Dionysus for Literalists

If every social event, to be enjoyed to the fullest, must be accompanied by alcohol, this means that the real “event” is the drinking itself, while the social gathering is merely the accompaniment or sidelight. That is, if eating with friends, chatting with friends, camping with friends, and commiserating with friends, all have one thing in common — alcohol — then one is conceding that none of these activities can stand on its own, i.e., without drinking, and still be as enjoyable. The real enjoyment, or the necessary completion of any enjoyment, is in the glass. Drinking, then, can be fully enjoyed without any given one of those social activities, whereas none of them may be fully enjoyed without drinking, making drinking the higher order pleasure, or more essential satisfaction. In the modern cult of Dionysus — Dionysus for literalists and materialists — drinking is prayer, intoxication is faith, and alcohol is God.

And in the cosmic analogies of Being and Nothingness, this latter formula may be applied to several other, sometimes overlapping and mutually-supporting, pseudo-religions of the era. Technology, political demagoguery, neo-Marxism, the profit motive, and so on. Life made simple, pain obscured, thought diluted, reality blurred, everything simultaneously faster but less expansive, looser but less flexible, earnest but less focused. Drunkenness that enlivens only the body, while leaving the soul too soaked and heavy to move, to flit, to rise.

You may also like...