20 May, 2010

A Touch Of The Stupid

A Touch Of The Stupid


I have had way too many conversations with people about women’s shoes recently. I guess I have a shoe thing. It just seems ridiculous what’s going on with women’s shoes right now. High heels and jeans, boots from Beowulf, crazy little boots that look like an item in The Legend Of Zelda, the whole galoshes thing. My jury is still out on those flat looking ballet shoe things. I’m pretty sure this is a sign of the apocalypse. Well, maybe Iran having nuclear weapons, a world earthquake every week, and domestic policies that liken our nation to socialism (and yes, Amanda, I know what socialism is). There are those signs too. Not just dumb shoes, but I’m pretty sure the rider of the pale horse had dumb shoes.

I got Snicker’s caramel in my beard just now. This has nothing to do with anything I’m going to write about. I just wanted to let you know my beard situation. What I am going to write about is people’s narrow and idiot views about the culture of body modification. It seems as if our culture is constantly under fire for asinine reasons. And whenever I read or hear about these views, I think to myself, “Self, what type of vegetable goes well with pork tenderloin?” Then I think, “Why do these people continue to rail against the modification culture? What end do they hope to accomplish?” Then I think that the vegetable thing doesn’t really matter, and people are going to hate on things forever. Damn those gays! They need to stop being gay! Why? What does it matter? Damn those Christians! They need to stop loving Jesus! Why? What does it matter? Uneducated and resolutionless discord is senseless, though often funny. This rant isn’t about any of that. I just wanted to make that point before I forgot it.

Outlandish statements. I guess this kind of relates to that last paragraph. I read an article today that contained some outlandish statements, and I’m going to talk about them. Took me four hundred words to say something of value. Christ. I’m open to new career choice suggestions. Anyway, the article I read started with this statement. Keep in mind that I’m not entirely sure how the first sentence is supposed to read.

“Tattoo, is all what men can think of now. The reason are plenty. They look stylish, attract girls, are the best to start a conversation and are the best way of expressing yourself.”

Now, I don’t have a degree in English. I don’t have any measure of credibility. I don’t even have a mirror in my room. That last one has nothing to do with anything, but I surely hope that this lead paragraph in this article was poorly translated into English because it doesn’t make too much sense. But let’s do some sifting, then we’ll move onto the rest of the article, which is here: http://living.oneindia.in/men/for-him/2010/top-five-tattoo-design-250310.html if you think I copied it incorrectly.

Tattoos are what men think of. OK, let’s start there. This article was tucked away in a lifestyles type of section about men, so I guess it is speaking in context to men’s fashion points of view. Or something. Yeah, sure. I guess a lot of men are thinking about tattoo modification to add to their aesthetics. I’ll buy that. From my point of view, a many more varied type of man is getting modified now. I have interacted with several professional types who wear the business sleeves, the sleeve and chest mods that are hidden perfectly by the cuffed and collared shirt. I have even met some straight clean Abercrombie types who have nipple piercings, junque piercings, or hidden tattoos. Men seem to be acquiring mods more quickly than women in that respect. And to me, I don’t think that many men get modifications for many other reasons than for themselves. Sure, there was a boom of tribal things and barbed wire, but I think that most men get tattooed because they want the tattoo that they’re getting, and less because tattoo modification is something that is happening in society.

The second part of that opening English disaster tries to explain the reasons men modify. I disagree with, well, all of these for myself. Stylish, attract girls, and conversation starters. Conversation starters, sure. I can jive with that one, I guess. People will see my mods and strike up the interaction. It’s an ice breaker for sure, but to modify for the reason to have that ice breaker speaks to me that you have some sorry assed social skills. I think that most of us like to share our mods. Check out this awesome sleeve I got at 12oz. Studios in Gloucester. Sure. We’re proud, but at the core, I think that the majority of us are just glad to have the art whether we share it or not.

Stylish? I guess mods can be stylish, but they, in my opinion, are stylish in the context of the style of modification. It’s a style, but it is a style that is birthed from a culture of individuals with similar interests. Tattoos are not stylish in the same way Dan’s Express jeans with the stupid studs on the pockets are. Tattoos are a style of a culture, and more so, an exemplification of that culture. We’re not really Express jeans. At least I’m not. If anything, I’m Wal-Mart pants.

Attractive to girls. I’m not sure about this one. Now, I’m a terribly lonely guy. Terribly. Awfully, awfully lonely. Awful. So I don’t know that much about what attracts girls. It sure isn’t metal t’s, a handicap, a beard, and a bad attitude (right Rachel?). But I’m not entirely sure that a girl looks across the bar and sees a cat with a tattoo and considers that to be the final sell to go talk to him. Wouldn’t this depend on the art as well? I mean, if a dude has a detailed, lifelike depiction of a Holocaust death camp sleeve, I’d wager that he wouldn’t be the most popular with the ladies. I never considered that a tattoo can attract a girl. It just doesn’t read to me as if that is something that a dame is looking for. I always though a good job, money, rugged good looks, and a tenderness that doesn’t compromise masculinity were the go-to qualities. Maybe that’s why I’m single. Then again, I have non of those things I just mentioned either.

The rest of the article outlined five of the more popular tattoo styles and what they mean, and yes; the star and the tribal were in that list. I’m not going to go into the list because it seems to have a touch of the stupid. I’ve read a lot of articles about what people think different tattoo styles mean. Maybe I’m spoiled by where I live and the people that I know, but I have never met anyone who has a tribal styled tattoo because he thought it showed an earthen sense of strength and determination, or other such nonsense that I’ve read. I know very few people with flash tattoos, and maybe they’re more popular in other parts of the country, but I doubt that most of these people are contemplating the inherent psychological meaning in cross number six, second from the left. Most of the shops around me are custom shops, some even custom only. People will roll into the shops with their ideas, the artists create a final draft, and then they go to town with the needles and the buzzing and the stinging. The vast majority of modified people I know have custom work; work that speaks to a very specific artistic concept. I have a spine with a circle and a slash through it on my right shoulder (Meghan Patrick, 12oz. Studios, Gloucester, NJ). I’ve never seen a mod similar, so I would suspect that there isn’t a patent psychological subtext going on there. Maybe there is. I’ll ask my therapist.

Gross and sweeping generalizations about the modification culture. Seems as if when lifestyle columnists have nothing to write about, they go into some senseless diatribe about a culture in which they don’t participate. Seems a bit ridiculous, and often inflammatory. I wouldn’t sit here and publish a work about a culture in which I do not participate because it would be disingenuous. I’m not going to wax for two thousand words about what it is like to live as a homosexual man in Arizona because I’m neither gay nor a citizen of Arizona. The sad part is, these people who constantly lick their uneducated boogers and stick them in a magazine article, passing their ignorant ideas as fact, are getting paid for spreading bunk. Good thing I take the utmost care in ensuring that I know what I’m talking about and craft it to a meticulous degree. For no money. Love of the game, I guess. How did I get on me? I’m such an asshole. Stay beautiful, kids.

Talk to A. Robert Basile on AIM at Basilephone
Yahoo Messenger at andrewbasile@rocketmail.com


  1. I disagree with conversation starters. I'm shy. I don't like being talked to. As soon as someone asks, my cheeks flush crimson, I stammer something that I hope means something, and walk away.
    As for shoes...I LOVE shoes! Oh my god, SHOES! Did you catch that glimpse of valley girl? *laughs*

  2. the irony... people get paid to write trash and you spread the truth for free. thanks for the laughs buddy.

  3. oh awesome... i just saw an old navy comercial for dollar flip flops and it made me think of you!