May 10, 2017

"They use their weapons against us, so people are using what they have" — excrement.

"They have gas; we have excrement," say the ads for the "Shit March."

Protesters in Venezuela — where inflation is "in the high triple-digits" and people are starving — are collecting feces, from animals and from human beings, to throw at the police.
"The kids go out with just stones. That's their weapon. Now they have another weapon: excrement," said a 51-year-old dentist preparing containers of feces in her home for protesters to launch at authorities.
This isn't funny, but terribly sad. People are desperate and not thinking straight.

It seems that people, in their misery, are sinking to the level of monkeys and apes, who are often observed in zoos throwing feces. And yet here I see that "Researches find poop-throwing by chimps is a sign of intelligence." But if you read that closely, you'll see that the study is about the ability to throw, not the choice of projectile:
In this study, we examined whether differences in the ratio of white (WM) to grey matter (GM) were evident in the homologue to Broca's area as well as the motor-hand area of the precentral gyrus (termed the KNOB) in chimpanzees that reliably throw compared with those that do not....
Perhaps you — the human being or the ape — throw what is available. "People are using what they have," said the man quoted in the post title, and apes in zoos are using what they have.

When have human beings used shit as a weapon? Here's a Vice article on the subject. The ancient Scythians dipped their arrows in "a mixture of viper venom, viper corpses, human blood, and shit." In the Middle Ages, "the feces of bubonic plague victims was flung over castle walls with catapults in an effort to infect those inside." There was an "excrement trebuchet bomb" in 12th century China —  "gunpowder, human shit, and poison... lit with a hot poker" and launched. And prisoners in America these days throw shit mixed in milk cartons with fruit jelly (for stickiness) and hot sauce (for a burning sensation).

There is also a fascinating case described at that link of an Inuit elder who resisted Canada's forced removal of the Inuit to the high Arctic. With no tools and only 2 dogs, he molded his excrement into a knife shape, which froze into a workable knife — "the shit knife." But he didn't stab anyone with the knife. He butchered a dog, and he used the meat to feed himself and the other dog. And he cut the pelt to make a coat and the guts to make reins for a sled fashioned out of the dog's ribcage, and he escaped.

64 comments:

The Drill SGT said...

Althouse,

In your Vice extract, you missed the most salient reference to poo weapons for Americans. e.g. the feces dipped bamboo stick. aka "Punji Stick" designed to inflict deadly infectious wounds on American soldiers during the Vietnam war.

exiledonmainstreet said...

You neglected to mention that "protesters" at Berkeley recently defecated on the sidewalk and threw shit at conservatives. The American Left has also been known to take a dump on police cars.

The starving people in Venezuela have been disarmed by their socialist government so they are using the only weapon they have. The pampered socialist brats of Berkeley are using their shit to silence free speech.

And this woman is putting it in a container at home. Evidently even the poor Venezuelans don't lower themselves to crapping on the sidewalk in public.

rhhardin said...

Hurling bad words is next.

exhelodrvr1 said...

"Forced removal of the Inuit"

Wait - I thought Canada handled the indigenous peoples so much better than the US did!

Virtually Unknown said...

I think that maybe Bono should head on down, grab an AK-47, and start defending the socialist revolution he so vocally championed. These shit throwing reactionaries needs be taught a lesson!

AllenS said...

Never bring a shit sandwich to a gun fight.

rhhardin said...

Baseball has made Americans exceptionally good at throwing.

Clyde said...

For all of the people who thought that Bernie Sanders was a good idea, take a good, long look: This is what end-stage socialism looks like. I feel some sympathy for the poor average Jose out there trying to find food and toilet paper in empty grocery stores, but ultimately, the Venezuelans chose this fate by electing and re-electing socialist governments that promised the poor "free stuff" by taking it from the rich. Well, the rich who weren't part of the governing kleptocracy, anyway(in August 2015, Chavez's daughter was the richest woman in Venezuela). But when you stiff your foreign suppliers and start expropriating their property, they'll stop sending you imports. And when you import everything except oil, and then oil prices crater due to fracking glutting the market... Then the shit hits the jackboots. And the poor starve.

rhhardin said...

