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Even the home bathroom can unleash embarrassment, shame, or criticism when family members detect by sight, sound, or scent what one another are up to. Places such as restaurants or shopping centers introduce anonymity (often welcome) but also concerns about having to share intimate space with people whose intrusion may make us anxious and from whom we want to keep our intimacies separate. The person in the next stall may be the boss or a rival co-worker. The open-to-all facility, as in a public park or train station, invites its own range of anxieties-a person of filth or stranger ready to attack.
(From Toilet: Public Restrooms and the Politics of Sharing, edited by Harvey Molotch and Laura Noren. New York University Press, 304 pages, 64 illustrations, $18.95)
From the Archives
Timeless Tosh from Current Wisdoms Past
Santa Barbara News-Press
Ruminations of a potential mass killer at large in Santa Barbara:
First, I double dare you to print this. My whole family bets you won’t.
Every month I get a phone call from your paper asking me to subscribe, telling me of the greatness of your publication. I always reply that I won’t subscribe because your paper is biased and capitalist. That usually stops them in their tracks.
Today’s (Aug. 18) paper proved my point. My family sat around the breakfast table and groaned and booed while I read out loud your front-page article on the opening of Nordstrom. We all agree that you did not put this article on the front page, or in the paper at all, because of the enormous amount of money the mall is pumping into your paper with their endless full page ads!
The quote saying the reception from the community is outstanding is erroneous. Nine out of ten people that I speak with about the mall think it is obscene, too big, too gaudy, too much, no matter how you look at it.
I thought that the purpose of our lives here on Earth was to become more spiritually evolved. This mall pays homage to man’s greed and selfishness. When so many have so little…well, you know the rest.
(August 21, 1990)
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?