Monday, December 12, 2005

control my life, please

In the South Park episode "Bloody Mary", the sensei lectures Stan's karate class about "serf-disciprine". His dad Randy then gets pulled over for drunk driving while giving the kids a ride home. His sentence includes attending AA meetings, where he is forced to engage in the twelve-step program. Step One is to admit that he has no control over his alcoholism, because it is a "disease".

Since he has no control, he confines himself to a wheelchair, continues to drink, and waits for the only possible cure, divine intervention. He is finally "cured" by visiting a statue of Mary that is miraculously shooting blood out of its ass. It is then revealed that the statue is not really miraculous (!) and that therefore Randy must have, albeit unwittingly, cured himself. Stan suggests to his dad that this is perhaps an indication that the cure for overcoming a personal weakness is to be found within oneself, by means of "serf-disciprine".

Funny, I have the same objection to AA. Step One: admit that you have a "disease", so are powerless and must rely on God to cure you.

My brother went to AA meetings for ten years till he drank himself to death at the age of 39. But, AA was and often is the only game in town. What about alternatives? How about Rational Recovery?

My mother went to a few Al-Anon meetings, for the relatives of alcoholics, but she did not gain comfort from listening to more of the travails of families with drunkards. She needed less, not more exposure to the problem--perhaps "Al-Anot"--meetings of people whose relatives were not alcoholics. If such people exist.

The closest I've come was attendance at satsangs or devotional meetings, for the followers of the Guru Maharaj Ji who was quite big in the 70s. Once at UMass on a lark, and again when I lived in Sydney. A neighbor, relatively sane for a cultist, was a devotee who, tired of my ridicule said that I shouldn't poke fun unless I saw for myself, which, after taking steps to assure that I would not be murdered and sacrificed to the guru, I did.

Devotees took turns rambling on with the familiar tale of redemption--how they were lost, helpless on their own (sound familiar?) until they found AA I mean the Maharaj Ji, and how he had changed their lives since.

Later back in the US my housemate's brother moved in with us, and satsanged about the Maharaj Ji over the phone for hours each night, because he couldn't reach the meetings because he didn't have a car because he couldn't afford one because he couldn't hold down a job because he was out of his fucking mind. He was also a rare male anorexic, who ate according to the dictates of Arnold Ehret's Mucusless Diet Healing System, until he died.

Alcohol, Maharaj Ji, Jesus, the Pope, the will of Allah, mucus avoidance...is there no end?

Relinquishing our self-determination to whatever "greater" power happens along during a time of weakness, is humanity's most compelling urge....

1 comment:

nickensr said...

If you’re anti-religion please substitute “higher power” for Hebrew National. higher power