If you don't prep, your paint won't hold. You can buy the best, most expensive paint, apply it with the best brushes and rollers, and it's all for naught if it doesn't stick to the surface below.
When our bathroom was repainted, besides being an ugly brown that didn't go with the black-and-white tile and having a wallpaper border that also didn't really fit, there was no surface prep. It almost seemed there was some wallpaper glue underneath, as well as it being a hard glossy paint that doesn't take most paints well.
When I was scrubbing down the wall with TSP to prep it, the paint game off in thick, gooey sheets. At least at first--I then had to scrape and scrub the rest of it off. Took all day yesterday. My arms are killing me today. I call this paint job a Trading Spaces paint job--no surface prep, the wrong paint, it's all just get the paint on the wall as fast as possible and to heck with it.
Today was painting. Two coats of gray anti-mildew paint designed to bond to glossy paints (and anyway I sanded and cleaned the old paint so it would hold even better.) We're going with gray paint, replacing all the hardware with brushed nickel, putting in a new brushed nickel light bar, and repainting the medicine cabinet and vanity (oak painted white, and looking quite ratty.) When I'm done, everything will be magically tied together and actually look intentional, instead of haphazard (except for the bathroom fan that was put in cockeyed. At least I was able to make the obvious patch they put in when they moved it less noticeable. Painting it the same color as the ceiling helps too.)
What does this have to do with September 11th? Well, I had the luxury of being able to do something normal and classically American. I had to clean up from someone else's lack of preparation, which seems to be a theme these days. I fixed something that had been annoying me for a while, which also seems elusive to the people in charge right now. You've just got to sit down, be honest, and get to work.