Days of Wine and Roses

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Bruce Deile

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#1
Apr 18, 2013
 
Just listened again and hadn't realized how well the Wes Montgomery 'Days of Wine and Roses' conveys the mood of the film. The film's Wiki page explains some feel the film was not as dramatic as the television version, but I've only seen the film so don't know. But very much enjoyed the film. Mentioned on another thread it also shows some of the helpfulness that's experienced relating to AA. Although I've been focusing on constructive criticism of AA of late, there is much I agree with and have been helped by. But hopefully this constructive criticism is helpful to others as well in trying to understand things in a better way overall.

There was a man at Whole Foods Market on Speedway today with a sign and flyers warning people against AA. I'm not warning against it so much as questioning its teachings after over 26 years of involvement in it, and I'm also objecting to it being court ordered. There is a site online explaining Australia no longer court orders people to AA as they realized how counterproductive that can actually be. Maybe will come across that again because it would be good to provide a link to it.
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

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#2
Apr 19, 2013
 
There is much good about AA, and recall being a member of the "After Five" Group in Seattle which consisted mostly of African-Americans (I'm Caucasian) in 1990 or so. There were alot of people there that would share very honestly, and it just seemed so much better than the majority of AA meetings I was accustomed to.

Remembering that, and how helpful it seemed to be at times, and also times of experiencing genuine helpfulness in AA meetings elsewhere, makes it difficult to warn *against* AA.

However, warning, or questioning of AA's teachings has to be considered a necessary thing to do. I have seen people abused and humiliated too many times in AA, and I too have been abused and humiliated. There is definitely something wrong and it needs to be addressed. If AA needs a thorough "house cleaning", then it needs a thorough house cleaning.

Until then, I'm simply concluding for the most part it is AA's teachings (absolutism specifically) that is allowing for the abuse (thereby love and tolerance being the code of AA isn't valued), and that AA is being controlled by abusive people.

The details of that I'm unsure, but guessing perhaps that, even though (and as) AA is religious, AA is being controlled by Social Darwinists and Pharisees burning incense to Ayn Rand and Herbert Spencer (the latter of whom is quoted in AA's Big Book--Spencer was the father of Darwinism and believer in eugenics; that it is universal law that poor people should be allowed to die off instead of receive charity). Or perhaps something akin to Dostoevsky's 'Grand Inquisitor'('The Brother's Karamnazov')--a leader of an inquisition who is actually atheist. In short, AA is being controlled by fascists and it's causing tremendous harm for many.

It may be divisive to put it that way, but those controlling AA have economic/gov't power behind them and that would indicate something along the lines of the above.
Bruce Deile

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#3
Apr 19, 2013
 
On second thought, it may be too divisive to try and name the abusers in AA. But it's hatred coming from somewhere, and it's difficult not to try and figure out where, and what they are motivated by.
Bruce Deile

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#4
Apr 19, 2013
 
Noam Chomsky says it far better (near the end of Chapter One of 'Democracy and the Media' when he cites Dostoevsky's 'Brother's Karamazov' and its Grand Inquisitor):

..."At its root, the logic is that of the Grand Inquisitor, who bitterly assailed Christ for offering people freedom and thus condemning them to misery. The Church must correct the evil work of Christ by offering the miserable mass of humanity the gift they most desire and need: absolute submission. It must "vanquish freedom" so as "to make men happy" and provide the total "community of worship" that they avidly seek. In the modern secular age, this means worship of the state religion, which in the Western democracies incorporates the doctrine of submission to the masters of the system of public subsidy, private profit, called free enterprise. The people must be kept in ignorance, reduced to jingoist incantations, for their own good. And like the Grand Inquisitor, who employs the forces of miracle, mystery, and authority "to conquer and hold captive for ever the conscience of these impotent rebels for their happiness" and to deny them the freedom of choice they so fear and despise, so the "cool observers" must create the "necessary illusions" and "emotionally potent oversimplifications" that keep the ignorant and stupid masses disciplined and content.44
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

