Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sweet Intoxication - The Debate

cc 2.0 Share Alike, lucianvenutian (below) & Zelfgemaakt (above)

One of the great debates of the modern world is what makes life worth living. Today I'd like to talk about pleasure, and the joy of slowly destroying yourself for a smile.

During the 1920's, Whiskey like that pictured above was illegal, and some elements on the far left wish to make donuts illegal as well. Proponents of such policies will pinpoint to the delinquency, sleaziness and poor behavior that such pleasure seeking encourages, along with the costs to the public health (and America's health bill), and the ideals of a higher morality. Opponents take two stripes: the kind that don't believe this is any of your (or the governments) business, and the kind that actually think this is a good way to lead your life. The second discussion is the more meaningful.

Pleasure has always been a part of life, and always will be, and has always been a part of what wakes people up in the morning. Yet it also gives birth to cynical folk sayings like "everything good in life is either illegal, immoral or fattening." Often in comes down to the central conflicts of long-term good vs. short-term good, and personal-good vs. collective good. But there is also the crisis of dignity.

See, when your whole life is lived for a cheap smile, it may be easy to wake up in the morning, but what worth, what purpose do you have to point to? Yet, perhaps too much dignity (or attempt at...) can lead to pride. There is also something to be said for truly being open, and allowing the world to seep in to you and you in to it, letting dust be dust. But still, one must have something of substance, and to avoid this is to taint one's own nature to the point where you start to lose contact with reality.

Cynicism is self-deceiving. By way of "accepting" the bad in the world it persuades its proponent that he understands everything, as if being slightly better then someone else makes you all-knowing. Please cast aside your high-brows; there is a deeper pleasure, a deeper fulfillment, then simple dope. Orgasmic blasts of pleasure certainly have their place, but of and by themselves they do make for a fulfilling life as dignity is a part of you as well. And purpose brings with it a sense of who you are and why you are here.

And often the instant gratification is best when coupled with the deep and true, as in the cases of true love and deep relationships created by shared pleasure and experiences. Joy by itself is waning, but when coupled with a human being, a real, live human being with experiences, aspirations, and conscience, who you understand, it takes on a meaning that will outlive your days on this earth and can come to make your life more pleasant for the future as supposed to just today.

No comments: