I’m up to my neck in bloody work following a day of sustained bloody work yesterday. When I did get home not much happened, I bathed, shat and ate, did some rudimentary exercise (sit-ups, a few, I’ve been enjoying my food a little to much lately) ate some more and continued with the new tattoo design which is coming along a treat, I’m looking at June for touchdown, a year after the last one. The last one was supposed to be the last one.
Those of you silly enough to want to put little pictures onto your body will know that one isn’t enough, nor is two for the matter. The reason I’ve a compunction to do such a thing is in my grasp, tattoos are a way of ‘uniquifying’ the self whilst ironically (and usually negatively) grouping you in with those that have tattoos and separating you from those that don’t.
For me, tattoos appeal to the whole metal/punk/biker thing going on in my system (indeed, the tattoos reflect these in elements in certain respects) which is terribly honest of me as I do genuinely love these things. I took a lot of time and care designing them and, pleased with the tattooist recommended to me by a mate, always go to the same place. But still, by wearing my tattoos I’m still making a statement to a certain designated ‘type’ to which I either aspire or inspire, and to everyone else I’ve a couple of nice or rubbish tattoos depending on your taste, or lack of it.
This is a world away from the lazy ‘for the sake of it’ tattoos common today. In my scene the ‘the sleeve’ is currently doing the rounds, one colourful armful of pre-designated tattoo from a book. There is no sense of it having evolved; it’s just slapped on, bang, done. In Shoreditch the ‘old skool’ tattoo is back in vogue. Heart, banner, dagger. Done.
A few years back the Celtic Band was all the thing, one of the first not a bulldog, swallow or heart designs that appealed to ordinary people looking to make ‘a statement,’ though they clearly had no idea what to say, whatever it was it was probably bollocks. Then came the smaller and less effective version of heavy black sabre-like-streaks (Kerry King of Slayer has the original version as aped by George Clooney in Dusk ‘Til Dawn) usually compressed into redundant symmetrical shapings. If the Celtic band appealed to the average berk the sort of fellows that pimp up their Civic’s or ride Superbikes only on Sundays desired the compact Clooney/King slash (btw it’s not just men that wind up with an ‘I’ll have that one’ from a book of tattoos. You see an awful lot of girls sporting Panthers or Tigers, usually sat next to some bullnecked fellow in a pimped up Civic, or on a Sunday on Box Hill.)
And therein lies the biggest snag with tattoos, it’s easy to make judgements whether you sport one or not. The very fact you’ve taken time out of your day and paid a stranger money to permanently injure you is baffling to those that don’t subscribe (and to those that do to a certain extent) and if you do have one you’ll cast a critical or envious eye on the ink on display by others. For this reason I look at BMEzine (link right) most days. I can’t help myself.
Tattoos are a personal in a public way, they’re a paradox, an oxymoron and I’m both wary and delighted at the prospect of more.
Did someone mention Slayer? Oh dear.