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Found this on the Organic Gardening Forum:

As Satan Scrubbed My Toilet It's a slew of new, disposable products that really scream "Screw the planet, I'm an American!" Life is good

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

Pity the poor beleaguered housewife, still struggling like a haggard dog through her array of thankless daily chores.

Just look at her, hair pulled tight and life a-shambles, saddled with all manner of horrible bristly toilet brushes and horrible sponges and horrible cloth towels to wipe down the horrible countertops and then topping it all off with being forced to use one of those horrible old-fashioned bristle brooms to sweep the floor. Horrible!

Thank God, then, for modern ultraconvenience. Thank God for the corporate household-product industry, so thoroughly glutted on excess merchandise and overinvention they can't possibly think of things we actually need anymore. And thank God for our concomitant complete lack of any real environmental conscience. Yay America!

See, now, the happily narcotized, entirely sexless, vaguely bulbous modern housewife in the recent TV commercial as she finally tosses away her angry, growling, animated (!) toilet brush (see how it snaps and snarls at her like a drunken deadbeat dad! See her toss it into the trash can and then plop her butt down on it in satisfied glee!) in favor of -- say it with me -- disposable toilet scrubbers you use once and throw away!

Like the ScotchBrite! Or the Clorox ToiletWand™! Or the Scrub N' Flush! Or the Scrubbing Bubbles™ Fresh Brush™ Toilet Cleaning System! Yes, Virginia, the world is certainly headed in the right direction.

Just watch that brush head break apart in a swirl of pulpy chemical fibers in the toilet. Look at the nifty cheap-ass landfill-plastic handle -- remember, it's not a brush, it's a "toilet-cleaning system." Look at the shiny plastic tub of refills you have to buy every month just to keep the goddamn thing stocked before the handle snaps in half and you have to buy a whole new one because it's actually worth about seven cents and is made by disposable factory workers in Malaysia who die of petroleum-related cancer even faster than BushCo can decimate the Clean Air Act. Neat!

See? Life is easier already. Who knew you needed a new toilet brush to replace that tough metal one you had that lasted years? No one, that's who! What was wrong with the old, sturdy kind? Nothing, that's what! Hail marketing!

Dear sweet Jesus in sterilized heaven, why have we all been washing dishes using those positively archaic reusable scrub pads? Won't someone please invent a single-use, pretreated disposable scrubber that looks like a large feminine sanitary pad and is made of some frightening paper/plastic compound and coated in thick gobs of foaming chemicals and mysterious toxins that you use once on your lasagna pan and then throw away so you have to buy a new box of the damnable things every week?

Thank God, someone has! It's the new Dawn Wash N' Toss! Or maybe it's the Brillo Scrub N' Toss! Or those disposable Palmolive DishWipes, which all come in big noxious tubs made from unrecycled plastics! Cool! Screw those loser trees. First one's free, Mom.

Brooms? Pshaw. Satan's whiskers. Brooms suck. Brooms are so totally Rubbermaid-O'Cedar-soap-opera-Valium-haze-Daddy's-away-on-business 1976. What we need now is a ridiculous plastic-handled thing with floppy little static-cling pads that you stick on the end and use once up and down the hardwood hallway and then throw away, never to be thought of again, because, well, we never do.

All hail the Swiffer! And the Swiffer Max! And the Swiffer WetJet™, with that big plastic spray-attachment tub you have to refill with toxic chemical cleaner! And the Swiffer hand duster, which you detach and throw away and replace until your shopping list consists solely of 18 different Swiffer refill products and maybe a huge bottle of Tylenol to combat the savage migraines you get from inhaling all those chemicals that poison your blood and make your kidneys cry. Whee!

Now just watch as the Swiffer-endowed housewife runs around like a coked-up lunatic singing the Swiffer song to the tune of "Whip It," drunk on the joy of electromagnetic McDusterthingies. No more brooms! Swiffer the world! Lobotomies all around!

You might think by now that we'd be slightly more aware. You might think that after decades of impassioned environmental movements and organic evolution and reams of irrefutable evidence proving how we are aggressively mauling the planet on a daily basis, that we'd be just slightly more conscious and attuned by now regarding what we put in our mouths, in our homes, down our toilets.

You might even think, furthermore, we'd be just a bit more cautious regarding toxic household cleaners and electric chemical air fresheners and various solvents and detergents and coatings, and realize that dousing the home with 10,000 synthetic petroleum-based products that are known to cause cancer and skin irritation and tumors and impotence and painful emphysemic death, well, it might not always be the best way to go. You might think.

You would, of course, be wrong.

There is no such awareness. Not yet. Not on any significant scale. The rain forests can disappear and we'll still buy disposable toilet brushes and throwaway diapers by the truckload. Oil prices can hit 50 bucks a barrel and 1,000 sad disposable U.S. soldiers can die in oil-rich foreign nations and still Ford Expeditions will sell like hotcakes. We can create a mountain of dead useless slightly radioactive cell phones roughly the size of the planet Pluto. No one really cares. Can you hear me now? Um, no.

It is our global peril and our national trademark. Americans are notoriously, famously, massively blind to causality. We make zero connection between how we consume and the effects of that consumption on our bodies, our politics, the planet. It is staggering and sad and it is also nothing new.

But the scary news is, it seems to be getting worse. Still.

These silly new products, these sexist new ads, are merely a small but nasty sign, like a malignant lump, a festering murmur, in the karmic heart. Just more proof of how we are still being trained not to care, still trained since birth to believe the supply of paper and wood and plastic and petroleum is inexhaustible and that America is the land of abundance and it will all last forever and, besides, most of us will die well before there's any "serious" problems, right? So who the hell cares, and leave it to the next generation to figure out. Now pass the giant tub of foam packing peanuts. Mmm, landfill.

