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At the Root of Tattoos

July 28, 2010

Why would anyone get a non-removable tattoo?  Self-expression?  Maybe, but if so, why not temporary tattoos?  After all, won’t your expressions change over the years (not to mention migrate across an ever-changing body)?
As tattoos become a bigger and bigger phenomenon, what reason beyond lemming conformity is at its root?

I think it’s permanence.

Few things in life that were once permanent are anymore.  Marriage, a former bastion of permanence, is now such a joke to our young people that they by-pass it for living together.  If it’s just going to fail, why complicate it with false bonds of commitment?  Family is now fractured as adult siblings drift or break apart.  All the products in everyday use are cast aside for newer models.  Yet we are a people who crave stability and commitment (else why would we be so offended when loved ones hurt us?  They’re supposed to be faithful!).  It’s built into us, and when we deny it or have it snatched from us, we get angry.

A tattoo is anger in ink.  We may call it style, or “cute” or “it’s just a tattoo” but it’s not.  It’s a permanent desecration of the body.  It’s delivered through needles.  It hurts and it bleeds.  It’s a shout for permanence.

If it weren’t, and if weren’t understood on some subconscious level, someone would invent long-lasting removable tattoos.   But on a gut level, we know they wouldn’t sell to anyone but children, as today’s temp-tats are.

Might it be better to return permanence to our society?  Marriage doesn’t fail because it’s impossible to stay married; it fails because one or both partners are selfish and see greener pastures somewhere else (okay, massive simplification, but I truly believe it’s the destruction of marriage that opens this rift in our hearts).


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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 28, 2010 9:41 am

    (Ff course, if I were to get one, it would be small the comedy and tragedy masks, but I’ve never seen a design I’d want to be stuck with forever.)

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