Pooping on Purim

As Winter comes to a close and Spring buds begin bursting through the ground, the time has come to celebrate light, Lent and the eternal triumph of Good vs. Evil. For Jews around the world, this will manifest itself in the form of Purim--a holiday of endless joy where the reveler is commanded to drink so much, she can't tell the difference between good and evil, day and night, shit and gold.  Which is where we step in. The POOP Project is thrilled to be participating this year in YOU BETTER WORK, a homegrown Purim party Saturday, March 19 sponsored by Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) and Great Small Works, with support from PURSUE: Action for a Just World.  An art-full, fun-filled, liquor-heavy evening of dancing, music, cabaret--with the Puru on hand to sing the plumber's blues.



St. Cecilia's

COSTARRING: * Avi Fox-Rosen's Musical Madness * Schmeckel: 100% Trans Jews * Yiddish Princess * The Rude Mechanical Orchestra * Amazing Amy, the Yoga Yenta, and her Kosher Kontortion * Shawn "The Puru" Shafner * exHOTic other * Mira Stroika * Best Bites leyning megillah * Haman's Drag Race * DJ Shomi Noise * The Curious Shape of Hens * Delicious food for sale by Domestic Workers United

...and more!

L train to Graham Ave: walk down Graham towards the BQE, right on Richardson, at the corner of Richardson and N. Henry.

May you have Spring in your step and, as always, peaceful pooping.
Shawn "The Puru" Shafner


Your Anus is Not Uranus

Today, I'd like to get personal. Like an all up in your space kind of personal. Like so personal, in fact, it's in your pants.

Your anus is not Uranus.

First of all, Uranus is the seventh planet from our sun and your anus is that opening at the end of your digestive tract, opposite from your mouth.  Secondly, Uranus belongs to no one, whereas your anus belongs to you and whomever you might temporarily and consensually entrust it to.  Though we could go on, suffice it to say that they don't even have to be pronounced the same, as Uranus can be said two ways.  They're not the

Are you loving your anus, or treating it like Uranus?

I recently came across this hilarious video by Superhero Clubhouse.  They are "a society of theater artists engaged in making original plays and events about the natural world via a green and collaborative process."  Cool, right?  (And they're having a benefit party tonight if you can make it!) The video is a promo for their upcoming production URANUS (a play about waste), and highly instructive in detailing anal abuse.


OUCH!  If you're working that hard to move those bowels--especially on a regular basis--it might be time to reassess your anal relationship.  Let's face it, you both deserve better.

Unlike Uranus, your anus is attached to you.  And it might actually be quite talkative if it weren't always being sat on or pushed around.  So take a moment to listen in.  Is your anus clenched and tense?  Reeling from a spicy snack?  Feeling...drafty?   Anuses get overworked easily, but you can help them to be happy by making sure your poo is healthy.  Unlike that constipated feeling of opening a jar of old pickles, when your anus is relaxed, that healthy poo will slide right out.

Try cheering up your anus by adding more fiber to your diet.  Vegetables, fruits and whole grains are loaded with roughage that doesn't quite digest, instead joining forces to create a solid poo as it slides through your digestive tract.  The other half of that glue, however, is water, which gets reabsorbed from the poo by your intestines and colon in its exodus.  So as long as you're commemorating the upcoming World Water Day, make a toast to healthy, hydrated poo!  Feel free to eat a carrot-raisin bran muffin while you do.

So here's to eco-theater, end-conscious eating, Uranus and your expressive anus.  From me to you, peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Happy World Plumbing Day!

This morning when you woke up, did you take a shower?  If so, thank a plumber!  Is the water coming out of your sink free from rust? If so, thank a plumber! If your toilet flushes, your pipes aren't leaking, and the sprinklers are still sprinkling, you can thank a plumber! Go ahead, find your favorite plumber, give 'em a kiss and wish them a Happy World Plumbing Day 2011!

Though we rely on indoor plumbing everyday, most of us seldom give it a second thought. The sophisticated system of watersheds, pipes, sewers and wastewater treatment plants that bring water to and from our homes are mostly out of sight, and so, too, out of mind. World Plumbing Day is about reminding us just how important the often maligned plumber truly is.

