Fecal Matters

I confess that I have never spent much time contemplating how lucky I am to have access to a flush toilet.  I learned this past week that 2.6 BILLION people have no access to any kind of a toilet at all.  They go outside and squat.  In the city.  In the country.  Along the side of the road, the railroad tracks, behind bushes, on sidewalks in big cities…. 2.6 BILLION.  Where good sanitation and toilets exist people are wealthier, healthier and cleaner.  Sanitation specialists have estimated that people who live in areas with inadequate sanitation ingest 10 grams of fecal matter every day.  A gram of feces can contain 10 million viruses, 1 million bacteria, 1,000 parasite cysts, and 100 worm eggs.  Diarrhea… nearly 90% of which is caused by fecally contaminated food and water kills a child every 15 seconds.  In nineteenth-century London one child in two died early.  When sewers, toilets and hand washing became normal child mortality dropped more than at any other time in recorded history.  Sanitation is estimated to add a minimum of 20 years to the average life.

In the United States 1.7 million people have no sanitation.  In 1993, in Milwaukee, 400,000 people got sick and more than 100 died when cryptosporidium found its way into Milwaukee’s drinking water.  Milwaukee gets its drinking water from Lake Michigan.  Milwaukee also discharges its treated sewage (treated to remove some things, but not all pathogens and not pharmaceuticals) into… you guessed it… Lake Michigan.  Since 1994, 935 MILLION gallons of full strength untreated sewage have been discharged into the lake as a result of storm water overloads of the sewerage system.

Even the most advanced… the richest countries in the world… with modern sanitation systems that are marvels of engineering STILL don’t know what to do with all the shit!  They move it around, get it out of site and hide it until they can find a place to discharge it into water.  A river, a lake, or, in the case of coastal cities… the ocean.  Usually into a body of water that provides the drinking water for someone else and ALWAYS into the closed loop system that provides us all with a home and the food we eat.

I live near Lynchburg, Virginia where raw sewage is discharged regularly, when it rains hard, into the James River, or, as it is known to Historians… The First River of America.  My local County politicians recently spent over a million dollars to construct a boat dock and fishing pier out into the James right in front of where the sewage discharges.  …And people wonder why I remain perpetually ashamed of my species.  But, don’t think things are any better where you live because chances are they ain’t.

I’m going to give you another picture and remind you about the 2.6 BILLION people who have no choice but to go outside and squat.  I hope you sigh to yourself and contemplate what a lucky bastard you are.  Here goes…

Now Mrs. N is going to get serious because she finds herself even MORE disappointed in her species today than usual.

The average human being produces about 77 pounds of shit a year and 132 gallons of urine.  There are approximately 7 billion people on earth, give or take a few hundred million.  That’s 270 billion tons of shit and 924 billion gallons of urine.  Add to that total the combined industrial, chemical and pharmaceutical output of mankind and you can begin to imagine the disgusting soup mankind is making and HAS MADE of this planet.

Male frogs and fish are producing eggs and that three eyed fish on the cartoon show “The Simpsons” ain’t no joke folks.  Every year the rate of autism and autoimmune disease climbs higher.  Every day more and more pharmaceuticals and chemicals make their way into human drinking water. We are bathed in pesticides, herbicides, artificial estrogens and all manner of newly created chemical compounds not of this earth.  Mothers milk is so full of dangerous chemical compounds that the full extent of the potential damage it can produce in newborn humans can’t even be measured.  I read in the New York TIMES that scientists state that my children have a poor chance of living as long as I will and this is in the most advanced civilization the world has to offer.   

People wonder why Mrs. N. can get a little “cranky” at times.  People are sometimes quite put off when she tells them to go fuck themselves rather than listen to them blather on about guns, or, “the fucking right to life”, or, homeless people, or, what the jerk-off politicians said today in Washington, or, how important it is for us to support fucking Israel.

You have to understand something.  Mrs. N. can’t deal with that today.  Mrs. N. doesn’t want to hear about your trip to “Whole Foods” and how you try to “eat organic” and how much better the peaches grown organically taste.  You see Mrs. N. knows that you are, in spite of where you shop and how much money you have, about as full of toxic chemicals as a piñata is of candy and we are supposed to be the lucky ones.  We aren’t one of the 2.6 billion taking a crap beside the road right now and wiping their ass with their hand, or, a stick.  We got it made… and we are STILL fucked!

