Sunday, 27 May 2012

Only the Brave go There.

I seldom decide in advance blog subjects. I frequently question why I blog at all. Do others have the same thoughts I wonder. And just occasionally something happens, never of worldwide importance that makes me think. And at my age thinking is important. If my mind's not working, it only adds to the other bits and pieces that are not working so well!
I was in the toilet at my local the other day. I was looking round as you do, (You have to look somewhere, and be careful how you do it otherwise you run the risk of having your head 'kicked in'. Not really but its hardly posh where I live and 'chill out'. Smashing pub but the bar's hardly salubrious plus the language is rather ripe, I reckon they throw a bone in every couple of hours just to keep everyone happy.) But I couldn't help noticing the tattoos of the couple of lads from the bar each side of me at the urinal. So we got talking (AFTER we all left the urinal) and I finished up photographing them both as I'm sure you're more interested in their 'art work' than reading my usual weekly drivel.
Both lads were extremely interesting to talk to.(I can imagine some people would have preconceived ideas as to what type of person they were. And in fairness anyone 'different' to the so called norm on occasion we find uncomfortable, even threatening.)
    They took their tattoos very seriously, both had personal stories to tell concerning their 'artistic choices' and both had many more tattoo sessions in mind. It took me back to my days as a schoolteacher in a large comprehensive school many years ago. (In the 1970's.) It was not uncommon for pupils to 'tattoo' themselves. I seem to remember it being particularly prevalent amongst the girls. The 'tattoo' done with either a pen or, of all things, the point of a geometry protractor. The 'tattoo' was scratched on (usually on an arm) and ink, ordinary school ink was fed into the outline. In a way it was a badge of courage. And it took courage, raw adolescent courage as it involved blood, pain and a lifetime with a less than artistic image with which to remember one's schooldays.  It was also not unknown to pierce ones ears with the same protractor, infection and sore ears more or less guaranteed! Alas,  happy days!


    My sophisticated teacher daughter has a tattoo, unknown to all but her extra observant pupils on occasion! I remember my daughter, then all of twenty asking did I mind if she had a tattoo. At least the tattoo of my daughter and those of my new friends are artistic and professional. (I once taught a young man, now in his forties who has an obscene tattoo across his back, done in his youth. He is now ashamed to go in the local swimming baths with his children.) Ah the folly of a misspent youth. I can also remember the occasional parents at parent's evenings trying frantically to avoid the 'love' and 'hate' tattoos on their fingers being on display for teacher's probable disapproval.
    Do you have strong opinions concerning tattoos. Have you got a tattoo and if not, any particular tattoo you fancy!  

16 comments:

Expat mum said...

I have two teenagers, both threatening tattoos and I have to say I hate them with a passion. Since when do you love a piece of art so much that you have to have it almost permanently engraved on your body? All I tell them is that when they're off out health insurance (26) they can do whatever they like, but I'm not paying for the inevitable infection one of them will get.
But like you, I have perfectly upstanding family members (a psychotherapist sister approaching middle age for a start) who has a small one and my brother and brother-in-law have chosen to adorn their bodies too. Each to his own.
But what I really wanted to say is how I admire you for looking past these young men. I have a teen who had pink spikey hair until recently. It's now purple/black, and he wears the black uniform to go with it. And last week I got his school report wherein his teachers praised him to the heavens and his English teacher called his a "gentleman and a scholar". Swoon! And most people would walk away if they saw him on the street!

Expat mum said...

Looking past the image that these young men present - is what I meant. I'm sure you got that!

Ruth said...

No tattoos here. But both my sons have multiple tattoos, pierced ears, (that I did for them when they were early teens), and one son had a nipple ring until he had a child - need I say why he took it out?? I don't see a problem with tattoos. I have often toyed with getting one, but had a hard time deciding on what and where, so don't have one, yet.

It's so easy to judge people by how they look, and I admire those who can look past the exterior to what is in someone's heart and mind.

