I Dreamed of Coffee Last Night… Among Other Things

Source: mastibite.com

I dreamed of coffee last night… among other things.

Things like love and friends who I’d never ever reach again. And people who I’d never ever want to see again.

I dreamed of people who I know have never existed and never will and places which I’d give anything to go to.

All this was a product of a day without caffeine, or nicotine, or any other drug. Strangely. And a product of letting yourself loose and getting lost in uninterrupted sleep by quitting a day’s work completely and without any worries…

Though only to be interrupted by a call for work, not immediate though, 12 odd hours later.

I am amazed at the power of the sub-conscious. It is something where you’d want to live forever. It is also how you’d want to live forever.

I was revisiting Terry Gilliam‘s Brazil the other day and I could not help but notice how well it has captured (coffee) dreams. I know the film is a dystopian satire, but it maintains the sensitivity of the human fantasy very delicately with the stark contrast of the reality, the sum of which actually makes our reality. The real world, whatever it is.

I consider these couple of minutes, and the brilliant film itself, a great symbolic definition of humanity, or modern humanity, at least. Just like so many other art. While a lot of people may not want to see dream sequences and fantasy in film, which is fine by the way, I would give a lot of weight to them and consider them very important parts of the cinema.

Because they are very important parts of our lives.

Considering the importance of our sub-conscious in our lives, which makes it something like a refuge to turn to, away from the horrific and the not-so-horrific realities of our world. I think it is important to extend that refuge to cinema, and not necessarily to comfort ourselves, but to get disturbed even, for catharsis, and for… what the hell, just to get lost. As in, a drug.

Well I guess in the end, it is important to let art be and not to guide it with all kinds of moral and intellectual compasses.

But there is also no harm in expressing what you would want to see.

Oh yes, and I was out of coffee last night. But I made sure that I had ample supply today.

But I might try doing that all over again some other day.

Drugs Should Be Free

The highly specialized urban society in our world comes with a price. The price of stress and depression out of the lack of freedom that a person would like to have to control his or her life. It would actually be a little unfair to say that this disadvantage is exclusive to the highly specialized urban society, though I considered it important to mention, because such stress would also be experienced in a close-knit homogeneous society, perhaps in a different form. But it would be safe to say that both the kinds of societies offer their own challenges and disadvantages.

The stress and depression have the power to take away the will of living from individuals. While this statement may appear a little exaggerated, I have reasons to believe psychologists would find no hesitation to support it, as it is one of their most frequent observations anyway. This drives most people to find an instant psychological and neurochemical distraction to curb the feeling, which leads to the consumption of drugs. Strong or mild, dangerous or lethal, but some sort of drugs. This again depends on access, which would cause further stress in case of deprivation.

While you may have anticipated a left wing rant in the post from its title, it is not really the case. The vicious title to this post actually makes one point. Having access to the drug of choice, once initiated, should be a human right. But then again, there are economic factors behind access. But if that argument be accepted, then the same is true for food, clean drinking water and some other commodity that is considered indispensable to human life. A critic would assert that such an analogy would be flawed since those are basic necessities and a drug is not, but in most cases, drugs do become a necessity than a luxury, once initiated. The social imbalance and the human nature can be and are actually used as means to a form of slavery.

While some people on the left would not find this possibility perfectly harmonious to their views, drugs can easily make people dependent. No wonder why Karl Marx used the analogy of opium for religion. However, what needs to be understood here is that drugs are not just confined to chemicals that affect your consciousness. Every person can choose their own drug and adapt to it as per the availability constraints. The availability constraints can either be social or legal such as alcohol in a dry country, or even personal. But dwelling on that too much is immaterial to matter at hand.

Sex is not really a drug but does involve neurochemical and hormonal reactions in the body which actually involve pleasure, something that addicts seek in a drug. Pleasure brings relief from stress and depression and that is why some people become sex addicts, while others simply become obsessed with it. It is all pretty much understandable, though not socially acceptable. Most drugs are not socially acceptable too. Caffeine is, and perhaps nicotine, or may be it used to be, and alcohol, and maybe some other drugs depending on the particular society.

The idea that the access of drugs should be a human right and that they should be free is neither a demand nor an assertion, but a thought to be examined by the philosophers, the politicians, the moralists, the theologians, the humanitarians, the medical experts, the realists, the idealists and above all the policy makers of our world wherever they are. I don’t care which drug you consider, what drugs you allow, what drugs you take away. But I want the possibility to be considered. I know some drugs can kill people and I don’t think people should take such drugs. But if they do, they should be offered help, and demanding money from them is not really helping them.

In one way or another, every drug works like a slow poison. But so does oxygen. And besides, no one ever gave a second thought to the health threat that drugs pose when they started consuming them. But maybe some of them do. I am not arguing here about how risky or safe drugs are. We all know the medical and scientific facts about them and you can ask any physician or a psychologist about any drug you want and you will get a good deal of information about what a drug can do to your mind and body. Please read this post with an understanding that all the risks of drugs are understood while we consider the idea that drugs should be free and that their access should be considered a human right.

Once you start considering the matter just like you consider things like food, water, healthcare and education as the rights of every individual and that they should have free access to them, regardless of their nationality, race, religion or any other attribute that can be attached with a prejudice. It sounds like a socialist dream but it is a thought worth considering and exploring. If only, to be rejected. We reject the ideas of food for all and healthcare for all and education for all anyway. It would not be something unusual if we reject this idea as well. By the way, if you anticipated the post to be talking about free drugs, as in free medicine for all, I would be really delighted as I really support that idea even strongly.

But why do people need this neurochemical distraction in the first place? This brings us to the point from where we started. To fight stress and depression, but most of all, to extract pleasure. While there are a number of things which people can find pleasure in, drugs seem to be an option that does not involve other people, does not involve intruding into the lives of other people and involves changing their state of mind in a way that they cannot be achieved in any other way. Not implying that drugs should be recommended for these reasons. Just saying that people are more likely to use drugs than go for anything else which may appear any saner to any other person for these reasons.

So what do we establish. Should drugs be free?

Or maybe, Pleasure should be free.