Is “The Origin of Feces” a Darwinian concern? Perhaps not, but it is the title to the preface of this tongue-in-cheek and unexpectedly revealing exploration of human behavior by the webmaster behind the popular PoopReport.com.
This book is not a history of poop, but a study of today. Its goal is to understand how poop affects us, how we view it, and why; to appreciate its impact from the moment it slides out of our anal sphincters to the moment it enters the sewage treatment plant; to explore how we’ve arrived at this strange discomfort and confusion about a natural product of our bodies; to see how this contradiction-the natural as unnatural-shapes our minds, relationships, environment, culture, economics, media, and art.
Paul Provenza, the director of The Aristocrats, says in his foreword: “It’s shocking to think that a book about poop can be considered an act of courage. But it is. Most of us have knee-jerk responses to the topic that we are not even aware of. Attitudes that, like the awful stench of poop itself, permeate all of society and culture. This book has some very profound and beautiful things to say. It takes a dirty, smelly, unpleasant subject like shit and brings forth ideas that are empowering, dignifying and life affirming.”