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Regrets? I have a few, but then again...
July 4, 2008 12:48 PM   Subscribe

All the girls love Zombie Boy.

Eat your hearts out, Astro Zombies.
posted by Dave Faris (99 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I've encountered this guy in Montreal a few times, but I've only seen his face. I didn't realize that his entire torso had been skeletonized. It doesn't look as interesting as the face tattoos do. The effect on the cheeks is the most inventive and eye-catching part. If he actually goes through with blacking out his eyeballs, he'll be terrifying.
posted by painquale at 12:58 PM on July 4, 2008


Sir, I know in this age this may seem a little chauvinistic and out of place. I realize that but it will not deter me. I love your daughter and cannot imagine my life without her in it. May I have your blessing to ask her to marry me?

I would pay cash money to see that conversation.

Is there any kind of body modification you wouldn’t have?
Cock-splitting.

I bet he totally deadpanned that.
posted by Science! at 1:00 PM on July 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


* the first italics are my own, not a quote
posted by Science! at 1:01 PM on July 4, 2008


He likes turtles.
posted by champthom at 1:04 PM on July 4, 2008 [13 favorites]


They forgot to ask him what he's gonna do when his mom dies and he has to move out of her basement and start paying rent.
posted by dobbs at 1:12 PM on July 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


"There are girls who dig it, but the kind of girls who dig it are usually trouble. "

Really? You think?

And like you're somehow not trouble. You're talking about getting parts of your head removed. You really think drawing the line on having your cock split down the middle is going to make you Ward Cleaver?
posted by Naberius at 1:12 PM on July 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


And why does he have Texas tattooed on his left arm?
posted by dobbs at 1:15 PM on July 4, 2008


Speaking for a certain cohort of middle-aged guys, I would have to respectfully ask that you please stay the fuck offa my lawn, thank you.
posted by Dizzy at 1:19 PM on July 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow! I remember when I got one of my first 'tats, maybe twenty years ago, I casually asked my artist about facial and hand ink.

He was pretty adamant that he'd never ink a face as, if someone changed their mind, they couldn't even get a cover up. Hands were also troublesome, primarily (I believe) due to increased risk of infection. I heard the same from other artists I've worked with (most of my ink was done by Jonathan Shaw of Fun City and Bobby Dagger of High Vibe in New York).

Maybe ten years later, facial was all over the place, both New York and San Francisco.

The ink seemed to creep up folks' body's of it's own accord. I remember first seeing lots of chest work then neck tattoos and then tentative dabs of ink of folks' cheeks, and then so much facial tattooing that facial wasn't shocking any longer.

In the early 90's I was hanging out in Tompkins square park with some gal down, she wasn't more than 18 but had a guys name inked on her left cheek under bright blue eyes. We chatted a little and I asked who he was. "My ex" she explained. "I'm doing him tomorrow". I wasn't sure what she meant, and then noticed two other names on her right cheek, each crossed out with a big bold black X. I sometimes wonder what's happened to her, 'cause I still find facial extreme. Not shocking, but boy howdy folks think long and hard about that statement!

My 'tats are restricted to arms, and tend to cover up well when I'm working. Sometimes folks will see one peeking out at the sleeve, especially so if I'm giving a presentation and pointing UP but I've never had a problem. The facial people though - wow. Talk about dedication to one's art.


Zombie Kid Likes Turtles

In any case, interesting post - thanks!
posted by Mutant at 1:23 PM on July 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


How the hell does this guy make a living?
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:25 PM on July 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


My buddy has a tattoo where his throat’s slit and bugs are coming out with worms up the side. It looks fucking awesome.

No, dude, it doesn't. Promise. It looks like a dumbshit saved up a couple of months of pay from the cracker factory and pawned his devilock to have some cranked up Juggalo ensure that he'll never own a car less than fifteen years old.
posted by bunnytricks at 1:25 PM on July 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


He's not a true weirdo by nature, but tries so hard. In actuality, there's an uncrossable chasm between truth and trying, and results like this are just shouts into the Void.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:27 PM on July 4, 2008


MetaFilter: I sacrificed my whole future for this.
posted by rusty at 1:35 PM on July 4, 2008


Pfft. He's no match for Stalking Cat. He has a tail. He is also quite creepy.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:37 PM on July 4, 2008


"people can’t decide if he’s a body modification visionary or mentally ill sicko. "
How stupid would you have to be to not be able to get that little multiple choice question correct?
posted by HuronBob at 1:41 PM on July 4, 2008


And I thought this was going to be another post about Jesus.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:41 PM on July 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I find him strangely handsome.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 1:42 PM on July 4, 2008


jenfullmoon -- "How the hell does this guy make a living?"

