Pure Gonzo Engineering

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

David Brooks can lick my tattoo.

Chris pointed this little gem out to me.

Think that tattoo makes you special? You might think again By DAVID BROOKS
Posted: Sept. 23, 2006

We now have to work under the assumption that every American has a tattoo.

Whether we are at a formal dinner, at a professional luncheon, at a sales conference or arguing before the Supreme Court, we have to assume that everyone in the room is fully tatted up - that under each suit, dress or blouse, there is at least a set of angel wings, a barbed wire armband, a Chinese character or maybe even a fully inked body suit.

We have to assume that any casual anti-tattoo remark will cause offense, even to those we least suspect of self-marking.

Everybody who went to the beach last summer has observed that tattoos are now everywhere. There are so many spider webs, dolphins, Celtic motifs and yin-yang images spread across the sands, it looks like a New Age symbology conference with love handles.

A study in The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology showed that about 24% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 50 have at least one tattoo, up from about 15% in 2003. Thirty-six percent of those between 18 and 29 have a tattoo.

Pretty soon you'll go to the beach and find that only the most hardened nonconformists will be unmarked. Everybody else will be decorated with gothic-lettered AARP logos and Katie Couric 4-EVER tributes, and Democrats will have their Kerry-Edwards bumper stickers scratched across their backs so even their morticians will know which way they voted.

The only person without one of those Pacific Northwest Indian tribal graphics scrawled across his shoulder will be a lone 13-year-old skater scoffing at all the bourgeois tattoo fogies.

Traditional religions have generally prohibited tattoos on the grounds they encourage superficial thinking (what's on the surface is not what matters). But it turns out that tattoos are the perfect consumer items. They make people feel better about themselves.

Just as Hummers make some people feel powerful, tattoo-wearers will talk (and talk and talk and talk) about how their tattoos make them feel strong, free, wild and unique.

In an essay in The American Interest, David Kirby observes that there are essentially two types of tattoo narratives, the Record Book and the Canvas. Record Book tattoos commemorate the rites of passage in a life. Canvas tattoos are means of artistic expression.

So some people will have their kids' faces tattooed across their backs, or the motorcycle that belonged to a now-dead friend, or a fraternity, brigade or company logo. In a world of pixelated flux, these tattoos are expressions of commitment - a way to say that as long as I live, this thing will matter to me.

They don't always work out - on the reality show "Miami Ink" a woman tried to have her "I will succeed thru Him" tattoo altered after she grew sick of religion - but the longing for permanence is admirable.

Other people are trying to unveil their wild side. They're taking advantage of the fact that tattoos are associated with felons, bikers and gangstas. They're trying to show that far from being the dull communications majors they appear to be, they are actually free spirits - sensual, independent, a little dangerous.

The problem is that middle-class types have been appropriating the symbols of marginalized outcasts since at least the 1830s. This is no longer a way to express individuality; it's a way to be part of the mob.

Today, fashion trends may originate on Death Row, but it takes about a week and a half for baggy jeans, slut styles and tattoos to migrate from Death Row to Wal-Mart.

What you get is a culture of trompe l'oeil degeneracy. People adopt socially acceptable transgressions - like tattoos - to show they are edgy, but inside they are still middle class.
You run into these candy-cane grunge types: people with piercings and inkings all over their bodies who look like Sid Vicious but talk like Barry Manilow. They've got the alienated look - just not the anger.

And that's the most delightful thing about the whole tattoo fad. A cadre of fashion-forward types thought they were doing something to separate themselves from the vanilla middle classes but are now discovering that the signs etched into their skins are absolutely mainstream.

They are at the beach looking across the acres of similar markings and learning there is nothing more conformist than displays of individuality, nothing more risk-free than rebellion, nothing more conservative than youth culture.

Another generation of hipsters, laid low by the ironies of consumerism.

David Brooks is a columnist for The New York Times.

David Brooks shows just how out of touch he really is with this asshole, conservative column.

First the dickhead can’t make up his mind. He says “tattoos are now everywhere”, but then gives me a statistic that 24% of Americans are tattooed. Holy Shit! That’s everyone isn’t it? Tattooed people are still in the minority.

You’d think he was somehow fending off the advances of tattoo artists at all times during the day, and that tattooed people were roving the streets in gangs looking for converts. These fucking traditionalists can handle when things they don’t like start to become slightly popular.

“tattoo-wearers will talk (and talk and talk and talk) about how their tattoos make them feel”

Non-tattooed people can’t help but ask a tattooed person about their tattoos. Did it hurt? Where did you get it? How much did it cost? You realize that’s permanent? Non-tattooed people love to talk and talk and talk about my tattoos with me.

