New York Times Editorial Urges Americans To 'Stop Using Toilet Paper'
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New York City may be the epicenter of the domestic coronavirus pandemic with deaths mounting by the day but the Big Apple's top newspaper is focusing on the things that are truly important.
According to the crusading cultural elitist snobs who have occupied the once-venerable paper's editorial department, Americans need to get with the program and stop using toilet paper.
One of the most bizarre aspects of the national panic over the coronavirus is the hoarding of toilet paper that has left stores with barren shelves and distraught customers milling around like survivors of a zombie apocalypse.
Psychologists have attributed such panic buying to seeking comfort in an uncertain time but it defies logic to hoard toilet paper instead of such real necessities as non-perishable food items - after all, you can't eat Charmin and Angel Soft.
However, the intrepid purveyors of the socialist utopia represented by the Green New Deal who have found a home at the NYT have an environmentally-friendly, wokester solution and that is to abandon the "antiquated technology" of using toilet paper.
"Why are we hoarding it when experts agree that rinsing with water is more sanitary and environmentally sound?"
According to the New York Times editorial by journalist and author Kate Murphy, "Stop Using Toilet Paper":
Panic buying of toilet paper has spread around the globe as rapidly as the virus, even though there have been no disruptions in supply and the symptoms of Covid-19 are primarily respiratory, not gastrointestinal. In many stores, you can still readily find food, but nothing to wipe yourself once it’s fully digested.
This is all the more puzzling when you consider that toilet paper is an antiquated technology that infectious disease and colorectal specialists say is neither efficient nor hygienic. Indeed, it dates back at least as far as the sixth century, when a Chinese scholar wrote that he “dared not” use paper from certain classical texts for “toilet purposes.”
Before paper was invented, or readily available, people used leaves, seashells, fur pelts and corn cobs. The ancient Greeks and Romans used small ceramic disks and also sponges on the ends of sticks, which were then plunged into a bucket of vinegar or salt water for the next person to use.
Try getting New Yorkers who are under lockdown and in the midst of a cauldron of disease to embark on scavenger hunts for fur pelts and corn cobs?
The writer goes on to quote French intellectual Philippe Charlier and his 2012 magnum opus “Toilet Hygiene in the Classical Era” to make her case.
Dr. Charlier’s specialty is microscopically analyzing coprolite, fossilized feces. “It’s not sexy,” he said, “but when you study poo from 2000 B.C. you can get a lot of information about alimentation, digestion, health, genetics and migration of populations.” You also find out what people used to clean their posteriors. Archaeologists examining coprolite from this year centuries hence might be perplexed to find remnants of magazines and newspapers, which people have reportedly been using during the current toilet paper shortage.
Then there is the appeal to authority or specifically, the musings of a colorectal surgeon at a Texas medical school.
All this when experts agree that rinsing yourself with water is infinitely more sanitary and environmentally sound. Dr. H. Randolph Bailey, a colorectal surgeon at the University of Texas McGovern Medical School in Houston, recommended bidets or toilet attachments, such as the Washlet or Tushy.
“A lot of people who come to see me have fairly significant irritation of their bottoms,” he said. “Most of the time it has to do with overzealous cleaning” — wiping too vigorously with toilet paper or using wipes, which often contain harsh fragrances and chemicals.
Moreover, he said, you’re just never going to get as clean as rinsing with water.
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Earlier last week, the Times also published a column on whether it was time for Americans to "embrace the bidet" which is popular in countries such as Italy and Iran.
While bidets may be the preferred form of toilet hygiene to many members of the liberal intellectual and cultural elite - as well as providing a rectally titillating stimuli - they are too expensive and foreign for Americans in general.
Wrapping it all up, Ms. Murphy admits that her column isn't likely to change many minds and that:
"...stockpiling of Charmin and Angel Soft will likely continue, even though there are far better ways to clean ourselves and despite environmental groups’ warnings that we’re flushing away our forests."
The sad descent of the Gray Lady into the nation's toilet paper of record continues although it does serve as a substitute for Charmin and Angel Soft even though it is a bit rough and irritating.