Don’t scribble if you’ve nothing to say

by Beacon Staff • April 14, 2011

At issue: A recent spat of vandalism across campus

Our take: Graffiti, a medium of insurrection, should not be used for insolence

At some point or another, we all have that urge to do it. The answers scrawled in the margin of your hand-me-down geometry text book and the life-and-death dramas inked out on bathroom stalls stand as evidence—at some point, human beings often feel the need to “leave our mark.”

There are two types of graffiti: the disruptive and the self-expressive.

This spring, photojournalists captured “F**k Mubarak” sprayed across tanks stationed in Cairo. In this situation Egyptians used graffiti as a last recourse of political dissent and expression of social upheaval. On the other hand, the works of infamous street artists like Banksy and even the outbursts of the less-acclaimed artists who tag the orange line can offer passers-by a picture of individual pains and joys.

Then, in bathroom stalls, you see: “Titties wuz here.” Informative, but perhaps less thought provoking.

Serial graffiti is often a political statement or a work of art. So the question raised by Emerson’s recent “serial graffitist” is why on earth a student would want to be remembered by the short walk between the private parts and a poop shoot.

The image of a fish filled by the word “gooch” have been popping up around campus—in stairwells, elevators, and boys’ bathrooms. Gooch is a slang term for the perineum, the surface skin between the anus and the testicles or vagina.

Though we in no way condone vandalizing Emerson property, we wish Emerson’s underground would think of something a little more thought provoking. If you are going to defile a space that is as much every other students’ as it is yours, one would hope you would do so to address a real problem--and perhaps something more pressing to the larger community than your gooch. The writing on the wall doesn’t leave much to interpretation: At our most subversive opportunity, we fall back to potty humor.

Emerson’s infamous gooch fish is not insurrection, but insolence. This isn’t graffiti so much as it is dribble.

There are very few real ways to stop people from polluting our residence halls. If students want to tag, they will, just as they’ll tear down resident assistants’ bulletin boards and use the flame of their lighters to blacken designs into elevator ceilings. Our best bet is to treat vandalism born from restlessness as what it is: childish.

If you think you have something important to say, say it. But it ought to be pretty damn significant to be wroth defacing school property.

Gooch. What a joke.