Jeff Russell read off what he considered to be negative phrases.
  • Jeff Russell read off what he considered to be negative phrases.
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A man claiming to have deciphered the jumble of words on the ceiling of the newly built Brighton Street “comfort station” (bathroom) in Ocean Beach presented his case to the Ocean Beach Town Council on September 26.

Jeff Russell read off what he considered to be negative phrases that local artist Shinpei Takeda put into his vision for the ceiling of the bathrooms. All were quotes from the OB Rag, a local online newspaper. Russell said he googled each one: “fatal shooting of a dog by police officers” and “anger expressed on Newport Avenue will translate to violence” were two that he read.

This reporter conducted an impromptu survey at the bathrooms a few days ago, asking over 25 people coming out of the bathrooms if they had looked up to see the quotes there. One hundred percent of them said they never even looked up. When I brought this up at the meeting, many in the crowd laughed.

One man defended the artist, saying that art is subjective and that there are negative things sometimes in art and it is part of the artist's vision.

Though Russell had a printout of all the quotes and started to read them off, the town council stopped him. They did admit that when the ad hoc committee was given the plans a couple of years ago, not all of the quotes and phrases were laid out for the board to see.

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Javajoe25 Sept. 27, 2012 @ 10:30 p.m.

So what? I think if the artist drew his inspiration for the words from the OB Rag, that would make it even cooler. What is it that Russell is complaining about?

People should know that men do not look up at the ceiling when they go into the men's room. They look at the floor first, to try to avoid walking through piss. Then they look at their target, just out of consideration, in an effort to be neat (most men do). I've been in a men's room many times and I doubt I ever looked up at the ceiling. The last time I was at the OB facility, mainly because it was my first time in the new structure, I did look up when I walked out and noticed the words on the underside of the roof. I had no idea they were inside too. My reaction was the usual one when I'm viewing abstract art: WTF?

But seriously, it's just a public bathroom at the beach in OB. I'm grateful they built them at all. Who gives a hoot how they decorate it?


David Dodd Sept. 28, 2012 @ 2:59 p.m.

Someone writing negative phrases in a public restroom? SHOCKING!


Javajoe25 Sept. 28, 2012 @ 10:57 p.m.

Yea, think about it: our farts will be offended and our piss will have its feelings hurt.

That's what I mean--what is this guy, Russell, complaining about? It all has to be taken in context; who in their right mind would say "the artist used bad words"? Especially since the words had already been published in The OB Rag. Totally nutso.


Cat310 Oct. 2, 2012 @ 7:57 p.m.

Why not be green and use back issues of the OB Rag as toilet paper in the comfort station too?


Javajoe25 Oct. 2, 2012 @ 11:51 p.m.

Ha! Yea, and they really should have built mirrors into the floor so people would see the whacky stuff that is on the ceiling. I don't know who they every thought was going to see it to start with. Might as well print the words on the top of the roof! Ha! They probably did!


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