The Smiling Poop emoji: Poo-poohing popular art

Perplexing poo: A vibrant expression of popular art, a sign of Western civilization's decadence, or just poo?

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MILLINOCKET, Maine, March 1, 2015 — The Smiling Poop emoji* has become ubiquitous. It is literally a pop icon—or should we say, “poop icon?” Depending on your point of view, this little picture can invoke spirited dialogue about the impact of the basest forms of modern culture and artistry.

Google “Smiling Poop” and you will be amazed at the results. This emoji appeared roughly two years ago, and has steadily gained popularity. Now it is used as a logo on shirts, shoes, mugs, and key chains.

Complex.com, in its Pop Culture section, seems almost ecstatic about it. “Poop, due to its smell and status as excrement, is considered to be a bad thing. Smiling, an outward indicator of happiness is largely considered a good thing. These conflicting meanings battle constantly for the soul of the Smiling Poop emoji, and we can’t help but look on with a mixture of awe and wonder.”

Others have taken a less ebullient view. In a recent article on her web site “Atlas Shrugs,” Pamela Geller writes, “[The Smiling Poop emoji] best exemplifies the low state of the world, of the culture, and of America itself in the age of the primitive. It signifies America’s rapid decay in the wake of the left’s decades-long war on Americanism, freedom, and individual rights.”


One really has to wonder just how a basic function of organic activity came to have its own status symbol… with big eyes and a smile.

*In Japanese, the word emoji means “picture” (e) + “character” (moji). Emojis are also called pictograms or emoticons.

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