[Editor’s note: Every Wednesday, New York City’s own Andrew W.K. takes your life questions and sets you safely down the right path to a solution, a purpose, or — no surprise here — a party. Need his help? Just ask: AskAWK@villagevoice.com]
I could really use your help answering this question…
What’s better: nachos or tacos?
Your Party Disciple
Dear Your Party Disciple,
To answer your question, BOTH ARE BETTER. Both nachos and tacos are better. For starters, both nachos and tacos are better than being dead. Both nachos and tacos are better than no food at all. And both nachos and tacos are better than each other, because as soon as you get tired of eating nachos, you can always just switch to eating tacos, and your appetite is rekindled.
Besides, one of the greatest things about life is that we don’t always have to pick favorites. We don’t always have to declare one thing we love is definitively better than another. We can love two things, or three things, or millions of things at once and in different ways. We can have tons and tons of favorite things. We can enjoy an almost infinite amount of pleasures and consider the whole experience a favorite thing in itself. Mexican food can be one of your favorite things. Food in general can be one of your favorite things.
If I had to pick one favorite activity, it would be breathing, for it’s the one activity that facilitates all others. If I had to pick one favorite place, it would be the universe, for it contains all the locations I would ever need. If I had to pick one favorite thing, I’d pick carbon, for it makes up all the living things in the world.
But in most situations, we’re not forced to pick one absolute favorite — no one is demanding that we think in such extreme, singular terms. So why try to narrow so much of life down into a kind of definite “best of” list? It’s unnecessarily stressful and takes away our natural tendency to like many things about the world. Our hearts and minds are large, vast worlds of their own, and they allow us to hold many things and find value in them for different reasons. In order to love something a great deal, we don’t always have to lower other things. Let’s raise everything we love up as high as possible.
All in all, the best thing about life really is just being alive at all. If we ever had to pick our one favorite thing in the whole world, it would be life itself — this incredibly intense, puzzling, enthralling adventure called “not being dead” that gives rise to every experience we could ever or will ever have. We might as well love what comes with those experiences as much as we can, even the painful and challenging parts. After all, this life could well be the only experience we get to ever have.
But even if it’s not, and we each live for infinite lifetimes, let’s still enjoy both tacos and nachos right now. Let’s appreciate how one of the absolute best things in the whole world is accomplished by simply melting cheese on chips. The first bite of either a nacho or a taco is a joy that is difficult to replicate by any other means. Words cannot adequately describe this kind of delight. Only our soul can fully understand these sorts of marvels.
Let’s feed our soul the entire range of life’s experiences and develop our hearts and minds to be large enough to fully take in and appreciate this incredible world of flavors we have in front of us.
And every time we eat tacos or nachos — or encounter any experience that brings us that kind of undeniable and incalculable happiness — let us take a moment to be glad that it exists, to be glad that the world exists, and to be glad that we exist to enjoy it.
More:Ask Andrew W.K.