According to some people, what time of day you shower says a lot—maybe everything—about you. Such assumptions lead to dangerous politics. 

Blue-collar workers generally shower at the end of a sweaty day. White- (or other-color-) collar workers often shower in the morning to be fresh for the office—if they go to one—or other location. 

But it’s not that simple. Office workers may shower in the evening after a run or the gym. Those who work remotely shower whenever. 

Regrettably, when you shower may put your decency in question to culture warriors who take a shallow—and rigid—approach to others. Morning? You’re a Democrat liberal. Afternoon? A God-fearing conservative Republican. Many folks in these two groups often encounter each other at a distance and assume the other to be morally repugnant.

Newsflash: One size doesn’t fit all. But America’s culture war continues based on a Middle-East philosophy about which the late historian Bernard Lewis wrote: “I’m right. You’re wrong. Now, go to hell!” 

Yes, the far left takes part. But the far right dominates. Two unfortunate examples:

Senator Tommy Tuberville (R.–Alabama), former football coach at Auburn where players work up tons of sweat, has held up over 300 promotions of general and equivalent (Navy) military officers. President Biden had appointed Air Force General C.Q. Brown to succeed retiring General Mark Milley (Army) as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Brown couldn’t get confirmed.

How can Tuberville do this? Senate rules enable a single senator to block promotions and other business from going to the floor. Why? Tuberville opposes the Pentagon’s policy of paying the expenses of female military personnel traveling to states where they can have a legal abortion. 

Senior officers have been made pawns in the culture war. Our military chain of command is weakened, because nominees for promotion cannot fill critical positions. They’re also blocked from moving to their new posts and settling their families. Also, talented younger officers may balk at political risks to their career advancement and leave for higher-paying civilian jobs.

On Wednesday, fed-up Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D.–N.Y.) brought a motion to the floor. Brown was confirmed. On Thursday, the Senate confirmed General Randy George as Army chief of staff and General Eric Smith as commandant of the Marine Corps. The 300+ other officers remain in limbo.

Of course, no one fans the culture-war flames like Rep. Lauren Boebert (R.–Colorado). She’s quick to point fingers at un-American activities. Yet Boebert recently disgraced herself at a Denver theatrical production of the musical “Beetlejuice” where she vaped, took photos and groped (and was groped by) her male companion.

She denied her behavior. Then, responding to the backlash—and proof—she stated, “The past few days have been difficult and humbling.” She was “truly sorry for the unwanted attention.” Duh! This from one of Congress’s most brazen and abject attention-seekers.

We Americans need to clean up our act and cool down the rhetoric. A hot shower might help. Day or night. We desperately need renewed civility and decency.

But the culture warriors don’t share that vision. Now, they threaten a government shut-down. Clean up their act? They’ll soap up in the shower and work themselves into a lather so they can throw dirt on others.

To everyone observing Yom Kippur this Sunday evening/Monday, may you be sealed in the Book of Life. Moreover, may everyone be sealed in the Book of Life.

Found this post interesting? Please pass it on. 

The Short (Pun Intended) Redemptive Life of Little Ned is now available in softcover or e-book from Amazonbarnesandnoble.com and iuniverse.com. Or order from your favorite bookstore.


  1. Ellen Newman on September 22, 2023 at 11:07 am

    I love your last sentence. What everyone needs is a good rinse.

    • David Perlstein on September 22, 2023 at 11:24 am

      Thanks, Ellen. Now, send that message to the House of Representatives. Sure, the Senate, too.

  2. Claudia Hagadus Long on September 22, 2023 at 11:20 am

    The only pre-marriage advice my mother gave me was “shower before bed every night.” (I still do. ) It’s a woman’s point of view.
    I really enjoyed your post, but also want to point out that the culture wars are frequently a war on women. Tuberville blocked the promotions of military leaders because he doesn’t want the Pentagon paying “the expenses of female military personnel traveling to states where they can have a legal abortion” — not the abortion itself but the need to go to a state that still allows women to control their own bodies. Thanks to people like him.
    To endanger the strength and vitality of our military just to keep women in their place–literally and figuratively–is nearly treason. And yet, here we are.
    Pass the soap.
    May we all be sealed for good in the book of life.

    • David Perlstein on September 22, 2023 at 11:23 am

      Thanks, Claudia. All true. Tamar tov!

  3. David Sperber on September 22, 2023 at 11:30 am

    How about placing tubbervile in the toilet instead.

    • David Perlstein on September 22, 2023 at 11:53 am

      Well, David, that’s an interesting image. Thanks.

  4. David Newman on September 22, 2023 at 11:43 am

    Today’s NY Times had a couple of columns that touch on the asymmetry in our political divide, one by Pamela Paul and the other by Paul Krugman. Krugman notes that Kevin McCarthy can’t get anything done because his extremists aren’t interested in governing at all — it’s all about the performance. He contrasts that with Nancy Pelosi’s effectiveness despite having the same narrow majority, because her fringe was actually interested in policy and, therefore, knew how to compromise. I hate the what-aboutism that treats DC’s polarization as symmetrical when it clearly isn’t.

    And the question of when you shower is largely determined by whom you want to be clean for. ‘Nuff said.

    • David Perlstein on September 22, 2023 at 11:53 am

      I agree, David, that the nonsense on the far right way outweighs that of the far left which, I believe, has learned a few pragmatic lessons in the last few years. And yes, who you want to be clean for plays a role in your shower time as Claudia Hagadus Long noted.

  5. Nancy Sheftel-Gomes on September 22, 2023 at 4:59 pm

    What about baths…I am sure the culture police can really extrapolate any self serving stance on the subject of baths.
    Clearly some people have way to much free time.

    • David Perlstein on September 22, 2023 at 5:06 pm

      The unfortunate thing, Nancy, is that the far right refuses to find better things to do with their time—like come up with practical solutions to real problems. of which there are many. All issues should be discussed, but the volume of noise gets in the way. And, I suspect that a man who takes a bath is suspect by Americans who promote real manliness.

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