16 thoughts on “Eye on the Street”


  1. Having spent all my life keeping sharp pointy things away from me as far as possible, I just don’t understand tattoos. Pain, risk of disease, and disfigurement-what’s to like?

    1. If you see it as disfigurement, by all means, stay away from tattoo parlours.

      As for the risk of disease, the regulations are so tight, I’d worry more about getting a disease from a library book.

      1. Um, only if you cut your finger on a page of said book or it was hurled and penetrated your epidermis. Not saying that regulated tattoo parlors aren’t relatively safe but there’s a reason for all those regulations. The viruses you get from needles are more serious and last longer than the pesky respiratory/GI things you may get from touching a contaminated book. (Not that books are major vectors of disease but trying to play along with the concept of books posing a non-zero risk.)

        I’m suffering from an old-fashioned prejudice that tattoos are associated with gangs and/or tackiness. But every time I make a comment along those lines (e.g. the pools at the “cheapest” Disney resorts have a high proportion of tattooed bodies at spring break), the perfectly nice, intelligent, competent person I’m talking to shows me their cute tattoo. So I know I’m just not with it. But crossing my fingers that my kids make it to adulthood without getting one.

        1. “The regulations are so tight”
          “There’s a reason for all those regulations”
          ——————

          Sorry to go off here, but this line of thinking bothers me. Your assumption is that without government regulation, tattoo shops would not put proper procedures in place. The fact is that most shops, along with other regulated industries, actually go above and beyond what regulations require. Why do they do this? It sure as hell isn’t because of the government. It’s because it’s good business! The free market, believe it or not, does an amazing job of regulating itself. These owners don’t want sick people and lawsuits on their hands. Furthermore, consumers need to be responsible for their own safety and investigation. Almost every bit of literature you find on getting a tattoo talks about having the artist open the sterilized packet of tools in front of them and asking questions. Not only are most regulations unnecessary and an infringement on freedom and the free market, they could also make consumers less safe by making them lazy because they believe the government has solved all the potential problems for them.

          Just my two sense that I have no doubt will be disagreed with my the majority reading. Such is life in this great city of ours…

          1. Actually I KNOW what has been transmitted through tattoo needles. Feel free to go to unregulated tattoo businesses-plenty exist, but as a DM friend, i discourage it. It’s small comfort to be able to sue someone if you have a chronic, debilitating infection many years later, assuming that business even still exists to be sued.

            Not to mention my aesthetic arguments. Even if your tattoo is major cute initially, you can never gain weight in that region without getting that stretched out, distorted graphic look.

            1. I would have no problem going to an unregulated shop because I would do my homework while there. If they didn’t meet my expectations, I would walk right out.

              Oh, I’ve seen many of those stretched out tattoos! Yikes!

          2. “Why do they do this? It sure as hell isn’t because of the government. It’s because it’s good business! The free market, believe it or not, does an amazing job of regulating itself. ”

            This may be true when there is a direct relationship between businesses practices and consumer outcomes, but it sure as hell isn’t when the external costs are bourne by the environment, the impoverished, the laborers, etc.

            1. Something tells me we would have differing opinions on your three examples, but yes, some regulations are appropriate and necessary.

              1. As you well know Walrus, our government has imposed upon us many tens of thousands of pages of regulations promulgated and enforced by an army of government employees wielding vast power over the private economy, very often with minimal oversight or accountability. And yet, to listen to the proponents of these regulations, the problems of inequality, poverty, environmental degradation, etc. not only persist, but are actually getting worse. Oddly, the solution to those problems is, in their view . . . more regulation.

                There’s room for disagreement about the effectiveness of our vast regulatory state, but one thing beyond dispute: it makes Washington DC very rich. I was just there 2 weeks ago and the ostentatious displays of wealth are everywhere. Honestly, it made Buckhead seem like a modern-day Hooverville by comparison.

                Oh, also, I agree w/AMB on tats. But, to each his/her own.

        2. I wouldn’t recommend that anyone get a tattoo before the age of, say, 25. Unless they never go out in the sun, or they get it on a body part that is always covered. What the sun does to an intricately-detailed sleeve is not pretty.

          The association of tattoos with gangs is a sad remnant of post-war America. Tattoos have been a part of cultures all over the world for millennia. They were popular among non-gang members in the US for most of our country’s history.

          Everyone has their reasons for getting them. Many of those reasons are awesome. Some just make you want to scream, “How could NOT think that at some point in your life that you might regret that in a big way?” Just do a search on “bad tattoos.”

          1. Re pre-war American tattoos: Popeye had one. My grandmother dated a merchant marine with one but then married my grandfather while the tattooed boyfriend was off to sea. My grandmother aspired to move up from immigrant to middle class and somehow a milkman working for Borden worked better for her than a sailor with a tattoo.

            The color palate of tattoos doesn’t work for me. They always look too dark and sinister even if they consist of hearts, baby Cupids, and flowers. Indian henna designs are a whole other thing. Henna is gorgeous, IMHO.

            But I have to admit that I confound gangs, tattoos, needletracks, and Charles Manson in my subconscious.

            Next: my feelings about multiple body piercings……………

  2. Can’t answer for the disfigurement part, but with regard to the first two issues:

    You pay for what you get. All legitimate artists/shops are maniacal about sterilization. And the pain depends largely on the area involved. I got my only one 3 years ago on my shoulder and the guy said “you’re going to laugh when I get started – it won’t be anything like you imagined.” And he was right – pain was almost non existent.

    1. Do you need a Wells Fargo tattoo to cover up the Wachovia tattoo that you got to cover up the First Union tattoo that you got to cover up the Decatur Federal tattoo?

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