When I was living in New York everyone knew Mike Wilson, who made a modest living between working at the Coney Island sideshow and tattoo conventions. He'd show up at CBGB's once in a while, and certainly livened up visuals in the mosh pit. We'd also sometimes see him deep into his cups at Mars Bar. Mike liked his booze and sadly passed away from diabetic shock after a night (weekend?) on the piss.

Michael's obituary is here, and it mentions his ink (about 90% of his body was apparently covered) and how difficult he found it to get his face tattooed. I didn't know it at the time, but apparently he also worked as The Human Blockhead, hammering a nail through his tongue to affix it to a board.

But that was back when you didn't see much of facial. So I bet that avenue isn't an option now. Nor is pretty much any job where one has to deal with the public. Although that being said, I've seen lots of facial ink on folks working at tattoo and piercing places. So I guess ones employment options would limited at the outset and, because the more tattoos are exposed to light the worse they age, sharply declining as middle age approached. Self employment would almost be a must for those dedicated to this lifestyle.

Burhanistan -- "He's not a true weirdo by nature, but tries so hard. In actuality, there's an uncrossable chasm between truth and trying, and results like this are just shouts into the Void."

Well said. You know the thing I find funny are the folks who get all this gang crapped inked on, and don't even kow what it means. Teardrop from the eye, spider web on the elbow (with flies!), I can't imagine what kind of shit they'd get if they were tossed into Rikers. Some bikers and gang bangers take that stuff (ink, symbols) so so seriously, they'd consider it a personal offense.
posted by Mutant at 1:52 PM on July 4, 2008


costing over £4,075 Canadian

Huh?
posted by Shepherd at 1:56 PM on July 4, 2008


No they don't.
posted by Mr_Zero at 2:03 PM on July 4, 2008


I've had several female friends say "OMG! So Hot!" about this guy. Sure, he's hot now - but where can a guy covered in tats that obvious go in life? Your options are pretty much limited to : Tattoo Artist/Piercer, or Freakshow Performer. It looks way badass - but it's going to get you plenty of sneers on the street.

I've got two spiked barbells in my eyebrows, and had a giant spike coming out of the middle of my face for awhile. In addition, I rock 00ga ear plugs and a bright red mohawk. I know ALL about those looks. But, I managed to make a very impressive salary as a web designer, and once I removed the spike in the eye bridge area - I've gotten stand-up comedy gigs, acting roles, etc. and I just recently retired from web design, and retain a regular salary as a professional consultant. I've got tattoos, as well, but they're all pretty well hidden for just that reason. There's temporarily looking some badass who doesn't give a shit - and then there's having fun in your youth and finding a way to make a damned living.

I hope this fella gets that lucky. I'm guessing he's pretty much focused his lack of talent into "look at me! I have keeeerazy tattoos!". Maybe I'm wrong. For his sake - I hope so. Friends of mine who have met him have said "he's pretty boring, once you get past the 'wow' factor".
posted by revmitcz at 2:05 PM on July 4, 2008


There is an interesting side-effect in traveling with heavily modified people; they become a barometer of the cultural "backwardness-quotient" of a place.

My guess is that if this man walked into a diner in the middle of Saskatchewan, every single person would stop their conversation, turn around, and stare at him.

Furthermore, The main photograph in the article shows him with a cigarette in his hand. Is he making a wise choice about his future?
posted by Tube at 2:28 PM on July 4, 2008


"one of the most decent, nice, and interesting people," according to another interview from BMEzine.
posted by Dave Faris at 2:37 PM on July 4, 2008


I wouldn't like to be him, but it looks fantastic.
posted by fire&wings at 2:43 PM on July 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


You act weird enough, some girl's going to dig it, if only for the chutzpah value.
posted by jonmc at 2:50 PM on July 4, 2008


My guess is that if this man walked into a diner in the middle of Saskatchewan, every single person would stop their conversation, turn around, and stare at him.

People in Saskatchewan have TVs too. It's really difficult to shock anybody these days, which is why shock is kind of a lame goal.
posted by jonmc at 2:52 PM on July 4, 2008


I have the Magnetic Fields song in my head now. Not that this is a bad thing.

Also, dobbs: And why does he have Texas tattooed on his left arm?

After people die and become zombies, images of Texas always appear on their arms. I'm surprised you didn't know that.
posted by moss at 3:06 PM on July 4, 2008


It's always interesting to see at what point normally tolerant mefites become judgemental and disdainful of others. People like him make the world a little more interesting and it's not like he invaded Iraq or something. I wouldn't do it myself but still think it looks cool.
posted by TedW at 3:06 PM on July 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


What influenced your tattoos?
When I was a kid I was a big fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and I wanted to be a ninja turtle and live in the sewers. But as I got older I fell in love with zombies and wanted to become one.