Hiatus to Run said...

I DO have a tattoo. A large one that starts on my front abdomen and spans across my side and up the back to the top of my shoulder. It's a beautiful piece of artwork that my tattoo artist and I spent a long time putting together. I have a love for this tattoo as its story is something that will never make me ashamed of ever getting it. Additionally, its placement keeps my diet and exercise in check. If I let myself go there is no way it will look good! Lol :) All in all, judging a person based on tattoos, piercings, or blue hair is about as fruitful as racism or sexism. And by the way Expat Mum, you are more likely to get an infection in a hospital than you are in a tattoo shop.

the fly in the web said...

Protractor tattooing!
Sounds as painful as Grimble's experience as reported in 'A Pattern of Islands'!

Mr. Fly's father told him when young that he was not to get a tattoo as it would make it easier for the police to identify him!

Kelloggs Ville said...

I pearced my own ears with a needle and a lump of ice :) we did the art work on ourselves with a cut up coke can. My ears are ok and I still wear earrings, I have I scars from the cuts.

I am usually of the opinion I am the only person in the world that doesn't have a tattoo.

Kelloggs Ville said...

Sorry, that's 'no scars' from the cuts.

Expat mum said...

H to R - No, but mine both got sore ears when they had piercings, and one was pretty bad, so I'm working on probabilities here!

Nota Bene said...

You're a brave man...getting them to take their shirts off! Personally, I don't like tattoos at all, and it makes me sad when I see a young person with one that will obviously been inappropriate as they grow older...however, each to their own and good luck to anyone who wants to remove them alter in life

Anonymous said...

I guess having tattoos is seen as "cool" and somehow I have never fitted into the category of "cool" and now like you I am a bit aged. I am not proud enough of my body to want to enhance it but if I was cool and had a great body maybe I would. There is something rather exciting and primitive and sexual I feel about tatoos. I know some are crass and look awful but even so some are good.I have to admit I guess I wanted my daughter to be attractive and got her ears pierced when she was a child and they indeed got infected. We were in Los Angeles and in the end we were directed to this tattoo place which was extremly "exotic" - shall we say and with a lot of interesting literature and pictures illustrating strange things you could do to yourself. So there I was was with two young children and they were so nice and managed to get this awful stud out of inside her ear! She's grown up now and tells me she doesn't even wear earings.

Joanne said...

I have no strong feelings. I am fascinated by the tattoos I see on the bare chested/legged young men in the gum. What was their reason. My children settled for ear piercings and one has a toe ring. I forbad the second ear pierceing, back in '70's, so my granddaughter had her grandmother sign permission. No grandchild art, yet.

Julia Bentley said...

I have several tattoos and so does my husband. All of mine have a meaning that is dear to me and all can be hidden if I desire. I feel if people want tattoos they should get them. Now tattoos are becoming more of the "cool" thing as some posted earlier, but they are also more accepted. It is no longer ex-convicts that have tattoos but like your daughter... school teachers :)

The Sanity Inspector said...

Too many tattoos will mess up your liver, since they block the skin pores and thus interfere with the body's ability to excrete waste.

Times change, of course. I got into some embarrassment one time when I deplored tattoos on Facebook, and was informed by a pastor at church that his son was liberally tattooed.

Yet if I ever felt strongly enough about a piece of art, I'd put it on a t-shirt, or maybe a bumpersticker. Because now that they are so common, they will be subject to fashion--changing fashion. What says "poser" so much nowadays as a barbed-wire bicep tattoo? What says "slut from the 90s" like a set of ass antlers? You can cut off your mullet, you can get rid of your flared jeans, you can give away your Swatch watch--but the tats are staying with you!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

What brilliant comments! I once saw an old lady in an old folks home heavily tattooed. My did that look strange. One other thing in case any of you read these comments. I assumed the two fellows were mates. I now find they didn't know each other. whoops!

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