So at twenty, you join a dojo and become a dedicated student of Kick-Ass Fu. After a couple of years, you are one of the fair-haired boys, up and coming, and you can see your path for the rest of your life as a student and teacher of your art, so you hie yourself on down to the ink shop and get the school's logo put on your shoulder -- lightning bolts and the blades and all, and you are one of the Chosen and golden.
A year later, you get into a pissing match with the head instructor and he tosses you out of the school.
You hate his guts. And every time you look in the mirror, you see the artwork he created reflected back at you.
You find another school in a different system, and there, you meet Louise, a good woman and you are really into her. It's true love. You get married, and you are going to live happily ever after, and so you get her name inside a big heart tattooed on the other shoulder.
Something to think about.
Six months after the happy nuptials, Louise runs off with your best friend, and last you heard, she's living in Miami working in a strip club.
So there you are, with two permanent symbols of things that were temporary, carrying around reminders you might not want to think about every time you take off your shirt ...
If I have a picture I like hanging on my wall, it might stay there for years and years, but if I decide I don't like it any more, or find one I like better, I can take down the one and put up the other. And swap 'em back and forth as necessary.
I have nothing against the idea of tattoos. My daughter has a bunch of 'em, my son-in-law more than she does, and he's now studying to become a tattoo artist.
There are folks like the Maori where tats are part of the culture. You might be yakuza and have to dress the part. A sailor, Marine, biker ...
And there are some things that you might want to keep forever. If you were in the military and you loved it, you might want that reminder. Maybe your son's name. Something about which you are certain.
My silat teacher, after he was fifty and into his art for more than thirty years, got the art's logo tattooed on his forearm. At this point, he's not likely to leave it behind.
So, there are plenty of reasons to get a tattoo, some of them going to art. But look at the picture of the cat man in the previous posting. Whatever else happens to him, that face is never going back to what it was before. This isn't something that he can change his mind about. When you choose to alter your appearance so that what you are going to hear for the rest of your life is, "Jeez, look at that! Oh, man!" along with the how-pitiful-is-that head shake? That's a big choice. Might come a time when that In-your-face! 'tude isn't what you want the world to see.
Couple years ago, Comcast had a TV commercial that pretty much laid this notion out: (If you can't see the video, here's the link.)
Something to think about.