"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" -Benjamin Franklin

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Conventions, Political Conspiracy Theories, and other Stuffs

So, I just got back from the Atlanta Tattoo Convention- what garbage.  That show has been on a downhill slide for about the last 10 years or so.  Now, a lot of times, Sundays are the slowest day at these things anyway, but slow doesn't even cover it.  There were more tattooers there than convention goers.  There are certainly people in the Atlanta area that would be plenty pissed to read this, but I really don't care, so....This show is poorly run and poorly promoted.  In fact, I didn't see or hear ANYTHING about it.  How do you expect to get people to the convention if you don't advertise it?  I guess they just don't care- they made their money selling the booths, so fuck it if the working artists don't make any money, right?  WRONG.  Over the years, I have worked a lot of conventions- some good and some bad.  The best ones are the ones where the promoters actually care about the attending artists.  I haven't worked the Atlanta convention in the last 3 or 4 years, and won't work it ever again unless I believe that the promoters give a crap about the artists (if they read this, I'll probably never work it again anyway, but I'm way past caring if I piss people off).  The only reason I even went there today was to see a friend that I haven't seen in a number of years, and that made it worth the trip and the $20 entry fee.  It was good to see ya, Jime.
There was a time many years ago when a tattoo convention was a big event- there were only a dozen or so a year, and people travelled from all over the country (and the world) to attend them.  Not even to work them, just to be there.  Now there are a half a dozen every weekend, and you don't have to go anywhere- wait a few months and there'll be one in your city.  It's the same disease that's affected the entire tattoo industry- too many shops, too many conventions, too many wannabe tattooers, too many TV shows.  The magic is gone, the mystery is gone, and the tattoo industry has been sold to non-tattooer shop owners, TV executives, event promoters, and Chinese suppliers.
You're all probably tired of hearing me bitch about these same things over and over, but it's something that I love and have been doing for 19 years of my life, and I can't just watch it all go down the shitter and not say anything about it.  There are awesome tattooers that are being run out by scumbags that don't care about anything but being the 'cool' guy.  Tattooers that can't make a living anymore because the scumbag down the road will do it for $20- He'll do a shitty job, but people don't care.  It's the new tattoo mentality- it's all about coverage, not quality.  There's a phenomenon thats referred to these days as the Warped Tour Body Suit- kids that are tattooed everywhere that it CAN'T be covered.  It's the exact opposite of what tattooing was when I got into it.  People got tattooed for the love of the art and kept their tattoos hidden, so that they could still get jobs, etc.  Now with the recent popularity of tattooing, people are getting tattooed only in places that CAN be seen- hands, necks, from the elbows down (rather than up).  There's a picture that has been floating around on Facebook that illustrates this:
It's ridiculous, and it disgusts me that this is what tattooing has become.  What the fuck are all these idiots going to do for a living?  They'll become tattooers of course, because we certainly need more of them.  Here's a tip for anyone that wants to make a lot of money a few years from now- go to school and learn how to do laser tattoo removal- it's gonna be a huge business in about 10 years.
While we're on the subject of tattoos, here's something that I did last week- a Barnabus Collins portrait (no, not Johnny freakin Depp):

Now, since it's been quite a while, I'm gonna give ya a little political rant (so, you can all stop reading now and go back to Facebook).

Last week, the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare AKA The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. What is my issue with this? Well, besides the fact that I do not believe that the federal government should be allowed to FORCE American citizens to buy any product, or fine/tax them for not doing so, it is another example of government control over our personal lives, which as a Libertarian, I am totally opposed to.  I don't believe that the Government really cares whether all Americans have affordable healthcare or not, what this really is is an attempt to make Americans more dependent on Government.  The USDA is promoting 'Food Stamp Parties', kinda like tupperware or sex toy parties only designed to get more people signed up for food stamps, thus making them more dependent on government.  They want us to rely on them for everything- the more we rely on government, the more control they have over all aspects of our lives.  Have you seen the idiots in Washington?  I sure as hell don't want them involved in my life any more than they already are- I'd really like to see them a whole lot less involved.  This is not at all what the founding fathers had in mind, in fact, it's 100% what they didn't want.  The problem lies in the fact that Americans have gotten lazy and don't want to take care of themselves, so they are happy to allow the government to do it for them, but they don't realize, or care to see what they are doing to themselves by allowing it.  The more the Government governs, the less personal freedom we have.  I for one value freedom above free stuff.

That Government is best which governs the least, because it's people discipline themselves.  -Thomas Jefferson

Government is not the solution to our problem.  Government is the problem.  -Ronald Reagan