Wednesday, October 13, 2010

If I had to get a literary tattoo

This story out of WBUR's On Point program about people who have tattoos with literary themes caught my attention. I have a sort of love-hate relationship to tattoos. I think that a well-made tattoo by a good artist on the right person can be a beautiful work of art. The problem, and here is where the hate comes, is that a lot of people get cheap ink jobs that look horrible; instead of enhancing their body image, it makes things a lot worse. But since I am a live and let live sort of guy, I say to each their own. But I wondered for a moment what would I get if I had the option to get a tattoo with a literary theme. I am declaring what I would get inked on me if I ever got the guts to actually do it (let alone the money to pay for it).

  • First, I want a tattoo of the old World War II-era propaganda about "books are weapons in the war of ideas." See the two illustrations below. I think I would prefer the one with the eagle diving and the motto on the ribbon, but the other one is cool too. You see, any librarian can just go and get a favorite book passage inked on their body. Me? I am not just a librarian, but I am an information warrior, an agent who fights disinformation and ignorance, and books are indeed my weapons. You try to come at me with your ignorance, you better come armed. I know I will. 
  • Two, I want a simple scroll or ribbon with the phrase "Sapere aude." This is latin for "Dare to know," although some translate it as "dare to discern" or "dare to be wise." Again, what is more appropriate for a librarian, especially one who believes in our educational mission, in our mission to help others find good, reliable, accurate information and thus help dispel ignorance and misinformation? In order to do so, the librarian has to become knowledgeable and wise. He or she has to dare to know whatever is necessary in order to wage war against ignorance, misinformation, fear mongering, so on. I probably would want the phrase written out in a nice cursive script. 

Anyhow, not that I am likely to get inked. For one, I am not sure I could stay still long enough for an artist to put the ink on  me. Two, well, there is the matter that I am a bit on the hairy side; if I was a bit shorter, I could have played Gimli in that Lord of the Rings flick.  That probably was a bit more information than my two readers wanted to know. Anyhow, just some idle thoughts.

A hat tip to LISNews.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the "Books Are Weapons" illustrations. Right now I am trying to choose which one should I make myself a t-shirt with.