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  #31  
Old 06-23-2017, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
The experiencing of bad consequences is just the luck of the draw. It has nothing to do with the life itself. One may draw cause and effect after the fact but that's just post analysis. Some win, some don't. It's kinda poetic really.
Okay, you're really piling on the baloney tonight.

Some people can moderate to a degree and avoid the worst consequences or learn from their mistakes.

Other people cross the line into addiction and their lives go to shit.

Of course, you could call that the "luck of the draw" if you want to -- but it has everything to do with "life itself."

WTF?

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  #32  
Old 06-23-2017, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post

So like what in wisdom in particular do they impart that you couldn't figure out for yourself?


Oh man... lots of different things. Most of them are specialists. Artists or craftsmen or musicians. Guys who for whatever reason can't blend into the mainstream and are often in conflict with it but still do their thing and can teach it. My construction Super is one of those guys. It might not mean much to someone not in the trades but he taught me to picture a building in three dimensions and shows me useful techniques and tricks to make it easier all the time. He's a genius but he's also a fuck-up at a lot of life. That said... he always comes to work. He always finishes a job on time, and despite his self-fuckery he loves and supports his kids. That teaches me a lot. Sure, one day he may go back to jail for an extended stay and the ride will be over. Luck of the draw or cause and effect?

There are tons of everyday people marginalized by society that are self destructive and yet have a lot to offer while they aren't locked-up or dead.
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  #33  
Old 06-23-2017, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Okay, you're really piling on the baloney tonight.

Some people can moderate to a degree and avoid the worst consequences or learn from their mistakes.

Other people cross the line into addiction and their lives go to shit.

Of course, you could call that the "luck of the draw" if you want to -- but it has everything to do with "life itself."

WTF?


Some people don't moderate or learn from their mistakes and are addicts but make it through anyway. And offer a lot in the process.
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  #34  
Old 06-23-2017, 07:08 PM
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Oh, of course, we can learn from talented and skilled artists, craftsmen and musicians.

It may even be possible that those particular people have learned something from their drug and alcohol and applied it to their craft.

Who knows? Does it make them more special than any other talented person who manages to keep their shit together?

I kind of doubt it.
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  #35  
Old 06-23-2017, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Oh, of course, we can learn from talented and skilled artists, craftsmen and musicians.

It may even be possible that those particular people have learned something from their drug and alcohol and applied it to their craft.

Who knows? Does it make them more special than any other talented person who manages to keep their shit together?

I kind of doubt it.


No, it doesn't make them any more or any less special. They are just part of the mix.
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  #36  
Old 06-23-2017, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
Some people don't moderate or learn from their mistakes and are addicts but make it through anyway. And offer a lot in the process.
If you say so.

From my experience, the vast majority of addicts have a very finite period of productivity and functionality. And that's at a pretty low level.

Otherwise, people who are tragically or even marginally off the rails sometimes have the veneer of world weary wisdom -- but it it's just that -- a veneer. Who knows what they could offer if they weren't fucked up?

And no, I'm not talking about Bukowski or Hemingway...

Last edited by Myers; 06-23-2017 at 07:25 PM..
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  #37  
Old 06-23-2017, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
No, it doesn't make them any more or any less special. They are just part of the mix.
Then so what? Everyone is part of the mix.
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  #38  
Old 06-23-2017, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
If you say so.

From my experience, the vast majority of addicts have a very finite period of productivity and functionality. And that's at a pretty low level.

Otherwise, people who are tragically or even marginally off the rails sometimes have the veneer of world weary wisdom -- but it it's just that -- a veneer. Who knows what they could offer if they weren't fucked up?

And no, I'm not talking about Bukowski or Hemingway...


A few of my fucked-up friends couldn't offer anything if they were completely sober. Oh yeah, maybe if they sobered up, managed to find enough money or resources to get proper psychiatric care, and could put up with the placating bullshit that went along with it. You know, suffer most of the idiots who call themselves 'professionals.' I don't know how it is where you live, but here in the burbs of Phoenix it's almost impossible to find even marginally good mental healthcare. And I'm not exaggerating. Stupid fucking Christian counselors who think if you would only accept Jebus into your heart everything would work out. Again, not exaggerating.

So they live on the margins. They aren't Bukowski or Hemingway, but they have skills that allow them to make a living, and they're smart enough to pull it off. Well, sometimes.
Yeah, some of them have died, some sent to jail, but most of them soldier on. Or maybe not most, but a 50/50 split.
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  #39  
Old 06-23-2017, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Then so what? Everyone is part of the mix.


Everyone is part of the mix but not all parts of the mix contribute equally. The majority of people are useless idiots. No, I really think that. 100 IQ sheep. The bell curve. Mainstream nobody's.