When did you decide you wanted to get your face and body tattooed?

I thought long and hard about what I really wanted, what my passion was. And I decided I wanted to be a fucking zombie.
posted by ersatz at 3:09 PM on July 4, 2008


People in Saskatchewan have TVs too.

I used to work with Mr. Lifto and The Enigma, so I speak from experience about walking into Saskatchewan restaurants.
posted by Tube at 3:10 PM on July 4, 2008


I think it's sort of funny that people are worrying about his future career aspirations and earning capabilities, like they are really concerned on his behalf that his choices might make his life difficult. I don't have any tattoos, and at this point, probably am never going to get any. But I love when people do things like this, fully commit to it. Sure, it might hurt his future prospects, if those prospects include things that require looking like a yuppie. But I know plenty of people with very poor prospects who look as "normal" as can be, and I don't hear anyone decrying their poor choices that made their choices more limited. Sometimes, depending on your work, it doesn't really matter what you look like, and some people earn more money by being iconoclastic or odd. More power to him, as long as he doesn't get hung up with other people's concerns.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:13 PM on July 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


I thought long and hard about what I really wanted, what my passion was. And I decided I wanted to be a fucking zombie.

Why, a lad who has such insight into himself will surely find the means to sally-forth his efforts and find his place amongst other scholars & gentleman!
posted by P.o.B. at 3:18 PM on July 4, 2008


Also from that article:

"I regret most of my tattoos, but now that they kind of blend in together I don’t even notice them anymore."

Also... his MOM told him "you started it, now you better finish it." Wow. I understand wanting to teach your child how to finish what they start... but I'd say once in a while it's it's okay to talk your child out of following through on something. And perhaps getting a whole body zombie tattoo might be one of those times. He himself says his siblings think it's cool but that they don't understand how it's "fucked him up" because he feels like he probably couldn't get hired outside of the porn industry or something now.

He sounds pretty maturely resigned but remorseful, really. I felt a tinge of melancholy in his answers almost.
posted by miss lynnster at 3:18 PM on July 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


He looks like the guy that showed up at your house party in Western Kentucky in 2004 that had to be to be escorted off the premises by your least drunk, most burly friends. But with tattoos all over.
posted by F.Jasmine Addams at 3:22 PM on July 4, 2008


surely find the means to sally-forth

sally forth? wouldn't he be more likely to walk slowly with his arms outstetched? I mean if your going to be a zombie, go all out.

and it's not the looking weird that bugs me. I've roamed around with shoulder-legnth hair, numerous facial-hair configurations including a Seth Bullock, phillips head screws in both ears and sundry other things that might make some people think I'm weird. It's that this guy seems to want applause for it. be yourself, but don't expect a medal, dude.
posted by jonmc at 3:23 PM on July 4, 2008


Is there any kind of body modification you wouldn’t have?

Cock-splitting. I’ve seen pictures of that and it’s not for me. But I’d tattoo my cock. I’m thinking of having reptile scales and cockroaches.


Grab him now ladies!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:37 PM on July 4, 2008


A tattoo is another way of saying "I didn't go to college."
posted by plexi at 3:43 PM on July 4, 2008


Oh. My. God.
Anyway, I think he'll catch more girls than me.
posted by Carl Mentor at 3:48 PM on July 4, 2008


Grab him now ladies!

Before he sheds!

A tattoo is another way of saying "I didn't go to college."

or 'I was an Art major.'
posted by jonmc at 4:01 PM on July 4, 2008


There is an interesting side-effect in traveling with heavily modified people; they become a barometer of the cultural "backwardness-quotient" of a place.

Where is this place that is so enlightened that people who see zombie boy don't bat an eye?

I'd feel sorry for him, but maybe he has nothing going for himself except freakdom -- "I put up posters for now until I find something that pays more." I suppose he'll be an amusing trash collector or the like eventually.
posted by pracowity at 4:12 PM on July 4, 2008


Where is this place that is so enlightened that people who see zombie boy don't bat an eye?

Transylvania.
posted by jonmc at 4:21 PM on July 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


I don't hear anyone decrying their poor choices

Of course you can't hear me, you're in New Mexico.

