You Are All Diseased.

Several thousand people have sent in this article over the last few weeks, and with good reason: It is, in every way, the absolute nadir of mainstream media coverage of modified people, written by a stupid man who is entirely committed to his thoroughly unenlightened views. Which is not to say he’s not entitled to them — by all means, hate to your heart’s content! — and it’s not that he’s stupid because of his views, but rather because his views seem static; he’s counted out the possibility of ever wavering on his ideas about tattooed people.

In previous instances of this sort of post, I’ve looked at articles by smart people (Jason Whitlock) and innocent, dumb-yet-harmless people (Sarah Robbins). Those are fun because the authors, though misguided, seem to be of a mindset that allows for the evolution of thought; Paul Carpenter is just hateful, and critiquing his silly missive would be akin to flogging the gaping asshole of a very dead horse.

But you know what? While recuperating from BMEfest and ModProm the other day, I was playing with my 11-year-old dog, and she started walking on just her hind legs while begging for a treat; to my knowledge, she’d never done this before. And you know what? It made me rethink my decision to not give Carpenter the benefit of the doubt. I mean, I figure he has to be at least half as smart as my dog, and if she can learn a new trick, maybe there’s hope for this old coot yet.

So, I relent. Let’s dive into this rotten ruby of the Internet, FJM-style:

Disfigured skin points where culture is going

I bet it does, Carpsy. I fucking bet it does.

You can tell where a culture is headed by examining whom its members seek to emulate.

Oh, sweet synecdoche! Of all the issues with this sentence, the largest is probably that it adheres to the antiquated notion of “culture” as Just One Thing. Which, of course, is problematic, especially when speaking of modern Western culture, which is, at this point, a glorious amalgamation of too many cultural movements to count. And culture, of course, is fluid: To suggest that it is going in a single direction is not just silly, it’s an impossible assertion.

But go on.

Just a few centuries ago, there was a culture still mired in the Stone Age, with no written language, no science, no math, no architecture, no nothing requiring thought. Its members had not even managed to invent the wheel.

But the proud residents of Lehigh Valley, PA, home of The Morning Call, resisted the urge to return to the muck whence they came, and now enjoy such modern treats as running water, paved roads and delicious Hungry Man Dinners! (Check the back page for coupons!)

That culture’s only contribution to the world was the decorative ”tatu.” In most other parts of the ancient world, tattoos were disfigurements used only to identify criminals or slaves.

Oh. I guess you weren’t talking about Lehigh Valley, PA, home of The Morning Call. Well, at any rate, claiming that something is bad because it was once used to identify criminals or slaves is hardly an indictment of its modern applications. Australia was once literally nothing but a home for England’s criminals, and look at it now! It’s well upon its way to becoming a legitimate, respectable country. Keep hope alive, Aussies! Yes you can!

Now that Polynesians can read, use wheels, count and appreciate musical instruments other than drums, they’ve advanced to a point where most of them have abandoned tattoos.

Yeah, stupid indigenous tribes! It’s about time you got mothafuckin’ Imperialized®! Put down that shitty drum, quit tattooing each other, have a cheeseburger and listen to the dulcet sounds of Michael McDonald.

Also, reading, wheeling, counting and music have fucking nothing to do with tattoos.

But go on.

As one culture ascends, it seems, another declines.

“Culture” is not a zero-sum game. Not even close. Insane argument.

This week, we learned that 36 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 have tattoos. It was just last year The Morning Call reported that 16 percent of all Americans were thusly self-mutilated.

Really? I thought those numbers would have been higher, to be honest. Come on, culture! Get with the times!

The sight of Mike Tyson’s gorgeous artwork, no doubt, has persuaded millions to flock to tattoo joints. Or maybe it’s the growing popularity of ”mixed martial arts” bloodfests, which put tattooed subhumans into cages to brutalize each other.

Mike Tyson has long been considered a world-class crazy-person and, your sweet sarcasm aside, I highly doubt that anyone has ever looked at him and thought, “You know what, bra? Right after I get done raping my wife, bra, I am totally gonna get some sweet tribal ink right on my face. Shit’s gonna be epic, bra.”

As for inexplicably lumping in mixed martial arts, psst! Your crotchety-old-man-osity is showing.

”Proud parents bear tattoos honoring their kids,” said a headline over Monday’s story.

True story: My dad got his first tattoo when he was 55, a piece he designed himself, with my brothers’ and my initials as the centerpieces. It’s awesome, and about as surprising a move as one could expect from a man who, when a teenaged me would come home with new piercings, would often respond with a succinct, “Ugh! Disgusting!” See? Evolution of thought. My dad’s a smart guy.

”You’ll never find a more meaningful tattoo than one for your kids,” said Kiel Ferrari, described as an ”artist” at the Minds Eye Tattoo in Emmaus. (I also have seen graffiti vandals described as ”artists.”)

I’ve seen columnists for The Morning Call described as “writers,” too. Fucking weird.

And look, I think graffiti is largely pretty disrespectful, but that doesn’t mean it’s not occasionally well done and pleasant to look at. Everything is not binary — things can embody more than one set of traits concurrently. I can enjoy the work of Wagner without goose-stepping around my apartment in tribute, my status as a self-loathing Jew notwithstanding.

Along with the story, there were photographs of bodies mutilated with hideous ”artwork.” One was of an arm with a truly unfortunate depiction of a child’s face. I am sure the real child is cute; no child could actually be that homely.

There are lots of bad tattoos.

On the very same day that our eyes were insulted by those vulgar photos, the paper ran another story elsewhere, plugging the premier showing of a new television program about the joys of prostitution.

So, you’re upset because a newspaper was … reporting … news?

I can’t say I’m an expert on prostitution. I’m too parsimonious to gain first-hand knowledge. (Stories on Eliot Spitzer’s $4,300 dalliances nearly gave me apoplexy.)

Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

Nonetheless, I’ve said a lot about both prostitution and tattoos, which, come to think of it, always seem to go together.

Wait, what? Why? Since when? Because you said so? Is there some overlap between tattoos and prostitution? Sure, because tattoos overlap with everything. To say they “always seem to go together,” though?

