1. Dresden260
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    Dresden260 Corrupt Diplomat

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    Tattoos of Dedicated Fans

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Dresden260, Sep 23, 2013.

    I was reading the latest blog posting by one of my favorite authors and it was situated around Tattoos. The link: http://blog.patrickrothfuss.com/2013/09/tit-for-tat/

    I am considering getting a tattoo of a symbol that has deep meaning to me and it also came from a book. A not so simple Single arch stone bridge on my back with flames in the background. The Piece would go from shoulder to shoulder and It would be the only tattoo I would ever get.

    My question is what do you think of people are crazy for putting quotes or symbols from literature on their bodies forever, or is it normal?
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I have 7 tattoos and they were all gotten for very different reasons. One I can admit, in hindsight, was gotten because I was going through a shitty patch and I needed the pain. There are stranger reasons to get a tattoo then as a literary reference. ;)
     
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  3. Umbra
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    Umbra New Member

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    My advice: wait for a month, and if you still want it, then get it.

    I do not think people are crazy for getting a tatt if it has some meaning. What i dont understand is when people get a tatt just for the sake of it.
     
  4. Dresden260
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    Dresden260 Corrupt Diplomat

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    I've been considering getting the tattoo for about two years :p

    *Backs away slowly* "Umm... I'll be over here behind this rock." *Runs off*.
     
  5. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm with Wreybies on this, although I have only three. My first one was from a book also. It's a lily, because 'fleur de lys' was (wrongly) translated as a 'lily' (from 'The Three Musketeers' my favourite book when I was growing up) I got it after I passed my first exam, but I wanted it since I was 16. My country was at war, I was a refugee, somehow I got to med school, didn't speak English all that well. I was alone in a huge city, with my best (and only) friend, and we got so drunk, we ended up in a tattoo parlour. I only remember this enormous biker guy, drawing lily after lily, and me not being able to coherently explain what type of lily I had in mind. I wanted a white lily of the valley, ended up with a classic white lily. But it was my personal lily and we've been through thick and thin together. Since then I had two more, each after a very significant event or during a time I wanted to commemorate. Never regretted it, always thought about it for a very long time. All are very small, and easily concealed. I wouldn't consider a massive one, and also, to have a big one done, it takes a long time (months sometimes) and it costs a fortune. So I'd recommend you make sure you really want it. Laser removal later is about £100-300 per session, at least 8-12 sessions, and that hurts a lot more than a tat itself (I never had one removed but I removed them for others). If you're unsure - wait until you are sure, one way or another.
     
  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    This reminds me of a guy I know who got a tattoo of what he thought was a well-known Chinese phrase. Well, as it turns out, the Chinese guy who translated it for him got it wrong, so now he has this tattoo in Chinese that makes no sense at all. The lesson here is to be sure you're getting the phrase translated correctly if you're getting a tattoo in a different language.
     
  7. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    To more directly address your question, @Dresden260, I'm a secret fanboy of Avatar: The Last Airbender (the show, not the film) and also The Legend of Korra. :p I've been playing with this tattoo of the symbols for the four elements combined into one image. That image is only photoshopped on my arm. I've not committed yet. Im still working on the design. ;)

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. graphospasm
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    graphospasm Senior Member

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    I have a winged typewriter on my back; it's a large design but I placed it so it's easily covered. I designed it when I was 17 and got the tattoo when I was 21, when I still wanted the same design in the same place years later. I got it to express my devotion to writing... and to kick myself in the butt about getting published. I figured I'd look like a pretty big idiot if I went through life with a typewriter on my back for no reason. It worked out in the end when my first publication came and went. Yay for a justified motivation tattoo!

    In all seriousness, I love tattoos. Whether they mean something or nothing at all, I love them. I have no emotional connection to certain designs but I'd love to get a colorful sleeve of those designs just for the aesthetic. So long as you love them, no harm done. Having them mean something personally significant is just icing on the already delicious cake.
     
  9. BUDDY GORGEOUS
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    BUDDY GORGEOUS Active Member

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    I have a small blue bird on my left pec. 'Blue Bird' is my favourite poem by Charles Bukowski. Personal to myself, means a lot.

    People think its for my support of the Cardiff football team, ' The Cardiff Blue Birds'.

    Soccer to those across the puddle ;)

    I hate football.
     
