Extra-curricular substances : Really? Why? Why bother?
I was recently having a conversation on instant messaging with a friend, I was being a bit playfully silly when suddenly I was asked:
Are you stoned?
This question came as a bit of a shock, let me explain why:
Not so long ago I was at a BBQ and, as they conversations do, the topic wandered to recreational drugs. There were the usual points of “if I only had so much time do live I’d do Y” or “overdosing on X is pretty much the most painless way to die”.
I can’t remember how it came up, but a friend was asked why he chosen never to try anything, he said:
I have a very addictive personality and I don’t really trust myself with these things.
Which I thought was quite well judged.
In my case:
- I have bitten my fingernails since I was old enough to.
- I can go through packs of chewing gum
- I can go through fridges of diet coke
- I have been known, on occasion, to drink pint after pint of tea. In pint glasses.
Let’s face it – if I was to start smoking, I’d be a chain smoker in 30 seconds. It’d be my new favourite thing in 20 seconds….
…and within 10 years, I’d be single handedly keeping several senior NHS lung cancer consultants in a job!
This isn’t me over estimating addictiveness of nicotine or cigarettes – I’m well aware that generally, one’s first drag etc isn’t particularly enjoyable, I’m aware it grows on you, that “you can quit at any time”… but with an addictive personality like mine, it wouldn’t be easy… it’s never easy for anyone.
Sometimes, people are a bit surprised by how little alcohol I drink. Please, don’t get me wrong, I love a good blonde ale like the next man, but I almost only drink socially. Drinking on your own feels like a downward spiral to me… and unlike the XKCD cartoon, I’ve found that Alcohol tends to always reduce ‘productivity’ to the point where I’m unable to do anything marginally interesting. I wouldn’t be able to write this blog post drunk.
In many ways, I can see that I share many of the same values of the Straight Edge punk subculture, though probably, with a lesser emphasis on really loud music!
Straight Edge came about when, in the 80′s a band called Minor Threat wrote a song which opened with:
“I’m a person just like you
But I’ve got better things to do
Than sit around and fuck my head
Hang out with the living dead.“
And so this is why I was surprised, when I was asked whether I was stoned.
Why would I be stoned? Hell, why would I need to be stoned?
Can’t you be silly and happy about without extra-curricular substances?
Since you’re an awesome person, why bother adding anything else into the mix?
Dan Bull might have some truth: