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Inside view by Jessica Dimmock on the 9th floor in NYC

In the position paper Jessica does a very good description of what it going on in the photos as well as on the 9th floor looking over Manhattan. At first when looking at the pictures you are very disgusted and disturbed on what was all taken. But then you have to ask yourself: why am I looking at these pictures? In today’s world we are drawn to violence; we like looking at pictures and hearing stories. Not only that but we also like to watch movies with violence like murder, wars, destruction, and death. We watch this because we do not see it every day and we become engaged in violence. With violence being the leading entertainment for the media and the world this is why we get amused. You think of how they could have money, space, or even veins left to afford the addiction to drugs. Why do the people turn to drugs on the 9th floor: to make it in order to live or just to get their next hit?

Heroin was a drug that was use in a photograph of Dioon who was addicted. Dioon stated the typical junkie seems to only have one thing on the mind when heroin is involved. When getting in the mind of Jessie who had the addiction, Jessie stated, “All I was thinking about was, I wanna get high. I wanna get high. You know, I wanna get high. I guess the junkie life was what I wanted. I had really no other aspirations. I just never tried to do anything. The only thing I really wanted to do was, you know, get loaded, and sit around and do nothing. So that's what I did.” We see by this statement that people are destroying themselves and the person they were before doing the drug. When the drug takes over someone’s body there is no feeling or personality left in the person; that person loses themselves and everything they used to have. When one’s only motivating force in life is heroin, long-term goals, passions, and even friends and family can be overruled by the pursuit of the next fix.

Becoming addicted may only be a psychological illness but once addicted, it is a physical illness as well. Addiction can take over your body and going through withdrawal can be an extremely painful process. Initially, however, it is all a matter of choice and if the resource is available. People today often just want to experience positive emotions and they find they can achieve this by becoming intoxicated or high. Even though I have watched many people recover from an addiction there are also some who have never recovered and continue to be addicted. This is when I think individuals choose this kind of path for their life – when they believe there is no way out of the hole they have dug for themselves. You cannot understand the insanity as you look in from the outside unless you yourself have been inside that hole attempting to put down the shovel and crawl your way out. Dioon later explained, “I'm not stupid. I don't think anyone owes me anything. I know that everything I did I made my own choice about it. And that's what sucks real bad”. This is why people have to take responsibility for their actions. People make their own choices, not the drug. This is when they decide if they want to be saved or not. Dimmock presented herself in a dangerous situation, but as Dimmock said at the end of her whole research article “You can explore further... you should explore further.”

I also have to admit that I am one of those people who are fascinated by the violence and death scenes that Jessica showed and explained. I find it entertaining because I do not see it on a daily basis. This is why you have to think about what it is really like to be addict to actually understand what Jessica is saying in this position paper.



After reading both the article and your position on the article I would have to agree with some of your thinking. Doing a drug of any type is definitely a personal choice. But this choice has other influences on what you decide to do like peer pressure, your outlook on life, and the type of person you are before doing any drug. There are many reasons to try drugs and continue the use of drugs. They vary from person to person and from user to user. Some users or junkies do dig themselves holes that they cannot get out of and some junkies do not try to dig themselves out of these holes. The world has adapted to this and has formed treatment centers and Alcohol Anonymous (AA). There are places to get help and put a junkie on the road to recovery but that is also a personal decision. The junkie has to decide for themselves that enough is enough they need help. You cannot force a person that does not want to quit, to try to quit or attend treatment seriously.
This world today is attracted to violence it is sad to think about but unfortunately it is true. Think about all the video games and movies that are out that have some degree of violence in it. My favorite movie is Gran Torino and that movie has violence in it. Then you have NASCAR races people love the crashes unless someone get hurts but if everyone’s fine then the crashes people think are awesome. It is because we do not see these types of things everyday and I am personally thankful we do not see this every day. There are junkies out there and it is a personal choice to start and a personal choice to get help and stop.

I am not sure that I can commit to the idea that I am drawn to violence for entertainment purposes only, especially because it was suggested during an in-class discussion of Martha Rosler’s arguments against the photographing of human subjects. Rosler asked “What happened to the man (actually, men) in the photo? The question is inappropriate when the subject is photographs.The subject of the article is the photographer”. If indeed Jessica Dimmock implored readers to “explore further...”, then I must question for what purpose.

If Dimmock’s idea is to simply to try and understand the insanity of addiction, then exploring her photos serves only to self-entertain. But if her idea is to redefine what we think of as violence, then I see a lot of room for progress. I do not think we are drawn to depressing pictures because of their shock effect, if anything, we have grown complacent about violence.(1). We have become sedated by watching TV and hoping the government will do something about the problems in the world. There seems to be an idea that violence occurs in isolated events such as war, guns, murder, etc, that allows us to ignore the other forms of structural day to day violence such as drug abuse, self abuse, poverty, famine, etc. Perhaps Dimmocks photos bring out the underground violence in clear vision as to remind us that violence can take place in hidden, strange, everyday ways, and that peace is more the absence of war. The people she documented seemed to be in a silent war with drugs and themselves. It seems that we have become ok with this, but if we can conceive the pain others are going through, it may be more likely that we can return to asking “what happened to the [people] in the photograph”. And Once we aim to answer this question, we will know longer have to depend on the government to solve problems.

(1) Chris Cuomo - Professor of Philosophy and Women's Studies, and Director of the Institute for Women's Studies at the University of Georgia – 1996 “War Is Not Just an Event: Reflections on the Significance of Everyday Violence” Published in Hypatia 11.4 nb, pp. 30-46

I understand and agree with your position towards Jessica Dimmock Article. Me myself I like to watch movies with drugs and violence because I like to see how the story ends, if the person changes or still continues to do drugs or be a part of violence. Usually in movies the person changes at the end, but sometimes it takes a lot of people to talk to them and they have to be willing to change for themselves. I don’t see drugs and violence everyday and that could be another reason why I am drawn to it in the media or movies. Even when I watch movies heroin addicts all they think about is getting high.
My mom is not a drug addict, but she is addicted to nicotine in cigarettes. She has been smoking for so long and I really want her to stop. My sisters and I always try to convince her to stop smoking cigarettes and we try to tell her the risk she can develop if she keeps smoking. Just like Dioon my mom isn’t stupid she knows the risks but it’s just that she so addicted. My mom is making her own choice to continue to keep smoking, but after so long she decided to stop smoking the cold turkey way. Quitting that way made her body do things that had never happened, so she started back smoking. But now I think she is really determined to stop smoking not matter what happens because she has stopped again and I hope she doesn’t start again. Since I don’t smoke or not in the same position my mom is in I will never know what it feels like, because I am on the outside looking in.