For Christmas you get the most metal parrot, ever.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
**NOTE: The website discussed in this rant is NOT SAFE FOR WORK.
Remember back in undergrad when we were trying to think of ways to make money given our lack of practical skills? As I recall, one of our ideas was to start obscure fetish websites. These would be websites marketed to individuals with incredibly obscure and unheard of fetishes. Rather than do market research and discover nitch markets we would, instead, just make up crazy shit in the hope that someone out there, who had money, was looking for it. This, I thought, was a sensible business strategy.
One of our ideas was to start a toothbrush fetish website. We would offer pictures of persons brushing their teeth, animated gifs of persons brushing their teeth, and movies of people brushing their teeth. Have a bit of a beastiality fetish? Alright, we provide video of a woman brushing the teeth of a dog. Homoeroticism is your cup o' tea? Then watch this video of two men brush each other's teeth. Into S&M? What if a master had its teeth brush by a slave? Braces are kind of like dental bondage, so we'd have pictures of 18 year olds, with braces, brushing their teeth. Our business is to provide you, our esteemed customer, with any sexual fantasy you can imagine, which happens to involve people brushing their teeth.
The idea would have made us millions. But, unfortunately, we never made the website because, well, we're all really fucking lazy.
So you can imagine my surprised when this afternoon I happened upon cumbrushers.com, a website which features, I shit you not, women brushing their teeth.
Now, the difference between cumbrushers.com and our idea is that on our fetish website the individuals are simply brushing their teeth with, like, Crest. On cumbrushers.com, the women brush their teeth with semen obtained via oral sex. Now that I think about it? That does make much more sense than our idea.
My guess, though, is that the customers of Cumbrushers find the oral sex arousing; tooth brushing afterwards is just a novelty, or plays into the submissive or humiliative aspects of oral sex. Our website, pure and honest in its intentions, was to focus upon the sexual bliss one can find from good, honest dental hygiene.
This is another example of pragmatists defeating idealists in the marketplace. Our ideal was a site which communicated the beauty and intimacy of the brushing of teeth. Cumbrushers.com is just another pornographic website distributing videos of exploited women sucking cock. Unfortunately, cumbrushers.com ignores the inherent beauty in dental hygiene and drags yet another wonderful part of the human experience into the trash.
But what else would you expect from the people who brought us humantoiletbowls.com?
So, a friend e-mailed me this comic about 1984 and Brave New World, asking for my thoughts on the content therein. After reading the comic I remembered that I had never bitched about this particular issue on the blog. So, here goes.
When I read 1984 I could understand why Winston Smith fought against the established system within Oceania. His life was entrenched in mechanical monotony, devoid of all pleasure by the oppressive regulation of the Party and Big Brother. There was no joy in Winston’s life, only obedience to the State which cared not for his happiness, but for his servitude. When he gets the diary he populates its pages in order to articulate the thoughts he could nowhere else express. His desire for genuine, emotional sexual pleasure drives him to the affair with Julia. Throughout the book Winston strives to overcome the privation of pleasure and actualize his desires. His life is joyless, so he fights to attain an ounce of joy, an ounce of pleasure. 1984 articulates a narrative which fundamentally makes sense; it resounds with the human spirit’s constant seeking of happiness.
When I read Brave New World, on the other hand, I wanted to punch Aldous Huxley in his pretentious fucking nuts. Why? Well, let’s rearticulate the message of that comic, shall we?
- Books Banned
- Information Deprived
- Truth Concealed
- Entertainment Denied
- Control via Pain
Brave New World:
- Books Ignored
- Information Indifference
- Truth Trivialized
- Entertainment Overload
- Control via Pleasure
The world of 1984 is an oppressive dystopia wherein life is regulated to clockwork precision of the monotonous continuation of a dreary, joyless existence. The world of Brave New World is an oppresive distopa wherein life is regulated to clockwork precision of sexual orgies, drug binges, and mind-numbing pleasure. Living in 1984 would suck, living in Brave New World would rock.
And when you're honest with yourself? That's what you think, too.
