The meaning of flung poo

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Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ pointsj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb
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A long-stemmed red rose. When you want to communicate the depth of your passion to the man or woman in your life, you can't go wrong offering one of these. Like the valentine, the rose is a recognized symbol of love. But the rose is the more serious gesture, more Eros than Cupid, and its currency is more than symbolic. Like foreplay, a rose stimulates the appropriate senses -- sight, smell, and touch. Open a bottle of wine after presenting the rose, and you can kiss the rest of the day goodbye. Being lucky has nothing to do with it.

A big pile of steaming shit. When all other avenues of communication have been closed off, nothing can better express disdain than shit. Like a freshly cut rose, freshly cut shit enlists both symbol and substance. It exercises the senses to recreate the very disgust in the communicatee that is felt by the communicator. And with shit, you needn't bother with a complimentary libation -- because the ultimate message de merde activates all five senses.

Most of us are well familiar with the conditions that prompt us to give a rose. But what circumstances could drive a person to say it with shit?

One proven method is to first imprison them and then subject them to humiliating and painful treatment . In his recent book, William Sampson details how he painted his cell walls with his shit as a way to get back at his Saudi torturers. Daniel Bowler, a man charged with murdering three people in Richmond, Virginia, had a similar experience while in prison (and probably while suffering delusions) -- he used his shit to paint himself and even fashion a pair of devil horns.

In his forthcoming book, our very own Dave analyzes this behavior -- "scatolia" -- and distinguishes it from its cousin, turd terrorism. He provided me with this passage, as it is relevant to both Sampson's and Bowler's experiences:

In a 1996 survey of hospitals, prisons, and regional secure units, 38 of the 50 facilities that responded to the questionnaire reported 2,693 incidents of fecal smearing in the preceding five years; while most were attributed to mental impairment or psychiatric disorders, 159 of them were determined by the reporting facilities to be a form of protest. Fecal smearing from rational individuals -- not crazy people, but people who were judged by the institution to be fully rational who nevertheless believed that smearing poop would somehow further their cause. Is this some sort of misdiagnosed mental disorder? Or is there something about smearing poop that somehow makes sense to people held in an institution?

The practice of smearing feces is clinically known as scatolia. When not associated with psychological impairment, it manifests when an individual faces extreme powerlessness and frustration -- instances in which an individual believes that his rights have been wholly stripped, and that the entire system is conspiring against him. He wants to communicate his frustrations, to lodge his protest, but he believes that the system has even assimilated his protests -- like when the system absorbs protests of with refrains of "Sure, buddy, that's what they all say."

A rational person held by what he deems an irrational system will feel intense, consuming frustration. As pointed out by Tom Mason in Managing Protest Behavior: From Coercion to Compassion, the prisoner feels the only way to communicate the irrationality of his plight is through a medium equally irrational. Poop.

Thanks to Bunga Din for sending the leads for this story. And by the way, Dave, if that fucking book of yours doesn't come out soon, the shit is going to fly.

11 Comments on "The meaning of flung poo"

PooperGal's picture
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Interesting postulations and idea. My hunch about poop smearing by seemingly rational people is this: When you are imprisoned and have very few resources at hand, poop is one thing you have access to, and can provide for yourself. Also, among meat-eating animals, it's instinctive to be revulsed by the shit of other carnivores. This may be because meat-based shit can contain pathogens or nurture pathogens that are dangerous to health. Whatever the reason, we have a "gut" reaction that shit is dirty, and to be repulsed by it.

Prisoners, having few other ways of expressing themselves, can thus make their rage and displeasure known by utilizing something repulsive to evoke a reaction in others - as Logjam so perceptively pointed out in his rose vs. crap comparison.

I don't think there is necessarily a syndrome or emotional condition connected to the act of smearing oneself with shit, but it can occur as the result of anxiety-induced neurosis. If a child is doing it in school or at home, then I would wonder whether that child were being abused. When an adult does it in captivity, it might be the result of neurosis from being imprisoned, or just an act of rebellion and defiance. Note that monkeys and apes will hurl feces in the wild as an act of aggression or defence, or at zookeepers when in captivity, as a result of boredom, fear, or cage-induced neurosis.

Much pondering...

PooperGal
"Searching for the Origin of the Feces"

PooperGal
"Searching for the Origin of the Feces"

Bunga Din's picture
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Fantastic summary Logjam, I followed Sampsons case and he was really let down by our government. The other story really brought home the issue of people who should be declared insane but due to odd laws are treated as criminals. Unfortunately too often the arguments provided to distinguish an act like Sampsons versus an act like Bowlers missing.

Winnie the Poo's picture
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I also followed up that story, and I agree with Bunga, a man who makes himself feces horns (in prision or wherever) is not mentally fit. Bowler should have been heavily medicated (and locked up) with proper medical care in some psychotic ward. Those murders could have been prevented.

PooperGal's picture
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The guy sure was attempting to "make a statement." The fact that he slaughtered three people already pegged him as someone who was not walking the path of normalcy.

PooperGal
"Searching for the Origin of the Feces"

PooperGal
"Searching for the Origin of the Feces"

Slim Jim Junkie's picture
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Too bad the mental wards tend to be highly abusive.

SamDamnit's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points
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I encountered a number of fecal statements when I worked at a book store. This article has given me some insight in to what I encountered.

SamDamnit!
Rectum Rector
of
The Church of Poop
http://groups.myspace.com/THECHURCHOFPOOP

SamDamnit!
The Emir of Crapistan

La Petomaine's picture
l 100+ points
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I can understand the rage that drove the dude in the Iraqi prison to it.
That dude who painted himself and made devil horns? Seriously disturbed! (Duh)
Sometimes people who are suffering from dementia think they are cleaning themselves and the more they try to clean the worse it gets. They are like little children in this regard.
I once woke from a nap to find my then one and a half year old son with poop smeared all over himself. Beside him was the container of baby wipes. Bless his little heart, he was trying to clean himself up and not disturb Mom! But he didn't have the coordination to accomplish the task. I was so proud of him for being so resourceful.
Of course these days, now that he's 15, he delights in "letting it all hang out" by making announcements like "Hey, Mom, I gotta take a major crap. We better get home quick unless you want to clean up the car!"
FYI, he's never crapped in the car, he just gets a kick out of my reaction!
I guess now I should be proud to have raised a fine Shameless Shitter!
Have a crappy day!
La Petomaine

Have a crappy day!
La Petomaine

Anonymous Coward's picture
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The women's bathroom where I work is disgusting. I wondered what would prompt grown women to rub poop on the walls. Many who work here are from foreign countries & I wondered if it was something "acceptable" such as openly burping and farting.

Russell's picture
l 100+ points
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When I was in fifth grade, people were smearing shit on the walls in the bathrooms. It was disgusting to be honest.
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Russell the shitting queen

Russell the shitting queen

Anonymous Coward's picture
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Ok so why would someone smear our bathroom, mens room, every nite.....We work in an office, and it has become a real problem. How and why do people do this. What do we look for...and we are not being silly here.

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points
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AC who posted directly above.....What size company are you talking about. I would think that if the word were put out that the culprit would be immediately terminated that might help, or.........put out word that asshole DNA samples will be taken from all employees unless the terrorism ceases.


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Eat chilies and feel the burn!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!