01 Sep 2007
The Tao of Tattoos
“A guide to the world of mass-produced tattooos”

Back in the good old days, it was mostly life’s misfits; the Rockers, the Bikers, the Punks and old Teddy Boys and ex-servicemen who sported a proliferation of tattoos. Nowadays however, it seems you’d be making more of a statement and cocking more of a snook at the world if you chose not to 'get ink done'. So in that bitter and twisted mood that comes upon me when I see normal society encroaching on what used to be weirdo territory, I present my 'Tao of Tattoos'. May it serve as a useful guide for all our childrens' children!…​

  • 1: Tribal Tattoos - Let’s get one thing straight right from the start, shall we; Tribal Tattoos are not in the least bit 'alternative' or 'risqué' or 'dangerous'. I have seen people who look like fucking accountants sporting Tribal Tattoos! Now, this is a shame for all those people who are deeply interested in ancient mythology and history and for whom a well-designed and well-executed historically accurate tribal tattoo would actually mean something. But unfortunately for every person sporting a quality Tribal Tattoo of this type there are several hundred 'originality vacuums' daubed with one of those atrocious 'conglomerations of a few semi-circles with a couple of spikey bits on the ends' - the patterns for which are, I presume, dispensed like toilet roll in tattoo parlours up and down the land. In fact Tribal Tattoos are so fucking ubiquitous these days that I’m coining a new phrase - "About as alternative as a Tribal Tattoo" - to describe something completely and tediously conventionally mainstream.

TWAT: Ooh! - I love that Robbie Williams me! Have you seen all his tattoos and designer stubble. He’s so Rock’n’Roll, I bet he never ever minced around like a rent boy in a really camp boy band!

NON TWAT: Robbie Williams?! - That cunt’s about as alternative as a Tribal Tattoo!

  • 2: Enormous Fat Girls - The idea that having a tiny delicate tattoo done will somehow imbue your person with a similar lightness and delicacy is horribly mistaken. If anything, the sight of a tiny wee fairy alone and lost in the vast acreage of your elephantine leg serves merely to emphasise the fact that you are fucking huge.
  • 3: Hanzi Tattoos - Seriously. What is the fucking point? Unless you are of Chinese descent or are married to or going out with someone Chinese, or are a devout follower of Confucianism, why the Hell do you want to get some piece of text, written in a language you don’t speak - cannae even read in fact! - and from a culture you have no connection with - injected into your skin for the rest of your life? Quite apart from the complete idiocy of the concept in the first place, how do you even know what the fuck you’re getting? Is your tattooist a Mandarin scholar - or did he maybe just grab some random Chinese characters from somewhere else? You may think you’ve got "Shazza and Dazza Forever" tattooed across your wrist, but it’s far more likely to say "Egg Fried Rice and Chips". *[Incidentally, anyone wanting a good laugh at some twattish Chinese tattoos should visit Hanzi Smatter
  • 4: And Finally Girls - There’s nothing says "Cheap" quite like one of those tattoos that might be a bird, or some foliage, or is it some kind of 'ethnic' thing? - across the bottom of your sunbed-orange lower back - planted just above where your thrush soaked Marks’n’Spencers knickers are showing seductively over your tracksuit bottoms. It ain’t for nothing that us blokes generally refer to this type of tattoo as a "Splashback" or a "Slag Tag". Now, I could give you the benefit of the doubt and suppose that you picked this particular location because you’ve always thought a tattoo there would enhance the graceful curve of your lower spine. But unfortunately, to the rest of the world it just looks like you’re the kind of girl who spends most of her time down on all fours and wants to make sure everyone can still see her tatts!

TAGS: tattoostattooculturetribalalternativesubculture


AUTHOR: stíobhart matulevicz

LAST MODIFIED: 25 Apr 2020  — REASON: "extract asciidoc preamble into separate file and include it"

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