families & problems & hopes & dreams, would they still be able to empty themselves soullessly & leave fifty quid [money] on the table?
  22. I find the potential for mayhem exhilarating- society’s only held together by a few ideas.  I know those ideas are quite entrenched, & the reason we have a police force & an army is to maintain that status quo, but at moments like this, that whole apparatus can suddenly look quite vulnerable, & I find that thrilling.russell brand riot
  23. People do this a lot.  They don’t seem to realize that the future is just like now, but in a little while, so they say they’re going to do things in anticipation of some kind of seismic shift in their worldview that never actually materializes . . . Tomorrow is not some mythical kingdom where you’ll grow butterfly wings & be able to talk to the animals- you’ll basically feel pretty much the same way you do at the moment.  [So true!  I keep reminding myself of this every time I want to skip the gym or otherwise screw up my attempt at a healthier lifestyle & subsequently losing a few pounds.]
  24. When you live in the psychological space that I did, life is not about confronting reality, it’s about ignoring it.
  25. Perhaps heroin had, similarly, held me in times of trouble.  The prospect of relinquishing it was terrifying.  The only reason I did so was because I was more afraid of what was going to happen to me if I didn’t.

    He wear eye-liner better than I do!  Oh wait, he has his own stylist.

    He wears eye-liner better than I do! Oh wait, he has his own stylist.

  26. I couldn’t go on living like this.  I had to become successful.  “I want to change the world, & to do something valuable, & beautiful.  I want people to remember me before I’m dead, & then more afterward.”  And at this juncture I was finally willing to do whatever it was going to take to bring that about- up to & including giving up drugs.  From that moment on, I really did take things, in the textbook rehab fashion, one day at a time.
  27. I’ve always had the analogy that people who are depressed are often funny in the same way that England is a seafaring nation because we’re an island; because you adapt to your circumstances, & if you’re miserable you’ve got to become funny to fucking keep afloat.
  28. I’ve noticed the Americans are inherently consumers.  They always want to pop pills for mental or physical ailments.

    Like Manson, Brand loves cats . . . Maybe these guys need to meet (if they haven't already).

    Like Manson, Brand loves cats . . . Maybe these guys need to meet (if they haven’t already).

Russell Brand has gotten a bad name lately because of his influence over the recent British elections (encouraging people not to vote), & I’ll be the first to admit that I think such encouragements were ill-advised.  However, his assertion that the current political climates in both Britain & the US offer no good options at present is certainly spot-on . . . As I’ve said before, I love people who question the status quo, who make me think, who challenge all of society’s ideas about what is normal & natural, & who prove that people really CAN turn their lives around in a positive manner.  That is a perfect description of Mr. Brand, & that is why I’ve chosen to honor him in this post today.breaking stereotypes