Tattoo’s Are Cool
Posted by bmac on June 6, 2007
I watch a lot of T.V. Last night I ran across an episode of “Miami Ink,” a reality show about a tattoo parlor, that I find mildly entertaining from time to time. It’s interesting to me how mainstream tattoo’s have become, or should I say, trendy. As kind of an ex-rebel myself, I get the allure of tattoo’s, but when 15-year olds are walkin around totally sleeved, it kinda loses it’s outlaw appeal. When I was a kid, the only guys with tattoo’s, were bikers, sailors, and criminals, real badasses, guys you didn’t mess with. For them, tattoo’s were a badge, a badge that said “I remove myself from society, I’m not part of your world.” I get that. Today, you’d be hard pressed to find a 16-year old girl without one.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-tattoo, there are some amazing artists who do amazing pieces on people, but they are expensive, and most people don’t have those types of tattoo’s. Most people have the same stupid, trendy tattoo’s like: Chinese characters, coi fish, tribal bands, and my personal favorite: The Memorial Portrait. I understand “Miami Ink” is a reality show, and they have to create some drama, but every idiot has to have some deep, personal, facing their demons kind of reason to get Daffy Duck tattooed on their forearm.
Back to The Memorial Portrait. These strike me as particularly offensive. It seems incredibly morbid to me, to have for instance, a portrait of your dead son on your arm, for the rest of your life. I get that you may be heartbroken, after a tragedy like losing a child, but tattooing their image on your body, forever, seems to me, the worst possible memorial. It’s the worst possible memorial because it’s totally narcissistic. That tattoo becomes more about you than the person you’re supposedly memorialising. Every time someone sees that tattoo, you get to tell your tragic story. People will feel sorry for you. It’s just one more way to have this kind of “fake” empathy, that’s really all about being selfish.
Which brings me to another phenomenon I’ve noticed recently, memorials at sites where people have died. I get it if it’s Ground Zero, or Columbine, or VT. I get the families of the deceased doing it. But these things are springing up everywhere, and they’re huge. It’s as if some people wait for a tragedy to happen so they can rush right out, and stick a teddy bear on the side of the road.
About a year ago, a little girl, 2 or 3 years old, was found deceased in a dumpster. She had been beaten to death by her parents. A horrible tragedy. It was a big story in this town. Pretty quickly, that dumpster became hallowed ground. There were literally hundreds and hundreds of teddy bears, candles, and various children’s toys completely engulfing that dumpster, all left by people that never knew or cared about that little girl when she was alive. I feel bad for that poor little girl, I really do, but I have to wonder about people who do this kind of thing. The kind of people who after seeing this on the news, feel compelled to go out, shop for a toy or stuffed animal, for the morbid purpose of placing it at a crime scene for someone they didn’t know. I think they do it for selfish reasons, that “fake empathy” I mentioned earlier. Somehow, they’re “good” people because they just care so much. It’s sort of like Munchhausen by Memorial.