tattoo regret spurs growth industry, existentialism and modern sitcoms, institutions and vile acts

Tattoo Remorse Spawns New Business

“It’s a common misconception that our patients are gang members and bikers,” says Dr. Tattoff founder Will Kirby, a Beverly Hills dermatologist who starred in the reality TV shows Big Brother 2 and Dr. 90210. “Our average patient is a female between the ages of 25 and 40 who got a tattoo as an aesthetic statement and now has a different lifestyle. It might be that the tattoo is a barrier to employment, … maybe it’s just a sign associated with the person’s youth. … I see absolutely gorgeous work. That said, every bad tattoo that you could think of — spelled wrong, done in the garage, etc. — we see a lot more of that than we see beautiful work.” He adds, “If you want to immediately ruin a relationship, get your significant other’s name tattooed on you.”

In 2004, Kirby realized more and more patients were asking him for tattoo-removal help, so he started providing the services once a week. Today, practitioners at Dr. Tattoff clinics have performed more than 110,000 treatments at the company’s five full-time clinics (four in California and one in Texas). The company plans to open at least two more — one in Houston and one in Atlanta—before the end of the year. And Kirby speculated that the company might go public later this year.

Spurring the industry growth is vastly improved technology. In the last decade, dermatologists began using a “Q-Switched” laser that directs short pulses of highly focused light energy at the tattoo, heating up the ink and breaking it into fragments that are absorbed by the body.

I started posting tattoos for pretty much the same reason I post other graphics that are either art or art related. They’re a part of history, culture and art. Which brings me to Paul Newman and the movie Hud. Hud was one of Newman’s best movies in a career that included films several films now considered classics. In an interview he said that his one regret about the movie was how some people interpreted the character. Hud was shallow, greedy, selfish, self-absorbed and a misogynist. Some viewers took to Hud as a hero rather than a statement about personal integrity. Such is the case with showing tattoos. They’re not meant to encourage or discourage anyone from getting one. They’re just a nod to the art form. Tattoos are the one art that is semi-permanent – or permanent unless you have the money to have it removed and removal is much more expensive than the tatt. I’ll leave off any advice like being sure its one you like because everyone who gets a tattoo is sure they’ll like it forever. Unlike other ventures in poor judgement, ink can be difficult to hide. Which makes it that much bigger a psychological hurdle to admit that it wasn’t the best idea you ever had.

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Zooey Deschanel makes my teeth hurt. I’ve been reading similarly themed articles for a bout a year and articles about Zooey are making my teeth hurt a little bit. I read this one just coincidently the day after I watched Our Idiot Brother. The Paul Rudd character – courtesy the writers and Rudd’s interpretation asks why the world does not have room for relatively innocent people like  Ned. he is a rarity, a relatively guileless individual. Why in the same vane is there not room in the world for cute and clever. One of the things that Salon article does can be found in many articles about female actors and artists written by women. Apparently it is incumbent on such individuals to portray all women at once. It is not enough that you probably have a better chance of winning the grand prize in the state lottery than ever making a living as an actress or actor. You will also be expected to carry the burden of being THE stellar representative of 52% of the world’s population in every role. As to the show New Girl. Amidst the show’s obvious desire to be cute, funny, appealing and so forth as sitcoms are apt to do you’ll find some existentialism and some absurdist comedy in the tradition of Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and  James Joyce. It is not straight up classical existential in the vain of those founders of absurdest comedy, it does lack the disjointed free association of images. Though it does have some Joycean dialogue, in modern terms, the non-sequitor. No mass audience is going to tune in for Zooey’s version of Tom Stoppard’s play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. New Girl does carry on the absurdest tradition of difficulty in comprehending the world. Every week the characters in their own way – admittedly not very deep, but in ways many can relate to, attempt to make sense of a disorderly world that either doesn’t give them what they think they want or think they deserve. As is the case with classical existentialism, language in NG frequently becomes a barrier rather than a bridge to understanding. Though like most sit-coms, that week’s imminent issue gets some kind of resolution in the end where in Sartre the lack of resolution goes on and on, a living hell. After I watch an episode of Dexter I either need to take a Zoloft or watch New Girl, the latter is cheaper.

Portishead – Wandering Star

Very good piece by Allen Barra, The shame of Penn State – The university buried a child sex scandal for years. And rioting students dare blame the media? Steve Kornacki apologized for this – Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno, registered Republicans. I agree that Steve did not mean to nor is it right to try to paint the Penn scandal as typical of conservatives. Though he should not apologize for pointing out the coaches political affiliations. The reasons are simple enough. The history of conservatives using every twisted propaganda trick to paint progressives and liberals as evil and anti-American. To point out that conservatives as a group are the not paragons of perfection they claim to be is fair play. One of conservative Ann Coulter’s books is entitled Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism – a sordid tome that mutilates history and facts. One of right-wing conservative Michelle Malkin’s is entitled Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild – which is a collection of anecdotal evidence where a Democrat maybe or maybe did not do something awful thus every single Democrat is evil. Not an exaggeration, read the book. Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge employ the same rhetorical propaganda. If Paterno and Jerry Sandusky were Democrats you would without doubt hear Limbaugh and his brethren broadcast that and associate Democrats with raping children. All the afore-mentioned right-wing pundits have made careers out of reckless and venal attacks on their political adversaries using those kinds of tactics. Finally Jon Stewart’s take –  There’s Precedent for a “Sacred” Institution Abetting Vile Acts — The Catholic Church

Jon Stewart has a message for the Penn State students who earlier this week rioted in the streets in support of a child-rape-abettor:

I get that it’s probably hard for you to believe that this guy you think is infallible and this program you think is sacred could hide such heinous activities, but there is some precedent for that [cue image of the Vatican]. And just like with the Catholic church, no one’s trying to take away your religion — in this case football. They’re just trying to bring some accountability to a Pope and some of his Cardinals who fucked up. ( video at link)

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