Still don't believe me? Check out this sculpture by David Smythe from DS Plumbing. It's a human composed entirely of pipes and pumps that shows us just what happens when broken plumbing leads to dirty drinking water.


A happy and healthy World Plumbing Day to all, and peaceful pooping,

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Can't get enough of that time capsule!

While the time capsule was getting all the attention (you can read more about her in the preceding posts or in the Greenpoint Gazette), I snuck off with some of the real stars. That's right.  Below, you can catch the exclusive interview that The Puru managed to snag with the 5th graders from Ms. (Julie) Feinberg's class at PS 31, who contributed a book about sewage to the capsule and may be the only people alive to see it in 50 years. What will Newtown Creek look like then?  What does a digester egg do?  And why is "feces" the preferred term for that stuff that comes out of our bottoms?

5th graders aren't afraid to tell it like it is.


A most productive President's Day to you, and peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

a journey through time and a wastewater treatment plant

Friday, Feb. 11, 2011 was a day that will be celebrated by civilizations far into the future.  I expect that President Malia Obama herself will lift a glass on Feb. 11, 2061, when she unveils the time capsule installed 50 years before at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. Mark your calendars now; it's gonna be a hot ticket! For legitimate, journalistic coverage of the event, look to the Newtown Pentacle.  Otherwise, watch this video!


Peaceful pooping,

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

No President ever pooped in a time capsule

This past Friday, Feb. 11, your Puru, Shawn Shafner, took many different trains to arrive at the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. He, well, me...er, I was there to witness the unveiling of a time capsule interred that morning at the center.  I brought my new camera, with the intention of making a video-blog (or "vlog" as I hear the kids call them).  I had so much material, I made three. Presidents are great, and in their honor, we'll (yes, we just switched pronouns again) post one part of the video each day of their special holiday weekend.  Today, we bring you Somewhere in Time: Part II, which condenses the highlights of all five speakers in under five minutes.


Peaceful pooping to all our Presidents, and all of us.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

World Toilet Day in NYC

Like a march on Washington, only different...

Celebrate sanitation at World Toilet Day on Friday, November 19th in New York City!

The POOP Project invites you to join us in one of the many World Toilet Day events happening around the world, featuring an interactive evening honoring the miracle of modern sanitation while remembering that 40% of the world still lives without it.

Why toilets?

While not everybody needs the standard porcelain fixture we're familiar with in the West, everyone needs a safe, sanitary place to put their poo.  The 2.6 billion people around the world without toilets wind up doing their business in fields, alleys and local waterways--which means poop winds its way back onto people, leading to a host of illnesses including cholera, giardia, typhoid and plain ol' diarrhea--which kills one child in the developing world every 15 seconds.

Even though sanitation kills more people than tuberculosis, malaria and HIV combined, it gets far less press because the toilet is taboo.  Which is why we're asking people to come out of the water closet and come on down to celebrate the plumbing that makes our lives possible.

World Toilet Day New York

Come Home Sweet Home to drink dirty martinis, give a "commode confessional", and check out authentic "flying toilets."  Write your thoughts on a stall wall, submit a secret to our privy chamber pot, and take a picture of your poo face in prep for The Big Squat--a minute of thigh-straining solidarity with the toiletless.

Shawn "The Poop Guru" Shafner and Josh Sitron will be your hosts for the evening, with sounds, stories, and unmentionables provided by Moth storyteller and comedian Sara Barron along with word mavens Amy Carrigan, Adam Laupus and Lisa Lewis, singer-songwriters Avi Fox-Rosen, Megan Gerlach, Ben Lerman, Brian Carter, and Hilary Schwartz PLUS buxom burlesque beauty Minnie Tonka and much more!

WHERE: Home Sweet Home, 131 Chrystie Street, New York, NY DATE/TIME: Friday, Nov. 19, 2010.  7:30 pm Doors, 8:30 pm Performances, 9:45 pm Big Squat, 10:00 pm Closing TICKETS: $15.00 tickets online, $18.00 at the door.  Limited supply $3 drink tickets good for draft beer and well drinks.



All proceeds benefit The People's Own Organic Power Project (The POOP Project) in their mission to creative poop-positive spaces that spur creative thinking towards sustainable sanitation solutions for all.

(Porta-potty photo by AnyaLogic, licensed under Creative Commons. Big Squat banner property of the World Toilet Organization.)