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#5
Apr 19, 2013
 
When Chomsky refers to "cool observers", "necessary illusions", and "emotionally potent oversimplifications" here he is no longer citing Dostoevsky but Reinhold Niebuhr in a paragraph above this one.
Bruce Deile

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#6
Apr 19, 2013
 
Meanwhile, marijuana is pushed to keep the masses sedated.
Bruce Deile

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#7
Apr 19, 2013
 
YouTube:

"White Rabbit George Benson"

video by metamousikis
Bruce Deile

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#8
Apr 19, 2013
 
You can hear Benson playing throughout the tumult nearing the end of the song. Somehow the CD I have of White Rabbit isn't clear enough to hear him playing then.
Bruce Deile

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#9
Apr 19, 2013
 
One other thought...pardon my being race specific here in above posts. But it's in an attempt at gaining objectivity, as in maybe a view from a different cultural group would provide insight. It may have, attending the 'After Five Group' in Seattle back then, but unable to articulate very well how today.
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

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#10
Apr 20, 2013
 
USA Today; 4/19/2013 reported a man in Farmington, NM was arrested facing his 7th drunk driving charge. He "missed a parking lot entrance, sideswiped a patrol car and then drove away on the wrong side of the road 'in excess of 100 miles per hour'".

The reason why he continued to drive drink? The consequences weren't severe enough to warrant his attention, and it was much more convenient to drive drunk than pay money, money that he'd rather spend on more alcohol and perhaps drugs, than for a cab. Just guessing.
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

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#11
Apr 20, 2013
 
While I agree with much of Noam Chomsky, his argument here, as helpful as it is in understanding the neglect of U.S. homeless, simultaneously contradicts arguing for regulation/taxation of marijuana (which unsure if he advocates that--but he does argue against criminalization of marijuana--I need to read more of his thoughts to have a better understanding of his ideas regarding that):

From Noam Chomsky 'Understanding Power'; Chapter 10; footnote 28:

"...comparison of the impact of social spending on poverty rates reveals a vast difference between the U.S. and other industrialized nations. See for example, Lawrence Mishel, Jared Bernstein and John Schmitt, The State of Working America, 1998-1999, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999, pp. 375-379 (the U.S. tax and transfer system creates a 28.5 percent reduction in the poverty rate, whereas the tax and transfer systems in all other industrialized countries decrease poverty rates by between 60 and 80 percent, the only exceptions being Britain, Australia and Canada, whose tax and transfer programs still reduce poverty rates by approximately 50 percent). See also footnote 2 of this chapter."

Meaning, an abysmal tax/transfer system cannot justifiably proceed to say we need more tax money by marketing/selling as a capitalist commodity a drug (marijuana) known to cause schizophrenia, etc.
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

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#12
Apr 20, 2013
 
From 1958 Mike Wallace/Reinhold Niebuhr interview (it comes up in full easily enough online--very good reading):

WALLACE: Dr. Niebuhr, the first question I'd like to put to you is perhaps a very obvious one, but I would like a kind of a capsulized answer, if I may. We hear about the necessity for a separation between church and state. If religion is good, why should our society be based upon a separation between the church and the state?

NIEBUHR: Your "if" is a very big one -- if religion is good, it may be very good and it may be bad.....

That's the specific quote I referred to at City Council meeting. Niebuhr goes on with more in that answer....
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

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#13
Apr 20, 2013
 
Just read the rest of that Wallace/Neibuhr interview, and although Chomsky maligns Niebuhr at the end of Chapter 1 of 'Democracy and the Media', Niebuhr's points here appear to disprove that.

Also...Wallace concludes:

"....Dr. Niebuhr would seem to be saying that if a nation would survive and remain free, its citizens must use religion as a source of self-criticism, not as a source of self-righteousness."

That may be what I am saying about AA right now. That it needs to look at itself and its teachings instead of regarding it infallible (and insisting that others do the same or else be imprisoned).
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

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#14
Apr 20, 2013
 
Here's where (in the 1958 interview) Niebuhr disproves Chomsky's more recent points:

Wallace:....But all of us want - are searching for - answers to these questions. What is our way out? You have said when I say our way out, what is our solution? You have said that not only can't religion solve our problems, you have said our reason can't, our intelligence can't, science can't...Why can't they, and what can?

