Sunday July 3, 2005

Miami Ink

You’re sleeping, and you wake up in the middle of the strangest dream. You’re watching TV, flipping through the channels, and you land on TLC . . . a partially undressed girl is having something done to her; a massage? a facial? No, she’s getting a tattoo. As you watch, you realize it’s a reality show, set in a tattoo parlor. Weird. Then someone says something that makes you think the show’s taking place on South Beach. Surreal.

There’s pain, blood, exitement, skin, and an endless parade of of weird but cute boys and girls. Well, dream no more.

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  1. Dickhead    Tue Jul 5, 01:54 AM #  

    Tattoos…what a yuppie thing to do these days.

  2. Miami Harold    Tue Jul 5, 10:57 AM #  

    Women outlive men by almost a decade.
    Drop in on any senior center and you’ll notice
    that the population runs about 10 to 1, female to male.
    So imagine the scene, ladies, 2/3 through the century:
    a sunny room filled with tiny grey-haired women
    sporting ragged faded tattoos on sagging wrinkled skin.
    That’s what your grandbrats will see when they drop by to visit.
    On the bright side, maybe you’ll be dead before that happens,
    and save them the aesthetic trauma.
    “Miami Ink?”
    Make it “Miami wrINKles.”
    But make mine without.

  3. Dickhead    Tue Jul 5, 04:49 PM #  

    ...and thats the truth. Im sure laser surgery doctors are funding this show, 4sho…

  4. $tro    Wed Jul 20, 10:08 AM #  

    Watched the show last night. I loved it. Great stuff. Something different. Nothin like all the reality crap and pimp my ride shit shows. Peace

  5. Tanya Hyde    Wed Jul 20, 10:47 AM #  

    Tattoos are hideous. They’re low class and crude. They deface human skin the way graffiti defaces walls. They’re an instant turn-off, like body odor. The Nazis tattooed their prisoners—that tells you something. Go ahead and mark yourself up, sailor boy, but stay away from me.

  6. George    Wed Jul 20, 12:31 PM #  

    Tanya… you have shown a lot of class with your post.

  7. Hugh Briss    Wed Jul 20, 04:14 PM #  

    Indeed she did. And what a great tan!

  8. inked    Wed Jul 20, 07:59 PM #  

    everybody here is a bunch of losers!!! learn more about tattooing before you speak!!!

  9. Sakura    Wed Jul 20, 09:20 PM #  

    To all the naysayers, are you saying that all the tribal cultures from around the world (past and present) are crass, classless and tacky? Perhaps one should think before they open their mouth. Apparently, people do not know about the cultures of Pacific Islanders (i.e. Samoans and Polynesians) who treasure and value tattoos because it symbolizes something scared.

  10. Hugh Briss    Wed Jul 20, 10:40 PM #  

    People can do whatever we like to ourselves, for whatever reason (or no reason) we choose. We can call it everything from sacred and obligatory to sentimental or merely decorative. We can cite it as a rite of passage, a cultural icon, or a legal responsibility. That’s how we justify, piercings, ritualistic blinding, female circumcision, self-flagellation, face scarring, and a host of other dumbass cruel and brainless activities found ‘round the world. Tattooing is right up there.

    Not that holy tribal rites have a whole lot in common with getting bored in jail and asking your cellmate to ink your (or his) name over your asshole, or getting trashed on rotgut and having “sweet” and “sour” printed on your right and left tit by an all-night inkman, other than the basic defacing and skin trauma the act actually causes. So have a good time, guys and gals. It’s your body, your skin, and a clear statement of your values and taste. But I’m with Tanya. Steer clear of me, motorheads.

  11. Auntie Mame    Thu Jul 21, 12:58 PM #  

    With all due respect, Sakura, perhaps it’s not a lack of knowledge about (e.g.) Samoan tattoos, but knowledge. Maybe you need to do some research. Samoans tattooed faces of tribe members as a punishment. They tattooed males to prepare them for war, initiate them into the cult of violence, and make them appear fierce to enemies. The pain of the process served to accustom them to battle. Tattoos were also helpful in identifying the dead. It’s a genuine reflection of their culture, which was violent and warlike. I don’t think it disparages the culture to observe that this ain’t fucking civilized. It’s the opposite.

