Tuesday, September 22, 2009

And round and round and round it goes, although I'm not sure that's quite what he meant by "revolution"

I was in town for a meeting a couple of weeks ago and nipped into a coffee shop loo on my way back to the car. The bathroom was downstairs and vaguely scuzzy without being unclean.

Something about the lock on the door – one of those puny bolts that never quite seems screwed in properly – combined with its generalized seediness jolted forwards a muscle memory of the loos in the Elliott Bay Book Company, where I spent a lot of time (the bookshop, not the loos).

Their graffiti, and there was much of it, was often somewhat self-consciously literary. Ah, bollocks to it. It was pretty much always straightforwardly pretentious. To add to the tone of one-upmanship (because obviously that's what you're aiming for in a toilet), there was also a fair amount of cross-referencing and call-and-response going on within the graffitti myself.

And yeah, I may mock, but I *loved* reading the graffitti there (takes one straightforwardly pretentious nerd to know one, right?). One of my favourites there, years ago now, had started off innocuously - and somewhat pointelessly- enough, with the famous Gil Scott Heron song/poem:

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”.
Underneath it, someone had scrawled,

"...but you can watch it on YouTube"

And in a nice flourish of irony, the poem itself is now on YouTube.