NIEBUHR: Well, that brings us to the ultimate question, about the Biblical and the Christian and the Jewish interpretation of the meaning of human existence. When I say these can't, I won't say that they don't contribute; that you don't have to have a lot of science, a lot of rational approach to the problems of life. The more complex the world situation becomes, the more scientific and rational analysis you have to have, the less you can do with simple good will and sentiment.

NIEBUHR: Nonetheless, the human situation is so, and this is why I think that the Christian faith is right as against simple forms of secularism. That it believes that there is in man a radical freedom, and this freedom is creative but it is also destructive. And there's nothing that prevents this from being both creative and destructive. That's why history is not an answer to our problem, because history complicates, enlarges every problem of human existence. Now, the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries didn't believe this.
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

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#15
Apr 20, 2013
 
In part, at least. It's more complex than that, but I tend to see Niebuhr's side more so than Chomsky right now.
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

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#16
Apr 21, 2013
 
I'm still considering all this (about AA). Granted, as mentioned above, AA is helpful in many ways. But the constructive criticism is not only regarding AA's emphasis on absolutism and the false guilt thereby induced. There are other things that have really caught my attention once turning the corner and no longer accepting everything about AA as golden.

One very important teaching I no longer see eye to eye on was gone into on another thread here weeks ago. But very quickly, another one just occurred to me. In early sobriety recall an oldtimer stated AA is not at all coercive, that "there are no musts in AA". Another AA member (his name was Eric) responded to that by telling me after a meeting that he went and looked at the Big Book after hearing that and counted the "musts" in it. If recalling correctly, Eric said he counted over 130 "musts" in the Big Book alone.

That is very, very important. Because, as the How It Works, on recent closer scrutiny produced 'Dysfunction Junction....', places so much pressure on the alcoholic, this means How It Works is not the only teaching of AA pressuring or coercing the alcoholic. Which as so many know, can instead raise the ire of the alcoholic, or incur rebellion, as so many of us alcoholics are immature. "Don't you tell me!"; that sort of reaction. So I think there may be even more about AA that is producing the opposite effect, and in very important ways effecting a persons spiritual path. Similar to religious people arousing ire when saying "Come to Jesus! Jesus loves you! He wants you to accept Him!"--that sort of thing where they are on a higher pedestal than you--closer to God and are urging you to do what they say in order to, well, be like them--purportedly closer to God.
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

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#17
Apr 23, 2013
 
Love this one--it keeps bringing to mind a girl I knew in junior high school in Anchorage, Alaska (1978). Her name was Theresa Combs and her eyes used to sparkle when she smiled just like Marcella Bella's do here:

Marcella Bella Montagne Verdi (SanRemo 1972) Video & Audio Restaurati HD

video by flaniman2
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

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#18
Apr 23, 2013
 
Just found another good one by Marcella Bella--the song is not quite as good as Montagne Verdi, but Marcella Bella is very enjoyable here, kinda funny (and Theresa Combs looked alot like her):

Marcella Bella Sole Che Nasce Sole Che Muore (Senza Rete 72) Video & Audio Restored

video by flaniman2
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

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#19
Apr 23, 2013
 
Yeah, just viewed it a secon and third time--super video. Marcella Bella's a trip. Funny. Bell bottoms and platform shoes. Cutting edge for 1972 I think.
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

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#20
Apr 24, 2013
 
Spoke at Tucson City Council again last night. Able to clarify my saying marijauna makes people crazy (at last City Council meeting) may have come across as hyperbole since it does not make all people crazy, but mentioned it most certainly does cause mental illness in alot of people. Then described some of the mental illness I experienced from it as a teenager, specifically what's called nowadays Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), etc. That the dots are not connected back to the marijuana since one has already been convinced marijuana is harmless. Etc.

Hope it may have helped sharing all that. There is so much pro-marijuana propaganda that as poor of a speaker as I am, at least something is getting out there to counter the propaganda.

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