Deserve’s Got Nothin’ To Do With It


As ancient as I feel when there’s moisture in the air, I wasn’t (and I imagine many of you weren’t) around for the golden age of the TV Western. Sure, we had Walker, Texas Ranger to call our own, but The Lone Ranger? Roy Rogers? Rawhide? Forget about it. Now, some people may find it silly to be nostalgic for television (be it a program or an era), but hey, one can’t predict from where one’s inspiration will come, right? Also, this makes me feel much better about my Designing Women/Murphy Brown sleeve.

(Tattoo by Lerc at Transitions Tattoo in Huntington Beach, California.)

See more in Old School (and Old) Tattoos (Tattoos)

Running Diary: Tattoo Highway, Episode 1


The truth is, until I interviewed L.A. Ink’s Kim Saigh a while back, I had never watched any of the tattoo-based reality shows. Whoops. I wasn’t boycotting them or anything—it just came down to the fact that I plain didn’t have the time in my day. I mean, really, between six hours every morning of SportsCenter, the mandatory Coronation Street marathon and praying five times daily to my DVDs of The Wire, where was I supposed to squeeze in the exploits of Kat Von D or whoever?

When I finally got around to watching some episodes, however, for work, my verdict was…they were mostly harmless. As Saigh and I discussed (and which has come up several times since then), my main gripe with this kind of programming is the message, whether intentional or not, is that not only must every tattoo have a particularly “deep” meaning, but that certain events or situations must be commemorated with a tattoo. Someone dies? Get a tattoo. Your boyfriend leaves you for, I don’t know, a grizzly bear? Get a tattoo. You quit drinking booze, only to have a meteorite fall to earth and lodge itself in your brain? Oh, you better believe that’s a tattoo.

With all that said, A&E just premiered a brand new tattoo reality show, Tattoo Highway starring Thomas Pendleton (formerly of Inked), which we poked a little fun at when it was first announced:

The bus angle worked wonders for Bret Michaels and his skank-banging, so it should really come as no surprise that others are picking up on this as the next big thing. I see big, big things for the future of reality television—big, bus-related things.

[...]

[The network is] shamelessly hyping what is by far the worst part of these tattoos shows—namely, that great tattoos must have some big and important story behind them—but man, how exciting does he think a husband and wife going on a road trip is going to be, vocation notwithstanding? Are they going to be chased by land pirates? Did Dennis Hopper plant a bomb on the bottom of the bus that’ll explode if the speed falls below 50 mph?

Me-ow, right? Well, I decided that if I’m going to be a dick about it, I may as well give the damn thing a shot. We’re a week behind, so let’s get caught up with a good old-fashioned running diary of the premiere! (The third and fourth episodes aired last night, so we’ll try to cover those on the weekend so we’re all on the same page for next week.) Will it be funny? Will we cry? Who knows! We can guarantee one thing, though: Get ready for a whole lot of words.

00:30 — I’m trying to come into this free of expectations and prejudices, but in the 30 seconds it’s taken to go over the introduction to the episode (the series premiere, keep in mind), Thomas has been called a flirt, has been seen cursing out his old high school and told an old man he can mix the man’s wife’s ashes into tattoo ink. A&E! REAL LIFE. DRAMA.

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Full Coverage: Links From All Over (March 6, 2009)


[Whoa, Momma!] So this slutty sex doll, whatshername, Barbie, took a break from getting abortions and giving herself roofies to get some tattoos, just in time for her 50th birthday! This week’s overblown and self-important tattoo-related outrage comes from various people who are VERY OFFENDED that international drug cartel Mattel has released “Totally Stylin’ Tattoo Barbie,” a children’s toy that comes with 40 different temporary tattoos that will keep this bitch from ever getting a job, as well as a “tattoo gun” for the kids to give themselves their own temporary tattoos, which is completely inappropriate, apparently.

Yes, that’s right, a tattoo gun so instead of applying it with a wet wash cloth, 8 year-olds can simulate that milestone in every minor’s life experience of actual needles pumping permanent dye into their growing bodies.

Again, this has nothing to do with tattoos for consenting adults, but everything to do with age-appropriate toys. And in my humble opinion, the age 5 designated on the box is off by about 20 years and a hepatitis C shot.