A careful analysis might find that hurling shit is derivative from swearing, rather than the reverse.

Shit is offensive because the word shit is offensive.

rhhardin said...

A proper demonstration would be women wearing pussy hats hurling shit.

Clyde said...

rhhardin said...
Baseball has made Americans exceptionally good at throwing.


There are lots of great Venezuelan ballplayers in Major League Baseball, too.

I'd recommend that the protesters stick to fastballs and not worry about throwing curves or sliders.

Curious George said...

"rhhardin said...
Baseball has made Americans exceptionally good at throwing."

And also a lot of gomers named Juan.

exiledonmainstreet said...

It's a good thing Obama limited his shit-throwing to the figurative, verbal sense only. He had a rough time with ceremonial pitches. He'd fare badly in a real shit-flinging contest. Dubya would be someone to fear. He could throw a deuce for a strike.

PackerBronco said...

Socialism works everywhere it hasn't been tried.

tcrosse said...

Shit is offensive because the word shit is offensive.

Shit is offensive because it stinks. Unless yours doesn't.

dreams said...

Will that happen to our country? It could eventually the way we're going.

Brando said...

A good example of a society completely breaking down. Perils of the command economy and the rampant corruption that comes with dictatorship.

Hopefully they eject that government and begin turning things around. Venezuela really didn't have to go in this direction, and all those nuts who praised Chavez fifteen years ago ought to reckon with what their hero wrought. A growing country rich in resources completely squandered.

tcrosse said...

If the people are starving, won't they eventually run out of shit ?

Larry J said...

One of my coworkers is married to a woman from Venezuela. He tells me things are much worse there than most US news media are reporting. For example, protesters are being tried in military courts for "Crimes against the Fatherland", treason.

Venezuela has a favorable climate but can't grow enough food because the government nationalized the farms. It sits on the world's largest oil reserves but their oil industry is collapsing because the government siphoned away money needed to maintain the equipment to buy support among the peasants. People with no experience running vital industries were put in charge because of their political loyalty with predictable results. Sean Penn and the other socialism apologists won't admit it but the country is on the edge of collapse. What follows the collapse is unknown. The wealthy are fleeing the country and the people are starting to block access to the airports. The judiciary is just as corrupt as everyone else in the government. There are many opposition groups and they're only now starting to cooperate with one another. Odds are this won't end well.

Warren Fahy said...

"Sinking to the level of monkeys and apes?" Really? They are facing a foe that apparently needs to be reminded of what "shame" feels like. It seems to be rather symbolic rather than animalistic.

sparrow said...

The current government ranks 3rd from the bottom in economic freedom after only N Korea and Cuba. The corrupt government has essentially outlawed any legal means or redress or even of nonviolent protest. That can only lead to worse: either the government kills it's people to prevent revolution or revolution will come.

Robert Cook said...

"For example, protesters are being tried in military courts for 'Crimes against the Fatherland,' treason."

That'll happen here in America eventually; the first step was the coining of the term "homeland" to refer to our country.

Brando said...

""Sinking to the level of monkeys and apes?" Really? They are facing a foe that apparently needs to be reminded of what "shame" feels like. It seems to be rather symbolic rather than animalistic."

I give them a pass--it's one thing for ivory tower types in America looking down on "unseemly" forms of protest, but imagine living in that hellhole where the government sanctions murder and theft, and everything you worked for in your life is getting wiped out by inflation and government taking. You'd strike back any way you can.

Danno said...

I read an article several weeks ago that said the average Venezuelan lost 19 pounds in 2016. So sad. But very predictable under socialism.

Known Unknown said...

"It seems that people, in their misery, are sinking to the level of monkeys and apes, who are often observed in zoos throwing feces."