… Go on.

No one can deny that the heaviest concentrations of tattoos occur in the lowest segments of society — prostitutes, pimps, pugs, prison inmates, Ku Klux Klansmen and the members of street and motorcycle gangs.

I spend about 17 hours a day in front of my computer on the Internet. I’m almost always reading something. I’ve read a lot of dumb things. And yet, I feel comfortable saying that the above paragraph makes the Top Five Dumbest Things Jordan Has Ever, Ever Read on the Internets. Holy fucking fuck. If only black street gangs and the KKK knew how much they had in common!

Now, according to this week’s story, 36 percent of young people have decided to emulate such lowlifes.

“Emulate” typically means to imitate. Simply doing something that other people do is not “emulation” unless it is consciously done as a form of imitation. Guys in prison exercise all the time — are health nuts just emulating the prison population? Are hateful idiots who write absurd, pointless missives in their own low-rate local papers emulating you?

And some news media want to glamorize them.

Reporting does not equal glamorizing. If you were a professional writer, you would know this. Just because you have concocted the most specious of reasoning to link prostitution (and, by extension, gang members and the KKK — God, what a crazy fucking sentence that is) and tattoos does not mean that a single news feature covering parents who get tribute tattoos for their children is somehow indicative of a massive trend towards “glamorizing” tattooed people.

Do not glamorize accomplishment. Do not glamorize intelligence, insight or integrity. Don’t glamorize courage, generosity, leadership, skill or diligence. Such qualities are for nerds. By all means, glamorize pimps, prostitutes and those who emulate them. That is the future of America’s culture.

OK, I’ll admit one thing that impressed me about this paragraph: That is one hell of a straw man you’ve crafted there, Carpsy. Seriously, take a bow. And then, while you’re down there, go fuck yourself.

Aware of how some of these devoted self-mutilators are going to react, I am compelled to emphasize that I do not favor any restrictions on personal behavior. If an idiot wants to get a tattoo, he or she should be free to do so. I just think responsible news media organizations should not glamorize them. What’s next? Glamorizing child molesters or kluxers?

This is exactly why I hesitated to comment on this article — this very line. What’s the point of engaging a person who comfortably lumps together tattooed people with rapists and racists? It’s not even detestable as much as it is pitiable — it’s actually kind of unbelievable that this sort of delusion still exists, much less finds a publisher.

But then, this article was never about tattooed people at all, nor was it even a requiem for a culture the author feels has wandered off the noble path: It is the sad admission of a man whose own obstinacy has prevented him from relating in any meaningful way to the world around him. It is not an indictment of the so-called “culture,” but rather a cautionary tale about the fate of the mind that outright rejects the wonders of a dynamic approach to learning and personal growth. Not that body modification (or the appreciation of it) is necessary to be a happy and well adjusted person — not by any means. But to be repulsed by it on such bizarre terms?

Carpenter has conflated all the things that he does not enjoy or understand in an attempt to simplify his life, but in doing so, he’s become a more confused and depressing man than ever.

Carpenter’s initial column garnered so much mail that he wrote a follow-up. With much apprehension, I’ll tackle that one shortly.

187 thoughts on “You Are All Diseased.

  1. Well… first I got angry, then as I read more I thought the guy was so hilariously stupid that I nearly fell of my chair laughing. Now I feel sorry for Paul Carpenter; he’s just an insignificant bigoted little shit writing rubbish for a provincial newspaper and is to be pitied rather than hated. I wonder if he’s secretly jealous of modified folk because he lacks the courage to get a tattoo or a piercing.

  2. Thank you Jordan, for making me laugh so hard. it was a good pick me up after reading such a ridiculous article.

  3. The stupidity just astounds. Makes you want to pat him on the head and take his pen away before telling him to run along and play with the other kids in the park. Wait, don’t play with the other kids; they’d probably kick your ass.

  4. Oh wow, it really seems liek this person got mad, mad some associations between things he didn’t like and pointe and use it as a skape goat. Great… this level of idiocy never lead to anything good, especially when other people with his mental cappacity followed. It really seems like a uninfome, ignorant grudge, it should have stayed that, and nothing more. I always woner, if these people would have spent the same aount of time looking at well rounded information on teh internet for example about tattoos, he woudl have done eveyone a favor. I bet if he googled all this he used keywords such as “Tattooos hate mutilations crime prostitution gang rape”. Unbelievable.

  5. My word! Jordan, can I send every article I read to be reviewed by you? My life would be THAT much more hilarious.

    I reckon the comments are more fucked than the article though… Gems like:

    “why disfigure yourself for attention?”
    “I especially like the huge spools that (mostly) young men put in their ear lobes. What is with that? Is it a self esteem issue, mental illness, a sense of style gone awry, what?”
    and, of course, who can forget classics like:
    “People with tattoos are nothing but attention starved idiots….”hey everybody PLEASE look at me” …and for the people that have ones that nobody else can see, well, they are just plain idiots.”

  6. After reading that article nearly a week ago, I felt compelled to not only comment on the webpage where it was featured, but to e-mail the author as well. I never received a reply (which did not surprise me) but I felt better knowing that I stood up against such blatant ignorance.

  7. “the heaviest concentrations of tattoos occur in the lowest segments of society”. You can’t get lower than a journalist.

  8. Quote: It’s well upon its way to becoming a legitimate, respectable country. Keep hope alive, Aussies! Yes you can!

    Whats wrong with Australia? I like it here! I didn’t know we were ‘on our way’ to becoming a legitimate respectable country.. I thought we were one..

  9. Oh of course this asshat is writing in my local paper. Sigh… So glad I don’t bother to read the newspaper or watch the TV news anymore, there is no room for free thought there anymore.

  10. I got half way through this article and it made me sick to my stomache.

    I’m all for free speech, but it’s these fear mongers that are at the root of our cultural ruin.

  11. “I can’t say I’m an expert on prostitution. I’m too parsimonious to gain first-hand knowledge. (Stories on Eliot Spitzer’s $4,300 dalliances nearly gave me apoplexy.)”

