By most definitions, Hedonism is considered a lifestyle in which pleasure and happiness are the ultimate goals in life.
A hedonist is one who seeks pleasure and avoids pain above all else. But to get really good at it one must practice hedonism on a regular basis.
It is my toadish firm belief that most people in the western industrialized countries are, try to be or wished they were true accomplished and respected hedonists of the highest order.
Pleasure is good. Eden was fun. Excess may be bad, no argument there. But self deprivation is just plain stupid.
To live a life consisting only of hard work, self appointed religious virtue, sacrifice and self discipline is to be a martyr; and let's face it, martyrs make lousy lovers, friends and party guests.
Of course any good thing taken to the extreme inevitably turns bad, but when the true principles of hedonism are employes on a daily basis the end result is a happy person.
Granted, that happy person will surely piss off the martyr living next door, but a truly happy person has no interest in such dreary characters, anyway.
Despite the rantings of religious extremists, life coaches and jaded psychologists, it is okay to have a good time. Of course, not everyone appreciates happiness and freedom in others, and such concepts tend to ruffle the stiff feathers of our more conservative friends who race forward, fingers wagging, with dire warnings of slippery downward spirals and desintegrating families. But to no avail....Most of us still want to have a good time and most importantly we want it regularly.
Now to my point in connection with our east-west quest.
Being as it is reported about most social levels of life in FSU, this western concepts of hedonistic joy, pleasure and playfulness by adults are virtually non-existent in public life. And not much more noticeable in private life either.
Life is certainly harsh by any hedonistic standard if all an FSU woman is able to do 6 days a week is get up in the morning, have breakfast, ride a crowded bus in freezing temperatures to work for 9-10 hours in an archaic working environment by any western standard, climb the crowded bus again in the same or worse freezing temperatures, stop by the sotre to get basic staples for dinner and go home, cook, clean and go to sleep...day after day after butt freezing cold day.
My biggest cultural obstacle I've faced in talking, writing and overall communicating with any of the FSU women I like so much is in helping them accept and belief that the above described concepts of hedonism are alive and well in the west....specially in California, where the weather plays such an active factor in allowing people to enjoy, seek and achieve pleasure while leading productive, balanced and harmonious lives simultaneously.
Couldn't agree more. Life is too bloody short to be worried or pissed off all the time that is why I
a)left England and
b) stay the hell away from my family over there.
We are here for a good time not a long time.
I still won't go disco dancing though. Just can't bring myself to do it. There is nothing wrong with me, but I always plead an old broken hip injury from an unfortunate incident with a camel and a bar of soap.
I think that is partially why the last relationship with the woman in Mariupol died. I think she has a rough life out there and all she could see was that she had to get her daughter out. I kept telling her that she could have her cake and eat it too but she just didn't seem to get it. I told her that here, I have sunshine 12 months a year, I'm not broke, there is tons to do and see and it was there for the taking. All she had to do was reassure me that she was interested in me primarily and an escape route for her daughter secondarily. No sale!
This delightful lady I am talking to now (yes talking to because that is how her emails come across) has not even mentioned her child. Breath of fresh air. That is what I want. Not a maid or a glorified whore but someone who is interested in me and wants pleasure and fun instead of misery, cold and pain.
Don't we get enough of that in real life :):) (as Spike Milligan once said about the news)
OK, IZI....you had you venting rant.
But that's not why I started this thread.
FSU women in particular and FSU people in general seem to have this well deserved rap as survivors of hard times...rough around the edges and lacking on anything resembling what we in the west accept, expect and practice in the form of 'good manners', meaning "sweep the nasty stuff under the carpet at all cost" before the neighbors get a wiff of it.
Because times are rough...I get it. Transition from soviet times when security was provided to capitalism's infancy where everything is insecure, up in the air, unreliable and unstable.
But what can one western man do, say or show to let the traditional hope, optimism and practicality become contagious to the eastern woman he wants?
Olga, chip in on this one if you wish...
women climb the bus and work for 10 hours every day because they have to do it. this is how they make their money. They have no choice. If they had easier way to earn money they would take easier way for sure. Earning money is not easy so they can’t spend it easily. Average salaries are very low especially in small towns. It is just enough to get good food every day, to pay for apartment, to get some clothes to wear. What about you? if you had money to cover your most nesessary expenses only would you spend money for something else? for example would you go to the bar or dances tonight if in this case you will not have money to get food tomorrow? Maybe you would but sometimes. not everytime. Women in Russia also do something to enjoy their lives but not often, because they can’t afford it.
