I was watching a TV programme on the effects of cannabis.
Apparently, there are different kinds of addiction.
Physical addiction, and psychological addiction.
Physical addiction is when your body actually needs the drug to function.
Heroin is one of these.
Your body becomes used to it, it depends on it.
That’s why your body gets withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it.
For some people, alcohol can become a physical addiction.
For an alcoholic, their body actually needs the alcohol to function normally.
Other kinds of drugs are psychologically addictive.
Your body doesn’t actually need them.
They’re not physically addictive.
But they become a mental crutch.
More of a habit.
For some people alcohol is like this.
They must have a drink at lunchtime, or a bottle of wine in the evening.
For some people cigarettes are like this.
They’ll even stand on the street in the freezing cold for a smoke.
They’re not physically addicted, but it is a habit they can’t break.
For some people the distinction is blurred.
Their body becomes used to the nicotine in a cigarette, or the alcohol in a drink.
Without it they get edgy and jumpy.
It’s not as bad as an addiction, but it makes a habit harder to break
In the programme on cannabis, it was interesting how different people reacted.
Cannabis is not a physically addictive drug.
But it can be psychologically addictive.
Some of the people on the programme felt they couldn’t get through the day without it.
One young woman had to smoke it every evening after work.
One young man had to smoke it as soon as he woke up.
Then throughout the rest of the day.
Both of these were psychologically addicted.
But what really interested me was a young man who only smoked it at weekends.
He said “I began smoking cannabis as a way to escape the routine of everyday existence.
It was a break from the boring, predictable rhythm of everyday life.
But gradually I began doing it everyday.
Then it wasn’t an escape anymore.
Then regularly smoking cannabis became the routine.
And it wasn’t a break from boring predictability, it was boring and predictable.
So I stopped doing it every day.
Now I only do it at weekends and it’s much more enjoyable again.
It’s back to being a change from the routine, a break.”
In our terms, he’s talking about disruption of course.
What’s interesting is what stands out.
What’s new and different.
As soon as it becomes all there is, it isn’t new and different anymore.
It becomes the same old thing.
In fact, that’s what fashion is: the same old thing.
Someone does something different, so everyone notices it.
Because it got noticed, other people copy it.
When they see opinion-formers copy it, opinion-followers copy it too.
And so the avant-garde becomes mainstream.
So fashion isn’t innovative, it’s imitative.
Fashion isn’t about leading.
Fashion is about following.
Fashion is herd mentality.
Fashion is about fitting in, about not being left behind, not being the odd one out.
Fashion is the opposite of creativity.
Because fashion is about repetition.
Fashion is psychologically addictive because it’s about the fear of not doing something.
In our business, someone does something new and different.
Something that stands out.
Something that doesn’t look like anything else.
So fresh that it wins an award.
And, having had the seal of approval, everyone copies it.
Then it becomes a fashion.
And because everyone does it, everyone does it.
There’s security in it.
And the break from the routine has become the routine.
We’ve become psychologically addicted.
We need the security, the comfort of approval.
It’s anything but creative.
And of course that’s not what really creative people do.
Not really creative people.
Really creative people don’t want to do the same as everyone else.
They don’t want to be fashionable.
It reminds me of what Yogi Berra said about a New York nightspot that had become fashionable.
“That place is so crowded no one goes there anymore.”