Pretentious dipshits, such as Neil Postman, will compare these two works and argue contemporary society to be akin to the structure of Brave New World. Human Beings can recognize the limiting nature of a totalitarian 1984-esque state, and so we recoil against any possibility of the quashing of our own desires. The "problem", is that persons then stray too far against quashing of desire and fall prey to the allure of the Brave New World, the existence of frivolity, medicated happiness, and bodily gratification. The argument is that both 1984 and Brave New World are cautionary tales, that either existence would be detrimental to humanity as a whole.
But what is detrimental about the society of Brave New World?
Winston Smith is miserable in 1984 as a result of his inability to actualize his yearning for happiness. Bernard is miserable in Brave New World as a result of...his fucking Serotonin receptors not working? I can't figure out why the fuck he was miserable, and that is one of the core problems of the book.
I mean, just fucking think about it for a minute. When you are unhappy what do you do? Well, you try to become happy. When you are happy what do you do? Well, you sure as fuck try to keep being happy. If you are sick, you seek medication. If you are in pain, you strive to actualize pleasure. If X makes you sad, you avoid X. If Y makes you happy, you seek out Y. The world of Brave New World is one in which individuals are constantly bombarded by the Y which makes them happy in a perpetually increasing amount, which would, definitionally, not suck.
I know that every one of the eight people who read this blog seeks out happiness. You drink, you fuck, you play games, you purchase toys. That is what human beings do. It is completely nonsensical to be a human being, engaged in the process of seeking pleasure, and then argue that the most pleasant possible society would somehow suck.
The goal of humanity, since the beginning of time, has been to try and figure out how to make things not suck. Pain sucks. Pleasure is pretty great. Humanity seeks pleasure and avoids pain. 1984 is painful; Brave New World is pleasurable. Hence the problem with thinking the society of Brave New World problematic. Brave New World is what we want; it is exactly what we have desired since we realized that the shit outside the cave might try to kill us, so we have to kill it first.
The other problem with Brave New World, apart from its moronic thesis, is that it fails to articulate that which it wants to argue. If we are to argue against hedonism there needs to be a flaw within hedonism which is known to be problematic. We can argue against the hedonism of a meth addict by pointing to the problems resulting from meth. The hedonism of a sex addict is obviously detrimental with regard to STDs, pregnancies, and chafing. Engagement with unbridled hedonism is problematic and fundamentally unworkable.
But, says the jackass, hedonism of the kind articulated above is only problematic insofar as one of its consequences is a decrease in pleasure. Meth-Hedonism is bad since Meth damages the user. Sex-hedonism is bad since AIDS sucks. But this is not the hedonism of Brave New World; Brave New World is definitionally perfect with respect to the attainment of happiness. Soma is always double-plus good; it always adds +1 to your happiness level. Sexual contact between partners occurs without negative consequence. It is a perfect, workable, hedonism. Which, by definition, is not problematic. The supposed problem within the work is nonsene; there is no fucking reason for Bernard to be sad which coheres with the rest of the work. And the ending with the Savage hanging himself? That was fucking stupid.
Pragmatically speaking? An uninformed populace is detrimental to the continuation of a society as a whole. Individuals who fixate primarily upon the acquisition of pleasure will ignore necessary components of life and, so, unintentionally cause harm to their person as a result of sheer ignorance.
But we aren't fucking talking about fucking pragmatic fuck concerns in this debate; we are talking about the particular thought experiments in the fictional stories put forth. And within that realm? Within the speculative imagination of these fictional works? Of course I am going on an eternal soma holiday; it would be definitionally spectacular.
I realize that people like to think of themselves as high-minded, above our "base", "animalistic" urges. We like to think that we are somehow estranged from the primitive quest to be happy and have some ounce of nobility to our character.
But if someone offered you the choice of either a copy of Thucydides, or infinite, unending orgasms each of which would provide +1 more pleasure than the previous in an eternal progression of indescribable, flawless bliss? I guaran-fucking-tee that you aren't leaving that conversation with a copy of the History of the Peloponnesian War.
That is not what you would say in front of a significant other.
That is not what you would say in front of a professors.
That is not what you would say in front of a boss.
But in your heart of hearts? Orgasm > Thucydides. And the way you know this is that the human species has managed to, somehow, find the time to keep populating the planet despite the fact that we have libraries.