I'm attracted to the fringes. I know why and I probably don't have to tell you. I could write a story about it but probably couldn't write an essay that would capture it. So... I write stories about it.
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  #40  
Old 06-23-2017, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
A few of my fucked-up friends couldn't offer anything if they were completely sober. Oh yeah, maybe if they sobered up, managed to find enough money or resources to get proper psychiatric care, and could put up with the placating bullshit that went along with it. You know, suffer most of the idiots who call themselves 'professionals.' I don't know how it is where you live, but here in the burbs of Phoenix it's almost impossible to find even marginally good mental healthcare. And I'm not exaggerating. Stupid fucking Christian counselors who think if you would only accept Jebus into your heart everything would work out. Again, not exaggerating.

So they live on the margins. They aren't Bukowski or Hemingway, but they have skills that allow them to make a living, and they're smart enough to pull it off. Well, sometimes.
Yeah, some of them have died, some sent to jail, but most of them soldier on. Or maybe not most, but a 50/50 split.
So we're talking about mental illness now?

Of course, some people are mentally ill in addition to being addicts and alcoholics. But most aren't -- once you take away the drugs and booze.

And aside from detoxing, most addicts and alcoholics don't really need professional care to get clean and sober.

And yeah -- addicts and alcoholics can survive on the margins. They can be functional to a degree. They work out a system of sorts to get by day to day. I don't know how much of it has to do with being "smart."

Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
Everyone is part of the mix but not all parts of the mix contribute equally. The majority of people are useless idiots. No, I really think that. 100 IQ sheep. The bell curve. Mainstream nobody's.
Right. Well, I wasn't really talking about the majority or useful idiots in general -- just the notion that there's anything special about people who drink and use.

If they have anything to offer, it's usually despite their addictions, not because of them. I'm betting your super could have imparted his wisdom to you regardless of whether or not he was drunk or sober.

Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
I'm attracted to the fringes. I know why and I probably don't have to tell you. I could write a story about it but probably couldn't write an essay that would capture it. So... I write stories about it.
I'm attracted to the fringes too -- but don't have to be on or around them to write about it. Been there, done that, as they say.

Of course, a lot of brilliant writers were alcoholics, it probably fueled their genius to some degree or they believed it did. And there's no such thing as Bukowski without booze.

By some accounts, and going by his notes, Fitzgerald probably didn't write drunk, so maybe he would have gone on longer or been more productive if hadn't been a drunk. But who really knows?

Otherwise, I don't romanticize any of it. A lot of writers do, especially amateur writers who think drinking is some necessary ingredient of success. It may be for some, but I'll go out on limb and say for most it's just part of the fantasy.
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  #41  
Old 06-24-2017, 07:48 AM
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I suppose I'm talking about mental illness in some cases, but there is clinical mental illness where something rises to the level of diagnosable and there is a whole range of relatively mild but persistent problems in the areas of ADHD, Aspergers, OCD, anxiety, spectrum disorders, gifted people with learning disabilities, and so on. A lot of these people end up in the trades. They can't really go to college for whatever reason, or they won't, but they need a job that pays good so they can afford the child support😀

So a lot of my friends are these kinds of people. When I have a BBQ these are the people that show up.

It does often have to do with intelligence. The smart ones can navigate the many pitfalls and skate by, often by the skin of their ass. There are gifted people with these 'disorders' and there are people of average or sub-average intelligence that will not make it, not be able to avoid the pitfalls.

Still, there are others who fell into addiction for whatever reason, and found a system or way to get back out.

I've known my construction Super for 20 years. I've known him sober, and he is a mess. Chronically depressed with debilitating anxiety and OCD. Clinically, I don't know what he has but it's something. I mean, he's not drinking or smoking weed on the job, but at beer-thirty it's time to go home and de-stress. And on the weekends, who knows. But if I call him on a Saturday night with questions about some plans he's seen he can tell meódrunk, high, or soberódetails about measurements, drops, pulls, or take-offs. And I don't mean to use this one friend as my only example but he's a good example. There are others, myself included. I guess you'd call it self-medicating maybe.
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  #42  
Old 06-24-2017, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
It does often have to do with intelligence. The smart ones can navigate the many pitfalls and skate by, often by the skin of their ass.
I can relate to that. I was a very high functioning heavy user at one point. I did navigate the pitfalls -- and that often meant scamming some system or manipulation people. It does take a kind of intelligence, but I suppose I never thought of it in just that way.

I am also jaded about the whole idea of self medicating. I know that some people try, whether they're aware of it or not -- and it probably works on some level for some people, at least for a time -- and for a few, maybe indefinitely.

There are also plenty of people who try and mitigate and rationalize their using by claiming they are or were self-medicating. But if they get clean, it often turns out that what they thought or claimed were disorders were simply the result of self-inflicted chaos and dysfunction.

Or the disorders were exacerbated by circumstances created by drug and/or alcohol use -- and they are able to function just fine once they get clean and get their shit together -- or maybe they need a little medication. I'm working with a guy right now who actually had a service dog, which he now miraculously doesn't need now that he's clean. Basically, it was a prop.

It's like I wish I had a dollar for everyone who claims they got hooked on opioids because of an injury or surgery etc. Of course that happens, but if you do a little digging you often find out it started as a recreational thing.

