Saturday, 26 February 2011
Why do we get drunk? For the intoxication? Or the aftermath? Because the experience of intoxication itself, whilst pleasurable (I guess: I mean—yes?), is fundamentally banal. Whereas the experience of hangover, of post-drunken-excess guilt, has about it something more profound. It is by-and-large physically and psychologically disagreeable of course; but it carries within that temporary discomfort a mustard-seed of existential resonance. It says: I survived, which is to say: I can survive. I poisoned myself, but I have physically survived the trauma. I humiliated myself in public, but I have psychologically survived the shame. It’s addictive, that sense of survivability. No wonder we have a problem, as a society.