The News Courier in Athens, Alabama


June 1, 2009

Indelible ink, recession proof

Tattoos leave permanent reminder of things valued

Are the tattoos many young Americans wear today an expression of their subconscious views on the nation’s consumer driven downturn? Or are tattoos this generation’s choice of rebellious symbolism against the government? Whatever the case, while many companies and industries are tightening their financial belts, the tattoo industry seems to be thriving.

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen metaphorically connects the influx of tattoos accepted into mainstream society to the recent spending habits that put America’s economy into a recession. People don’t want to think about how their actions may be regrettable in the future, but want the instant gratification pick-me-up of today, he says.

“The tattoo is the battle flag of today in its war with tomorrow,” Cohen said in a column last July. “The permanence of the moment — the conviction that now is forever — explains what has happened to the American economy. We are, as a people, deeply in debt. We are, as a nation, deeply in debt … We bought homes we could not afford and took out mortgages we could not pay and whipped out the plastic on everything else. Debts would be due in the future, but, with any luck, the future would remain in the future.”

He goes on to say, “[Today’s tattoos] don’t represent an indelible experience or membership in some sort of group but an assertion that today’s whim will be tomorrow’s joy.”

However, many tattoo artists feel that the steady business stream of recent years is in direct proportion to the positive, more thrifty, shift of consumer and societal values.

Tattoos do, indeed, give the owner a large circle of comrades, they often reveal what the owner holds dear, and, yes, tattoos have, with the exception of a laser, permanence, said artists at West Coast Tattoo in Athens.

Text Only


Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

     View Results
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee