I”ve actually argued with people at this school men, mostly about what is the best bathroom on campus. It”s a pretty ridiculous conversation.
Women you should know that all a man really needs to go to the bathroom is gravity. The venue doesn”t much matter. But certain comforts and novelties do make the experience more enjoyable.
My second choice is the facilities in the School of Social Work building, on the corner of East University and South University avenues. The highlight of the visit for men and women is a computer in the foyer that will direct you, with the aid of a moving digital dot and a map of the building, from where you stand to the restrooms. I wrote two weeks ago about the potential of technology, and there is really no greater use than bathroom navigation.
But my first choice the greatest spot to “drop a load,” to use the parlance of our times is Mason/Angell Hall, first floor, near the elevators, men”s room, right side, second/third stall from the back.
Not many months ago, I ventured into the second stall from the back for the first time. I was awed by what awaited me. I read the writing on the wall. My attention turned to the otherwise bleak, gray wall of the stall that neither touches the ceiling nor the floor (you have to appreciate the architectural charms of public restrooms). On this wall was written, in various handwritings, styles of versification and writing implements, a plethora of quotes perhaps 50-60 from the film
“The Big Lebowski.”
Everyone”s favorite quotes from everyone”s favorite movie, from The Dude, Walter, Donny, Brandt, Maude, etc., were scribbled in some form on the wall.
My guess is that some bored defecator wrote one of his favorite quotes, and his successor on the john followed suit, and so on. I inscribed one of my personal favorites, from Walter in his attack on nihilism: “Say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism. At least it”s an ethos.”
Not long after my visit to the wonderful stall, the University must have caught wind of this homage to one of the finest films of our young generation and painted over all the quotes. I took it upon myself to begin the quotable collage again, this time on the stall three from the rear.
I am not supporting National Socialism, nor advocating restroom vandalism.
But that stall was one of my favorite spots on campus for no other reason than its display of some sort of community bonding about a cult film. Its effect is harmless it”s pleasure significant. For Lebowski fans around campus (and there are many just ask your friends), that wall was an entertaining pit stop on the otherwise drab track that is central campus.
Our school buildings our classrooms, our hallways, our physical and structural learning environment is boring and institutional.
My high school allowed gifted art students to paint murals that were culturally and academically relevant throughout the hallways and classrooms of the building. At this University there are few murals, few sculptures, few photographs and few paintings of anything inspirational or thought provoking. The walls and buildings of our school are boring and demoralizing.
Say what you will about my stall wall. It”s something. It”s interesting. It”s creative, in its own pop-culture referencing sort of way.
I can use this column space to urge the University to reform the Code, or its position on affirmative action, or anything else. I”m starting small, though, and asking that neither that bathroom wall nor anything else that matches its innocence and humor be destroyed. Furthermore, I would like to see a campus-learning environment that is aesthetically more stimulating and creative. The destruction of the Lebowski quote wall, while seemingly meaningless and insignificant to most people, is to me an example of a University that has no interest in creating such a learning environment.
I”m talking about drawing a line in the sand, Dude. Across this line you do not Uh, and also, Dude, Chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature. Asian- American, please.
David Horn”s column runs every other Friday. Give him feedback at www.michigandaily.com/forum or via e-mail at email@example.com.