For $1,000,000…

March 23, 2009


Would you get one of those really intricate Maori tattoos (permanently, duh) covering your face and neck?

I can’t even think about the Maori these days without seeing Mike Tyson’s face. Which is a real bummer for the Maori because – believe you me – they know that he like, totally co-opted their look and they are really not psyched about it. (I’ve never actually met a Maori tribe member but the Internets told me.) It’s like this totally sacred cultural expression and meanwhile, the dude who eats ears got one for shits and giggles.* I mean, for fuck’s sake. Haven’t the Maori been through enough already?

Lucky for them, I won’t be tarnishing their cultural legacy in any way because you couldn’t pay me to get one of those things. I’m really not into fucking with the face and I’m definitely not down with turning myself into The Enigma or anyone else who looks like they’d be in one of those punk rock traveling circus things – which is so ‘90s I can’t even tell you. And to be honest, I kinda think getting lots of tattoos is also totally ‘90s, and really fucking corny. Plus, you know who loves them some tattoos? Normal people. Frat and sorority idiots who genuinely believe that having a drawing on their skin makes them edgy. Getthefuckout. I mean seriously – who are you trying to shock. My grandmother?

So there you have it. This is a no for me. Sorry.

* Technically, he only chewed it – he didn’t actually swallow it – so “eat” isn’t the right word but, really, who gives a fuck? He bit someone’s ear off! This is my impersonation of Mike Tyson: “Mmmmm…Ears!!! I love ‘em! Love eatin’ ‘em!”

– Kali

Total “nuh-uh” for me. And yes, I know I said I’d do the hair tattoo, but I thought that was funny. Face tattoos, on the other hand, are NOT funny. What they remind me of : crusties, passed-out junkies in front of my old apartment on 12th Street, Burning Man, Crash Worship, nasty white-people dreadlocks, the Nazi skinhead asshole I occasionally see on the L train, ear gauge plugs, that tacky tattoo shop on lower 6th Avenue, San Francisco, and Charles Manson. None of these are good things (well, Crash Worship is OK. I used to have a bag with a big CW patch [right next to the Spitboy patch]. I ain’t gonna lie to you), and I have no desire to ally myself with any of them. I already have a “punk” tattoo as it is (so does Kali, come to think of it!). At my age, I don’t need any more subculture-related embarrassment.

– Lauren


3 Responses to “For $1,000,000…”

  1. Chelsey Says:

    Wow. I had not thought of Crash Worship or Spitboy in, like, a decade.

  2. Mari Says:

    My friend Peter left Tokyo and went back to New Zealand to become the chief of his Maori tribe. He didn’t have any face tattoos, but he did have poofy hair and a giggle like a muppet. Peter’s awesome. I miss that guy.

  3. emma Says:

    well… the tattoo doesn’t really look maori, yes there are koru like shapes, but near every generic tribal design does, and yes it kind of follows the contours of the face but I would assume facial tattoos would in one way or another have to be placed like that to soften the look. The moko is generally centred on the face and symmetrical and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a moko with block lines. Block work is usually made up of many lines following the same direction which probably has something to do with the tools originally used to tattoo.
    We call maori’s ‘maori’s’, not tribe members. Yes there are still active tribes, but it’s more to care for their people and land as best they can, and keep the culture alive by teaching the next generation the language, the history and the way of life. Though every child in New Zealand learns that to an extent at school. And to be honest, I think if Mike Tyson was invited to a hangi, he’d probably get teased for finger painting like drawings on his face but welcomed like family all the same. Maori’s are awesome!
    … just saying…

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