Re: mutilation and ritual

Adrienne Dearmas (DearmasA@AOL.COM)
Thu, 4 Jul 1996 11:45:25 -0400

In a message dated 96-07-02 17:31:06 EDT, rs219@IDIR.NET (Robert Snower)

> It is just the other way. The farther away you get from the original, the
> less ritual and ceremony is involved, the more condensed, simplified, and
> indecipherable, the original becomes. That evolution is illustrated by
> baseball rituals, which are condensed and simplified beyond recognition,
> that is why Western rituals are both simple, quick, and without ritual,
> Westerners being further away, not in time, but in degrees of
> sophistication, as compared to others

I'm not sure it is a lack of sophistication. At least, I'm not sure what you
mean by sophistication. I think, instead, we have gotten away from the
meaning of things (i.e. their origin). Tattooing in Western culture has its
origins in many aspects of sub-culture life. The military (even with its
ritualistic getting drunk and getting a tattoo), sailors, carnies (the
tattooed lady as a career for women who have chosen to live outside the norm
of marriage and having children), bikers, and prison inmates (see Margo
DeMello and November 1994 (?) issue of Natural History magazine).

- Adrienne