Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Why Do People Like the Smell of Their Own Shit?

“If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say it” was the kind of thing the silent generation were taught back in the 50’s. “A stiff prick has no conscience” was another piece of advice given by your latter day Polonius to his hormone drenched teenaged Laertes. By the 60’s the men’s glossies were already beginning to report the fact that some pricks had begun to suffer from a surfeit in the conscience department. But let’s get down to brass tacks about a timeless phenomenon expressed in the question: why do people like the smell of their own shit and is it just another form of narcissism? Narcissus fell for himself, but there’s nothing in the myth that indicates that he went for the whole kit and caboodle. So it may be hard to attribute the liking of one’s own fecal odor to any of the three selfs: self-involvement, self-aggrandizement or self-love.  Then what accounts for this phenomenon? Unless one is a coprophiliac character out of a Pasolini film like Salo, then the only other time you’re likely to experience a similar equanimity towards shit is if you’re a mother changing the diaper of your infant. Well for starters shit is like problems. The one thing you can say about them is that they’re yours and one might say the foul odor of shit is countermanded for the maker by the marvel at creation—which is, actually, a little like childbirth. If you shit once a day, you’re basically giving birth each time and the deficit column is erased by all the pluses that accompany the evidence of productivity.  Sometimes staring down into the toilet, it’s hard to believe that the auspicious and sometimes formidable looking object you’ve released with a splash has actually come out of you, just like it’s so startling that a large baby can emerge from the birth canal of a relatively diminutive woman.

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