A Fine Line Between Stupid And Clever

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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. 010105j.jpg

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.

42 Responses to “Tattoo’s Are Cool”

  1. Julie said

    Ok, I agree with most of what you said, so I’ll just add my two cents. I have two tats myself and I’m shopping for a third and while they have personal meaning for me, it’s also just because I enjoy expressing myself this way.

    About the tributes, I agree it’s fishing for sympathy. I have a tribute tattoo myself to my deceased brother, but looking at it, you’d never know. It’s personal to me, to you it’s probably just a cool design or a hokey overdone tribal circle. Either way, it means something to me, commemorating something I don’t talk about often and no one ever really bothers to ask me about it or if it has any significant meaning other than a drunken stumble into a parlor.

    The only other thing I’ll add is I plan on getting a couple more tattoos, the kind that can be easily concealed. I like them and some of them have no more meaning behind them that that, but I’ve never regretted what I was feeling at the time I got them, and if I can wake up at 70 years old and still feel good about it, isn’t that all that matters?

  2. bmac said

    Julie-
    If your tattoos have a meaning for you, then I’m all for it. In fact, I admire a well crafted, and original tattoo. It’s all the cheesy ones I have a problem with, and they are everywhere.
    That’s not to say any particular tattoo does or does not have “meaning” to the wearer, but it should be very well thought out and executed for me to think it’s not a total cheese-fest designed specifically to gain un-earned attention and/or sympathy from me.

    About being 70 and feeling good about it, I have no idea how old you are, but I can only share my experience about growing older, which is, I’m a completely different person at 44, than I was at 24, or 34. The things I liked then seem silly to me now, the things I was interested in or passionate about have changed dramatically, and had I a tattoo of any of those things now, I would surely regret it.
    But that’s just me.

  3. Chad said

    Bmac you are heartless to say something like that! you must be really unhappy about your life to go online and talk shit about somebody who has got a tattoo of a sibling on their skin! If you knew what love was then you probably wouldnt have posted such an selfish post so the person that wants the sympathy is you if you had anybody to love or anybody love you you would probably want to remember them in a good way and for some people to have a picture of their dead child,father,mother. So crawl back in your hole noobody wants to hear about how you hate your life so much u have to talk shit about people who have died..

  4. bmac said

    Chad, perhaps you’re right. Maybe in voicing my own opinion on my own blog, I may have been mean to someone, somewhere, that I don’t even know. Someone who may have lost a loved one, and dealt with their grief by getting a permanent reminder of that loss tattood on them, so the rest of the world may also feel their pain.

    Maybe I need to take a step back, and re-evaluate my prioroties, and try to be more understanding of my fellow man, no matter how selfish and ignorant their particular tattoo may be.

    Maybe, just maybe, your criticism has given me a new lease on life! Maybe now, I can appreciate any retarded tattoo I might see, and not be so judgemental. After all, who the hell am I to have an opinion anyway!

    On second thought, Fuck You Chad.

  5. pajama momma said

    Chad Says:
    January 14, 2008 at 2:27 am .

    What a tard.

    The only thing I hate about the tattoo I got (just to announce I have one now b4 I take my bootie photo at the end of March) 11 years ago is that they’re now called “tramp stamps”…nice.

    When I got my tattoo girls weren’t dressed half naked like they are now. The only thing that would show was maybe a tiny bit of belly button. And shorts and jeans were still high on the hips.

    Other than that, I don’t think I’ll regret it at 70 is because I can’t see it. And I guarantee I won’t be showing that part of my body at that age.

  6. bmac said

    Well, at least you didn’t get like…barbed wire around your arm.
    Or a dolphin on your ankle.
    I hope.

  7. pajama momma said

    haha, no, but there was absolutely no meaning to the tat on my lower back. It’s very unique I must say, but to be honest, prolly if I could see it, I’d want it removed.

  8. eddiebear said

    regarding the shrines like the dumpster:

    why is it after a little girl is found dead in such a situation, then and only then do people give a damn? Where were these people when the girl was alive?

  9. bmac said

    It’s so much easier to care after the fact, when all you gotta do is put a teddy bear somewhere.

  10. eddiebear said

    I agree. Sadly, we have seen that in STL. Some poor child is beaten to death by its parents, left in a fast food restroom or shot by a drive by gone awry, and then and only then do the “urban activists”, politicians, media critters and other do gooders give a rip. Overflow funerals, marches, protests and memorials usually follow. And when the TV crews leave and the teddy bears fade, nobody remembers.

    Yet the root causes of the actions are ignored.

  11. laura said

    although I do respect your opinion on tattoos. i have to disagree on some of your views. Yes young people today have branded tattooing as “cool” or the in thing to do. but tattooing is much more than a trend. When you watch the likes of Miami ink, you cannot say that those people do not have an artistic talent. i do myself have a tattoo and am currently thinking about my next. I have also studied many forms of art, and i see tattooing as another media for people to express their thoughts or emotions. Yes, young people get tattos but it shouldnt be the art form that is critised, it should be the people who get them for no apparent reason without thinking it through.

