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Hooked Up Americans With Way Too Much Angst on their Hands
American Digest ^ | July 20, 2004 | Gerard Van der Leun

Posted on 07/19/2004 7:08:27 PM PDT by vanderleun

I USED TO BE DISGUSTED BUT NOW I'M JUST AMUSED by the endless inventiveness of my fellow Americans in the realms of body modifications and transgressive fashion and behavior. The latest such item concerns an inordinate fondness for dangling from meat hooks :

Sunday the Monroe County sheriff's office and Coast Guard were called on July 12 to the sandbar off Whale Harbor in Islamorada where locals say wild behavior is becoming a tradition.

They found that five young people had erected a bamboo tripod and hung meat hooks from it. A young woman, her feet brushing the surface of the shallow water, dangled from the frame, hooks embedded firmly in her shoulders.

According to a Coast Guard video, she did not seem to mind the hooks.

Lt. Tom Brazil of the Coast Guard told the Key West Citizen newspaper that a young man, who also had hooks embedded in his heavily pierced and tattooed skin, assured him the group was "just enjoying the afternoon." -- Meat hook dangling craze mystifies police

Well, it may mystify the police but it doesn't mystify me. It fills me with both hope for the future of my daughter and stepson as well as clarity about my own status in America in 2004.

This has to do with demographics, mainly. You see, one of the fears of any father is that his progeny will not be able to do well in the world; that they will not be successful in life when competing against others. Seen in that light, I think it is safe to say that every American who sports bizarre and large tattoos, permanent facial piercings, slit-lip, nose, ear or other prominent body modifications, or whose hobby is dangling about on a sandbar with meat hooks embedded in their flesh is not, shall we say, likely to compete for high-paying jobs with a clear career path. They have, one and all, taken themselves out of the game. For every person that has made themselves unemployable through conscious intent, that's one more job available to others.

Indeed, it is hard to see what the career path for freaks really is when looking forward to the future. The only profitable work for those who have had a spider's web etched onto their face would seem to be either giving others the same treatment at your local Body "Art" salon, or stirring up a batch of bathtub meth. Either way, it seems to be a path marked only by the Squirrel's motto: "Live fast, die young, leave a flat patch of fur on the highway."

Current fashions involving gangsta looks, stained rags as clothing, and baseball caps worn backwards or to the side, also help in sorting out status in today's America. After all, when you are confronted with a person dressed in such a way, it is axiomatic that only a gun could compel you to listen to them. In every other circumstance, the backwards hat only serves to assure you that such a person is one from whom you will never have to take orders, and certainly not career advice.

I'm well aware of all the excuses for trangressive lifestyles and tattoos -- the "despair" that these things suggest, the lifesong sung in the key of existential distress, the "No Future" graffiti stenciled on the dark gothic walls of their souls, the walking advertisement for a child left behind a long, long time ago. All the old and moldy excuses for not making it combine with the compulsion for outward signs to others that have also not made it, so that they can easily identify similar lost souls and group together. Together on an island of nihilism, darkness, and "No Future" -- when they can all hang together from the meat hooks of this oppressive society that "just doesn't understand," and 'enjoy the afternoon.'

Well, God speed, young hearts ...

Young hearts be free tonight.
Time is on your side,
Don't let them put you down,
don't let 'em push you around,
don't let 'em ever change your point of view.

Keep on hanging out on your hooks. Don't let them change your point of view. At the same time, I certainly hope you never want to get back into the game. First of all, it would be unfair to expect the taxpayers to pay for your tattoo removal treatments and hole closure. Second, there's enough competition in the job market already. Stay on the sandbar on weekends, and use whatever money you make from drug dealing or spreading the pain addiction to get yet more tattoos and piercings. Revel in your freedom and flaunt it.

Just don't come around at age 40 expecting something necessary-- a job. Instead, get back to that sandbar and enjoy the fading afternoon of your earning years.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: disorders

1 posted on 07/19/2004 7:08:28 PM PDT by vanderleun
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To: vanderleun
I watched a show on tatoos several years ago. They went into the process of tatoo removal, which is laborious and leaves the skin discolored, but at least you aren't advising to your co-workers at Corporate World that they can just Kiss Your A$$.

There was one 30-something mother on the show that was getting her tatoos removed. They showed a picture of her in her youth with a pink mohawk and tatoos on her shoulder. She said she was getting her tatoos removed because, "...people are rude and make assumptions about you if you have tatoos." LOL!! No kidding! That's why you got a pink mohawk and tatoos in the first place--so people would assume you're some kind of bad-ass!

I can't wait to see these girls that are getting the butt-hat tatoos (they're the one's that span the small of a girl's back just above the butt) when they're forty and have had a few kids and the hips have, ahem, spread out an inch or two (or 15).

