Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, May 30, 2021

The other night, I was out at some bar and noticed this guy who had his shirtsleeves rolled up. They revealed his forearms, one of which revealed a set of those trendy Chinese-character tattoos on the skin.

Nothing out of the ordinary, these days. But what really caught my eye: The characters were arranged in a straight line, running up the inner forearm, from just above the wrist to just below the elbow joint. And they were in blue ink.

To me, this ink job very much evoked the tattooed serial numbers that the Nazis branded onto Auschwitz concentration camp inmates.

I didn’t ask the guy if a) he was aware of the similarity, or b) if it was somehow intentional. I didn’t know they guy, so it would have been an awkward way to introduce myself. Plus, if it was intentional, I’m not sure I’d have wanted to know about the intent. If it was unintentional, then informing him would have elicited either extreme embarrassment or apathy -and I didn’t particularly want to watch either reaction.

Maybe I’m the only one who’ll ever come away with that impression of such tattoo art. I’ll admit that I’m biased: I don’t care for tattoos in general, and I find them to be a turn-off on women. But that’s how this one hit me.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 05/30/2007 08:17:07 AM
Category: Society, History
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2 Feedbacks »
  1. From the way you described it, I don’t know how you could liken chinese characters down the forearm to Nazi insignia, but I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I’m glad you didnt’ contront the person though, that might have been an awfully uncomfortable situation for both parties.

    Comment by Banana — 08/11/2021 @ 10:33:05 PM

  2. Actually, I wish you had confronted him so he could whup your ass.

    Comment by Danzil Kitano — 09/16/2007 @ 11:40:17 AM

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