There are no niggers; there are only black-skinned people whom some white-skinned people don't like and call "niggers." There are no Christ-killers; there are only Jews whom some Christians don't like and call "Christ-killers." Similarly, there are no addicts; there are only people who take some drugs which some other people think they should not take and who therefore call them "addicts." Thomas S. Szasz
Do you know who one of the worst enablers I've ever read about is? It was a woman named Ayn Rand. She helped kill Frank O'Connor. There is no benevolent sense of life when you're drunk. And there's no benevolence about watching your spouse waste away.
Clearly she financially enabled him- it wasn't like he had to stay on a career track or anything. The thing about it is that she chose to stay with him. That's the real question. It was like putting a horse out to pasture. It seemed like he was down to drinking and painting. That's depressing shit.
I like the paintings of his that I've seen, I guess that counts for something.
I don't think I really believe in "enabling" though. Most of the people I know that use heavily don't need much help with it. I don't buy the thing about not pointing out unacceptable social behavior being a shirking of responsibility. I think your responsibility is to cut the relationship if you've had enough of watching the person deteriorate.
Jamie, no one killed Frank O'Connor, certainly not Ayn Rand. I saw him as a vigorous man at the Ford Hall Forum in the early 1970s. The question of his being an alcoholic is an open one. I think you've got the kind of enabling Ayn Rand did backwards: She enabled thousands upon thousands if not millions to live happier, less guilty lives.
What about after he died, and they went into his studio and it had a very large amount of empties in it? I know what that kind of scene looks like, and it doesn't usually mean the person was having a lot of friends over for cocktail parties. I've never heard anything to the contrary about Frank O. being a heavy drinker. The thought of it always saddened me. From what I can tell he at the very least was very withdrawn for quite some time around the end.
I could see getting into hitting it pretty hard in those times and conditions. I notice this topic, along with what had to be a very odd marriage at the end remains virtually unbreached compared to, er, other things.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not getting tabloid and cheap, here. But I don't think I'm the only one who has ever looked at the fact that their marriage was very tragic, he was isolated for a good period. And with that, the fact that Ayn Rand essentially died in a very alone, sad kind of way. It's all a terrible thing.
OK, OK, I let my emotions get away from me. I apologize. But aside all the inspiring, life-cultivating things I learned from Rand (and the things for which I hold her in such high regard), I found the affair and her seeming disregard for her marriage to be the most contemptible. I would not be here posting if I didn't believe Rand and Objectivism changed not only my view of life, but my life.
As far as I know, there is one written account (discounting repetitions in tertiary sources such as your post) that claims O'Connor was an alcoholic, based on second-hand information from unnamed sources. There are several people who knew him who deny it.
Almost exactly the same could be said of Linz after the recent "Drooling Beast" post. You have to decide what you believe based on a reasonable evaluation of the evidence.
Whether or not Frank O'Conner was an alcoholic, or whether he and Rand should have stayed together, you can't deny her devotion, according to Barbara's book, when she tried to nurse him back from his brain deterioration.
Laj, you are onto something about various addictions, but they weren't being discussed because of the reason for the posting of the quote. To keep your topic in focus, maybe you might want to start a new thread on the topic?
There is a very good book on addictions in Brazil (I can't remember the author) called Doce Veneno (Sweet Poison), which covers various types of drug and alcohol addictions. It starts with TV soap operas, though.
The psychological component of addiction is very powerful. Ask the guys in Las Vegas who built empires out of gambling casinos.
Still, as I mentioned above, this is a complex subject. There is no one size fits all, except for two points.
1. The addict always gets fucked in the end and he/she hurts a lot of people on the way.
2. The only 100% known cure is abstinence from whatever is causing the addiction.
The rest varies all over the place. Objectivism especially needs a bit of work in this area to be of any real use to addicts.
"The psychological component of addiction is very powerful."
I agree fully with Michael's thoughts on addiction and just want to add how he helped me quit smoking a few months back with a single telephone conversation. We hadn't met yet but were talking on the phone daily. We talked about values and contradictions and he framed the whole addiction thing in a very objectivist way that completely took away the psychological need to smoke. I haven't had a cigarette since our conversation that day.
I realize that my situation was nothing like kicking crack cocaine but basically the bottom line is "check your premises" and that is how I kicked the habit.
*purr alert* Thank you Michael. This is only one of the many things that made me fall madly in love with you. You are my highest value. purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
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