Even I don't always agree with my opinion


It May Not Be Art, But I Know What I Like

Posted April 27, 2011 by jim young in Lifestyle
It May Not Be Art...

– by jim young

The day before I got my first tattoo, a friend of mine asked, “Why do you want a tattoo?”

I hadn’t really thought that much about it. And as I struggled for an answer, I had do ask myself, “Why do I want a tattoo?”

I’d been planning and talking about it for some time now, but I really couldn’t answer that question.

At my age, it certainly wasn’t peer pressure. And it wasn’t an attempt to be a non-conformist or even a conformist for that matter. I wasn’t rebelling against society. Nor was I trying to make any kind of a statement.

So why did I get a tattoo?

It just seemed like a cool thing to do.

mona lisa breast art
I like it. I really, really like it!

Some people like the painting of the Mona Lisa while others might prefer a painting of a bunch of dogs playing poker. What makes one any more valuable than the other? Personally, I wouldn’t have either hanging in my living room.

But is it art?

Can you really explain why you prefer one over the other?

Why do some people like tattoos and others abhor them?

Maybe it’s true. “There’s just no accounting for taste.”

Maybe it was no more complex than to reply “Why not?” to the question “Why?”

The subject matter of my tattoo however, is another subject.

While I may not be able to clearly answer “Why?” to the tattoo itself, “Why did I choose what I chose?” is much simpler to explain.

Like most other people that get tattoos, I wanted something that had some meaning. When my nephew showed me his, a tattoo of a center for an old 45 RPM record, I knew it was the right symbol for me.

“I wanted something that represented my love of music,” Kory explained, “and since I’m not a musician I didn’t think music notes were appropriate.”

The 45 RPM center was certainly appropriate enough for me since I’d been a disc jockey for over 10 years and had used them hundreds of times.

I wanted to add a bit more, however, so I decided to add the name “Madame X”. It stood for several things. Most people get “Mom” as a tattoo, but few honour “Dad” in the same way.

“Madame” would be an acronym for “Mom And Dad And ME”.

“X” of course represented my continuous search for answers to the unknown.

And it didn’t hurt that “Madame X” might also bring to mind “Malcolm X” to some ageing revolutionaries of the 60s. Okay – so maybe my rebellious side was coming through in this tattoo just a little after all.

More importantly, “Madame X” was the code name used by RCA Victor when they developed the 45 RPM record in the 1940s.

So that took care of Mom and Dad. But how could I also incorporate into my tattoo – the other 3 most important people in my life – my wife and children?

I decided upon “SAM”. Sam was the nickname my grandfather gave me when I was a young pre-school aged boy. Coincidentally and conveniently, it too is an acronym for Shirley (my wife), Ange (my daughter) and Mike (my son).

Unfortunately, in consultation with my tattoo artist, my wife and I jointly decided it was best to drop the names. The size of the lettering that would be required in comparison with the size of the 45 RPM center (I wanted it to be life size) would be too over powering and spoil the overall effect.

“Simple is better,” Kory later consoled me.

Jim's Tattoo,45 RPM Center
Just one day old and looking good.

So for reasons not quite known, at the age of 58 I am now the proud owner of my first tattoo.

Enjoy the experience with me in this short video.

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