Last Sunday my friend Julio Llorente published in Vozpopuli an apology for bathtubs. This affront does not exceed that of the spun egg, but today I believe it is fair to recover this debate and make Julio, alas, an amendment to the whole. I won’t deny that his nostalgia for big, ostentatious bathtubs made me wonder. Nothing as stimulating as the nostalgia of what has not been lived, clear. But I believe with Peyró in the fatality of turning nostalgia into a political category, not to mention elevating it to an interior design catalogue.
Julio criticizes in his article our society of utilitarianism where even the comfort of bathtubs has been replaced by the Scandinavian minimalism of tiles and bamboo. The Spanish vision -that ethos Hispanic hopelessly Catholic − leads us to prefer meaty children, mixed dishes, well-made women and furnished houses. I agree. But the simplicity of the shower is not incompatible with the seclusion of the homely. While it is true that a large majority give up their bathtubs to occupy their tiny apartments with computers, playstations and other odds and ends, Julio forgets that the virtue of the shower lies in the space it leaves you to put, for example, a wonderful library!
It is equally important to note that practicality is not utilitarianism. Since Ulpiano, justice has come to be “giving each one his own” and it is acceptable to recognize a completely humanist practicality in the shower. Despite Nuccio Ordine we live in the dictatorship of the useful but it is not fair to confuse utility with pragmatism. That is why I do not believe, like Julio, that in Paradise Adam and Eve enjoyed the delights of the bathtub. Simply because what is created tends to the Creator and there would be nothing more unforgivable −except to take that apple, of course− than to scatter time together with the Creator floating in a foamy pool. Not to mention, ahem, the mere bathing posture, which transports the man into the birth of a rhinoceros. The human being is vertical by natureis created to look up, to coordinately move the legs, to stand up. Man is made to shower!
In this matter of the bathtubs, the ‘good people’ (sic) have to defend the shower. Not going against it is sometimes the most revolutionary thing
Another issue for which I repudiate bathtubs is the exaltation of the self with which they surround themselves. In the era of anthropocentrism, and Julio knows a lot more about this than I do, the bathtub has become a temple of televised egoism. “Dedicate yourself”, “give yourself some time” and “focus on yourself” are some of the proclamations that the modern world throws at individuals, who in their sweet rocking in the bathtub end up uprooting themselves from everything that surrounds them. Appointment Julio the daimon Socratic and I can’t stop thinking about him in medio virtus Aristotelian. Faced with the polish washing of frenetic postmodernism and the contemplative bath of anthropocentric religion, the shower becomes a virtue of man.
I will briefly mention, to finish, the incoherence into which Julio falls in his praise of the revolution. Few persecutors of cultural guerrillas are more ferocious than him, and he has come, under the pretext of bathtubs, to now proclaim to us the benefits of the revolution. This, in any case, says a lot about his intelligence, which I cannot help but envy. They say -in this case it is true- that there is always someone more dangerous than the one who reads Marx: the one who understands it. But I still think that in this matter of the bathtubs, the ‘good people’ (sic) have to defend the shower. Not going against it is sometimes the most revolutionary thing.