Tag: <span>Electric Michelangelo</span>

I’ve just finished reading “The Electric Michelangelo” which follows the life of a tattoo artist. More about the book later, but I’d like to pull a quote from the novel:

“Tattooing distresses those it does because it’s as generous as a whore on her birthday. It’s human art that you can’t peel back off the human or put away in a dresser drawer… it’s personal socialism. Everyone’s included, everyone gets to look in to a person and share them, like what they see or not. A tattoo says more of a fellow looking at it that it can do of the man who’s got it on his back.”

I’ve written about tattoos before but this book gave me pause to re-consider my opinions. Believe it or not I’m still not totally sure WHY I got tattoos. There was certainly an element of rebellion to the decision, not to mention a large desire to change people’s opinion of me (ohh so young, so naive), and if pushed I’d admit that I like the reaction I get when people discover that I – stereotypical, middle-class “nice guy” me – have tattoos.

Over time my view of them has changed somewhat, the initial excitement soon wore off and I began to get increasingly annoyed at people asking to see them. It was around that time that I realised that I didn’t get tattoos to show off but for myself as an effort to express my own individuality even though I was only expressing it to myself. Nowadays of course that’s a little like wearing jeans as an act of rebellion, but as it’s ten years since I got them I’ve had plenty of time to realise that that sentiment is both flawed and completely accurate at the same time.

Now, don’t get me wrong, whilst I’m a fan of tattoos and body modification to an extent I do think it can be taken too far, and can begin to look unsightly but equally I say each to their own, and you never know how short life will be. I wonder what tattoo I would get if I got one today?

What say you? Tattoos – good or bad, ugly or art?

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You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?
Not any of the ones that are incinerated. Simple really.

OHH not LITERALLY, but literaturally? (ohhh I just invented a word, ohh, no I didn’t). Anyway, I’d choose to be Mowgli in the Jungle Book. Why? Because of the songs of course (whaddya mean there are no songs in the book!!)

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
Possibly Smilla from Miss Smilla’s Sense of Snow, or Gill Templeton from the Rebus novels, but nothing significant as yet.

The last book you bought is?
The Electric Michelangelo by Sarah Hall. Not read it, and only bought it as I’ve been thinking about getting another tattoo at some point. Never heard of it before either so very much an impulse buy. I have to admit that I do occasionally buy books “by the cover” and I’ve yet to be disappointed.

What are you currently reading?
Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee. I normally have two or three books going at at time, but as I’m trying to actually FINISH some of the books I start I thought I’d stick with the tried and tested, one at a time method. It’s working so far.
I’m enjoying this book more than I thought I would if I’m honest, which is good because it was recommended by… er… dammit… memory like a … thingy… you know… fins… water…

Five books you would take to a deserted island
1. HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (a Trilogy in Four Five parts) – funny, makes you think, and would allow me to drift off into imaginary worlds.
2. How to get off a desert island.

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
No-one as a meme is a self-propagating unit of cultural evolution (and I’m lazy).


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