Skin Deep 247

Skin Deep 247 3 February 2015 247

I got an email this week—today in fact—from a guy who told me he had great ink and maybe I would like to check out his inspiring video clip. This is not unusual—this kind of thing comes in from all over the world every single day of the week, but this one, I happened to click on. This is how I came to meet Christopher.

Good ink. Check. Professionally shot video. Check. Watching it with the sound muted, I actually got quite far into it before I figured out the point. Following a horrendous car crash, Christopher only has one arm. As time rolled by, people told him he couldn’t ride a bike anymore.

Christopher told the world to go fuck itself. He also practices mixed martial arts. For him, the opinion of the world can indeed go spin on a stick.

I won’t relate the whole story here because we’re working on something bigger behind the scenes together, but if you want to check it out for yourself, it’s here:

You gotta love a fighter right? There are always ways to get things done if you think about it enough and are smart about it, but sometimes it takes something serious to shock us out of ourselves to be inclined to do anything about it—which is just about the time that you wish you had done something about it before the serious thing happened.

Life can be such an ironic bitch.

I know for a fact that the story Chris told me is not unique to the world. Over the last few years, I’ve heard more than my share… but it got me thinking.

Not so long ago, the tattooed people of the world were viewed as the rebels. Let me use Nikki Sixx as a good example here. He’s one of the few men in the world that I keep up with—mostly because he went to the edge, looked down, and came back again. But at one point in time, heavily tattooed when the rest of the world wasn’t and with an attitude that would worry a pack of lions, he was even the outsiders’ outsider.

Now, he has cleaned up his life, cleaned up his tattoos, got a great new band as well as his old band, writes books that are readable, hosts a radio show, and has so many side projects that are proactively worked on, I figure he must sleep even less than me. Nikki has become one of the good guys who wear black—so where did all the rebels go? Is it even possible to rebel in that way anymore and have anybody pay attention to you? That is, afterall, the whole point of rebellion, right?

Let me shine the spotlight in a few other directions for you. Behind the scenes here, we have discovered not one, but two men of the cloth (look it up) bearing much ink—and I know they’re not the only ones. That right there. That’s tattoo-rebellion in 2015. Pastors, lawyers, teachers, doctors, politicians and surgeons… there’s great stories to be told here and I want to dig them up because we all know the reaction we get to our ink on a daily basis, but what happens when that ink turns up inside a niche of a niche?

How far have they gone with it? Does it tell secrets about them they don’t otherwise speak about? A priest with a full Japanese body suit under the robes? Please bring me this man to talk to and I will take you both out for a meal that would shame the Gods.

I was going to write a whole editorial this month titled ‘I Am Charlie’ and make a valiant attempt at that whole ‘freedom of speech/political’ scenario, but I couldn’t do it. It’s too complicated and I haven’t got enough space. I actually got quite far into it before I decided that nobody wants to hear about it, not here anyway.

I can’t let it go that easily though. Is it enough to say we should all appreciate how freely we live, but never take it for granted? There’s a line in a My Chemical Romance song that runs: “Everybody wants to change the world, but no one wants to die”, and that is likely to be the sum total of my sentiment.

Be careful out there—whatever it is you’ve got going on in your head.


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