He really needs to differentiate from people with A tattoo and people with TATTOOS.

He should shut the fuck up about both, but he should still differentiate. He should like people with A tattoo because they drive local economies. Tattoo artists are middle class workers that spend nearly all of their income. (I did research when I was designing my new machine). People who get A tattoo drop $50-$250 and that money is put back into the local economy. I’ll make a Foxnewsian Conclusion: Tattoos Cause Economic Growth!

I have Tattoos. I’ve been tattooed for over 65 hours. I love everything about tattooing and being tattooed.

My back piece isn’t the fucking flavor of the week. It’s not something you do for shits and giggles one night after you’ve been drinking. It hurt. It took commitment. Those are the two big reasons why tattooing will never truly be mainstream; most people out there are afraid of pain and the permanence.

None of my tattoos are “absolutely mainstream”. I’ve chosen topics that transcend time and place. I have the words of Aristotle, Shakespeare, William Ernest Henley, the paintings of Herbert Draper, and the timeless religious iconography.

And David, I am angry. I’m one of the middle children of history, with no great war, and no great depression to define myself. I’m angry that dickheads like you get paid to write for 60 year olds about those gosh darn tattooed people taking over society. I’m angry you’re so close-minded that you feel the need to poke fun at people that have more balls than you ever will. I’m angry you feel the need to insult and demean one of the oldest art forms know to man.

There will always be people on the fringe of anything that are just along for the popularity, but for those of us who love tattooing we’re all still badass tattooed motherfuckers, and you are not.

Labels: ,

Monday, September 25, 2006

Blank Stare

My mind is just a blank page. I can’t think of a single interesting thing to write.

Huh… it’s like a long empty hallway.


man, I type shit, reread it and then delete it because it’s such garbage.

All this garbage about how much I hate fantasy football, dirty lying Republicans, stupid large corporations and middle management assholes, none of it worth reading as entertainment or spiritual leveling.

I need something. I just can’t put my finger on it.

I wanted to breathe smoke.

Something along those metaphoric lines.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Big Savings!

OK, I know I called you all shit faced cockmasters or something to that liking for not buying Instant Grocery List.

I’m sorry, and to make up for the error in my ways, I’m discounting Instant Grocery List to $10 instead of $20.

I know times are tough under our current régime.
Just remember, Lawryde loves you, even when he hits you… metaphorically… with words… just give it a try… you’ll like it… Instant Grocery List.


Monday, September 18, 2006

First you have to give up, first you have to *know*... not fear... *know*... that someday you're gonna die.

My monotonous life hasn’t really lead to any interesting posting opportunities as of late.

I get up, I shower, I get dressed, I make my lunch, I go to work, I mask my contempt and try to find meaning in my job, I come home, I put my son down for a nap, I make dinner, I watch TV, I put my son down for the evening, I watch TV, I go to sleep, I wake intermittently throughout the night when my son stirs and wants to eat. Rinse, Lather, Repeat.

The high points of my week are House on Tuesday, Project Runway on Wednesday, Playing Ice Hockey on Friday morning, Stargate SG-1 on Friday, and The Simpsons and Family Guy on Sunday.

I should find a second part time job. Looking back, I liked working multiple jobs (3 at one point) when I was in High School and College. When you don’t have time for anything you begin to appreciate little things more. You value any time you have with people you love, and love being able to do things you enjoy. Also, the $500-$700 more a month would destroy my debt within a year.

I don’t know. There’d be some amount of shame and embarrassment associated with changing oil on the side with a BS in Mechanical engineering. Some amount of degradation in telling my Opposite of Dog coworkers I can’t come over on the weekend because I have to go cut meat.

If you fucking assholes (and I mean that in a kind and gentle way) would just buy Instant Grocery List I wouldn’t have to.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, September 11, 2006

Remember, Remember the fifth of November.

I was watching Foxnews Sunday morning when the little monkey woke up around 7:00 because I like to get my Republican talking points for the day early so I can spread them to the masses. They were having an “ask a doctor” segment with emails from viewers. The doctor was about 90 years old and probably still drilled holes in people’s skulls to release the demons. But I digress. The question from the viewer was, Do tattoos permanently damage the immune system? The crotchety old doctor said, “Well, I do notice that a lot of young kids have tattoos these days. I don’t understand why.” He continued and did verify that tattoos in fact did NOT permanently damage your immune system like HIV and AIDS do. What kind of idiot asks these questions? He went on to say that there is the potential to contract Hepatitis B if conditions aren’t sterile when the tattoo is applied, which is true.