    Dude seriously said that he didn’t have first hand knowledge of prostitutes because they were too expensive for his cheap ass.

    parsimonious – unwilling to spend money or use resources; stingy or frugal

  12. That man is a fucking twat. He’s basically comparing tattooed people to child molesters, and saying we are all hookers and junkies. What a narrow minded fuckwit. He’s the problem, not us. At least I can sleep easy knowing I’m less hateful and a billion times more tolerant than him.

  13. I’m not going to comment on the things he had to say, but his writing style is pretty pathetic. I can just see him in his office with a silly smirk on his face, writing out diagrams.

    “Yes, and now to use some witty sarcasm to further ridicule these…mutants…that’ll really drive the nail into the proverbial coffin…”

  14. Wow, not again. I read the Jason Whitlock article too and this one was even worse. What kind of Nazi articles are they allowing to be published these days? If you look different than the norm then you must be a criminal? Geez.

  15. A local paper printed a two page article about cleanliness of tattoo shops(almost entirely positive by the way), and featured Julia and John from Fyre Body Arts in it. They said the paper got tons of calls complaining about the idea of pictures of tattooed people in there!

    I shot this Carpenter guy an email instead of commenting. As a business owner in the exact market where his paper is distributed, and also a 23 year old tattooed person, I am curious what he thinks of my viewpoints. I was entirely decent, not attacking or even trying to make strong points. Tried to play in and hope his ego about his views makes him actually respond.

    Only attack was “You look at a tattooed person and see someone who made bad choices, or a criminal. I look at a tattooed person and see a person. Who is “de-evolving” here?”

  16. “If an idiot wants to get a tattoo, he or she should be free to do so. I just think responsible news media organizations should not glamorize them. What’s next? Glamorizing child molesters or kluxers?”
    that man sickens me.

  17. I’m of the frame of mind that even paying any attention to this only initiates more dim witted people to take this …hmmm how should I say ….. this very dated cultural view. I believe that we as the modified community stoke this fire it will only burn hotter. Reasonable intelligent people will know better and the morons can sit in what makes them comfortable.

  18. geeez jordan. i give you my respect. he must be the dumbest journalist spawned from the crusts of my shit. thnks for speaking up on behalf of us.

  19. This is revolting. What a sad excuse for sentience. Poor Darwin must be spinning in his grave knowing that his theory has just been disproved…

  20. all that i can say about this man can be devised into 5 words.
    Seriously, why not just put all people you hate into the same boat? I mean if they love there kids enough to show it to the world, they must be evil and disgusting musnt they??, If they have a larger group of friends than you and by chance dont belive that art should be refrained to the “fruit in a bowl” standerd, then by all means they must be part of some evil, brutal gang that some how magicly is imiditly involved in prostitution and rape upon the second that more than one of the said members gather.

    Whats wrong? Did your parents not love you as a child? Do you lack friends? I would not be suprised by either answer as a : no.

  21. The sad part is, I thought all those comments were bashing the guy, but it turns out the majority of them are agreeing with him.

    Haha. People are so fucking stupid. There’s no other way to describe them other than completely and utterly no-brained.

  22. oh my goodness, i saw this article about a week ago, and i was thinking about scanning it in and sending it to modblog… i thought this was rediculous…
    my dad who showed it to me said that this dude has released some similar articles, and he has in return sent some rather angry letters in response.
    i just cant grasp how ignorant this guys opinions are.

  23. I only read the first lines and immediately wanted to put this guy and his stupid article into a box and ship him to new zealand, so some of these “tattoed stoneage people” can teach him something about maori history and then kick his ass for his insulting display of their culture.

  24. The fact that he references an archaic group that presently has under 1000 members (the KKK) is ridiculous to begin with. Secondly, how the fuck does he know if they have tattoos, they wear sheets everywhere! And they are much closer to his “values” than he may care to believe. That whole article was an inflammatory, badly researched, message of ignorance and hate. I honestly cant believe people took time away from burning books to give him positive responses. Unbelievable.

  25. I had no other reaction but to laugh at this. Seriously. How in the hell else are we meant to react?

  26. part of me wants to laugh part of me wants to scream.
    ..and he wants me to believe those with tattoos are the lowest of our society?
    comical i tell you!

  27. were a bunch of fucking hot prostitutes, if prostitutes is in fact what we are.

  28. LOL this whole article cracked me up! I like this part the best…
    “No one can deny that the heaviest concentrations of tattoos occur in the lowest segments of society — prostitutes, pimps, pugs, prison inmates, Ku Klux Klansmen and the members of street and motorcycle gangs.”

    this dude musta been living in his Bomb Shelter since trhe 50′s……

  29. I want to give this man a hug… And then strangle him…

    Seriously, this is why I’m sceptical towards old people!

  30. Thank you Jordan! It’s nice to wake up and read this, my day started of with a good laugh (:
    Can’t wait for that next tackle.

  31. i left this for him to read after i read his article
    [quote]I believe this article is completely uninformed. People where i live, including me, lead very normal lives which includes having jobs and going to school. Plenty of successful people have tattoos and piercings.
    I live many of my friends have a tattoo honoring my mother. She was ecstatic when i showed her the beautiful anchor with her name underneath. I put something on my body that will be there forever, not to mention the pain i went through, to should her how much she means to me.
    We choose to express our individuality with our appearance as well as our personality. To me tattoos and piercings are just enhancing, decorating and complimenting the already perfect human body. People who have tattoos that say their gang name although i don’t encourage gangs and drug dealing or prostitution, are showing they are proud of where they belong, not that they want to scare or threaten anyone.
    I’m sorry that you feel this way about people who ‘mutilate’ their bodies. I used this metaphor when i was explaining my nose piercing to my grandparents…’What is a beautiful dress without the shoes and jewelry? Its just a dress. But with the shoes and the jewelry its a whole beautiful ensemble that people stare at.”[/quote]

  32. how excited that makes me to be from around there i cant even explain. please not the sarcasm.

