I am a pretty progressive guy. But I guess every non-progressive guy thinks that about himself.
Whether I consider myself progressive or conservative in my general approach towards life, I would like to think of myself first and foremost as a critical thinker; meaning every issue I face is examined on its own merits independently of the larger association to which it may belong.
The artificial wall we have built between progressive and conservative is utter bullshit anyway…it is a fictitious concoction designed to keep us simultaneously interested and distracted while the rich and powerful keep us occupied with the Trayvon Martins and Paula Deens—not to mention Kim Kardashian’s ass—as they directly make their way to the bank, unimpeded by a distracted public. Does anything really change whether we have a Republican or Democrat president? Please. It is all bullshit.
But that is not the point of this blog so I am not sure why I just went there.
Damn Golden Snake.
If you were to talk to me about certain issues (i.e. legalization of drugs, immigration, LGBTQ rights) you would conclude I am a flaming liberal. Yet, if you were to talk to me about other issues (i.e. economics, welfare state, centrality of family) you would contend I am a John Birch right-winger—well, not really, though you get the point. I attempt to think critically and do not give a damn what political camp I might be identified with on any given issue…my only camp is Jimmy’s camp.
This being said, I would generally consider myself a liberal parent (whatever that means)…particularly in my kids’ latter years during which time I have really only had a few steadfast rules (though I guess every conservative parent has said that as well). For example, one steadfast rule was that you can party your ass off IF, and this is a big IF, you take care of your responsibilities first. You know, like do your homework BEFORE you go out to play (such a dated example, I mean stay in and play Xbox).
The only two other areas that I actually had an opinion was that of smoking and tattoos—I cannot stand either.
Yes, crusty old Grandpa Jimmy (get on that my children, will you?), you know the one who loves singing bowls, drum circles and adrenaline rushes, has spoken.
Smoking to me is a disgusting and sad habit. I have no judgment on those who do it— I simply decide to abstain from it myself….and just don’t blow that crap in my face.
The problem I have with tattoos—the point of this blog—is that they are permanent and if I know anything about myself and human nature, it is that we constantly evolve and change; hell, I will disagree with the first paragraph of this blog before I get to the last. I know for certain that whatever “cool” tat I would ink on my ass or elsewhere will be uncool within a very short period of time –yet there it is, forever—probably not a wise choice to make a needless permanent decision over something that may hurt you as you move through life and will certainly NEVER help you.
So why do I care about tattoos? I really do not. Yes, I do think they are an unwise choice though if one decides to do something that can only possibly hurt oneself, why should I care? I don’t. If one wants to make a stupid, regretful, unwise decision that in no way can affect me…go for it. I will still love you. And I have lived long enough to know I could very well be wrong…perhaps in the near future I will be the unemployable one for having un-inked skin…who knows? Maybe that’s just wishful inking.
Yet my children are a different story. Ultimately, they fall in the same category as everyone else…free human beings with free wills to do whatever they choose with their bodies. Though weren’t we old farts (aka parents) placed in our position for a reason? We old folk were all once 18, 20, 25 and have lived some years on the planet and perhaps know something our children don’t. Of course this could make us either out of touch dinosaurs OR the wise sages; such a fine line between stupidity and brilliance.
A recent Forbes article suggests I may be the former as tattoos no longer carry the stigma they used to; employers really do not care. In fact, I ran across quite a bit of information suggesting they are becoming socially acceptable. Yet employment is only a part of the anti-tattoo equation.
The BBC reports “that research being presented at the British Association of Dermatologists’ conference this week suggests nearly one in three people regret tattoos.” Interestingly, more men have regret than women and often it depends where on the body…lower body tattoos tend to have less regret than upper body ones.
So what’s the big deal?
It’s really not…though it comes down to a general life philosophy: “Life is hard. Why do ANYTHING voluntarily in life that MAY make it harder?” It is the same reason yours truly cut off his beloved curly locks prior to his interview with the college. I doubt there was anyone on the interview committee who thought to herself, “We really need a surfer-looking dude with long hair teaching our communication classes.” The much likelier possibility would be the interviewer who looks negatively upon the “hippie” and harbors some inward, subtle prejudices. Why unnecessarily roll the dice on the latter? Off it went, received tenure track….and back it came.
Why risk regretting something the rest of your life over a voluntary activity? If we have that great a need for a fashion statement perhaps there are other issues we need to be looking at in our life.
Why risk having to pay thousands of dollars in numerous painful surgeries over something that did not have to be there in the first place?
Why risk having to see something the rest of your life that you once thought was cool at 18? Hell, if I had decided to get a tat at that age, I would be spending the rest of my life staring at Robin and Maurice Gibb (really, BeeGees?), Farah Fawcett (yes, really) or Fonzie.
Is the small piece of skin art really worth it?
“Aaaaaayyyyyyyy!” I guess I really am conservative. Yet I do have both my ears pierced. Pretty progressive, huh? Oh, and if you do decide to get a tattoo, just make sure you are a woman who gets it somewhere on her lower body.