Sunday, March 07, 2010

But Honestly,.....I'm Not Like Those People.


Recently, the local paper ran an interesting article on a woman's regret on getting tattooed. Whilst the local paper is not of any real quality, (English readers, it mirrors itself on The Guardian) every now and then an insightful article slips past the censorious eyes of the liberal editors.

Now, like any person with half a brain I deplore tattoo's. Their widespread acceptance amongst people who should know better is proof of middle class prole drift.

I have always considered them declasse, no matter how artistic. The presence of one on a girl, no matter how small or discrete was immediate deal breaker. Not just because tattoos were the mark of the society's dregs but more so because it was character revealed in action. What a tattoo said about a man/woman was not only about what type of man he was, but of the type of man he had shown himself to be. Now it is true that people change over time, and that everyman is capable of all vices, but we presume a man of good character until he has proven otherwise. The tattoo is a permanent mark of bad judgement.

Milday's Tattoo Tells a Very Different Story
Initially, my partner at the time agreed that we should take the plunge together on my 30th birthday. In those days, tattoos were still mostly the preferred accessory of sailors, wharfies, prisoners and the like, but I figured that it was OK to get a tattoo as long as you didn't look like a person who would have one.

and

Fast forward again and I am picking my daughter up from school. At the school gate, the only other people with tattoos are fat and toothless and complaining about the price of fags.

I suddenly realise that I am a member of a club that I did not intend joining.

These days, my tattoo has faded, just like my desire to be as daring and alluring as Milady.

Like every other fashion choice you make, tattoos tell people at lot about you. But sometimes they tell people who you were, rather than who you are.

I found this article interesting on so many levels. Firstly, the author is at pains to ensure that while she adopts the mark of the declasse, she herself is not. Ummm....No. You see, from the vantage point of the unmarked there are only two types of people: Those tattooed and those not. Secondly, she sees a distinction between herself and the fat,toothless hags she clearly despises. I wonder if the other women sporting tattoos were slim, rich and well dressed whether she would complain about belonging to that same group. The problem with this woman is not that she has changed, rather it's the group that she now aspires to has. She's still the same person; an impulsive egotist still concerned about her social status.

Theodore Dalrymple does a wonderful demolition job on the tattoo culture, far better than I can. But in the end, he comes to the same conclusion I did when searching for a mate; the tattooed are best avoided as their self inflicted brand is an outward sign of character flaw.

Note: There are very limited exceptions to the above post. Certain traditional cultures made them part and parcel of group identity.







20 comments:

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Tattoos are awful, but I think when it comes to religion, they're acceptable.

Achmetha said...

Hm. This is the first post of yours that I really disagree with, regarding tattoos.

Depending on who it is and what they represent, tattoos can be a great work of art or a total disgusting scum fest.

Thursday said...

Canadian philosopher Mark Kingwell has a great article on tattoo culture in this book. Well worth checking out.

SDaedalus said...

Tattoo visible when clothed = how to look like a skank in one easy step without even trying.

Bad on men, worse on women.

Guaranteed to disimprove further with age.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1256321/David-Beckham-censors-new-Renaissance-tattoo.html

Beautiful man + tattoo = why???

[I would not be a fan of tattoos in parts normally covered by clothing either, but at least these tattoos have the saving grace of discretion]

The Social Pathologist said...

@Achmetha:

There is no doubt that some tattoos are product of extreme skill and artistic design, the way I see it, the body is itself a work of art and that tattoos take away from that beauty. I knew I was going to cheese a lot of people off with this post but I'm calling it as I see it. Tattooing is vandalism of the body, no matter how "arty" the tattoo.

@Thursday:
Thanks.

@SDaedalus:

Beckham is an attractive man, but the new tattoo he has makes him look like a yob. I agree, that there is something to be said about discretion, but it's the act itself that marks the man. I'm afraid its one of those things that just flicks a "switch" and immediately turns me off the person. I've met many nice girls whom I've examined (I'm a G.P.) and discovered a tattoo. Just don't feel the same about them afterwards. It's says something about the type of person they are. Not really that nice.

SDaedalus said...
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SDaedalus said...
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SDaedalus said...

Thanks so much. I really appreciate it.

LordSomber said...

As it has been said, in thriving civilizations, the lower classes imitate the upper; in decadent ones the upper classes imitate the lower.

The Social Pathologist said...

LordSomber, great comment.

It's the cultural "prole drift" that will be the destruction of Western Civilisation.

David said...

Yes, we have come a long way since Lombroso regarded them as a sign of atavism.

I would never be interested in a woman with a tattoo. I would tend to assume that she got it to amuse some previous man.

Anonymous said...

A man is rough, utilitarian, like the brick wall of a warehouse, whereas a woman is beautiful and exquisite, like a classic work of art.
A tattoo is graffiti on the human body.
Graffiti on a brick warehouse wall is ugly and tacky, but pretty much expected, particularly in bad neighborhoods, and so can pass without too much notice. Graffiti sprayed across a classic work of art is a crime against humanity and an affront to the creator of that art.

Anonymous said...

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- Murk

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Jay M said...

In Fussell's "Class: a Guide Through the American Status System" Paul Fussell forgot to mention important things, such as debutante balls, the class divide between those who purchase artwork purely for decorative purposes and those who merely use it for investment and tax deduction purposes, etc., but one thing he should have mentioned was tattoos.

For your information the word "fag" has a completely different meaning here in America than in England (smoking is considered déclassé here too), and is an unmistakable prole marker.

Nevertheless, this was a good post.

Anonymous said...

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- Robson

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Nietzsche said...

No circumstance should warrant the need of a tattoo in Western or civilized culture. Many primative cultures used tattoos as mark of warriors, prisoners and criminals, which certainly has established the precedent and notion that it will always serve as a status symbol for lower barbaric castes.

It truly does reflect ignorance and lack of judgement in the individual, especially it also illustrates the lack of parenting that would who condone such self-mutilation and externalization of low self-esteem. The excuse of they didn't know is irrelevant, since its their job as parents to know and prevent.

@Oddyoddyo13

There are numerous better ways to show your allegiance and faith to God. I'm sure that its the internal spiritual development and process that is more important to him than externally advertising it.

Glad we concur on one issue, which is the tastelessness of tattoos on women.

Anonymous said...

I AM A MAN AND I DEMAND WOMEN LOOK HOW I WANT THEM TO LOOK

Anonymous said...

Prole drift goes from top to bottom, not the other way round. Anyone would think you are a bunch of uneducated religious zealots! oops, tautology!