Friday, February 24, 2012

ONLINE AND OFFLINE PORNOGRAPHY

I want to loose weight. I want to loose weight. I want to loose weight. This is what repetitively play in my mind whenever I exercise - by either doing Taichi or walking for 45 minutes. Apparently, a food fest in Brunei is inevitable. Since most of my friends love to mingle with plates full of irresistible dish, my way on losing weight has always been progressing at its slowest. Of course, I'm tempted to not only talk in meet-ups, but also let my taste buds enjoy what's served.

Apart from feasting on meal during meet-ups with my friends, one of the things that I love is the exchange of stories. From the odd, off and up to the sensual topics, we're just ready to take things happily. Of course, it's also a form of relaxation, especially on pampering our tired cells from a whole day of work.

So just recently, I had an unusual feeling over a night out with my friends. As usual, I was unstoppable in talking. Yet, on the side, there was something that I felt inside me. Oo, natatae ako.




Just kidding. Although sometimes I feel natatae in some of our meet ups, but I won't disclose such "yucky" or "kadire" kind of need (unless super urgent?). Who would want to spoil the happiness as each and everyone scoop an ice cream or slice of a cake and suddenly you'll say, hey guys, natatae ako. As expected, they'll say to you, yuuuuuck! Bastos. Okay, fine, that's acceptable my dear. Unless you have a fascination on someone's feeling of natatae, they you can say "love it!" or something like, "Award, go make tae na!" Better yet, "extra tae please" or "Tae in my coffee, thanks!"

Moving on with the usapang tae which doesn't have any connection with this post I'm making tae, I had two meet-ups with friends this week. The one was last Wednesday. I met Lisa, Elna, Jovert, Kuya Rhenee ( my four supah friends) and I tagged along Tonet, who's leaving Brunei soon and for good. Meanwhile, the other meet-up that I had was last night. I was with Ma'am Betsy and Ton.

Thank God, in those two meet-ups, hindi ako natatae. 

Serious na, please? Fine. Pak.

Whenever I go out with my friends, thanks to social media and the proliferation of digital technologies, it has become an automatic gesture for me to take a picture of the food that I order.  Relatively, while I haven't thought of a word to coin such behavior, I have referred to the majestic and appetizing pictures of food as "Food Pornography." You heard me right. Pornography.

Let me tae my thoughts on such discourse.

There are two operative words: Food and Pornography. It's given, the subject is the food.  The food, which is intricately presented with mouth-watering ensemble, becomes the subject of photography. However, what makes it more interesting is the idea of pornography. In our basic knowledge of pornography, nudity and exhibitionism play a role. Yes, the peeping tom and voyeuristic tendencies are pampered. So what makes it pornographic?

Food pornography shows the naked truth of teasing the taste buds of the spectator (sense of taste). On a different note, it symbolically attracts carnal pleasure on someone's who may be craving for a symbolical meat.

Still with me? Let's continue.

What's more interesting, because food has become a iconic symbol of class, the photos exhibit the status of the person who's consuming. This is the aspect of peeping into the symbolic dish that fires up the sense of belonging in the society.  To know where the food was purchased, how it's made - in posh restaurant or in a stall, or how it's served, etc. define not only the beauty of the dish but also reflect the inner taste of the person on showing one's identity - someone who may be a yuppie, credit-card packed, and on-the-go for cool stuff.

Now, we talk about the spectators who are present in virtual spaces - your friends and family.

Interestingly, the consumption of the food does not only take place in a dining table. Since photos waltz in social media, the person who sees the photos take part in the consumption in a virtual space. To participate in the consumption, a person likes a photo and even comments on it. On one hand, such photo may strike a craving that innate in the offline world or in the real space of the spectator (probably your family or a member of the family). Soon, the spectator creates a plan or action, if the food is found in a nearby restaurant, to grab a bite of what's pleasurable to a friend.

So how did I come up with this one? Because I observe that most of us, even I, has become fascinated with posting food pictures online. And as I see it, it's more than showing what you enjoy eating at the moment. It's also a manifestation of our subconscious that provide us identity and presence in a highly digital and consumerist era. As they see, you become what you eat. That in the aspect of cultural consumption, the cuisine that we put in our mouth, with all the tag price and exoticism that come within, provide and build our identity, class and ethnicity. Meanwhile, social media have become the tool for cultural reproduction.

Then what's with offline spaces?

In the real world, the consumption of the food is set in an intimate and private space. However, in a virtual space, there's no dining table to put the plate on and consumption does not take place via scooping a food, putting it in your mouth, chewing it and swallowing it. What we get to enjoy in social media is the formation or development of gustatory pleasures. We subconsciously crave and salivate on a food that's served with a status symbol.


While I may be talking about something virtual, I still love spending time with what's real: my friends and the moment in enjoying a light or hefty meal.

L-R: Tonet, me, Elna, Lisa, Jovert and Kuya Rhenee

Ma'am Betsy

Ton, Ma'am Betsy's Son

And despite the boom of social media that propels humongous gossips and hearsays, there's better way to communicate but through seating in one dining table or in a lounge and laughing your hearts out. By face-to-face, you can see instant and real reactions and gestures that no amount of virtuality can capture.

If I talked about Food Pornography via virtual space, I can say that the word "pornographic" is the suitable word to describe how I chronicle narratives with my friends. Not that I talk "dirty" or talk about my "sexcapades" which had been probably cursed with drought on it. I'm just very "bold," "creative" and "graphic" in whatever stories I blabber. Seriously, with all my animated story telling, what you hear is what you get.

I've always been talkative. Wait. Okay, let me rephrase that. I've recently become talkative. Not because I'm lonely or I need someone's attention. But I realized that I love letting my mouth talk what's inside my mind. Whether it's a simple thought or some big and unforgettable experience that needs not to be kept inside, I just talk, talk and talk.

Since I'm a very graphic person in telling stories, pleasures are also generated from my friends. Either they just laugh away with my non-nonsensical banters or they share their same experience. But what's make a night with me a pornographic experience? My stories are for everyone's feast. The words just penetrate senses which can lead to "orgasmic" reactions.

Yes, I love seeing my friends laugh. Yung tipong kita ko na ang utak nila sa laki ng tawa nila. Or yung ma-u-utot na sila sa kasiyahan. At yung iba, naiiyak na sa kabaliwan. I love that. Kung puede nga lang i-capture ang laki ng bibig, luha ng kasiyahan o ang massive na utot sa kakatawa, why not di ba?

On the other hand, good times with my friends could also be in a serious run ( weh?). Okay, serious-seriousahan lang. Nevertheless, I will surely miss my friends in Brunei when I leave soon.

Where to? Wait til I the post pics. Surely, it's gonna be eye-popping, mouth watering, and will surely make you wet (crying in tears, noh?).

Indeed, it's my pleasure. 

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