For as far back as has been discovered, there exists evidence of humankind’s expression. Whether it’s early tools and shelters or the cave paintings at Lascaux, people have been driven to create. This instinctual need to manipulate and create has given humanity its greatest achievements, from the Mona Lisa to Beethoven’s 9th to and even less purely artistic endeavors such as the Hoover Dam and Great Wall. Unfortunately, it’s also given us some of humanity’s greatest failures like pop country or biological warfare. Somewhere on the spectrum of sins, between Florida Georgia Line’s latest song and ricin gas, is bathroom graffiti. I want to make sure and distinguish between regular graffiti like you’d find on the side of a vacant warehouse or train car, and bathroom graffiti that’s carved into the side of the shit ticket dispenser. Regular graffiti is subjectively expressive, provocative, and beautiful, while inarguably being objectively necessitating of a high than average amount of artistic prowess. Bathroom graffiti, is subjectively unproductive, tacky, and lewd, while objectively being wasteful, destructive, and totally irrelevant of contributing to man’s posterity, or contemporary. As such, this week is dedicated to the Van “Doh!” of the art world, that bathroom graffiti guy.
Let’s start with where bathroom graffiti came from. I’m sure a moderate amount of research would return some half assed and quarter factual Wikipedia entry, but I’d rather use a practical approach and assume it came from where everything in our life comes from: necessity. Any invention in the chronology of history can be boiled down to man needing something, and then creating that something to fulfill his need. Since I doubt humanity would use something as trivial as bathroom graffiti to deviate from millennia of inventive process, let’s reasonably assume bathroom graffiti was born from a need that needed to be filled.
If that’s the case, what the H was that need? Gangs using the wrong 7-11 crapper and getting killed over it?
“Look John, that SOB keeps pumping his gas on OUR turf. We gotta teach him a lesson.
You’re right. I know, we’ll carve our insignia on all the stalls in the restroom. That way Anyone who tries to shit here knows whose toilets they’re using.”
Regardless of what started the habit of carving shit into a stall, what purpose does it serve? It’s not like anyone is actually going to walk in and check to make sure they’re not in a hostile men’s room. “Oh no this toilet belongs to the D-Town Jokers, I cant use this one. Better pull my pants up and find another.” Give me a break.
Even dumber than the ” Houston Hard Hittas,” shit etched into the wall is the conspiracy theories. You’ve got to be a special brand of lazy to choose a bathroom over all the other options for distributing information. On top of that, do you really think the wall of a public toilet is a persuasive enough argument to even make others aware of your message? What do you think I’m going to look over and see “9/11 was an inside job,” and go “Oh damn, the toilet’s right!” No. I’m not. I’m only going to reaffirm whatever cliched conspiracy you’re is not to be taken seriously because its advocates are using urinal dividers as mediums for their message.
With all the creation technology available, it’s long past time we put an end to expressing ourselves on the walls of restrooms. Public bathrooms are terrible enough, stop making everyone’s time in there worse by carving all your asinine thoughts all over the walls.