These people are not sinking.

They are rising.

Finally, they've had enough.

And this, my friends, is why you have the 2nd Amendment in the United States.

Danno said...

Even that lefty site Vox agrees.

https://www.vox.com/world/2017/2/22/14688194/venezuela-crisis-study-food-shortage

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

The Yahoos in Swift's Gulliver's Travels "discharge excrement" as a tactic in war. Just under the Leader, who is a kind of King, there is a Favourite or Prime Minister, who is "hated by the whole Herd," and has to stay close to the Leader. Only when a new Favourite is chosen, always worse than the old one, does he enjoy widespread popularity; he leads the entire community in defecating on the loser--the humiliation of an election defeat.

buwaya said...

"People are desperate and not thinking straight. "

Desperation makes people think very clearly. All illusions and vanities go away.

Sebastian said...

Actually, the Venezuelan regime has used the same weapon. What is socialism but ideological shit-shoveling?

Birkel said...

@ Althouse

Everybody, when reduced to true hunger and impending death, becomes no more than an animal.
You are no different.

Birkel said...

@ buwaya

I believe we are saying the same thing, if coming at it from different directions.

The neo-Malthusians, who think things will continue as they are, are dangerous.

Fernandinande said...

tcrosse said...
If the people are starving, won't they eventually run out of shit ?


In the meantime it gets more concentrated.

Jupiter said...

"This isn't funny, but terribly sad. People are desperate and not thinking straight."

To make that case, you would need to have a better idea of what they are thinking. Perhaps they believe that the government can be defeated by popular protest, and that throwing shit at the cops will further that objective. Depends on the cops, I guess.

I have to say, I am amazed at their determination to continue "protesting", given the violent repression they face. You didn't see this sort of thing in the Left Fascist states of the Soviet Occupation in eastern Europe. Perhaps the inability to effectively suppress the opposition is just another side of the general inability of Latin countries to enforce their laws?

exiledonmainstreet said...

Danno said...
I read an article several weeks ago that said the average Venezuelan lost 19 pounds in 2016"

Some idiot British chef actually praised North Korea for not having fat people. Well, except that their Dear Leader doesn't appear to be missing any meals. I'm sure the daughter of Hugo Chavez doesn't either.

Hey, totalitarianism sure solves the obesity problem.

Sometimes, anyway. I remember P.J.O'Rourke writing about going into a Soviet era shop in Russia and seeing nothing but cans of lard. His guide said something about how the hardest things to do in the USSR were staying slim and getting enough to eat.

Mike said...

Where are all the Hugo Chavez-worshipping celebrities who claimed he had built a lasting Socialist Paradise? What happened to the cheering masses who lauded the free health care and wonderful social programs? Why in all the thumb-sucking DNC-MSM articles "dissecting" the crisis is one word so mysteriously absent?

buwaya said...

"Perhaps the inability to effectively suppress the opposition"

Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Cuba, Brazil and Mexico (and no doubt others I have forgotten), have effectively suppressed various oppositions several times over.

Wilbur said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rick said...

Robert Cook said...
["For example, protesters are being tried in military courts for 'Crimes against the Fatherland,' treason."]

That'll happen here in America eventually; the first step was the coining of the term "homeland" to refer to our country.


Cook pulls out his anti-Americanism whenever his treasured socialism is in danger of being sullied. Don't think about how socialism kills! This is about America!

Wilbur said...

Ay! Que come mierde!

Drago said...

Cookie: "That'll happen here in America eventually; the first step was the coining of the term "homeland" to refer to our country."

Fascism is always descending on America but only landing in Robert Cookian People's Paradises.

Naturally it's time for Bobby Cook to initiate Deflection Tactics lest we stare too long into the abyss of inevitable end-state leftism.

Sebastian said...

