The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

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
Lifestyle
Poll

Do you think Athens-Limestone County is better prepared than in April 2011 to provide shelter from a major tornado?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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

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