Writing Majors Take to the Stall Walls
Bathroom grafitti triumphs at Lang
Monday, May 3rd, 2010
This is particularly the case with the restroom in the basement of 65 W. 11th Street, where the stall wall nearest the sink boasts the best of the bathroom's writing.
While I’ve never written anything on the walls, I'm intrigued by those who do. Take for instance the Sarah Silverman of the stall, who offered a good-humored parody of the school-wide protest: “Occupy my pants.” March’s Edna St. Vincent Millay of la toilette wrote, “Say, you love me or leave me & let me be lonely...I intend on being indefinitely blue.” A New School pacifist made an appearance, too, with "Pee for Peace." I could practically hear her chanting.
Everything written on the stall is met with some sort of response, creating a domino effect. Take the “Ayn Rand sucks,” comment. Though futile, it struck me because we’d just discussed Rand in my fiction class two classes earlier. I wondered, could this comment have been freshly scrawled by a classmate?
"You suck," wrote one especially harsh bathroom scribe in response to the Rand hater. "Forgive me for wanting intellectual and stimulating discussion," another replied. I just about pulled out my pen when someone beat me to the punch with, "How pretentious!" The conversation was put to rest by a student suggesting the restroom probably isn’t the best place to look for an insightful academic debate. I found myself nodding in agreement and giggling as I left the bathroom, my mind fixed on the fiery debate I’d just witnessed.
It’s possible that the Ayn Rand hater chose to make her point via wall post because she could do so anonymously, removed from the limelight and the face-to face condemnation of the classroom. She was also able to make her point in three simple words without having to explain herself. The joy of bathroom writing is that anyone can write, anyone can read what's written, and anything goes. It helps people find entertainment while they pass the time. As long as people are going to the bathroom, it won't go unnoticed. Call it the original Facebook.
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