I want to ask you about the ruin-porn thing, people coming to Detroit to take pictures of the abandoned buildings. Why do you think this is such an attraction for people?
So there’s this ruin-porn narrative where Detroit is just fucked up and crazy. And there’s also this narrative that white kids are saving the city. Neither one of them deal with the historical realities.
I live next to an abandoned house. Maybe it’s aesthetically beautiful. But the reality is that if that house burned down, it’s going to take mine with it. If I’m not home, it’s going to kill my dog. This is not an interesting thing to think about when you have to live here.
What kind of issues do you work with in your practice?
Anxiety, depression, a lot of work with addiction—drugs, alcohol, love, sex.
So sexual addiction is a real thing?
Yes it is. People die because of compulsive sexuality. They contract AIDS, they go insane, they destroy their marriages, they spend all their money at strip clubs or on hookers. The definition of addiction is an individual decision about whether you think you’re an addict or not. It just means stuff you’re doing that you don’t want to do and that’s ruining your life. That can be playing online scrabble. Your brain can become addicted to online scrabble. And you’re up all night and losing your job because the chemicals in your brain are dependent on the excitement you get from playing online scrabble. So it’s not about what the behavior is specifically that makes it an addiction or not. It’s the experience of the person with the behavior.
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