Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Truth in Labeling?

I don't really get the idea of affixing permanent illustrations to your body. As an abstract concept, I see the attractions of wanting to make art that you think is cool part of how you present yourself to the world, and using tattoos as an emblem of identity. As a practical matter, though, I don't get it. Societal acceptance aside (and tattoos do seem to be more mainstream now), a design you love in your 20s may seem juvenile in your 30s, or embarassing in your 40s, or the execution of the design may not be what you expected. To say nothing of the fact that the canvas is sure to change, with unpredictable effects on the art.

However, I do know people with tattoos, who are enthusiastic about the decisions they've made, and since it doesn't affect me in the slightest, more power to them. Carl Zimmer (science reporter for the NY Times and blogger at Discover Magazine) has a collection of science-themed tattoos that includes some that I actually think are pretty cool.

I think we can all agree, though, that the horrible decisions made by the people displayed in the link above do an enormous favor to everyone they encounter, by graphically warning that their judgement should be trusted on absolutely nothing.


Dave S. said...

Then there's the one about the Marine who got a number of elaborate tribal tattoos*, only to have them removed because they violated uniform regulations.

The day after having them removed, and with his lower legs swathed in bandages, he attended the first Lollapalooza concert, standing in mud for most of the time.

The next day, after changing his bandages, he went on a weekend canoe trip with us. Canoes do not have scuppers, but if they did his would have run red. (Frankly, under the circumstances, we should have fitted his canoe with scuppers.)

As I always like to observe, it's a good thing we had a gynecologist on that trip.

*Not, I hasten to add, from a tribe worshipping My Little Pony or anything like that.

Powaqqatsi said...

Here's lookin' at you ki...tty