Skin Deep 266

Skin Deep 266 19 July 2016 266

I bought a copy of Wired magazine this week. I’ve never read it before. I know the brand and vaguely what they are about but I’ve never sat down to see what is really going on inside.

And now I do.

It appears to be about people pushing forward with their lives using good design, technology and smart thinking to do things better. It also appears to be about clever fridges, doing everything extremely efficiently and how artificial intelligence will eventually shape our entire future… oh and data. Stacks and stacks of data.

But it’s also something else—it’s resoundingly positive and forward thinking about everything. There are no rear view mirrors, there is no homage to the things people did fifty years ago, five years years ago or even five minutes ago. If you’re not moving forwards, you’re nothing but a beached whale with little chance of the handful of helpful humans who have been keeping you cool with buckets of water rolling you back into the sea when the tide comes in.

I closed Wired and lapsed into an intense period of deep, deep thought, which is also known as ‘making coffee’.

What if we played the game in the same way? Is our love of the past holding us back from progressing? Are we locked into a self-defeating wave of nostalgia? Do we want to progress (whatever that entails) or do we like things just the way they are? As a general observation, tattooing has certainly embraced and found ways to use the internet to its advantage but has it moved on any? The same question rears its head: does it want to move on anywhere?

Are the consistent nods to Sailor Jerry the same as a rock magazine bringing up Led Zeppelin every five minutes? Should I be writing this on a typewriter to get in the zone? Actually, I probably should, I like a good typewriter—it makes your fingers think differently but they’re also a royal pain in the neck.

Then again, if we threw the rear view mirrors out of the window, where would we be? Would we have anything to talk about anymore?

I think the answer to that is, yes—of course we would. Art does not work in the same way as technology. Nobody flocks to The Museum of Stuff People Created Today, they grace The Louvre. You don’t turn your head to look at an Audi A8 but you would for a 1972 Citroen DS—and for the record, I think tattooing has its fair share of artists with what I call The Nirvana Mentality who know very well who Sailor Jerry was and don’t give a flying squirrel either way. The only use Sailor Jerry has for those guys is to get hammered.

Tattooing is all about what works for you. It always was, always has been and so long as we don’t ask for a referendum on the subject, it always will be. Get Good Ink.


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