Tattoos make me sick

Even more so on a police officer.
Even more so on a school liaison police officer.
I don't care if they are patriotic.
This guy is a role model in schools.
This guy tells kids that graffiti is wrong.
Yet scribbles all over his body.
OK, maybe a small tattoo on a covered part of your body if you really need to ink up. But keep it to yourself.

Tattoos are just tough chic. The problem with tough chic, is that you always have to keep up with the toughest, so there is no limit to it. That's why primitive man went berserko with tattoos and piercings, because it's a game of escalato that perpetually heads in a tougher direction. If you play the escalato game, it never ends. So don't start it. Leave your skin clean. If you join the tattoo craze then all of a sudden everyone has one, so the rough and tougher are suddenly made normal - and they don't want to be normal - so they go and do something bigger and bolder and the escalato spiral never stops. So don't feed it, don't start it.

The response to tattoos, by those who aren't repulsed by them, is "cool". But incremental cool has an insatiable appetite.

The tattoo and piercing crazes are a byproduct of the liberal mindset that says "appearance does not matter". It does.

The two pictures here don't depict someone cool or tough because tattoos are so commonplace nowadays. These two guys are now boring wimpy squares. Tattoo? Yawn. Piercing? Wimp. If you want to be cool or tough, gotta do better than that these days. So you haven't succeeded in making yourself cool or tough, just ugly.

And not only have you made yourself ugly, but you've made ugly so commonplace that super-ugly is now acceptable too. Congratulations in helping to freakify the human race. Police officers should be clean, in more ways than one.

And to ex military officers who feel justified in publicly inking up, respectfully, your service is admirable but your appearance is not.


Anonymous said...

You are scaring me because I agree with you.

I always considered myself of the Left.

But most people would look at you as some sort of Right Wing Loony.

Have I changed?

Probably to some extent.

I now label myself a Conservative Leftist. Whilst labels can be restrictive, I don't think amany people would ever label themselves that!!

Savvas Tzionis

Abandon Skip said...

Savvas, it's a funky ride this 'blogging until I figure out who I am' business. I grew up a greenie, and still love the environment. I don't get carried away with the global warming business, but I don't mind a little hysteria towards respect for the environment.

I think my mind is fairly liberal. I just let it go without fear. But I am mostly conservative in appearance and behaviour and voting.

Recently I was in a pub (but not drinking alcohol at the time) and chatting to a drunken lady who befriended me and who described me as a "churchy" person (which I was but no longer am). A walking contradiction ...

I guess when we're dead they'll put a label on us. Until then, "an honest man's pillow is his peace of mind".

Mercurius Aulicus said...

Conservative commentator Theodore Dalyrple has written a number of articles about the ugliness of Tatooing. You might be interested in this one at

Abandon Skip said...

Thanks MC, interesting read:

"Indeed, the popularity of tattooing in some quarters seems to be growing rather than declining. It is a curious characteristic of our age that cultural influences now seem to flow from the lower social classes upward, rather than from the upper classes downward, so that middle class people are having themselves tattooed in greater numbers than ever before ...

Watching as yet untattooed young men browsing through the patterns in the parlor reception areas, I felt like a Victorian evangelist or campaigner against prostitution, an impulse rising within me to exhort them to abjure evil; but their adoption of the characteristic expression of the urban underclass (a combination of bovine vacancy and lupine malignity) soon put paid to my humanitarian impulse."

Anonymous said...

Tattoos make you sick. Right. Well maybe that is just your opinion, but i am a 20 year old model, and i have a sleave, 2 calf pieces and a thigh piece... Does this make me ugly? Why should i need to keep this to myself, when i have built a career on tattoos and featured in many magazines??

Its art. these designs have taken months to do, and months to apply. fair enough if its a shitty scribble then its not very nice to look at, but when youve been tattooed by world famous artists then i dont see how that is "disgusting."

I have never had any negativity about my tattoos, in any country or at any event i have been too.. you seem to take a very old fashioned view on things, this is the 21st century. get the fuck over it. you are probably one of those people who frown upon gay marriage and all that shit.

you are clearly set in your ways, which is sad, how are you ever going to enjoy life? i suggest you remove that fucking poker from your arse and grow the hell up.

Abandon Skip said...

