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Happy Toilet Day

For those who believe the country is headed down the toilet, there's new evidence out today that they may be right: It's World Toilet Day, and Capitol Hill is involved in the celebration: Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is listed as a participant in this afternoon's "Sanitation is Dignity" exhibit on the Capitol's West Front in honor of World Toilet Day.

The purpose of the day, declared by the World Toilet Organization, is to bring attention to excrement-borne illness, and the fact that 2.5 billion people "do not have a toilet and instead are forced to do their business on roadsides, in bags or bushes, or anywhere they can."

The World Toilet Organization, or WTO (not to be confused with the World Trade Organization) is firmly of the of the view that "toilets deserve better social status." Specifically, the WTO seeks "to elevate the status of toilets to make them status symbols and objects of desire." It also seeks to "upgrade the skill sets of the restroom cleaners" and is responsible for the slogan: "We deserve better places to defecate."

By Dana Milbank  | November 19, 2008; 1:49 PM ET
 
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Comments

yeah, world toilet day is kinda dumb, but, hey, you don't have to be joe the plumber to recognize that sanitary plumbing and enclosed sewers have probably saved more lives than all the doctors ever put together. lets appreciate that all americans -- republicans and democrats, liberals and conservatives, and people of all faiths and those of none -- believe that america is a better place with toilets than it would be without them.

Posted by: chuckgoodwin | November 19, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

As a hillbilly who has indeed used the proverbial "little brown shack out back", I can empathize. We were spoiled rotten cause we had a two-seater.

Posted by: ktartiste | November 19, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

The first indoor toilets, particularly of the Victorian era, were very ornate, carved and painted porcelain, exhibiting a distinct artistic design and style.

It was only after WW2, really, that the toilet became a simple utilitarian item.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | November 19, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

As someone who has been without indoor plumbing both in and outside the U.S., I can see exactly what he's talking about. Toilets are awesome.

Posted by: fake1 | November 19, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

For more information see
book review at http://www.slate.com/id/2202423?nav=wp
book excerpts at http://www.slate.com/id/2201466/entry/2201467/
and more book excerpts at http://www.slate.com/id/2139945/entry/2139950/

Posted by: daveindurham | November 20, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

This is about the right thing to be talking about the usa is great here we are talking about toilets and housing is down the toilet, social security is down the toilet, we have a war that should have gone down the toilet Isn't the USA great

Posted by: donaldharris9 | November 20, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I was building my first home during the Governments "FIX" with low water toilets. They mandated the fix without askeing for any input from the manufacturers. The market for used toilets, Smuggled toilets from Canada was huge as people worked around the Government mandated mess. A few years later the industry designed a toilet with a new throat and better glazing and polishing which worked well. In the meantime the US wasted water with double flushes, energy with running around looking for a good used toilet and we became the laughing stock of Canada - again. A Chemical Engineer from Green/Blue in Charlottesville, VA once told me that all you need to get the right thing done is to make it profitable for industry and they will find a way to do it. It's bad enough that big brother listens to my phone calls I don't want him in my s@#t as well.

Posted by: Douglas401 | November 20, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I've just returned from a trip to China, where I visited areas devastated by the Sichuan earthquake. Let me tell you that the greatest joy I had was to return to the hotel and to be able to use a western-type toilet instead of the primitive, squat toilets available in isolated, rural areas. Efficient disposal of body waste; water available to wash up after use; clean (bottled for safety in China) drinking water. For people who've not traveled outside the US where there's an emphasis on sanitation--really, celebrate the toilet and everything it implies!

Posted by: gilbertk1 | November 20, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Proper sanitation separates the haves from the have nots all over this planet. It is hard to imagine that in a world full of 21st century marvels much of humanity does not even have proper waste facilities.

Posted by: CitizenTomDoe | November 20, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

The other headline is that Barney's loose on the Mall. And in international news, the following bellow was heard at the G20: "Toilyet inwyentyed in Rossiya! Ve dig hole first!"

Posted by: sawargos | November 20, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Elevating the status of toilets to make them status symbols and objects of desire? Oh joy! Oh rapture!
The 3rd world toilet market we must capture!

Never mind the bear market; now I know where to invest.

Posted by: oldmagnolia | November 22, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse

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