The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Sunday, July 08, 2007


We've all seen the artists at various tourist traps enticing people, often couples, to have themselves caricatured. And, if your experience is like mine, 99% of the time the art work, usually pastels, bears absolutely no resemblance to the people posing. (This should not come as a surprise since, if you think about it, if the artists had any real talent they would be sitting on street corners drawing pictures for $10 a pop).

But people keep paying for these drawings because, what the heck, their just a few bucks and what do you have to lose.

What does all this have to do with tattoos?

Tattoos amaze me. I have difficulty processing the idea that anyone would want something indelibly painted on his or her body, particularly in a place that is in public view. I just don't get it. (The only tattoos I can even begin to understand are those very small ones that people apparently place in intimate areas that no one but their partners can see and little ones on ankles. I once had a female colleague who was an accomplished runner. She had a small wing tatoo right above her ankle. I had to admit that I thought it was pretty cool).

But it's even worse. It would be one thing if the tattoo artists were all Michelangelos. But really. There are probably thousands of tattoo "artists" around the U.S. How many of them do you think are truly gifted? How many are really like the street artist trying to pay the rent.

Yet hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people allow these tattoo artists to paint their bodies. Mind boggling.

And, indeed, in my walks to and from the train station, I am subjected on a daily basis to some truly atrocious looking tattoos. Astonishingly horrible to biblical proportions.

(I can only assume that the recipients of these awful tattoos were drunk when they were done, or too poor to afford anything but the neighborhood hack).

And then, of course, there are the dopes who have their boyfriend/girlfriend's name tattooed on their bodies. Yeah, that's pretty smart! Not only are most of the tattoos ugly, they are usually outdated within months.

I recently read an article in a local paper that noted that hundreds of thousands of people pay exorbitant sums (and undergo hours of painful procedures) to have tattoos removed.

Well, duh.



  • At 9:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You have a very weird concept of what's cool. I find tattoos repulsive, particularly on women.

  • At 9:47 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    I don't think you read my post very carefully. I agree that tattoos are repulsive except in very limited circumstances. Like small wings on a runners ankle.

  • At 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There are no exceptions. They're always repulsive, particularly on women - even when placed on an ankle.

  • At 10:28 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    That's a valid point of view.


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