Congratulations on graduating school with honours in ignorance and insensitivity. Not that I blame you, there's a lot of it going around. I do feel sorry for you though.

Insensitivity. The fact that nobody has told you they don't like your tattoos is probably because most people who are repulsed by them will, duh, walk in the opposite direction to find a place to vomit. And tattoos are still associated with angry violent criminal types i.e. not the type you would criticise without an army at your back. And the tattoo craze is everywhere, so why would someone bother criticising one individual? Ergo, the chances of someone telling you that your tattoos disgust them is about, err, nil.

The fact that you dismissed my reaction to your tattoos as 'old fashioned' speaks volumes about your insensitivity. Maybe when you get older you will understand the effect tattoos have on people who are clean skinned (particularly the elderly). Tattoos are visual pollution: they hit the subconscious with micro-shocks. They ping the nervous system the same way noise pollution does (and it comes as no surprise that tattooed people are often loud obnoxious types too). The subconscious has stored visual norms of human appearance so that your brain can process the world silently and wake you up if there is something dangerous within your field of vision.

So everyone you walk past in public is pained, to varying degrees, with nauseating micro-shocks. It's called the Orienting Response i.e. when something unusual enters your vision it invokes a "what is that?" response. It doesn't matter if you call it art. If someone tattoos the Mona Lisa on their arm the response is still the same: nauseating micro-shock. Yes, if we were to sit down and study the tattoo maybe it might be a nice work of art, but in public amidst the masses, it just registers in the subconscious as a blob on someone's arm i.e. more nausea. And now that the tattoo craze is mainstream, well, it's constant vomit out there.

But I don't expect you to indulge in such empathy because, now that you have scribbled over your body, every one of your brain cells will be programmed into denial of all arguments that question the wisdom of tattoos. We don't want anything to shatter your world, now, do we? We don't want to realise that we are an offensive nauseating visual abuser, do we? That wouldn't sit well with your irreversible 'artistic' investment. It wouldn't do well to contemplate any regretful, life long, day after repetitive groundhog day, damn I'm sick of that thing on my body, gee I wish my subconscious would stop thinking that tattoo on my arm was a spider, type of thoughts. No, best to beat them down, lest you realise that the world led you down the blind alley of the permanently graffitied.

Young people can more easily ignore the subconscious reaction because you have abundant energy and there are stronger urges at work i.e. youth are attracted to strength and cool. Young people will naturally seek things that make them look stronger, or bolder, or bigger, or superhuman. But this feeling doesn't last forever, and you soon grow up. The fact that you have built a career on tattoos merely shows that there are plenty of other young (or deluded or hyperactive) people sucked into the same blind alley.

Ignorance. Cool is a major driving force behind tattoos. But the way cool works is by stirring the subconscious with something different from the norm which invokes a micro-shock response. The art world partly works in the same way, but something that shocks is just labelled "interesting" instead. But cool is an insatiable beast. After a while, your cool looking tattoos are just plain boring, and something cooler comes along e.g. now body morphing is the rage. Once everybody has a tattoo, the tattooed become boring normal squares, and the next generation has to do something freakier to keep the cool cycle going. Just imagine what the children of tomorrow will do to make themselves cool, because their tattooed parents will be boring and 'so yesterday'. Just imagine what all the rebels of tomorrow will have to do to set themselves apart, to rebel. You've normalised the rebel look, so the rebellious will 'up the stakes' even further. That's why primitive man went berzerko with tattoos and piercings, because each generation thought something bigger and better was 'cooler'. You appear ignorant to these broader transgenerational effects of tattoos i.e. when you normalise ugly, don't be surprised when you are trumped by super-ugly.

So you get a gold star for ignorance and insensitivity. But that's ok, you will take comfort in the knowledge that you are part of Generation Butt-Ugly Nauseating Visual Abuser.

And, yes, I am set in my ways. The irony is that you are not. And later in life there's a good chance that you will be sick of the sight of your tattoos, and regretting like hell that someone like your parents didn't 'set' you in a proper way.

Save up your money, get your tattoos removed, and rejoin the civilised part of the human race (or at least keep them covered in public). Or continue living in the abusive culture and all the negativity that often goes with it. Your choice. How will I ever enjoy my life? Well I'll just have to do my best to avoid the visual abusers, won't I? But at least I'm permanently happy in my boring old-fashioned clean skin.

