Cultural Imperialist

"Scathing Spats on Shallow Subjects"


Fri Jul 28



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Anti-Dumping Agreement

Greg Piper

On the one hand, we have entire civilizations built upon the blood of victims, the trampling of lives to further empire, and the raping of the land to enable mankind's industrial and technological dreams. And on the other, we're afraid of taking a shit in a stranger's house.

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Nobody objects to urine, pro­vided it’s dis­posed of quickly. “I gotta pee” has earned hearty guf­faws from St. Fran­cis to For­rest Gump because it causes social awk­ward­ness that’s only slightly dirty, like the art of Nyotaimori or naked sushi. We only get mad at urine in an alley, on the toi­let seat or in a beer bot­tle that we fool­ishly drink after pulling over a dim-witted duo.

But pee’s allit­er­a­tive sib­ling is no laugh­ing mat­ter any­where it’s dumped. Espe­cially if you’re host­ing the dumper. Make this the first in The Rules fran­chise for men: Thou Shalt Cinch the Sphinc in a Stranger’s Shack.

Not that women can’t show bad form. Imag­ine my com­plex facial con­tor­tions upon hear­ing two attrac­tive women describe how one chris­tened the other’s new home with a giant, er, relief. And I think my landlord’s grade-school daugh­ter left an unflushed present dur­ing a visit. If you catch the first Harold & Kumar on basic cable, be glad the girls’ bath­room scene is missing.

But clearly men are less self-conscious about sh*tiquette. And forehead-slappingly obliv­i­ous to the very real dis­tinc­tions between tin­kling and sphincling.

Drink a beer on an empty stom­ach at my house and you’ll have to go or risk your health - all men remem­ber the Simpsons episode where Grandpa’s kid­neys blew in the car. It will be quick and leave no traces, unless you ate aspara­gus that day (whose aroma is exotic, like Mar­rakesh). But if your bow­els are yowl­ing, surely you could have planned a more con­sid­er­ate evac­u­a­tion route, per­haps halt­ing new sh*ttlements while the vice pres­i­dent is vis­it­ing instead of crap­ping all over the president’s piss ini­tia­tive. The spirit of solid waste lingers like a fresh­man with no social cues after a “date,” ren­der­ing the facil­i­ties unin­hab­it­able for upwards of an hour and pre­sent­ing a Hobson’s Choice: an open-door pol­icy that unleashes a weak­ened form of crap­i­tal­ism on the house, or a commode-grown nation­al­ism whose insu­lar­ity repels the world.

The World Tin­kling Orga­ni­za­tion is ill-equipped to han­dle a prob­lem of this mag­ni­tude. That’s why I pro­pose new exemp­tions on bath­room pro­to­col, the Generalized Sys­tem of Pooping, that apply specif­i­cally to the homes of peo­ple you just met, but should also be observed even between good friends.

1. Restricted hours. No move­ments when peo­ple are awake and about the house. This can be over­come by fol­low­ing an evac­u­a­tion with a shower so as to neu­tral­ize the oth­er­wise unstop­pable rebel force.
2. Can­dles and matches. Do your busi­ness only if the bath­room has this win­ning com­bi­na­tion of taste­ful­ness and sub­tlety. And light up first. It’s also appro­pri­ate to smoke in the bath­room, a stigma­ti­za­tion far more bear­able than accom­pa­nies detected dump­ing. Ignore spray cans, the bath­room equiv­a­lent of the scar­let A.
3. Big par­ties. Any­thing goes when peo­ple are ine­bri­ated and anony­mous. Just try to find the bath­room with the least con­scious peo­ple loi­ter­ing around it.
4. Borat. Bring a bag with you.

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Free Trade Defecation

Jeremiah Lewis


Poop. It's one of those things that no one talks about because it's gross, it smells nasty, and it comes from a private place on your body that is equally disgusting. Do we as a culture want to confront the questions surrounding our various bodily functions and their effect on our environment, and the determinations our natural needs force upon our behavior? If you're in the woods and you need to relieve your bladder, do you mince off like a coward and try to make it back to the safety of your home, or do you stand like a man, face the tree of urinary indifference, and paint it with your own water?

With the issue of evacuating one's bowels in the confines of a stranger's home, the core of the debate has been laid open like a hot sucking wound, a blistering sore upon the face of polite society. It is as if the Civil War were fought, not on the grounds of free trade, states rights, and slavery, but on the necessities of conducting ourselves with decorum when faced with the unsettling requirement to expunge our excrement under the very noses of some strange host to whom we owe some apparently large and substantial debt of politeness.

So let's just get it out of our system right now: all the Pilgrimatic modesties, the Quaker qualities of shame and embarrassment, and the social mores that have ruled uncontested for thousands of years due to humankind's seemingly delicate sensibilities. On the one hand, we have entire civilizations built upon the blood of victims, the trampling of lives to further empire, and the raping of the land to enable mankind's industrial and technological dreams. And on the other, we're afraid of taking a shit in a stranger's house. Or even in a friend's house. At a party, at a sleepover, at a wake, at a tractor pull--I crapitulate!, as the French say when waving the white while browning their trousers, is now taboo everywhere but the sanctity of one's own home? How foolish is that?

Anyone with a degree of honesty and the courage to own their biology knows the danger a no-dumping policy carries for the legislator. Like Charles Rangel after an ethics inquiry, one may find that one cannot avoid the surging requirements of the lower intestines after a meal of questionable origin. Suppose you are caught at a reporter's dinner at the luxurious house of the editor of a paper you have denigrated or lauded at some point in the past, and while the owner is known to you, he is not a friend--Do you bow out gracefully like many Democrats after an unpopular health care reform package is rammed down your constituents' throats, or do you act like a man, judiciously, and retire to the powder room where you can freely release the hounds, braying and blowing, and lighting a match or pressing the button on the Glade freshener sitting above the sink?

I have no doubt that readers of delicate sensibilities will find this odorous. Sorry, but just when did we decide that our biological needs of the moment should be subjected to some arbitrary custom of the frigid and the fecally-challenged?

Waiting until you're in more private environs may seem more politic, but for me, there's no greater freedom or self-expression than following the dictates of your digestion, even if the domicile is not your own.

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