Desire: A philosophy of wants and needs (NSFW)

Desire: A philosophy of wants and needs (NSFW)

We all know the things we want. And we all know the things we want that we don’t tell anyone else about. We lust, we hide, we lie, we cheat, we need. We desire. It’s inherently, truthfully, human. So, what is desire? According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, it’s to want or wish for (something) : to feel desire for (something) to want to have sex with (someone) to express a wish for (something) Since Antiquity we have tried to explain our wants and needs, and why they hold so much sway over our actions. Desire is what drives all of us, and, at least according to Hobbes, is the reason we as humans do anything. Or, even simpler, desire is wanting. And as Elizabeth Anscombe says, “The primitive sign of wanting is trying to get.” Pleasure-based desire The most ubiquitous, and perhaps the most powerful, is pleasure-based desire. Why spouses cheat on spouses, why people break laws, why Fifty Shades of Grey (pictured right) makes housewives blush en route to $85 million on opening weekend, and a grand-total $571 million worldwide. What is it about desire? A simple explanation for this comes from Denise Cummins, Ph.D. in her interview with Psychology Today: “Part of it, of course, is simple curiosity in bondage and sadomasochistic sexuality (BDSM). That part is simple to explain: The pain and fear that comes with sadomasochistic sex causes the brain to shunt blood flow away from its executive “decision-making” areas (frontal cortex), which results in an altered state of consciousness in both the giver and the receiver. Like autoerotic asphyxiation or cocaine, experiencing fear and pain can heighten sexual gratification, but at some cost.” But, if you look...
Restaurant run: Low light for food, fantastic, and categorical phantasm

Restaurant run: Low light for food, fantastic, and categorical phantasm

We are at the restaurant after the gala. It’s our restaurant. The lighting is low, except for the menu cards lit with lights almost neon, garish and hanging over the service station like the dashboard of the old car your mother used to drive. We speak in your voice; the way you speak; the way you talk to the one you love simply, the one with whom you share a table, a meal, a drink while casting sidelong glances at other tables to see what they’ve ordered, if they are enjoying it, are they enjoying themselves? Where will they go tonight after the throbbing streets subside? The server stands table side and is a short man with dark hair slicked back long behind his ears. He glistens in the changing light, a layer of sweat on his forehead. Candles on the tabletop, dripping wax. He pours wine with the nose of someone who doesn’t like to be wrong. Who would never be wrong, no, not in the presence of such treasured and esteemed patronage. “The autumn composition, miss,” he says with a voice that recalls Rome and other empires long gone, “Beneath a magret de canard. The season is fantastic and it will be the chef’s pleasure to prepare it medium rare.” “For you, sir,” he says, “the squab.” But we smell the richness of the glace de viande and Soubise, roasted pear and blueberries, vinegar, wine the way kings and conquerors looked down on their meals of great conquest. Like the skin of pure and perfect women waiting in sheets and velvet, and the carved statues of great...
“86” Clothes: Tasting something greater

“86” Clothes: Tasting something greater

CLOTHING +cooking | eating | loving | needing   It was a feeling from day one. Indescribable? In a single word. But so many more came instead: So many words came/come to mind looking into wondering eyes with wandering eyes like hers. I want… And if there isn’t anything leftover when we’re finished, we’ll simply make more. When things were still withheld and unsteady. When imaginations ran wild, unchecked. When a tension that could be cut with a knife was used instead to make Japanese udon noodles (from scratch) and prepare dishes we knew would taste both different and the same, familiar and new, every time we sat down to eat But when words fail it is fingers and toes, the breath of beating hearts, and the inexhaustible passion and heat of the kitchen that reminds us why we always stand so close to one another. Why we fall asleep intertwined, all knees and cheeks and sweet words left on pillows. Because feeling and flavor are inextricably linked. Some people, many people, other people don’t need much to be happy. Some people, many people don’t need decadent meals, the time spent over stoves and ovens, the plates so well composed they beg to be put on the same plane of existence as Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt. So beautiful they could be placed on walls next to the likes of Van Gogh, Dali, Renoir. But we do.   A recipe for candied orange peel Ingredients: 2ea large oranges, 1/4in cut off top & bottom 4 cups sugar, in 4 different cups 3 cups water   Directions: Cut the peel of each...
Everything so beautiful and dirty and absurd

Everything so beautiful and dirty and absurd

My house was at the edge of the block, on the corner of 166th and Jackson in the Crenton neighborhood of a mid-sized American city. With dusty roads where all the trees died because the city just let them. The sidewalks were cracked and crooked and many mothers died stepping on them. The lawns were dirty and made of pebbles and broken glass. Rojo ran the neighborhood and we all went to him for whatever we needed. Cigarettes or whatever. He was three years older and seventeen when he dropped from high school. He told me his stories about sex so that I would know when I was ready to have sex on my own. His girlfriend Gogo he would tell me stories about. He went down on her once and, after fifteen minutes, mad that he hadn’t yet given her an orgasm/that she hadn’t gotten off/finished yet, he bit her until she screamed. She left him after that and disappeared somewhere down south where her uncle lives by the water. This was around the same time that health-conscious, vegetarian rapper Black Choy was attacked by pro-beef activists outside of his studio. They cut him with a knife and put him in the hospital. Is there a connection? Rojo loved hamburgers and Black Choy was playing a show at the Alamo that night. The the Jackson Street venue where everybody played music at some point or another. I tried to sing there once with a death metal band called Adagio. They didn’t book us for another show after that, but they give everybody in the neighborhood at least one...
Pics or it didn’t happen: Our obsession with permanence

Pics or it didn’t happen: Our obsession with permanence

Something happens. Something memorable, or kinda cool, or not really that interesting at all, but we take thirteen pics of it anyway. We have to take pictures; record it, show the world, share, for posterity’s sake. That we were there. That we are here, now. This is really nothing new. And this is nothing we would put on the shoulders of the Millenials (Gen Y) and Pivotals (Gen Z) who have had the luxury of social media basically since day one (and therefore the normality, and subsequent pressures, of performing online). It’s just the latest form/different version of the photo books mom/grandmom pull out every time you start dating someone new. It’s just the logical next step for a species that started in the dirt, moved on to cave paintings, invented the camera in 1888, and now has a tool to share who they are with the entire world in the blink of an eye. This is just progress. But why is it something so rooted into our DNA, or just our sense of identity? Why do we feel the need to capture everything and look at it over and over again? And for other people to do the same? Why, ultimately, do we feel like something isn’t really real, something didn’t really happen, something isn’t worth remembering, unless we have the physical photo of it to look back on and share with others? Memories There are countless studies (here’s one, for example: False memories in highly superior autobiographical memory individuals) that will tell you that many (most) of our organic memories are junk, and can be created from...