Tattoo You?

Based on this article on BBC website and the research of Dr. Andrew Timming and various assumptions that can and are drawn from research regarding tattoos and employability.

I’m not really concerned with majority of the article. In many ways it’s a nonsense piece. However, there are some assertions made that require being put into some sort of perspective.

This passage from the section subtitled ‘Tidal wave’ is of particular note:

However academic Andrew Timming at St Andrews University, who has researched the role of tattoos in hiring practices, says a change in attitudes is inevitable.

“There’s a tidal wave of young people with tattoos these days and they’re not always going to be young.”

“Employers are going to have to accept that they’re integral to the fabric of society and accept that they may potentially have a place at work.”

 

The second comment is worthy of reading several times. Surely the BBC researcher/interviewer didn’t quite do their job as thoroughly as they should have? Makes Andrew appear somewhat confused in what he’s trying to say.

What’s even more ridiculous is the suggestion that tattoos have agency and a role to play in the action/decision making process. Are tattoos active? Let’s not try and gift them with some sort of power. The decisive power and choice lies with the people who have tattoos and those who decide against them or are concerned about the effect tattooed employees might have on their businesses. Are tattoos integral to the fabric of society? Perhaps that’s still a while coming.

A change in attitudes is inevitable, is also questionable. Yes, some attitudes change, perhaps soften around the edges, but someone who has a spider’s web tattooed on their face or CFC on their forehead, does not mean that they will be working for the Palace anytime soon.  We’ll have to wait for that revolution, regardless of what ACAS might say.

The final assertion in the section labelled ‘Missing out’, requires some examination.

In his research Dr Timming found there were some organisations where a tattoo might be deemed an asset – those marketing towards younger people, including bars and clubs or in the creative industries where it can be seen as a sign of original thinking.

 

Marketing towards younger people.  Are these the same people in the tidal wave of which some won’t even be young? Are those working in bars and clubs really going to spend a lifetime doing this job because of their tattoos?

The creative industries where it’s a sign of original thinking? Does that mean anyone who doesn’t have a tattoo is somehow lacking in original thinking? Really? The degree of modification, recuperation and absorption into the daily fabric is quite perplexing. A couple of propositions from Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle seem especially relevant and applicable here:

165 The capitalist production system has unified space, breaking down the boundaries between one society and the next. This unification is also a process, at once extensive and intensive, of trivialization.

and

172 … But the general trend toward isolation, which is the essential reality of urbanism, must also embody a controlled reintegration of the workers based on the planned needs of production and consumption. Such an integration into the system must recapture isolated individuals as individuals isolated together.

 

To my way of thinking, the recuperation, that this article is clearly an agent of, is generally presented by quite benign, non-threatening means. Slightly ‘fluffy’ newspaper articles, usually backed by some sort of research of a qualitative nature transformed into ‘numbers’ and attached to an illusory pretence of a scientific method. Humorous end of the news, light hearted pieces that everyone can chuckle about.

Essentially this is really an attempt to get everyone employed regardless of possible barriers or impediments and to create favourable conditions of reception and acceptance.

196 … meanwhile, from within the various disciplines in which structuralism has taken root, an apologetics of the spectacle is disseminated as the thought of non­thought, as an authorized amnesia with respect to historical practice. As forms of enslaved thought, however, there is nothing to choose between the fake despair of a nondialectical critique on the one hand and the fake optimism of a plain and simple boosting of the system on the other.

 

There are some marvelously, descriptive phrases here that really capture the working of the system and the promulgation of its ideology by unwitting agents using the scientific tools of the day to create the winning argument to create acceptance being disseminated by an official, authoritative outlet. I might well be using a very large hammer, in the shape of Debord’s text, to counter a ‘fluff’ piece but unfortunately this is a good example of the Spectacle at work. Ideology at its best!

Whilst the probable aim of this article is perhaps to offer solutions to ensure employment is maintained as much as possible and that exclusion, for whatever reason, is maintained at low enough level,s to ensure ‘full’ employment, one should keep in mind that whilst something might appear to have a sort of rationality, you should not confuse the things of logic with the logic of things.

BoJo Blue Plaque – Love It

The British are such an enterprising people, especially Londoners!

You have got to love a response like this as an alternative to egg or tomatoes!

“Boris Johnson, 1964 -, BOJO, destroyer of cosmopolitan unity & passer of buck lives here,”

 

Wish there was more of it.

 

Advice On What To Do

I’ve just written this article and you should head on over to here to read more.

I don’t think it’s an easy question to respond to.
So here’s my best guidance/advice:

1. As you are in this position what is/was your plan or intention?
2. How close are you from actioning your plan?

3. If not close what steps do you need to undertake to get closer to realising your plan?

4. What role do other people play in this, if any? They can still be your friends but the question is to what degree are they invested in the project you have together and how do you think removing yourself from it would be received?

5. Question 4 is irrelevant if it doesn’t get you closer to your goal.

6. To what extent have you identified the sorts of skills/resources (including human) that you will need to access, to get closer towards realising what you wanted to do when you decided to study?

7. If you don’t or didn’t have a plan then points 2-6 are meaningless until you have something of substance.

Balanced with all of this is being able to produce material that works in whichever part of the Commercial Music field you would like to position yourself. Do you know yet? Who are the best players in that field, identify them, work out why they are top of their domain and try and be better. And if you can’t be better then be different enough to make a distinction and/or difference. It’s easy to dismiss another rapper, DJ, singer, metal band, producer etc and not comprehend the, whilst not uniqueness, a sufficient difference to make the abstracted artistic persona/identity, tangible. At the core of all of this will always be songs and performances that have something that are reasonably difficult to replace or substitute with. At least in the beginning. When you find out who the top players are in your field, listen to their early songs, the ones that got them noticed, signed, attention and think what would that look like now as the world has moved on and become that little bit more hip to the sound.

Head on over to here to read more.