Sunday, 31 December 2017

New Year's Eve 2017: "A Truly Awful Toilet"

Last New Year's Eve, we were incandescent with rage. This year, we are still angry, but are too exhausted to work up any proper fury, preferring instead to recline on our chaise-longue with a drink or four in our hand, feebly waving our hunting crop in the air and muttering "Tally-ho" into the darkness. 

We still think, however, that people should complain less and do more. If, for instance, you are one of those people who think that "feminism has gone too far", then we think you should stop scratching your arse, hoist up your flannel trousers and give a helping hand to someone who needs one. Feminists believe that toxic masculinity hurts us all, and that gender equality benefits everyone. You don't have to agree but, if you don't, rather than attacking feminists, your time would be far less uselessly spent helping someone you believe is marginalised. If you believe that white men are the most oppressed social group, then knock yourself out helping them. Just don't go bitching and moaning about feminism. Also, fuck off.

Which leads us to our next point. We have been of the opinion, for a long time, that PEOPLE SHOULD FUCK OFF MORE. We stand by this.

We'd better move on to today's toilet pictures before our grumpiness goes supernova and someone ends up injured.

Jonny, that handsome young scallywag, says:
Christmas treat
A truly awful toilet

The stains on the floor aren't even the worst thing about this toilet.

The picture quality is execrable, but the sign says "Out of order". Philosophical!

Jonny managed to find that elusive thing: toilet graffiti!
"Communism will win."
"Yeah, right!"
Personally we are not in favour of any ideology that is responsible for the deaths of millions of people, and are rather prone to agreeing with the "Yeah right" retort.

Unable to understand why this toilet, which is, to all appearances, tremendously shit, was awarded two whole points, we posed the question to Jonny, who replied:
Oh, lol
It had a nice mirror
And a coat hook

We move swiftly from the wet, slippery floor of whatever pub Jonny spent Christmas Eve in, and hurry towards the rarefied air of Kulturen, a museum in Lund, Sweden. We located these toilets on the first floor, and found them immensely encouraging.

Mixer tap, nice soap, paper towels (recycled), bin - SCHWING!

All present and correct: the toilet roll is hygienically covered

HUNKA HUNKA COAT HOOK! Also, the door is sturdy and goes all the way down to the floor and all the way up to the ceiling. (That odd noise was a huge sigh of contentment erupting from our chest cavity.)

Let us review some of the highlights from 2017, shall we? The year started off with the Women's March in January. There was a fuckload of resistance:

Rampant Murderous Nazis Are Taking Over the World, But Here Is a Picture of Jonny In a Toilet, for Your Convenience and Comfort



In March we concluded that rampant murderous Nazis were STILL in charge, and exhorted everyone to stop being a dick:

No Man (Or Woman) Is an Island 


 In April, we went to York. The title rather says it all:

Castles in the Air: Dreaming of Better Plumbing, or, Bitches Love Pemberleys, or, Bottling Up of Incomprehension and Rage


Luckily, pictures of Jonny appeared regularly throughout the year, for instance in June:

Feeling Single, Seeing 1.5: In Which Things Are Insanely Bleak, But Luckily There Are Pictures of Jonny


We ranted, of course, about Brexit, and the NHS, which made everyone very tired. Thankfully, there were pictures of Shewee Fiend Friend loading a cannon:

Nothing Is Certain But Death, Taxes, and Knees


We really did go on and on and on about politics. Luckily, there was also cake, and runes:

If You Are a Medievalist in Your Mid- to Late Thirties, and/or Want to Save the World, This Is for You


In July, we went to York - again! - and a feud between Jonny and Shewee Fiend Friend, based on pictures of cannon, almost developed:

In Which the Privy Counsel Goes Ballistic


In August, we indulged in nostalgia, stating that,
We would hate to be the age we were during the nineties again, and are supremely grateful for our current level of comparative maturity and relative wisdom, but some nineties phenomena, like the widely held stance that Hitler was insane and that a murderous government propagating a gibberish racist doctrine was about as welcome as herpes, are prone to make us feel ever so slightly maudlin after the third gin and tonic.