  33. wow,i hope this person does not breed.what the fuck is western culture?rape, killing,and that really worth remembering.any way joke time what is the difference between white America and cottage cheese ? cottage cheese has culture.and you ripping on Polynesian playing drums that was part as there culture,and onto why they abandoned their tattoos they didnt,when the Christians took over,i mean steal their island they band tattooing,tattooing didnt get a bad rap until the western world
    started tattooing.and onto self mutilating and tattooing,in soom cases yes ,but most no.this person who wrote this is Jewish how much do you want to bet he has had his fore skin of his penis removed now to me that is self mutilation.anywat all this can from a person that stated that he sits behind a computer 17 hours a day,he should get a tattoo under his eye so i know where to hit him.

  34. #16 Tom V, I saw the comment you quoted, I think that was meant to be ironic. As far as I know everybody likes Australia =)

  35. it’s quite funny though… intolerance plus dumbness plus egomaniac plus demagogy equals unhappyness.
    I’m not really sure about if this guy have enough love and affection in his life, he should get a ton of hugs by tattoed people.

  36. I find it ironic that this “writer” denigrates the lowlives in the KKK but finds it completely okay to claim that the Polynesians are okay now that they’re “cultured” (i.e. forced into Eurocentricity and abandoning their equally-valid culture by imperialism). Racist hypocrite much?

  37. Stupid, stupid man. Such ignorance. People like him give us bad names just because of how and who we are. It’s so disgusting to me that he sat their writing this story and bringing in KKK and inmates and in the same fucking story! I would like to tattoo, “IGNORANT FUCK” on his forehead while he sleeps…

  38. prettysick said “That man is a fucking twat.” Those six words really sum it up perfectly. Thanks prettysick. prettysick is pretty perceptive. Love you.

  39. the commentary on it was seriously brilliant hahahahahahahha, especially ““You know what, bra? Right after I get done raping my wife, bra, I am totally gonna get some sweet tribal ink right on my face. Shit’s gonna be epic, bra.””

  40. An short and immature comment is all I’ve got here, But it’s damn true.

    EPIC FUCKING FAIL! (and Roo, I don’t mean you. :P)

  41. wtf is he on about?

    uneducated pollop on the face of this planet. go back and stick your head in the sand, where it has obviously been until now!

  42. I wonder if he realizes the likelihood of his doctor or lawyer being tattooed under that lab coat or suit? And the fact that one of the largest motrocycle clubs, a “low class” groups he cites, the Hell’s Angels is a registered corporation. How else can they sue Disney (twice!) and win? This is why I don’t pay attention to the news beyond the weather.

  43. This is just fucking hostile… He sounds just like one of the more moronic politicians we have here in NL, and he gets fucking sued for words that sound very much like this.

  44. Yeah Im Sure Austrialia IS A Respectable Place….That Wasn’t A Nice Thing To Say…I Hope It Was Sarcastic…

    This Guy Just Sounds Like An Old Man….

  45. What I find ironic is that it is prejudiced and ignorant viewpoints like his that led to the formation of organisations like the KKK in the first place.

  46. I bet you if that guy has kids one of them either has a hidden piercing or tattoo, or both!

    The idea that I, an educated woman, am lumped in with the likes of prostitutes and gang bangers in stupid.

    Good thing he is old and will soon die, hopefully making this world a bit of a better place.

    Also, in retaliation, I think we should send Pauly to his house, get him nice and drunk, and give him the Mike Tyson face tattoo he raves about so positively. Cause ya know, we all want one right?

  47. Wow, this guy still won’t even admit that graffiti is art…sorry Jordan, I think he’s really hopeless

  48. I, like virtually everyone on this site reading this article (presumably), agree that this article is really nothing more than prejudiced rubbish; the kind of thing that you would have thought man would have grown out of by now. However, I think that by critiquing it using swear words (not necessarily bad in themselves) to express anger or dumb-founded shock at this man’s ignorance is giving people like Carpenter ammunition. I can only imagine that the kind of people who would write an article like this would then go on to laugh at this response, which in effect represents the view point of modified people, perhaps saying that ‘swearing, cussing and modification go hand in hand’, just like rapists and modified people apparently do. I hate this article but I think that by responding like this, we are perhaps only fueling their silly little fire. Having said that, I think it’s quite hard to give an article like this a dignified response anyhow!

  49. The thing I love about that article is that website has tattoo lover ads supporting it…ironic huh?

  50. “What’s next? Glamorizing child molesters or kluxers?” That’s a BIT of an exaggeration. Do tattoos anger him to the point where he associates it with the severity of child molesters?

    I hate small minded c*nts like this. It’s be glamourised because its fucking popular d-bag!!
    ARGH I’m so pissed off now, I’m gonna go smoke. I hope he’s happy inside ¬_¬

  51. That article was absolutely right about everything. Tattooed people mostly ARE unemployed criminals who contribute nothing to society.

  52. I’m still shocked that any mews source would print such bigoted, ignorant and just plain bad journalism.

    He has no facts and in the other two articles his assumptions continue and grow more ridiculous.

    The scary thing is there are so many people like this. People who believe that I am trying to “emulate lowlifes” and that because I have piercings and ink that I probably worship satan and turn into a bat at night.

  53. Y’know, if he’s a writer and all, one would think at some point he’d hear of a little thing called a CITATION. Which one uses to back up assertions like “No one can deny that the heaviest concentrations of tattoos occur in the lowest segments of society — prostitutes, pimps, pugs, prison inmates, Ku Klux Klansmen and the members of street and motorcycle gangs.”

    We won’t be able to deny it if you cite a reputable, peer-reviewed study, m’friend.

  54. When I went to go get my first tattoo I wanted to be lumped into the same category as a Klansman, my second tattoo I decided I thought of myself as more of a child rapist, my third one made me want to play drums.
    So I think he is actually a pretty insightful guy.

  55. Can you make comments on the article anymore, on the website? Im pretty sure they withdrew the comment making facility in the last coupla hours.


  56. haha im glad most of you liked my comment. (#2)
    i have one question, not article related.
    how do i get it to say my IAM name where i type in my name and it link to my page.

    i tried typing ‘permafaust’ and it just showed up just the name in bold.