  12. Anonymous said

    Stop being so damn judgmental, Bmac. By the way, there is no apostrophe in “tattoos”, dumbass

  13. james said

    Why would someone get a tattoo on the kid of Deliverance…?

  14. Lightning War said

    I just happened to stumble across a little blog where you lovingly spoke of people’s memorial tattoos as fishing for sympathy. What the fuck is your problem with people healing however the fuck they choose? Selfish? You little scumbag.
    Perhaps if your old fucking cock ever actually pukes up enough of that green shit you call jizz into that cum dumpster of a wife, and you are to conceive………I truly hope you experience that pain you fucking douche. Perhaps the age of 6 or 7. It would be in the child’s best interest anyway with a piece of shit like you for a father.

  15. Lightning War said

    P.S.
    I hope whoever’s tat that is displayed in your bullshit blog finds you and kicks the fucking snot out of you.

  16. Rosetta said

    Lightning War, did your daddy not love you enough or did he love you too much?

    If you ever wonder why the few relationships you have in your life are shit, it’s because you’re a douche.

    My condolences to your parents.

    Also, no need to get that “Born To Lose” tattoo on your forehead. It’s obvious.

    If bmac doesn’t ban you, I hope you come back so we can play some more. It will be fun to light your quarter-wit on fire.

    Pussy.

  17. bmac said

    I thought about deleting lightning wars comments, but I wanted everyone to see just how smart he was.

    Just FYI, he first sent that vile comment to me in an email, then when I didn’t respond, came back a day later and posted his email as a comment, followed by a PS.

    Judging by how hard he was fishing for a reaction from me, I’d say he proved my point for me.

    Rosetta, I hope I never get on your bad side buddy!

  18. Rosetta said

    I think he was just really proud of himself for using the term “cum dumpster”. Hahahaha! I remember when I first heard that phrase in junior high, I couldn’t wait to use it either.

    Rosetta, I hope I never get on your bad side buddy!

    That’ll never happen.

    Also, I heard that Lightning War likes to park the beef bus in turd town.

  19. MCPO Airdale said

    Ask me about my tattoo

  20. Rosetta said

    Ask me about my tattoo gay lover

    Fixed that for you.

  21. MCPO Airdale said

    I have your name tattooed on my hip, how unreal is that?

  22. bmac said

    We need proof MCPO.

  23. Rosetta said

    We need proof MCPO.

    He has “cum dumpster tattooed on his other hip.

    LEMON PARTY!!!!!

  24. likes to park the beef bus in turd town.

    rosetta got that line from me.

  25. maybe the lightning guy lost a kid and that’s why he’s being a little irrational? I would go batshit insane if I lost one of my kids.

  26. bmac said

    would go batshit insane if I lost one of my kids.

    Completely understandable.

    I think lightnin’ boy went a little over the top though.

  27. MCPO Airdale said

    Rosetta’s parents lost him when he was a kid. It took him 3 weeks to figure out where they moved.

  28. Rosetta said

    rosetta got that line from me.

    Correct but you forgot to do this:

    likes to park the beef bus in turd town™

    Also, there are 2 reasons that I seriously doubt that el douche lost a child which would perhaps excuse his ridiculous comment.

    (1) I can’t imagine that anyone that’s suffered that pain would wish it on another, even in a tantrum.

    (2) Lightning War’s cock isn’t big enough to allow for procreation.

    At least that’s what his Mom told me.

    Also, MCPO’s favorite golf club is the driver because that gives him the best prostate massage.

  29. MCPO Airdale said

    Hey, whaddya gonna do when the Alavert has a co-pay the size of Tanzania’s debt?

  30. […] Bam. There’s the upshot here, and in particular, my problem with the style of eulogising that has become the standard these days. This is the same mentality that drives people to put up giant memorials on the sites where people (usually unkown to them personally) have died, which I wrote about here. […]

  31. StraightDs said

    Well, I have a tattoo. So does my wife.
    Yes, both of ours have meaning to us – but that doesn’t really matter. Whether someone else likes my tattoo or not doesn’t really concern me.
    I agree that tattoos have become somewhat passe. It is almost a unspoken requirement to have on in the local bar I hang out at occasionally…er I mean often.
    There is a fine line between one persons memorial and another persons tacky display.

    Just for shits and giggles, check this out. Some of these are freakin hilarious… or sad. Perhaps both.

    http://www.asylum.com/gallery/ink-that-stinks/481213/

  32. Ashley said

    fuck u!! u can shove ur head between ur legs and blow bitch. if u haven’t have a child die. u don’t no what they r going through. it’s not ur fucking place

  33. jeremiah said

    That is a awful portrait tattoo! Was that picture done after the child’s death? I love your thought about how in LA Inked there is a deep story about every stupid tattoo! That is a great point that I strongly agree with! Besides what if you ended up with some jacked out picture on your body that was cross eyed and looked like ass! Then what? Here is a great collection of bad tattoos for your enjoyment. http://www.tattooshopsupply.com/the_tattoo_blog

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