Based n an article by Jeff Sparrow
Meet Looie: it’s like Uber you no the not taxi people, but this is for bodily functions. Looie is a new app that promises you access (for a fee, naturally) to private toilets, all of which have been certified for hygiene and cleanliness.
“You’re getting a consistent, amazing experience all the time,” explained Looie founder Yezin Al-Qaysi earlier this year. “You won’t have to flush because now its automatic.”
Reacting to the poor offering of public amenities, they are filling the gap where government provisions fail
Whether this particular venture will take off is anyone’s guess. The Looie website now seems ominously quiet. But even if Al-Qaysi’s project proves a busted flush that is flushed away quickly, the concept’s an obvious application of the logic behind the so-called “sharing economy”, where digital technology gets fused with user-pays economics so as to marketise personal services.
Toilets have been here before. That history helps us think about the contradictory nature of the sharing economy.
On the one hand, Uber is wildly popular, on the verge of world domination. On the other, a backlash is mounting too, with (sometimes quite violent) protests against Uber in Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Rome, Milan, Mexico City and London.
A toilet inside a cube made of one-way glass. Is this the future. Photograph: Martin Godwin
The toilet moguls soon found themselves facing off against a grassroots campaign to free the dunnies.
"Pay toilets are unjust infringements on our basic human rights,” they said, The Ceptia activist group formed in 1970. “Elimination is an important body function that must take place, to pay or not to pay is not a question that needs an answer.”
Its publication The Free Toilet Paper, the masthead carried the slogan