Category Archives: tattoos

Fuck off

These words, writes Dalrymple, are

the chief motto of British service industries.

They are also chosen, he points out, by

a surprisingly large number of auto-tattooists for the exercise of their dermatographical art.

He recalls a patient who

had the two words tattooed in mirror writing upon his forehead, no doubt that he might read them in the bathroom mirror every morning and be reminded of the vanity of earthly concerns.

Suitable applicant for a post in the British service industries

The seemingly minor social phænomenon of tattooing affords us, says Dalrymple,

a little glimpse into the Hobbesian moral world inhabited by a section of the population with whom we normally have little contact: they actually want to be considered psychopathic.

Moreover, we must not discriminate against someone who has Fuck off tattooed on his forehead. Dalrymple notes that

prudence is a virtue and used to be considered one of the cardinal virtues. No longer.

We have become so individualistic that

we claim the right to behave any way we like without any consequences for ourselves. A man may tattoo Fuck off on his forehead and then claim to have been discriminated against when he is refused a job serving the public.

Hmm

There are, Dalrymple admits,

many things that I don’t understand, for example why intelligent people should want a tattoo.

Dalrymple lands in England

Disembarking after the Channel crossing, Dalrymple notices that large numbers of young Englishwomen

have facial expressions simultaneously ovine and lupine, and bare their pudgy midriffs, with a tattooed lizard or butterfly for individuality.

They are, he says,

fried food and alcoholic Friday nights made flesh.

British vulgarity, he observes,

enters the fabric of life and seems to omit no detail.

Dalrymple walks into a small supermarket, where a spotty youth addresses him as ‘mate’. Dalrymple demands that the youth not address him thus. The cur returns

a look of sullen malevolence.

On the train, an 11-year-old girl, in tight pink leggings, keeps her feet and shoes securely on the seat next to her, under the gaze of her mother, who is tattooed, pierced in the nose and lower lip, and eating crisps. The girl’s six-year-old brother has already had his ear pierced, and wears a diamante stud in it. Dalrymple comments:

It is never too early for the English to teach their offspring vulgarity.

Vulgarity, says Dalrymple,

has its place as a counterweight to pretension, of course.

But

as a ruling national characteristic it is charmless, stupid and without virtue.

He suspects that it is connected with

the equality that we feel it necessary to pretend is our ruling political passion. Since economic equality is no longer deemed desirable, the only other equality possible is that of cultural mores; and since it is much easier to level down than up (which, after all, was once the Labour party’s aim), the middle classes can best express their political virtue by embracing and promoting the vulgarity that they assume — wrongly — was the only cultural characteristic of the proletariat.

The problem with adopting such a pose

is that if you keep it up long enough it ceases to be merely a pose. It is what you are: in the case of the English, vulgar.

A Mussolinian end for Erdoğan

That is what a friend of Dalrymple’s foresees. But Dalrymple points out that

a bad end is often also a bad beginning.

At Istanbul Atatürk Airport, Dalrymple finds the crowd

very interesting to observe.

On the one hand

are the women who are dressed in a strange fashion that I have not noticed anywhere else in the Muslim world: a kind of long and shapeless gabardine sack of the most negative possible allure in the dullest of shades, that of concrete in the rain, that makes women look like a harvest of potatoes. By comparison with this, the burqa is attractive and elegant.

On the other hand

are the young men and women bearing tattoos. There has been a sudden explosion in their numbers: I noticed an increase in the last year alone since I was last there.

What is happening? Dalrymple says:

It looks as if people are digging themselves into one of two incompatible identities, rather as they seem to be doing in many other countries. I sense that it will end badly.

A person who treats his face and body like an ironmongery store

Such a creature, writes Dalrymple,

can hardly desire or expect that you fail to notice it.

However, at the same time, he

demands that you make no comment about it, draw no conclusions from it, express no aversion towards it, and treat him no differently because of it. You must accept him as he is, however he is, because he has an inalienable right to such acceptance.

How we’ll beat the bombers

Two well-meaning organisations launched by Dalrymple have so far shown themselves to be lamentable failures: the Society for the Suppression of Humbug (SSH) and the Society for the Suppression of Rock Music (SSRM).

