There are three substances in life: caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. The reason is that we can’t get rid of the addiction caused by the “chemical reaction” produced by these substances in the body. This addiction has led to the emergence of new cultures, commodities and lifestyles. Nowadays, a large group of young urban people’s living habits have changed into: buying a cup of coffee to wake up their brains on the way to work in the morning, smoking a few electronic cigarettes to relieve their fatigue during lunch break, and having a few drinks with colleagues and friends at night before they go home to rest.
Caffeine is the best way to get started. From coke and cocoa to functional drinks, caffeine has long been a component of our body’s habitual intake.
Coffee is not a traditional Chinese drink. Our acceptance of coffee starts with the status of instant coffee products: canned coffee, instant coffee, coffee snacks and so on. The aroma of coffee beans is mediated by a large number of additives, making the original taste of coffee unrecognized.
Until the process of economic globalization, coffee fragrance drifted into the country, the number of coffee shops began to soar. And in the fast pace of modern cities, quickly melt into a part of life. Coffee culture has been overflowing from a blank sheet of paper in China. Our overall understanding of coffee stems from the need to eliminate fatigue and maintain efficiency in our work and life. “Clear mind” is the most intuitive chemical reaction that caffeine brings to the body. For a long time, it’s a wonderful addiction.
In short, caffeine works by slowing down the activity of neurons when the adenosine in the brain is accumulated to a certain extent. Caffeine, on the other hand, can reduce the binding of adenosine to receptors to keep neurons active. When a person consumes caffeine for a long time, the number of adenosine receptors in the brain increases gradually, making neurons more sensitive to changes in adenosine to counteract the effects of caffeine. When interrupting caffeine intake, the concentration of adenosine in brain is slightly reduced, and the activity of neurons will be enlarged, making people drowsy easily. This is called caffeine addiction.
Historically, coffee was introduced into Europe in large scale in Italy in the name of “Islamic wine”. In the Middle East countries, it was once banned as alcohol. As a mental stimulant, coffee is also beneficial to “collapse of happiness”. Psychologists and neuroscientists agree that coffee is probably the most widely used psychoactive substance in the world, and it is legal and available everywhere.
Inevitable Human Weakness
Coffee, tea and alcohol have been the three biggest drinks in the world since ancient times. Nicotine-containing tobacco products, even if never advertised, can become one of the most powerful industries in the world, creating high commercial value.
When the Gulf War broke out in 1991, France was also a warring country. Domestic people feared that the war affected the supply of daily necessities and rushed to supermarkets to buy them. When TV cameras are directed at consumers who are full of “scarce goods”, they find that most of them are coffee and sugar.
Between 1860 and 1900, during the Great Depression, unemployment rose from 2% to 10%, while tobacco consumption decreased by only about 1%. Internationally, the tobacco industry has not only retained the existing commercial layout, but also created a record of marketing and profitability.
Historically, both caffeine and nicotine products have cleverly exploited human weaknesses to stimulate consumer demand and macroeconomics. Nicotine, like ingestible caffeine, stimulates the brain to secrete more dopamine and adrenaline, making people happy. People who are concerned about health care know that neither tea nor alcohol nor coffee should be consumed excessively, let alone cigarettes, which have already reached the consensus of “smoking is harmful to health” in any country. These addictive “products of nature” may not be the best inventions in the long history of human civilization, but their social and economic values can not be questioned.
Nowadays, with the increasing reliance on virtual Internet, coffee and tobacco provide us with an irreplaceable social environment.
When coffee drinking as a trend has just emerged, it is closely related to social interaction, people rarely go to drink coffee alone. In seventeenth Century, cafes in London, London and other places were the bases for discussion among politicians, writers and philosophers. The young man visited the famous James Joyce in the cafe in the cafe. He discussed coffee with him while he was drinking coffee. Since the obvious lack of male banquet and entertainment customs in the social period, the middle class has gradually risen, and then the Enlightenment Movement, the feminist movement and so on, cafes have become “public space” for people to chat, exchange opinions, talk about politics and comment on art.