This piece was squeezed from the mindgrapes of the Suburban Diva herself, Tracey Henry, who is positively aghast that CHILDREN will be using a FAKE TATTOO GUN, which is really just a stamp, essentially, but righteous indignation over stamps doesn’t get you featured on CNN, I guess.

There will be some who disagree, pointing out that Barbie is just keeping up with what’s in style right now and that this is merely a toy that kids can play make-believe like other adult activities.

I counter that bellbottoms and leg-warmers didn’t need to be removed with laser treatments and Barbie’s Dream Wedding gown didn’t come with bottles of Tequila for a pretend open-bar reception.

In conclusion, Tracey Henry was probably paid to write this.

[The Live Feed] Because there aren’t quite enough tattoo-related television shows, it was just announced that A&E will be airing Tattoo Highway, a reality program in which Thomas Pendleton, formerly of A&E’s Inked, will continue to tattoo people on camera, but there’s an important twist:

In “Tattoo Highway,” Pendelton and his wife and business partner, Monica (who also appeared on “Inked”), have transformed a 1970s tour bus into a mobile tattoo parlor. They will travel to cities including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Salt Lake City, inking customers.

Boom. Nailed it. The bus angle worked wonders for Bret Michaels and his skank-banging, so it should really come as no surprise that others are picking up on this as the next big thing. I see big, big things for the future of reality television—big, bus-related things. The network is clearly thrilled about the prospect:

Executive producer Bob Horowitz said the traveling element will differentiate the show from previous tattoo docusoaps.

“All the other series have been based in tattoo parlors,” he said. “Here the premise is this is the first tattoo parlor on wheels, and he goes where the stories are. Imagine all the things that can happen when you take something like this on the road and all the things that can happen.”

Never mind that Horowitz is shamelessly hyping what is by far the worst part of these tattoos shows—namely, that great tattoos must have some big and important story behind them—but man, how exciting does he think a husband and wife going on a road trip is going to be, vocation notwithstanding? Are they going to be chased by land pirates? Did Dennis Hopper plant a bomb on the bottom of the bus that’ll explode if the speed falls below 50 mph?

“From the creation of the art to the environment that I tattooed in, it has always been about my customers’ experience,” Pendelton said. “In a street shop, it was easy to forget just how personal that experience should be. Rolling up and parking the shop right in the middle of someone’s life, well, there is nothing more personal than that.”

AND THEN THE BUS EXPLODES! No? OK, fine, whatever.

(Hat-tip to Warming Glow, a new teevee blog venture by man’s man Matt Ufford. Go read it.)

[Needles and Sins] Speaking of new blog ventures, fiery redhead and friend of BME, Marisa Kakoulas DiMattia, has escaped the evil (not so evil?) clutches of Needled and has struck out on her own with Needles and Sins, which promises the same lurid, untamed filth we’ve come to expect from her. Today, she offers a thorough review of the iPhone’s new “Tattoo Shop” application, which lets users ruin their perfectly good photos with the demon’s ink. Some of her findings included:

- [T]he biggest problem: the choice of artwork or lack thereof — and I use “artwork” almost facetiously. SonicBoom partnered with flash peddlers TattooJohnny.com but instead of loading up on, say, the cool Bob Tyrrell and Tim Creed commercial designs, the app finds itself heavy on the old Cherry Creek-styled jammies — aka tribal armbands abound and pin-ups with big 80s hair.

[...]

- [T]he leafy panties on the female belly skin is just disturbing. It looks like lettuce is growing from her vulva to her waist. It did make me hungry for a nice Greek salad though. [Ed. note: Gotta say ... that description had the opposite effect on me. Thanks, though.]

[...]

- The coolest thing about the app: using your own photos or being able to take one on the spot. I shot my non-tattooed sis to let her see what she’s look like with a Tyson tribal on her face. As the kids say, “Hawt!”

Listen lady, I know you think you’re all hip now that you’re back in New York, but the kids aren’t saying “Hawt!” The kids are riding buses, everywhere, into each others’ lives, and raping each other, with Barbies. Nice blog, though.