Thursday, June 18, 2009

Two Stupid People in Belgium

Stupid people...

First, let me make it clear that I do not have a problem with body art. I think tattooing is not only a legitimate, powerful, and often beautiful means of visual self-expression, but I also believe that the professional and other social stigmas held against those who choose to tattoo their bodies are inconsistent with Western culture's respect for individual liberty and value for the arts. That said, the two main actors in the hilariously ridiculous melodrama that unfolds in the above-mentioned article are painfully stupid.

For those of you who haven't bothered to read the piece, it tells the story of an eighteen-year-old Belgian girl who went to a tattoo parlor and came out with fifty-six stars on the left side of her face. According to the teenager, she fell asleep during the procedure and didn't find out about her new visage until she woke up outside of his shop; according to the tattooist, she specifically requested the fifty-six stars and only complained when her father and boyfriend reacted negatively to the aesthetic consequence of her inking (the boyfriend apparently dumped her). Either way, he is now being sued to within an inch of his life by the girl and her family.

Now why do I say both parties involved are painfully stupid?

1) The girl. There is nothing inherently stupid about wanting fifty-six tattoos on your face (although it would be advisable to think such a plan through before implementing it), but there is something supremely stupid about her obviously spurious claim that she never wanted them in the first place. How does someone doze off during a loud, uncomfortable surgery that wildly vibrates your flesh while forcing an unnatural pigment into your skin, particularly when it is performed with minimal anesthetic and involves your forehead, the areas near your eyes, your cheekbones, your nose, and your chin? For another thing, how exactly did he mistake "three stars near the left eye" for "fifty-six stars all over my face"? How did she get moved from the tattoo parlor to some other location without being made aware of it? Considering that it would probably take a lot less time to tattoo three stars then fifty-six, wouldn't the very fact that she was there long enough to be able to fall asleep in the first place have suggested a problem? Finally, how can she account for the eyewitness (another customer) who saw the entire incident, and attests to the fact that the girl specifically requested fifty-six tattoos? While I am not in favor of dishonesty, I at least want my liars to be reasonably intelligent in their fabrications. Transparently shoddy fibs annoy the piss out of me.

2) The tattooist. Why oh why oh why did you ever tattoo fifty-six stars onto a human being's face without first receiving written consent from them that specifically attest to their requesting that precise procedure? I don't care if the Belgian laws require it or not, it would seem like such a practice would be basic common sense, for business as well as legal reasons. Personally, if I were in this industry, I would require such paperwork before I perform any work on a client, be it a tiny heart above the ankle or a recreation of the Tree Man from Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights on the forehead. Yet even if you decide that covering your ass isn't necessary for the more innocuous procedures, it certainly makes a heaping helping of good sense when doing something so serious as putting fifty-six stars on the human face. After all, what would you do if the client decides to tell an obvious lie about what she requested after-the-fact because she isn't pleased with the result, even if it was what she legitimately wanted? What then? Hmmmm? I personally don't know, but then again, I don't have to find out. This moronic tattooist will.

To the tattooist's credit, he seems to have recognized the error of his ways and wishes to rectify his mistake. The teenager, on the other hand, appears to be sticking by her dumb-ass story (by the way, even if that story is true, she is still an idiot for falling asleep while someone was carving ink-stains into her face). I don't know how this will resolve itself, and only in the most frivolous sense do I actually care. Still, I think this was at least a mildly amusing rant.

And there you have it: Two stupid people in Belgium.

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