Friday, 1 October 2010

Another so-called 'Apprentice'


I actually caught this show on late night cable - before I saw it reviewed over at the Needles and Sins tattoo blog. The review there of 'Jodie Marsh Tattoo Apprentice' is spot on - the programme  encapsulates  many things that piss me off but mostly I'm depressed by her lack of respect for the fellowship and tradition of the craft she's trying to enter. It's a depressingly and infuriating phenomenon that's not confined to the world of tattooing:

Jodie doesn't want to be an apprentice - she wants to be a tattooist  or perhaps more accurately she wants people to know that she's a tattooist - and above all to do so quickly.

I see that attitude all the time in martial arts with students who  question why they have to spend three months learning a form before they get to practice its application. I also see that attitude with graphic design graduates who come to us at work thinking that  they are god's gift and then get offended when they're told to make the tea.  And yes; I was a smartarse grad' once, full of my own cleverness who had to spend a couple of years making the teas, getting the breakfasts and being the butt of every practical joke - I also had some of the most fun I have ever had at work - because I had the right attitude.

But of course though Jodie is a celebrity - it's just I  can't remember what for.

I have a vague recollection of seeing her on various reality shows but she hasn't actually  shown a discernible  talent for anything in particular. Like the recently beatified Jade Goody, her burning ambition to be famous is  deemed sufficient in itself to be a passport to a world of D-list fame.

Their lack of talent - and of others like them - has  actually  been turned into a virtue  as  a celebration of 'ordinariness'. It's  a  fucking sad view of humanity that sees 'everyman' as a moron. I'd rather marvel in the incredible talents that are hidden in the most unlikely of places: And I'm not talking about the X-Factor wanabees I'm talking about genuine backstreet heroes - the amateur astronomers, the local historians, the musicians who tirelessly play on the pub circuit, the guys who engineer beautiful motorcycles in the garden sheds - who do what they love for the sheer hell of it and just go about their ordinary lives in the meantime.

And most relevantly there are plenty of talented young artists, passionate about tattooing, who would give their right arm to get a start as an apprentice in a tattoo studio, and if they do, will then endure several years of low pay and hard work.

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