Anyway, I too thought "god, I wonder what he can possibly do for a living." But people are always surprising me with the strange jobs they have. I don't have too much imagination on the subject of employment, and I'm one of those people who would like to have one job forever, but after thinking about it a little, I'm sure he gets along in some capacity. He also mentioned that he wouldn't sever any fingers because he wants to play guitar (not sure if that means that he actually does play it, or would like to in the future), so his ridiculous appearance could be an asset if he were a musician.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 4:26 PM on July 4, 2008


Shame to see self-expression so derided simply because we've not yet challenged our society to get the stick out of its ass regarding things that don't hurt anyone but make life more interesting.
posted by batmonkey at 4:26 PM on July 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


Agreed, batmonkey, he's harmless, but as far as self-expression goes 'I'm gonna tattoo myself to look like a...um..scary monster, yeah,' is not exactly a Nobel Prize winner for originality.
posted by jonmc at 4:37 PM on July 4, 2008


Shame to see self-expression so derided

Yeah.
posted by pracowity at 4:46 PM on July 4, 2008


I remember when the super-long mohawk look was shocking. Now, when I see kids rockin' the old-school mohawks I can't help but feel that they have a conservative grounding and probably have a good head on their shoulders which helps them from straying into the god-awful emo/goth look. It's quaint.

I feel like I'll see these guys in 20 years and think the same. Sure, it looks radical now. In the spirit of one-upmanship shock value, however, it will pale in comparison to the kid we'll be talking about in the future who's replaced all his limbs with mechanical prosthetics and tatooed himself bright pink with the word FUCK in black all over the pinkness.

When that happens, everyone will go 'ahh, remember Zombie Boy? That lad had the good sense to keep all his limbs.'

Plus, tattoo removal will get pretty good. He'll probably be a lawyer in 10 years.
posted by jimmythefish at 5:10 PM on July 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


There is an interesting side-effect in traveling with heavily modified people; they become a barometer of the cultural "backwardness-quotient" of a place.

My guess is that if this man walked into a diner in the middle of Saskatchewan, every single person would stop their conversation, turn around, and stare at him.


So you're standing there with a grown man on your left who wants to be a zombie (or maybe a Ninja Turtle), while in front of you is a diner full of people who think he's a mentally deficient freak, and somehow, the people in the diner are the ones you criticize?
posted by bchase at 5:11 PM on July 4, 2008


I'm curious -- would any of you think twice about this guy's future career prospects if he didn't have all that stuff on his skin?
posted by Dave Faris at 5:14 PM on July 4, 2008


pracowity:
Your point...?
posted by batmonkey at 5:22 PM on July 4, 2008


I think the job prospects come up so often in people's minds because one so rarely has something physical at which one can point and say, "Whoa, yeah, so much for that." Dropping out of high school is neither something you can see upon first viewing someone, nor a Really Huge Dealbreaker. He could have a great resume, but on any position in which he'd have to deal with the public or interact with anyone who was even a little conservative, he's pretty much toast. And as much as we'd like to think that it wouldn't matter, it does. I've seen even little tats matter.

It's permanent, it's not going away, it's not something you can work through. (Unless he gets a fuckton of laser). Drop out of high school? Well, you can always get your GRE.

And he's done it to himself. I suppose would could dig around BME to find some people who have amputated fingers and you'd get a handful of "so much for that piano career" comments, but even missing digits are not quite so obvious as the very first thing at which we look, the face.

I prefer the guy I saw who had artwork done to make it look like his head had been raggedly sawn off, then bolted, stitched, and grafted back on.
posted by adipocere at 5:24 PM on July 4, 2008


I'm curious -- would any of you think twice about this guy's future career prospects if he didn't have all that stuff on his skin?

This makes no sense at all. All we really know is that he's a guy with stuff on his skin. Sure, he seems to be reasonably well-spoken. It's reasonable to say that as a random human he has all sorts of career possibilities. You can make a good call only by what he does, however, and that's being Zombie Boy. Tattooed face? Probably not going to be the Manhattan D.A.

This is not to say that he is killing all career possibilities. These days, there would be innumerable people who'd look at this guy and think - there's a maverick willing to follow through on his committments! I'm sure he'll do fine, but then I'm not sure people like this are even career-oriented in the first place. People who do these sorts of things aren't usually interested in stability, status-quo, self-preservation or mainstream lifestyles. So, we shouldn't worry about it.
posted by jimmythefish at 5:25 PM on July 4, 2008


Tattooed face? Probably not going to be the Manhattan D.A.

Unless of course the tattoo said "I Love Law!"
posted by jonmc at 5:27 PM on July 4, 2008


Drop out of high school? Well, you can always get your GRE.

GED. GRE is the test for grad school.
posted by jonmc at 5:28 PM on July 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


All girls love zombie boy

For a fuck or for fun time, why not. Yet my guess is only a zombie girl would stick with him, expecially when his body starts changing and he doesn't exactly look as oddly attractive as now. I so much a fan of temporary tatoos.
posted by elpapacito at 5:28 PM on July 4, 2008


This guy is awesome. To echo what (a few) others have said, the world is a better place with people like him in it.

