Mikey Skewers Pretentious Audio Journalism!


This review has been reprinted in its entirety from The Absolute Shower with not one word censored or deleted. The Absolute Shower is the journal of High End Hygiene and reports its findings on hygienic devices and anti-bacterial sources without fear or favor from any large pharmaceutical conglomerate. Its aquatic evaluations take place in real shower stalls, hence, cleanliness is the measure of reference.

On the Soapbox: Toward A Definition of Cleanliness; Reviewed: The Alkaline Descent Shower Head

The High End Hygiene Paradox: Two products whose dirt removing abilities are dramatically different, yet seem to offer the characteristic 'cleanliness' we demand.

 In a recent conversation with our most holy cleanliness, HP ( Hy Presher) I had remarked that I didn't much care for the water pressure and drip pattern of the Alkaline Descent shower head.  It was a typically obsequious conversation on my part, sure to please, I thought, so I was taken aback when he rained on my parade with "I don't care what you like, the Alkaline can clean, and I want you to figure out why, using as many words and phrases lifted from my  style as possible when you write it up".

 As with every review I write, it was necessary for me to invent  an entirely new observational model and some obscure language which will  forever change the way all high end hygiene enthusiasts relate to their cleanliness- even though virtually everything I come up with is a mere rehashing of all that's already been said- and more succinctly stated  to boot. I trust that the new definition of "cleanliness" (see below, but don't expect to find it) will satisfy HP in its mirror reflection of his style.

With the Alkaline installed in my new shower room - the very same shower head that reigned over HP himself- (makes me tingly all over)  I began an extensive cleaning session using a variety of source materials including the excellent  >Coast (yellow edition), the creamy textured Dove, the mainstay reference Ivory (boring) some caustic digital product (GoJo hand cleaner) and just for some  campy fun,an old bar of Irish Spring * I keep in my soap collection for sudsy frolicking. I have removed the Dr. Bronner peppermint soap from my reference list, as, in retrospect, its "minty" effect is a mere artifact of the product and has nothing whatsoever to do with either  "clean" or the "absence of dirt". But hey, if you like it, don't let this review get in the way of your perception of "clean".

It is gratifying to confirm to the punctuation mark every observation, made by  HP regarding the Alkaline. At the risk of shriveling my genitals, time has allowed me to make a few extra observations about the Alkaline's cleaning ability, particularly in the bottom area, where most shower heads simply poop out.

When you first step under the Alkaline- particularly in the Mark II incarnation with the improved crossover from "shower" to massage" (a much smoother transition in water pressure with no liquid lobes or dead spots) you will revel in its smooth spray, whether or not, like me, you don't care for its overall cleaning ability.

*Manley, and I like it. 

Okay, the pulse action was a bit hard on top, and there wasn't much coverage radiating around the central spray pattern, but these were all problems I felt could be overcome with proper set up. Still there was that sweet liquid mid spray that seemed to flush away dirt like a good car wash. Speaking of which, you haven't exercised your hygienophile jollies till you've paid a car wash attendant to let you be pulled through a good three minute (brushless) car wash in a jock strap.

So this is what HP meant by "cleanliness" thought I, despite the Alkaline's problems, which as I said, I figured could be remedied through  careful set up, i.e "aiming".  But what was "cleanliness"? HP had mused over the feeling after showering with a variety of heads, all of which attacked dirt in very different ways. But the question to be answered is really what if any, is the difference between "cleanliness" and "the absence of dirt"?

Is there a tension between the two, or are they, vide, the same thing? i.e .: is the absence of dirt, the same as cleanliness? Or, is there a tension between the two. And if so, what is it? My conclusion is, once you understand both "absence of dirt" and "cleanliness" as well as I do, you'll understand as I do, that the two can exist in the same realm! To wit: the absence of dirt can, or cannot be the same as cleanliness, depending on the versimiltude of absence of dirt, and cleanliness, which can or cannot exist on the same plane of existence, or maybe not.

