Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Compass of Pleasure - Why Some Things Feel So Good

New York Times bestseller The Compass of Pleasure (written by neuroscientist David Linden) explores the neurology, biology and primacy of one of the most clandestine spaces of the human anatomy - the brain. More specifically, the way in which we feel pleasure and why. After all, pleasure-seeking seems to be a vice as well as virtue in the human experience. Our desire and lust for the feel-good factor takes us on great journeys, often dark.

For Linden, it all started in Bangkok, one fragrant evening in 1989.


Bangkok, 1989. The afternoon rains have ended, leaving the early evening air briefly free of smog and allowing that dis­tinctive Thai perfume, frangipani with a faint note of sewage, to waft over the shiny streets. I hail a tuk-tuk, a three-wheel motor­cycle taxi, and hop aboard. My young driver has an entrepreneur­ial smile as he turns around and begins the usual interrogation of male travelers.
"So . . . you want girl?"
"I see." Long pause, eyebrows slowly raised. "You want boy!"
"Uh, no."
Longer pause. Sound of engine sputtering at idle. "You want ladyboy?"
"No," I answer, a bit more emphatically, nonplussed at the idea that I give the impression of desiring this particular commodity.
"I got cheap cigarettes . . . Johnnie Walker . . ."
"No thanks."
Undaunted, he moves on to the next category of his wares, now with lowered voice.
"You want ganja?"
"Ya baa [methamphetamine tablets]?"
A whisper now. "Heroin?"
Voice raised back to normal. "I can take you to cockfight. You can gamble!"
"I'll pass."
Just a little bit irritated now. "So, farang, what you want?"
"Prik kee noo," I respond. "Those little 'mouse shit' peppers. I want some good, spicy dinner."


Saturday, December 17, 2011


"All right Mr De Mille, I'm ready for my close up"

Gloria Swanson's tribute to Hollywood silent film icon, Cecil B.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Presidential Affair

A tot of whiskey, a drunken tossle for the best spot on a balcony at the 2010 Durban July and an 18 month court case - that's the nightmarish order of events for betting agent and 'ordinary guy' Daryl Peense since an unfortunate slip of the hand. He's better known as the dude who accidently spilled his drink on President Jacob Zuma, and has virtually become a national criminal and reluctant public enemy Number One overnight. Talk about the wrong place at the wrong time. After beng escorted off the racecourse, cable-tied and wedged between two BMW X5s, 'the Zuma Drink Spiller' became not only a failed assasin, but proof of the lunacy and power-trips that govern our country and its still-divided people.

'That's my president, you white bastard', a policeman snarled at Peense during his arrest.

iol news pic 03 dec Daryl Peense

South Africa never fails to entertain when it comes to law and justice, propelling ordinary men into countrywide notoriety for clumsy mishaps, while billions in corrupt dealings, fraud and fuckery continue blithely on. Here's an idea for a news house in SA: The Daily Chuckle.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...