Hedonism is the Greek work. Originally called hedone, which means sweetness. Understandably, sweetness is the feeling that has to be appreciated by taste. Gradually, the concept was generalized to feeling of pleasure related to smell and hearing. By and large, now hedonism does not apparently apply to taste and feeling any more. It is generally a metaphor to describe any pleasant feeling, sensation or emotion.
Hedonistic culture refers to culture which seek pleasure as the only ultimate goal, and the cultural doctrine believes that everyone should live with the ultimate goal to seek pleasure. Pleasure can be derived from many sources. Most common to lay persons that I observe in many part of the country especially the place which I reside is either procession of wealth like having jewelery for ladies and having many modified or luxurious cars for men, The rich man would love to collect few branded cars and big bungalows as a show of affluence and good fortune. To my mind, I believe, it is under their subconscious as consciously, they are well-thought and religious.
Another interesting observation is regarding the gratification for most men and some women derived from polygamous marriage. Men, as many said, are polygamous in nature. Women in some cases shown more relax and less hostile attitude toward polygamy as it is allowed by religion. Combining the two perspectives, in general, the attitude toward liberal marriage is gracious. Could that be some form of subconscious, well-repressed form of hedonistic culture in the Malay dominated, submissive and well-compliance Islamic society.
Anhedonia, on the other hand is the absence of pleasure or lack of ability to experience a normally pleasurable activities. It is one of the key feature for depression, a mood disorder characterized by low mood, loss of energy, loss of weight and lack of interest.
In popular culture, Anhedonia was the title Woody Allen intended to call for his 1977 film, Annie Hall. This romantic comedy revolved around two persons and follows the up and down relationship of two mismatched New York neurotics. This comedy is basically about a Jewish comedy writer , Alvy Singer who used to ponder the modern quest for love and his past romance with a singer, Annie Hall.
The twice-divorced Alvy knows that it’s not easy to find a mate when the options include pretentious New York intellectuals and lifestyle-obsessed writers, but Annie seems different. Along the rocky road of their coupling, Alvy weigh in on such topics as endless therapy, movies, the absurdity of dating rituals and drugs. This film didn’t focus on anhedonia per se, but displayed emotional expression of two neurotics as it blended the slapstick and fantasy from such earlier Woody Allen film’s trade mark.
In conclusion, I believe that we need to check the drive for pleasure as we don’t want to live in a culture which subconsciously derived most gratification based on repressed hedonistic wishes. That would create a dilemma of a counterfeit society. Similarly, anhedonia is the worst feeling to experience as only the depressives experience the complexity of extreme pleasurelessness.