Monthly Archives: June 2015

Nurse Jackie: Addiction Fucking Sucks

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When the series finale of Nurse Jackie ended and the credits began to roll, I was kinda like, “Ummm…so, THAT’S it?!” My feelings were mixed and I felt dissatisfied. After a few minutes passed and I really started to think about it, I soon realized that it was actually quite perfect.

While the writers brought to us: colorful characters (Zoe was by far my favorite), tragically hilarious storylines and sarcastic one-liners – the show was about addiction.  There was no real beginning and therefore, no real ending was called for. They wrote, for us, merely a glimpse into the life of one woman and her illness.

We are spoiled, as viewers. We like to have everything spelled out for us and then wrapped up into a box of closure topped with a bow. We want that big shoot out or that island wedding or some cataclysmic lesson. When everything doesn’t fit back into the packaging at the end, we are frustrated. “Fuck that! What happened?!” Well, folks, life happened. And I guess we just have to accept that the end wasn’t part of the story.

The tale here was simple: addiction fucking sucks. And addicts just aren’t who we once pictured them to be. They don’t come with flags and badges. And no one is immune. Addicts are smart, creative, funny, successful, kind, compassionate – they bear the most wonderful human qualities. They are loved and respected. They live their lives like everyone else – until, they can’t.

Jackie was very good at what she did – a skillful and polished addict. Her lying was survival. Her manipulation – masterful. And Eddie was as textbook co-dependant as one could be. Where there is a Jackie – there is almost always an Eddie. “You are my everything,” he said. They almost welcome the torment – they feed off of it. At least, for a while. Then there are also Zoes – who will worry and tend and clean up until they are strong enough to finally break away. They still carry their love, only it is more and more carefully protected as time goes on.

I cannot count the addicts I have known and even loved. I cannot measure the impact of each blow by their actions. But I am grateful that I have been able to avoid being a Jackie, so far. And for the most part, I have not stood in Eddie’s shoes. I have, however, been a Zoe. I have also been various co-stars and extras standing in the background attempting to duck from the impending shrapnel.

I have my issues, that is for sure.  This bouquet of neurosis has sheltered me from personally developing the disease a number of times in my life – and for that I am thankful. Having had a father, step father, grandparents, uncles, cousins and friends who battle with addiction – I know just how easily it could come for me. My father died at 46. My stepfather has been sober for decades. Others I have known and loved have all lived (or are living) their own story – each with different outcomes.

Dependency is a tightrope and each acrobat comes with their own finite set of chances. Sometimes there is a net on which to fall but eventually that net will fray and become unreliable. Either way, the exact conclusion can never truly be predicted.

How does it end for Jackie? What happens after they run to her as she lies half-conscious on the floor? It doesn’t really matter. We have many options from which to choose if we wish to fill in our own blanks. Perhaps we can insert our own experiences. Or maybe we can just be okay with knowing that the story wasn’t about how it ends – but rather the tenacious grip dependency can wield.

We know what we need to know – that Jackie was enslaved by an illness – like so many we see, know and love. That this illness can creep on suddenly or take decades to evolve. That some people do gain their freedom – to a certain extent. And that many end their stories dreadfully. But most of all, we know that addiction fucking sucks.

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A Different Kind of Freak Flag

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“Getting rid of a flag isn’t going to end racism.”

“A piece of cloth didn’t oppress people.”

“This is just a band-aid on a bigger wound.”

Well, no fucking shit. Thanks for the brilliant insight. Perhaps now you can explain to me how gravity works.

No, taking down the confederate flag will not end the institutional and deep seeded racism that is brewing like a smelly cauldron throughout our country. But ya know what? Leaving it up sure won’t help things, will it? Flying a flag – that for most, represents oppression, hate and slavery – condones the negativity it represents.

You want to get all historical on my ass and expound upon the flag’s origin and true meaning? You want to tell me that taking it away disrespects some kind of glorified narrative of the good ole days? Guess what? I don’t give a shit because I live in the here and now. Reflecting on the past is good for little more than learning from it’s mistakes – not celebrating those mistakes with some hooch and a cheek full of tobacco. I know the origins and it changes nothing about how I feel in regards to the flag. And quite frankly, I am surprised anyone would think that it would.

Also, if the removal of the flag is so insignificant to progress, why bother stomping feet over it? If you are THAT concerned about this being a “distraction” or a “band-aid” then I sure hope you are out there doing something that will make our society a better place. Because even though this may be a simplistic baby step in the forward direction, at least it is something. If you are poo-pooing the merit of such action – you better be creating some action of your own. Otherwise – shuttie.

I highly doubt there are tons of people who think that taking down this racist rag fixes any real problem. But if there are, please let me smack them upside their empty heads. If ANYONE thinks that this actually fixes the issue – then they truly have no idea the depths of racism that are oozing from every corner of society. This is a step. A little, baby, tiny, seemingly obvious step that should have been made many decades ago. We have a lot of catching up to do because the fact that this is even a thing – is embarrassing as fuck.

And for those of you who think waving this flag means you are a patriot…you are just a total moron. This flag AT BEST represents those who wanted to sussed from your beloved ‘Murica in order to continue to own slaves – feeding their economic growth with their field labor. Freeing slaves meant less profit. And they were all like – “Fuck that…let’s get us a new country with this here new flag.” Yea. Patriotic like a sonabitch.

In the years (50s-60s) to follow, it was adopted by many to show their opposition to equal rights and integration. And it soon became a symbol of the KKK. In recent years, I guess it was just a passive aggressive way to let others know just how proud one was to be the lighter version of American. Of course, some people just didn’t know better and wanted to pretend they were Luke Duke or some shit. But this whole thing about historical pride and patriotism – give me a damn break because that is some scripted ass bullshit.

Listen, no one is taking your flags – so, put the shotgun down, Cletus, and call off your dog. Keep your flag. It lets the rest of us know which neighbors we’d rather not talk to. The issue here is having such a gross symbol flying above government buildings. That’s it. If this brings to light the offensiveness of this flag – an offensiveness some may have not considered in the past – then great. Let them stop flying, selling, displaying the damn thing too. But this isn’t a freedom of speech issue. It is a decency issue. And you can fly any goddamn flag you want – on YOUR property.

I could be worried that *you* will think this is all about you and your comments on social media. And while you may have contributed to my recent reflections – know that everyone and their grandma is talking about this lately – so I have many different conversations and threads running through my consciousness at the moment. Ain’t all about you, darlin’. I just had something to say.

Hey You! Yea, YOU. Read This Please.

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Well, holy hell! My site has taken off in the past two days with nearly 20k views!! I would be pounding my chest a little harder had it been due to my own writing. But, alas, it was for a Scott Walker joke (three words that go oh so well together). While the joke is quite hilarious – this has prompted me to examine my recent abandonment of my blog. Sure, I have my excuses. But they are no longer good enough. I need to start writing again. My brain and creativity are atrophied and in much need of exercise. SOOOOO – this is where YOU come in. Give me some topics. Anything. What would you like to read? What would you like me to write about? I won’t promise that I will say what you want to hear…that I will write it in any respectable time frame…or that I won’t completely disappoint you in every way possible. But I will use your ideas to get my mind and fingers moving. Can ya help a chic out?