Then They Came for the TP


A few days ago I was thinking about all the pleasures and conveniences of life that alleged environmentalists attempt to deny us, from plastic straws to the ever-useful Styrofoam. There’s even a California legislator who has been agitating to banish paper receipts for retail goods. I said “alleged” environmentalists because the purported danger is usually microscopic compared to the environmentalists’ constant quest for power.

As I mentioned, I was reflecting on these things, and, having just purchased a supply of toilet paper, I was feeling happy that there was no attack on that. In the event of blizzard, flood, or civil disturbance, I might run out of food, but I would not run out of TP.

The next day, my eye fell on one of the most depressing news stories I have seen this year — the Guardian’s alarmed account of how much TP, and unrecycled TP, is being used, and of the voices raised against the practice. Seems that toilet paper is actually made out of trees, which have to be cut down to make it! So something, obviously, has to be done.

Here it was again, this religious aversion to using any kind of resource, and it was asserting itself in a much less polite, much more dangerous way.

I remembered a complaint that a student made to me, several years ago, on the first day of class. I had passed out my syllabus — a paper syllabus — and she politely protested the lack of sustainability in my conduct. When I mentioned to her that trees are renewable resources, she looked at me with glassy eyes. So I clarified my statement: “They grow back.” “What do you mean?” she said. I then explained that people who own the trees make sure that their valuable resource does not run out, that they replant the trees they cut, and that this has been going on for generations, quite successfully. It was clear she did not wish to believe my good news. She said she would check it out.

But here it was again, this religious aversion to using any kind of resource, and it was asserting itself in a much less polite, much more dangerous way. The Guardian cited as an authority a spokesman for the environment, who claimed, among other things:

Only around 30% of the world’s population uses toilet roll, so [emphasis added — dig that crazy logic] we know that there are lots of perfectly hygienic alternatives to using paper-based products. It’s important we consider what we’re using to wipe our behinds with, because at the moment our precious planet is getting a bum deal.

Ha, ha. What a funny pun. I can just imagine what the purported 70% of the world uses instead of toilet paper. I’m sure it’s perfectly hygienic. I’m sure their standards of public health are even higher than our own.

Maybe you’ve noticed: two of the leading signs that a social regime is entering its death throes are a decline in public health and a lack of toilet paper.

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Man, that surely sucks,
It’s the real thing, don’t you know,
From ‘fore they banned the plastic straws,
Years and years ago.

Oh, someday they’ll perfect the paper
Straws that now collapse,
Before you’re finished sucking,
And throw them in the trash.

They’ll coat ‘em with some kind of spray,
That lets them last and last,
But still be called a paper straw,
They’ll really catch on fast.

And they’ll get flushed with all the shit,
That’s floated out to sea,
And banned just like the plastic ones,
They took from you and me.

But as for now I’m hoarding straws,
Just in case, you see,
‘Cause I like sucking through a straw,
Wild and brave and free!

So piss off, and let me be ….

………. Ssslurrrrp!

John Brunt Baker
September 21, 2018
“They can have my plastic straw when they pry it from between my clenched, porcelain, dental implants!”


Here is a glimpse into what some of the 70% of the world’s population might be using instead of the TP?

I was once reading about a doctor working for some health organization, perhaps the UN, in Somalia and Ethiopia in the 1960s. And what was, by far, the most common chirurgical procedure he performed there? His bread and butter so to speak? Well, stitching up--after cleaning the infections--the sensitive lower behinds of the natives who would routinely cut themselves with sharp stones they were using to clean themselves up. Now whether that was a common practice or just a common substitute for something else I don’t know, those were the details given, but I have some doubts whether it was, or is, a perfectly hygienic substitute to TP on a number of levels, for both the patients and the doctors.

Other parts of the world (surprisingly, the dry middle east) prefer washing without any wiping, but our government doesn’t want us to waste any water either or else it would not be forcing us to use the low flow toilets which, thankfully, after more than 20 years of development, finally flush almost as well as the old ones. But it is all good as long as there isn’t some industry that is “completely unregulated”.

How come there are so many people with no real problems that they can waste theirs, and our, time figuring out solutions to problems that don’t exist?

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