» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

December 16, 2004
Issue #6: The Illustrated Man

Everyone, at one time or another, will have to live through a 'craze'; something that everyone seems to be doing no matter how insane or meaningless. This imaginary person will come to a crossroad and wonder, "Should I do/say/buy/wear/have what everyone else is going nuts for?" It could be a style of dress, a toy, a show - television or movie, music, etc. I have come to that crossroad, but before I get into what I'm considering, I'd like to look at crazes throughout the years.

The 1920's: I'm starting with the 20's because anything coming before the 20's sounds ridiculous - the 10's? The 00's? Now, I'm not a historian, but thanks to T.V., I think I have a pretty reasonable idea of what the average man thought was 'jake' back in the 'roaring 20's'. Straw hats with gaily-colored bands were in fashion and so were picnics in all white outfits followed by games of lawn tennis and croquet. As far as crazes go, this is less insane than most. Who doesn't love a picnic and a straw hat?

The 1930's: Is soul crushing poverty really a craze? Moving on.

The 1940's: Two words, Mama: Zoot Suit. Yes sir, men loved the slimming effect of vertical stripes combined with wide shoulder pads and flared hips; this generated a look not dissimilar from a school marm and a pimp who had gotten it on - and baby wants to party!

The 1950's: If you had rolled a cigarette pack into your white t-shirt sleeve, then you were nobody's fool and could rest assured that all your masturbatory fantasies of Pinky Tuscedaro were about to come true in the back seat of your Chevy. Also, at a very close second, milk: good for both teeth and bones.

The 1960's: I'm loath to give this self-important generation any more reason to feel good about themselves. So, their craze is having so much unprotected sex that it opened a little gateway called AIDS and spilled it into every following decade. Thanks so much, Baby Boomers, you hippy dippy weirdoes.

The 1970's: What is wrong with you people? It's a rock in a box for god's sake!

1980's: Cocaine, cocaine and more cocaine.

1990's: Girls that dressed like boys with their baggy pants, flannel, and Sonic Youth. Man, if only I could have been born in '87. I'd have skipped right over the whole grunge thing and slid right into girls dressed like Britney Spears but three times as slutty because they have something to prove. Blowjob city.

And now, here I am in 2004, 27 years old, looking around at all my friends and wondering, "should I get a tattoo?" It figures, looking back at all the crazes, I see: sex, drinking milk, wearing clothes and now it's my turn to latch onto something foolish and I get to throw myself under a vibrating needle laced with - probably poisonous - ink.

The sad thing is, I'm seriously considering scarring my body for the sake of awesomeness. This is the nature of the craze; it's sort of like belonging to a club of people who are all about the same age and who all did the same silly thing at the same time. Forty years from now, two 60-year-old women will pull up their shirts to show each other the very same dolphin circling their navels. Of course the dolphins will look more like distended whales, but it won't matter. These two old ladies will giggle and laugh and it will be like they're twenty again. I want that when I'm 60.

These are my top three choices for tattoos that I'm considering:
1. Spider-Man's webshooters. I cannot think of a worse thing to do to myself than having large bands tattooed completely around my wrists with a strip leading into the middle of my palm. I could never have a job that required me to deal with people unless I was wearing a snowsuit. On the plus side, every person I've talked to - my friends Matt and Craig who both have the most badass tattoos you'll ever see - think the webshooter idea is the coolest.

2. Tom Cruise's face on my face: Picture this, ladies, you're walking down the street and suddenly you think, "Hey! Was that Tom Cruise?" Why no, but it is The Cheeky Geek. With his face over mine it's almost like you're doin' the real thing. Plus, I have something on Tom Cruise that I like to call my 'ace in the hole': I'm heterosexual.

3. The monkeys from Barrel of Monkeys with their arms linked going around my bicep: There's a story behind this one. I have a former friend whose sister is all kinds of ridiculous. And when I first met said sister, she had a tattoo of what I thought was Barrel of Monkeys on her arm. When I asked her about it she got all huffy and starting going on and on how it's Egyptian and symbolic of this and this…and I said, "Whatever Barrel of Monkeys." She hates me now, but it would be so worth it for me to get the Barrel of Monkeys tattoo, go up to her, and say, "Hey, Barrel of Monkeys, we're married in Tattoo Land!"

Maybe I'm just jealous of all the people who had the courage and the foresight to get awesome tattoos in the first place. My friend, Matt, has a tattoo of Hellboy on his arm; it's awesome. My other friend, Craig, has what amounts to the entire Justice League on his leg; that's awesome too. And here I am sitting here like a sucker with no tattoo, no piercing, nothing.

If I got a tattoo now, I'd feel like one of the people who didn't start watching The Sopranos until the second season, and then talked about how great the show was even though they hadn't seen the first episodes. Those people are lame. Then again, a tattoo is like an injection of Anti-lame juice. Even if I'm not the first person I know to get a tattoo, the shear fact of having one will make me even more awesome than I am now. How about I let you, the reader decide: A, should I get a tattoo and B, which one should I get 1, 2, or 3? Click my name at the bottom of the page and let me know.

David DeMarco

See other articles by David DeMarco.



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