Graffiti persists in many forms throughout the world. Whether it’s initials within a heart carved on a tree or colorful language painted under a bridge, we usually blame these antics on rambunctious teenagers. Most bathroom stall graffiti tends to be vulgar and puerile and a sign that you aren’t urinating at a 5 star restaurant.
Why bother to mark up a toilet wall? Most graffiti inscriptions – whether on the outside of a building or the underside of a restaurant table consist of things such as, “Matt was here,” or “Katie loves Bob.” Is the purpose of graffiti to create some sort of personal infamy? Perhaps people who realize they won’t end up in a history book would like to leave their name in their favorite bar urinal. Perhaps it’s an outlet for secrets or an anonymous bragging forum.
“Satura was here on September 3rd “
“Secundus defecated here” three times on one wall
“Apelles Mus and his brother Dexter each pleasurably had sex with two girls twice.”
Most graffiti, in ancient Rome and today, is brief and repetitive. Yet, people still feel a need to leave a permanent mark in a public place. Perhaps this is more than an immature way of breaking rules. Perhaps this gives us a peek at the basic human desire to be known throughout time. Perhaps it’s successful. After all, aren’t you curious who Apelles Mus and Dexter are?