Ode de la Toilet

Ahhh… look, you are inside the public John! What a pleasant place indeed. It is smelly, you can see the remains of an individual prior to yourself and of course, it is so wildly decorated! Narrowing in on this last matter, what is to be said about toilet graffiti? That’s right, toilet graffiti! This phrase in more accurate terms refers to the colourful expressions of raw human emotions seen everywhere in public washrooms.

Scrawled on by the youths of today we have all taken a leak around it. But, it hasn’t only been today’s youths with this intense desire for washroom decorating. These foul expressions, prophecies of love and crude, often sexual drawings have been around, no doubt for decades to come. We have all stumbled into the toilet terrain of a, “Jess loves Kurt” or a “Martha plus Mark forever.” What do such pasty, sticky lipstick hearts and black permanent marker stains truly mean? Is it an eager release of emotion desperate to come out, or does it reflect a slightly deeper issue, being society’s crude obsession with vulgarity? Further down the stall door one can usually see the sequel to some of these washroom stall dramas as they reveal, “Kurt loves Sam” and “Martha is a slut.” Usually such professions of loves gone and lost are accompanied by complimentary drawing, often of stick figures having either a neck wrangled or a penis cut off. Of course I really can only speak for ladies washrooms, having never ventured inside the gentlemen’s.

I wonder though if the vulgarity of drawings increases slightly upon entrance into a men’s’ washroom. I could imagine lets say that the various ways to refer to a woman’s genitals would be found everywhere in some men’s washrooms, particularly those occupied by a younger age group. This would also have to include the various drawings of women nude and performing degrading sexual acts. Of course this is just my speculation, but I am quite sure that I am not too far off. Virtually every visit made to a public washroom stall reminds us of the fact that toilet graffiti exists everywhere and lies dominant in its bold crudeness. It’s bad enough to have to go inside of some of these public washrooms, but when they are so animatedly decorated, it becomes quite a social problem.

On this note, what is to be said about the content of toilet graffiti and the fact that it repeatedly gets placed in public washroom stalls? Buildings will be torn down, new ones up and old washrooms replaced, but eventually they all are decorated by obscenities and aggressive remarks. Sometimes it’s an attack of a single foul-mouthed youth who simply scrawls, as boldly and hugely possible, all the swear words that they know. Others are increasingly clever as they make up new swear words by combing different ones together. Then we have the pathetic claims of love simply infecting women’s washrooms everywhere. Who cares about Kurt and Sam or Martha’s extravagant sexual escapades? It causes us to wonder why is it there? What kind of release does it provide the vandal, if it even does so? Who wants to bother writing about love or telling someone off inside a public washroom stall?

The mere insignificance of toilet graffiti demonstrates a weakness in human culture. Who cares who you love, isn’t that something one should keep to themselves? If not then should it not be written in front of their house or in their front window? But, as time moves on we are clearly see that if it didn’t exist then our visits to public washrooms would be a great deal less exciting. We have to expect it, like countless other corruptions in society- and so it lives on. So next time you visit one of these washrooms make sure to smile. Not because you are amused by it but because it is a representation of what society has done to itself. If you recognize this, then you can smile knowing that you have not falling trap to the arrogance of society’s crumbling social morality.

November 6, 2002 Blueprint Web Administrator No Comments