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"I want a tattooed president"


Graeme
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This guy is currently polling third in the Czech presidential elections:

Pre-election-debate-at-Cz-010.jpg

Vladimir Franz, an opera composer and painter, is tattooed from head to toe, his face a warrior-like mix of blue, green and red. He's also running in a surprising third place ahead of this week's Czech presidential elections.

He seems the most unlikely of candidates for a prestigious post previously held by the beloved dissident playwright Václav Havel and by Václav Klaus, a professor credited with plotting the economic transition from communism to a free market.

During a televised debate, a caller compared him to "an exotic creature from Papua New Guinea". But he's not short of admirers in a country where voters are increasingly tired of politicians they say are corrupt and failing to deliver on years of promises, more than two decades after the fall of communism.

Franz has no political experience and confesses to little knowledge of economics. He says he only threw his hat in the ring after a group of admirers established a "Franz for President" initiative and begged him to shake up the race as a shock candidate. But he has stirred up such goodwill that a leading economist has offered his services for free and his campaign workers are also volunteers.

He has spent less than £16,000 from donations on his campaign and has not put up any posters.

Franz burst on to the political scene at the end of 2012 with an eye-catching 88,000 public signatures in favour of his candidacy – far more than the 50,000 required by law. Not affiliated with any party, he has campaigned mostly on a platform highlighting anti-corruption measures, the importance of education and the nation's moral standing.

"The [political] system is so enchanted with itself that it's lost the ability to self-reflect," he said in an interview with AP this week. Czechs, he said, were "fed up with this crap."

He has proved particularly popular with young voters – and those not yet eligible to cast a ballot. In a mock presidential election at 441 high schools across the country a month before the vote, Franz won by a landslide, winning more than 40% of the approximately 60,000 votes cast.

He is tipped to win around 11% in the first round on Friday and Saturday – not enough to make the runoffs. But he may end up a kingmaker, as the leading candidates – former prime ministers Jan Fischer and Milos Zeman – would be eager to pick up his supporters if the vote goes to a second round.

Education campaigner Karel Strachota, who organised the school ballot, said young people no longer identified with existing parties. Franz is seen as "a candidate who is not tainted by politics," Strachota said. "They look with sympathy at his nonconformity and the way he presents himself."

And, perhaps surprisingly, few take issue with his tattoos. "Personally, I wouldn't vote for him – but [the tattoos] are not a problem at all," said Tomas Pistora, a 33-year-old IT specialist from Prague. "The young people prefer him because they don't have a better choice."

Many Czechs, especially in the capital, are not shocked with Franz's appearance simply because the 53-year-old professor at Prague's Academy of Performing Arts has been around for years.

"The tattoo doesn't make any difference," said Jakub Fisera, a student in Prague, adding that Franz's lack of experience in politics was more of a problem.

Franz says his tattoos are simply body art and that the election is not a beauty contest. "A tattoo is a sign of a free will and that does not harm the freedom of anyone else," he said.

For the first time, the Czech president will be elected in a popular vote – a new system that makes it possible for independent candidates like Franz to run for the largely ceremonial post.

Klaus, the incumbent, opposed the change. He called it "a fatal mistake" and said he feared that someone like Franz might succeed him.

A total of nine candidates are running. Unlike the Eurosceptic Klaus, who has attacked the European Union at every opportunity, the favourites, Zeman and Fischer, have a more moderate approach to the EU, which the country joined in 2004.

The left-of-centre Zeman, who was prime minister from 1998 to 2002, leads the polls with about 25% support. Fischer, a centrist and a former state bureaucrat, gained significant popularity when he led a caretaker government in 2009-10. He is polling at about 20%.

As the campaign approached its end on Tuesday, eight candidates were busy on the stump. The ninth – Franz – had other matters to deal with: a final rehearsal of his work War with the Newts at the State Opera. Torn between art and politics, Franz cut short his appearance at an election debate to return to the opera house that is part of Prague's national theatre.

But he has committed to staying to the end of Thursday's final televised debate. He said it was not an easy choice, but he realised his credibility demanded that he take part.

"For a Czech composer to have a world premiere in the national theatre is something extraordinary," he said. "I had to make a choice between a service to the public and the fulfilment of my lifelong dream. I've made the choice and will be at the debate."

Vladimir Franz: tattooed composer polling strongly in the Czech elections | World news | guardian.co.uk

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I found this, but I can't find the book for sale or the author's name anywhere.....

Referencing the popular book, "Hail to the Tat: An Illustrated History of Presidential Tattoos," 35 of the 43 presidents sported skin art. Amongst the First Citizen's tattoos, the most popular were on the arm, thus starting the tradition that no American President can be photographed wearing a tank top. The most famous tattoo involved a small eagle holding a broad sword (demonstrated in the first source) fighting Jack "Galveston Giant" Johnson. Additionally, several presidential tattoos stand out: Andrew Jackson sported a tomahawk that ran the length of the inside of his left leg; James K. Polk is historically known to be the first white man to have a Chinese character as a tattoo (the symbol for "eager");

James Buchanon with a scantily-clad brunette on his chest as well as the acronym "BFL" in six inch lettering on his abdomen (BFL standing for "bachelor for life");

and William McKinley with a cartoon representation of himself as the Monopoly man carrying a bulging sack with a $ symbol.