À la Recherche du Temps Perdu


In September, we enjoyed some exciting toilet pictures from Lithuanian Friend, and lamented the lack of public toilets for women:

Piss-Poor Performance


And also reiterated the need for female-only spaces in a deeply sexist world which is extremely dangerous to women:

"Let Them Eat Cake" - Could It Be Any More Obvious That a Man Designed These Toilets?


Several people claimed to enjoy our Halloween special in October, which says more about them than about us:

Halloween Special: The Mystery of the Sticky Spot on the Floor, or, The Telltale Splash, or, Scared Shitless!


We succumbed to philosophy in November:

What a Thing Is and What It Is Not Are Identical In Form. Or So We've Been Told.


Argh, we find ourselves overwhelmed by retrospection. Let us finish rather hurriedly with some wise words we wrote in 2016:

Remember that ultimately, everything you do is futile. The universe is a vast and terrifying void, containing one tiny speck of dust to which we are clinging, and ultimately destroying. We are, essentially, short-sighted monkeys with computers. Now relax, and stop giving a fuck. Have a drink, maybe.

On that note, let's have a Festive Video. As everyone knows, both women and men experience a perceived female dominance when women contribute 30-40 % of any conversation or discussion. Hence, women tend to be silenced before they've even taken up half the speaking space. Let's hear some women, shall we?

Festive video: Song Suffragettes, cover of Keith Urban's Female

Happy new year!

Related Reading

All posts featuring New Year's Eve
Last year's New Year's Eve rant: 2016 in Summary: Holding on to Hope, or, We're Really Cunting Angry, or, Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

Sunday, 24 December 2017

"God Jul" from Gothenburg!

Bah, humbug! Remember when we despaired over 2016? When did Nazis stop being a bad thing? we railed. What happened to giving jobs to people with actual qualifications and certifiable sanity? we raged. And not letting raging misogynists who believe that slavery constitutes a reasonable base for a country's economy hold political office? we ranted.

Turns out the shit just kept getting thicker. Basically, we never stopped railing, raging and ranting during all of 2017. Now here we are, it's Christmas, and we are fucking knackered.

Most likely we are all heading to hell in a handcrafted hipster handcart. However, we have become firm believers, at the Privy Counsel, of enjoying the fuck out of life while we still have the chance. Hence we drink all the champagne, whisky and rum (and also beer, and we have never yet turned down a glass of wine) we can lay our hands on, and if we are sometimes hungover at inconvenient moments, well, there is a reason a benevolent deity invented plastic bags, and that is to give humanity something to throw up in on commuter trains.

We had reason to go to Gothenburg recently, to engage in rampantly feminist activities. While there we made a detour to the fancy department store NK, to buy a small Christmas gift for a festive relative. We naturally took the opportunity, while at it, of trying the toilets. Alors!

The floor isn't as clean as it could be, considering we paid 10 kronor to use this bog.

Our correspondent pondering the perfectly adequate mixer tap, and lamenting the bleached paper towels.

The door had a sturdy lock and went all the way down to the floor! Huzzah!

A very decent coat hook, here supporting a fancy shopping bag.

Some kind of modern art adorns this acceptable department store bog, featuring a sturdy toilet-roll holder.

After indulging in this rampant bit of capitalism, we swiftly headed to Kvinnsam, the Swedish national collection of feminist literature, housed at the University of Gothenburg. Lo and behold, but the toilets there were lovely! And free to use! The older we get, the firmer our conviction becomes that you cannot beat university libraries!

Ho, ho, ho! This toilet is resplendent in a Christmassy green mosaic, and has a very friendly and hygienic atmosphere. Does this benevolent bog, by the way, remind us of anything? By Jove, it does! It reminds us of Shewee Fiend Friend's Festschrift bog, at Lund Univeristy's social sciences faculty library!

We have not a simple complaint! Hurrah!

 As regular readers are only too aware, we frequently grapple with ethical dilemmas here at the Privy Counsel. We were just settling into our third rum last night when an old friend sent us a picture of the below contraption, with a philosophical query regarding its suitability for toddlers. We were initially inclined to not be too worried about the moral suitability of urinating into the mouth of an anthropomorphic frog, but as our friend pointed out, what if pissing into a frog aged two leads to pissing into one of those despicable urinals in the shape of a female mouth aged twenty?
Aaaargh! Clearly these things need to be banned! If you have unwisely engaged in reproduction lately, kindly desist from toilet-training your offspring using objects that look like people, lest they become rampant sexists. (Nota bene, the radical notion that women are people is becoming ever more popular.)


