Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Skin Ink? Why?

I honestly don't understand. The fad for tattoos is both fascinating and appalling at the same time.  In fact, much of the body decoration fad is lost on me. Even given my love of Star Trek and science fiction, I would never think about having something like the one above done. Let me state up front, both of my children have tattoos.  My son is looking at getting another one.  I asked him, "Why?"   So at the risk of my children's  and more than a few friends who follow my ramblings ire, I shall continue, old fogey that I am.

If you have a tattoo and are a grown-up, hey you made the decision, and it is yours to make. I hope you love your ink and never grow tired of it.  I hope you never regret choosing the one you chose.  The lack of understanding is all mine, and I am not trying to impose my lack of understanding on any one.  Now  that you know this...

Many tattoos are really not that appealing.  I do not understand why some of these folks cover themselves in skin ink in things like sleeves and these monster-sized collages, pictographs, and patterns.  They cover their back, their arms, their legs, a few have them on their face, and some have them (err) shall we just say elsewhere.  Some even have their eyeball tattooed.  Do they loath themselves? Do they really think that a permanent picture will define them? Is it fashion? Is it fad?  Is it art? If it is, how do you value it?

Yes, I know.  Tattoos are one of the oldest forms of expression but for the most part that expression was cultural.  The Samoans have handed down pattens and designs from time out of mind.  But is it really cultural when one of the dominant tattoos is called a "tramp stamp," or people have to cover up their tattoos because their business frowns upon them.  Not really cultural, so I am going to say fad - a very permanent form of fad. I would also like to point out that at one point in history, a heavily tattooed person could make a living at a side-show in the carnival.

I admit, some tattoos do occasionally speak volumes and look pretty good.  My son's current tattoo is a cross on  his calve.  It is a symbolic statement of his beliefs.  Craig Ferguson has a tattoo of the cut snake or the "join or die" snake from the Revolutionary War.  He had it done in celebration of his becoming a US citizen.  Unfortunately, he says he has several others which actually, I think, somewhat cheapens the value of the other.

I have heard that Mike Tyson has rethought his famous face tattoo and did you know that Tom Arnold had a tattoo of Roseanne Barr on his chest?  He does, and he is stuck with it. Mark Wahlberg is having his extensive number of tattoos removed and is making his kids watch.  It is apparently even more painful  to have them removed than it is to have them applied.  He is not the only celeb to regret having these done. Angelina Jolie had her tattoo of Billy Bob Thorton's name removed. Many love affairs do not last as long as the ink.

We know the odds of a person getting more than one tattoo are actually pretty high once the decision is made to get the first one.  I just cannot imagine why.  I also hear they are quite painful, especially when the bone is near the surface.  Well someone is being paid to inject a solid line of ink under the skin with a needle.  Of course they are not only  painful but quite expensive especially if your tattoo artist is not so artistic.  Is a doodle that was someone might create while on the phone or when he is bored really art?

Let's face it. Anyone who can buy the needle and the ink can claim to be an artist. Heck, they do it with a regular needle and a broken ink pen in prison all the time if the movies are to be believed.  I've driven by tattoo parlors that even if they are in neighborhoods I would park in, look like they are one step away from being closed by the health department or the CDC.

And then there is the whole gravity thing.  As you grow older, take my word for it, gravity doesn't suck, but it does pull down.  I don't know if people just don't think about placement or what?  The ones across the lower back or abdomen are going to get interesting as the wearer grows older or has children.  Nothing says artistic individualism like stretched out skin art.  And men, what about the ones on your back.  Nothing quite so appealing as art work with hair growing out of it.  Did I mention that all tattoos fade?

They do. I once met the great make-up artist, Bob Kelly.  He was an older man when I met him.  He had a habit of doing make-up while wearing a wife beater.  He was really excited because his son had decided to pay, as a birthday present, for the recoloring of Kelly's tattoos.  They were the old fashioned blue ones that he had done when he was serving in the army during World War II. And, yes, the ones I could see were like faded magic marker.

I guess, I just want to know who thought going through life with Will Ferrell from Elf was a good idea.  For that matter, why would anyone think this was a good idea, at the time or even while drunk? If you want see more, just Google bad tattoos.

I am not saying other folks shouldn't do this.  It is their body and their skin and their money and their pain and their statement and,,,,and. It is their choice. Really.  I am just not sure why folks do this.