But the doctor-writer is hoping for greater success with his latest venture, Tattoos Against Terrorism (TAT). The new movement, he writes,

could be the start of something big. If anything could convince the Islamic suicide bombers of the superiority of the Western way of life, with its fundamental freedoms, surely TAT could.

Hopeless, stagnant Britain

screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-23-14-04On the train to the airport in England, and at the airport itself, Dalrymple sees a population that strikes him as

more militantly ugly and unintelligent than any other known to me, one that consumes without discrimination and enjoys without taste.

With regard to ugliness, he writes,

it added to whatever ugliness nature had bestowed upon it by refusing to wear any clothes that might lend it any dignity, choosing apparel that accentuated its natural unattractiveness. Grossly fat slobs insisted on wearing figure-hugging T-shirts that did not quite meet the tops of the shorts that exposed their fat white tattooed calves, exposing their repellent midriffs to the appalled gaze of the minimally sensitive.

Of the women, he says,

it would be kinder not to speak; suffice it to say that they made the men look like Beau Nash or Beau Brummel.

The taste of the British in everything from food to music and clothes

is base, vulgar, stupid, and crude.

Dalrymple notes that it is not that they know no better—innocent vulgarity can be amusing and even refreshing—but that

they know better and reject and hate it.

They refuse to aspire to what is better,

and try to intimidate others into abandoning it, with some success.

The productivity of such a nation, Dalrymple points out,

is unlikely to rise very fast or far. It will be lucky if in the modern world, with so much competition, it achieves stagnation.

England fans should be turned back at the border

England 1 Iceland 2

England 1 Iceland 2

Dalrymple was pleased when Portugal won the European Cup. He writes:

I would have preferred it to be Liechtenstein or San Marino, or best of all Vatican City. But at least Portugal is not a large country.

He says that as a patriotic Englishman, he was

delighted when Iceland defeated England. Everyone likes an underdog.

Moreover,

anything that humiliates, crushes mentally, and causes misery to the beer-bellied, shaven-headed, and tattooed English football supporters is a blow for civilisation. If there are more unattractive people in the world than these supporters I do not know them. If we lived in a sensible world, such people would be on sight automatically denied entry to all foreign countries.

The white peril

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 11.49.13England football fans

It is association football time yet again, says Dalrymple, and

apparently it is to last several weeks — though probably not for England, who are not usually very good and can be relied upon to put in a poor performance and exit at the early stages of any competition.

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 11.55.54

Rei (wisdom of God). Ki (life force). Available on the NHS for repatriate England supporters who are experiencing post-riot trauma, reiki promotes healing of wounds sustained at the hands of Russian or other fans. It is administered by laying latex-gloved-hands on the beer belly, and is based on the idea that an unseen life force flows through the England fan and is what causes him to be alive. If the football supporter’s life force is low, he is more likely to feel stress, with violent consequences

Tattooed, beer-bellied, ugly, sunburnt and drunken England fans have, he reports, been rioting in Marseilles,

a city not much given to sentimentality when it comes to the treatment of the ill-behaved.

The French police, Dalrymple notes,

had helmets, an open invitation to violence.

He says the trauma for the England fans is such that they may require reiki therapy.

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 12.26.15Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 12.27.24ff

Uncouth chic

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 13.53.48Professional soccer players, Dalrymple points out, are drawn

from the class adjacent to the underclass, into which downward slippage is all too easy.

But in the past,

those who managed to escape their lowly origins usually aspired to be taken for bona fide members of the middle classes by conforming their conduct to middle-class standards.

No longer. Newfound wealth imposes no obligation to change one’s ways. Violent and despicable public conduct results

neither in legal sanction, social ostracism, nor even strong disapproval.

In England,

the direction of cultural aspiration has reversed: it is the middle classes that aspire to be taken for their social inferiors, an aspiration that (in their opinion) necessitates misconduct.

Young middle-class women proudly sport tattoos, for example,

as badges of antinomian defiance, of intellectual independence, and of identification with the supposedly downtrodden—if not of the entire world, then at least of our inner cities.

Advertising

glamorises the underclass way of life and its attitude towards the world. A new style has been invented.