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Franklin Pierce had full sleeves depicting Greek mythological figures fighting dragons. He had an affinity for both Greek mythology and Asian cultures, so he let his brother-in-law, Obadiah Appleton practice his new trade. Unfortunately for Pierce, Obadiah's tattoo work was as bad as his previous career as a failed wagon builder. Pierce therefore always wore sleeves and threatened the life of anyone making a portrait if they even suggested depicting the tattoos.

Also, Dwight Eisenhower has an ace of spades on his right butt cheek.

I don't know if any of this is true, but I found it quite amusing.

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Found this....

Tattooed U.S. Politicians - ABC News

A Czech Republic political candidate made headlines this week, not for his policy but for his face full of tattoos. There may not be anyone that extreme in Washington, but American politicians have been hiding their own ink under blazers and congressional pins for years. Congressional Representatives, members of the White House cabinet and even presidents have indulged in the painful practice of body art.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. uses his arms as a form of expression, with tattoos to symbolize his family; his fraternity, Omega Psi Phi; and even Bruce Lee.

Rep. Dan Boren also has a fraternity tattoo. He joined Kappa Sigma.

Rep. Mary Bono Mack made a pit stop at a tattoo parlor shortly after 9/11. There she got a tattoo of a cross as a proclamation of her faith.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, a former Marine Corps officer, has tattoos on his arms to commemorate his three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The late Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz., the Republican Party’s nominee for President in 1964, had four small stars and a half moon on the underside of his wrist. According to Roll Call the tattoo was intended to symbolize his “participation in the Smoki People, a group of largely white, Native American culture enthusiasts in the Southwest.”

President Theodore Roosevelt had his family crest tattooed on his chest.

Just because politicians are typically buttoned up does not mean that they can’t have a little fun with their artistic creations. Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz has a tiger, the mascot of his alma mater, Princeton, tattooed on the left side of his derriere. According to a Chicago Tribune piece published in 1987, confirmation of Shultz’s racy rear end came from his wife, Helena. She confirmed the rumors to reporters on the secretary’s plane during a trip to China.

Other politicians, whether or not they got their own tattoos, have inspired others. The faces of John F. Kennedy, Barack Obama, Abraham Lincoln and Sarah Palin have all graced the bodies of supporters (or their opposition).

Even pop super star Miley Cyrus recently inked up her arm with a Theodore Roosevelt quote that reads, “So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

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King Edward was tattooed by Hori Chiyo who tattooed many royal personages . His sons , the Duke of Clarence and the Duke of York , later King George V also sought out Hori Chiyo when the two brothers served as midshipmen aboard H.M.S Bacchante which visited Yokohama in 1882 .

Here's an illustration from George Burchett's book of the Duke of York being tattooed. Apologies for the glare on the page.

okrhcl.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...
I thought this was going to be about those stupid shirts.

Who cares if your president has tattoos or not? It has no bearing on their ability to do the job. I think it is a bit prejudice to judge some wither a person has tattoos or not

Haha no, those shirts are stupid and annoying. The worst are the "Tattooed and Employed" ones because it's like tattoos are so mainstream that nobody thinks you're a badass for being tattooed. Trying too hard bullshit that stuff is.

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Who cares if your president has tattoos or not? It has no bearing on their ability to do the job. I think it is a bit prejudice to judge some wither a person has tattoos or not

Tattoos and scars add to a person’s experience, if he did that to his face, imagine what he might do to his foreign enemies.

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I was intrigued by the book Hail to the Tatt. Unfortunately it seems the book is a myth. I noticed there is no citation or record in the library of congress nor is it likely that McKinley had a tattoo of the monopoly guy given that he died years prior to the development of the game. Still, I'm disappointed. It would have been a fascinating read.

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  • 2 months later...
King Edward was tattooed by Hori Chiyo who tattooed many royal personages . His sons , the Duke of Clarence and the Duke of York , later King George V also sought out Hori Chiyo when the two brothers served as midshipmen aboard H.M.S Bacchante which visited Yokohama in 1882 .

I found this photo online of Hori Chiyo from the collection of the Nagasaki University Library

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  • 3 months later...
I thought this was going to be about those stupid shirts.

Who cares if your president has tattoos or not? It has no bearing on their ability to do the job. I think it is a bit prejudice to judge some wither a person has tattoos or not

I think the idea is that ppl who choose to be tattooed are more open minded and less likely to judge ppl based on personal choices because being tattooed is a personal choice.

As far as the shirts go I don't think they're too bad, I personally don't mind the publicity or however you wanna phrase it for tattooing. I get a lot of ppl like tattoos as an exclusive club or secret society if you will.. I get that, exclusivity but the price is prejudice. I also get that that CEO's(unless self employed) will never be the norm and ppl in sales and other public will generally not be visibly tattooed ppl, but the publicity has been good for those of us in the middle ground of 'blue collar' work.

I work for Pepsi, there are lots of visibly tattooed ppl there, I've no way to know for sure but I'd be willing to bet the number of employees with visible work is many times higher then 50-40-30-20-10 years ago.. Not saying at all this is due to Steadfast Brands recent campaigns but there is some positive to this..

I'm old enough to remember when skateboarding was like this.. Suddenly all these stickers saying 'Skateboarding is not a crime' along with t-shirts etc.. Skating was 'pure' then and un commercialized but skaters were poor.. Now look at them.. Better boards etc etc and better paychecks..

It's not exactly the same, but its similar.. Appointments with the best artists are further and further out and prices up but that's a good thing for the long term of the craft..

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