Saturday, January 10, 2009

A New Movement?

While on a bike ride with Amy over the weekend the following graffiti was found above the door of a North Phoenix's parks' restroom. It was the only graffiti on any wall and it was about 2 feet above the doorway.

Note the broad and confident strokes that form the letters. Also, the addition of the exclamation point. The fact that these words are the last thing the reader sees as he leaves the peace of the Sancto Sanctorum that is the restroom and re-enters the world is very meaningful. This is no simple, childish comment, my friends, but a powerful philosophical statement of man's relationship, and level of self identity, to the universe. Keirkegaard stated, "Poop is subjectivity." He felt the human condition is influenced most by the questions pertaining to an individual's spiritual relationship to poop and its existence.

Amy noted the existential tenor of the phrase. She felt the author was using the concept of poop to bring some sort of meaning to an absurd world. Sartre tackled this question in 1943 when he wrote L'Être et le Néant du Caca (Being and the Nothingness of Poop). Although it might be argued that he was influenced by the Phenomenological viewpoint of poop as proposed by Edmund Husserl in his 1901 treatise, Logische Untersuchungen der Scheißhaufen (Logical Investigations of Poop). Huserrl wished to free poop from conventional psychological structure and studied the effects of one's thoughts upon real poop or even the ideal poop as imagined in the subconscious. He attempted to objectively study poop through the subjective lens of our experiences. This led to the philosophical study of Phenemonopoopology.

Ludwig Wittgenstein, in the preface to Tractactus Logico-Faeces, say, "The whole sense of the poop might be summed up in the following words: what can be said about poop at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence." He formulated his thoughts in a series of propositions, or poopositions as they were colloquially referred to. I am also told what was passed in silence was not easily forgotten.

I believe the writer is commenting on the question of determinism versus free-will in the nature of poop. One could argue that poop comes and goes as it wishes and it controls its own destiny. It has free-will, so to speak. But the very act of our knowing (if you consider our body as an outside observer in the body/poop relationship) then us having that knowledge actually determines the actions of the poop. It will go as determined by our knowledge and therefore, it is predestined to follow its path, though unconscious of any outside influence.

It might be Marxist in nature. Poop is the opiate of the masses.

It is meaningful that this cry of humanity is written above the door to be seen as we exit to the world. Are we, the viewer, the symbolic poop? Must we free our inner poopiness from the norm, from the conventions of an absurd and often meaningless world? To be poop in a world of roses. Would poop by any other name smell the same? Is it a sign of a new poop movement bringing Hope and Change?

I am going to continue to ponder the statement. I believe there are some interesting ideas that might be found from looking at this from a quantum mechanics viewpoint. But, I promise to keep all this to myself.

1 comment:

Anna said...

Over the edge? can't even see the edge you are so far over it. Anyway, Marilu Henner also did a chapter on poop. I think her statement, "If you are healthy, your poop floats," ties well into your concept of freedon.