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The Wrath

Tattoos

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You're welcome, Sebastián.

To clarify: My name is Brando, not Brandon. It's a very common mistake, though, because of my uncommon name.

Oh sorry Brando, I guess I just read "Bran—" and assumed the rest, lol, I guess I really do need to be more careful, eh?

You are lucky to have found this site: Reading many of the threads on this forum, along with reading all of Rand's books, will teach you a great deal. There is no reason to feel discouraged; you should just feel a greater need to learn more about Objectivism. You're off to a good start by having read some of Ayn Rand's books, and participating on this forum; but that's just the start.
I can already see that, I've been reading through some of the other forums, it's great. I love Ayn Rand, and reading her books has really changed everything. I think my life would have followed a different course had I not read The Fountainhead about three years ago. It's funny, because I'm just about to turn twenty, and having read the books so early in life, I don't think I realized just how radical the ideas in them were. I hadn't been exposed to what most people are really like, because I had a very sheltered childhood and adolescence. I couldn't believe at first that most of her ideas were actually revolutionary, because it all made so much sense to me, I thought, "How could no one have ever thought of this before? It's been right before their eyes all along!" Needless to say, I'm completely consumed by all of these ideas, and the sense that I'm discovering something so wonderful and powerful and new... I wish that I could express just how excited I am about this more effectively, but I'm not quite there yet.

Welcome to the forum, and good luck with your journey.

Thank you, l wish the same to you.

Seb.

Edited by Sebastián

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The basis for getting a tattoo is just to have a reminder of something important to you.

Agreed. I'm getting "The Punisher" skull on my back, similiar to this:

punisher_tattoo_070103.jpg

I've been a life-long Punisher fan, but it's mostly for symbolic/personal reasons. The skull represents great pain/struggle, and the placement on my back is (obviously) me overcoming it :o)

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I lean towards the enhancement of the beautiful human body. But, like any art, it can be good, or it can be VERY BAD. It is dependant on the artist, and on the judgement of those getting them. I'd love to get a tattoo someday. Something simple, nice and reflecting of my values. I never understood why some people have gotten their ENTIRE bodies covered in them (though, it's their choice), but I love see some people with the neatest back tattoos that are just a painting. And sometimes, a small one can bring out other natural features in a person, just like wearing certain clothes.

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Well, here is the first stage of my first tattoo.

It me a reminder of a couple things;

1) Though it likely offers no similarity in appearance, it reminds me of Galt's motor (and of man's achievement in transportation in general).

2) More obviously, it commemorates the passion I have for motorcycling. The engine is a Harley Twin Cam 88 (which is what my motorcycle has).

As I said, this is the first stage and only shows the lines. My next session (after some healing) will consist of shading the tattoo (which should really bring out the character and detail of the engine.) The tattoo is located on my upper right arm. The round air cleaner cover (upper center circle) is not typical of this engine, but represents the custom air cleaner cover I have on my bike. Typically, they are oval-shaped.

The discomfort was sufficiently built up by my friends that when the tattooist started, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't that bad. I typically have a low pain threshold.

enginetat.jpg

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I think the permanency of the tattoo (short of laser removal) might attest to the individual's commitment toward what the image contains.

That is exactly what a tattoo should be for and represent. I only have two and they are not visible when I have a shirt on, nor would I want a tattoo to be. For me they represent something personnal that I value/valued at one point in my life and are in a sense, timeless, at least to me.

th_lestroseavsommer.jpg

Last Rose of Summer....

Edited by jws1776

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It's my understanding that most people who get multiple chinese characters, that also don't speak the language, end up writing nonsense on their bodies.

Not necessarily nonsense, but generally grammatically or structurally awkward. I can usually guess at what it's supposed to mean, it's just not said in a way that a Chinese speaker would normally say it.

I've seen some pretty bad Chinese tattoos though. Sometimes it's written wrong - probably done by a shitty tattoo artist. Other times though it's out right strange -- like this guy I saw who had "massive diarrhea" written on his neck. It's just like... WTF?

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Can we just all agree that the 'mystical' Chinese (or Japanese, or whatever) symbols are pretty damn stupid and mean absolutely nothing to anyone, and are, quite frankly, ugly? And the standard-issue rose on the ankle, or butterfly on the back, etc, are so completely overdone as to be laughable.

I don't know what you mean by "mystical". Most Chinese or Japanese characters I've seen are generic things like "Strength", "Courage", "Beauty", "Family", or whatever. There's really nothing mystical about that. They certainly mean something to the guy that got the tattoo, not to mention anyone that can read it.

As for ugliness -- it certainly can be. But it can also be very well done. I'm not sure if you have to know Chinese to distinguish good calligraphy from bad calligraphy. I didn't think so, but perhaps for some people that is the case.