As it is with toilet brushes and brooms, so it is with our national agenda, our environmental policy, our war motives. In other words, there is a straight and unwavering line connecting the Scrub N' Toss with our environmental policy, our worldview, our motives for war and destruction. The world is our commodity. This is the message, the American standpoint. The world is our giant toxic overlit soul-sucking Wal-Mart. Restrain it at your peril.

The good news is, we still have personal choice. Barely. Most of us still have the ability to discern between that which is truly helpful and beneficial in our lives and that which is simply not worth stomping over the planet like it's a fleeing butterfly and we are a screeching heavily Ritalined little boy wielding a stick.

It's an increasingly precious commodity, this ability, this discernment, more endangered than the blue whale and the baby seal and the right to own a dildo in Texas, and it's diminishing fast, because BushCo hates it with a white-hot intensity normally reserved for nature or individuality or gay people in love. But it's still ours to make.

And if we don't exercise it today, right now, on the next shopping trip to buy scrub pads and detergents and toilet brushes, SUVs and tennis shoes and vibrators, it will itself become just another wasted resource, another landfill commodity we once used and then used up and didn't give another damn about.

It is, as always, up to you. Use that dwindling ability to stay informed and conscious, or it quickly disappears, dissolving away like some sort of sad, disposable wad of perspective and conscience. Call it the Think N' Toss. Consider the consequences of your actions only once, for the briefest possible moment, then shrug it off and merely flush them away, never to be thought of again. How wonderfully convenient.

-- Anonymous, May 30, 2004


Wow, that is WONDERFUL, Polly! Thanks so much for posting it;I'll pass it around!

-- Anonymous, May 30, 2004

I have to admit I got one of the scrubby bubbles toilet brushes!! GASP it was free (they were giving them away at the local store) I used it one time decided it was more of a pain in the ass and gave it to my Mom(who was thinking about buying one for dads bathroom) he used it and gave it to my sister who hated it and then not knowing I was the first one with it tried to give it to me!!!!! Well it's now in the back of my sisters closet.

Give me my ol scrub brush,old worn out socks and old wash clothes and I'll clean anything Oh yeah don't let me forget my luffa scrubber!!!


-- Anonymous, May 30, 2004

I couldn't believe those disposable toilet bowl cleaners when I saw them on TV. I bet they're hell on your septic system. And as for the disposable dishcloths with the soap already in them; I have a feeling that except for us homesteading types nobody does dishes by hand anyway!

I have a confession to make. I can't remember the last time I scrubbed a toilet. I do wipe down the outside and the rim, but I don't scrub the bowl. We have a water softener so there's no problem with hard water stains, and it's not like I have children or pets that are drinking out of the bowl. If it looked dirty I would clean it, but I don't see the point of putting more chemicals down the drain if they're not necessary. Please don't tell my mom, she'd probably have a fit!

-- Anonymous, May 31, 2004

I'll admit that until I got sick I never gave these things a second thought. Now I do it because I have to. I use Vinegar and water for everything!! But I still have to use chemicals to strip my kitchen floor and put on new wax to try to give it a few more years. And the vinegar doesn't cut the soap scum off the shower doors. But it does kill germs, mold and bacteria.

-- Anonymous, June 02, 2004

Never clean the toilet? Too funny, Sherri! What interesting things we learn about each other here! :)

We have such hard water, the toilet has to be scrubbed regularly or it would look like a rust bowl. Our upstairs toilet is brown, so the rust wouldnt show, but it does develop a whitish scum if it isnt cleaned.

Dee, have you tried the vinegar straight for the soap scum? Or how about a lemon half sprinkled with baking soda and/or salt? Or a paste of baking soda and vinegar, let it sit a while, and rinse. What about Calgon, or trisodium phosphate (cant remember its commercial name).

What material is your kitchen floor?

I use Shaklee Basic H for almost everything, including at my business. Buy it in 5 gallon buckets. Usually we fill our liquid soap dispensers with Dr Bronners (also bought bulk, but not that bulk!) or a generic dish soap they sell here at the co-ops.

-- Anonymous, June 03, 2004

I heard of Basic H before, will have to look into it again. I tried the straight vinegar, vinegar with baking soda paste, and Borox. Never tried lemons. hey, at least I only need to do it maybe once every two months. Don't have hard water and we wipe the walls when we finish so it takes a while to build up.

It was funny. I went to visit my family and was gone for 5 days. When I returned, the toilet was BLACK! Realized that I use the bathroom alot more then the guys so it wasn't flushed much while I was gone. Think they noticed? Naaa...

-- Anonymous, June 03, 2004

A guy at our apartments once used a mixture of chemicals to clean his throne after his roomates moved out. He squatted on his sparkling fixture to do a little "thinking and stinking" and said "uh ohhhh" as the bowl started heating up and smoking after he added the required ammonia. His porcelain idol cracked like a marble in a frying pan. He wasnt sure if he should call a plumber or a hazmat team :>)

-- Anonymous, June 06, 2004

Oh dee an Jay..the mental pictures I have now..(Eeeeew! and Hee hee!). Never been tempted by the new fangled toilet scrubbers or dish thingies but I do have a dishwasher (generic powder), went for the Swiffers both dry and wet (total crap), and the Swiffer duster (that baby PICKS UP!! But you can't get refills..need to buy the whole thing over again: handle and 5 dusters. I REFUSE!!) On a frugal board I used to frequent more some were legitimising their purchases of these non frugal items.....I may need to do some cuttin' and pastin'. I did send this to those in my address book that would get it. Good'n Polly!

-- Anonymous, June 10, 2004

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