True, he may not be hired as a Hilton Concierge or a Regional Sales Rep or a TV Weatherman. People may be shocked to learn that there are plenty of occupations in the US that aren't dependent on your appearance. Hell, you can be hired for most work-at-home jobs these days without seeing a single person face to face. If his skills are suitable, I don't see why this guy couldn't get a job in engineering, software, certain creative fields -- really anyplace where public relations isn't a major job feature.

There are over 300 million people living in the US. If one of them wants to set himself apart by being 'Crazy Zombie Guy,' more power to him. If all 300 million of us had the same aesthetics, goals, and sense of priority in life -- that's when I'd start to worry.
posted by skammer at 5:42 PM on July 4, 2008 [7 favorites]


He could have a great resume, but on any position in which he'd have to deal with the public or interact with anyone who was even a little conservative, he's pretty much toast. And as much as we'd like to think that it wouldn't matter, it does. I've seen even little tats matter.

There do exist people in this world for whom those kinds of prospects are really not important. I know it's hard to believe. I guess my bafflement is that, listening to what a lot of people are saying, I'm sure he can look out for his own interests just fine. The mock pity, projection and patronizing of a complete stranger is just a bit much for me to take seriously. Worry for your own; I'm sure he'll be fine.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:55 PM on July 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


My grumpy GOML $.02--

The farthest extremes of body mod and tattoo art strike me as narcissistic and perverse--exaggerated self-expression that is very American.

This is straying from the topic somewhat, but "self-expression" itself, as the goal of art, falls on the narcissistic end of the spectrum. It certainly seems less mature than art that has a wider, more outwardly-directed focus.
posted by flotson at 5:58 PM on July 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Apparently none of you have ever heard of telecommuting.
posted by Dave Faris at 6:47 PM on July 4, 2008


Thanks, jonmc. My pending re-entry into the fabulous world of college has clearly been saturating my brain.

I'm glad to know that I'm not the only person with that Magnetic Fields song in my head.
posted by adipocere at 6:49 PM on July 4, 2008


By the way -- laser tattoos : not nearly as extreme, but just as permanent.

Mommas, don't let your junior high buy a laser etcher.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:04 PM on July 4, 2008


There are over 300 million people living in the US. If one of them wants to set himself apart by being 'Crazy Zombie Guy,' more power to him. If all 300 million of us had the same aesthetics, goals, and sense of priority in life -- that's when I'd start to worry.

I'm with you. This guy makes the world a stranger place to live in, and I'm grateful for that.

World's only going to get stranger from here on in, anyway. Might as well go along with it and have some fun.
posted by Arturus at 7:15 PM on July 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't think anyone here is really particularly filled with concern about his career prospects. I suspect it's just a way people have of reassuring themselves that life choices that they dislike, disapprove of, or are made uncomfortable by are bad choices. It happens to a lesser extent on threads about plain old ordinary tattoos, as well.

There's a couple variations, the most simple one being:

1) Person A hears about Person B doing something that Person A would violently dislike doing
2) Person A reassures self that there is a valid reason for this violent dislike; most often it is some variation of "Person B will regret doing that at some point!", which not only presents a reason but casts Person A as smarter than Person B for making a different choice.

In this case, it is being hypothesized that at some point Person B may want a career that they are unable to get because of their choice, which has a high degree of plausibility because many people want such careers, even if there is no direct evidence that person B does or ever will.

Another variation, which I do not think is going on here in particular, but which is interesting, is:

1) Person A hears about Person B doing something that Person A would REALLY REALLY like to do, but has been raised to believe is wrong
2) Person A asserts that they actually violently dislike this activity, and reassures self that there is a valid reason for violent dislike

A lot of people think that this one is going on with many instances of homophobia.

This is not to say that people are necessarily bad people for validating their own preferences this way to some degree; I think everyone does it to some extent. But since it can become a problem when used as an excuse for prejudice or even unwarranted dislike, it's probably good to acknowledge that it's going on.
posted by kyrademon at 7:17 PM on July 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


I've heard of telecommuting. In fact, the little tats incident I mentioned previously was for a web designer - pretty much your original telecommuting job (before phone sex, anyway). Yeah, so even for that job, which didn't involve face time with anybody on a day-to-day basis, and certainly not the target audience, she still didn't get it.

And, well, not every job is suitable for telecommuting. The fact that you'd have to fall back to this would mean that everyone's reaction is at least partially correct - it's a job-limiting, permanent choice.
posted by adipocere at 7:17 PM on July 4, 2008


A tattoo is another way of saying "I didn't go to college."

OK, I get not liking this, or finding it extreme, but this is just a stupid sentiment.

Blanket generalizations are another way of saying "I'm an ignorant ass."
posted by anansi at 7:27 PM on July 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


A tattoo is another way of saying "I didn't go to college."

