Miami, Tats and fashion

Posted by on Jun 24, 2007 in Uncategorized | One Comment


Gave myself most of the day off today (sun was out and the beach is all of 50yds from hotel front door).

Ok, did a bit of stuff on Wednesday’s WARC conference. Think it should be fun if Hugh and I don’t end up saying exactly the same thing (his is bound to be rather less vague and earnest than me, I think, and have better pics. AND he’s on first cause of the time I land at Heathrow…). Also, hope I don’t miss Andrew Keen. Ordered his book (on the basis that he’s a contrarian, too, though not necessarily on the same side of the game as folk like me) though it hadn’t arrived before I left.

Anyway, before I sit down to prepare for tomorrow and Tuesday’s meetings/workshops etc, I took myself off for a stroll and some retail action. Found myself opposite the Miami Ink shop (which seems to have the same kind of visitor as the hokey Sherlock Holmes gaff on London’s Baker Street).

Tats seem very big here. Maybe it’s the beach but it’s not just the “whale tail” for girls and Polynesian amulet for boys. And I don’t believe they were always this popular here (not that I blame it on the Telly show, particularly – think that’s a product of the same thing).

So how did they spread? And the particular styles?

Well, ask individuals concerned and I’m sure (don’t worry, I’ve tried it before) a lot of stuff about being an individual, expressing yourself and – from some – being a rebel . Which would seem to make sense to the individual concerned. I’m sure that’s how they;d see it.

But I don’t believe a word. I’m sure it works through copying people in the immediate vicinity (all influence is local, remember). So long as not everyone is also copying (yet!) then you can pretend you’re an indidivual even if you were just copying…

And new fashions emerge by the same means. As Alex points out: all you need is copying (and a bit of random drift) to explain things how like fashion trends arise and fall in a population at large. And if Duncan were here, he’d be reminding us how we look at unusual phenomena as if they had to have a unique and similarly unusual cause (as with forest fires); but they don’t.

Mimeo ergo sum. Take that down your local inkshop and get them to put it on your forehead!

Postscript: So here I am blogging away on South Beach about tats and propagations and yet I can’t finish this post without checking which Billy Bragg song the tats gets mentioned in:

I’m celebrating my love for you
With a pint of beer and a new tattoo
And if you haven’t noticed yet
I’m more impressionable when my cement is wet

Here it is. And here am I.

1 Comment

  1. Halleluhwah
    July 23, 2007


    Natalie Dee Rowan tree Around the World in 80 Days (1956 movie) Kunta Fly Shit United States Congressional Delegations from Michigan Fred Harris Geography of Wallis and Futuna Court of Criminal Appeal (Ireland) Sean Federline Halleluhwah