Here Thar Be Monsters!
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Look at it this way. Either you can have a simple spray nozzle delivering a gentle stream of cleansing water to tidy up, or you can erect massive factories, mow down forests, use noxious chemicals and spend millions on researching plies and softness to produce toilet paper.
Not to mention the former is so much more effective than the latter.
I'm willing to bet that Obama is such a lousy president and the US is crumbling because of toilet paper. Sort of a paraphrase of the "for want of a nail the kingdom was lost" parable.
Obama knows what I'm talking about. He lived in Indonesia for five years. I'll bet he's forgotten the lesson and has failed to install spray nozzles on the White House thrones. That's why he's so distracted and glum. He doesn't have the so-clean feeling all over!
There's something to be learned from every culture, and one clear thing I have learned in Indonesia is that water beats the living crap out of paper any day (pun intended). Furthermore, having bathrooms that are completely tiled with a drain in the corner just makes so much damn sense! Instead of buying tubs and curtains and stalls, just tile the damn room floor to ceiling and stick in a drain. Then you can slosh and splash to your heart's content and go merrily about your business.
I suspect, and the reader is invited to disagree if he likes, that the US is crashing because of its infernal and hell-bent desire to bend Nature to its will. History, though, would teach us that such an attitude will do little to promote the general welfare.
Egypt's golden age of dynasties centered around the flooding of the Nile. There were no live news feeds tallying up the insurance costs or wailing about lost productivity. Folks knew it was going to happen and they built their culture around the annual event. Their culture lasted for millennia. The US has barely broken two centuries.
In the US, people erect trailer home parks in Tornado Alley, or sprawling cities on river deltas in the direct route of hurricanes. They build wood-frame houses where termites live and mold flourishes. They seal their houses against the wind and rain, and install billions of dollars worth of machines to regulate every aspect of their lives. Then, standing like some Shakespearian tragedian, they defy Nature to take its course.
Naturally, there is a lot of wailing and gnashing and beating of breasts when the inevitable happens.
It's as if the US has fostered an entire population of masochists. Begging for pain and suffering, the American people do all they can to stand in the path of destruction while placing as much valuable labor and equipment in front of them so that they can absorb the brunt of Nature's power and scream in delighted pain.
Americans are strange beasts indeed.
To be fair, it's really a hemispheric problem.
Many Easterners revere a man who became god by sitting peacefully meditating under a tree for 20 years until he figured it all out. He then taught the process to his followers and then died quietly in his sleep at a time and place of his choosing.
Westerns worship a god who became man to teach a message of peace and love. He was then tortured by the most horrific methods available and nailed to a tree until he died.
Which philosophy do you think is more in tune with Nature and the way of things?
Perhaps the key to solving all the problems in the West just now is a radical change of mind. Perhaps rethinking the very foundations of Western society and culture is in order. Maybe simplifying and shifting priorities would eliminate so many things perceived as obstacles.
After all, does it make much sense to rally and praise whistleblowers and then sit passively as their lives are destroyed by the very organizations which they ratted out? Where's the logic in that? There may be a lot more whistleblowers if they thought that people would actually protect and defend them for speaking up, rather than watching in feigned horror as they are destroyed and then forgotten when the next victim comes along.
Not to mention how much it would help if things actually changed for their efforts.
It all comes down to paper or water. Simple choices have big effects. Building houses that acknowledge the elements and work with them ripples through huge industries and saves lives. Protecting the messengers who bring us vital information encourages more of the same. Very simple choices. Very big effects.
As for me, I'll never go back to toilet paper.