Archive | September, 2010

As individual as the next bloke

4 Sep

It’s a typically masculine trait, getting a tattoo. Not that the ladies are allergic to a sneaky butterfly or rose, but inking up remains, for the most part, a bloke’s thing. There’s an irony with every tattoo of course. They are, historically, tied to masculine rites of passage. They are intrinsically tribal and shoulder the comfort of belonging, but are also, or perhaps always have been, intensely individual and expressionistic.

I am me! So where’s my pack then?

When I was a boy back in the seventies, tattoos were something dodgy uncles and blokes who wore singlets all the time got. An assumption of gaol time usually wafted along side crude inks of Amazonian women riding unicorns with flaming skulls. At any rate, tattoos were associated with a blokes who liked to fight. A kind of direct link to stone age butchness. Ah, the stone age. You could beat the shit outa stuff and then eat it or marry it. Them were the days.

Nowadays, it seems every other bloke is inked. The done-time-what-are-you-lookin-at factor is embraced as a fashion template, but bears little machsimo currency. Tattoo technology has also come along some. There’s no need for your chosen emblem to look like a left-handed texta drawing your niece did anymore, but they still remain, for all the dexterity of the modern needle, highly…eh.. tattooey.

But then there are the tattoos that could have been done easy-peasy back in the day but  weren’t. They are by and large a…erh…modern trend. These are the purely text tattoos. I’m not talking about love and hate being scrawled across knuckles; that’s a whole other plateau of psychosis. I’m talking about fancy pants credos. Now from a guy who has a wolf baying at the moon and a heart with fallen angel wings on his skin, I’m on unsteady moral ground, but Double Ewe Tee Eff blokes, what’s with the Sanskrit!?

Now I love a credo. Big bastard words that say big bastard messages. I’m a Man! Carpe Diem! Dance Dumpling, Dance! But these chunky ancient fonts creeping up forearms with bits of poetry and stuff; tomes bearing Live, perhaps a bit of Believe and Seize as well. Ergh. Why not have your message in your spoken tongue? Is to be clearly understood to appear…a…little…foolish?

And btw, did your tattooist study the Rosetta Stone? How do you know that there psalm doesn’t actually say “Remember to get milk” or “I like puppies!”

Hey. Maybe it does. Maybe everyone’s in on the joke except me and my wolfy angel thingy.

But a credo. A principle by which your deepest decisions shall be guided..shouldn’t that be worn on..pardon the metaphor..your sleeve. In big bastard block arse text. No fancy pants trim or pretend dead language gravitas.

I AM MAN. Ariel 24 point. Here it is. What I believe. Painted on me forever. Go on. Judge me.



Quiquid latine dictum sit altum viditur