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Gin    0
Can we just all agree that the 'mystical' Chinese (or Japanese, or whatever) symbols are pretty damn stupid and mean absolutely nothing to anyone, and are, quite frankly, ugly?

I am somewhat amused that my first post on this forum is about tattoos! Let's jump in, shall we?!

I have three tattoos, all of which were deliberately chosen after a great deal of contemplation. One of my tattoos is a kanji (Japanese writing). However, unlike the assertion in the above quotation, this makes perfect sense for me as I am a 27 year veteran of Karate-do (a Japanese form of martial arts). As well, the translation is extremely meaningful to me -- it was meaningful yesterday, it is meaningful today, and it will continue to be meaningful to me until the day that I die. As well, the tattoo artist used a brush stroke, making the kanji sufficiently appear as calligraphy. It is beautiful.

I wear my values on my skin, as I do in my words and actions. They are positive values expressed consistently. Therefore, according to my view of human life, my tattoos are moral.

This is not to say that there are not situations in which getting a tatoo is immoral. I am related to a woman who "collects" tattoos because she believes that they are "cool." She walks into a tattoo parlor, picks a picture that will either offend people or make her, in her mind, come across as a bad*ss. There is no positive, evaluative reasoning to her choices. According to my view of the world, this is immoral because she is acting destructively rather than constructively.

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Well, this is a really old topic but I'll throw in my .02 cents.

I have a single tattoo of the symbol of my Jiu-jitsu school which was designed by my sensi, a close personal friend. I chose to put the symbol inside a sun burst (only in Black). They school symbol itself looks like a stylized throwing star with three points symbolizing the Mind, the Body and the Spirit.

I got the Tattoo at the age of 38 after considerable thought was put into both the design and the subject. It is a representation of (at that time) over 15 years of dedication to Jiu-Jitsu and homage to all I had learned through it, about myself and about the art.

I have never regretted getting my tatt.

Aesthetically I believe that tattoos are as valid a form of art as any other, and just like any other they run the gamut from the beautiful to the bizarre to the disgusting and degrading. In my opinion what makes them trash or treasure is the same as any other art. The skill of the artist, the subject and how it is treated.

A friend of mine passed on his rules of tattoos, no names, no skulls, no snakes and no swords. They still make sense to me :o

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I am seriously considering getting a tattoo of my favorite band's logo, as they pulled me through some really tough times and changed the way I write and listen to music significantly. I'll keep you guys posted if it happens.

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I guess I stick to science with mine. Can't go wrong there. I have three. An Atom with electrons orbiting, a double helix wrapped around my arm, and a nice little spiral galaxy in between my shoulder blades.

Although they mean so much to me and always will, I still have a hard time explaining them to people..."so you're like, a science guy or something?"

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I understand that this is your opinion, however i noticed somethings that worried me. (specifically reasons for your reasoning)

I apologize in advanced for anything i wrote that came off as pretentious or offensive. I tend to get worked up over nothing...

I admit, I can't completely back up that statement. To me it is just obvious. The implications of that last sentence notwithstanding. I should have stated it as my opinion, but then that's also obvious.

Something being obvious is no reason for its authenticity or argumentative value. Just because some people think its obvious that God exists, does not make it so.

You also wrote that you were new to objectivism. I think your perception of what objectivism is a little off. For instance you wrote:

To me the why and what of tattooing are completely irrelevant. I believe that tattoing is a tribal practice that should have no place in a civilized society. I belive that tattoing is... :sigh: completely irrational.

First of all, objectivism values the individual. What i do, i do for myself. In which case wether or not something is valued in society should mean absolutely nothing. And even if you didn't agree with that, what influence would societies values place on you? Is it to a point that you wouldn't dare do things considered taboo? Are you honestly so narrow minded and sheep-like that you wouldn't dare do anything other than conform? While the argument that getting a tattoo is in itself a way of conforming, i was referring to the idea that tattoos are primitive, or uncivilized.

I wonder why it is that tattoos are mostly popular with gang members and drug addicts. I wish that someone would come and help me back up these statements. I'm sure that many objectivists object to tattooing on the same grounds as I.

this is ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE! while a large percentage of prison populations are tattooed, they are but a minority in the world of tattoos. Fathers, mothers, teachers, professors, soldiers, construction workers, lawyers, doctors, priests, police officers, senators, presidents, shaman, and many MANY others. To say that tattoos are mostly popular with gang members and drug addicts is SUCH an ignorant statement to make... The only association whatsoever between crime and tattooing is the false association that people like you seem to hold as the truth.

But, the main reason that they disgust me so much, is that they are a violation, in my opinion, of the human body. The human body is beautiful all by itself, it doesn't need to be defaced in such a way, to do that to a human body is in my opinion, and I'm sure in the opinion of many others, immoral. It disturbs me in the same way as graffiti, in the same way as trash. I suppose in the same way that Howard Roark was offended when classical accents were added to a model of one of his creations.

