In the grand scheme of things; I don’t really matter. And I don’t think having tattoos is cool. Currently, owning tattoos on one’s body seems to be heavily based on ego and status.

Tattoos have become loud visible representations of the wearer’s ideology and pretence of self. An attempt at freedom. I see the current trend as simultaneous longing to be different and inherent vanity.

I speak of persons whose tattoos wear them and who form their personality around their artwork instead of the other way around. I speak of persons, celebrity and average Joe, who wear it as a badge for an exclusive club that only allows for contrived coolness.

Are you yourself or are you acting as yourself?

Then it occurred to me…. I am offended by hipsters (shame poor hipsters get a lot of salt) and One Direction look-a-likes and trendy folks.

Personally, I know I have a sickness. A disease even. I need the tattooing process from concept of a piece; I need the implementation process and healing in order to be mentally fit to live and kill off pathogen-like thoughts. I need it as a form to smear Bepanthen over my mind. It’s a conscientious succession from wanting to scratch, bite and/ or punch people in general.

If you hang out with smokers you’ll smell like a smoker and be thought of as a smoker. That means you will be a smoker.

In part, due to my perpetual fear of conformity, tattoos have confined me. I find myself unjustly automatically categorised a member of society that breeds on superfluous “YOLO” mentality.

YOLO

Abbreviation for: you only live once
The dumbass’s excuse for something stupid that they did
Also one of the most annoying abbreviations ever….

Guy 1: “Hey i heard u got that girl pregnant”
Dumbass 1: ” Ya man but hey YOLO”

Guy 1: “Hey i heard that you broke ur leg falling off the balcony at that party”
Dumbass 1: “Ya but hey YOLO”

My need for ink is not as bad as a tik-monster’s (extreme crystal meth addict) need that would get their hit anywhere, although I’ve made one or two questionable choices of tattoo artists including maliciously blinding myself and roping myself into the personality and charisma of one that was easily accessible, at that time.

I try to pretend its fashion for me. I pretend it’s for beautification. How intimate can one be in a social setting when faced with the question: “Does it mean something to you?” Is it really necessary to explain to a new found best friend whose name you cannot remember?

Or what reply can one attempt to a snark: “I’m also getting something done/ I also have, but mine have meaning though…”  Mine don’t?

"Baa Baa Black sheep"

“Baa Baa Black sheep”

“Anything popular is wrong”- Oscar Wilde

In truth, I am a basic failure at life. I don’t suck at it; I’m just a failure, for now as success is in the eye of the beholder. Regarding being a parent I find myself in a constant inner struggle. Both my kids inherited my headstrong “go large or go home”/ “let’s do this” genus and, dare I say, “fearless” nature. I’m scared for them.

But there are billions of people without tattoos who also lead my life. All I’m willing to admit is that, at times of stress, my desire for fresh ink burns deep; where I sink into an even deeper field of depression than my ordinary practice of manic depressiveness, when I am not fulfilled and nothing else matters until the itch is scratched. It’s hard to claw out of the selfishness.

Based on principle!

This is my only reason for resenting the current “coolness” of marking your body. I have developed a standard diplomatic stance when faced with giddy freshly matriculated persons showing me an insect that represents freedom that they got for R200 (Akz1800, US$20) by some guy who has a machine whose name they can’t remember. I do love hearing stories of how individual tattoos on said persons came about and I do intend to document the practice and how it thrives through the conservative South Africa and other Africa, BUT…. It irks me that insect/ eternity loop/ kanji/ flame tribal wearing persons are the main contributors to the notion of regretting having tattoos done with pathetic reasons such as: “I was drunk”: no ARTIST will touch you while inebriated, “I just wanted something sexy”: confidence is sexy, fake it till you believe it. “It was a phase”… seriously?

Because, to be relavant and add to the "YOLO" experience, and appear "Badass" you needs tattoos... Especially if you're in a boyband.

Because, to be relavant and add to the “YOLO” experience, and appear “Badass” you needs tattoos… Especially if you’re in a boyband.

And what’s the dealio with the rush to have a full bodysuit mapping your life events, history and experiences before the tender age of 28? Do people stop experiencing and living after 28? And what’s with the “tough guy/ tough gal” posturing when wicked ink sleeves reside on some character’s arms? My vanity can’t withstand it!

A generation of their own.

Should I ever be faced with any of my kids wanting ink, I would point them in the direction of a good artist along with the task of first acknowledging their motives for the desire and a vow not to denounce it after they regret it!

"Har-Har-Har!!"

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”- Vincent Van Gogh

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