I have an understanding and compassion for addicts or just people who use to the point where it's detrimental, even if they don't see it.

But I don't have a lot of patience for them until they make the decision to turn things around. I just see things differently now. The drama and chaos and behavior just annoys the shit out of me.

And a lot times, depending on the crowd, I'm the first to leave the party -- once people start acting silly and getting obnoxious. So yeah -- I basically have little use for anyone who is under the influence to the point where it's visibly affecting their behavior. Call me a stick in the mud.

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  #43  
Old 06-24-2017, 11:37 AM
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Stick in the mud.😀

Naw, I see where you're coming from. I have a couple friends who are straight-edge from the old punk days and they'd double down on the things you're talking about.

The guys I'm talking about aren't aware that they're self-medicating. Those are just my personal observations. They think they're 'partying hard' or blowing off steam but if one is a keen observer the underlying shit is obvious. And oh yeah some get in trouble, there's always some drama. You know, Bill's ex gave Tommy's son a blow job in the bathroom at a party and the kids only 17 type stuff, or Mikey crashed his truck at the lake this weekend because he was too drunk and barely got out of there before the cops showed up. That kinda stuff.

Most of my friends have adult children now and many of them have fallen not far from the treeósame gene pool. But some have broken the chain and gone on to better things.

As a writer I'm comfortable in this group. They are always entertaining and many of them look like hillbillies but are smart as shit. There is also honor among thieves. Anybody crossing that line gets put out. My good friend Mark, an amazing guitarist, smokes pot every day, but he would kick his sons ass if he ever caught him smoking anything. It's a self policing lower middle class lifestyle. Even though many of the guys make very good money.

My wife is OG royalty in this group and I was welcomed in because of that. I just watch and learn and sometimes help out when it's needed. Oh, and I write.
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  #44  
Old 06-24-2017, 12:40 PM
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just gonna drop in and say that I have now vigiled my own poop and with my hands carried my vomit to the toilet.
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Old 06-24-2017, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by bluewpc View Post
just gonna drop in and say that I have now vigiled my own poop and with my hands carried my vomit to the toilet.


That's what you get when you travel in Russia
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Old 06-25-2017, 12:02 AM
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Well Georgia at this point, I don't think Ill ever go to Russia. And live at least.
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  #47  
Old 06-25-2017, 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
The guys I'm talking about aren't aware that they're self-medicating. Those are just my personal observations. They think they're 'partying hard' or blowing off steam but if one is a keen observer the underlying shit is obvious.
It's interesting -- because I actually do know a lot of people like this or who were like this -- but they're in recovery. They just crossed a line or hit a wall at some point.

But a lot of them are all or nothing people, or people who go from one extreme to the other. So instead of partying and using, it's all recovery all the time. Their social lives revolve around the 12 step programs. But at the core, they are the same, still living on the fringes, holding the same types of jobs in the trades, landscaping etc. A lot of the same look and attitudes -- but with a different focus.

All pretty smart, good people, and I like to hang out with them to a point. But to me, recovery also means I can be part of a larger community and social scene beyond the 12 step community -- or even having a conversation that doesn't makes its way back to recovery. If it works for them -- fine. But I have my limits.

Last edited by Myers; 06-25-2017 at 04:16 AM..
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  #48  
Old 06-25-2017, 05:48 AM
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And look, bluewpc, I'm sorry if it looks like I totally crapped on your O.P.

There's some good stuff in there and things to consider. I just have this aversion to general advice -- a side of effect of hanging around places like this.

It's not always that the advice is bad or cliche -- it's more that people are often looking for some kind formula or an end run around the process of sitting down and working through it -- or the inevitable process of trial and error that leads to good writing.

Now that doesn't really include things that will expand your horizons in general and enrich your experience in ways that can make you a better writer -- I think that's what you are getting at and that's fine.

Otherwise, based on my observation and experience, there aren't any shortcuts or magic bullets -- and when people ask for advice, I think that's often what they want.

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  #49  
Old 06-25-2017, 10:31 AM
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@myers Gods in his heaven; Alls right in the world

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  #50  
Old 06-25-2017, 12:08 PM
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I can buy the latter at least.
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  #51  
Old 06-25-2017, 12:35 PM
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The first parts okay too as long as the bastard stays up there and leaves us alone.
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  #52  
Old 06-25-2017, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
The first parts okay too as long as the bastard stays up there and leaves us alone.


But Joel Osteen says if I buy his book, God's gonna get me a new car.


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  #53  
Old 06-25-2017, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
But Joel Osteen says if I buy his book, God's gonna get me a new car.


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Don't get me started on Joel... too bad Andy Kaufman is dead. I'd love to watch those two wrestle.
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Old 06-25-2017, 03:05 PM
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Naw, I'd love to punch his face myself.


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  #55  
Old 06-25-2017, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Naw, I'd love to punch his face myself.


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He's one of the few people on the planet I would like to punch in the face too.
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