Sunday, July 22, 2018

the pleasure of, say, bacon

A March 1, 2018, Guardian article resurrected today goes into lengthy detail about the facts, bogus and otherwise, about the links between bacon (yumm) and cancer (ick). On and on the article goes. I purely marveled at its almost-Jesuitical research.

And it set my mind a-noodling: Yes, there are studies done all the time about the links between what provides pleasure and what will kill/maim/cripple you. Pleasure, as anyone reading these studies will know, always comes up holding the short and often slimy end of the stick.

"Oh woe! Pleasure is fleeting.
Wisdom, by contrast, is perfect."
Why would anyone with his or her head screwed on the right way, choose the flimsy over the assured?

I distrust this assumption-prone proposition. How about making the argument that pleasure is preferable to perfection? That, for example, bacon may entail dangers, some of them perhaps fatal, but is fully worth the price of living life admission? Or that the cigarettes I enjoy are evil-incarnate and yet provide a pleasure I enjoy?

Yup, they'll kill me.

And your point is?

Life, after all, is the true killer, assuming anyone wants to make the death-is-bad argument. Is bacon or are cigarettes somehow off the beaten path that is so clearly laid out for anyone?

It seems to me that at a certain age (one like mine of course), it is hard not to ponder and puzzle: Is there some reason to step off the well-beaten path that I will follow whether I like it or not? Why should pleasure be less rich, less worthy of adulation, than the life of which it is a part? True, there's the downer quotient when it comes to pleasure, but that at least is closer to real life ... which has promised death all along. Who am I to improve on what is clearly perfect without any help at all?

And when has perfection ever qualified as a perfect solution to anything?

I'm not so interested in the religio-philosophical arguments. Blow it out your tail pipe. I'm interested in real time, this time, honest-to-goodness true time. Perfection comes up short when it comes to bacon, I suspect.

Just some confused noodling.


  1. It was greed that made bacon dangerous. The bacon of our forefathers and my own youth was salted and smoked over inefficient time with no carcinogens added.

    I can't really defend tobacco rationally except to say that a number of times a day I can successfully solve a problem by quieting a craving. I could wish I'd never started, but I was started long before I was aware of it. I received nicotine in eutero. I grew up with second hand smoke in abundance, winter through summer, car or house, windows open or closed. When I left home I began dreaming of giant cigarettes and the source of uneasiness was clear. And on TV doctors told me that Old Gold brand would ease a raspy throat. Everyone smoked because it was harmless if not beneficial. Why else would our soldiers be given free cigarettes to help them win the good war. Oh well, greed again. But we're not the first to be lied to, nor will we be the last.

  2. Lin Rongxiang (Lionel from Singapore)July 27, 2018 at 1:19 AM

    It was ignorance that made human - and their internet avatars - dangerous.