Tuesday, August 30, 2005

On The Subject Of Tattoos

I admire a good tattoo. Something clever. Something beautiful. Anything that catches my eye really. And since these past few days I've been talking about the cock tattoo a la Tom Sizemore's "Heidi" and corporate whoring a la any fucking town that would rename itself Dish to earn a shitload (double entendre intended) of satellite receivers I thought it would be pertinent at this time to delve into a topic that has bothered me for a little while now --- the corporate tattoo. I first read of corporate tattoos in the pages of Adbusters a while back and I have been meaning to weigh in on the subject myself for quite some time. Now seems as good a time as ever.

What is a corporate tattoo? Well, it's basically a tattoo of a corporate logo or product that the wearer of the tattoo is paid to have. So while some people might go to a tattoo parlor to get dragons clawing their way up their asses or "Heidi" tattooed right above their cocks because that so fucking macho to have when you beat up your girlfriend, there are people who will get paid to have a tattoo of corporate imagery. It's basically like turning your body into a walking, talking, fucking billboard. So instead of paying an artist to give you something that makes a statement like I'm a rebel or I'm a free thinker you'll get paid by a company to make a statement like The Toyota Corolla is tops with me! or Insert corporate penis here with a black arrow pointing at your ass (yeah, you know you like it).

But Michael, there's good money to be made from getting a corporate tattoo and it's not like it's really that important, it's just parts of our bodies!

That's exactly what a prostitute is.

Even worse is the fact that some companies who act as the middle men between the corporations that want to brand people's asses and the people's asses being branded even have contracts done up that require the people sporting the tattoos to verbally endorse the products or corporations featured in the tattoos. It's kind of like the facial cumshot after the sodomy. Sorry if that's a bit graphic, but it just pisses me off that much. I mean, imagine talking to somebody who was under contract to talk at great lengths about the benefits of some corporate entity just because it says Mitsubishi on his ass. How much of the shit coming out of his mouth is his genuine thoughts and feelings and how much of it is corporate propaganda? Is there any way to tell without reading the fine print of the contract he signed when he got his tattoo? I didn't think so. You're now talking to a commercial.

Not only that, but imagine being a tattoo artist who basically makes an entire living from putting corporate images on people's bodies. How sad is that? Think about the great artists throughout human history. Leonardo sketching McDonald's golden arches. Van Gogh for Pepsi. I'm not saying that every tattoo artist is Leonardo or Van Gogh, but a lot of them are good artists who should be allowed to express themselves with a bit more freedom than what some fucking corporate contract clause would allow. On one hand it's nice to see an artist getting paid for talent, but on the other hand, it's fucking depressing to see an artist getting paid to be use said talent as part of a corporate juggernaut. Everything is a fucking dollar sign these days.

Which leads me to the rather recent phenomenon of average people selling off highly visible parts of their bodies for advertising space. I begrudgingly admire the inventiveness of one day waking up and thinking Holy fuck! My fucking forehead would be perfect to sell snoring remedies! I'm a fucking genius! True, he is a bit of a fucking genius, but a sick, twisted sort of genius at that. He got paid well to look like an asshat. Congratulations, asshat.

But Michael, he got paid over $37000 for the use of his forehead.

An asshat with over $37000 is still an asshat. When did selling dignity become such a virtue? I must have missed the meeting where all of humanity decided that money at any cost is the ultimate goal. When you see how the wealthy spend their money nowadays how the fuck can it be all that desirable to be a whore? Sure, you can buy yourself a jewel encrusted i-Pod or a pimp cup, but really, why?

Maybe I'm just losing touch with humanity as I grow older and more cynical. Maybe I'm reading too much into all of this and a tattoo of a corporate logo is still a tattoo and whoever wears it is to be admired as a free thinker and a rebel. Maybe I'm just saying all of this so that you're saying out loud No Michael, you're not losing touch with humanity. You're right. You're always right. And it's true, I'm always right. There are too many fucking corporate bitches.


Anonymous said...

Michael oh Michael... That was fucking great. Just Great. You old men really speak to my generation. I loved the facial after the sodomy. That was just perfect.
By the way two things where oh where si syou pick up the word 'Asshat'? I thought that was my word shared with only about half a million people. Also I know a Tattoo guy and he flat out refuses to do corporate tats. Hes great. Last time I got a tatto from him we split a case and got the tattoo done.

Michael said...

I picked "asshat" up from reading Fark. It's one of my most frequently visited websites. I don't think the people who submit the news items at Fark use "asshat" much anymore, but sometimes I pull it out because it's just such an absurd term.

Brodie said...

Tattoo's are interesting in the fact that a large majority of people who have them, have them for stupid reason's.
"I have a butterfly on the small of my back because it's cute!"
If then, you have a bunch of people getting pointless tattoo's for pointless reason's, why not make a buck? You've already whored yourself to the conformity of the situation. Might as well make some money for your stupidity.

Then again I'm an asshole, so who knows. Good job on this rant Mikey. I enjoyed it. Brodie.

Michael said...

Brodie you have a point. Ugh. I hate it when my opinion gets a giant hole shot through it, but you raise an interesting point. A lot of people get rather uninspiring tattoos, so might as well make some dough since you're unoriginal already.

Anonymous said...

Hi Im a 20 something girl with a butterfly tattoo on her back. I could not imagine of thinking of something original cause that would be down right crazy.

Brodie dont you dare go and generalize all chicks with their tattoos cause I got some tats you would beg to see and for the corporate bullshit. NO justification for putting nike on your body. What makes Nike more 'rad' then Walmart anyways?

Michael said...

I suppose one could get a Nike swoosh on the penis and that would be pretty bitching, and probably not what would be considered a corporate tattoo since I doubt that Nike would really want to be assoicated with my penis. Walmart, on the other hand, begs me to a get a tattoo penis almost on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

well michael If I where you I would hold out for Target. Then get a huge Target logo on ze ass.