  57. No one has mentioned the fact that he ripped on people of ancient societies for having body mods. I thought that part of the article was most ridiculous, all cultures have there on version of tattoos and piercings, and each have contributed there on inventions and ideas to the world. I bet his poor wife has her ears pierced {one hole probably}but she isnt a disgusting subhuman right?

  58. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if he had a genital ladder and a tattooed rectum?

  59. What’s even more bigoted than the actual article is the majority of the 1442 comments posted to the article on the paper’s website. Ack.

    He reminds me of a way more intense version of my mom.

  60. Oh, and #82 if you hate modified people so much, why are you on a site dedicated specifically to promote/support “tattooed subhumans”. More so, you took the time I’m sure to read all of the comments and then took it upon yourself to write your own. Sir/Ma’am, I hate to be the one to point out the blatantly obvious, but you are greatly outnumbered here and should take your potty-mouth elsewhere.

  61. Becca, I imagine you typing that comment in a conservative yet slightly alluring teacher’s garb thwacking a ruler in your hand… wait, I think I just made myself hot.

  62. I got sick to my stomach reading his article. Like, really. I have a delicious pizza here, and no apatite. God damn it.

  63. Mr. Carpenter got a VERY angry and slighly vulgar email from Mr. Russell ;]

  64. this article would be funny, if peoples opinions like his didn’t dictate the lifestyle (treatment by employers, medical staff, etc) that modded people sometimes face.

    speaking about ‘evolving culture’, this guy is stuck back in the last century.

  65. Considering this new development..

    I have only one thing to say.

    Touch Me; I’m Sick.

  66. “Carpenter’s initial column garnered so much mail that he wrote a follow-up.”

    I love it when you do articles like this that take people’s opinions apart in such a hilarious way. I’ve considered doing it myself… but I always hold back because I always have the sneaking suspicion the most gloriously stupid articles were crafted to create the most traffic for the writers themselves. How else could so many hot-button ass backward opinions exist in one place?

  67. My god, I hate those narrow-minded motherfuckers. And you know what?

    I bet that guy’s an art critic.

    HAHAHA. ha.

  68. Funny thing, one of the biggest organizations in the world supporting tattooing is…

    wait for it..

    the US armed forces.

    so while this dick is writing this load of crap, men with tattoos are fighting and dying in the war in Iraq.


  69. wow… that dude needs a hobby or something so he can quit being so worried about what we’re ding with our own bodies.

    an abolutly fantastical dissection of his article though Jordan! Funny and smart and just lovely!!!

  70. #109, nicely put.

    And my post from the other side;
    “I’ve had my eyeball tattooed, as well as my face, neck hands, all those other no-no areas. Piercings, implants, scarification, branding, flesh hook tug of wars by the throat, hanging from one hook,…and the list goes on.

    Lighten up people! The fastest way to ruin your body for yourself is to take it too seriously. I’m happy. Are you?

    In the words of Tracy Morgan;
    “Nobody likes negative ass Jimmy.”"

  71. i LOVE how when people are ignorant on a topic (or apparently LOTS of things, in this situation) they feel that bashing it is the best way to go. apparently, you also dont have to do any research and can write a full out opinion segment in the paper. this was all just a big article stating:

    “blah blah blah
    i hate tattoos
    blah blah
    kkk and prostitutes
    the same
    blah blah blah
    im ignorant”

    the best sum up to the worst article ive read in a while. although i did get a laugh or two out of it ^_^

  72. “Now that Polynesians can read, use wheels, count and appreciate musical instruments other than drums, they’ve advanced to a point where most of them have abandoned tattoos.”

    And y’know who it was that stopped us taking ta moko? The fuckin’ European missionaries and their God.

    Maori didn’t only have percussion instruments like drums, but a whole range of taonga puoro. Flutes (koauau, nguru), trumpets (putorino, putatara), bull roarers (purerehua), and even poi were used musically.

    How did we ever trade if we couldn’t count. We’ve counted from the beginning. Tahi, rua, toru, wha, rima…

    And as for reading, sorry if we couldn’t read a lil bastard language like English, but we chose to record our stories in beautifully, ornate whakairo rakau and other forms of carving. Our writing was so beautiful the Pakeha stole it for their museums.

  73. The racist and colonialist views expressed toward Polynesians in this article are disgusting. Being critical of tattoos is one thing, but this article is pure ethnocentric bullshit.

  74. Oh and Maori, as a Polynesian people, love our tattooing, it’s something most Maori aspire to one day have on their bodies. Whether moko kanohi, or ta moko on their arms, legs, or torso, it’s seeing the biggest resurgence since the missionaries stopped it.

  75. I wouldn’t give this man the time of day…or the effort to get angry at his opinions.

    Anyone who uses the phrase “Stone Age cannibals of the South Pacific” shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Really now.

  76. i say we all go to wherever he is, and see what he thinks about people who are tattooed then.

    whos with me?!

  77. I spent a few days being pissed off about this article, but reading your comments to it put me at ease. It was both funny and insightful, as well as extremely well written.

  78. RACIST RACIST RACIST. didn’t really need to read the rest after the first paragraph because i don’t listen to RAAAACISTSSS.

  79. OMG… this makes me angry. damn racist,,, and calling ”us” idiots… TWAT

    lets start an angry mob with pitchforks and torches… let me hear them AYE’s!

  80. OMG… this makes me angry. damn racist,,, and calling ”us” idiots… TWAT

    lets start an angry mob with pitchforks and torches… let me hear them AYE’s!

  81. “ustralia was once literally nothing but a home for England’s criminals,”

    please don’t forget about native australian aboriginals. :)

  82. Didn’t the ice mummy have tattoos that where done for therapeutic reasons? And didn’t ancient people build huge pyramids with out the wheel that took advanced mathematics and craft manship that we couldn’t mimic to this day if we where restricted to the same technology they had then. Oh yeah and wheren’t a good number of them heavily modified

  83. I’m disfigured. I have a sway back- my spine curves inwards more than ‘normal’. The tendons in my pinky fingers are too short and they won’t sit flat. Scans recently found two large abnormalities on my brain. These are my disfigurements.
    I have 6 tattoos, which were my choice. They all represent things that are very important and significant to me. More than that, I think they are beautiful. Just to break the mould, I also have a bachelors degrees and am currently studying my masters in primary school teaching.

