Friday, January 07, 2011

Soap and Water

Compliments of some posts on major blogs likes Gawker and BoingBoing, there's new found attention being paid to those who go "soap-free." Basically, they never use soap. In their morning shower, they scrub, rinse, and everything else, but they skip the soap. I made fun of them, but then I realized that I rarely use soap. I use a minuscule amount of shampoo, lather up the crotch and butt, and that's about it. Still, most people who adopt an explicitly soap-free lifestyle frame it in such a way as to be bucking the man, or otherwise rejecting the terribly destructive trappings of a modern life that is not aligned with the natural human.

It's in this sense that I classify going soap-free as Shit That White People Do. Much like veganism, 24-hour emergency hamster care, and spending a lot of money to look like you shop at thrift stores. This is the shit that happens when you live a life of extreme privilege, are unaware of that, and still feel the need to get self-important about stuff.

Think about it. Humans have made soap for hundreds of years, and soap-like products for thousands. They didn't give a shit about marketing campaigns and social expectations. If they smelled fine, why did we ever feel the need to invent soap so long ago? Because, we did stink, back then, contrary to the opinions of many no-soapers. Soap-free people can be soap-free because they live a life of ease. Anyone who has ever worked on an engine, done serious gardening, or works with animals knows full-fucking-well that hot water just doesn't cut it.

Why is that? Because of the nature of water and what soap does. I'm assuming that all the no-soapers forgot the experiments with surface tension from seventh-grade science class, or they'd realize that the point of soap is to make water "wetter." By breaking the surface tension, the water is better able to grasp particles and wash them away. Hot water will not get grease off of your hands, no matter how hot it is or how hard you scrub.

Again, this is the side effect of a life of extreme ease and pleasure; People who sit in front of their computer all day and never need to exert themselves. Now, I'm not attacking that. I am that. What I'm saying is, don't forget where you sit and immediately assume that things that don't apply to you are inherently unnecessary, silly, or part of some grand conspiracy. Go watch Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe, then tell me that we don't need soap.

1 comment:

invagrantly said...

i think that's what people do when they have too much time in their hands. i actually don't care that much about the whole issues, whatever works, works.