Wait a minute.  Did Mrs. N. hear you say something?  Did you say that there is always hope and that, surely Mrs. N. is looking too much on the negative side.  Surely there is hope!…  Is that right?

Poor Baby.  What was your name again, Mrs. N. forgets?  Was it Pollyanna?

Well, Pollyanna, of course there is hope!  You will find it in the same place you find all the other things that keep you from crying yourself to sleep and shitting your pants whenever you read the paper.  You fucking MAKE IT UP!  You know… like religion and Santa Clause and free will…  You make up the reality you need to inhabit, try to sell it to yourself, then others, and, if they buy it and it helps them feel better about being alive…. BINGO… you got yourself a culture.  You get to pretend things ain’t so bad by concentrating on “other things”.

Now, Mrs. N. is sorry to tell you this, but, that is, unfortunately, what we already have… in spades actually.  We are like the guy who jumped out the window of a 50 story building overheard to say, as he passed the 10th floor….. “So far, so good.”

We are a failed experiment in evolution.  The earth will forget us and try to do better next time.  That is no reason not to try to enjoy the rest of the cruse.  Drinks and hour-devours will be served in the main lounge.  While you are waiting you are free to make up any kind of bullshit you like with regard to “reality”.  The management fully expects you to.  It is, after all, the one thing human beings are superb at.

One last little lesson for today.  This is funny…

Funny 3 eyed fish

This is REAL.

REAL 3 eyed fish

 

Kiss, kiss

Mrs. N.

 

 

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Fecal Matters

    • Why is it scary? I’m assuming you knew that you were not going to live forever. So, what’s changed? It’s WAY too late to do anything about it even if we could, or, better yet WANTED TO. But we don’t.

      Relax pretty young lady. It’s not your fault and “if” the universe, or, the earth can know anything it MUST know that humans are creatures SO magnificently equipped to deal with their own extinction that, really, there is nothing to be sorry or scared about.

      Do what we are great at! Bullshit yourself into believing that you will go on to exist for ever and ever in some “better place”. Inhabit it with all your friends and people who like and agree with you… and chocolate… and unicorns… Whatever you like.

      Trust me. When the time comes you won’t know what hit you.

      All the best till then
      Mrs. N.

  1. Art Fern

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: what this planet needs is a good famine or a plague. Preferably the zombie poxyclipsy type, so we, the surviving Americans (of course, you and I will be amongst the survivors) can make good use of our second amendment rights. Just remember, only the head shot does any good. Happy hunting!

    • Oh… It will get one… you can bet your boots on that. Captain Trips is out there all right. But does it really matter Art? How many billions and billions of people are already dead? What matters to them? This all may “seem” like some kind of a contest, or a race, or like it’s important… but fuck… nothing matters when you are dead.

      It’s enough for Old Mrs. N. to be enjoying the sun sparkle of the magnolia leaves on this fine day in Dixie. Yall have a Blessed day now Art, Jesus loves ya… you know he does.

  2. Nice post… you always put a smile on my face. I am one of those folks who believes in free will (http://modernpsychologist.ca/free-will-as-illusion-its-your-choice/), though I would say that most of us fail to use it or otherwise take refuge in its denial. And while I don’t believe in absolute hope for salvation (if salvation means physical or spiritual survival), I think we can nonetheless avoid falling into despair. We can risk carrying a relative hope: living in a way that is authentic to our absurd condition while acting in ways that are consistent with the relative values that we seek to uphold and protect (e.g. avoiding nihilism). This is the only dignity a human being may have… take that away and we are nothing but grazing cows standing in their own fecal matter.

    • Thanks Brad. Listen, there may very well be some shred of free will in there, but, I don’t think there is much. I don’t know if I could recognize it when I saw it either… tease it apart from the automatic if you will.

      It “feels” like it though! Sometimes I think, maybe, that is the most important thing.
      Be well…

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