    None of this has anything to do with a teenage girl getting “Kiss My Fish” etched neatly on her lower abdomen. Hell, at least the Samoans had a reason for maiming themselves.

  12. Art    Thu Jul 21, 03:44 PM #  

    Yeah. But what about regarding tattoos not as cultural statements, not as self-indulgent masochism, not as adolescents attempt to piss off mommy and daddy, etc., but as Art? This just might be simply about the Art, you know. Skin Art. The way the lines and colors complement the skin and muscle; the way the letters and images present themselves, the overall aesthetics. People tattoo themselves in order to make themselves Art, to affirm that they are Art. And who’s against Art?

  13. alesh    Thu Jul 21, 05:33 PM #  

    Yes, tattoos are first and foremost drawings. Oddly, lots of them are pretty bad drawings from an art perspective (though some are very good).

    To me, the concept of permanence is much more interesting. Are people who are afraid of them afraid of commitment? Do people who get them have no regard for the future? And how much should being worried about what you may regret when you’re old influence how you run your life?

  14. Sean    Thu Jul 21, 08:31 PM #  

    Personally, I know none “afraid” of tattoos, so I couldn’t say (if there be such) whether such fear is that of commitment. Besides, who “commits” to a blotch of ink? Commitment is for causes like freedom; for lovers and family; for spirit and gods; for freedom and a way of life…..not for “This End Up” branded on a hairy bum. Cushlomochree! What are you thinking, lad?

    It’s a damn fool who thinks naught for his future. (Ambrose Bierce wrote a century ago, “Plan your affairs before surgery. You might live.”) But it’s a limp and lifeless jackass who thinks of nothing but. Somewhere in the middle you’ll find what you seek, but even if not, is not the fun in the seeking itself? If it’s for fun you embrace the needle, have at it, and live your life with it. If you can’t handle regrets 25 years on, ink on your arse is the least of your worries.

  15. Miami Harold    Thu Jul 21, 09:55 PM #  

    Sure, Art, what about regarding tattoos as “just Art.”
    While you’re at it, let’s admire as “just Art”
    the pattern of Kaposi Sarcoma
    on a late-stage HIV positive victim,
    or the texture of suppurating tumors
    sprouting on a cancer sufferer’s abdomen?
    Nice, eh?
    Love that leprosy on your leg, too;
    goes so nice with the carpet.
    Wait—it’s ON the carpet.
    Well, it’s “just Art.”
    Let’s do some branding—orange red is my favorite color—
    and push papa down the stairs so we can ooh and aah
    over the purple bruises that erupt,
    and the ivory white bones that protrude afterwards.
    You like lines, Art?
    How about drawing one
    between Art and unadulterated sickness?

  16. JK    Wed Aug 3, 11:34 AM #  

    It’s amazing how judgemental people are when they see tattoos. Ink? Yep, I’ve got some and I am not a motorhead, sailorboy, low class, etc. Don’t judge people based on looks. Getting a tattoo doesn’t change who you are, but it does change how others view you. If you can handle that, and the ink has some kind of meaning behind it, than go for it. Don’t get a tattoo just because everyone is doing it. Took me over 30 years to finally figure out what and where I wanted work done.

  17. Anonymous    Wed Aug 3, 06:04 PM #  

    I got my first (and only) tattoo when I was just 12. Still remember the nice man who inked me. Well, not his name, actually, just his uniform with the “SS” on the shoulders and the swastika on the hat.

    So when I see kids with tattoos, yeah, it changes the way I view them. It just make me sad, but I understand that’s on me, not them. And I know that soon there won’t be people like me who make this association. So go ahead and do whatever you want—you don’t need my blessing or anybody else’s. And you got it exactly right; you need to be ready to handle the way you’re regarded, which, rightly or wrongly, fairly or unfairly, might be real negative. That could change, too.

    Ever read “Geek Love” by Katherine Dunn? The Arthurians mutilated themselves out of devotion and commitment to their leader. Amputated arms, legs, even their own organs. They had their reasons, of course, and it ain’t nobody’s business but their own, yet it seems like a strange thing to do and most people would regard them as, well, something negative. To me, anyway, tattooing is a lot like that.

    God bless.