  84. 117, christina, my sentiments exactly.

    This twit just isn’t worth the effort it takes to get angry.

  85. london- yes allentown, pa. i’m almost positive he’s written other articles like this. i remember one a few months ago in the morning call about how tattooed people will always be stuck in dead-end minimum wage jobs

  86. Quote: It’s well upon its way to becoming a legitimate, respectable country. Keep hope alive, Aussies! Yes you can!

    Oh we’ve still got a long way to go.

    As for the article…what a sad, sad, sad little man.

  87. “No one can deny that the heaviest concentrations of tattoos occur in the lowest segments of society — prostitutes, pimps, pugs, prison inmates, Ku Klux Klansmen and the members of street and motorcycle gangs.”

    That shit is actually Not Fucking True, as I’m sure someone has already pointed out. In the 1800s a lot of wealthy British lords & ladies & shit had like tons of tattoos and it was considered classy (probably because it was pretty exclusive at the time). Thanks history books!

  88. It’s well upon its way to becoming a legitimate, respectable country. Keep hope alive, Aussies! Yes you can!

    this made me laugh for about 6 minutes straight
    oh how long we still have to .

    what a sad and pathetic article by a man that has no clue was hes talking about

  89. I can’t believe the shit this guy comes up with.
    That aussie line cracked me up too.
    Its strange to me that a newspaper can even print something like this, here in New Zealand the newspaper would have ended up in court.

  90. I honestly can only stand these kinds of articles while they are along with your commentary.
    Another job well done.

  91. Um. I wish I could find it funny. I wish I could. I’d love to laugh long and hard at this limp prick. But I just felt insulted – not to mention appalled at the blindness and racism. (Also how many people seem to be singing the praises of this drivel. I can understand mundanes not seeing the bigotism of mod-based discrimination; but swallowing whole his xenophobia?)

  92. Yeah, I grew up in the Lehigh Valley. I’ve been to Easton, PA where they publish the Morning Call, and I’ve had the unfortunate pleasure of meeting one Mr. (and I use the term loosely) Paul Carpenter…

    And yes, he really is that big of an jerk in real life too.

    He’s a quiet, snivelling, Sunday Catholic, who hates his own life to the point where the only way to make himself feel better is to try to take down others.

    It usually backfires on him… with semi-hilarious results. I can’t wait to see how it happens this time.

  93. His point of view, though vastly different than most of us, is valid and we may partially believe as he does. There are extremes to all subjects and this is just one. there is truth in it, though buried deep underneath blanket statements and generalizations.
    It is true that some emulate from the bottom up, and that mainstream media is glamorizing the lows of society and showcasing them for us, and we gladly swallow them up and ask for more.
    If he wrote an entire essay, or book on his beliefs concerning body modifications and its growth, I’d jump to read it.

  94. The most shocking thing is the comments. I read through quite a few, expecting to see people speaking against him. I was actually quite shocked to see that the majority support his view. All I can say is it seems the world is full of a lot more closed minded, ignorant, unenlightened people than I had suspected. (where are all these people anyway? I never seem to encounter them in the “real” world)

  95. “I can understand mundanes not seeing the bigotism of mod-based discrimination; but swallowing whole his xenophobia?”

    Oh, the irony.

  96. No. 138
    “I was actually quite shocked to see that the majority support his view. All I can say is it seems the world is full of a lot more closed minded, ignorant, unenlightened people than I had suspected.”

    Support, understand or accept?
    Of course the world is full of closed minded, ignorant people, but going up in arms isn’t the solution. The man has his beliefs and doesn’t seem inclined to change. Patience and tolerance are the routes that follow once education fails.
    Diversity is beautiful.

  97. I was already mad when I read this, but even more upset when I read the follow up (also, Jordan left out the last two paragraphs from the original). In case anyone cares, here is the email I so lovingly cobbled together and sent him:

    Dear Paul,

    I’m not entirely sure what good this email will do, considering that you have obviously already been overwhelmed with emails regarding your horrifically hateful and misinformed article, however I cannot go without commenting. I will refrain from using the colourful language you so obviously find repulsive (it indicates my lack of intelligence, I suppose is the argument), but you may insert the appropriate words wherever you imagine them.

    To begin, I am a university student, in the final throws of my Cultural Anthropology degree, currently employed working with kids. I am well educated, an honor student, and, if I do say so myself, a bright gal. I must also point out that I have many piercings and tattoos, none of which seem to interfere with my ability to form a coherent thought (none of them are on my brain).

    That being said, it was only secondarily your ignorance of tattoos and body modification that set my heart racing. Rather, it was your ignorant depiction of Indigenous cultures, as you clearly have no understanding of their history (or your own, I imagine – the history of white America is a disturbing one). You seem prepared to depict them as “savages”, to aspire to what I thought was an outdated and unintelligent caricaturization and exoticization of the non-Western “other”. “Culture” is not a straight line. Cultures do not “evolve”, but rather is a dynamic process. There is no “superior” culture – the West is not better than the rest, and your way of looking at the world is not more advanced than someone else. High culture and Low culture are concepts created by those in power (ie: the High culture participants), and the perpetuation of such labels only serves to further divide a world that is highly stratified.

    Ignorance like yours is a symptom of a larger problem: oppression, social stratification, and the modern remnants of colonialism. By perpetuating concepts (which amount to “ways of seeing”) that benefit the powerful segments of society and that further vilify and make strangers of all others, you are a part of that. It is easy to demonize people and practices you don’t understand – Europeans spreading the Good Word around the world frequently killed and maimed what they didn’t understand, pushing underground practices deemed “uncivilized” (but which suspiciously seemed to suit the practitioners just fine for generations, causing no Armageddon in their wake). In fact, it is so easy to do this that I almost don’t blame you for your position: you are simply the product of an intellectually understimulated culture and an obviously weak and lazy mind (I was apparently wrong in my thought that when people, particularly writers, don’t understand an issue, they research it). Yes, if I am going to be culturally relative about it, I could just say you are doing exactly what your culture expects of you.