I think that this not only money question. Some women not only Russians or Ukranian don’t know what they need to enjoy their life. Maybe if you give her a lot of money she would spend it to get something what she wants to enjoy. But that doesn’t guarantee that she will spend it wisely or that it will help her to enjoy her life.
what can one western man do, say or show to let the traditional hope, optimism and practicality become contagious to the eastern woman he wants? You may show it to her. If she spends some time with you in your environment and lifestyle she’ll understand it. She may hear about Americans a lot but she’ll never understand it until she get’s there and spends enough time to understand it.
To my mind it is a difference between joys. For example, here not overcrowded bus is already a big joy, yesterday they turned on the hot water so it was and still is a big joy for me (because now I don't have to warm water before washing or taking a shower), thus I will have more free time and things will be easier to do - this is a really big pleasure!:) It is that to my mind here small joys mean much for us. Everyday we have many small joys. Like getting in and out of the bus without any problems:)))
Exceptions to the rule are the most effective way to validate the rule. Besides Olga is one of the most informed and neutral people posting in this forum by virtue of her vast and well diversified experience with both east and west people.
Even if we do not agree with her all the time, it doesn't take anything away from what she knows.
"....She may hear about Americans a lot but she’ll never understand it until she get’s there and spends enough time to understand it..."
What Olga and Pitchka explained are some of the reasons why I believe the current 1-2% of the FSU women population willing to emigrate by marrying a foreigner will increase dramatically.
It may sound oversimplistic and I know that word of mouth is not a perfect or accurate form of advertisement or news reporting, but inevitable the now 100s or 1000s of FSU women moving to the west talk to every single relative and friend she has in FSU to explain in detail how much more enjoyable life is from the western and hedonistic side of the planet.
This does not guarantee a lifetime of happiness with the western man she chose, but the lifestyle advantages are significant and needless to say, quite enjoyable.
In the meantime I will keep doing my best to explain that having two cars in an attached 2-3 car garage in my house is not an obscene overindulgence when you live in a place like southern California....enjoyable, yes. But not an excess or abuse.
Me, rich American, You, poor FSU lady. I bet you made their day telling them all about the things they don't have.
As most Americans turn in to 300lb, two-legged, cash cows for morally bankrupt, avaricious, corporations, please try and keep a straight face when you tell the rest of the world about the joys of hedonism.
The qualities that you ascribe to martyrdom are exactly those qualities that these people display and I found most of them a darned sight happier than their pampered, indolent, western counterparts.
It is good to vent (vant??)
And that is exactly why you started this thread. My post gave a concrete example of the hedonism of the west versus the stoicism of the east. There is nothing wrong with 3 car garages or swimming pools or eating in a restarant when you want. Horses for courses.
Russia isn't here. There are different parameters to work with. They try to find what happiness they can using what they have.
Unfortunately with the men this seems to involve huge quantities of vodka but anyway.
So why don't you take a risk and bring a lady over here and demonstrate what you are talking about. At least you could help one person to have a more enjoyable life. It must be said though that comforts are one thing but finding love, trust in another person, loyalty and sharing a history and future together are priceless.
Was that enough venting for you or perhaps I was just stating an opinion?
One is that 'your' pursuit of happiness must not prevent your neighbour's. 'You' have a 'right' only to the degree that it does not prevent other people from having the same right.
Another is that hedonism often tempts people to live as if there is no tomorrow.
The peasants (before government support to farmers) knew that you cannot eat your seed grain if you want to have another harvest. And, if they did not feed the horses during winter they had no horses come spring.
(I'm indebted to Steinbeck for the last example.)
Kindly remove the 2X4 wood pillar from out of your arse.
Having two cars in southern California is EXACTLY like having two pairs of shoes in most parts of the world.
You simply do not get anywhere without them.
It has nothing to do with the undeserved arrogance you desperately try to pin on anything or anyone from US.
You come over here and try to make your life work in So. Cali. without at least one reliable car in a place that has virtually ZERO useful public transportation.
Both my cars are big and comfortable, but both are at least 8 years old and serve specific practical purposes. So kindly shove your insults up your very ignorant and uptight arse.
Comfort, pleasure and material conveniences will never replace the intangibles of a happy life in my book....you nail that very nicely.
