Monday, March 7, 2011

Week of 03/07/2011

The Drug Nobody Wants To Treat
– by David Matthews 2

Quick: what do professional athletes, career politicians, cable news personalities, Hollywood actors, pop singers, and Wall Street Masters of the Universe all have in common?

They’re all susceptible to one of the most potent drugs in human history.

We’re talking a drug that has not only ruined lives, ruined marriages, and ruined careers, but also started wars and ruined whole civilizations. A drug that has verifiable denigrating effects not only on the addict, but also on the people around the addict. In fact it is the abuse of this drug that has led to other drugs being used and abused! It is, without a doubt, the ORIGINAL “gateway drug”!

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering with a drug that destructive why nothing has been done to deal with it. Why is it legal to have this drug and be under its influence more than any other drug? Why has nobody tried to regulate or even outlaw this drug despite its known dangerous effects on society? Why aren’t there any warning signs or public service announcements about its use?

Well the reason is simple: the drug in question is a part of the human experience. Quite simply, we’re all born with it.

The drug in question… is EGO.

We all have this drug called EGO inside of us. It is nurtured and developed to some extent as we get older. It’s often tempered with things like humility and, more importantly, reality.

The problem comes when the person in question is promoted to some place of prominence or importance. That’s when the enablers of this drug come out. These could be friends, family members, peers, underlings… people who essentially feed the subject’s ego, inflating it even higher than before. Through their enablers, the person is convinced that he or she can do no wrong. Everything they do is right, everything they touch is gold, and both the sun and the moon rise and set according to what they say and do.

There are whole industries that make their fortunes off this drug. Image consultants, public relations people, paparazzi stalkers, magazine publishers, speechwriters, even whole TV programs and cable television channels and Internet websites have been created for the sole purpose of glorifying these addicts, feeding their addiction, tracking their progress, and then watching as they inevitably fall, only to encourage them to start the whole cycle up again. And we’re not talking some sleazy fly-by-night operations run out of abandoned homes either! We’re talking reputable names! BIG names with multi-billion-dollar budgets and corporate sponsorship.

The enablers are the ones that whisper in the ears of these addicts that THEY are more important than the things they do. They tell the actress “You don’t have to be in a movie to be famous. You’re already famous. Just show up someplace and you’ll be a star.” They tell the pop star “You don’t have to sing or play an instrument anymore. Just dance around in provocative clothes and pretend to sing to songs that are pre-recorded and people will love you just the same.” They tell the career politician “You don’t have to worry about the constituents anymore. You DESERVE to be pampered and have your own jet to go places. You DESERVE an automatic pay raise while the rest of the country suffers. You DESERVE these things because you’re a winner! And winners get everything they want!”

The latest twist of the enablers is their ability to CREATE stars from people with no talent and just money. Are you a spoiled child of someone with money and time on your hands? They’ll MAKE you a celebrity! They’ll MAKE you a movie star or a pop singer or a model and the masses will love you just the same. Never mind talent and years of practice, these enablers will help BYPASS those stupid things! After all, that’s what “friends” are for right?

The enablers, of course, aren’t really the friends of their addicts. How can you be friends with a bumper crop? That’s like a farmer calling a field of corn his “friends”. But they’ll certainly PRETEND to be the “friends” of their addicts.

The problem comes, then, when the addicts overdose on themselves. Usually it’s because of some other kind of substance that they get addicted to along with their own ego. Then at least it can be explained. “Oh, she’s a coke-head” or “He’s just a drunk”. What happens when it CAN’T be written off as being drug or alcohol? What happens when they do something crazy like hide in a closet with a bunch of porn stars or shave their head and attack cars with umbrellas and they can’t link it to drugs or alcohol? That’s the conundrum.

You see, there are plenty of places for someone to go to supposedly “treat” an addiction. The enablers have even turned rehab into a cash-cow service with plenty of “experts” ready to treat those addicts at their own “exclusive” centers.

But again, those are usually for the OTHER kinds of addictions, i.e. drugs or alcohol. What about the drug called EGO? Where are the rehab centers for that drug?

Sadly, there’s no way you can “rehabilitate” someone overdosing on themselves. How can you “detox” from your own sense of self?

Let’s get brutally honest here… the real problem with the drug called EGO is not with the user, but with the enablers. It’s the industry that has made its fortune on the cult of personality that is truly to blame for those excesses and “breakdowns” that occur. They are the ones that make the pedestals that they then prop the addicts up on, raising that pedestal higher and higher until they inevitably fall.

Sure the addict has to ultimately account for his or her own actions, especially when the only drug they are on is the drug of self, but at the same time we should not ignore the role being played by the enablers. They are the ones that are whispering in the ears of their addicts “you’re special; you’re not like the other people. The rules don’t apply to people like you. You can do whatever you want to, and we’ll help you do it.”

We’ve all seen it in the world of entertainment, but these addicts and their enablers aren’t just limited to Hollywood.

We see this in sports. We see this with the college athlete that doesn’t have to learn anything in school as long as they continue to win, and with the professional athlete that thinks that dogs are good entertainment and he can have any woman he wants just because HE IS an athlete.

We see this in the world of finance. We see it with the self-professed “Masters of the Universe” who believe that they can make money out of nothing; and that all of those numbers on a spreadsheet can be manipulated into being anything they want them to be. Everything is for sale to them, because everything is just a figure on a spreadsheet. Hopes, dreams, jobs, homes, financial accounts, pension programs, businesses, whole communities are just numbers on a spreadsheet ready to be marketed and sold, passed around like so many baseball cards. And of course they can’t be held to account for their actions, can they? After all, it’s just numbers on a spreadsheet!

We see this in politics. We see it with career politicians that rile the masses up with lies and half-truths; that promise the moon and then give the masses the bill; that whine and wail about the so-called “immorality” and “lack of values” and accuse others of “turning away from God”, and all the while carrying on with their own affairs and illegal activities. They ruin lives on a whim, and they do so with their own custom platinum “Get out of Jail Free” card that they waive around like they were in an American Express commercial.

We see this with the media. We see this with news anchors that think that every word out their mouths is gold, and with media personalities on cable news channels and talk radio programs that profess to be the ONLY ones that know what is “true” and what is “right”.

We see this with religious leaders. We see this with the ministers and reverends that pompously believe that those masses in the pews are there FOR THEM, not for the deity they claim to represent.

Sadly, though, the enablers aren’t the only ones who feed this drug. The rest of us do as well. Not everyone can afford agents and consultants. But the local addict of self aren’t fed through them. They’re given the drug directly through their peers. Yes, WE take the place of the enablers on the local level. And WE continue to do it when we decide that the people we idolize SHOULD be treated better than ourselves.

Yes, be they hometown or Hollywood, the addicts of EGO are all around us. And there really is no way to treat them for their addiction, because as long as we continue to feed that ego, as long as we continue to do the bidding of the enablers and place the addicts above ourselves, there is no way we can deal with the problem of those afflicted by it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is why humility is a virtue.