When did you go to college? 1951? The vast majority of people I've met with tattoos have been middle-class, white college grads. Why do you think all the tattoo shops have dolphin flash on the walls? For the bikers?
posted by lysistrata at 7:34 PM on July 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


I have a co-worker with a pretty good sleeve of skull tattoos which he doesn't conceal, and we work with a bunch of fairly conservative old guys in an urban planning firm. Guess what? Nobody gives a shit because he's excellent at his job.
posted by jimmythefish at 7:48 PM on July 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


You go, guy.
posted by nev at 8:44 PM on July 4, 2008


I'm with Dobbs on this one. The Texas tattoo is just too incongruous.

I've decided it was a quick switch in direction taken immediately after the inception of an idea:

"I'll get a map of the 50 states on me, that way I'll never be lost. I'll go to each state, and get its outline tattooed on me there... wait a minute - what if I get hit by a bus on this tour? I'd better get a skeletal outline tattooed on me so the doctors have an idea of what they're looking at!"

It must be my faith in humanity that keeps me from seeing things like this at face value.
posted by Graygorey at 10:17 PM on July 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, I'm sure a lot of people besides myself actually know people who've been turned down for jobs they wanted because of tattoos. So it does happen and it's sad, especially when the job doesn't involve working with customers or partners or anything where the company might have an interest in not provoking the prejudices of others. I'd hire this guy as a programmer if he was good, but some people wouldn't. Very few companies would hire him for sales. But he sounds like he's aware of stuff enough to know this. I know a lot of people who got tattoos when they were very young who later were interested in careers that these became a problem for, but I don't think this guy will be one of those. At the very least, he's put wayy more thought into this than most tattooed people I know.

It looks pretty neat, aside from the squirming nausea I get just looking at that many tattoos. But I feel that way about plastic surgery and all sorts of things, so thats my own deal (can't stop imagining what it would feel like to have it done, probably incorrectly).
posted by wildcrdj at 12:44 AM on July 5, 2008


I'm sure he could get a job as a tattoo artist, and he'd probably be very successful, too.
posted by Dave Faris at 5:14 AM on July 5, 2008



I used to work with Mr. Lifto and The Enigma --Tube

Tube, I've seen your work! Awesome!
posted by Mister_A at 6:12 AM on July 5, 2008


costing over £4,075 Canadian Yah.

How much is a Canadian pound?





Wait for it...
posted by Mister_A at 6:21 AM on July 5, 2008


You would think that the guy who was trying to look like a zombie would be creepier than the guy trying to look like a cat. You would be wrong. I wish I could unsee Stalking Cat.

The idea that Zombie Boy could be a telecommuting engineer is pretty funny. I'm fairly sure that isn't in the cards.
posted by diogenes at 6:24 AM on July 5, 2008


I think the issue many people would have with Zombie Boy is that, well, a *lot* of people (particularly Americans) don't like to recognize the existence of death too much. Our culture doesn't really embrace that part of the life cycle (which is why it's so appealing to people like Zombie Boy in the first place). So that this guy has embraced death and makes them look directly at it, well, I think that connection probably freaks them out more that Stalking Cat's tiger fantasy. The experience of visualizing a zombie vs. visualizing a tiger... two very different things for people.

That said, I'm with you... Stalking Cat freaks my shit out.

And for the record, I know people who've lost employment due to a beard or an earring. I've worked at a few places where they made people shave beards off or wouldn't employ them. So I'm thinking the full-body zombie tattoo might be a realistic dealbreaker for certain employers.
posted by miss lynnster at 6:39 AM on July 5, 2008


I'm so hoping he turns up in thread to answer questions. How many times do you legitimately get to post 'OMFGZOMBIEBOY'?
posted by Jofus at 7:49 AM on July 5, 2008


I think this is beautiful work, I think he looks awesome.
posted by biscotti at 8:19 AM on July 5, 2008


flotson declared:
"The farthest extremes of body mod and tattoo art strike me as narcissistic and perverse--exaggerated self-expression that is very American."

?

Much of the most extreme body modifications (up to and including full body tattoos) were first found (and, in most cases, continue to be) all over the world in societies in touch with their earlier history.

Why would it strike you as perverse and narcissistic to put what you consider artistic or meaningful or interesting onto one's own body?

I think that says more about your mind-set and how you approach the world than it does about anyone you're judging.
posted by batmonkey at 8:21 AM on July 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Zombie Boy: "I don't want your love... or do I?"

Here's a guy who wanted to make a spectacle out of himself. And there are at least two possible reactions he wanted to elicit from anyone and everyone who sees him: 1) horror 2) delight. I'm going to go out on a limb here – many have above – and guess that he wasn't particularly interested in #2.