But make no mistake... I do want, have and enjoy both in fairly large doses. I will bring one lovely lady eventually and share my life with her.
Your search in FSU is much more extensive and time traveled than mine and until recently some parts of my mind still tried to stick to the perennial "tried and true" of the western female pool. But it just does not work with them anymore.
My trip to Tyumen is still in the books for January.
After that who knows....
The reasons for the thread was to share the difficulties I have when I try to describe the different things normal people or myself do and enjoy in California.
Like Olga said, I guess until she gets here it's almost impossible to describe how common it is for people to spend many of their weekends at the beach in midwinter season while the rest of the country and most of the northern hemisphere is freezing their asses off.
You're only partially right.
Hedonism teaches you to find that which gives you and those you love pleasure and peace of mind today, tomorrow and every day of your life.
Making provisions for the future is one of the most important things to do if you wish to preserve that source and continuity of pleasure and enjoyment.
Tut, Tut, Toad. You really have to develop a thicker skin.
Let’s get something straight. I have a lot of American friends (bisexuals, no doubt). Unlike some, they are not abusive or arrogant and they certainly would agree with criticisms I make of America, just as I accept any criticisms they make of Britain. There is good and bad in all countries.
Since this is clearly a chat room and not a Forum and you have made it clear that any sanction is unwelcome, I shall exercise my right to free speech within it and if that offends you, that is your problem. If the cap fits, wear it.
Now. Where was I…
'Even if we do not agree with her all the time, it doesn't take anything away from what she knows.' First fawning followed by paternal condescension. Such a charmer.
As for 'WE'.. You mean YOU. It's not the first time you attempt to speak for everyone. You DON'T.
Then there's.. 'what we in the west accept, expect and practice in the form of 'good manners'. This had me absolutely howling. You are taking the piss, right? LOL. Was your good manners shown before you put down Izi or after? Glad to see slapstick is alive and kicking.
You seem surprised that only 1-2% want to leave. Most Russians do NOT want to live in the West. They have strong bonds, a rich language, and a great attachment to their culture and country. Many intellectuals who go to the U.S. come back because of the intellectual poverty they find in America. Naturally, those that have good experiences will influence others but I can’t see it becoming a gold rush.
Fasting was 'self deprivation' and it prevented people from becoming too much a slave to their senses. Spiritual disciplines, if you understand them, are rooted in a deep understanding of the human condition and how to be liberated from its worst aspects. The pollution of the ancient religious traditions does not take away from their underlying truths. Seek and ye shall find, O abysmal Toad. Glad you used the 2x4 crack, brings me nicely back to scripture.. you know the line, Toad, old chap.. first remove the beam from your own eye??
As to 'sweeping under the carpet'. Some things are best swept under the carpet, some things better out in the open. The litigation society that the U.S. has, shows that whining has developed into a very lucrative industry. Of course there is little stocism. There is no profit in it!
Hedonism? Nothing wrong with the pleasure principle except, after 10 years or so of indulgence, people find they tire of the emptiness of it and start to seek something more meaningful.
Not to mention that old chestnut… ‘You spend the first half of your life looking for excitement and the second half trying to avoid it!’ (I speak for myself of course. ;-) )
How do you know Eden was 'fun'? No Fiance Forum then. Pretty tough moderator though. QC
Too many Caligula parties is excessive and doomed to ruin anyone's happiness, health, balance and enjoyment for life. Abuse of anything that is good is just as detrimental as self-imposed derivation.
Keep in mind that when we refer to the deprivation that FSu people endure we must acknowledge it is NOT self-imposed.
Quite the contrary.
"...Of course any good thing taken to the extreme inevitably turns bad, but when the true principles of hedonism are employed on a daily basis the end result is a happy person (Moi).
Granted, that happy person will surely piss off the martyr living next door (QC), but a truly happy person has no interest in such dreary characters, anyway.
QC, you're a dreary, unhappy, envious and resentful character. I have no interest in your desguised attacks, blanket derogatory statements about the US people and even less interest in your opinions. I'm done exchanging with you.
If there was a way to ignore your posts entirely, the iggy button would be working overtime whenever I see your name in this forum. Goodbye.
The most hedonistic option for me is the one where you have someone else fish it, clean it, cook it, serve it to you and clear the table after you're done...:)
To each their own way to enjoy life, Geri.