We take this opportunity of reminding you that, if you want the chance to win a signed photo of that ragingly attractive young whippersnapper known to friends and admirers as Jonny, all you have to do is send us a picture of toilet graffiti before New Year's!

"I said merry Christmas, baby
Sure did treat me nice"

A final Christmas greeting from Shewee Fiend Friend:

"Look at these luxurious coat hooks in JFK airport. Everything else here sucks though. Except for Santa. He keeps appearing, riding one of those old people transporters and jingling his sleigh bells calling Merry Christmas."

 Readers, we are going to abandon you now, to enjoy whatever debauchery you intend to get up to this Christmas! Let us end this rather boozy bog blog post by introducing today's Festive Video.

Here's how we are spending Christmas this year: reclining on a chaise-longue, doing nothing more strenuous than breathing, and sipping tasty alcoholic beverages.

We have a massive problem with many Christmas songs. Even if you discount the rampantly sexist ones, there are still the smarmily religious ones, and then there is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. We have no idea why not more people react to the upsetting story about the reindeer suffering blatant workplace discrimination without his employer lifting a finger to help him. It is mere chance that moves Rudolph higher up the social hierarchy, relieving him of very serious bullying. We will never accept this! However, here is a Christmas song we hope you will like. We like to think that it reflects the unbridled intellectualism and festiveness of Shewee Fiend Friend's recent Hawaiian adventure!

Festive Video: Kacey Musgraves, Mele Kalikimaka

Merry Christmas! Or, as we have learned to say from some festive people we have the pleasure of knowing, jul mubarak!

Related Reading
All posts featuring Christmas

Another festive feminist toilet, featuring green tiles: In a Pretty Pickle

In relation to Christmas: Read all about the Virgin (seriously? You're still going on about that?) Mary here:
Read It And Weep: Why the Virgin Mary Is Creepy

Despairing over 2016:
2016 in Summary: Holding on to Hope, or, We're Really Cunting Angry, or, Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

A post featuring another plush Swedish shopping centre, but in Stockholm:
Mood Stockholm: Flabbergasting Plushness

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Aloha! from Hawaii!

You might say that our specialities at the Privy Counsel include, in no particular order, intellectual rigour, appreciation of mixer taps, and drinking each other under the table. Drinking together is undeniably difficult when you are spread out all over the world, but on the other hand, there is always someone, somewhere, who is awake when you urgently need to rant about the patriarchy and discuss the best methods of making mulled wine in the microwave.

We always aim to highlight and applaud the intelligence of our Friends and contributors at the Privy Counsel, but imagine our surprise when it turned out that Jonny hadn't realised that half the point of being a Counsel member is having drinking companions in different time zones. Still, we believe that that toothsome young stripling, under the wise tutelage of Shewee Fiend Friend and Tudor Friend, has now seen the light. As Tudor Friend so astutely remarked, "You guys are onto something really profound and brilliant. It's 3 a.m., I'm gonna go pour an amaretto."

We would like to illustrate the truly international nature of this intellectual bog blog by showing you Shewee Fiend Friend's toilet photos from Hawaii, where she attended a conference!
The house I'm staying in is 100 years old and has mostly original plumbing fixtures in the bathrooms

Im sitting in the worst paper
So boring
So that gives me time to send you toilet pictures!
[Friend]'s 100 year old house. Super old for Hawai'i
My bedroom:
Oh I didn't take a picture of that

It had an old school water basin and pitcher
That was cool
The bathrooms all had old fixtures

I love the waste tap
The other bathroom was cooler

I love the old pipes. They're totally green
Anyway, not super special but mildly interesting
I also passed a bathroom on a random corner

Looks charming from the outside

This is the entryway
Where you start to get suspicious
Rightly so

Don't look too close
I think that toilet seat is the first one ever made
It was surprisingly clean despite being ancient and disgusting
But I liked the chained toilet paper

[pause, while Privy Counsellor rants about something trivial, self-induced and preventable]

So Japanese restaurant

Look at all that stuff

I used the mouth wash

What I didn't use was this

Space age toilet that will wash and dry my front or rear
Also accessible

This is of course, as regular readers are only too aware, not the first time that Shewee Fiend Friend has waxed lyrical on the subject of Japanese- and space toilets.

