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new song we’ve been playing ;) thanks steven!

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Anonymous said: Hi, is there still a risk if you get one of these tattoos? are some desigins ok such as the cats?


Yes, it is ‘still’ a risk. This is a culture that has been ‘perceptible’ to those outside of it for a century but is no doubt much older, even perceivably innocuous symbols have a meaning you wouldn’t want. Cats aren’t just ‘cute’ nor are they just about ‘love’. You’re marking yourself as a member of a society you don’t belong to, often as a thief showing their skills to anyone who knows - they do this knowing an ‘authority’ can oblige them to work.

There are plenty of shit, ignorant, pig-hearted and dog-brained tattoo-artists that are more than willing to tattoo you if you’d like to pay someone money to be their chump.

I don’t have the final say, I can’t tell you whether it is okay or not because I don’t dictate where you will go, and who will see you.

I’ve heard stories of westerners being questioned over their tattoos, of some being beaten up - this is in the west, in the UK & US.

tbh to anyone asking, if you want one, get one - the only people who would actually want one are ignorant middle-class bourgeois perma-children looking for edge and a rather pathetic consumption of culture, as if it’s some product a style mag has said is hot this season [IN: vor tattoos, quinoa, keffiyehs OUT: macaroons, bubble tea, Día de Muertos tattoos].

With cold honesty, the idea of some British Home Counties 2 Shoreditch tosser getting his head kicked in over it doesn’t bother me. Want one? Get one. If you’re all delusional enough to think you’re anything other than anaemic, powerless lemmings wasting lives in the belly of neocolonial states in their dying throes with your effete preening of artificial, store-bought masculinity and authenticity, knock yourself out. Rock ‘em at your interview for an unpaid internship in some new media project while you repeat some Jon Stewart scripted ‘point from the heart’ as your own opinion.

If you haven’t guessed, I’m sick of this question. If you’d want one, get one, because you’re probably the sort of person that needs someone to knock your teeth out.

Ultimately, I think it’s really sad. Go discover yourself. These say nothing of you, nor will they ever. Some impoverished, starved prisoner’s gulag tattoo over a lost love they know they will never see again doesn’t cover your life or feelings. A tattoo inspired by someone documented in a gulag, who ended up raped and buried alive in icy tundra over a petty debt isn’t appropriate. Anyone who knows the realities of the gulag system, will know it is as inappropriate to ape as a holocaust tattoo. Nor was typical Russian prison life, be it Tsarist, Soviet, or more recent, any less inappropriate. Please, explore your inner space, stop trying to fill it with things from outside of you that are exotic enough for you to think they might be what you need, nothing will be. Not the Día de Muertos tattoos, not the keffiyehs, not the vor aesthetic. Your cultural emptiness has you at its root, things you see in magazines or books won’t fill it.

I apologise for the length and the harshness of this, it’s not necessarily directed at your message, but at the actual dozens sitting in my inbox asking ‘can I have this one?’ ‘can I have that one?’ as if I run a macabre sweet shop.

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Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The Fight Between Carnival and Lent. 1559. 

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