"...an Alaskan man now named Hostgator Dotcom."
September 20, 2012 11:27 AM   Subscribe

"[Joe] Tamargo is not just a walking advertisement. He’s a walking advertisement for businesses that no longer exist."
posted by griphus (35 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'd make some incredibly mean spirited comment, but I think those folks have enough issues.
posted by Dark Messiah at 11:32 AM on September 20, 2012 [15 favorites]


what i don't get is who the hell would pay to have their company advertised via tattoo? a tattoo parlor, i could see, but that's about it.
posted by facetious at 11:34 AM on September 20, 2012


Darwin Awards: less fatal edition.
posted by Artw at 11:34 AM on September 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


(Tamargo claims he made over $220,000 when he was still selling ads)

If that's to be believed, that sounds like about the lifetime difference between poor and lower-middle-class, or lower-middle-class and middle-middle-class. I don't know what his kid situation is, but it could be the difference between kids who grow up with enough to eat and kids who don't, quite.

I couldn't do it, I don't think. But I've done some things I couldn't imagine I could have done, for my kids.
posted by gurple at 11:37 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


They're not really paying to have their company advertised via a tattoo, they're paying for the resulting media attention.
posted by entropone at 11:37 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


...offering BuzzFeed an ad on his forehead for $800...
posted by DU at 11:38 AM on September 20, 2012


GoldenPalace.com was in the stunt marketing game for many years, though online-gambling laws now make using the site illegal in the U.S. — and in many states you can’t even access the URL on Williams’ forehead.
Huh? Have random US states instituted internet censorship regimes while I wasn't paying attention? What are they talking about?
posted by delmoi at 11:43 AM on September 20, 2012


Poor people tattoo'd with logos and computer code on their skin by the marketing department of companies that went out of business - so the code does nothing, and the logos are meaningless.

Further proof that it's William Gibson's world, we're just living in it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:50 AM on September 20, 2012 [13 favorites]


Tamargo claims he made over $220,000 when he was still selling ads

Hope he put that away for the day, sometime in middle-age, when we looks in a mirror and reality slaps the shit out of him and he goes to get the damned things removed.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:53 AM on September 20, 2012


When I saw this at the bottom, I hoped this story wasn't real, but I guess it is: "Jack Stuef is, among other things, a contributor to the Onion and New York Magazine's The Cut."
posted by trillian at 11:55 AM on September 20, 2012


Interesting.I bet they are glad QR codes didn't exist yet, I think dumb logos are slightly better than being covered with QR codes.

I wonder if there are any examples of people getting tattoos of already defunct companies or products no longer on the market. I'd like to get maybe a tattoo of an ole timey ad for a restorative patent remedy or mustache wax.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:56 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really think "dark messiah" said everything that needs to be said.
posted by rmhsinc at 11:56 AM on September 20, 2012


I want the UPC code for Malibu Barbie
posted by tyllwin at 11:58 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised at my own visceral reaction to this. It seems WRONG but at least right now I can't really articulate why I think that.
posted by Carillon at 12:06 PM on September 20, 2012


As time moves on the grotesqueries of capitalism get stranger and stranger.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:08 PM on September 20, 2012 [7 favorites]


In before privileged based judgmen....dang.
posted by mikoroshi at 12:18 PM on September 20, 2012 [6 favorites]


Folks are always surprised when they find the website for which I have a tattoo on my ass (Metafilter.com) is still up and running. That is, when they get over the initial surprise of seeing my ass.
posted by obscurator at 12:18 PM on September 20, 2012 [12 favorites]


I have a tattoo of the UPC code for camel lights. The reason it is Camel Lights is because it was done by a biker who had no idea what a UPC code was. It was the only example I could find at the time. All he said was "Why?". It was sort of funny a dude covered with naked lady tattoos questioning my choices.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:19 PM on September 20, 2012


I want the UPC code for Malibu Barbie

You might want to first read the Barcode Tattoo Guide:
Nearly all of the real barcode tattoos I have seen in person and online photos appear not to scan. There are some fine examples of tattooed lines and numbers that look like the ubiquitous symbol, but the true test for any barcode is does it make the scanner beep.
And I think QR codes would be more interesting in the long term than text URLs that are bound to die, sooner or later. This looks better than the SaveMartha.com ad, IMO.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:20 PM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


One of the winners of our playwriting contest dealt with this very topic. The playwright used it as a springboard for all sorts of things about art, consumerism, and image and identity, and it ended up being something really, really clever and thought-provoking rather than just being all gimmicky. (Although, the opening scene -- the play begins IMMEDIATELY after the main character's girlfriend has come home from an extended absence to see that he's gotten such a tatoo, and he's trying to explain it to her while she stands absolutely mute -- is pretty damn hysterical.)

