The journalist AA Gill, who has died aged 62, less than a month after revealing he was seriously ill with cancer The Sunday Times journalist, who was regarded by many on Fleet Street as one of the great newspaper stylists, opened his restaurant column three weeks ago with the abrupt declaration he was suffering with “an embarrassment of cancer”. He went on: “There is barely a morsel of offal that is not included. I have a trucker’s gut-buster, gimpy, malevolent, meaty malignancy.” He wanted readers to know, he said, in case it affected his judgments about food. [more inside]
Alcoholics Anonymous and similar 12-step programs have recently attracted calls to review their long-standing policies: supporting young people, rethinking transphobia, welcoming agnostic viewpoints, and challenging the need for anonymity. [more inside]
For millions of addicts around the world, Alcoholics Anonymous's basic text - informally known as the Big Book - is the Bible. And as they're about to find out, the Bible was edited. After being hidden away for nearly 70 years and then auctioned twice, the original manuscript by AA co-founder Bill Wilson is about to become public for the first time next week, complete with edits by Wilson-picked commenters that reveal a profound debate in 1939 about how overtly to talk about God.
Secret of AA: After 75 Years, We Don’t Know How It Works. "There is evidence that a big part of AA’s effectiveness may have nothing to do with the actual (12) steps. It may derive from something more fundamental: the power of the group. The importance of this is reflected by the fact that the more deeply AA members commit to the group, rather than just the program, the better they fare." [more inside]
My Name is Roger, and I'm an alcoholic. Roger Ebert talks about AA.
On 200 mg a day of baclofen, in an important meeting with several associate deans of my college and three new department chairs (I was made chair of my philosophy department just a few weeks before I tried to commit suicide), I fell asleep with my head on the conference room table and, for 40 minutes, everyone was too embarrassed to wake me. Somnolence is the most obvious and inconvenient side effect of baclofen. I reduced my dosage to 100 mg a day, and started taking it only at bedtime. A few days later, a colleague asked if I had changed my medicine. ‘Yes,’ I told her. ‘Why do you ask?’ She is German, an analytic philosopher, and therefore very direct: ‘You are drooling less than you were.’My Life as a Drunk is a searingly honest essay by novelist and philosophy professor Clancy Martin about his experiences with alcoholism, AA, valium and baclofen.
I'm not sure what the exact definition of geek is, but I think "enjoys recharging batteries" has to be very high on that list.
Rescued from rape and slavery - brought to you by the CIA. Also, the Atomic Revolution and AA. From Ethan Persoff who brought us Teddy.
AA pilot asks for faith of his passengers. Air flight can be intimidating as it is - especially when your pilot has a nagging desire to introduce you to God.
Anarchist Twelve Traditions of Alcoholic Anonymous. "Over the course of this short text the author shows beyond any reasonable doubt that Bill Wilson, the sainted pioneer of Alcoholics Anonymous, was a semi-closeted fan of Peter Kropotkin, the all-but-forgotten anarchist-communist writer and revolutionary."
Bush as a Dry Drunk Dry drunk is a slang term used by members and supporters of Alcoholics Anonymous and substance abuse counselors to describe the recovering alcoholic who is no longer drinking, one who is dry, but whose thinking is clouded.
Attempted hijack on Dallas to Houston flight? RTE in Ireland is reporting an American Airlines jet bound for Dallas, Texas returned to Houston Airport shortly after takeoff because of what an airlines spokesman called 'a security incident' on board...just a precaution or was something serious going on?
you worry me This American Airlines pilot hits the nail on the head for me! Thus far the Muslim voices I hear in America--and they are precious few--always seem to get half way through condemniong this or that and then insert a "BUT" or "HOWEVER." This guy asks for a simple, straight-forward response.
Inside the world of Alcoholics Anonymous: John Sutherland has a long piece in the London Review of Books on how AA operates and why it works well for some. The article purports to be a review of a biography of Bill W., one of AA's co-founders, but there is very little review in it; it's mainly a discussion of what AA is all about for a British readership. I am not an AA member, but have attended open AA meetings, have AA friends and belong to a different 12-step group so I can say it's a fairly accurate piece, though colored with some quirky opinions and a few opinions I think are wrong. An occasional line is humorous: "If you accept the modest estimate that 10 per cent of the adult population of this country are problem drinkers then you will conclude that the LRB readership will contain some 10,000 of them. And that 1.5 contributors per issue might have to be so classified." Yes. I'd be willing to wager a few quid that 1.5 contributors to almost any periodical have an alcohol problem! Sutherland correctly observes that the anonymous nature of AA means no one will ever be able to track how many people the program has truly "reformed" (an old-school AAer would say no one is ever reformed, they're only recovering a day at a time). The main beef I have with his piece is his statement about other organizations: Weight Watchers is NOT based on AA, though Overeaters Anonymous is; also, I don't think it is fair to say Al-Anon, OA and Narcotics Anonymous are weak imitations of AA.