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Carolyn Gilbert (Of Evil) And Excessive Hashtags (Of Evil)
Cranky day today, kids. I got sick this weekend (just in time for my birthday, which is tomorrow the fifteenth), and threw up my guts for a couple of days. I’m OK now, but I have those sore ribs and neck and jaw from tossing my belly soup. That’s irritating. And I’m gassy. Don’t stand behind me. Or in front of me. And I’m also suddenly irritated by excessive hash tags that aim to explain more than the actual sentence they follow. One tweet doesn’t need nine hash tags. That’s why we made language so we wouldn’t have to communicate in dumb phrases. #OMG #hesajerk #learnthelanguage #IheartSnape #listeningtoPrimus #excessive #hashtag #mayancalendar #letsmoveon
I read an article today by a thing call Carolyn Gilbert on a thing called Times Record News from a thing called Wichita Falls, Texas. The first thing is a woman, the second thing is a newspaper, and the third thing is a place. The broad writes about medical related things for the paper (or online paper which seems oxymoronic). Her thesis of the article, or as I interpret it, is the last third of her rant. In short, it’s about a cat who got ‘NO CPR’ tattooed on his chest for legitimate and real world function. Dude doesn’t want emergency care if he’s in a position to get it. That’s his right to have. People wear bracelets and sign papers that define that. Why not a mod. Seems like a non-story to me which, in Carolyn Gilbert’s burying of the lead, is clear. A full and investigative report on the legality of an individual’s right of life as expressed through a tattoo modification would have been pretty interesting, I think. As yet, the mod won’t hold up in court. He would need to sign one of those DNR documents. Even though “DNR” might be my favorite Testament song, the story Carolyn Gilbert slapped together is buried under the weight of the first two thirds of her article.
Paragraph one starts with this: “Tattoos have always looked so sinister that I can hardly abide them.” OK, Ms. Gilbert. The first sentence of your first paragraph has me hooked. Let’s skim ahead.
Paragraph two starts with this: “It seems that for many years the stamp of evil — the tattoo — was a male thing.” Stamp of evil. That’s pretty clever in a shitty Iced Earth song title kind of way. You have my stretched ears pointed in your direction.
Paragraph three starts with this: “My anti-tattoo rant has also been directed at players of my favorite sport, the NBA.” Yawn. Heard it before. Wrote about it before. Caused a big do about it before. And the NBA is boring to me, even though the 76ers are killing it this year.
Then there’s an anecdote that makes no sense, and then Ms. Carolyn Gilbert gets to the DNR tattoo on the chest thing. Let’s go back and read more closely. Ms. Gilbert introduces unabashedly that she thinks tattoos are unflattering on people, including “young military guys returning from far away places.” That’s fine. She’s entitled to her opinion. Of all the things we in this country think we’re entitled to, opinions are one to which we actually are. We do perk our American ears up a little though, don’t we, when someone says something that could be rerouted into the negative about the military. That’s one of those protected things. Taking shots, however veiled, at servicemen is always slippery I think. Dude just came back from killing terrorists so that you can have cheap gas and an affordable texting plan for your iPhone? Let him mod whatever the hell he wants. That’s a different rant, though.
The second paragraph Carolyn Gilbert poots forth starts with that “stamp of evil” thing. She continues with the notion (that she seems to have adopted as fact) that those who mod do so to rebel against something, which she recapitulates for a weak punch line in the next paragraph. Before she gets to the wonderfully self-flattering paragraph’s conclusion “…I try to look the other direction when at a traffic light with a well-decorated biker. I am sure they are merely saying "hi" but I am too intimidated to look.” (I love how people try to absolve themselves of horrendous and baseless -isms by recognizing that they are participating in the -ism and then just say, ‘but oh well; that’s what I think.’) she tries to summarize the rebellion theory in twenty or so words. Carolyn Gilbert says, “I am not sure what the target of their rebellion was except that it appeared to be authority in general ... parents, school, rules.” This is my appeal to the people who are on the opposite side of the mod fence from myself. Please get together and organize your ideas, and for the love of Christ, change your battle cry. It’s really getting old. I am sure there are those who participate in mod for the sense of rebellion. Rebellion is the impetus for a lot of behavior (See also; French Revolution. See also; American Revolution. See also; Lady Gaga’s inexplicable success). But there is a double standard in terms of ‘this group started doing this to rebel’ when it comes to those who modify and other groups. Weren’t hippies of the 1960s rebelling against the morally conservative lifestyle of the 1950s? And we celebrate that, right? It lead to women’s movements and race movements and all kinds of things like that. We should probably give modification more time to see what it leads to instead of saying ‘that guy with the big ears doesn’t like the law and that’s why he has a thing in his nose.’ I mean, shit; I’d much rather have my imaginary kid be a part of something like the healthy modification of this generation than the commune living hedonism with a side of brain destroying psychedelics of the hippie generation. A fistful of LSD, anonymous group sex, and a terrible, twenty minute guitar solo that goes nowhere or a ten gauge captive bead in the septum. Hm. Which seems like a healthier practice. Yeah, yeah; I know. ‘It was a different time.’ And now is a different time too. It certainly doesn’t mean that my modifications are stamps of evil solely because every other time in history was ‘a different time.’ I know a little girl named Reagan who would like to talk about stamps of evil. (Anyone get that joke?)
Then the basketball thing. Yeah, you don’t like mods on athletes. That’s great. Last I checked athletes were paid to do a thing well, not to look ‘good’ (by whosever definition) while doing that thing well. I don’t care if my number one starter has ‘Hail Satan’ tattooed on his forearm; can he throw a 96 fastball and mix it with a 74 curve and a 82 circlechange? All in the strikezone? Tattoo whatever you’d like, my friend. I’ll see you at the parade in November.
Carolyn Gilbert finally arrives at the interesting part of the story: the guy with the medical warning tattooed on his chest. By this point, however, to me her opinions are invalid because she had already spent so much time in exposition explaining something that could have been summed up in four words: I don’t like tattoos. Even though I’m sure she thought about how brilliant the ‘stamp of evil’ thing was. Well done, dear. You can take that stamp of evil and put it on the envelope of woe and throw it in the mailbox of sorrow to be sent to the house of candy and unicorns. (I phoned that last one in.) I do appreciate that there was a new little phrase (of evil). Whenever you read these types of rants, it’s always the same dumb phrases in the same dumb order with the same dumb and pointless conclusions (of evil). I’m disappointed that Carolyn Gilbert (of evil) didn’t spend her word budget on the actual meat of the story, the medical tattoo thing. That had a good opportunity to be an interesting and unbiased story about something different that is happening. Instead, Carolyn Gilbert (of evil) chose to use it as a forum to express her misinformed and ignorant points of view toward a community so large that the likelihood we are all any one thing absolute (as she chose to use the word “always” in the first damned sentence of the thing) must, by the pure math of it, be miniscule. But I suppose that’s how people who hate mod make a living; getting paid to write things like, ‘bikers scare me because of the things on their arms.’ And I’m the sucker, writing for free saying things like, let each person be his own beautiful. I respect the opinion of anyone so long as he is courteous enough to reciprocate. Stay beautiful, kids.
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