Skin Deep 243

Skin Deep 243 14 October 2014 243

If you’re a fan of An Eye Is Upon You over at the other end of the mag, my advice is to go read that first - this page does contain spoilers.

Let’s talk about being late - kind of. In the big scheme of things here, I usually write this page long before Paula has submitted her column. In itself, this is nothing special because the dead are normally considering walking the earth again before she gets anything to me. It’s not a problem - it’s known as ‘the way things are’. Has there ever been an issue without a column from her? No. So not a problem… just a bit late.

Anyway, my point here is that this issue, I am the last to write which means that for once, I have seen what she had to say and as luck would have it, I shall use it as a springboard.

Paula is the last person on earth (even after the dead have walked) that I thought would ever cover up her ink because she wanted something out of life. She needed to rent a house and that meant interaction with an estate agent who may (or may not I guess) have formed an opinion on her based on exactly how extremely inked she is. If I know Paula like I think I know her, I’m sure she had her own misgivings about doing this but the fact of the matter is, a house is a pretty important thing to have in your life when you have a family and want to be pushing forwards.

This leads me (almost very) nicely onto the fifteen requests I have had in this last two weeks to go on radio shows and talk about discrimination and tattoos in the workplace. I’m sure we’ve covered this before but it can probably stand a good repeating - particularly as I declined every single one of those invitations based on a) previous experience with those shows - it’s like being asked to give your opinion with a petrol soaked rag in your mouth and b) it doesn’t actually need justifying publicly.

But let’s churn it out one more time here anyway.

Welcome to planet earth - we live in one of the most free countries you can point at. It bends a lot but it doesn’t break. Personally speaking, I have probably been contributing to the corruption of it for most of my adult life and the only way to do that successfully is to be able to get behind enemy lines. A spy if you will. If Barbara Broccoli won’t ask me to be the next James Bond, I’ll make it up as I go along.

The rules are simple - and they have only recently been flaunted, so this is new ground for a massive percentage of people to deal with:
Public tattoos can sometimes make interaction with the outside world difficult.

This is not my opinion (I am in your corner, dammit), it is a cold hard fact. If you are going to get yourself tattooed in public places, there’s going to come a time when you may have to pay the piper. You think a body suit with bare hands, neck and feet is not being proud of your tattoos? You are dead wrong. That’s hardcore tattooing. What it also is, is being able to interact with people who don’t understand it in order that you personally can get along.

The truth is this. Having tattoos does not make you any better or worse at a job. Any fool with a brain will tell you that - but the problem is, on the other side of the fence is a man - The Man - with a bag of cash. You are asking for some of his cash. He is in charge. Game fucking over. What he says goes. Le fin - as they say at the end of French movies.

If you think it’s not fair, you’re very, very correct but here’s some more vinegar in the eye. The world does not care - if you want to change the opinion of the world, it’s going to take a really long time. It’s going to take a lot of grace, a lot of patience and a lot of smart thinking. If we want respect from a vastly non-tattooed world, we’re going to have to earn it - even if it means going in through the back door to get what you want.

Your ink speaks volumes about you - and when that song is playing really loud, it had better be a good song people are hearing.


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