Wednesday, March 12, 2008
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.'
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 3:52 pm