2 posted on 07/19/2004 7:24:46 PM PDT by randog
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To: vanderleun


Imagine what these mooks'll look like at 50.

3 posted on 07/19/2004 7:24:53 PM PDT by martin_fierro (Ham on wry)
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To: vanderleun

Unfortunately, these unemployables will expect our children to support them and their progeny.

4 posted on 07/19/2004 7:38:11 PM PDT by aberaussie
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To: vanderleun
There seems to always be a reminder for me, of all who sacrificed for us, so that we may merely have civilized manners and peace under the rule of law in God we trust.

In Cleveland, OH, recently, a few thousand people showed up near the waterfront, in a staged, utterly naked demonstration, that they call "art."

Yet I am reminded of the staged, utterly naked demonstrations in the cold in which thousands longed for clothing during the Second World War.

5 posted on 07/19/2004 7:38:39 PM PDT by First_Salute (May God save our democratic-republican government, from a government by judiciary.)
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To: vanderleun

great article....I have always enjoyed the tattoo and peircing lets little knot heads express their individuality....just like all their friends....go figure.

I wish i didn't have so much to would do a person good to snatch a nose ring out occasionally or just basically stomp some little tattooed punk's head in for jollies....maybe just a rap upside the head would suffice.

6 posted on 07/19/2004 7:50:19 PM PDT by teldon30
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To: vanderleun

I don't get it. When the Indians did it in the Sun Dance it was for religious reasons. That's kind of a strange religious practice, IMO, but it certainly makes more sense than doing that for fun.

7 posted on 07/19/2004 8:09:35 PM PDT by monkeyman81
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To: vanderleun
This article seems to be based on the false assumption that the economy is a zero sum game and that for every success there has to be a failure somewhere, therefore more failures equal more chances for success. Fortunately this is not the case. If my fellow citizens do well, get good jobs, invent and manufacture useful products etc..., it can only be good for me as well. Maybe one of them will offer me a good paying job or flush with the money of their success they will decide to buy the goods and services that I offer and in that way contribute to my own prosperity.

Losers that hang around on meathooks are not likely to improve my standard of living. Chances are they are parasites and I will have to support them with my taxes as they actively degrade our culture.

8 posted on 07/19/2004 8:11:14 PM PDT by elmer fudd
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To: All

I looked up these guys idol, check it out:


Now I was around in Florida in the early nineties when piercing first came around. I knew some people who were in the biz and made jewelry. I met some seriously demented and troubled people but suspension is a while other level of bizarre. I loved the article above. Very funny.

9 posted on 07/19/2004 9:06:20 PM PDT by Agent47
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To: teldon30
great article....I have always enjoyed the tattoo and peircing lets little knot heads express their individuality....just like all their friends....go figure.

I've just never "gotten" the whole piercing and tattoo craze... I'd wager that I spend at least 1/2 of my waking hours trying NOT to get stuck by sharp objects.


10 posted on 07/19/2004 9:18:55 PM PDT by MarkL (A werewolf?? Werewolf?? .... "There.... Wolf!")
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To: martin_fierro
"Imagine what these mooks'll look like at 50."

Odds are slim to none that they will ever see 50.

11 posted on 07/19/2004 10:23:01 PM PDT by DirtyHarryY2K (G W B 2004!)
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To: vanderleun

The line is: I used to be disgusted/Now I try to be amused. It's Elvis Costello, but I can't remember which song.

12 posted on 07/20/2004 2:40:54 AM PDT by jocon307
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To: jocon307

"The Angels Want To Wear My Red Shoes". Great tune!

13 posted on 07/20/2004 2:46:22 AM PDT by GodBlessRonaldReagan (Count Petofi will not be denied!)
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To: vanderleun
As that great American Hank Hill once said, "I'm beginning to think all this tattooing and piercing is a good thing. Lets you see who's not right."
14 posted on 07/20/2004 2:47:43 AM PDT by GodBlessRonaldReagan (Count Petofi will not be denied!)
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To: GodBlessRonaldReagan

"The Angels Want To Wear My Red Shoes". Great tune!

Thanks, you've saved me, I knew it was going to drive me nuts later. Definately time to spin some of those tunes.

I will never forget the first time I heard Elvis Costello, I'd heard about him, the buzz. I worked for a fellow who was a pretty big music fan, so one day he hooked up speakers into the main office area, I heard those stirring notes at the very beginning of "Watching the Detectives". This was something new and different. I said to myself "that's gotta be that guy" and it was.

15 posted on 07/20/2004 2:57:24 AM PDT by jocon307
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To: jocon307

Ah, "Watching the Detectives". Another great song! Elvis was really on fire back then - "Radio Radio", "I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea", "Less Than Zero" - great stuff.

16 posted on 07/20/2004 4:46:43 AM PDT by GodBlessRonaldReagan (Count Petofi will not be denied!)
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