Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The passage about Ennet House certainly was intense. It is rather amazing how disturbed these people are- beyond just their addictions- and it makes me wonder whether they are being helped at all be being treated there. They are not at all taking responsibility for themselves, and they are certainly not starting to live "normal lives" without drug addiction, so I have to wonder if any successes they had there would be sustainable in the normal world. Really, the way that they interact there represents the substitution of collective mental illness for individual mental illness, and I think that that is characteristic of their society as a whole. The law requiring people to switch which side of the street they are parked on at midnight comes to mind- in order to make money, the state has arbitrarily made the decision to impose this absurd burden on its peoples lives, a choice that is virtually as insane as it would have been had there been absolutely no reason. And yet it strikes me as rather realistic. I think that that is David Foster Wallace's message here- that American society may be degenerating to the point of this kind of insanity, or that it has the potential to do so. Within the context of that insanity, I think that freedom becomes nonexistent- first because even a liberal state that largely respects fundamental rights could pettily strike at any aspect of people's lives if it were this irrational, and second because when living in such a society would present oneself with only such abnormal choices for human interaction that, even if you could make the choices in your life freely, you wouldn't be free to make a choice to live a non-destructive life because there was no such way to live in your society. This is something that we should watch for.


Post a Comment

<< Home