Philosophical Rambling: Escapism

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at
Tue Jul 18 05:25:25 EDT 2000

 In short, I don't think reading is the same *kind* of escape for me.
I've never craved drugs or comparable substances, and I can go for a
long time without alcohol or even coffee, but I do crave books when
I don't have any.

Me too! Finding yourself on a long train journey with nothing to read- how
I've never smoked, *hate* the smell (but love pipesmoke), drink a bottle of
wine a week, probably, (so well within the Govt guidelines, she says
defensively to all the teetotallers) but haven't been drunk for about 4
years and am never going to be again. Horrible. Try to avoid much caffeine,
but I love green tea with oriental food. I smoked dope a bit at Uni and
quite enjoyed it but not enough to carry on seeking it out. Other drugs have
always frightened me too much to consider trying them, what with bad trips
and permanent depletion of serotonin levels and the expense. I've never
understood the mentality that if you want a good night out you have to get
off your head. 
I also don't seem to go for the internal endorphin-rush that someone
mentioned, exercising or going on roller-coasters.
I think that even if I'd never touched a book since school I still wouldn't
do drugs- but I would be even more of a couch potato. How much TV do the
rest of you watch? At the moment I probably see about an hour a night, but
it's fatally easy if the set is on to get sucked in to watching hour after
hour of complete rubbish- particularly daytime. When I was in a mess while
trying to write my dissertation I often watched TV all day, or read totally
bland books, trying to turn my brain off so I wouldn't think about the
terror of not being able to work. And what about the net??? I take the point
that these aren't physical addictions but boy, they can be strong habits.
All essentially passive activities (as it were), whereas I *think* that what
I read at the moment I engage with, which is probably better- certainly a
more productive waste of time.
There was going to be a point about books making you think while drugs just
make you *be* but it's escaping me.
One thing though, it's probably true for addicts that they are escaping or
blotting out their lives but possibly not all of them, at least to start
with. Heroin basically gives a rush of pure pleasure, and cocaine makes you
feel brilliant and powerful, and speed gives you energy, and I can see how
that would be attractive even if your everyday life isn't that bad!
Especially for the thrill-seeking type. (Once actual addiction kicks in it's
bound to be different.)
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