Dealing in degrees and dealing in subtlty is not what those in alcoholic recovery or the alcoholic recovery community to very well. This was made perfectly clear in an article in the New York Times on Sunday that asked if the Oscar nominated movie "Sideways" was really just a lens pointed at the antics of an alcoholic, rather than a wine lover.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I really don’t think the notion that the Sideways character Miles as an alcoholic is really a hot topic in America. Alcoholism just isn’t an issue in the movie. But, the New York Times article brings the issue into the discussion hopper of our culture.
What I take from the reading of this article is how our personal experienced and view of the world can lead us to extremism
In the article we are told, for example that Wine=Alcohol=Heroin. Deal with it.
But this is really akin to saying, A Rock=A Gun=A Nuclear Weapon. They are all weapons that can be used to harm. There’s no subtly at all to his view of the world. The fact is that wine is not simply alcohol and alcohol is not simply heroin. This kind of naive statement is the sort you hear from fanatics of all types. Don’t read from this that the work done within the Recovery Community is wrong. Read from it that while fanatics rarely have anything of use to offer to a reasoned discussion, they may in fact have something substantial to offer people whose lives no longer respond to reason and moderation.
But we have to remember that the fanatic is not the best type to offer critiques of society or culture. The Times article quotes Joan Clark, an alumni director of the Betty Ford Clinic who has had the chance to hear the reaction of many alcoholics to the movie:
"They said it made them squirmy to see somebody enjoying it so much," Clark notes.
And there sits the point: The Recovery community’s reaction to this film is, properly, more an insight into those in the community than the movie. Exposure to something that only slightly hits home with them prevents them from even entertaining the idea that what doesn’t work for them might be perfectly enjoyable to someone else.