I came across the title of this book somewhere in that stash of clippings I recently uncovered, and how did I miss this one? William Miller thinks that disgust helps to bring order and meaning to us even as it horrifies and revolts us. I have not read the book, nor do I think i want to, but he apparently goes into details about our basic human, physical activities: "eating, excreting, fornicating, decaying and dying." Whether the list is the reviewer's or Miller's, you'll notice some of the verbs have Latin roots and some Anglo-Saxon. No F-word. "The pleasure of sex comes from the titillating violation of disgust prohibitions."
That makes me think of that joke about the fastidious Jewish American princess saying to her new husband, "You want to put your what into my what????"
What's love got to do with it?
"Imagine aesthetics without disgust for tastelessness and vulgarity; imagine morality without disgust for evil, hypocrisy, stupidity, and cruelty."
Is it simply an Either-Or world, after all? I checked out Kierkegaard. Yeah, maybe. It's a puzzlement.
Upper and lower class divisions are based on such distinctions. "The high's belief that the low actually smell bad, or are sources of pollution, seriously threatens democracy."
Oh, dear: snap decisions made on the very personal reactions of the olfactory nerve are very scary. But Miller thinks that our failure (more like prejudice) is not really an occasion for despair, for disgust also "helps to animate the world, and to make it a dangerous, magical, and exciting place."
And the you-know-what hits the fan.