And self cleaning
It lit up inside for the self cleaning which began when I entered the room and after I flushed
I took pictures and showed the person I was with. He was slightly less excited than me but still excited

His bathroom also had lots of fun things but no bidet and no pads
He dared me to use the bidet
But I've never used one before and with my lack of coordination, at a restaurant is not the right place to try

[toilet discussion ends, to be replaced with 1) discussion about a Latin translation, and 2) rants about the patriarchy]

In case you're getting stressed about Christmas, here is a bonus picture of what we assume is a Hawaiian sunset, since we find it unlikely that Shewee Fiend Friend would be up in time to be gawking at the sunrise.

 Are you going about huffing and feeling that "every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart"? In that case, you should definitely avoid our Facebook page, where we are encouraging yuletide cheer by doing a photo series called the 12 Days of Jonny. Here is a picture from that - though we say it ourselves - really rather spiffing Babe Parade!

Jonny with a bacon butty. In a toilet. Ding-dong!
The St Lucy celebration is done and dusted in Scandiwegia, and went well this year, too, thanks to all the women doing unpaid work getting all the stuff ready on time. Christmas, as everyone knows, is another occasion when women perform countless feats of emotional and physical labour, entirely without pay and often without receiving the smallest token of gratitude. Today's Festive Video is for all the women out there doing endless, thankless, unpaid labour.

Festive Video: Brandy Clark, Three Kids, No Husband

Related Reading

All posts featuring Jonny
All posts featuring Shewee Fiend Friend
All posts featuring Tudor Friend 
Shewee Fiend Friend's previous foray into Japanese and space toilets: To Boldly Go, Etc
All posts featuring Christmas

Friday, 8 December 2017

Random Glimmers of Light

Do you ever find yourself hunkering down with an unreasonable amount of tea, vowing to stay put next to the teapot either until everything gets better or the zombie apocalypse arrives to end everyone's misery (whichever comes first)? We do, more often than we should probably own in a public forum. However, no matter how deep the darkness, there are always glimmers of light. For instance, nobody has yet sent a contribution to the New Year's competition, meaning that anyone who actually sends us a photo of toilet graffiti is guaranteed to win an autographed photo of Jonny. Guaranteed. Think about it.

There has been some confusion about the rules of the competition; rampant readers of our intellectual toilet blog have given us feedback via social media saying they have no idea what the hell is going on. We would like to reassure those persons that the rules are very simple:

1) Send pictures of toilet graffiti
2) Win a signed picture of Jonny
3) Live happily forever after, having gained your heart's desire

Or, in Jonny's own words:
I have another idea
As a New Years competition
From now until New Year people have to submit their ‘best toilet graffiti’
I don’t know if you get as much in the ladies as I’ve never been in there (well, once in high school) but it’s rife in the gents.
Prize is a signed photo of me?
 Jonny also sent us this teaser photo, to whet everybody's appetite. We have blurred it, to tantalise and entrance you:

We knowwwwww. WOOF!

If you weren't already fervently scouring your neighbourhood for toilet graffiti, remember the lonely hearts ad we wrote for Jonny back in 2014 which has, as far as we can tell, been reasonably effective (apart from all those nights spent crying into a ham sandwich which, we hasten to point out, are hearsay only - no conclusive proof of said sandwich-related activity taking place has ever been presented in a peer-reviewed forum): Jonny and a Public Toilet - A Treat for Single Ladies. Woof! Go forth and photograph graffiti!