We came up with a sort of gimmicky publicity stunt at one point - we had a whole bunch of temporary tattoos made up with the show's name on them, and were handing them out along with postcards advertising the show - we offered a $5 discount to anyone who showed up at the box office wearing the tatoo on their forehead. So, of course, we put on those tattoos ourselves while handing them out.

...You'd think that more people would have noticed my walking around Union Square Park in New York in the middle of the day with the word "Billboard" emblazoned on my forehead. But you would be wrong. So I wonder at the ultimate effectiveness of these tattoos in the first place.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:29 PM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


The problem I've had is people think I am trying to make some kind of punk rock "we are all commodities man" statement. I got it because UPC codes are a visual language meant solely to be read by non-humans. Sort of a statment of solidarity with our eventual computer overlords, but not really that crazy.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:31 PM on September 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


It was sort of funny a dude covered with naked lady tattoos questioning my choices.

Actually, short of a Memento scenario, those are the only functional tattoos I can think of.
posted by griphus at 12:33 PM on September 20, 2012


If that's to be believed, that sounds like about the lifetime difference between poor and lower-middle-class, or lower-middle-class and middle-middle-class.

Yeah, that would buy you a flat in London and probably a small house in a city like Reading or Bath. If you work in retail or telesales, it's going to be ten times your annual income or more.

I don't know if barcode tattoos are still fashionable - ime tattoos date so quickly, the early 90s dolphin, the mid-90s Celtic band, the 00s gap year student Chinese/Japanese character, and at the moment it seems to be script neck tattoos - but I did know someone who had one in 2000 who told me it was the barcode from a pack of Nik-Nak crisps, as it was the only barcode the tattooist had to hand then. It made me want to run over her spine with a Barcode Battler just to see what would happen.
posted by mippy at 12:37 PM on September 20, 2012


I got mine in 93. I like to pretend I was the first to get one but I think Henry Rollins had one before me. Maybe I will have it covered with some sort of tribal design so I am slightly less behind the times. Or better yet, upgrade it to a QR code somehow.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:07 PM on September 20, 2012


I don't find this funny at all and it makes me feel incredibly sad. I remember when the sick, worthless subhumans behind BumFights would get homeless men and women to tattoo "BUMFIGHTS" across their forehead for measly amounts of cash and/or booze. When I first learned about that, it made me so incredibly irate, I thought I was going to have a stroke.
posted by Falconetti at 2:41 PM on September 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't find this funny at all...

I don't think anything with the sentence "'I did it to make sure my kids wouldn't be homeless,' said the father of five" is intended to be funny.
posted by griphus at 2:49 PM on September 20, 2012 [6 favorites]


In before privileged based judgmen....dang.

Sure, but at least it gives the haters something to blather about other than "fuh fuh fuh when you're 80."
posted by MrBadExample at 3:47 PM on September 20, 2012


Yeah, that would buy you a flat in London and probably a small house in a city like Reading or Bath.

A house in London for $220,000 (£136,000 at time of posting)? Surely you jest!
posted by acb at 4:22 PM on September 20, 2012


That is, when they get over the initial surprise of seeing my ass.

Which hopefully is not also up and running.
posted by srboisvert at 6:49 PM on September 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wait. Where's the numbered list?
posted by schmod at 9:59 PM on September 20, 2012


Further proof that it's William Gibson's world, we're just living in it.

Isn't there a Pat Cadigan novel where someone is making an offline archive, or backup, or something by giving elaborate fractal tattoos to the city's homeless? spoiler probably
posted by hattifattener at 12:59 AM on September 21, 2012


I wonder about these people from time to time. I always assumed their deals involved removal.

I guess not.
posted by Mezentian at 2:23 AM on September 21, 2012


I said a flat, though £136k is possibly generous.

Bumfights was banned from broadcast in the UK, so I can believe it's somewhat tasteless.
posted by mippy at 2:35 AM on September 21, 2012


I thought Bumfights was pretty much banned everywhere?

I now have images of that horrible glass-eating scene from Hobo With A Shotgun in my head.
posted by Mezentian at 2:51 AM on September 21, 2012


Oh dear.
posted by bz at 9:02 AM on September 21, 2012


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