    Except many of those people you got angry replies from are also from your culture. And yet they judge you harshly. Not because they are mentally unstable, not because they have body modifications, not because they are unintelligent or low-lifes. But because you are wrong. You are straight up uninformed, ethnocentric, intolerant, and borderline racist. You riled people up on purpose – spreading hate like you did will, most of the time, only be responded to with hate.

    Your depiction of tattooed people and Indigenous cultures alike is a fabulous reflection not of “where our culture is headed”, but rather of your own apparent inability to wake up, smarten up, and educate yourself. I hear echos of decades before when Elvis’ hips were going to corrupt the loins of teenagers and secret messages were hiding backwards in our records. You are an old man who is out of touch, so I hope you enjoy your final bitter years complaining about “today’s youth”, clinging cynically and stagnantly to your beliefs despite the movement of the world around you. Have fun.

  98. I wonder if the author has any ‘mutilated’ friends, scrub that. I doubt he has any friends – What a world-class knob jockey! :)

  99. May I just say, what a wonderfully written rebuttal. I applaud you.

    (And I’m looking forward to part two of the smackdown. :D)

  100. I am very sadned by this article. I want to belive that the world is constantly evolving to something better, but this seriously makes me doubt.

  101. « I’ve seen columnists for The Morning Call described as “writers,” too. Fucking weird. »

    Bahaha, brilliant. :)

  102. My rebuttal to Paul Carpenter would be built around questioning his assumed air of arbiter and archetype of civilization. To wit:

    “The only possible ethnology is the one that studies the anthropophagous behaviour of the White man.” –Stanislas S. Adotevi

    “…whites are a dangerous, violent people. I am not prejudging white people — I’m judging them. I know your history, I know what you’ve done to Hawaiian people, to Indian people. If you don’t want to be racist, you must show me. The burden rests on white people. It does not rest on native people.” –Huanani-Kay Trask

    Civilization of Paul Carpenter would, indeed, be a “good idea” (to paraphrase Gandhi, when asked his opinion of Western ‘Civilization’), if not for the sake of the Americans, then for that of their victims the world over. Bigots like John Carpenter rationalize brutality, and pave the way slaughter and sorrow.

  103. erf, corrections to my comment (#154):

    Civilization of Americans like Paul Carpenter … and pave the way to slaughter and sorrow.

  104. If I had to read the word “emulate” one more time I was going to look that pantie-waste up, grab a lead pipe and imitate on a bitch.

  105. lol @ saying the US is an older culture than Polynesian culture. Not to mention that Thomas Jefferson owned slaves and had illegitimate children with at least one of them.

  106. lol @ people taking themselves so seriously

    it should be obvious that this entire article is a joke and meant to get a rise out of people who can not see the joke (HE WINS). good work by jordan in preaching to the choir in the most obvious and boring way. cheap laughs.

  107. Jordan, this was amazingly funny and well written. Kudos for the Curb Your Enthusiasm reference as well! Your writing never ceases to both impress and amuse me. It’s a shame local newspapers can’t employ writers even half as good as BME’s own Jordan Ginsberg.

  108. I just remembered an article written by a sex worker about tattoos. She wrote that sex workers tried not to get tattoos because the guys who used their services usually didn’t like tattoos. I’ll try to find it and send it to that guy so he’ll see that he’s just the kind of guy prostitutes aim to please…
    And now I think of it, the street from my city with more prostitutes on it is always full of tattooed people, because it’s also the street with more tattoo studios [it's not seedy or anything, is a centric street and there are a lot of boutiques and such] but I don’t remember ever seeing a tattoo on one of the prostitutes…

  109. Yeah, this guy’s trying to get readers and attention. But I am confused about the ‘rape apologist’ comment – Itxaro, how does that article indicate that he’s a rape apologist?

  110. A conversation in the movie “Easy Rider” (one of my favorite movies) sums up why this man is worried enough to write this article:

    “George Hanson: They’re not scared of you. They’re scared of what you represent to ‘em.

    Billy: Hey, man. All we represent to them, man, is somebody who needs a haircut.

    George Hanson: Oh, no. What you represent to them is freedom…
    Oh, yeah, they’re gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it’s gonna scare ‘em.”

  111. *applause*
    Loved it.
    Can’t wait until you analyze his next article.
    Geez… that Carpenter guy is such an oily douche.

  112. i can only imagine the ammount of hate mail this idiot has gotten.
    i certianly hope he atleast loses some sleep over it.

  113. “I’ve seen columnists for The Morning Call described as “writers,” too. Fucking weird.”

    That was almost my exact same thought as I read the ‘article’.

    In situations like this my mind treads a narrow line between generally just not caring what someone that ignorant thinks, and the worry that someone this ignorant will spread misinformation and incorrect sterotypes through trolling works like this.

    For all the logic (or lack thereof, obviously) here, this could just as well be a blog on the sinfulness of people that wear red shirts, patent leather shoes, or (*gasp!*) a belt of the incorrect color for thier outfit. Irrational dislike of something is not grounds for demonizing an entire group. I personally see no merit in the television show “Lost”, and find those that are fanatical about the show to be slightly disturbing for various reasons; at least now I have a respected journalist forming precedent for my to terminate any employees whom have watched this crap.

    Also, when the innane question of hobbies came up, I was tempted to respond (not untruthfully) with “recreational astrophysics and engineering”.


  114. This guy’s a societital standard, in every generation there’s a group of people decrying one thing or another, be it jazz music, rock music, the horseless carriage, or skirts that show a woman’s knees as the downfall of American culture.

    He’s obviously out of touch with modern scociety, using the term “motorcycle gang” as though it were still a bad thing, seeing the last time I checked modern motorcycle clubs were organizing things like Teddy Bear Runs for children’s charities and blood drives. Meaning he’s unwilling to change his point of view even when given concrete evidence that it’s wrong. There’s no point in arguing with him, he’ll only see what he wants to see. He’s an old fool, too set in his ways to notice how foolish he really is.

