The Racket #19 : PLEASURE
Poster by Dani Sanchez
05.21.2018 - ADOBE BOOKS - 7PM
It's our pleasure.
We've been wondering a great deal about pleasure lately. And not about what pleases us so much (Trader Joe's gnocchi and whatever bottle of white wine is less than 6 dollars, if you were wondering) but how we judge what pleases everyone else. How pleasure has become so scrutinized, such a matter of public opinion that we've voluntarily abandoned our ability to just enjoy. That because every photo broadcast to our minds through a million tiny rectangles is of pleasure turned to its highest level, that the simplest of life's enjoyments, the ones that don't look good with a high-contrast filter, have been shuffled to the back of the line. Pleasure, as we see it, is our own, we as individuals, get to say what it is that makes us happy, that gets us off. But we exist in a world where every moment can, if you want it, be beamed to the masses.
What pleases us now has to conform to what pleases everyone. What we enjoy the very most now has to live up to the thousand-yard stare of the world's omnipresent eye. And if it doesn't, and it can't, then can we all admit that we've lost a little bit of the ability to say how good it feels? If the world expresses its like of flowers only through a thousand photos of a bucolic mountainside absolutely teeming with them, then how can stumbling across a smattering of weedy yellow dandelions in a field of a cinderblocks and plastic bags spark even a single emotion? If every snap shot of food is the 15th course at a three-Michelin star gastronomic "experience" then how can eating a Snicker's Ice Cream Bar purchased from the shitty corner store while walking down the street on a slightly sunny day ever compare? If we are always hoping to see the greatest, what chance do we have at enjoying the smallest?
And maybe, maybe it's just that the biggest and brightest and most ridiculous of all things places the tiny stuff - the half-assed howl your dog makes when the fire engine gets too close or the way your hands feel after you've washed them with cheap soap - in context. That seeing a sparkling white beach you'll never go to makes the streetlights hanging over your local park a little more special.
It turns out we aren't trying to make a big point here. We're just trying to remind you that pleasure is your own thing. We live in a world where everyone can be a judge, and though we fall prey to the feeling ourselves sometimes, there is much to be said about simple, honest, unrecorded enjoyment. There is much to be had from allowing ourselves the ability to enjoy without concern, to be pleasured by whatever the hell it is that pleases us.