Yea, though I perceive this tension as being central to the "clean" experience, I am loath to identify it as such, because, frankly I have not yet  taken the full measure of this shower head. I perceive in its rendering of "cleanliness" questions that may have a profound impact upon our understanding of dirt i.e: the revealing of the lack of filth upon the flesh and ergo, vide, to wit: what happens when dirt per se, has been removed from the body, but is still present in the shower stall itself, as some showerheads are able to rid the stall of dirt altogether, while others keep it around.  Figuring out which head creates the sensation of cleanliness, and which in fact actually shifts the filth to the drain will take some time to ascertain.

An apparent virtue of the Alkaline is that the dirt on the floor is lowered. That is, there appears to be less dirt on the floor, but then is it in the drain? Or has it returned to the corpus? Or is it now on both?

Of this I am not sure. But I guaranty you, I will exhaust you in the near future with a dozen or so pages of discussion here, that, vide, ie, and verisimilitude may or may not shed some light on this perplexing issue. What is it? "Cleanliness" is a different approach to analysing a shower head's versimilitude to the absolute lack of dirt, which of  course is our goal: the feel of real cleanliness in a real stall.

Whereas  "absence of dirt" reflects a shower head's ability to impart a condition of lack of dirt, "cleanliness" has more to do with that which is beyond the structure or study, to wit: of the pores, or in the pores.

Vid: Is it enough to feel that dirt has been removed? Or should we be able to enjoy the "cleanliness" that we hope has been imparted by the lack of dirt. Some showerheads can remove dirt, and we can say we believe we are clean, but are we? By suspending our belief that we are dirty, we can perceive cleanliness, but only the finest showerheads can both remove dirt, suspend   belief   in the mind of the showerer that he/she is clean, and actually impart cleanliness!

The discriminating showerer must believe both that he/she is clean, and that there is an actual lack of dirt. How many shower heads in the era of "high end" showering really meet that criteria? Few if any, I submit, and the notion that "squeaking" ones' fingers on one's skin has anything to do with "cleanliness" is a false conclusion I submit- only a pale imitation of verisimilitude that confuses and robs the showerer of any sense of true cleanliness. Can we in the high end shower community afford such confusion? I submit not! Ergo I continue for a few more pages.

Yes! In my review of the ProTek Cleanse 3, I made the mistake of confusing my pleasure at feeling clean with the reality of my not being clean. I am not the only reviewer to make that mistake, so I don't feel too bad about it, although it was a complete abdication of my responsibilities as a reviewer: vide, ergo ie: I am not supposed to enjoy the experience, merely report on the experience vis a vis cleanliness. Thus I fell into a ready trap.

For "absence of dirt" cannot be separated from "cleanliness" as I once thought.  A shower head that can create "the absence of dirt" can, yea, must also be capable of creating "cleanliness" as we know it, the combination of the two being, ergo, the absolute shower! A failure to clean, by definition cannot produce "absence of dirt", and versa vica. But who knew this until I stated it here? No one, I submit.

Having established with gas spreading certainty the truth of all of this, we can proceed to the review of the Alkaline Descent. It is  a very difficult shower head to install. And once there, to aim, ie: point at your body. And what about shower stall treatment? I spent days removing and replacing tiles all the while showering with Tile File president Mike Sheen who proved invaluable in setting up the stall to resemble a "near field" shower room in place of the more common "wide spray" set up most of you are used to. I used a few thousand dollars worth of the "Confuse" and "Suffuse" water drain deflectors, along with a few hundred cotton balls which can be purchased at any pharmacy- no need to  use Sheen's ridiculously priced balls.

Now for the other bar of soap to drop: this was supposed to be a review of the Alkaline Descent, but having spent so much time drooling at the mouth, I have spittle all over my body, and am unprepared to wash it off, finding comfort in its armor. Now that I have my new saliva matrix, I cannot, ergo, vide, ie: proceed until I have taken full stock of that which I have wrought. 

If you have been reading this carefully, I can tell you one thing: I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about, but it sounds portentous and I will continue to expend many pages of space with this as long as my editor allows.