Imagine that you are a part of a new society that has shifted the conceptions moderating any sort of manners concerning excrements and, respectively, consumption.
– take a moment –
You are now seated in a hall, guesting at the manor of your fellow couple who raise a kid.
A discussion takes place among your friends on some exquisite topic, and everyone is relaxing after a pleasant day they’ve spent at work. Perhaps wine?
Suddenly, the offspring leaves his stool, leans towards the mother, glances both sides quickly and starts whispering into her ear. He blushes.
The lady comes up from behind the table. She fastens her clothes in the lower part again,
And flushes the toilet behind her.
The two leave after being excused, hasting to a smaller room of the house where they begin the preparation of a sandwich.
The sewers system of modern European standard has it’s origins in the Greek culture, followed by the Roman empire. After that came the flourishing epoch of Arabic science, yada-yada- then come the dark middle ages. And it seems by that time that the system is already gone.
It reappears in the other side of the planet, with Siberia and China, reaching the Europe continent only towards the Renaissance.
Both areas of Russia and China maintained public baths by hot springs; “Saunas” with the practice of Hydropathy, while the french resorted to inventing their compact perfume artillery.
The difference was, one of the planets’ sides of progressed human society was structured hierarchically, wherein technology “waterfalled” gradually from the higher-ups to the low-tier terrains. [you can similar this to the type of Terraces agriculture] Let’s call this a technology-based pyramid scam. Large areas of today’s Earth still practice this behavior.
However, centuries later, the basic structure haven’t changed a bit.
Water is still used to soften the impact and smell of the stool, then using concealed channels to lead the shit right to the ocean’s spread arms.
It’s the advancing beginning of the 21st century.
Though NASA impressed us to no end with their inventions, I think we all agree that it’s time for all human race to eliminate shit with some other, way cooler method. cooler. . ..
Perhaps we freeze it in the main stem of our future buildings. I’ll let you envision it all on your own.
My thought on this sums to “How would this world be moderated if all humans had one more toe on a single limb”?
“In a traditional German toilet, the hole into which shit disappears after we flush is right at the front, so that shit is first laid out for us to sniff and inspect for traces of illness. In the typical French toilet, on the contrary, the hole is at the back, i.e. shit is supposed to disappear as quickly as possible. Finally, the American (Anglo-Saxon) toilet presents a synthesis, a mediation between these opposites: the toilet basin is full of water, so that the shit floats in it, visible, but not to be inspected. […]
It is clear that none of these versions can be accounted for in purely utilitarian terms: each involves a certain ideological perception of how the subject should relate to excrement. Hegel was among the first to see in the geographical triad of Germany, France and England an expression of three different existential attitudes: reflective thoroughness (German), revolutionary hastiness (French), utilitarian pragmatism (English). In political terms, this triad can be read as German conservatism, French revolutionary radicalism and English liberalism. […]
The point about toilets is that they enable us not only to discern this triad in the most intimate domain, but also to identify its underlying mechanism in the three different attitudes towards excremental excess: an ambiguous contemplative fascination; a wish to get rid of it as fast as possible; a pragmatic decision to treat it as ordinary and dispose of it in an appropriate way. It is easy for an academic at a round table to claim that we live in a post-ideological universe, but the moment he visits the lavatory after the heated discussion, he is again knee-deep in ideology.”
― Slavoj Žižek,
Gaze is that obscure point, the blind spot, from which the object looked upon-
returns the gaze.
After suspecting that a murder is taking place in the nearby hotel room, Gene Hackman, playing the private detective, enters this room and inspects the toilet.
The moment he approaches the toilet in the bathroom, it is clear that we are in Hitchcock territory. It is clear that some kind of intense, implicit dialogue with “Psycho” is going on:
In a very violent gesture, as if adopting the role of Norman Bates’s mother, the murderer in “Psycho”, he opens up the curtain, inspects it in detail, looking for traces of blood there, even inspecting the gap, the hole, at the bottom of the sink.
Which is precisely another of these focal objects, because in “Psycho”, the hole, through fade-out, the hole is morphed into the eye, returning the gaze.
We say the eye is the window of the soul.
But what if there is no soul behind the eye? What if the eye is a crack through which we can perceive just the abyss of a netherworld?
When we look through these cracks, we see the dark, other side, where hidden forces run the show. It is as if Gene Hackman establishes, “No, we are nonetheless not in”Psycho”; “Let’s return to my first object of fascination, the toilet bowl.”
He flushes it, and then the terrible thing happens.
In our most elementary experience, when we flush the toilet, excrements simply disappear out of our reality into another space, which we phenomenologically perceive
as a kind of a netherworld, another reality, a chaotic, primordial reality.
And the ultimate horror, of course, is if the flushing doesn’t work, if objects return,
if remainders, excremental remainders, return from that dimension.
Hitchcock is all the time playing with this threshold.
Well, they’ve cleaned all this up now. Big difference. You should’ve seen the blood.
The whole place was… Well, it’s too horrible to describe. Dreadful!”
The most effective for me and even the most touching scene of the entire “Psycho”
is after the shower murder, when Norman Bates tries to clean the bathroom.
I remember clearly when in my adolescence I first saw the film, how deeply I was impressed not only by the length of the scene, it goes on almost for 10 minutes;
details of cleansing and so on and so on, but also by the care, meticulousness, how it is done, and also by our spectator’s identification with it.
I think that this tells us a lot about the satisfaction of work, of a job well done.
Which is not so much to construct something new, but maybe human work at its most elementary, work, as it were, at the zero level, is the work of cleaning the traces of a stain. The work of erasing the stains, keeping at bay this chaotic netherworld,
which threatens to explode at any time and engulf us.
Editor’s Note: From a spiritual angle, every type of work is a therapeutic experience.
“Что делать, всякая эпоха придумывает свои эвфемизмы. В древности комнату счастья называли нужником, потом уборной, потом сортиром, туалетом, ванной и ещё как-то — и каждое из этих слов постепенно пропитывалось запахами отхожего места и требовало замены. Вот так же и с принудительным лишением жизни — как его ни окрести, суть происходящего требует частой ротации бирок и ярлыков.” – «S.N.U.F.F.»Виктор Пелевин 2011