November 19, 2013

Bathroom Stalls May Change How You See the World.

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Written by: Recultured Team
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Simon Fraser University is no exception to the smothering of bathroom graffiti that can envelop the stalls like a contagious disease. Now, I can’t speak for the women’s restrooms, but I can sure say that many males in the student body seem to hold this unquenchable thirst to riddle the stalls with various items: sexual innuendos, racial slurs, pornographic depictions. Us guys may not help but shake our heads in disbelief as the hilarity of expletives and genitals are asserted unapologetically around us.

But one thing that is unique about SFU (or perhaps, academic institutions in general) is that once one sifts through all the phone numbers and nude sketches, some real talent can be extracted. I’ve witnessed elaborate artwork, thought-provoking poetry, comic strips and philosophy. There is a surprising amount of “stall-content” on campus that may have you sitting on the pot for perhaps a little longer than usual!

Surprisingly, not all content  has been sexual in nature. I took a quick visit to the loo last semester, and was floored to find that the stall’s left side was plastered in a philosophical debate on the most clichéd topic on this planet: the meaning of life. Furthermore, this discussion comprised of a lengthy paragraph from each contributor, who evidently showcased some educated theories on the topic. At the top, someone had hastily scribbled, “Philosophy 101: Bathroom Edition.”

I realized then that stalls didn’t have to be traps for mindless obscenities, or magnets for marker-vulgarity. Bathroom stalls can be canvases of brilliance! They can be works of art and knowledge! This once-contagion now presents itself as more of a platform for discussion – a kind of real-life forum. Clearly, people are investing their time to produce talent in even the strangest of places, whether they consciously know it or not. I’m kicking myself for not snapping any photos.


Some “smart” photography (Quinn Dombrowski).

And while much of the content I’ve witnessed has been sexual in nature, it has been executed with such skill that one can’t help but to be impressed. Comics and artwork depicting coitus and other sexual acts have been detailed so well you’d question why their creators haven’t been hired professionally!

This talent must attest to the young academic minds of the students at this institution, as I have not seen graffiti similar to this anywhere else. Clearly, the scholarly setting which we are surrounded by has influenced many to even vandalize in a collegiate manner. Many student males seem to conclude that if they’re going to deface school property, they’d might as well showcase their smarts by not plaguing our private spaces with simple immaturities, as in other places.

I once had a conversation with a friend in which we discussed the idea of implementing specialized writing areas in bathroom stalls. The idea was immediately knocked down as we realized this would be too strange, and rather useless. The notion of illegality with regards to vandalism is what spurs people to do it. In other words, if inking intercourse on a stall-door weren’t illegal, it probably wouldn’t be there!

So guys, while the SFU staff “do do” (haha, get it?) a decent job at erasing toilet-talent, the next time you use a bathroom on campus, be prepared to look critically at the scribbles around you. Realize that the anonymity of law-breaking is what provides us with such entertainment, and because of this, what you thought was going to be a typical restroom visit may turn out to be a profoundly enlightening experience! University students aren’t only the directors of our academic future, but they could easily replace the Bathroom Reader any day.

Featured Image via tumblr

About the Author

Recultured Team
Recultured Team
This is where you'll find the blog posts that the team has contributed to collectively! What team? Wildcats! -Nope, wrong team. Recultured!

  • Jacob Wadsworth

    Bathroom stalls can also be a medium of communication or a place where people can find inspiration or motivation from words of wisdom. There are lots of brilliant minds out there that are only shy or embarrassed to go out and reveal themselves in the open. – http://www.partitionsandstalls.com/

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