Department Of Never Mind

Moiself had intended to write about poop shaming – yes, it’s A Thing ®. I heard the term for the first time several weeks ago – I’m apparently social-media constipated for not having heard of it sooner – and guessed that it is…well, what it is: The act of shaming a person (or animal) for their defecation.   [1]



No surprise, I loved the term (but not the concept it represents), and was somewhat disappointed in moiself for not having previously been aware of it.  I started to do my research and found that, like most incidents related to the biological fact of having a functional body, there is, shall we say, a gender imbalance in poop-shaming’s application to humans.

News flash: stinking up the bathroom is a human thing to do, and trying to pretend that someone – male or female – is not going to smell when they make fudge is silly. And targeting women with the product because they should feel more ashamed of their bodily functions – and pretending that they don’t poop at all – is sexist.
(from Poo Shame and Sexism, The Good Men Project, by writer James Fell, who thinks the ad campaign for a certain “use before you go” anti-stink product is sexist, and that it markets “poo shame” to women. )

Girls aren’t born with poo shame — it’s something they’re taught.
Remember the children’s book, “Everyone Poops”? It is meant to teach kids that defecating is a natural, healthy part of digestion, and it does so by illustrating a wide variety of creatures — dogs, cats, snakes, whales, hippos, little boys — happily defecating. But you know who you won’t see defecating in that book, happily or unhappily? Women.
Poop shame is real — and it disproportionately affects women, who suffer from higher rates of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. In other words, the patriarchy has seeped into women’s intestinal tracts. Let’s call it the pootriarchy.
(Women Poop. Sometimes at Work. Get Over It. NY Times)

The pootriarchy. I’m dyin’ here. That covers…so much, you know?



As per my opening statement, yes, I had intended to write about poop-shaming, but lost any desire to do further research the subject after discovering my New Favorite Term ® :  pootriarchy.  You, however, may want to read/Google further on the subject, lest you miss out on familiarizing yourself with other vitally important idioms, like, poo-phoria.

Dr. Anish Sheth explains that the poo-phoria is “The distention of the rectum that occurs with the passing of a large mass of stool causes the vagus nerve to fire. The net effect of this is a drop in your heart rate and blood pressure . . . When mild, the lightheadedness can lend a sense of sublime relaxation (the ‘high’).”
(“Eleven Reasons Why Pooping In Public   [2] Shouldn’t Be Embarrassing,” Bustle )


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Department Of Small Ruminations on Big Questions

Dateline: last Wednesday afternoon, at the farm to pick up our weekly CSA produce share. Farmer JNC is there; we’ve known each other for seven-plus years now, ever since my daughter Belle came home from her AP Environmental Studies class field trip to JNC’s farm (JNC’s son, Enrico, was in Belle’s AA E. Studies class) and breathlessly told me how cool it was and that our family simply must switch our CSA subscription to Enrico’s family’s farm.  (“…And they have goats!”)

JNC and I chatted, exchanging “catch-up“ information about our families, which led to us musing with each other about how and why it is that all of our children – my two and his three – have either graduated college with degrees in/are now working in/are currently studying the biological sciences.  How is it, we wondered and discussed with each other, that our children – that anyone’s children – become interested in…the things they become interested in?

We postulated and exchanged various theories, including what our respective offspring saw at home and school, in both cases the commonality being parents who valued curiosity, asking questions, science and the study of the natural world – including his kids living on the farm and mine visiting it, where they see the connections to the natural world, the seasonal growth cycles, and how organisms “belong” and adjust to their environment.

Later on, it appeared that my subconscious kept working on this question/theory…which is a fine and not at all uncommon thing for my brain to do…but why does it have to wake me up at 4 AM to do so?


I don’t care if she’s trying to sleep – wake her up, now.


Yeah, so, I’m conscious at 4 am, thinking of the children of others – from friends to families to work colleagues – and the different careers and academic paths they’ve chosen, and wondering about the differences… What had got my neurons firing was idea of differing perspectives – specifically, cultivating a Science Mind versus a Business Mind.

Disclaimer: moiself realizes that “business” is an easy target when it comes to cultural critique.



Societies do need (at least a few folk) to tend to the business mind – we need business, Big or otherwise – but it’s obvious which perspective I value.

A Science Mind ,as my 4 am brain sees and defines it, observes an object or phenomenon – from a humpback whale to a hailstorm to an estuary to an asteroid to an elm beetle to the element boron to a t-cell to a tropical rain forest – and asks the following questions:

* What is this thing?  What is its nature – its characteristics and qualities?

* What are its origins?

* How does it work; what does it do?

* How does it fit in with its surroundings?

* How long has it been where it is, and how long will it likely be there?

