Here's the juicy parts:
The tattoo is the battle flag of today in its war with tomorrow. It is carried by sure losers.
How can anyone who knows how fickle fashion is, how times change, how their own tastes have "improved," decorate their body in a way that's nearly permanent? I don't get it.
I asked a college professor what she thought of tattoos, and she said that for young people, they represent permanence in an ever-changing world. But how is that possible? Anyone old enough and smart enough to get into college knows that only impermanence is permanent.
The permanence of the moment -- the conviction that now is forever -- explains what has happened to the American economy. We are, as a people, deeply in debt.
Today's [tattoos] are gargantuan, inevitably tacky, gauche and ugly. They bear little relationship to the skin that they're on. They don't represent an indelible experience or membership in some sort of group but an assertion that today's whim will be tomorrow's joy.