In grand Foxnews fashion, they put up in text on the bottom of the screen: Tattoos cause Hepatitis B.

What irresponsible dip-shits.

Then one of the stupid asshole commentators said that what you like at 15 you might not like at 30. These people are idiots. They’re trained at reading cards while having Rupert Murdoch’s hand up their ass. When they go off the cuff they show how truly idiotic they are. Any tattoo shop worth their salt won’t tattoo anyone who’s 15.

Jesus Tap-dancing Christ.

And today is 9/11, it’s been five years since that terrible tragedy. It’s a fucking shame it happened. Below from BBC.com pretty much sums up how I feel about the whole situation.

Pessimism about Western tactics

Professor Michael Clarke of King's College, London, is gloomy in the short term at least.

"If I was Osama Bin Laden sitting in my cave, I would think I was winning," he said.

"I would consider that I am still at large, I have a global movement, I strike a chord with young Muslims everywhere, I am an inspiration not a planner and I have lured the US into wars in Afghanistan and Iraq of my choosing and of my way of fighting."
He added: "Nor is the West countering the easy narrative offered by the jihadis. They are, and I agree with the Bush language on this, Islamic fascists, but we are not engaging enough in the war of ideas and are instead dwelling on their actions. They can counter that by dwelling on ours, in a game of moral equivalence."

Optimism about Western values

Professor Clarke is more optimistic in the long term.

"It will get worse before it gets better but I expect western policy to win eventually because it offers a superior political, moral and economic model. However we have not made things easy for ourselves by mistakes, first in Afghanistan by allowing Taleban and al-Qaeda leaders to escape and then on a grand scale in making a strategic mistake by invading Iraq.

"This is probably going to take a generation to resolve, until the angry young jihadis turn into tired old men, as the Marxist-Leninists did."

Bush did such a chimpy job in the wake of 9/11 that things aren’t really any better. He just
furthered his, and his own parties’ agenda’s using fear. When we get a real leader on the job our policies will prevail.

Buy Instant Grocery List

Labels: , ,

Friday, September 08, 2006

What makes the grass grow? Blood! Blood! Blood!

I finally got my ass up this morning at 5:20 AM to go and play some developmental hockey at 6:00. There were about 20 guys there, mostly B league players. It was the most fun I’ve had playing hockey in quite a while. I’m so used to playing with guys who can’t skate, it was refreshing to play with these guys. I didn’t fuck up too much. I can skate with almost anyone (within reason), but I don’t always know where I’m supposed to be all the time. I even got an atta-boy from one of the better dudes afterwards for my hustle.

The grass I planted last Saturday is germinating. It’s been an ongoing project to grow grass in my backyard. It doesn’t get much sun from the two huge trees, which also suck all the moisture and have a huge root system. I used the special fall mix of seed, and wasn’t expecting it to grow so fast.

Guess what? I’m not a dick anymore. I’ve been cleared of that title as of yesterday.

Buy Instant Grocery List

Buy children’s plush toys from my wife

End communiqué

Labels: , ,

Thursday, September 07, 2006

In like Flynn

First off, since you assholes (and I mean that in the most loving way I can) won’t buy Instant Grocery List from me, the least you could do is support my work at home wife and buy some of her home made handicrafts. Kids love them!!!
The last two days I was at all day love and grab-ass, “how do we make the company better” event for work. I’m pretty jaded to the whole idea of loving your company. How can I love a place that pays me as little as they think they can get away with?

Ok, yeah, I’m not ashamed to say I work at Opposite of Dog. It carries weight. It’s cool we help build the worlds infrastructure.

Work is just a place to make money, though. It’s not something to build your life around. There are better and more important things in life than leaving a “legacy” at a Fortune 100 company.

Labels: ,

Friday, September 01, 2006

Google searches that will lead you to Pure Gonzo Engineering

I’m always amazed how people get to my Blog. These are actual searches that have brought people to my blog

gonzo leg cast art wife

Snotty McSnoterton

Let's get down to brass taxes how much for the ape #3

gonzo's hockey store IL

luck good gas mens

reason to hate myspace #2

i am jack's aching feet

sailor jerry horseshoe and clover #2

gonzo muffler #3

iffy stomach after childbirth #3

myspace hate Christ #5

nymphomaniacs Peoria IL (not posting a link to that one)

Oh yeah, buy Instant Grocery List. It rules!!!