Painting A Little Less Than An Inch Thick

People are just so strange to me sometimes. They can ignore real horror around them, forgive gross miscarriages of justice and even defend out-and-out corruption. Live your life outside their limited view of “normal,” though, and they start to proselytize.  Seldom is this as obvious as when someone decides to have tattoos.

I suppose Simon Doonan thinks he is being funny, but when I read a piece like this, my skin crawls, and not because the thought of the artist’s needle touching my flesh. The people reposting this on Facebook defend it as hyperbole, but as another commenter pointed out, that just means it is an exaggeration of legitimately held feelings. Why care so much about what other people do with themselves?

He cites an all his reasons for not wanting one, and that is perfectly fine. Don’t get one, I couldn’t care less. Just don’t belittle me as a moron for getting one and cite crap ass articles about health risks (and yes, while it gave one sentence to a skeptical view of the data whenever an article uses a weasel-phrase like “rare, perhaps coincidental cases” it earns the label “crap ass.” Treating 150 complaints out of 45 million tattoo wearers as statistically significant also earns that label.)

I admit, I am overly sensitive to this sort of thing, but this is the second article I have read this year blasting tattoos. The first was deadly serious and vicious as hell. Doonan’s isn’t serious but I think that may be worse. How often do we hear or read some blogger, radio host or television personality attack a group only to have them fall back on “hey guys, I’m not a real journalist, I was just kidding?” I get it, he is a fashion author and that’s his thing. By all means if he thinks tattoos are a fashion no-no, he has a right, an obligation given his job really, to say so. To couch it in such over the top moralizing, however hyperbolic he intends to be, though, is an attack on people not like him. Don’t we get enough of that in our society?

Why someone sports a tattoo is really no one’s business, but since we are here, I will tell you what I have, why I have it, what more I want and why. I wear my clan (MacIntosh) coat of arms on my right arm. It is a symbol of my family and where I came from and I wanted a permanent representation of that to carry with me at all times. Eventually I will go back in my matrilineal heritage as far as I can and get my family crest on that side of my family on my left arm. I also would like the Rules of Logical Inference on my back, because I try to live a life of reason, but that is a ways off yet.

Ultimately though, none of that matters. Some people get them for absolutely shallow reasons. Others get them simply because they like the thrill of a new tat or the feeling of the needle on their skin. The why doesn’t matter. It is my choice, not yours. You are free to feel how you do about that, but maybe you should ask yourself why you care so much? You can say you have better things to spend your money on, and that’s fine, spend your money on those things instead. You make the choice that works for you, that doesn’t make it a better choice than mine.


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