The bathtub revolution | The USA Print

The bathtub revolution



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The other day, during a family meal, we talked about bathtubs, a much more suggestive topic than Pedro Sánchez’s outrages, it must be said. One of the diners lamented that there are hardly any bathtubs left in the houses because he likes nothing more than taking a good bath of hot water and superabundant foam. I happily joined his and my mother’s nostalgia, that she is usually idealistic, but on this occasion she opted for stark realism, she replied to both of us that There are no more bathtubs left because people don’t have time or space for them. “And it’s good that it is so,” she added. “What a useless activity bathing is!”

I absented myself for a few minutes from the conversation. My mother’s words had plunged me into more or less vague, erratic thoughts, like all of mine. Her description of her reality, on the other hand, had been precise, accurate, almost scientific. People don’t have bathtubs because showers are undoubtedly more efficient. How to have a bathtub when we live in zulos where there is hardly room for a bed? The bathtubs are incompatible with the real estate progress that we have given ourselves, consisting of small apartments and very high prices. Having one would imply giving up furniture, appliances, odds and ends that, unlike her, we do consider essential for daily life.

Then there is the matter of time, with which contemporary man maintains the relationship that, ahem, we all know. How to take a bath if we lack hours to fulfill that succession of banal commitments, but urgent that we call daily life? How do we get into the bathtub when we have to go to the supermarket, take the dog out, write various WhatsApp messages, put on the washing machine, hang up clothes, prepare dinner, drop by the gym…?

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While I was mulling over all this, something, perhaps a humorous parodic imitation of the daimon Socratic, he told me that bathtubs well justify a revolution. “Bathtubs for everyone!” could be his motto. In Paradise, before the sin, Adam and Eve surely took baths. In an ideal world, freed from diabolical interference, as God intended, there would certainly be bathtubs. Chesterton said that he would set fire to modern civilization with a girl’s red hair; I up the ante on her and say she should be flooded to devastation with some random family’s bathwater.

bathtubs or barbarism

The bathtubs have something symbolic, evocative. They refer us to a more humane world than the one we inhabit today. A world of spacious, spacious homes, in which there is not only room for what is strictly necessary, but also, and above all, for what is strictly unnecessary. A world less hectic, calmer, in which we don’t have just enough time to fulfill our obligations, skidding, panting, with our tongues sticking out and sweat slipping down our cheeks, but enough to waste it on any unproductive and consequently worthy activity like a hot water bath with the cigarette in one hand and the book in the other.

Almost all good things, those things that pay off the ever-looming temptation to commit suicide, are downright useless.

Someone might object that there is nothing more useless than a bathtub and that, therefore, it is better to look for another reason to appeal to the revolution: workers’ wages or universal healthcare, something like that. For my part, I would reply that it is precisely because useless activities have been cornered, turned into the perks of a handful of privileged people, that this world deserves nothing more than a devastating revolution. Most of the good things, those things that pay off the ever-looming temptation to commit suicide, are downright useless. No imbecile with framed degrees has yet been known who has tried the usefulness of reciting a poem, of contemplating the starry sky on a summer night, of loving a woman to death and beyond.. The meaning of life, the sages teach us, is hidden behind the borders of the realm of the unproductive, far from the realm of utility and its slavery.

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In the past – readers know this better than I – the revolution was undertaken for very serious things like establishing women’s suffrage or achieving social justice. Today, having already conquered such heights, it remains for us to rise up to demand something humbler in appearance, but more important.for basic, really: the sacred right that one has to waste his time taking a bath.