I think the initial "Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment" segment depicting the torturous wait for drugs in the midst of addiction is fascinating when taken in the context of the role drug use played in the other two novels, especially because his mental state comes off as somehow desperately paranoiac, though in a very different way from what we've seen thus far in the course. The idea that something like drug use becomes compulsory, something "he would force himself to do...even if he didn't want it. Even if it started to make him sizzy and ill. He would use discipline and persistence and will and make the whole experience so unpleasant, so debased and debauched and unpleasant, that...he'd never want to do it again" (22). I think this comes off as pathologically alienating because it's so teleological: I'll smoke now so I won't want to / have to smoke later. This mindset undermines the present moment completely, to the extent that we want to say, Look if you're going to smoke, you might as well enjoy it. It's like an activity that was once a guilty pleasure - pleasure now and maybe some guilt later - now induces the accompanying feeling guilt instantaneously, always-already right now, like the whole experience has been compressed into the present moment, but thereby cheapens it. Something like: overstimulated simultaneity in the present overwhelms and effectively eradicates the present. The drugs have lost their meaning as a mode of escapism, too, because the esacpe has become so routinized: "marijuana breaks" every few weeks have become a dependable part of his life. Smoking doesn't offer anything in the way of calling his subjectivity into question; it is constitutive part of that subjectivity. This reflects a larger trend that I observe in contemporary society: resistance to / disillusionment with the system is built into the system itself. Why is The Office such an hysterical show, or Office Space an hysterical movie? Because ultimately, jobs are "supposed" to be alienating. We've come to expect (and maybe even desire?) menial work as the status quo, and opposition is systemically built-in - the fact that workers or students will waste time is assumed and therefore preempted by stretching out the work day. Habits of all kinds, drugs and alcohol among them, are now just ways of coping (some more acceptable than others). Such is the production of the conditions of re-production of late capitalism. I'm not sure quite how, but I feel like this relates deeply to the idea of the action as its own antithesis or cure. The idea of taking drugs to kick the habit follows curious logic indeed. Maybe its a question of biopolitics, that is to say, how the system maintains, regulates, and distributes, bodies: if something like taking drugs is now somewhat of a requisite, or at least not a surprise, then the ultimate tool of biopolitical control would be to make the use of drugs themselves coincide always immediately with its own negation (lack of pleasure, breaking the habit, etc.). That way we offer a highly controled and ritualized, but ultimately vacuous way of dissipating behavior that threaten (are are perceived to threaten) society at large.