If you feel that your body is beautiful as it is, than by all means keep it that way. Its hard for me to understand why you could consider it disgusting, or immoral. When it honestly comes down to it... why do you even care! You can say, "well its just my opinion..." NO! THAT DOESNT MEAN ANYTHING! Because YOUR opinion causes you to walk around with your nose held high, acting indifferent to those that you feel are doing things that are immoral. You look down on tattoos the SAME way some cultures look down on helping the weak. While that comparison may be it a stretch, it shows that some opinions create nothing but negativity.

If there were a God, I believe he'd be offended by tattoos. I am serious here, and I am seriously debating this point. If I have made any errors, please point them out to me. What could possibly justify such a masochistic marring of the human body?

oh please. if there were a god he wouldn't deal with something as pointless and insignificant as tattoos. I can understand the logic behind your statement however, in that we are disfiguring something he created... but look at it this way. HES GOD! do you think he gives a shit! he snaps his ethereal fingers and low and behold! All the laws of this universe are reversed, all physical matter ceases to exist, or the dawn of a new civilization rises. God is so utterly beyond the injection of ink into skin that may potentially not even exists, you dont even know.

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I think if i ever got a tattoo it would be of one of the things that I am passionate about and will always be passionate about. Maybe as a way to commemorate it becoming a large part of my life. For example I am an engineering student and when I create something that is mine and if a great product of my mind I will probably commemorate my love of engineering and my value for it.

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The main difference I see between a necklace charm or some type of momento and a tattoo is that a tattoo is permanent. What importance, if any, does that have?

I love my tattoos - I chose them for things that will always be important to me. For example, I have an island scene on my chest, right side. It's a symbol of Objectivism (and note that I got the tattoo before I thought up my online nic.)

I also have a pineapple on my left arm, a symbol of healthy eating and a lifelong commitment to it.

The other two tattoos I have were "test pieces" to see how I liked having tats. They aren't very visible.

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Pretty cool, RB, big improvement over "Stage 1." I like the idea of having a motor tattooed on one's arm. ... That is, I like your tattoo!

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I've thought heavily about getting a tattoo, my stipulations have always been, however, that it would be my own design (it seems foolish to put someone else's design permanently on my body), and that it would be a glorification of what I believe.

I don't necessarily think that tattoos are bad, and though I understand the arguments that a tattoo destroys the inherent beauty of the human body, I find them to be a little...shallow, for lack of a better word. If a tattoo pays tribute to the human body, and is placed and designed with respect to the form of the human body, it can be perfectly fine. After all, a tattoo placed with respect to the aesthetic form of the body is a compliment to its natural form, as it takes the natural form into account, and is not a tarnish.

I also understand the argument that it is a primitive activity, however, simply because it is primitive does not make it unreasonable. The concept of language is a primitive one, however, it is perfectly reasonable (based on its necessity for communication). The concept of faith, on the other hand, is primitive, though it is unreasonable, for obvious reasons. As an artist and photographer, I see myself as a canvas, as well as what surrounds me. Tattooing serves as an excellent method of filling that canvas.

I've come up with a few concepts, though I find this (see attached) to be the most interesting, though it could stand to be a little more organic. I plan to have it on my back.

post-6708-1245275987_thumb.jpg

Edited by Zach Beale

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Well, I have no rational arguments for my dislike of tattos other than the empiric evidence that everyone I've met with a tatoo is either very suicidally depressed, a hardcore drug addict, or both. Of course I don't meet too many people, and most belong to a culture that used to have a religion that forbids them. Ayn Rand and Peikoff were born into that same culture.

The only rational argument I have in favor of tatoos, (it applies more to piercings though, which I equally dislike) might be the Transhumanist especulations which would validate modifying the human body for the better but more importantly for a purpose greater in value than a piece of the largest and amazingly complex, delicate and miraculous organ that is the human skin.

Also, those with tatoos will never get into a Japanese Waterpark with all the joy that entails. Your loss.

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Also, those with tatoos will never get into a Japanese Waterpark with all the joy that entails.

Well we can't have gangsters in the water parks, can we? Not even if they're teenage white girl fresh off the plane Yakuza members.

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I have four tattoos

A is A on my inner arm,

A dollar sign behind my ear

cheshire cat on my shoulder

and the Swahili sign for "Hakuna Matata"

I personally love body mods, but I can't stand people that tattoo a dragon or butterfly. It's pointless.

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I personally love body mods, but I can't stand people that tattoo a dragon or butterfly. It's pointless.

What is the point of tattoos?

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It's to decorate your body, by art that means something to you.

In many cultures tattoos are also symbols for class and position, or a change you've made in life.or even a bond between people [not that I agree with this reasons]

I am from Israel, in my family and according to the Jewish religion we are not allowed to have them, but I don't care. I love my tattoos

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