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Decoding Graffiti

I will let you in on a little secret: You can learn a lot about a region by reading its bathroom graffiti. So it should come as no surprise that the graffiti I read in Shepherdstown, W. Va.- a liberal college town just across the state line from where I live – Friday night was clearly anti-President Bush.

Some was simple: A circle with "W" and a line through it. The first one I noticed said, "Get rid of Bush!" to which someone replied, "But then we’d have Cheney!"to which someone wrote, "We have to do something!"

Later a good friend and I went to the concert we went to see at Shepherd College with Beth Nielsen Chapman and others (I’ll write more on that tomorrow) I took a moment to step into a stall to scribble down my graffiti notes. And what do I see on the stall walls but this: "Hitler was a Republican" and "I want to kill the president."

I almost didn’t include that last one because I don’t want the Secret Service showing up at my door but hey, don’t shoot the messenger.

Even if the messages are on bathroom walls.

About Scott Butki

Scott Butki was a newspaper reporter for more than 10 years before making a career change into education... then into special education. He has been doing special education work for about five years He lives in Austin. He reads at least 50 books a year and has about 15 author interviews each year and, yes, unlike tv hosts he actually reads each one. He is an in-house media critic, a recovering Tetris addict and a proud uncle. He has written articles on practically all topics from zoos to apples and almost everything in between.
  • http://www.graffitiforschung.tk Axel Thiel

    just in case of interest,facts and background,from 300 years of development of graffiti-research

  • http://www.scoopstories.typepad.com Scott Butki

    I don’t understand your comment. Are you saying that my work is nothing new? Cause I didn’t realize they had indoor plumbing 300 years ago.