Wednesday, March 12, 2008

More on the Revolting Tattoo Habit

I am still insulted daily for my dislike of tattoos and that post remains my most hit ever, with many visitors still coming from Folsom in California, which, I trust, means the great prison. The last commenter but one said he had no idea that people like me existed. Well - what can I say? - here I am. Meanwhile, the great Elberry draws my attention to the thoughts on the subject of Adolf Loos, the modernist architect who equated ornament with crime. Pick the bones out of this one, guys:
'The Papuan tattoos his skin, his boat, his oars, in short, everything within his reach. He is no criminal. The modern man who tattoos himself is a criminal or a degenerate. There are prisons in which eighty percent of the prisoners are tattooed. The tattooed men who are not in prison are latent criminals or degenerate aristocrats. If a tattooed man dies in freedom, then he has died just a few years before committing a murder... Since the ornament is no longer organically connected with our culture, it is therefore no longer the expression of our culture.'

20 comments:

  1. An elberryesque post. I once dreamt that if I became the Nation's Caudillo, I would automatically lock up peoplee with unsightly tattoos but most specifically those with facial piercings. The squad selected for this task would be reminiscent of the child catcher form Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and would be operate from buggy with a huge cage attached to the rear. Offenders would be taken to an unspeakable gulag, where rings and studs would be removed and tattoos painfully lasered away. Blake and Amy Winebar and Pete Doherty would be among the first on the squad's list.

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  2. I'd come down pretty hard on those who couldn't spell properly too. Peoplee and form indeed. However, punishment would be much lighter, out of respect for our (very often gifted) dyslexic brethren.

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  3. I'm in favour of tattoos. If expertly done, they can be things of beauty. Of course, ahem, far too many aren't done by expert craftsmen working in a long tradition from Papua or the South Seas. So, yes, Rambo-esque scrawls on the face, neck, hands, etc, are far too common.

    I'll admit, though, that I'm partly in favour of tattoos because everyone else on here seems to express a horror of them. How awful not be able to enjoy a cup of tea without fulminating at the vulgarity of someone else's taste in body art! As for the Loos talk - these ideas are on a par with the ravings of Cesare Lombroso. Just my 2 cents of course but if anyone from Folsom reads this, I'm hoping for decent treatment if ever I find myself enjoying an extended holiday with Uncle Sam, ya dig?

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  4. Yeah, that's it Mark, suck up to your future Folsom daddy. On your first night he will introduce himself, towering over you and stroking your tattoos, "I could be a friend to you...call me Steve."

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  5. Bryan, does your dislike of them extend to women having them? You only mention men.

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  6. The original post was about thw women thing, Philip.

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  7. Man, I swear this is true.

    Yesterday afternoon in Kolns Wallraf-Richartz museum, stood next to me, was one of those Germans (the ones you find at D.Hasselhoff concerts with dodgy looking broads next to them)
    On his forehead was the tattoo of a jigsaw, the words "Porter-Cable" beneath.
    Being a Georde, my natural reaction, which I suppressed, was to comment "here mate, somebody`s took the piss out of you"

    The Irony was the exhibition was a typical well thought out German study of the impressionists.
    For 30 minutes we had both been stood in front of that V v Gogh painting of the bridge, both of us enthralled.
    Shame on you Bryan Appleyard, never judge a book by its cover.
    Malty

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  9. Not judging people, I just dislike tattos

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  10. I once represented a young man who was serving a longish sentence for assaulting a tattooist. When I visited him in the cells his hair was combed forward over his forehead, level with his eyebrows. I had been told not to ask him why he wore his hair so strangely, but I couldn't resist mentioning it. With a gesture of fury he swept back his hair to reveal 'Pyscho' tattooed across his forehead in big red letters.

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  11. Poor man, wife and kids, walking along the street last summer. We behind him. Him stripped to the waist.

    On his back a giant Buffy, Vampire Slayer. But it wasn't. Big-chinned woman drawn there.

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  12. Philip Walling: "With a gesture of fury he swept back his hair to reveal 'Pyscho' tattooed across his forehead in big red letters."

    Would that be a "Sour Pyscho"?

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  13. Why are you bothered so much by what someone else, completely unrelated or involved with you, does with their body? If you don't like tattoos, don't get one. There, problem solved.

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  14. I visited Elberry to leave a comment and he has turned comments off - he seems a bit down in my view..

    I have "Drink Coca Cola" tattooed on my thigh - I did it for money..

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  15. Tattoos and petnames; when you are eighteen you think it is really cool to be called 'Suggs' or 'Sting' or 'Bono'. Even Bryan probably made an effort to be called Yardie, but only the foolish commute this by common use to a full name. Thirty years later and what have you got? A prize prune lumbered with a half-witted diminutive moniker which dooms one to junior roles despite the PhD in economics and membership of respectable accountancy bodies.

    Yours, FiFi LaBong

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  16. Further thoughts on tattoos.

    MAUDE ADAMS

    Come on now Bryan, that thought must rotate your linear bearings.

    Malty

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  17. Sorry if this is stating the obvious but I assume there's a fundamental difference between likers and dislikers of tattoos and, for want of a better vocabulary, would suggest levels of stimulation (never heard of this Adolf Loos but he sounds a little toward the overstimulated end of the scale). One lot seek calmness, the other lot, stimulation. I do think you can make an objective aesthetic judgement about tattoos and would suggest they can't help but lessen the aesthetic flow of the body, but I assume a lot of tattoo likers aren't particularly concerned about (calming) overall aesthetic flow. Papuan-type tattoos minimise the disruption by being swirly and abstract and joined-up and all in one colour, which might be another reason for old Loos minding them less.

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  18. Dickie Pay ShayMarch 13, 2008 8:55 pm

    The ultimate revenge on a person or just plain act on a twatoist or sporter of twatoos would be to carve the word 'TWAT' on their forehead, rub ink into it and run.

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  19. especially them small of the back fuckers

    sheep

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  20. Support of the Lou Zhu, Lou Zhu worked hard
    Signature--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nothing is impossible for a willing heart.
    ugg classic cardy

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