That is, for all of those who have written "I think it's great this guy is doing this" because it entertains you, because it rewards your political and/or aesthetic values, I think he'll take your kudos (and a round of drinks) but he didn't really want it. Again, speculating: I think the guy who says that he was lying in a gutter, yelling at cars, before he decided to impersonate a corpse was more interested in provoking horror and disgust when he began his show.

So, for all who have written, in one way or another: "I don't appreciate the feeling of disgust this guy actively provokes in me and in others" I think we are – or were – his target audience.

The problem is, I think, he was too lazy or too immature to do this with make-up. So he has now committed to doing this show to, with or for other people for the rest of his life. Those of us who entertain notions of radical individuality and free expression might want to consider that the freedom to change is also quite human. And that can mean changing out of an ear-less, black-eyed, gutter punk zombie persona into, well, anything else. This man has chosen to deprive himself of that freedom... in order to provoke a reaction from people, over and over and over again.

I don't think it's insignificant that of all the characters in our rich civilization, he chose to pass himself off as one of the "living dead." A person neither fully alive nor fully dead – trapped, as it were, between life stages.
posted by noway at 8:55 AM on July 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


But, noway, why does that mean we have to declare anything about him at all?
posted by batmonkey at 9:22 AM on July 5, 2008


Okay, I just got really squicked out by this:

"And I’ve thought about getting my eyes blacked in. I’m thinking that in five years from now, if no one’s gone blind from it by then I’ll go and get my eyes tattooed black, so there’d just be big holes in my face."

Sorry but... yeah, he's never getting a job. Anywhere.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:26 AM on July 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I find his tattoos oddly beautiful as well, once I got over the shock factor. Some of the ones, particularly the bones on his face are very sensitive. He found a real artist to do them, obviously. I don't know what they mean for his future (did anyone else hear the Talk of the Nation last year discussing tattoos and the workplace? The general consensus was that even people with upper-arm sleeves had to cover them, even after working at a place for more than several years, or face workplace discrimination) but they're lovely.
posted by arnicae at 9:39 AM on July 5, 2008


Somebody better tell him that stuff doesn't come off in the shower.
posted by doctorschlock at 9:40 AM on July 5, 2008


noway, I think you're making a mistake in thinking that what he's done is fundamentally about other people. I don't think it is. Rather than spectacle, I think the point is marking difference, setting yourself apart. And yeah, there's an element of provoking reactions in that, but it's more about dealing with society than with individual people. I don't think framing it as 'target audience' is at all helpful. He was miserable, etc., and this helped him deal.
posted by Arturus at 10:33 AM on July 5, 2008


hey batmonkey: we don't "have to" declare anything at all about him. we choose to because this is a web site for commenting on things, people, ideas, etc. and in this particular case, he is engaged in an inherently social gesture: presenting himself to others in a way that will certainly surprise them.

which leads to arturus: i agree that this has tremendous (!) personal importance for him but it's not like he chose to "deal," as you put it, by writing poetry in a diary. he decided to deal by transforming the way he is seen by others. had he built some kind of trick mirror wherein he could look at himself and see a skeleton (or, say by making x-ray self-portraits), it'd be a different story.

there are many ways to distinguish yourself: not all of them are permanent and few of them are as aggressive as taking on the appearance of a living corpse. some may celebrate that gesture and that's awesome. (freedom, etc.) but we shouldn't deny that his self-presentation has, at the very least, a social component.
posted by noway at 1:19 PM on July 5, 2008


I was asking a question for another level of conversation, noway, not asking why this is here.

Sorry you got that out of it.
posted by batmonkey at 1:54 PM on July 5, 2008


OK, I get not liking this, or finding it extreme, but this is just a stupid sentiment.

I'm not being mean, maybe it is just a direct way of saying that tattoos fill a position of accomplishment with some people, and it is typically the messenger/bartender/mechanic type. It is almost never the architect/chemist/attorney. In getting tattoos some people feel they have achieved something. And maybe they have.
posted by plexi at 2:33 PM on July 5, 2008


I'm not being mean, maybe it is just a direct way of saying that tattoos fill a position of accomplishment with some people, and it is typically the messenger/bartender/mechanic type. It is almost never the architect/chemist/attorney.

Source
posted by fire&wings at 4:23 PM on July 5, 2008


I'm not being mean, maybe it is just a direct way of saying that tattoos fill a position of accomplishment with some people, and it is typically the messenger/bartender/mechanic type. It is almost never the architect/chemist/attorney.

Carl Zimmer's Science Tattoo Emporium!
posted by lysistrata at 5:02 PM on July 5, 2008


tattoos fill a position of accomplishment with some people, and it is typically the messenger/bartender/mechanic type.

