In the Pleasure Island chapter of the Pinocchio story, a sinister figure known as the Coachman tempts wayward children (in some version only boys) into abandoning their families and responsibilities for the promise of a life of perpetual fun and bliss. The Coachman takes the children to a vast paradisiacal amusement park and encourages them to totally abandon themselves to all the pleasures the glittering utopia offers. The children happily dive head first into the seemingly endless ocean of unrestrained gratification. Life becomes an endless stream of fun, fun, fun without any threat of anyone taking the T-Bird away. Nevertheless, this world of bliss turns out to be a cleverly laid trap. Before long, the children mysteriously transform into donkeys. The Coachman rounds up, imprisons, and sells the child-donkeys into lives of enslavement and hard labor in salt mines, farms, and circuses.
Like the Coachman in Pinocchio, the Establishment and their demonic controllers understand the power of pleasure, and have used this power to tempt, misguide, and ensnare modern people in much the same fashion the Coachman used Pleasure Island to lure children into lives of slavery. The Coachman's prime objectives behind Pleasure Island were material in nature - he gained power over the child-donkeys and through this power was able to sell them into slavery for a profit. Though profit and power incentives are certainly inherent in the Establishment's own Pleasure Island aims, the prime objectives of officially sanctioned hedonism are spiritual - more specifically, soul damnation.
Pleasure has always been problematic for Christians. Some regard it as an inevitable necessity; others as a grave temptation to sin that must be shunned at every opportunity. In my mind, pleasure can be divided into two simple and distinct categories: pleasure that aligns with God's Divine Plan and Creation, and pleasure that opposes God's Divine Plan and Creation. The former is good because it adds fullness and richness to Creation, while the latter is evil for the simple reason that it cheapens and denigrates Creation. Good pleasure appeals to our higher senses while evil pleasure tempts us to surrender to our lower impulses. Put another way, Good pleasure is creative, purposeful, and meaningful; evil pleasure is destructive, pointless, and meaningless. Good pleasure aligns with Truth, Beauty, and Virtue. Evil pleasure aligns with Falsehood, Ugliness, and Vice. Good pleasure should be nurtured; Evil pleasure, avoided. If not avoided, it should be repented.
It goes without saying that the Establishment has utilized pleasure primarily for destructive purposes, which can be evidenced by its perpetual inversions of Good forms of pleasure, particularly in matters of sex. Religion is the strongest motivator in humans, but sex runs a close second. If religion is abandoned, sex becomes the prime motivator. The Establishment knows this and has made sex the foundation of its own "Terra Magica" since at least the dawn of the sexual revolution.
The consequences of the demonic agenda's success at inverting the pleasures associated with sex pretty much speaks for itself, so I won't bother wading into any detail about that here. Sex is a primary weapon of Evil pleasure - but the Establishment's incitement of destructive gratification extends beyond sex to all areas in which the potential for Good creative human joy exists - the arts, literature, sports, family, friendships, money, comfort, food, and so forth. The endorsement and encouragement of Evil pleasure has been one of the demonic agenda's most successful weapons, all but guaranteeing the self-chosen damnation of countless souls. Like the Coachman in Pinocchio, the Establishment has successfully used pleasure to effectively sew people into their own skins.
Evil pleasure has been an incredibly successful tactic in the demonic agenda's spiritual strategy of soul damnation. The malevolent formula has been so efficient that it's perpetual fortification and continuance seemed pretty much guaranteed. As far as soul damnation was concerned, nothing else appeared to be required. Like the wayward children in Pinocchio, all the Establishment had to do was introduce modern people to Pleasure Island. Once there, people would do most of the heavy lifting associated with soul damnation themselves. True, the scheme was not flawless. Some people managed to resist the temptations of Forever Fun Park, but for the masses, Evil pleasure was became devastatingly difficult to resist.
Yet, for all intents and purposes, Pleasure Island has been closed. For whatever reason, the Establishment and its demonic controllers have suspended the Pleasure Island strategy for the bulk of humanity. The potential thrills, amusements, comforts, and gratifications that provided modern people purpose and meaning in life have essentially evaporated. Yes, some minor destructive pleasures and distractions such as online pornography, media, television series, on-demand movies and so forth are still accessible, but the lights of the vast funpark of Evil pleasure have been shut down. When and how the suspension might be lifted remains to be seen, but it isn't too difficult to imagine that many former gratifications may never recover or will be but shadows of themselves if and when they do.
I am not sure what the motivation behind the abandonment of the Evil pleasure strategy might be. Perhaps the demonic powers are shifting from damnation based on sins of greed and lust to an even sweeter damnation based on fear and despair. Then again, Divine Intervention may have played a role in the sudden and seemingly unimaginable termination of Pleasure Island. Perhaps the Divine has offered modern people one last chance to become aware of their sins and repent them. At this point, it's difficult to tell. It's worth noting that the closure of "Terra Magica" has had an adverse effect on Good pleasure as well. Though Good pleasures - the Scriptures, good books, good films, the enjoyment of nature (however curtailed), music, and so forth - are still accessible, a great deal of what qualifies as Good pleasure has also disappeared (the closure of concert halls, libraries, museums, parks, book stores, etc.)
When all is said and done, our current situation has limited access to all pleasures - that is, it affects all people, not only those enamored by Falsehood, Ugliness, and Vice. This is where awareness of the potential shift in the demonic agenda's strategy becomes vitally important. Modern people who allowed themselves to be hypnotized by Pleasure Island's flashing lights have become braying donkeys in the darkness. The continued denial of inverted pleasure can lead to three possible outcomes: awareness and repentance (possible but not likely); anger and impatience (the demand the vulgar pleasures be returned as soon as possible in the name of liberty, etc. - quite possible and likely); despondence and despair (a feeling that life has become meaningless and pointless - once again, quite possible and likely). Nevertheless, modern people who did not fall under the spell of Pleasure Island could still face the same risks their donkey brethren face. Put another way, prolonged deprivation of some higher forms of pleasure could adversely affect serious Christians as well.
And I believe this is where faith, hope, and love once again come into the equation. Modern people who harbor materialist mindsets could have an exceedingly difficult time navigating the post-Pleasure Island world. Almost everything into which they had misguidedly invested their faith, hope, and love has been taken from them. Serious Christians, on the other hand, did not invest any faith, hope, or love into these evil pleasures and may already be immune to the curtailment of these pleasures. Nevertheless, the closure of Pleasure Island has also curtailed the enjoyment of many Good pleasures as well. Serious Christians must not allow this curtailment to lead them into negative territory.
In the end, it all comes down to the fundamental definition of pleasure and its role in human life. For most modern people, pleasure - in the form of material hedonism - is a moral imperative. It is difficult to predict how the currently diminished opportunities to live out this moral imperative in the world will play out.
On the other hand, I imagine most serious Christians already know pleasure, even of the Good variety, cannot serve as the fundamental moral imperative life. This does not mean serious Christians should eschew Good pleasures. Nor should they passively embrace the forced reduction of Good pleasure in the world. Nevertheless, serious Christians should be able to find purpose and meaning even in the absence of most Good pleasures, and they can find this purpose and meaning primarily through faith, hope, and love.