Jay-Z's "On to the Next One" - it's all black and white, there's some beautiful imagery and aesthetics in there, but it's got all kinds of occult/satanic symbolism.
What think ye? A "yea" vote is a vote for aesthetics or general defiance of the religions, spirituality, and philosophy that'd condemn the occult. A "nay" vote says, "No, I don't think any aesthetic value is worth glorifying that sort of thing."
For a music video that's black and white, and also haunting, but lacks the satanic imagery, there's Massive Attack's "Splitting the Atom" -
What do you think? I was thinking of commissioning a work of art later in life that's somewhat ridiculous - I was going to get myself sitting at a desk in a replica of Date Masamune's armor, with a map spread across the desk, a feather quill in my right hand, and my left hand resting on a skull. On the desk to the left of the skull is a strategist's war fan for signaling troops at a distance. Two swords on my belt.
That has the symbolism of how I think of myself in the world - a warrior, clad in armor (readiness) at all times, thinking and planning, truly international, strategist, aware of my death at all times, ready to fight and die for what I believe in. There's a mix of Western and Eastern themes there - the quill, skull, desk, map are more traditional depictions in European art. The armor, helm, swords, and commander's fan are Eastern.
Ultra-rough version in MSPaint:
I'd be worried it's be interpreted incorrectly by overzealous people and I wasn't sure if I was going to do it - in reality, that's Christian and Bushido imagery that's very much virtuous-warrior-centric, but the imagery could look vicious to the untrained eye. But actually, now that I'm writing this, I've decided to do it later. Whenever I realize I was going to not do something out of fear of being misinterpreted, that makes me decide to do it.
Actually, I find an enormous amount of value in many "occult" traditions. Like any other "spiritual" practices, the burden is on you to sort the wheat from the chaff. But these stories are the way deep wisdom was passed for a long time. For instance, Kali is a a figure that might be described as "occult". She is the (to the best of my knowledge, apologies for my ignorance) Hindu goddess that represents death and the end of all things. But she also represents eternal energy and fearlessness. To me, these concepts are tightly bound, so I enjoy reading stories that represent the underlying relationship, and enjoy art that uses these shared symbols to tell great stories.
But, like anything else, it's what are you really communicating, so the audience matters. To me, being a Christian means loving your neighbor, joining together in a community to do good things, fearlessly standing by your principles unto death, etc. But to many, it means intolerance to change, hypocrisy, and, all kinds of nasty things. So I'm careful to whom I communicate that I identify with Christians unless I know he /she will understand that to mean what I mean. Like anything else, it's just a symbol, and I have no more right do define it's absolute meaning than anyone else.
Same goes with a skull. A skull can represent the transient nature of human life, or it can represent insecurity, intimidation, and that you don't understand the value of life.
So, do you want a tattoo of a skull? Might not serve your best purposes. But a work of art involving occult symbolism that has a deep meaning to you? To me, that is a very worthy investment, and your opportunity to strengthen the meaning you see behind symbols that are important to you.
It's an extremely proud, nationalistic country. There's strong traditionally masculine elements here.
That means a culture that can be kind of xenophobic, violent, and aggressive.
Despite that, I actually like it. I like traditionally masculine, proud, nationalistic countries. I know that isn't fashionable to say in this day and age, but after having been around a lot of the world, I just feel really bad for the citizens of countries that are totally pacified and unproud. The men move through life in a sort of drudgery and haze, and the women don't seem to enjoy those state of affairs either.
That said, pride/nationalism/hyper-masculine mixed with transitioning out of poverty can lead to bad places. It's not so much nationalism that is bad, as much as it's a catalyst for whatever else is happening in the society. In a country in a renaissance or golden age, with an emphasis on expansion, science, commerce, innovation, hard work, and building wealth, nationalism and pride becomes a force for progress. In a country that's on the down and out, nationalism amplifies that to bad result.
Mongolia is interesting. Their national holiday, Naadam, is a festival in July featuring wrestling, horseback riding, and archery.
For this I tried to juxtapose things with insects, it all made sense to me at the time. It was a good exercise in trying to get unrelated objects to flow together and still fit in a given space. Skulls are my favorite to draw, always and forever. The imagery of a skull is classic, iconic and has obvious personal meaning to all people, or I would think so anyway. I'm going to work on composing an email to send out to the Chicago tattoo shops that I'm interested in tattooing at. It's hard because I don't have any connections up there yet, but I have to put myself out there and make some.