posted 15 April 2008 06:14 AM
I rolled my eyes when I saw that Mate's book - In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts - was being reviewed here on Rabble. I read it last month and was impressed by his description of the horrors of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside (DTES), but more than a little disappointed by his faith in recovery. War on Drugs aside, people who use addiction to cope with trauma still have a great deal of hope. The opinion put forward by Mate and the empire he works for - the Portland Hotel Society - is that people with addictions are "palliative" (a word Mate used in a recent interview with Pivot Legal Society). He believes that compassion is the only answer. I strongly disagree with this view. People can change and yes, they need compassion in order to do it. But Mr. Mate, over-prescribing anti-depressants and over-diagnosing the controversial ADHD will not help your patients. No, it further disempowers them and takes away any hope they may have harboured.
From: Vancouver | Registered: Mar 2008
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Babbler # 2534
posted 15 April 2008 06:42 AM
Odd, my take on this interview was utterly different - he is above all calling for an end to the "war on drugs", and yes, compassion in the sense of understand that there are reasons people have gone down that road.
I haven't read the book. I'm not a Buddhist, and am a materialist; spiritual outlooks are foreign to me, but this can be a way of expressing social alienation.
From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002
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Babbler # 4140
posted 15 April 2008 07:07 AM
It's totally off topic, but if I had a name like Lief Eriksen I'd be mighty tempted to change the spelling to Leifur Eiríksson if I was in the habit, already, of wearing pointy Viking hats.