I’ve worked with hotshot TV spot editors and feature film editors in Hollywood who don’t have the native postproduction talent of the young Mouthy Buddha. His chops are impressive and this video is a syzygy of his editorial skills, his grasp of the subject of addiction, coinciding with massive advancements in the field of addiction science – and not a moment too soon!
Addiction is a disorder of the brain’s reward system which arises through transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms, that occur over time due to chronic, high levels of exposure to addictive stimuli such as eating, drugs, sex and high-thrill social activities like gambling, shopping, fast cars, sky-diving, etc. Addiction alters the gene expression of brain cells, greatly reducing the brain’s metabolism and creating a disease state.
In the 19th century, the British discovered the power of addiction when they used opium grown in India to debilitate a population, holding China in the palm of their hands (the latter will never forgive them for it). Some of the biggest family fortunes have been and are being amassed with the trafficking of addictive narcotics in both the Black Market and under the auspices of Big Pharma.
Addiction is such a powerful force that multi-billion-dollar Black Budget projects are financed by the trafficking of illicit narcotics, which is why the US has been occupying Afghanistan for nearly 20 years.
On the other hand, out in the open and in violation of no laws, the largest corporations on the planet are trafficking in non-narcotic high-fat, high-sugar foods and in digital gadgets and activities like video games and social media that are as addictive and debilitating as illegal narcotics.
Our civilization has now arrived at a point where most of us look around and see that two thirds of the population is somewhere on the spectrum between overweight and morbidly obese, which has occurred in under three decades. Nielsen just released a report which found that Americans spend an average of 11 hours per day interacting with media, with adults aged 50-64 surprisingly averaging highest, at nearly 13-hours per day! With the opioid crisis now responsible for shortening the life expectancy of younger generations and keeping an estimated 25% of the eligible workforce in the US unemployed, opiates are the quickest way to destroy the chemistry of the brain.
For the sake of our health and of living our God-given lives to our fullest, we must get a grip on both the epigenetic mechanisms of addiction and on the psycho-social-spiritual factors inherent to our culture that have made us so susceptible to these self-defeating behaviors.
On the mechanical front, it’s been determined that ΔFosB (Finkel-Biskis-Jinkins murine osteosarcoma viral oncogene homolog B), a gene transcription factor, is a critical component in the development of virtually all forms of behavioral and drug addictions. Addictions start and the associated compulsive behaviors increase with the overexpression of ΔFosB in the the forebrain region called the nucleus accumbens which proceeds to alter the structure of the brain. Perversely, the more pleasure one seeks by activating this pathophysiology, the more miserable one becomes. This was poorly understood until recently.
Finally and most importantly, the personal atomization created by a hyper-individualistic, consumerist culture needs to be balanced by more connection and camaraderie with our fellow humans and of course, with God. Mouthy Buddha does a great job of expressing much of this in a visual and visceral way.