Saturday, January 12, 2008


In today’s world nobody wants to be average yet they fear the consequences of stepping off the curb of the mainstream and into the lurking realm of the strange. Could this be changing so that the strange becomes passé and only stranger will satisfy our craving? We want to set ourselves apart from the swarm of humans, each of us wanting to be recognized for how we stand out, but will rarely stand up when the roll call for social deviants is taken.
Tattoos have become a way to blend in and stand out all at once. Once they were solely sported by the habitants of the South Pacific and the sailors who visited there, both whom fell into the category of the far flung and never seen at the tables of people considered decent. Somewhere along the line they came to adorn the bodies of bikers who realized they would never be invited to those people’s houses either. Today the tattoo has invaded Middle America and can be seen on the calves, arms, necks, backs, chests and butts of the very folks who you would like to date or have for dinner.
Tattoos have lost their edge, its radical nature has become yet another fixation of those who wish to be cool and fit in but retain their differences at the same time. No longer daring, it has become drab. “Oh, nice tat” is the response these days whereas in the past it was, “My God, what have you done to your body?” Putting it on your back is handy because you just don’t have to look at it day after day whereas many people put them in a place that is reserved for lovers and voyeurs. I think it is time to up the stakes again and bring the horror and glee back to what can be accomplished with human skin being the canvas.
Consider some of the art work that has been done and how it has evolved over the years. Mom, Anchors and Hearts have transformed into veritable pieces of work that cost thousands of dollars to buy and take hundred of hours to execute. Twisted dragons consuming damsels, exotic wave motifs, devils with erupting horns, angels with aerodynamic wings, zodiac carnivals and cryptic Chinese symbols are all part of the body palette. It would be a waste of money and the talents of the artist to see them be cremated or buried six feet under once the owner finally has no more use for them.
Let’s begin a movement where these works of art are recycled and enjoyed long after the original owner drop the body bag for that eternal departure. Go not to grave oh colored of body and inked of flesh. Skin you we will and adore a lampshade lightly with the art that you have worn and worn out.
Gruesome; You bet. And that is why people will flock to it. We are nation that puts people eating bugs on TV and considers it entertainment. This will at least carry some intrinsic beauty with it. I know what some of you are thinking who are old enough to remember or well read enough to know. The Germans did this kind of thing and what horrible swineherds they were. But they always knew how make a great car too. So imagine using grandma’s ass as seat cover for your minivan. Sure it says “HarleyHead” but just think of the fun the grandkids will have. They will still be able to sit on Grandma’s lap even after she is in the grave. No sense in her taking it with her when it can serve a purpose here.
How about that attractive floral tattoo which use to ring your best friends ankle? Properly cured it would make a lovely bracelet that would be the center of any conversation and induce curiosity and hurling all at the same time. Think of the laughter that your departed friend will still provoke.
Those angel wings that are now being sported by your departed loved one but use to be sported while they were still in a human chassis will make a wonderful adornment for the front of your cowboy hat. We have been skinning snakes and wearing those as hatbands for years and it’s a snake we never knew. This is an opportunity to remember the snake in your life by stripping them of what they no longer need and using it to decorate that Stetson. Adding some teeth, frozen in the snarl that you remember them for, just brings it all the more to life.
Bury Grandpa but save those legs as they will make terrific ski pole luggage or a nifty umbrella cases. You can wear a smug look on your face when you pick up your ski equipment at Vail or Aspen resorts because your luggage isn’t plastered with Gucci, Versace or Armani logos but your ol’ Pappy’s credo, “Fuck ‘em when they can’t take a joke”.
You can pull the wallet out of your back pocket that is made from your father’s foreskin and when you rub it, it will turn into that overnight case. Yes, it is an old joke but doesn’t it work well in this context?
Those cool designs that don’t mean anything that used to adorn the chest of your “Ex” will now make terrific coasters to put that cool one down on. What better way to remember the beer swilling man he was than by placing a Pabst on his Pecs.
Environmentalists will cheer you when you walk down the street and aren’t wearing the hide of some poor animal but wearing the hide made from the animal that was your wife beating husband. They’ll say, “He got what he deserved and don’t you look good in something other than black and blue!”
Endangered species the human race is not and there will be plenty for everybody. Your wardrobe can be outfitted with matching ethnicities a “Black” pair of lo-riding pants, with the name on the Butt will take on a whole new meaning. The obligatory “White” blouse, monogrammed of course, with a ‘Redman’ vest will look ever so sharp and will come with that pierced ‘forked tongue’ accessory. Fall colors will come out with the new Asian look and for those special formal occasions, Albino. Even more to consider is that your clothes, accessories and umbrella can be taken to the beach and tanned without the fear of skin cancer.
Some folks who do not have fond memories of their dearly departed can go to extremes and take those parts that aren’t considered art work and have them cured to be chew toys for the family pet. Watch the glee the children who will be watching ‘Fluffy’ shred what’s left of daddy into little pieces. They will be so happy knowing they have done their part to save the skin of a cow that is still free to be worshipped while singing, “We know it hurting you, more than it hurts us.”
Remember how your spouse walked all over you for all those years? Now you can literally walk all over them by turning them into a pair of Reebok Retreads. It will be closest thing to having a sole (sic) that they ever got.
If it is true that beauty is only skin deep but that ugly goes to the bone it would explain why in a culture like ours it is better to be beautiful and insincere that ugly and honest. So here is to wearing his heart on your sleeve and hanging her ass out to dry.
©Michael Marlin 2008