Do I have a similar 'old fashioned' response to gays? Yep. My primary objection is also aesthetics. The typical gay mannerisms, speech, and dress are effeminate. For a man, these are way outside my stored norms and feel unnatural. Ergo, nauseating micro shock. And worse, whenever you meet someone, anyone, they all invoke a mimicking response in you. And if you are regularly exposed to, say, gay types, then you will begin to mimic them. And this clashes with your stored norms, your muscle memory of mannerisms, even your natural relaxed manliness. Ergo, it's tiresome. So, yes, I find gays with effeminate mannerisms on a par with tattoos i.e. to be avoided. There's more to object to about gay marriage, but aesthetics is my primary objection.

Anonymous said...

I've been teaching Anthropology on the college level for over 20 years so take my opinion for what its worth...

You talk about ignorance, but your post reeks of ignorance. Tattoos have been around for thousands of years. They aren't "Scribble" or whatever other degrading terms you have used. Tattoo's were around BEFORE gangs and prisons even existed. This is fact. This is history. Study it. Learn it. Adjust your stereotypes accordingly...

Second, because YOU personally don't like tattoo's, please don't try to associate that opinion with that of the general public. I myself don't have any tattoo's but the practice doesn't bother me. I judge people for who they are, not what they have on their body. I actually know two people - one a lawyer and one a police officer - who have full-sleeve tattoo's. They simply cover them up while on the job. So to insult people with tattoo's as being 'less' than everybody else...that doesn't stand up to the BS test to me...

Thirdly, again...its one thing to be against something, which is fine. But its a totally different thing to be against something and be disrespectful about it. You've come across as very disrespectful and degrading to anyone with tattoo's. In the future, you should look to have respect for others in order to get your point across. That way, you might be able to have an intelligent debate as opposed to a confrontational argument...

Abandon Skip said...

There is no "intelligent debate" with the subconscious. Tattoos, to the subconscious, are "a confrontational argument" so don't be surprised if my argument is substantially emotive in return.

My primary judgement is by my subconscious, less so by stereotypes. And I have well over "20 years" qualification in that area of study so take that "for what it's worth". May I also suggest you "study it, learn it". My subconscious tells me: TATTOOS MAKE ME SICK, THEY ARE REVOLTING, DISGUSTING, FIND ME A TOILET, GET YOUR DISGUSTING APPEARANCE OUT OF MY SUBCONSCIOUS. This is an emotive reaction of shock, nausea and repulsion. All it takes is a little mindfulness, awareness, meditation, to know this. Sometimes the last people to understand this are successful types who are naturally endowed with abundant energy. You can sometimes even find them lecturing in colleges.

The only valid point you have is to question how many people there are like me? In regards to extrapolating my "opinion with that of the general public", I have lived long enough to know there are many other people equally disgusted by tattoos. One newspaper poll I saw recently said that over 50 percent avoided relationships with the tattooed. That's a fair chunk of the general public, dontcha think? How many of these feel so disgusted by tattoos that, like me, they consider it visual abuse? Who knows? But you'd be taking one giant intellectual leap to dismiss them as inconsequential (I'm trying to add in a few big words so this sounds like an "intellectual" debate, but I have to be careful because when I do that my blog readership goes down from 7 to 1 and I actually fall asleep in the process, but I digress...).

I said the tattooed are visual abusers. As an anthropologist, you will know that humans are well capable of many other wide and varied forms of abuse. Just because something is historical, doesn't absolve it of harm. A salient lesson from anthropology is that humans, in the absence of a civilising force, often revert to pure pack animals whereby the cultural norms of the day trump other concerns. Tattoos are actually less of a problem in a traditional setting because typically everyone had the same thing done which, to some extent, calms the subconscious. Today, tattoos are a conflicting force, not a unifying force (unless you're a narrow-minded teenager concerned only with your subculture, or otherwise easily led).

Am I "disrespectful and degrading to anyone with tattoo"? I do think there is an element of self-harm involved, for tattooed Westerners, since you are torturing your own subconscious by placing yourself at odds with the visual norms - and I think this is something that will have to be suppressed for the rest of your life. I think that's self-harm. So it's no surprise that some people wake up one day and "wish like hell I never got tattooed".

