TO THOSE WITH TATTOOS: STOP! STOP! STOP!
It has come to my attention a couple of times now that some people really do not like this post. I understand these sentiments. Just click away now…..I am serious.
Have a great day!
Stubborn, eh? Well, if you insist, make sure you read the opening line and first paragraph twice after you are done. And to be honest, do not get too upset about what one blowhard on the internet says about a tattoo he has never seen. Screw that guy! is what I would think, personally. Nevertheless, I did my best to prevent myself from gratuitously making you angry while you most likely procrastinate from work. Govern yourselves accordingly.]]]
So begins a mean and hypocritically judgmental post…
As we look around there are fewer and fewer individuals and more and more drones wishing they were clones. One indicator is the presence of a tattoo. Not all tattoos but most nowadays. And further the tattoo is not conclusory but only evidence.
Some tattoos are totally appropriate. Religious or cultural marks of expression are common and we can not begrudge Samoans and the like. We also understand if you have joined a high-risk team, close-knit unit or profession such as the military or other emergency personnel. If you find yourself in a situation where you rely on the talents and skills of others to stay alive, go ahead and proudly get a tattoo if it will make everyone happy and add to team cohesion.
We will not address all the deceased and departed tattoos or portraits of children and wives. While we go the photo-in-wallet route, people grieve and love in different ways even though these remembrance tattoos never seem to do the person justice. Usually, they are hideous.
But other than these limited situations, we do not see the point anymore. There was a time when those who had tattoos were rebels of society. Looked down upon and feared by the average sap in public even if the fear was unfounded. Sporting a tattoo back then meant not caring about society’s rules and stating you shall do things your own way. These were the tattoos worth having.
Not anymore. Tramp stamps, inspirational quotes, meaningless Chinese characters and artistic portraits are the norm. Who are these people?
Heck, we don’t know what interests we’ll have next year and are baffled why people think there can be a single image or message they would want to look at in a mirror for the rest of their lives. Even worse, an image or message they feel encapsulates them so perfectly that it has been sacredly chosen to be their slogan or mantra to the outside world forever. This is near-sighted narcissistic nonsense.
We once had a list of quotes and there were several great ones. For instance, one of our favorites is “ye shall know the truth and it shall make you free”. Damn good quote. Yet despite its awesomeness, we are pretty sure we’d be sick of looking at it on day three. Our friends would tire of seeing it faster. Same goes for any artwork. Even the Mona Lisa and especially the Mike Tyson-esque tiger stripes people are putting all over their body.
Another are Chinese characters. Whereas you can at least decipher the meaning of some lame quote or interpret a photo, we are certain there is a large percentage of people with characters on their back which are either drivel or an insult like “I am a ding-dong”. And deservedly so.
These god-awful tattoos of every variety are on everyone everywhere now. I see tattoos on the ankles of lawyers and lower backs of teachers. Where we live, we have reached the point that when we meet someone our age, we expect a tattoo and are genuinely surprised if they do not have one. For nitwitted millennials and those a little older, getting a stupid tattoo has become some kind of right of passage. Almost like driving a car or voting.
Worse, most of these people know it is a bad idea because they always tell you “I can get it removed later”. If already in your head, perhaps the tattoo is not a good idea in the first place. That it can be removed later is awful, naive and glib thinking. Why undertake totally fruitless actions which can only be reversed by spending a lot of money and going through lengthy, uncomfortable processes? Why not get a temporary tattoo or henna which can be redone every couple of weeks until maturity finally arrives? These people are basically saying they are fine with needlessly punishing their future selves because they refuse to exercise any current wisdom.
Knowing it is a bad decision, some people hedge their bets by getting the tattoo in a place where it cannot be seen. Lawyers and other professionals often fit into this category. These people are the worst and this is despite the fact they are already lawyers. Worse than tramp stampers or Chinese characters wearers. From what we gather, they are having trouble figuring out with which aspects of society to conform. Unsure of whether being cool is really cool, they hop on both sides of the fence. Of course, there is always the reality they or their loved one still have to look at the ugly thing day in and day out.
Further, by not showing the tattoo in public these people only create uncomfortable situations for themselves going forward. It becomes an unintentional secret. All the people they will meet develop an image of them from what is presented and what is presented is without tattoo. Then the company beach party or friendly picnic happens and everyone gets to see the giant Elmo tattoo or ridiculous dragon Gary has on his back. Friends and co-workers will come up and say “I didn’t know you had a tattoo” and will tell him its nice but most of them are lying. Don’t believe what people let on publicly because they turn right around to us and mock Gary privately. To be sure, we tell Gary what we think to his face because we like Gary.
For example, we know a 19 year old girl who just left for college. Incredibly sweet and kind person who we all love very much. Family. But before she left, she got a tattoo on the back of her neck of some saying we cannot remember exactly. To paraphrase: Only the strong survive. Or something to this effect but with several needless words. As we immediately told her when we saw it, we will help pay for its removal when she wisens up. We mentioned to her that those who exhibit mental fortitude do not write reminders about mental fortitude on themselves. They just exhibit it and let actions be their statement to the world. We also advised we could have scribbled a message into her skin to see if she would like it first. Didn’t matter. The tattoo was “too cool” and she needed it now.
Worse, her sixteen year old sister has already confided she wants a tattoo as soon as the law allows. Horrifyingly, she intends to get a sleeve from shoulder to wrist on one arm. DA FUQ? We presume gone are the aspirations of being any kind of respected professional. And don’t give us the horseshit about changing the world so sleeved-arm tattoo’ed professionals are the norm in the future. We have never met a lawyer, judge, or doctor who has a sleeve tattoo and if we did, we would seriously question their reasoning. Honestly, what can you do to talk sense to these people? They must screw themselves up in order to learn.
At least it is not a tramp stamp. The main purpose of a tramp stamp is to draw attention to a woman’s ass and trust that men are already noticing her ass without the stamp. Another reason for these stamps are to give someone something to look at when doing it like they do on the discovery channel (love that song). It is called a tramp stamp for a reason. And if this is what we and society figure, this is what the stampee’s future children will figure out. What a nice and subtle lesson for the kids. Of course, if she has not already paid boatloads of money to have it removed so that her children do not wonder whether mommy was a slut but still know she lacked good judgment.
Then there is the face tattoo. Personally, there is nothing worse than a face tattoo. If part of a military unit and everyone was getting one, we would take the risk of pissing everyone off and being put on point perpetually to eventually get killed. However, we do actually have respect for those with face tattoos. Not the dots or tiny stars by eyelids (facial tramp stamps) but the full on repugnant face tattoos. Although hideously ugly, these people clearly don’t give a shit what others think. That courage, even if horrendously misguided onto their face, can be a good thing in life. It could also mean they are a murderous whacko but you don’t need a face tattoo to be one of those.
So in summation: unless Samoan or similar, part of a dangerous team, or someone who’s judgment is controlled by grief/love, we think your tattoo is probably just a conformist symbol of your inability to think independently. Please stop getting them just so you can get a tattoo like everyone else has done. It is lame!