  18. Howard    Thu Aug 4, 11:59 AM #  

    Did anyone catch the last episode of miami ink? Was the girl that showed up with her boyfriend not one of the girls from poplife? The guy had a gstring tattooed on his ass and acted like a fag. It must be pretty embarassing to have a closet fag as a boyfriend on national tv.

  19. Meck the Schmeck    Thu Aug 4, 01:28 PM #  

    Yo, Anonymous you prolific bastard, lighten up. 60 years seems like a long time to hold a grudge. Perhaps a nice seder plate inked on your back, or a burning dreadle (sp?) on your bicep would help to mitigate the mournful memories of your past.

  20. Call Me Plato    Fri Aug 5, 04:53 PM #  

    JK makes some excellent points, especially about the way people view tattoos.

    Years ago a kid growing up on my street was well known throughout the neighborhood as your blossoming basic asshole. At 15, he got himself a lovely blue tattoo of an eagle for his forearm. So now he was known as your basic asshole with a tattoo of an eagle on his forearm. Didn’t change him a bit, but it had two immediate outcomes:

    (a) it confirmed everybody’s shared suspicion that if you’re inclined toward tattoos, it helps to be your basic asshole, and
    (b) now people who merely saw him, as opposed to people who actually knew him, figured he was your basic asshole.

    Not all your basic assholes have tattoos, and not every tattooed person is your basic asshole. But if you’re not your basic asshole, why do you want to look like you might be?

    One final prejudice: If you don’t care whether or not you look like your basic asshole, you probably are your basic asshole already.

  21. Meck the Schmeck    Sat Aug 6, 04:05 PM #  

    Plato makes some excellent points as well. In fact that’s what I’ve always said about HUMMERs.

    Like, let’s say you’re an asshole, but nobody knows. Well get yourself a HUMMER, and problem solved.

    In fact, with a HUMMER you don’t need no ink. People’ll see you coming from miles away.

  22. Heth    Wed Aug 10, 01:32 AM #  

    First of all, “Meck”, how can you be so insensitive to “Anonymous”?? It was not only the Jews that the Natzi’s tortured. Any basic, somewhat educated human would know that.
    What is with all the judging. Tatoos may be for some, not for others. Yes, you need to be responsible if you decide to get a tatoo…it is forever. That means when you have kids, when your old and grey. Most people that do get tatooed, get something that means something to them, it symbolizes some miles stone in their life. If you don’t like it, don’t look. Judge not, least ye be judged. I am a very well educated 30ish female that not only worked in the medical field for years, but also worked for a well known movie studio…in a position where I met many people and they could possibly see one of my tatoos. It didn’t effect how well I did my job, nor did it stop me from gaining a prominant position with the company I worked with. If someone was going to juge me for a piece of art that I chose to put on my own body, why would I want to bother with that person?
    This is the U.S., we are allowed to say what we want and to do what we want. That’s what freedom is about. I don’t take away the trama that the young girl that got tatooed by the SS men….she has to live with that mark every day. But what if she decided to not live with that horrible memory anymore and got it covered with something that meant fredom, survival and peace to her?? Then when you look down and see it, you won’t be reminded of the horrible, sickning, terrorizing men that hurt you so?

  23. Roxxy    Tue Aug 30, 01:23 AM #  

    live and let live arguing your views on tattoo’s is like arguing with your self no one wins! but really insulting others for what they believe in is disgusting can you not express your views in a fasion that is not insulting?

  24. Anonymous (again)    Tue Aug 30, 12:11 PM #  

    Thanks for your support and kind words……although in all good conscience I think you should know that I was not a young 12 year old girl when the Nazis branded me: I was and remain a male.

    Others have suggested that I have the tattoo covered with another one, but the very thought of going through the process again makes me physically ill. Ditto to having it removed.

    Time moves on, styles and fashions change, and I understand that what once was considered vile sin becomes mundane habit. Fine. People like me—I assume there are others—will never regard tattoos and body piercings as anything other than gross self-mutilation. That shouldn’t (and doesn’t) stop anybody else from doing it. Do what the hell you want and have a damn good time: you get exactly one life and it’s yours to do what you will. If prudes and old farts don’t like it, fuck ‘em. I mean, us.

    It’s a big world with plenty of room to disagree.