Friday, April 24, 2015

Let Me Defend My Credibility

Not too long ago, I was attempting to have a conversation with a woman. Nothing heavy. It was about tattoos.

It was prompted by seeing a man with odd piercings and facial hair who also had prominent tattoos. He looked like a bad sort, she said.

I said that while I would never have tattoos and don't like how he looks, I don't assume he's a bad character.

She asked, "who do you see who looks like that?"

I said, "I live in Ann Arbor."

Seriously, that guy didn't have enough of anything to make me even blink.

I said that having tattoos is far more common these days, especially for young people. We're a different generation and the younger generation always looks odd to the older ones, I added.

She responded that in her last two jobs, no young people who worked with her had tattoos--well, one, but it was small. So I was completely wrong.

Unwilling to bow to the powerful argument of tiny anecdotal evidence in a country of over 300 million, I said that while it is certainly nice for her that her jobs have been relatively tattoo-free, I've read that it is much more common these days (that's why the military has eased its anti-tattoo rules, which is why I'm aware of this--apart from my own anecdotal evidence from my own eyes walking around my city).

She said she discounts anything I say.

I'm not credible? Well. Okay, then. That was fun.

Needless to say, I did not continue that so-called conversation. And here I thought avoiding conversations about weather made the issue safe.

Say, here are some statistics:

The latest Fox News poll finds 20 percent of voters, or one in five, has at least one tattoo. That’s up from 13 percent in 2007.

Click here for the poll results.

In addition, the number reporting they have two or more tattoos has nearly doubled in the last seven years: 14 percent today, up from 8 percent in 2007.

People under age 45 are twice as likely as those 45 and over to have one (31 percent vs. 14 percent).

And the number goes up as the age goes down: A third of those under age 30 have a tattoo (34 percent). One in five in this age group has three or more (19 percent).

And check out this gender gap: Nearly half of women under age 35 have gotten ink, almost double their male counterparts (47 percent vs. 25 percent).

I don't particularly like tattoos. I'd never have them. And while I wonder why people would waste money on getting them, I don't assume having them is a sign of being a bad person. Books, covers, etc. You might be a jerk. But that is separate from ink issues and how you project your image to the world.

And I'll even say that on a woman, a small colorful tattoo can be kind of sexy on the right sort of woman. Sorry, I'm sharing too much, I know.

Anyway, there is a point to this. While you may disagree with me, I do try to do my best to convey accurate information as a basis for my judgments here. Discount what I write if you will, but I do try to be credible.

Heck, back in the day, even my then-wife told me that although she disagreed with me on virtually everything when it came to the why issue about some foreign policy issue, she did trust that I gave her the basic outline of what was going on when she asked for some background on breaking foreign news.

Why I even tried to have a normal conversation with some people is beyond me. I really am an optimistic sort.

And conservatives are supposed to be close-minded?