Monday, November 24, 2008

A Change of Tattoos

I'm all for a good tattoo. The key words there are "good" and "tattoo". The "tattoo" being that of the singular variety, as people can get a little carried away once they decide to venture into the land of multiple tattoos. It's like they start thinking "If one is good, covering my entire body, including my face, would be better!" And that's really just not the case. But the other key word is "good". A tattoo must be "good". Who's to decide what qualifies as "good" or not? Definitely not the person getting the tattoo, because even those with the most hideous tattoos or the stupidest tattoos you've ever seen in your life will be the people who think that they're just great. So they don't count. Who does that leave? If my calculations are correct (and I believe that they are), it leaves you, me and anyone else who uses the Internet. (So as you can see I've really narrowed it down.)

I don't know why I never thought about Obama-mania seeping into the world of tattooing, but apparently it has. People have actually had Obama-themed tattoos permanently emblazoned on their skin. In general, getting a tattoo depicting a person is a risky move to start with. You don't know if you're still going to feel the same way about that person several years down the road. What if they do something heinous and there you are with their mug permanently etched on your body, leaving people to wonder why you chose a bodily tribute to a pedophile, for instance. It will leave you ruing the day that you decided to get that John Wayne Gacy clown tat on your forearm. (It can just get awkward, is what I'm trying to say.)

I became aware of the oddity of permanent tattoos of political figures when I saw a photo of what I deemed to be a very poorly done tattoo of a very poorly thought out idea. And the fellow who is now sporting this statement for the rest of his existence is NBA player Gilbert Arenas. Below is his inked tribute to our President-elect, a tribute to a man that I call Barry, one Barack Obama. Behold!

"In believe we charge"? What the hell does that mean? Oh, wait. Start at the bottom and work your way up? "Change we believe in." OK, of makes sense. Why the heck did he have it going in that direction, though? And that does look like "charge" from over here, doesn't it? It's either "charge" or "chapge" and "chapge" makes even less sense than "charge" does.

According to the folks over there at NBC Washington, and a one Dan Hellie, "He told me he got it so he could look at it during games and see the, 'We Believe.' " Well, what about the 'In Change" or the "Change In"? You don't need the "change", you just need to "believe"? What are you going to "believe" in if there isn't any "change"? I'm so confused. Not as confused as Mr. 'We Believe, But Not In Change" there, but still confused.

And on the other side of the "In" pinky finger there you will find a tattoo of the number 44, presumedly representing Barry being the 44th US President. (Is he sure he needs both 4's? Maybe he only needs to look at one of those during a game!)

So after I marvelled in this for a while, I started wondering how many other political themed tattoos are out there, just wandering around on their respective owners. (Please note, that word is "respective", NOT "respected". Some of these you can't respect. You just can't. And nor should you.) Fortunately, there were less than I had feared there would be. Unfortunately, some of them were downright scary. Behold! Political themed tattoos you never knew existed until now!

In sticking with the Obama theme......

I can see the resemblance, but only to the extent that the tattoo below looks like it could be of one of Barry's distant cousins or something like that. The hairline is wrong, the jaw is too thin, so many problems. And that's just with the tattoo!

The tattoo artist who did this one clearly has artistic abilities which far surpass that of those responsible for the above tattoo. But the artistic abilities don't change the fact that it really doesn't look like Barry very much. It kind of looks like Earle Hyman, the guy that played Cliff's Dad on "The Cosby Show."


If you wanted the tattoo below of Barry on your body, a tattoo shop in Oklahoma was offering to do it for free. It was their way of contributing to his efforts. They claim to have done about 100 of them. Go figure. (It looks kind of small. I wouldn't be surprised if it looks like a big glob in a few years that will appear to read "Obama Zoos".)

This one is probably the best, and while it doesn't look exactly like him, it looks more like him than the other ones do. He does look more confused in this rendition, however. It's as if the tattoo is thinking "I can't believe you're getting my head tattooed on your leg, man."

I'm not sure what this one is supposed to represent, exactly, but it reminds me of something out of 'A Clockwork Orange' or 'The Wall'. I don't think it's good, but I'm not really sure.
This chap decided to just go with the Obama campaign logo. Nice of him to show it off like that. It wouldn't appear that anyone ever would have known about it otherwise. (Might I recommend some time in the sun, my good boy? Perhaps a few moments in a tanning bed?)

I then started looking for more tattoos of other political figures. To my dismay, I couldn't find any of either Joe Biden or John McCain. I thought that since McCain had been a Navy guy that there would be other Navy guys out there sporting a McCain tat, but to no avail. Surprisingly, I did find one guy who has a Sarah Palin tattoo. Behold! A tattoo of Sarah Palin that doesn't look a lot like Sarah Palin but you know it's her because the guy with the tattoo said so!

She looks a little frightened and unsure and I can't say that I blame her. The guy who had this "artwork" implanted on his body is pretty darned proud of it, too. He even made a short little video clip which he put on YouTube.

I found tattooed tributes to other political figures from this past year's campaigning. I would like to know a little bit more about the dude who had this Ron Paul tattoo done. I'm sure that the EVOL, which spells "LOVE" backwards is of some significance, but whatever it is was completely lost on me (probably because I was still in disbelief that there was a Ron Paul tattoo out there.).

I don't know what scared the hell out of me more, the actual tattoo or the actual Hillary.

I'm going to assume/hope that the photo below was the inspiration for the frightening tattoo. (Why would you do that to yourself? The guy must have lost a bet.)

And would you have ever thought that someone would have a tattoo of our current President? Well, in fact, someone does. And it's on the bottom of their foot. I think it had something to do with "stomping out Bush" or "stomping on Bush". Either way, Bush was involved and there was some stomping going on.

At this point, I've found way more political tattoos that I thought that I would've. Since I was on a roll, I kept looking. Can't really say if that was a good idea or not, considering what I found. We have.........

A couple tributes to Ronald Reagan (very surprised that there weren't more of these out there. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a Republican that wants to swoon about Reagan. And that's only good in the way that you really shouldn't be swinging around dead cats. It serves no purpose other than to see what you can or cannot hit and really, there's probably better ways of doing that.)

Here's JFK in a UFO, which prompted me to ask WTF?
And finally, what is easily the worst and likely the most regrettable political tattoo ever. The Howard Dean Truth & Hope '04 tattoo (complete with brightly colored flying birds!).

What were you people thinking?

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