James equates fixation on food and television with drug use.
After all, people use addiction to fill some sort of void in their lives,
right? Well, maybe people can be just as addicted to TV (especially if it's True Detective) and
food (especially Double Stuf Oreos).
At breakfast, James says, "What matters is that I have
something and I'm going to take as much as I can as fast as I can. Get
something. Fill me" (1.8.103). He does this a lot, feeding himself with a
sense of desperation until he pukes, partly because he's still in withdrawal,
and partly because he eats so darn much.
He also says, point-blank, "The TV is a narcotic"
(3.1.424), which eliminates our need to analyze that comparison. Thanks, James! But let's
analyze it, anyway: we see the men gather around the TV for sports events,
sitcoms, and even for static, just in order to forget their addictions. Is the
TV actually good for them?
If TV and food are addictions of their own, does the clinic
simply replace one addiction with another? And why is it that James has no
problem replacing his addiction with cigarettes, caffeine, food, or TV, but he
can't let the Twelve Steps into his life?