The Pleasure Point

Jun 18, 2014 by

          Last Thursday, for the first time since we were in high school, my friend and I went to the park where we played Grindhouse as teenagers. (What is Grindhouse? I’m glad you asked! Inspired by the movie that I’ve never seen, Grindhouse involves a dumbass chick sitting on the hood of her dumbass friend’s car as he drives it. Though obviously foolish, we were smart enough to cease and desist play after only one game night. I am alive today to say that Grindhouse is one of my favourite stupid things I’ve done.) Like a proud parent, I sat on the bleachers as he presented the oral defense of his Master’s thesis to me (yeah, that’s right: Grindhouse players go to uni), listening as he reviewed his findings to back up the argument he’s been working to support for most of the past year (Recall that I was his [self-proclaimed] research assistant! It was a rough job; I went clubbing.): drugs (specifically MDMA and cocaine) are normalized in dance club culture, so policies should aim to assist users in reducing the harm associated with recreational drug use, rather than attempt to stop them from doing what they’re going to do anyway. #agreed!

          Since the fall, he and I have repeatedly dissected his thesis and the theory behind it (earning me this acknowledgement in his paper: “I also want to thank my high school friend Tree for taking a keen interest in my research. You have helped me so much. Thank you for allowing our coffee dates to turn into advisory meetings. Your advice and encouragement was much appreciated.” Is your heart officially mush? Mine is!); yet, somehow, the topic of hedonism never once came up before last week. Hedonism promotes acting for pleasure. The relevance to my friend’s thesis is clear: pleasure is the prime derivative of drug use, so of course society views it as deviant. Society teaches us that pleasure is not a good enough reason to justify an action. We are told that hedonism is wrong. We are pressured to work hard, and for what? Working our asses off for degrees, paycheques, or any other pieces of paper that society preaches to be important certainly doesn’t ensure happiness. Why mindlessly trail through life, living by societal expectations, prolonging pleasure for work to only maybe experience pleasure later? FYI: Society wants us to die before we reach the pleasure point. I know it.

          For this reason, I’m pissed at society. I put happiness first, but it’s no thanks to society’s teachings. Getting here required unlearning what was previously engrained in me by the culture in which I live: being happy is not priority. Though this angers me, what pisses me off most is that I haven’t completely ridden myself of all of society’s fucked up lectures yet. Going to Europe was supposed to be about pleasure. I was to travel through countries without regard for what’s next. However, over time, I’ve subconsciously turned my dream Euro trip into the idea of working and living in another country. (I’d like to do that too, but I think I’m finally realizing that they’re not the same goal.) Therefore, I’ve told myself I can’t go to Europe until I have the documents that allow me to work abroad, enough money to live, job prospects, etc., etc., etc. – Fuck off, self-inflicted pressure! The main objective is pleasure. I can do whatever makes me happy. Whether that means working abroad or getting on a plane without much of a plan or an income, holla hedonism!

Happiness Tip: Be hedonistic.

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