As American TV fans know, in Friends, the classic sitcom of the 1990s, six old friends spent almost every day talking in a coffee shop called Central Perk, creating many classic segments of the screen.
For example, in the novel the sad cafe song, written by Zhu Shaolin, a writer, he describes all kinds of people who come to the same cafe. Everyone has his own story, his own unique ideas, sad coffee shop provides a neutral place for strangers to think without scruple.
This is how coffee shops are deliberately built for coffee, which maximizes the social value of coffee. The sound of beans crushing while grinding and the sound of espresso machine operating, along with the sound of people talking, is the whole auditory world in the coffee shop. At this moment, exposure to pre-caffeine human weaknesses has become a common link between people. The essence of social interaction is constant self-exposure.
This is especially true of the social attributes of cigarettes. People of different backgrounds or classes are equal before their desires. In the movie Coffee and Cigarettes, cigarettes, a social product, are integrated into the coffee table. The eleven scenes in the movie are eleven social “fields”. Only coffee cups and ashtrays can hold up a conversation in the cafes coming and going. The sensitive, fragile, or neurotic side of people is exposed to the stimulation of caffeine and nicotine.
The characters in the film repeatedly said how unhealthy this way of life is, but the combination of coffee and cigarettes has already formed muscle and sensory memory. This kind of collocation is just like the defects and morbid state that people are destined to exist. We can not find a suitable way to get there. What else do we want to ask others? So be intoxicated with the purest pleasure.
Self-pleasing Coffee and Electronic Cigarettes
The film, which was created in the early 21st century, is now becoming coffee and electronic cigarettes with the detrimental effects of electronic cigarettes. This is indeed in line with the development of the times and the changes of the tide. Most coffee shops are also selling low-caffeine or decaffeinated coffee. Our initial need for caffeine has gradually become a need for ritual. It’s like many people who are “drunk” and are not physically drunk. Instead, after drinking some alcohol, they feel they have a certain sense of ritual and think they are drunk. They can do what they can’t do on weekdays, comply with broader social norms, or engage in interpersonal communication in a different way.
Individualism is more and more prevalent, and social attributes are gradually replaced by personal attributes. Fast-paced lifestyle often makes people unable to take a complete time to socialize on specific occasions. To please oneself seems to be the most important thing. Electronic cigarette is based on sub culture and the culture of circle players, and the social attributes are self-evident. However, with the stage of the new smoke revolution and the continuous iteration of electronic smoke equipment and concepts, the types of electronic smoke that can be selected have been greatly expanded, and everyone can have a symbol of their own.
The mainstream values of society have over-amplified the positive energy. People all over the world seem to have to move in the direction of health and happiness. It is undeniable, however, that human primitive desires contain less positive parts. Addiction is a sense of want, an outlet of desire, and a way of dialogue with oneself. People who want to get rid of addiction should not be ashamed of it. Without harming others, do we have the right to choose stimulus and not to stay awake all the time?
The Last Reality of Virtual World
The era of 5G and AI is speeding up, and the boundaries between reality and fiction are blurred by various virtual reality experiences. Each of us has become a particle on the map and a string of data in the computer. I often wonder whether the mobile Internet era of convenience and intelligence has enriched us in essence. What kind of life style and spiritual outlook would people have if they were separated from the traces of modern civilization?
There must be coffee, wine and cigarettes. The sensory pleasure brought about by chemical reactions in the body is absolute, direct and real. All addictive things are the way that human beings seek satisfaction and relief from the body. After all, the body is rather stingy in the distribution of pleasure.
Coffee is unhealthy, tobacco and alcohol are unhealthy. Yes, we all know that boiled water is the healthiest, but who wants his life to be a glass of white water? In the near future, robots may replace my travel, social interaction and consumption. However, the two things of drinking coffee and smoking electronic cigarettes are for me, which may be my last respect for my body.