Saturday, September 26, 2009

Toilet Paper News

Last month, the Cuban state-run toilet paper company, Cimex, announced that it is unable to supply adequate toilet paper to the nation until at least December 2009. Budget cuts slashed imports and Cuba has a shortage of raw materials to manufacture enough toilet paper to meet demand. Therefore:
"Until more supplies are produced, citizens are encouraged to conserve toilet paper by tearing off fewer squares, switching from two-ply to one-ply or using cigar wrappers."
It's assumed that the guidance referring to cigar wrappers applies to specifically-grown, broad tobacco leaves as opposed to the actual people who wrap cigars. It would be unreasonable to envision having, for example, Edwardo or Rosita standing by to cleanse human effluent openings.

Interestingly, reference sources assert that the cigar wrapper is responsible for 60 percent of a cigar's flavor and therefore it's highly valued. As such, Cuban cigar wrappers could be considered, in an odd way of thinking, as a step up from plain paper toilet tissue, being more flavorful and all.

Furthermore, Cuban broadleaf tobacco is considered by many to be the world's finest so individuals using it as a toilet paper substitute can bask in the knowledge that they are wiping with the very best.

Meanwhile, people who arguably do wipe with the very best, Americans, are being criticized for using plush three-ply toilet paper. Americans prefer and seek softness in toilet tissue and environmentalists contend that old-growth forests are being destroyed because of the preference.
"It's a menace, environmental groups say -- and a dark-comedy example of American excess.

The reason, they say, is that plush U.S. toilet paper is usually made by chopping down and grinding up trees that were decades or even a century old. They want Americans, like Europeans, to wipe with tissue made from recycled paper goods.

It has been slow going. Big toilet-paper makers say that they've taken steps to become more Earth-friendly but that their customers still want the soft stuff, so they're still selling it."
Ultimately, the challenge for the environmentalists is to convince the American public to adopt a cult-like, save-the-planet mentality and welcome scratchiness in toilet tissue -- or -- get a law passed. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that liberal special interest groups are working on a toilet paper law right now. Hell, the environmentalist crowd got laws passed for those squiggly light bulbs that don't seem to put out as much light and laws for toilets that need to be flushed twice, so it's perfectly reasonable to expect a toilet paper law sometime in the future.

In any event, the toilet paper situations in Cuba and in the U.S. have at least one thing in common -- an underlying utopian philosophy. In Cuba, it's Marxist utopianism where everyone shares in the sacrifice, except for those who do the divvying, of course. In the U.S., it's environmentalist utopianism where everyone shares in the sacrifice, also except for those who do the divvying.

In conclusion, one result of utopianism in Cuba is the people being told to wipe their behinds with leaves, just like the Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon did, and it could be argued that the environmentalists would be happy if the same thing happened in the U.S.

I'm not implying that Marxists and environmentalists want society to return to the Stone Age, but I believe they would love to goosestep in a pre-Industrial Revolution society where the hallmark of utopianism, widespread deprivation, is not unusual.

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