Coded yellow for shitty content.

Tuesday 27 March 2007


Pic of the day: Let us talk about human defecation! Always a great icebreaker. (For sims. Your mileage will probably vary.)

Defecation and TMI

One of the new expressions I have learned on the Internet is "TMI", short for "Too Much Information". This is when people tell you things you wish you had not known about them. I do this routinely, but here in my Chaos Node journal at least I can warn you with color codes. If you see a yellow or red entry, you just know it won't go easy with your lunch. Whether it is sexual themes, blasphemy against Santa Claus or annals of defecation, you know you will probably regret reading the entry. Of course, with the company I keep this has rarely stopped anyone. So I keep writing them.

TMI of the week: Yesterday actually marked the first day that I have bled from my anus, at least that I know of. In part the long wait is hardly surprising, since (unlike a number of people, according to my friends in the medical establishment) I don't put stuff in there, only out. On the other hand, I have had hemorrhoids for years. I blame this on my anal-retentive childhood.


I mean "anal-retentive" in its most literal sense. I have mentioned before that I have a very low opinion of the hypothesis that people's fundamental personality is linked to their potty training, unless something has gone horribly, unspeakably wrong with said potty training. Of course, the latter is probably not uncommon. It happens at an impressionable age, and is commonly associated with shame and guilt not just by the kid but especially by the parents. Even forty-five years later, I still hate the thought of being literally caught with my pants down.

This was a very real possibility for little me, as due to circumstances now forgotten I would eliminate both solid and liquid wastes in a bucket indoors, rather than using the outhouse on our farm. Not that the outhouse was much of an improvement. It was built of wooden planks, and the space between them let in some light, convincing me that anyone passing by would be able to see me. This seems unlikely in retrospect, but logic is hardly the first skill to be developed in a child, not even an Itland. (Believe it or not.) The place was also literally ice cold in winter, drafty when there was wind, and placed physically above the manure cellar in which ended all the bodily wastes of our numerous barn animals. I am sure there is a deep poetic truth in this that we are no different from other animals in this particular function, but I did not appreciate that kind of deep truths at the time. Also, I was a spoiled kid.

In any case, defecation was something to be avoided whenever possible. It was of course not possible in the long run, but I would put it off as long as I could. It was also a great thing to struggle with in the morning, thus delaying my leaving for school. Even adults have some respect for the necessity of defecation, and would hesitate to chase me off as long as I was clearly making an effort. And needless to say, given that this was rural Norway in the 1960es (very different from the modern and half Americanized Norway of today), the "toilets" of the school were much the same as at home, only without the assorted animal wastes. I don't remember when I saw my first water closet, probably at the hospital when I was 4, but it wasn't something common people had.

Even after I grew up and moved to less rural parts of the country, I brought along my anal-retentive habit. But it was strictly limited to the actual process of defecation. I was just as chaotic as now, if not more so. It would take many years still before I "loosened up", so to speak, and started to take the defecation impulse seriously rather than trying to delay it until there was no way around it. In the meantime I did a good job of destroying my rectum. Not that it was ever a big part of my life, but the hemorrhoids are kind of icky and painful. They'll probably continue to grow worse for the rest of my life, though more slowly now.


And yet there are people who are worse off than me. One of the nice things about Americans is that whatever lifestyle disease you can come up with, there are a number of Americans who suffer from it already. Constipation seems to be a way of life over there. I believe I read in a respectable scientific magazine that blacks are particularly hard hit, because the slave ships were haunted by diarrhea, and the only people who survived the trip were those who had a natural talent for retaining water from the colon. I am not sure if this is actually true or just a hypothesis. That would still not explain the whites, which are by far the majority. The fact that people are eating white bread and donuts, however, may explain a lot.

Also I should thank the Light that unlike a growing number of confused people, I have never counted the anus as a source of pleasure in my life. Most notably the vaguely insane bolting together of elimination and sexuality. Evidently this is common enough that people try to post links on my forum to websites catering to this craziness. Not saying exactly that people with such notions are insane in general. It is more a specific dark spot of the mind, kind of like my fear of climbing even fairly low ladders, only with less rational basis.

I guess given the privacy of each act, and the relative proximity of the body parts, it is not all that strange that people connect sex and defecation, and that confused individuals even think anal sex might be a good idea. But as I've said before, they are doing us all a great disservice. The reasons for the taboos are entirely different. Yet by connecting them, both are reinforced. That's a moderate problem if people think of sex as dirty, but it is a big problem if people think of defecation as sexual. Our unwillingness to even think about things colorectal (much less talk about them) costs thousands of lives each year. Colorectal cancers are typically diagnosed very late, after a long time of growth. By the time they can no longer be ignored, death is more likely than not.

That said, as a good hypocrite I have never had a coloscopy and hopefully never will. As for yesterday's event, the blood was fresh red and in quite small amount, so hardly warranted medical attention. A quick web search showed that it is indeed quite common, especially in America, the land of sitting on your ass till it bleeds. Or milk and honey, I guess: The milk at least does nothing to help; I know this from experience.

Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: Oblivion, first looks
Two years ago: Life as I know it
Three years ago: No entry
Four years ago: Carpeted hallway
Five years ago: Songs of the heart divine
Six years ago: Supporting cast
Seven years ago: Who art in Heaven?
Eight years ago: War. Religion.

Visit the archive page for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.

Post a comment on the Chaos Node forum
I welcome e-mail. My handle is "itlandm" and I now use
Back to my home page.