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  10. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I guess you could say both of my tattoos were inspired by books even though both ideas exist beyond the scope of those books. They're a mishmash of older Asian (I really like some aspects of their warrior culture and reject a lot of it) and European cultures (my own heritage). Also, both are easily concealed under a normal t-shirt and probably won't look that ridiculous even when I'm 80yo.

    The first one I got a long while ago after I read The Ronin by William Dale Jennings (a book I picked solely by its name, bought as a self-congratulatory gift for getting into the uni). It just made things clearer for me: like the proverbial "wave man," I was drifting along the waves of fate (ooh, dramatic!) and served no master, i.e. no specific purpose, company, person etc. In essence, I was wandering the world, looking for a worthy "master," something greater than myself.
    Hence the kanji symbols (carefully studied from a few pro sources to get it just right instead of having "ham sammich" on my shoulder) that mean "wave" and "man" and form "rōnin," i.e. masterless samurai, which, despite its negative connotations in its original cultural context, fit my individualist ideals pretty well.
    Since nowadays it also means a high school student who has failed their uni entrance exam, it was pretty fitting since the year before, I had a last minute change of heart (chose English over classical guitar), studied two weeks for the exam, and went there only to see what it was like, familiarize myself with the situation so I would be more relaxed the next year when I had had enough time to study properly. Even though I never expected to get in the first time, technically I failed the exam, i.e. literally became a rōnin.

    The second one I got from a hit and miss book, Hagakure. In it, the author mentioned and old Japanese poem from the Gosen Wakashū: "To tell others that / it is a rumor / will not do. / When your own heart asks, / how will you respond?" I took the latter sentence ("When... respond?") and, since I'm from Northern Europe, wrote it in runes, and got it tattooed around my upper arm (I was training muay thai at the time and the tattoo is in the same spot where the prajioud would be worn). I got the tattoo to remind me that I should be honest with myself and answer to myself for whatever things I have done or said.

    Yes, I am pompous and a hopeless romantic and I'm not ashamed to admit it. :p The funny thing is, I'm not even big on Japan, but I see different sets of values, regardless of their origins, as tool boxes: you pick the ones that suit your own purposes and leave the rest behind. Granted, you can't raise any one flag that way except your own, but, then again, isn't that what individualism is about?

    PS. Wreybies, nice bicep. And that tattoo would be pretty badass (yup, Avatar is cool).
     
  11. Arannir
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    Arannir Active Member

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    I hate tattoos. Nothing against people with them. But I don't want any.
     
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  12. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Ha! :D thanks, man. The bloom isn't quite off the rose yet. ;)
     
  13. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Wreybies, nice bicep. It would be a shame to ruin it with a tattoo. Please don't. If the symbol means a lot to you, paint it on your living room wall, or wear it on a T-shirt.

    I loathe tattoos. There is no such thing, IMO, as a tattoo more beautiful than the body it "adorns" (read: "desecrates").

    Maybe my revulsion stems from when I was a teenager and first read Atlas Shrugged. I flirted briefly with the idea of getting "Who is John Galt?" tattooed on my chest. Thankfully I didn't, because five years later I would have been paying everything I had to anyone (surgeon? butcher? medieval torture expert?) who would flay the skin from my chest and replace it with, I don't know, spackle or bondo or something. Saran wrap.

    Later I became a bodybuilding fan, and I knew a few bodybuilders who had paid tons of money to get their ill-advised tattoos removed, because judges can't evaluate a physique that's got dragons or eagles or Avatar: The Last Airbender symbols painted all over it. Or worse: skulls, swastikas, naked women, who-is-john-galts, etc.

    Also, the human body makes a remarkably bad art canvas. Not only is it not flat, but it's often not even in color, it's subject to blemishes and rashes and insect bites, it has often got hair growing out of it (if it's a guy's body, anyway) and it generally becomes distorted with time.

    In my view, if you really love a symbol, put it on a shirt or other piece of clothing and wear it. Airbrush it onto the side of your minivan. Hang it in your living room. Put it on a sundial in your back yard. But please don't put it on your skin.
     
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  14. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I'm with Minstrel. Plus, tattooing is getting so kitsch! You know it's lost whatever luster it supposedly had when some preppie
    grandma in the supermarket has calf tattoos of dragons. And some plump mama has a care-bear tat on her ... it's all so full of meaningless
    meaning.
     
