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University of Pittsburgh Bathroom Graffiti: The Philosopher’s Philosophy

Socrates, Marcus Aurelius, Tyler Durden, Emma Watson: What do all of these fine men and woman have in common? They are all philosophers who battled The Man. Each knew the consequences, but they fought the establishment anyway. Today, they are joined by a new group of philosophers.


A group has risen on campus. They are not found on soap boxes on Forbes Avenue, nor in the Assembly Halls of the William Pitt Union. Their beliefs are expressed through short quotes and drawings on our beautiful University of Pittsburgh bathroom stalls. Known for keeping things short, simple, and to the point, they call themselves the Philosophers.


Their verses can be found in Hillman, Posvar, the Cathedral of Learning, and all other halls and dormitories. However, their efforts to enlighten are being scraped and painted over every day by The Man. Who is The Man? Not by United States President Barry O’Beezy, but the university’s janitorial staff. Our gladiators of thought battle the janitors for dominance of the fresh canvases in bathrooms all over campus. In documenting this fight, we caught up with our Philosophers and were able to find out some insider information.


The Black Sheep: Why did you decide to philosophize while on the toilet?


The Philosophers: Well as a collective, we’ve decided that, like thinking in the shower, some of our best thoughts come while on the loo.


TBS: Ahhh… That’s quite the realization.


The Philosophers: Yeah! Like, think of it this way. Don’t you think Elvis died on the toilet because he thought up the greatest piece of rock and roll the world would ever have known, and that’s why he had a heart attack or whatever? Or, you know, Tywin Lannister definitely figured out that Littlefinger was the biggest douche in all of the 7 Kingdoms while on the John. Too bad Tyrion shot him with a crossbow.


The Philosophers were just as insightful in person, as their anonymous teachings are in the stalls:


We were also able to speak to a member of the janitorial staff to get his thoughts on the matter. Chadwick Basura, Director of Janitorial Studies at Pitt, had very strong feelings toward the Philosophers, saying, “they’re a nuisance. Nothing but stoned kids writing up some trippy BS, and calling it insightful. We don’t want that stuff here. That’s why all our money goes to Sports, digging up the Cathedral’s lawn, and to keeping every bathroom on campus smelling nice and working efficiently. If we wanted them to be philosophers we would be a Liberal Arts College.”


Seeing both sides of the fight brings about several questions. Where will the Philosophers strike next? Why does Chadwick Basura call himself the Director of Janitorial Studies? What was Tywin Lannister really thinking about before Tyrion killed him like a boss? One thing is for sure. The words of wisdom the Philosophers preach everyday help us to save our iPhone battery while we’re in the bathroom, and for that we will always be grateful.


To voice your opinion and to see more updates on the ongoing struggle for underground philosophy at Pitt, follow us @BlackSheep_Pitt, and tweet us graffiti you find with:


#FightforthePhilosophers or #DictatorofJanitorialStudies

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