Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ink


When I’m supremely pissed off at someone, I fantasize about taking my stiletto to his or her face in a grand, sweeping motion. Facekebob! Facial skewers! It does wonders to take the edge off my anger.

I’ve also threatened to beat my best friend if she got a tattoo.

But despite all this, I still don’t think I’m a violent person.

My tendencies aside, let’s get back to my best friend.

She’s a huge Snow Patrol fan. HUGE! And I’d call her a groupie because she follows them around, except she’s my best friend and except she follows them around different cities but she doesn’t follow them to their hotel rooms.

Anyway, she’s told me on several different occasions that she wants to get a snowflake tattoo. I didn’t threaten to beat her right away; I’m a relatively reasonable person most of the time, you know. I tried to reason with her first. Then she threw the flimsiest excuses at me (“Winter is my favourite season! It’s a deeply personal symbol to me!”), so of course, I had to threaten to beat her.

It’s not that I don’t like snowflakes. And it’s not that I don’t like people who have tattoos. I love asking people about their tattoos because there are often very interesting stories involved that lead to great conversations. But I just don’t think tattoos are very classy, and I’m of the opinion that if someone doesn’t have one, they shouldn’t get one. Besides that, I know she wants kids one day, and who knows what directions different parts of her body will grow in one day? Better safe than sorry.

Speaking of pregnancy planning - an idea that unnerves me, by the way, because I think I'm way too young to be thinking of this - someone I know once worried about not being able to get an epidural if she got a "tramp stamp" (tattoo at the small of her back). Wouldn't it suck if she didn't find out until she was in the delivery room? So she called up Mount Sinai, I think, where she was born and plans to give birth at, and asked about this. An anesthesiologist assured her that as long as her tattoo isn't enormous, they can shift her skin over the space between the two appropriate vertebrae and puncture her where there is no tattoo. Completely satisfied, she went ahead with it and is very pleased.

But I especially don’t get foreign language tattoos, and by that I mean when people get tattoos in languages they can’t read. There’s this blog I really like called Hanzi Smatter, where people will send in their kanji (i.e. Chinese character) tattoos to ask if it means what they think it means. More often than not, they don’t make sense at all. Why would anyone get anything permanently inked on them BEFORE they find out if it’s right?

Then again, I once had someone ask me to verify a term for them, but despite the fact that I thought it didn't say exactly what she wanted it to say, she decided that it was close enough.

My friend Ahsan also makes an especially interesting point:
hahaha an interesting read. Anything concerning tattoo work gets my attention(despite my stance of never getting a tattoo)

This made me think, firstly about cultural tattoos.. I just dont get why some people get kanji characters.. Ive seen a lot.. usually on people who cant understand the transliterated meaning behind the symbol let alone bare ... Read moresome sort of deeper connection to the language they chose to brand on themselves. Its weird at times seeing people create meaning rather than find it.

I've been asked to draw arabic names and quotes for people willing to get it tattooed who have no idea what the language and culture are all about. Tattoos have been around for eons and these days they are treated not like fine art or cultural crests, but another fashion accessory.

What do you think?

3 comments:

Waheeda said...

I agree with the not getting a tattoo in a language you don't understand without checking its correctness. I disagree with getting tattoos on a drunken whim. However, I have 2 tattoos which I thought about long and hard before getting. And...I love them and don't regret them for a second. Even though one is a tramp stamp. ;)

Melissa said...

I plan on getting one. Nothing too brazen or over the top, but a word in the Hindi letter. I'm holding off on it right now because this will be my only tattoo and I wanted it to be meaningful. I do love looking at crazy tats though. Just not a fan of having them all over me lol

and yes.. kanji/tribal/emo tattoos are just so cliche and have totally lost their purpose lol

ahsan said...

Aww much love and respect for the mention Christine. I still stand by my remarks, I love looking at tattoo works but would never get one. Just my personal stance.
If one does dive into the history of tattoo works you begin to realize the social/political legacy they carry. Ranging from tribal branding to religious offerings tattoos have had a very interesting meaning behind them.
I cant stress how ticked I get when I hear stuff like:
" Man I'm gonna get a tat of a rising phoenix to symbolize my break up from my ex."
To stuff like:
"Can you draw me an Arabic design of my name, Im gonna put it on my thigh."
Sigh..
for the later story I found out the name had a religious meaning and then I promptly refused to have any part of designing said work.
But above all, Tattoos carry a different meaning these days. The foundations of that meaning are based on anti conformist visions and individuality; but in reality they create the exact opposite meaning.
I blab way too much...
I love to draw and some people love to draw on themselves. Its all good.