  115. i’m fairly sure i’m not a gang member, prostitute or rapist. that guy should be tattoo’d then shot.

  116. I have found that since I got my first tattoo I do find myself in both the KKK and a black youf gang, oh and I touched up some kids too. It was all the fault of the lily on my ankle.

    Awesome response.

  117. HA!! Its guys like that that I hope to one day have as a very sick and possibly palliative patient.

    It’s my duty to help the ill and dying, but I can certainly make a point while doing it. I’d like to see just how much he thinks of not my tattoos, but me as a ‘low-life’ when I’m holding his pain medication just an inch away from his IV.
    (before anyone says anything, of course I would never actually do that. I’ve found that even the most close-minded anti-mod people can have a sudden change of heart when they get a modified nurse. I’ve seen it happen many times already. At the beginning of my shift, I get a cold stare and little emotion. By the end they’re hugging me and thanking me profusely, often asking specific tattoo questions in a “im curious” style, rather than in a “ew those are gross” way.)

    Ignorant idiot.

    I’ve seriously never met such a close-minded JOURNALIST. of all things for him to be doing! He’s generalizing all tattooed people into a single group, and instead of saying “doctors and scientists have tattoos, so other people are emulating them”, he went for the shitty end of the string with prisoners and molesters. I mean.. it applies to both spectrums, if you really feel the need to clump us all the together.
    He’s a racist. Plain as day. Yes, modified people are not a ‘race’ technically, but the principle is the same.

  118. Jeeeeeez.

    “Do not glamorize accomplishment. Do not glamorize intelligence, insight or integrity. Don’t glamorize courage, generosity, leadership, skill or diligence.”

    Speaking as one of those tattooed prostitutes/klansmen/gang members/sexual deviants/et al,
    1. I admire accomplishment.
    2. I admire intelligence.
    3. I admire insight.
    4. I admire integrity.
    5. I admire courage.
    6. I admire generosity.
    7. I admire leadership.
    8. I admire skill.
    9. I admire diligence.

    10, and most important:

  119. Ha, that newspaper is in my area. The man makes such presumptuous statements, and sweeping generalizations, just sad.

  120. It’s pretty crazy to read the comments on the website where the article is published. It blows my mind when I read what your ‘average’ non tattooed person thinks of tattoos. It’s sad that our society is so incredibly judgemental and close minded. Have we learned nothing from history? Truly, do most people think we are just on this earth to work and consume and continue to perpetuate this disgusting circle? It’s sad how delusional people are, it gives me no hope for our future. Peoples motives and ways of living and thinking are pretty disgusting.

  121. though i’m going to email Mr. Carpenter with a slightly more cordial version of a breakdown of his article, i’ll use MODBLOG to state my kneejerk reaction, and that’s “fuck this fucking fucker. he’s a bastard-coated bastard with bastard filling.”

    the irony that he uses hatespeech to deem one particular subculture as causing the regression of western civilization is mind-numbing.

  122. Love, love, love people like this. To whom I can show my double majors, my highly technical job, my long-term successful monogamous relationship, and watch them flounder for excuses about how “Oh well there’s always SOME outlier.”

    That, or he is just a troll. I’m sure he’s sitting there rubbing his little troll-like hands together in glee at all the response his article is garnering.

  123. “Do not glamorize accomplishment. Do not glamorize intelligence, insight or integrity. Don’t glamorize courage, generosity, leadership, skill or diligence.” all of the cycles of history since the supposed “dark age” he’s talking about have been glorifying these things over any over. we know already. they’re great. it’s time to glorify art, motherfucker!

  124. Come on, the entire article is full of inaccurate facts (usually a journalists worst nightmare but seems to be no problem for him (her?))

    Plus all the racism, sexism, and classism…You people should all be laughing and pitying him/her.

  125. Wow and to think Mr. Carpenter pulled all that from his wide gapping ass, I wonder what he could do if he were half as educated as those dumb Polynesians. Oh by the way I am proud to be a black tattooed prostitute who searved pleanty of time in jail…I now disguise myself as a Klansman….lol…….I wonder if Mr. Carpenter has managed to invent the wheel yet?

  126. I like how he left his phone number. We should all give him a nice little call!!!

    I had to email him. He is among the lowest of all life forms indeed.


    Dear Mr. Carpenter,
    You, are a terrible human being. You know that people like you, are the reason there is hate in this world. You are the reason that we fight one another. You are the reason for depression amongst the suffering young ones who are scared to be whom they really wish they could be. You are the reason that we, as a society, are still failing.

    You will hold us back in evolution. You will stop us from being happy, healthy, and caring and compassionate for our world, our planet earth, our fellow man. Regardless of what you do for a living, what hair color you have, what skin color you have, what you have tattooed on your skin, you are STILL a human being. You still eat, breathe, feel emotion, feel physical and mental pain, like all of us. You have no right to try to lower other people before you. That only shows that you are weak and pathetic. I feel sorry for you. I am quite curious as to what part of your brain allows you to think in such a small box. I truly feel sorry for you. I hope someday you will learn.

    I am a professional body piercer, and my career is more rewarding then you will ever hope to experience. I get to see people smile and feel better about themselves everyday. Something you do not. You must lack accomplishment in your life to feel the need to try to belittle a whole culture. A beautiful culture. You are a sad, sad man Mr Carpenter, and you will die, a sad, sad man. Thanks for reading.


  127. Mandic- “You look at a tattooed person and see someone who made bad choices, or a criminal. I look at a tattooed person and see a person. Who is “de-evolving” here?”

    Seriously, that guy deserves a free blow job(seeing as that’s all he wants, because he has tattoos). I’m obviously a prostitute, because I have tattoos. Give me a call.

  128. Take up the White Man’s burden–
    Have done with childish days–
    The lightly proferred laurel,
    The easy, ungrudged praise.
    Comes now, to search your manhood
    Through all the thankless years
    Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
    The judgment of your peers

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