Skin Deep 258

Skin Deep 258 8 December 2015 258

How fine it is to get a parcel delivered by a courier whose first words are "nice tattoos" rather than "sign here please". For a brief moment in time, all was well in the world. Not so fine was bad shit going down in Paris but a few emails and phone calls later to see if everybody we collectively knew was as OK as possible in the face of such a thing, made that a little better too. Not a whole lot, but enough.

I’m not going to bring politics into Skin Deep—that would be a disaster, mostly because what I know about politics you could write on your little finger—but there’s no denying that in the space beyond your front door, the world is changing faster than you will ever know and the ties that bind us together as a particular species of animal living on a ball of dirt and saltwater spinning around one very singular sun in the Milky Way are few and far between.

(Interesting fact: in the Milky Way there’s something like 400 billion suns—each of them also with planetary like structures that orbit them. A fact I like to remind myself of every morning so I can keep perspective on exaclty how important I am around here.)

Looking from afar at all of us dicking about down here watching Netflix, there are still a few great things that bind us together and one of those—obviously—is art, of which tattooing is becoming a much larger and important part than it has ever been. There are others of course—sport, music, literature… but this is none of those magazines. The one thing they all have in common is a constructive, entertaining way to express yourself. All of them allow us to vent what our bodies, minds or spirits have to say. Blowing the crap out of each other is as constructive as two neighbours throwing a crisp packet back and forth over a hedge because both believe the crisp packet shouldn’t be in their garden. Such a thing gets expensive and eventually costs lives, but here’s the rub: so long as the crisp packet isn’t in your garden, you probably don’t really give that much of a damn and will be content to follow the tribulations of the crisps on television.

I have nothing else to add. It’s a simple truth, but so far as tattooing is concerned, the guy who delivered my package this week carved a moment out of time on my doorstep, in which two people on the ball of dirt found some common ground in a culture and all was well. All around the world, there are millions of moments like this happening every minute of the day. We just need a few more to happen all at the same time. Maybe all we have to offer is a contribution to our own little corner of dirt by getting good ink and loving every moment together.

It’s more useful than arguing over crisps and it looks good too.


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