Tattoos are Good Because They’re Bad

A recent offering from the Federalist makes plain why Conservatism(tm) is an entirely spineless… philosophy? Fraud, perhaps. But we aren’t even discussing politics today.

We’re discussing tattoos. The Federalist’s Mark Hemingway isn’t just a talking head, he’s their book editor and a “senior writer” at the Weekly Standard. Clearly, he must be a skilled communicator? Let’s find out.

For a variety of personal and professional reasons, I did an epic amount of travel in the last year, across thousands of miles and several states, and there was one cultural constant: Everywhere I went were lots of people with tattoos.

Yep, tattoos are everywhere now. Not news. They’re known to be unhealthy indicators of impulsive behavior. Also not news. Why are men getting tattoos? Because chicks dig tats and men can’t get sex the old-fashioned way of being a responsible, undamaged, boring male human. Hemingway tries to touch this fact with a ten-foot pole:

If tattoos ever had a singular redeeming quality, the fact they are now inescapable has robbed them of it. Before everyone had one, seeing one was at least exciting. And you had good reason to surmise there was a story behind it. Maybe your uncle’s career as a salesman at IBM didn’t exactly scream international man of mystery, but when he wore the wifebeater at family cookouts you just knew that guy had some tales to tell about what happened on shore leave.

Of course, tattoos were also seen as exciting in more, um, stimulating ways? I think it was Halloween of ‘97 when a sorority girl in a non-regulation Catholic school uniform leapt up on a table at Rennie’s Landing to show us her tattoo. She was what today’s brosephs would refer to as a “smokeshow,” but alas, this act of youthful abandon was not for my benefit.

While I’d like to claim that the force in the universe responsible for equitably distributing female attention is, to recontextualize Tennessee Williams, a hideous b-tch goddess, the truth is that life’s not fair. My buddy Gordon, sitting next to me, is good-looking enough to have been a male model. However, Gordon was halfway inside a bottle of Wild Turkey and, handsome S.O.B. that he was, so inured to hot girls throwing themselves at him that he left my male gaze unchallenged for the big reveal.

He comes soooo close to acknowledging most men get tatted to draw female interest but then pulls back with:

Now, of course, it bears mentioning that as forty year-old man with daughters, the symbolism involved here makes me more than a bit uncomfortable. If you’re really looking to round out the Freudian implications of this little Halloween tableaux, it helps to know that, aside from her being dressed as a schoolgirl, I was wearing zombie make-up. And besides, finding out she had a small heart tattooed on her pelvic bone just below her waistline seems more than a little anti-climactic.

Why the pre-apology? You’re so busy claiming to not have been excited by the whore dropping her panties for the guy sitting next to you that you can’t come out and say that this sexy hanky panky is the reason for modern tatting in an article about modern tatting. Make you point, Cuckservative. Stop with the navel-gazing.

[Several extraneous paragraphs skipped]

“Now I realize that inveighing against tattoos in twenty-first-century America is the Little Big Horn of the culture wars, not in the least because so many of you reading this have tattoos and are probably annoyed by this cranky string of get-off-my-lawnisms. I understand people get tattoos for deeply personal reasons. Not all of those reasons are bad or merit the judgment of others.”

Dude, we already know what your opinion is about tats. Your article is titled “We All Need To Admit That America Has A Tattoo Problem”. Why are you backpedaling? Are you afraid to stand up for your beliefs? Are you afraid that somebody, somewhere, might have a point while disagreeing with you?

This speech pattern is damning. Today it’s something minor like tattoos, tomorrow it’s something major. “America gets too many abortions. Now, I know there are many legitimate reasons some people seek an abortion and you must believe I’m a cranky old fart because I’m still beating this dead horse but I personally don’t believe we need as many abortion clinics as we have. Vote for me because I’m pro-life and here’s my lunch money as an apology to those I’ve accidentally offended.”

Think I’m joking? Keep reading:

“But I still stand by my general assertion that Americans have too many tattoos, even if I understand the impulse to get one. In fact, I think my aversion to tattoos stems, in large part, from the fact I seriously considered getting one. In college, I went through an angsty PoMo literature phase and I thought it would be great to get a tattoo of the muted postal horn symbol from Thomas Pynchon’s inscrutable novel, “The Crying of Lot 49.” … I do, however, think my tattoo desire would have been satiated by getting a Pynchon T-shirt.”

