Liberating The Shameless: Lessons From Ghandi
In the cultural battle between Shameless and Shameful Shitters, most of you are aware that I stand firmly in the camp of the Shameless. In fact, Dave once referred to me as the "radical wing" of the Shameless -- a banner I proudly wave. Some of my dear comrades here have noted that in recent months I have begun employing decidedly more militant tactics in my quest to free humanity from the bonds of shame. Most of these efforts have occurred at my place of employment. In my recent post entitled "I Am the Hunter", I outlined an encounter with a cowering Shameful co-worker whom I trapped in a stall.
I am a student of world history -- particularly the history of conflict. One thing I have learned is that hatred and violence against the "opposition" is ultimately a self-defeating course of action. Look no further than the continuing violence between Palestinians and Israelis.
I therefore offer an olive branch to my Shameful comrades: those of you cowering in public restrooms, fearful that others may, see, smell or hear you commit the act of pooping. It is time to listen to your needs and desires, rather than forcing the will of the Shameless upon you.
I recognize that many of you are caught in the self-defeating desire to be "left alone." I frequently hear the Shameless attempt to legitimize their desire to keep pooping to themselves. I hear the same thing from smokers who, when confronted of the dangers and irrationality of their addiction, state that they don't really want to quit and that they enjoy their dirty habit. Horse shit, I say.
Instead of our scorn, lectures and intimidation tactics, I believe that the Shameful need our understanding and assistance. The conversion to Shamelessness is not easy, I am sure. But perhaps through kindness and understanding we can begin to close the gap between our cultures.
Gandhi once said, "Be the change you wish to see." Building upon his message, I decided to change the world last Tuesday.
I entered the men's room at work with a full bladder and headed directly for the urinal on the left. While addressing the urinal, I noticed a shoe in the adjoining stall -- the same stall in which I once cornered and harassed a Shameless pooper. As I peed, he sat there in complete silence, perhaps hoping for my speedy withdrawal. I contemplated making things uncomfortable for the pooper, but then the words of Gandhi echo in the porcelain urinal.
"Be the change you wish to see."
I smiled and released a particularly delightful tune from my anus -- a small volume of gas that I had been brewing since breakfast. I chuckled aloud at the volume and tone of my fart. I realized that no human, neither Shameful nor Shameless, is immune to the humor of the fart -- those little songs that we all create. Like a militant Kasey Kasam, I dedicated my little fart to this Shameful Shitter sitting a mere twenty-four inches from me. It was my way of saying, "It's okay to poop and fart in the bathroom."
Although the shitter did not respond, I believe that he felt the camaraderie between us; and perhaps this small gesture could turn the tide for a world in turmoil.
-- Chip Brown