Sunday, March 22, 2009

...and the Little Bacteria.

Yesterday, I was talking to a close relative of mine who's been immune
system challenged for about 20 years. Hr catchs common bugs easily.
He was saying "I want to tell the people who use anti-bacterial soap
to stop. They're just making super-germs."

I absolutely agree with him and have heard and thought that many
times. The reasoning seems perfectly obvious: if you kill all of the
bacteria, you leave the ones on the margins that are tougher, stronger
etc.

The reasoning seems obvious to me because that's how I believe the
world works: populations change over time because of their
environment. As we know, lots of people don't buy this. That qould be
the whole "dinosaurs lived with man 5000 years ago" crowd.

Another of my favorite least favorite tv commercials is for some
bathroom cleaning product. A mother and her 5esque year old daughter
are in the nastiest, sketchiest junkie-ridden public beach bathroom at
the dirtiest beach in the nastiest, most decayed post-industrial iron-
belt city. There's grafitti and grime. The place teams with rhinovirus
and HIV and hepitiits A, B, C, D, and new Cool Ranch and Scallion
Hepetitis. (The commercial was actually shot in the location used for
the toilet diving scene in Trainspotting.)

The punchline? We fade into the place it really is: the sparkling
white, family's home bathroom. The message: every surface, everywhere
is teaming with lethal organisms. You can never cease your vigilance.

All microorganisms are bad and should be destroyed. Bacteria: evil,
Llysol: good. Sound familiar? This is the battle between Good and Evil
oft mentioned by the same folks who disbelieve that Darwin's theory
is a strong explanation for how life works.

What do we conclude? That religious fundamentalists are behind the use
of anti-bacterial and viral products in an effort to advance their
beliefs. Toilet bowl cleaner is a weapon of God against Satan. The
toilet is Armageddon, the field of battle upon which The Lord finally
triumphs.

This thinking is compelling and eventually wins over the mis-led such
as myself. Eventually even I come to accept the truth of Intelligent
Design as the tool of God's plan.

Come to think of it, our soap at home is anti-bacterial and we clean
our toilet with the killing products. A dirty toilet is really not
awesome. And I like really, really clean hands.

But I don't want to assist "those people".
I guess I'll go ride around San Francisco today on Muni to resist. The
38 Geary While slathered in yogurt. Nude.


\t : iPhone->you

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