In order to fill this blog post with content other than us semi-ironically perving on Jonny, we delved deep, deep into the dark and scary place we call our toilet-photo archive. What we found reminded us that there is, to get distastefully sentimental, a wide, beautiful world out there. Said world is profoundly problematic, unjust, and rampantly racist, but still. It does contain the occasional blue sky, lemon tree, and gorgeous bottle of wine. If one takes an interest in furthering the interests of women academics (here's a fun challenge: try googling "sexism in academia" without sighing wearily and turning to drink!), one may end up getting the benefit of a free trip to South Africa to attend a feminist conference. Sometimes, for the briefest of moments, life doesn't suck at all. It is our pleasure to present a rambling stroll through the toilets of Cape Town and its surrounding vineyards:

Hurrah! A toilet in South Africa!

At some point in 2016, we enjoyed some rather lovely wine and toilets at the Boschendal vineyard

Woof! What does this remind us of? That toilet in a hotel in Mora that comforted us when we were sad and tired and fed up with the patriarchy! Which, actually, we went to after we went to South Africa. To lessen the mindfuck, the copper sink also reminds us of one of the luscious loos we utilised when in Lithuania.

Our correspondent showing signs of rampant happiness in the toilet at the Babylonstoren vineyard.

Mixer tap! Of the subjunctive variety, popular in Denmark.

Some kind of charming farmhouse sink at Babylonstoren. Does it remind us of something? But naturally: the 1940s sink at the Castle Museum in York.

The charming farmhouse sink in context: next to a big fuck-off oven. Note rustic roof beams.

The South African wine inspires bonhomie and bonanza in even the most cynical toilet blogger. Hurrah!

Our correspondent's reaction on finding an excellent hotel bathroom at the Protea Hotel in Cape Town. The staff were super friendly, and we really can't recommend this place warmly enough.

This is probably the airport toilet in Cape Town. It could also be anywhere else in South Africa. The wine was REALLY good.

It does rather look like an airport toilet. Or does it? We're fucked if we know.

Look! We're back at Babylonstoren!

We enjoyed the friendly sunshine and the subjunctive mixer taps.

An ideal toilet in every way. Many, many points.

A charming Dutch Colonial window.

Nothing warms a hoary old toilet blogger's soul like warm African sunshine.

A breathtaking view of a South African orchard.

300 years of Delftware, found in the ground at Babylonstoren. We are, of course rather familiar with Delft tiles at the Privy Counsel. For instance, we came across it in that amazing toilet in Warwickshire that we visited with Tudor Friend, and also in a royal loo in Copenhagen.

This could potentially be an airport toilet in Dubai, that we potentially visited en route to Cape Town.
We note that we wrote to Shewee Fiend Friend at the time:
"Dubai airport, apart from being spectacularly vulgar, is creepy. The women are dressed in tents and one half expects the bearded airport staff in their Bedouin headgear and white pyjamas to call one a slut and insist that one cover one's hair".
Travel, like so many other things in the patriarchy, can be a profoundly disturbing experience if one is a woman - a calamity affecting roughly fifty per cent of the population. 

We can't remember where we drank this, but both the wine and the party were excellent. Now you know.

Close-up of the hotel room mixer tap. It worked flawlessly.

Another nice wine.

This is where it gets exciting! The conference centre toilets! Here some admirable paper towels.


A contender for the "Platonic Ideal of a Toilet" title. Shewee Fiend Friend's North American airport toilet would do well to start getting its game face on.

Our correspondent displaying signs of being pleased with the toilets and the 10 am conference champagne. If memory serves us the staff in the coffee shop on the ground floor of the Cape Town International Conference Centre were extremely friendly.

You know how sometimes you get drunk on mulled wine, sing cheesy country songs in the bath and realise you have no idea whether the neighbours can hear you, then write a bog blog post while still woozy? Today's Festive Video reflects that, and also reminds us that non-mixer taps are the Devil's work and one always works better than two.

Festive Video: Nashville, One Works Better

Related Reading

Jonny once went to a conference centre, and very exciting it was, too
One other time he went to an executive gents' toilet
Another time when Jonny was unreasonably dapper
All posts featuring Jonny
All posts featuring Shewee Fiend Friend

Posts featuring charming Delft tiles:
We Receive a Postcard
Blogging Something Rotten

A bog post featuring a list of Danish places that have what we have just termed subjunctive mixer taps, just to prove we're not crazy:
The Hirschprung Museum, or Revising the Status of Denmark, or, Feverish Paranoia

All posts featuring conference centres

All posts featuring airports
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