And I do think there is an element of stupidity involved, due to the often-repeated mantra of the tattooed "be warned, once you start it's hard to stop". This is because of the mentality of "cool". The addiction to the rush of shock. This is stupid, in my book, to submit yourself to a process that you know you can't control. Actually, now that I think about it, IT'S REALLY DUMB!

Blind Freddy can see that many people with tattoos are decent people. And, sure, some people can comfortably suppress any gnawing conflict of their tattoos with their subconscious, or know when they've had enough to stop. But, for some (not inconsequential) proportion of the tattooed, I've justified my labels of "stupid" and "self-harming" by their own words. What say your 20 years to that?

As for your intelligent debate? What do you have to say about my concerns with tattoos feeding an uncontrollable body-morphing culture that will once again, in the great tradition of human anthropology, see humans wandering about with lips the size of dinner plates or bones through the nose? The body morphing craze has already reached freakazoid levels. Tattoos are part of a wider problem of cultural chaos. As an anthropologist, you should know that when one shakes off a civilising force (as we are in the process of doing), the culture can go to extremes. What did you have to add to that intelligent debate? Nothing. After 20 years, that's a pretty good come back.

And what did your 20 years have to say about my contention that there are vulnerable groups for which tattooed are particularly nauseating i.e. the elderly, the sick? Have you ever seen the defeated look of disgust on an old person's face when they speak of how the youth look today? Do you think they factor this into their decision of whether they have the energy to leave the house today and confront all that disgust out there in the public? What say your 20 years? Did it study and learn all this?

Let me answer that for you. No, it didn't. Because all it takes is a little awareness, mindfulness and individual thought. You don't need to go to college for that, do you?

Yours Sincerely,
Mindful and Disgusted
Dormant (but ever alert) members of the Subconscious Liberation Movement
Membership number: 1001 (all our numbers are symmetrical)
"I am subconscious, hear me roar!"
"2, 4, 6, 8, we don't want to be awake!"

Abandon Skip said...

Oh, your 20 years also forgot to answer my (indirect) contention that the tattooed are abusing through the power of mimicry. Each of us, wherever we go, takes with us the power of mimicry. The subconscious likes to conform, and so it has a conversation with everyone it passes. When a clean skin is confronted with the tattooed, the clean skin's subconscious will say "oh, disgusting, begone you revolting animal" (if it were upper class English). And if the clean skin should repeatedly run into the tattooed it starts saying "oh, to hell with this conflict, just get me a tattoo already!"). So the tattooed are wrenching a clean skin's subconscious from it's relaxed and comfortable state, into one of turmoil and conflict.

This is another part of the process of visual abuse. The first stage is shock and nauseating repulsion. The second stage is the wrenching of the victim's subconscious into altered visual norms through the subconscious' proper (but abused) function of mimicry.

After 20 years, what say you?

You wouldn't walk away from a debate would you? Everybody else does. Nobody comes back for a second date. Never. I didn't swear once. I even used a few big words. Spell checked n all (I wouldn't do that for just anyone). You wouldn't leave a peasant hanging in ignorance would you? Please sir, can I have some more?

Anonymous said...

nooo! ur wrong. tattoos allow individuals to express themselves. ur supposed to be different right? if they make you sick look away, plain and simple

Anonymous said...

I know everyone's entitled to their own opinion but I have to disagree. I'm a 30 year old male high school teacher and am heavily covered in tattoo's. I have full leg sleeves, half arm sleeves and a full back tattoo and don't feel any less professional or responsible for having them. I love my tattoo's and they're an expression of who I am and where I come from. Not a single student or parent has ever become aware of my tattoos or questioned my professionalism. Having tattoos doesn't make you a criminal or vulgar or obscene.

Abandon Skip said...

Excuse me whilst I find a toilet to vomit. On second thoughts, I'll do it right in front of you. Your self-description makes me sick.

Anonymous said...

oh please. get a life.

Anonymous said...

I must admit that I'm also disgusted by tattoos. Although, my disgust is primarily centered around the female body, it's amazing how many naturally beautiful women destroy their bodies with tattoos! Seeing a hot woman with tattoos is like seeing a shiny new sports car with bird shit all over it!