I am personally aquainted with several people of the 'archietct/chemist/attorney variety' who have multiple tattoos and/or piercings. You need to get out more, sir, or maybe see your professional pals without their power suits on. I'm not inked myself, and the only thing I have pierced is my ears, and I have mixed feelings on the proliferation of body art, but it ceased being simply a 'street' thing a long time ago. and I don't really get the 'accomplishment' angle. It's something you can buy, it's no more an accomplishment than a cool t-shirt is.
posted by jonmc at 5:18 PM on July 5, 2008


Source
posted by fire&wings at 12:23 AM on July 6


It's really unsourcable. And sometimes, talking about things will hurt someone's feelings - I guess that is a dynamism of life. Like, what makes for polite dinner conversation, etc.

To take it further, I think also that is both the wonderment and danger(?) of the web: you can whip out your personal prejudices or thoughts or feelings to see if they can withstand the Klieg light-scrutiny of a chosen community - but at the same time, it is real people you are communicating with/insulting/engaging and the psuedo-anonymity of the web doesn't rob words of their ability to sting.

So what do you do? Stick to gardening, or talk about cultural phenomena that may make people sad?
posted by plexi at 5:19 PM on July 5, 2008


plexi, I'm not sad, just a bit baffled, since what you're saying dosen't square with what I've seen.
posted by jonmc at 5:22 PM on July 5, 2008


plexi, your posit doesn't hold water. I know many folks in professional positions - high level corporate types, very effective attorneys, and even a few budding politicians - who have tattoos. Quite a few of the corporate folks I know of sport major ink under their blue-button-downs & khakis. Admittedly, they are nearly all hidden under clothes, but I know of a couple of exceptions there, too.

Fortunately, in places like Seattle, Austin, Vancouver, Portland, Houston, and, based on the friends I have there, London, the odd limits others want to place on one's own body are becoming less of a factor in whether or not you can earn enough money to live or generate enough influence to be fully networked. I'm sure there are other places where this is true, and it'll be mighty pleasing to see how far it can spread over the next several years.

I'm very much looking forward to the day when people are judged for the content of their character rather than how they look, whether by birth, accident, or choice.

For now, I'm just glad that some people are willing to be the guinea pigs of public perception and put themselves out there, like the subject of the post.
posted by batmonkey at 7:00 PM on July 5, 2008


I was really approaching the issue in terms of motivations. I don't have a credible source, just my own experience, which is not such a nice way to go.

And god damn it, you've got to be kind.
posted by plexi at 8:24 PM on July 5, 2008


When it gets warm enough to wear shorts, my tat becomes visible, and it's interesting to compare the reactions between the americans and the people from other countries.

The conservative americans I work with aren't shocked, they've seen a tat before at work, but they make it obvious that on the inside, they are rolling their eyes at 6000 rpm.

The 'hip' americans want to know what it means, how old it is, and so forth. But even they seem suprised that my 'reason' for the tat is more about how it makes me feel, than about what it's supposed to 'mean' to them.

The two chinese folk I work with though, give the reaction of some of the people in this thread, of sheer wonderment that I could be, not just employed as their superior, but that I'm even an employable person at all. To them, it seems like a great cultural shock that a non-criminal would be inked. The indian guy sat in the corner and never said anything one way or another, so I dunno how he felt.

And mine just covers the front of my shin.

I think the dude looks cool, but he'd better keep thin, or it's gonna look silly. There are no fat zombies.
posted by nomisxid at 6:03 AM on July 6, 2008


Tor disagrees.
posted by Dave Faris at 6:21 AM on July 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, I saw this guy on the 80 bus once. I don't know what he does (in Canada, visible tattoos are much more accepted in "trades"), but I saw one drawback first-hand. Some drunk idiot who kept trying to sell everyone hash saw the guy and automatically decided that they were best friends.
Skull-face, as my friends who see him in the neighborhood a lot have dubbed him, wasn't very amused and got off as soon as possible.
posted by 235w103 at 12:09 PM on July 7, 2008


I'm not being mean, maybe it is just a direct way of saying that tattoos fill a position of accomplishment with some people, and it is typically the messenger/bartender/mechanic type. It is almost never the architect/chemist/attorney.

So I guess this means that since I have a tattoo, I should reject my fully funded year at UCLA next year and go find some cars to work on? Oh, and I should speak to the chair of my program, 'cause she has tattoos also. . . we can set up our own autobody place, "Losers with Tattoos Who Aren't Good Enough to Do Anything but Work On Cars."* You Sir, are either the most sheltered naive person on this board, or just a boring old troll.






*This is not to say that being a mechanic is a worthless occupation, I'm being facetious here.
posted by anansi at 9:50 AM on July 9, 2008


I have a tattoo and a PhD.

Yeah, it happens.
posted by Wolof at 9:13 PM on July 11, 2008


> How much is a Canadian pound?

454 grams
posted by Listener at 10:34 PM on July 11, 2008


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