At first I thought that people tattooing themselves with logos might represent a cultural bottoming-out; a sign that we had reached the flattest part of our ongoing subjugation to corporations. But now I realize you can sink lower: you can tattoo yourself with a stupid logo.
I guess it makes sense; if you’re the kind of person who thinks it’s a good idea to imprint your body with a company’s logo, you’re probably not that discerning about which logo you choose. Or about anything, really. I offer into evidence the choice of Peter McBride, who is the proud new owner of a Polo pony logo just above his left nipple.
Now, I don’t want to come right out and say that Pete is the low point of human civilization—I mean, there was Hitler. But looking at that photo… gee, it’s a tough call.
Apparently Pete made his choice while waiting in line at the tattoo parlor. This reinforces my belief that it’s always a mistake to try to execute a plan before you’ve thought of one. I mean, if Pete had woken one morning and thought, “Yes, I want to create permament, physical evidence that I’m so desperate to find an identity that I’m willing to suck at the watery brand image run-off of P.R. companies and marketing consultants,” that would be one thing. A disturbing thing, sure. But at least you could admire the fact that he had a vision and carried it out. But that is not what Pete did. Pete decided, “I want to permanently mark my skin with… oh, whatever. I’ll think of something when I get there.”
According to the article, logo tattoos are getting more popular. And “requests range from Chanel and Gucci to Windows and PlayStation.”
Chanel and Gucci I understand, even if it’s a little like calling your daughter Porsche. But PlayStation? If you’re getting a logo tattoo, don’t you perhaps want to avoid products that will be obsolete this time next year? And Windows! Windows, the McDonald’s of technology! Why not just tattoo “I don’t know that much about computers” on yourself? Any self-respecting computer geek who saw someone with a Windows tattoo would fall about laughing. And then punch them in the face. Which is really saying something, because we are not a violent people.
At least the end of the article offers a glimmer of hope:
A tattoo artist who goes only by the name Ennis says a man recently came in with a Lacoste crocodile on his neck. “He wanted it off,” says Ennis. “He didn’t say why. He just said get rid of it.”