A philosophy of desire (NSFW)

A philosophy of desire (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 as Elizabeth Anscombe says, “The primitive sign of wanting is trying to get.” Pleasure-based desire The most ubiquitous, and perhaps the most powerful, are pleasure-based desires. Why spouses cheat on spouses, why people break laws to get what they want, why Fifty Shades of Grey (pictured right) makes housewives blush en route to $85 million on its opening weekend and $571 million worldwide. A simple explanation for why this happens comes from Denise Cummins Ph.D. in 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 at the photo, it could...
Is Twin Cities dining still exciting?

Is Twin Cities dining still exciting?

Twin Cities dining is on the up and up. Our restaurants have received a lot of love from press nationwide. Thrillest named the Twin Cities among the best US food cities, and 12 Twin Cities chefs were named semifinalists for the James Beard Award in 2016. We’ve been patting ourselves on the back for breaking the mold of Midwest boring. Look at us, we said, and all of our James Beard Award nominations. We’ve got Andrew Zimmern living here, for chrissake! But maybe too soon. Anthony Bourdain’s recent quote on unexpected foodie cities was lauded by local publications, but note the use of past tense: “…Minneapolis, for a very long time had really good food and a lot of great chefs.” We lost La Belle Vie, really the only restaurant of its type in Minnesota, to a simple lack of butts in seats. We lost Solera, Brasserie Zentral (and Foreign Legion), Vincent, Masa, Il Foro, Cafe Levain, Pilgrimage, and Workshop at Union within a few short months. And now Heartland, also the only restaurant of its type, is closing as well. Maybe too many places opened all at once. Maybe that’s why it seems like we’re hemorrhaging good, independent restaurants while Fogo de Chão and Kincaids thrive. We’ve heard it time and time again that we’re tapped for talent, that it’s near impossible to find top workers for both the front and back of the house. We know that bubbles can’t grow forever before they pop. Or do Minnesotans really only want burgers, steaks, and wings?   So is the Twin Cities’ dining scene still exciting? Short answer: Yes. Longer answer: But maybe not as...
What is “old” anyway? | Minnesotans on aging

What is “old” anyway? | Minnesotans on aging

We’ve talked about the societal stigmas surrounding aging in What’s the point of living if no one wants to f#ck you? and we talked about the disruptors developing tech to make it a better experience in Why eldercare is the most important tech sector. But how do people actually feel about aging? What do people actually think about growing up and growing old? To an a kid in elementary school, college is eons away. To a teen, 30 seems so old. To someone in their 60’s, 30 is just the beginning of life, and they themselves still have so much more of it to live.   So… WTF does old really mean? “I don’t know, like 35?” Cara, 15, says. “When you have a good job and can’t go out anymore.” Ann, 19, thinks for a moment. “When I hit 50,” she says, “I think I’ll start to feel really old.” “72,” Sam, 31, says. “Everyone else is wrong. It’s 72.” So it’s determined only by age? “Of course.” Ahmed, 24, says, “How close you are to death, right? The more years you have lived. It’s that simple.” Apryl, 29, describes it as fluid as per the individual. “The older you get the more it changes to avoid being the old person,” she laughs. “Maybe 55? That’s when everyone around you will call you old.” “And,” she adds, “when you start to get the good deals before death.” Like at Perkins? Where 55 is the starting point for senior discounts? “Yeah I remember my grandpa getting those,” Lisa, 32, says. “It’s crazy to think that I’m over halfway there.” “55?” Jake (who...
Are humans going to go extinct?

Are humans going to go extinct?

It’s pretty common these days to think about the human race going extinct. From the doomsday clock sitting at 2 and a half minutes to midnight, to Elizabeth Kolbert’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Sixth Extinction, to dozens of novels, movies, and soothsayers calling for our demise, it’s a pretty dark time to be a human. But is going extinct really something we should be worried about? We’re a fairly resilient bunch, and the short answer is no. Not anytime soon, at least. But how? With so many terrible things out there trying to kill us, including ourselves? Let’s take a look: Giant asteroids are a common villain in the story of humanity’s demise. But it’s extremely unlikely (more or less impossible) that something like that is going to wipe us out. Plenty of species survived the Chixculub impact about 66 million years ago (though not the dinosaurs), and humans, being more adaptable (more on that later), and with technology and tools, would likely survive as well. Plus, the solar system calmed down about three billion years ago, so we’re not going to see any asteroids worse than that one, or even of that size, coming our way anyway (as we have learned from studying the cratering record of the inner solar system). And, just to help you sleep even more soundly tonight, we have technology now to see asteroids coming and take care of them long before they make impact with earth. Then, we can just send Bruce Willis up to save us (though Ben Affleck won’t be joining this time, he is too busy with Batman). Other popular ways doomsday...
Jeff tried homemade Viagra (now you don’t have to)

Jeff tried homemade Viagra (now you don’t have to)

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is probably the only nightmare worse than balding that keeps men of a certain age up at night. There are several multi-million dollar industries dedicating to helping men “fix” the problem, and many of those fixes can get pretty expensive. But recently there have been rumors of a new, natural, cheap, and homemade remedy that is supposed to work just as well. Italian doctors have been saying for years that simply eating watermelon will turn you into a stallion. Citrulline and Lycopene, found in watermelon, are supposed to relax you and allow more blood flow downstairs, as well as acting as an aphrodisiac. Basically, it’s supposed to work the same as Viagra. The recipe we found after a quick Google search has you boiling watermelon juice, adding lemon once the mixture has reduced to half, letting cool and taking on an empty stomach. So we asked Jeff, who works in web design and has helped us out on more than one occasion, to try it out for us. He did make us promise to say that a.) his name is not really Jeff, b.) he isn’t really bald, and c.) he doesn’t actually have ED, but agreed to give it a shot. Jeff hit the farmer’s market, blended up slices of watermelon at about 4 p.m. on a Friday (about three hours before Mrs. Jeff gets home from work), added lemon and put it into the fridge. After the “potion” had cooled, he sat back on his brand new leather couch and took a long drink. “It’s good,” he says. “Tastes exactly as you would expect it to. Watermelon....
Ageism in America: What’s the point of living if no one wants to f*ck you?

Ageism in America: What’s the point of living if no one wants to f*ck you?

There is a stigma about growing old(er) in America that translates, usually, into ageism. Growing old is not a death sentence. Let me rephrase. The way the young view growing old is that life is over after 30 (or 35 or 40 if you’re lucky), while those who have made it past 30 will tell you that you don’t truly start living until after that. Ageism is exactly what it sounds like: Discriminating against someone because of their age. It’s the only negative “-ism” that America not only doesn’t protest or march against, but seems to embrace. We celebrate youth in America like we’re worried “Children of Men” is going to become a reality. (Note: Of course America is not the only place where this happens. But for the purposes of this article, we’re keeping it here.) Growing old is something to be laughed at, poked at, ridiculed, and shamed. Even as we’re living longer, and hearing things like “30 is the new 20” and “50 is the new 30” it seems people are worried more than ever about growing old. But like your skin color or sexual preferences, it’s not something you can control. Here we take a look at some of the attitudes and mindsets the American culture has about aging; about growing old, and being old.   This world was made for robots We treat our elderly the way we treat our electronics. When someone gets too old, they get replaced by something newer, sleeker, sexier, younger. And it’s without shame. So be a robot. There is routine. Follow the routine. Wake up, go to work, come home. This routine has worked...