"It is difficult to imagine a more powerful counter-image to the dominant picture of modernity than the archetypal bathhouse."

Why we need to bring back the art of communal bathing—Jamie Mackay, Aeon

The eclipse of communal bathing is one symptom of a wider global transformation, away from small ritualistic societies to vast urban metropolises populated by loose networks of private individuals. This movement has been accompanied by extraordinary benefits, such as the mass availability and movement of services and commodities, but it has also contributed to rampant loneliness, apathy and the emergence of new psychological phenomena, from depression to panic and social anxiety disorders. ‘Urban alienation’, a term much-used by sociologists at the start of the 20th century, has become a cliché for describing today’s world.

It is difficult to imagine a more powerful counter-image to the dominant picture of modernity than the archetypal bathhouse.

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Yes, to imagine the effect a public bathhouse would have on modern america is definitely inspiring/confounding. I’d love to see a bathhouse revival!

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Time to re-watch Spirited Away, perhaps. In Portland, OR, the Crystal Hotel was once a bathhouse, among other things. For many, many years there was a groovy bath house sign in Seattle’s Pioneer Square.

I agree with the idea wholeheartedly. Let’s get those old bathhouses up and running again!

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