Hands. Touching Hands. Touching Me. Touching You… And the Loo.

If you’re unwilling to put your hands in your mouth, wash your hands before using the bathroom.

I don’t understand it why we, as a culture, prioritize hand washing at the conclusion and not at the beginning of bathroom excursions. The genitals and surrounding areas have to be the cleanest parts of the body. Shower-washed and wrapped in clean cotton for most of the day, it’s a pretty sanitary place. The world at large, not so much.

Paradoxically, we handle our most sensitive bits with our most promiscuous body part: our hands. Hands that have rubbed public railings, opened doors, manhandled money. Hands that have tied shoes, rode the subway, scratched butts. Hands that have touched nearly everything in reach. These hands store all that residue and apply it directly to the most bacteria-friendly area of the body: the crotch.

And yet, we’re trained to wash our hands only after we use the bathroom as a courtesy to the rest of the world. Though the world thanks you, this makes no sense.

So, I’m declaring the Mouth Hand Rule: handle your naughty bits only if you’re comfortable, at that very moment, with putting your hands in your mouth. (For those with special friends, think also about why this is a courteous gesture.)

In general, you’ll fail the test. So, wash your hands, use the toilet. In that order. If applicable, wash your hands again.

(Too Many) Variations on a Theme

It’s great that people blog– I just wish they’d stop saying the same thing.

Through school, students write papers to demonstrate subject knowledge, less so to articulate original thought. Old habits die hard, people start blogging, and in this age of instant worldwide publishing, we end up chewing on a lot of cud.

It’s not that people are boring, stupid, or have nothing to say– (though, that’s debatable…) Years of response-based writing inclines people to offer reactions than articulate their own, original ideas.

It’s much easier to write reactions than create ideas and be wrong. Save nothing of the social anxieties for being wrong, describing new ideas is a hard thing to do.

People tend to follow the path of least resistance and thus the blogosphere saturates itself with commentary. And, since the blogosphere moves with such great velocity, it’s near impossible to keep track of everything that’s been said. 

Unfortunately, all contributions — and I use that term loosely — are indexed and compiled into the same channel. We call it “Google”, and the signal-to-noise ratio goes up. Way up.

Responses typically fall into certain categories. (Ask anyone who grades papers or reads hundreds of blogs.) With blogging, there’s just more. It seems more people are interested in demonstrating knowledge than contributing new thought.

My theory is that this happens subconsciously. Years of response-based education create this need– it’s how we were graded by our superiors and evaluated by our peers. People need to show that they know something.

There’s no problem with that, except that this need generates millions of blog posts. In result, we saturate our knowledge space and make it near impossible to wade through.