"This isn't funny, but terribly sad. People are desperate and not thinking straight." Just piling on, so to speak, but they are thinking straight: they are bound and determined to beat the oppressors. Breaking the will of the security forces is key. When the shooting stops, the regime loses. Sure, it is "sad," in the sense that all the horrors of socialism are "sad," but it is also uplifting to see a people sacrificing for their freedom. This is what real resistance, against real oppression, looks like.

Jupiter said...

buwaya said...

"Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Cuba, Brazil and Mexico (and no doubt others I have forgotten), have effectively suppressed various oppositions several times over."

Cuba, yes. With a great deal of Soviet assistance, I would add. The others, not so much. They throw a lot of people into prisons, or out of helicopters, but the opposition doesn't seem to stay suppressed. Of course, the Europeans finally came unstuck as well. Maybe there's hope for Cuba.

Gahrie said...

The Viet Cong used excrement on their punji sticks.

Gahrie said...

Sorry Drill Sgt. I didn't read the comments first.

Rick said...

Sebastian said...
["This isn't funny, but terribly sad. People are desperate and not thinking straight."]

This is what real resistance, against real oppression, looks like.


Right, it seems presumptuous to criticize how people resist in life and death circumstances as if we understand their available tools and circumstances better than they do. Anything is better than sitting at home watching your family die around you.

mockturtle said...

If the people are starving, won't they eventually run out of shit ?

Beat me to, it, tcrosse! ;-)

Quaestor said...

Forgive me if I believe not a single word of the shit knife story.

Darrell said...

Once Written, Twice Shit On The Sidewalk feels vindicated.

gspencer said...

"This isn't funny, but terribly sad. People are desperate and not thinking straight."

The not-thinking-straight part came when they elected socialists as their leaders. And then did it again and again.

Rusty said...

Once again proving everthing socialism touches turns to shit.
And socialists into coprophiliacs.

Rusty said...

So.
Would that make the usual suspects coprohaulics?

CStanley said...

People often behave like animals. I'm inclined to give them a pass when they are doing it for survival.

furious_a said...

People are desperate and not thinking straight.

Actually, they're playing the cards they've been dealt. That's eminently logical.

furious_a said...

This isn't Braveheart or 300...It's the people of #Venezuela facing off against the failed regime of Hugo Chávez & Nicolás Maduro

Lord Have Mercy, we have no idea how fortunate we are.

Rick Turley said...

I have to agree with Shinyribs. I don't give a....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMp-fiQlobg


or Sturgill Simpson:

"They call me King Turd up here on Shit Mountain, but if you want it you can have the crown."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMkhsamX-2I

John said...

From the Vox article: "Velasco’s perspective on the current Venezuelan crisis is that it’s the latest manifestation of the country’s old addiction to oil — one that’s surfaced before under other governments, not just socialist ones. “The problem isn’t ideology — it’s dependence,” he says."

And "dependence" is only applicable to oil - not, say government handouts from "ambitious social spending that invested heavily in education, health, and anti-poverty programs."???

cubanbob said...

Maduro has out done Fidel Castro and his brother Raul. Venezuela is now poorer than Cuba despite having tremendous mineral wealth, oil and farmland. An amazing anti-achievement. It takes a special perverse form genius to this. Perhaps Maduro's goal is to outdo North Korea.

William Chadwick said...

Poop as you never pooped before, my comrades! Poop for liberty!

southcentralpa said...

And now, of course, the inevitable movie reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgUwpb3I98M

Bryan Townsend said...

Doesn't it seem more reasonable to see this as a problem that would best be solved with a few ounces of lead?

Virtually Unknown said...

That'll happen here in America eventually; the first step was the coining of the term "homeland" to refer to our country.

Yeah, once Robert Cook gets his preferred candidate into the presidency.

Virtually Unknown said...

Anything that suggests the US has a right to her borders freaks out the America haters.

Rusty said...


'That'll happen here in America eventually; the first step was the coining of the term "homeland" to refer to our country."

It's why the people own guns.
"Eventually" we may have to shoot a bunch of people to get them to leave us alone.

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