Conviction! I feel it! This is a man who will not compromise his principles!

“Along these lines, I refuse to believe even a sizable percentage of tattoos have been worthy decisions. For some select people, maybe tattoos are small part of their grand plan to live life to the fullest. But the vast majority of people should be encouraged to lead exciting and meaningful lives without needing to, in some cases literally, tattoo their personal vanity and insecurity right on their forehead. Fortunately, for now forehead tattoos still make you a bit of a pariah—after all, even the Air Force still has some standards.”

Why are tattoos bad decisions? Did you cover that?  I think you tried when you were talking about your friend getting bar pussy while being so drunk he didn’t notice but I… honestly… can’t… tell. You spoke many words and communicated nothing. Very Cuckian.

This is how a real man speaks: I give my opinion on tattoos:

Tats on women are a sign she is emotionally damaged and overly familiar with foreign objects penetrating her body. Tats on men are a sign he wants sex and is willing to risk his future health to get it.

This is useful knowledge. When I see tats on a chick, my balls know to hide behind my kidneys. When I see tats on a dude, I know he’s overly concerned with chasing tail and am grateful he’s willing to warn me away. Done.

My word count: 83. Zero confusion about where I stand.

His word count: >2,700. Not counting requests for clarification.

Cuckservatism isn’t just about politics. Find your spine and dare to be unpopular, and you’ll never end up as a highly paid pundit.


13 thoughts on “Tattoos are Good Because They’re Bad

  1. Whenever I see someone with a tattoo, I automatically think they are either a proud member of the lower socioeconomic class, or an indentured gang member, or at least they were at an impressionable time in their youth. I feel the same way about piercings.


  2. ‘Tats on women are a sign she is emotionally damaged and overly familiar with foreign objects penetrating her body.’

    Bingo. After looking to see if a woman has a ring on her left hand…I look for tattoos. Easiest signs a man can get.


  3. Never got any. Almost did a couple of times. Early 1990’s.

    What stopped me? Well, I do have a mild aversion to needles. Also, something said “big-ass-trend” even back then……and I did say to myself “what you like or want to express now is not what you are going to want at 23, 25, 37, or 50”

    So glad I didn’t get one, or ten. Sooner than later… are going to see people “demand” that health-care coverage PAY to remove, or have skin grafts…….driving up costs further.


  4. say to myself “what you like or want to express now is not what you are going to want at 23, 25, 37, or 50”

    LOL probably the inverse reason tattoos are popular with my peer group


  5. Even in Salvation Army Officers training today………cadets are allowed to have sleeve tats’ and don’t have to have them covered. When I enlisted as a Soldier, it was instructed that they must be covered while in Uniform. If you had a sleeve tat, had to wear the long-sleeve uniform shirt. Women who had them on the ankle (popular spot in the early / mid nineties for sorority “good” girl types to get them there) had to cover them with liquid makeup-foundation.

    Today? Let it all hang out! No standards! It’s “personal” expression and…….the usual protestant mantra “Well, the kids today won’t come if we live in the past”

    They use this defense for music, teaching, youth groups……….

    and they still are not coming……or they leave the second they turn eighteen.


  6. Royal tattoo
    King Harold II of England had a number of tattoos. After his death at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, his tattoos were used to identify his body.

    Many other royals throughout history have been tattooed. In 1862 Albert, the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, had a Jerusalem Cross tattooed on his arm on a visit to the Holy Land. When his sons, the Duke of Clarence and the Duke of York (later King George V) visited Japan in 1882 they both had dragons tattooed on their arms.

    Among the Russian royal family, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great and Nicholas II all bore tattoos.



  7. I find it more interesting Ton is using the Catholic church as a source for tattoo arguments. Are you Catholic?

    Besides it’s not like you could just get any tattoo either…

    “When an individual undergoes the ordeal of tattooing for the sake of God, he is greatly praised. But one who submits himself to be tattooed for superstitious reasons in the manner of the heathens will derive no benefit there from.”


  8. You know that I am not earl but I also know that you are.

    The orthodox stance seems to be more or less the same

    Clearly you have a reading comprehension problem. Some are prohibited, some are praised but others would be allowed but not praised.


  9. ‘Some are prohibited….’

    Apparently you are the one with the reading comprehension problem.

    ‘Besides it’s not like you could just get any tattoo either…’


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