Skin Deep 253

Skin Deep 253 21 July 2015 253

I’m not a big fan of The Bandwagon. Not an admirer of unoriginality and am certainly not a lover of seeing a tattoo that I’ve seen before on somebody else but over the last few weeks I’ve been following (as much as an off the grid person can) The Semicolon Project, simply because it’s a wonderful and beautiful idea.

The official line on the project is this:
“The semicolon project is for everyone who self-harms, is suicidal, depressed, has anxiety, is unhappy, going through a broken heart or just lost a loved one. Draw a semicolon on your wrist.” It then goes on to say:

“A semicolon represents a sentence the author could have ended, but chose not to. That author is you and the sentence is your life.”

I’m totally behind this—you can find them at If there are people reading who have committed to such a thing, and I can get enough images mailed in, I’d really like to make something of it in the pages here and maybe print some stories to go along with them. It’s a fledgling idea but it’s an idea that’s right there on the table. It could be beautiful and touching.

It could also go horribly wrong. You would think the concept of Get Good Ink would be pretty safe with the two simple shapes that make up a semicolon, but alas, some people can still be in too much of a rush to check whether their chosen tattooist can draw a small circle properly. It may be in the spirit of something great, but like they say—‘You are the author’, to which I say, ‘Don’t write a crap story.’

I probably don’t need to say it here because our readership is wise beyond all measure but I feel the need to point out how much of a difference there is between self-harming, being suicidal or depressed and simply being unhappy unhappy or going through a broken heart. Those are so much not the same sort of thing, it’s frightening. It’s a great idea to raise awareness of subjects that normally get brushed under the carpet but to open the barn doors and include being ‘unhappy’ is wrong. Everybody on the face of the planet is unhappy at some point in their life—it’s part of what being human is about. To throw it in with other mental states that are actually quite serious isn’t doing anybody any favours.

Anyway, that’s a small gripe.

This is a fine idea that’s been let loose on the world and to be frank, the use of the semicolon as a tattoo raising awareness about how fragile human beings can be is a far better use of it than its actual use as a punctuation mark.

I can put it no better than Kurt Vonnegut who delivered this: "Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.”



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