* How does it affect its environment and, in turn, how it is affected by its environment?

In a Science Mind, the answers to such questions usually lead to more in-depth questions. There is no, That’s It, We Know Enough stopping point.

A Business Mind also starts with the same question, but the questions which follow are concerned with utility as opposed to open-ended inquiry:

* What is this thing?

* How can human beings use this thing to our benefit (whether for all, or just some)?

* How much is, or can it be, “worth” to us?

* How can we exploit this resource?

The farmer’s children, as well as MH’s and mine, were raised in (for the most part  [3]  ) Freethinking   [4]  homes, where curiosity is not only respected but encouraged.  IMHO that is the key.  Religion – of any kind – not only limits an interest in the processes of the natural world, it ultimately stifles such interest by directing and prescribing the kind of inquiries you are allowed to make (as well as by providing false answers).  In religion, questions cannot, ultimately,  be open-ended; that is, you cannot follow where reason and evidence lead you, as any answers must be in line with the particular religion’s theology. Phenomena that seem to be “unknowable” are either framed as such – “this is a mystery” (No one knows what causes volcanic eruptions; don’t worry about it.) or, attributed to the actions or powers of deities.

Jehovah/Allah/Pele/Isis caused:

 the hurricane/tornado/eruption/flood/The Plague/your acne

as a warning/to punish:

heretics/apostates/fornicators/people who watch reality TV/Cubs fans…


“So, they’d rather stay home and watch “The Bachelor” than come to bingo night in the rectory?  I’ll show em…”


* The Religious Mind can’t seem to understand the difference between having the answers and stopping asking the questions. *
( Moiself )

Religions espouse ideas like singular truth, infallibility, and dualism,   [5] all of which are fundamentally (ahem) anti-science.  The religious environment tends to steer one toward the Business Mind when it comes to looking at the world.  Objects and phenomena don’t have a value in and of themselves, only in relation to us – after all, as the Christian tradition holds, we (humans) are the “crown of creation.” This world was created for us by our deity. This object is here because our god wants it to be here, and put it here for us, so the only important questions are, how do/can we use it?

When you are fed simplistic answers to complicated questions, or are told such questions don’t or shouldn’t matter, where is the interest in pursuing critical thinking?  If you think you already know the truth, why bother seeking it? Religions ultimately discourage critical thinking and curiosity. Why would you want to work hard to find answers to problems if you “know” the ultimate answer is “god did it“?


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Department of Epicurean Excursion   [6]

Featuring this week’s cookbook, author and recipe:

Kitchen of Light: New Scandinavian Cooking, by Andreas Viestad

Recipe:  Honey-and-Mustard Marinated Salmon

My rating:

☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼


Recipe Rating Refresher   [7]

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May you fight the good fight against the pootriarchy
(and smell fresh as a daisy while doing so);
May you cultivate a science mind;
May your bum be nibbled by banshees if you ever utter the phrase,
Because god did it, that’s why!”;
…and may the hijinks ensue.


Thanks for stopping by.  Au Vendredi!


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[1] In the case of the animal, the term poop-shaming is often applied to situations wherein an irresponsible dog owner doesn’t pick up after their pet.

[2] As in, having to “go” in the workplace restroom or other public facilities. If pooping “in public” refers to someone who just drops trou and lets it fly on the workroom lunch table…yeah, in that case, moiself thinks a little shaming is in order.

[3] Our family attended a very liberal Christian church for many years, for a variety of reasons, including MH and I wanting our children to learn some basics about religion without being subjected to barbaric teachings (e.g. that you will be sent to either heavenly or hellish afterlives depending on what supernatural theologies you “believed” in).

[4] A Freethinker is person who forms opinions on the basis of reason, independent of authority or tradition, especially a person whose religious opinions differ from established belief.  (

[5] Dualism is a metaphysical concept, the belief that there are two kinds of reality: material (physical) and immaterial (spiritual). Dualism takes the viewpoint that mind and body are in some way separate from each other, that mental processes are non-physical in nature (e.g. existing independently from/outside of your physical brain).

[6] A recurring feature of this blog, since week 2 of April 2019, wherein moiself decided that moiself would go through my cookbooks alphabetically and, one day a week, cook (at least) one recipe from one book.


* Two Thumbs up:  Liked it.
* Two Hamster Thumbs Up:  Loved it.
* Thumbs Down – Not even Kevin, a character from The Office who would eat anything, would like this.
* Twiddling Thumbs: I was, in due course, bored by this recipe.
* Thumbscrew: It was torture to make this recipe.
* All Thumbs: Good recipe, but I somehow mucked it up.
* Thumby McThumb Face: This recipe was fun to make.
* Thumbing my nose: Yeah, I made this recipe, but I did not respect it.