  15. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Though I feel there is more than a little validity to what you say here, still it is one of the oldest and most continuous forms of expression humans have.

    http://www.iceman.it/en/node/262
     
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  16. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    There's rebellion and then there's rebellion. One way is to "stop liking" whatever it is that you like deep down inside because it's popular ("Oh, no! I can't listen to Reign in Blood anymore because Slayer has become so popular!"), another is to jump into every bandwagon on the road, and yet another is to just not give a fuck about trends and do what you want, whether nobody else is doing it or if everybody and his dog are doing it. Actually, I wouldn't even call the last option "rebellion" because to me it's just doing what you like, regardless of what others do or think.

    Also, not to be a bitch, but it's kinda... peculiar to come into a thread where people are discussing their hobby/preference/thing X only to say "that's stupid" albeit in a more politically correct way.
     
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  17. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I'd rather stick to cave painting ( oils on canvas ) or chiseling out a bestseller. ;)
     
  18. graphospasm
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    graphospasm Senior Member

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    I mean, sure, it seems a little weird for a grown woman to proudly display a CareBear on her body--but what if that was her child's favorite toy before he died, or similar? That CareBear might be laden with meaning.

    I definitely respect your opinion. Don't get a tattoo if you don't want one; I'd never pressure anyone into getting one or shame anyone for not having one. I'm just going to ask that we refrain from painting a group with a broad brush for having a different opinion on the matter.
     
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  19. graphospasm
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    graphospasm Senior Member

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    This. Beautifully put.
     
  20. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This is probably worth reading - an article written by a tattoo artist basically ranting about lettering in tattoos and song lyrics and the like, and exactly why it does *not* work.
    http://seppukutattoo.blogspot.cz/2012/02/letter-of-law-laws-for-lettering-and.html

    I have no personal opinion, but I gotta say I agree with the article overall - tattoo is about visual art, not written art, and nobody wants to "read" you.
     
  21. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Well, in my own defense (not speaking for peachalulu), the OP did ask this specific question:

    I answered it (trying not to call anybody "crazy," though) and explained my reasons for answering, or at least the important ones I could think of when I posted.

    I don't think getting tattoos is "stupid." If I did, I wouldn't have the respect I have for some of my friends (and some on this forum, obviously). I know I would have been stupid to get one. And I know I'd much rather look at a body (male or female, any shape or age) without tattoos than one with.

    I can't say getting tattoos is stupid for others, because I'm not them and how the f*** do I know how they feel and where they're coming from? So, when I answered (referring to the OP and to Wreybies), I specifically said "please don't." A plea - not an order, not a you're-an-idiot-if-you-do-this. Just a statement that it would be my personal preference if they didn't get tattoos.

    :)
     
  22. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    You're right T Trian, I need to stay away from the lounge. Too many things have deeper meanings than I let on - I make jokes, I quip. Truth is I knew someone I cared a lot about that was always trying to push people away, always trying to offend and yet always wanting reassurance that he was liked. He went out and got neck tattoos of two guns pointing at his head, he thought they were funny. Deep down I think he knew they were a symbol of his self-hate, he just couldn't face it. He had to make light of it, I don't think he knew what else to do. More tattoos appeared including fuck pigs across his knuckles anything to provoke a fight. I've never known anyone that didn't get a tattoo in order to say screw the world and everyone in it - So I probably shoudn't comment on posts like this cause I'm coming in with my baggage/garbage.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
  23. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, mine wasn't as embarrassing, and thank god for that ;)
     
  24. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I think tattoos are beautiful in a similar way as, say, a painting. There are paintings I don't like, there're tattoos I don't like, but I view them as pieces of art and it's always interesting to hear the story behind a person's tattoo. "I'm such a big fan of this book!" is a perfectly valid reason.

    As for waiting for a month or more to find out if you can really live with that. If you are a type of a person who can go "what's done is done" or "better regret something you did than didn't do", it won't be the end of the world if you realize later that maybe you could've poured the money elsewhere or that the picture isn't exactly to your liking. After all, you'll be likely to have bigger problems than that, and one can usually work around a stupid tattoo too.
    ~ Signed by someone to whom this sorta kinda happened ~
     
  25. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This is interesting, but the article you linked to seems to suggest that the Iceman's tattoos were not a form of expression, but rather a pain-relieving treatment.

    This is not to suggest that in certain cultures (both ancient and modern) tattoos weren't used to help identify members of a group. There were tribal tattoos, tattoos identifying members of a religion or priesthood, tattoos that may have signified military rank, etc. It's also possible that many of these tattoos were not obtained voluntarily - some groups may have demanded their members get tattooed whether they liked it or not.
     

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