An Ode to Regulated Tattooing
I woke up this morning ready to tackle a monster To Do list and instead have to add another task: Kick Bobby Fisher's ass.
In his drug-fueled post to criminalize tattoos, Bobby is essentially saying that the greater accessibility of tattooing has led to the loss of magic the art once possessed when it was underground, and also more bad decision-making as they are now so easy to to obtain. [Bad decision-making like giving Bobby a password to blog here?]
To this I say to Bobby and all those bemoaning the lost badassness of tattoo's history: Get the fuck over it.
My first tattoos were "illegal" in NYC. The tattoo ban was not overturned until 1997. Yes, there were basement apartments to venture to, secret buttons to push and some cloak and daggerness involved all of which you instantly find less cool when the needle starts buzzing and you're wondering whether the autoclave is working or just used for storage.
You can keep your Hep C, Bobby Fisher. Give me Barbie dolls in the seat next to me over staph infections.
Legal tattooing also means that artists get to focus on something more important that outrunning (or paying off) cops: the art.
Talk to the old timers of tattooing and they all agree that the level of artistry in the tattoo community has grown exponentially in recent years because of its accessibility. Artists new to tattooing don't have to reinvent the wheel, so they can learn those basics faster and more on to refining and experimenting. The "earning it" may be lost but, in the end, I'll take it if it means I'm walking around as a beautiful work of art.
And speaking of, Bobby ain't running around with scratcher ink. He pays the big bucks for work from one of NY's top studios, NY Adorned, so either he's slingin crack to afford it or is really Bemie Madoff.
And like Bernie, if Bobby wants to go back to the good old days of criminal life, I'll send him the Astroglide to make the transition smoother.