7. Tattoos of memes are a thing now
February 26, 2016 9:47 AM   Subscribe

 
"You know this utterly ephemeral thing that has no meaning whatsoever and is by definition 100% content free? I want to immortalize it forever by etching it into my flesh."

I try not to be a misanthrope. I really do. * Sigh *
posted by crazylegs at 9:55 AM on February 26, 2016 [9 favorites]


I know people who are the type to get absolutely ridiculous, laughable things tattooed permanently on themselves. They're pretty fun to be around.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 9:56 AM on February 26, 2016 [36 favorites]


(Also, my sister and I got into a medium-sized fight over the dress... I can honestly say that if I ran into that guy with the tattoo in twenty years, I'd know what it was referencing.)
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 9:57 AM on February 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


9. Approximately 50% of your friends are fucking assholes who need to have their eyes checked.
posted by bondcliff at 9:59 AM on February 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


"You know this utterly ephemeral thing that has no meaning whatsoever and is by definition 100% content free? I want to immortalize it forever by etching it into my flesh."

Existence precedes essence.

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem...
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:03 AM on February 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


10. Humans apparently can work as human colour temperature readers through the medium of photography.

(I'm one of the 10% or so that apparently used my eyes to see what was actually there like some sort of human-cyborg colour picking Photoshop mutant)
posted by Yowser at 10:06 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Even a year later, I'm still team WhiteAndGold. *shrug*
posted by jillithd at 10:12 AM on February 26, 2016 [10 favorites]


And all the while Trump slouches towards Washington.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:13 AM on February 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


You know what hurts you 0%? Someone else's tattoo.

Unless it's of you. That's legit creepy.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:18 AM on February 26, 2016 [37 favorites]


"You know this utterly ephemeral thing that has no meaning whatsoever and is by definition 100% content free? I want to immortalize it forever by etching it into my flesh."

I try not to be a misanthrope. I really do. * Sigh *
posted by crazylegs at 9:55 AM on February 26 [2 favorites +] [!]


Okay but on the other hand getting tattoos of ephemeral meaningless things highlights that:
  1. even flesh is ephemeral
  2. meaning, insofar as it is possible, is contingent upon human interpretation rather than inherent in the world itself.
(I'm not even joking. I think the #thedress tattoo is both delightful and provocative.)
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:21 AM on February 26, 2016 [17 favorites]


9. Approximately 50% of your friends are fucking assholes who need to have their eyes screen brightness checked.

FTFY. HTH. HAND.
posted by eriko at 10:24 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I love that someone got the fucker tattooed on. However inane and ephemeral memes may be (usually both, not necessarily either), they are literally cultural processes rendered as artifacts and people get tattoos of more traditional artifacts all the fuckin' time because the tattoo-getting-process is not a wholly somber high-brow Statement Making deal. "I have fond feelings about this thing that happened" seems like a pretty legit way to go, once you're paying someone to stab you a million times with a tiny needle and salt the wound with indelible dyes.

But I also still just love the dress thing itself. It's one of my favorite weird everybody-is-arguing what the fuck things to come down the pipe in a while.
posted by cortex at 10:31 AM on February 26, 2016 [15 favorites]


I think they raised a very interesting question about who makes money from these phenomena. There was basically a four-part chain in boosting the dress into global consciousness.

1. Someone made the dress
2. Someone took the photo
3. Someone made the observation on Tumblr about the optical illusion in the photo
4. People like Buzzfeed pushed the observation to a wider audience

I don't know what Buzzfeed's direct financial profits are like from a post like that, but the champagne seems to suggest that they made out like a bandit for their part in it. It's possible the person who made the tumblr post did well too, though it seems more likely that they didn't make a cent if they hadn't previously been trying to monetize their blog. The dressmaker also did okay it sounds like, selling ten times the volume they had expected to. Meanwhile, the person who took the photo is currently down money on the whole affair, despite their work having appeared (uncredited) on a significant percentage of existing screens in the world.

Obviously, it's not in Buzzfeed's interest to change this, but I think anyone impartial who takes a look at this money flow might feel like maybe we still have a lot of work to do in terms of figuring out copyright and royalties for online content.
posted by 256 at 10:34 AM on February 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


"Roman Originals, the dress’s designers... even produced a one-off white and gold version, selling it at auction for £1,200 in aid of Children in Need."

OK, that's pretty good.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:35 AM on February 26, 2016 [20 favorites]


"Traditional media didn’t know how to cover it," but their own explanatory links are all to web versions of other traditional media outlets and are, predictably, terrible.
posted by Western Infidels at 10:42 AM on February 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


In a world of flaming demon skulls, misused Japanese and Chinese scripts and fake "tribal" tats, a tat of "The Dress" doesn't really offend me. How many women are walking around with a badly-done Tweety bird on their leg? So many.
posted by emjaybee at 10:56 AM on February 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


I'm all for that dude's tattoo but I have my favourite Neopet tattooed on my back so *shrug*.
posted by shelleycat at 11:02 AM on February 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


emjaybee, I agree. I certainly wasn't implying that the dress tattoo is any worse than many, many other tattoos. I have two of them myself, and they annoy me and I wish they weren't there, which perhaps colors (ha ha) my attitude towards tattoos in general.
posted by crazylegs at 11:02 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'd write this off as fluff, but my partner and I looked at the photo and argued, then brought the kids into look at the screen and argued again. Heatedly, and at length. I'd tattoo it on my butt just so I could flash it and start a new argument any time...
posted by greenhornet at 11:22 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I do occasionally wonder about the guy that got a Tay Zonday tattoo and if he has any regrets.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:41 AM on February 26, 2016


Dear Mefites, can you help translate "Charlie Bit My Finger" into Latin? Asking for a friend.

(But seriously, Like many mefites I do actually love "party dog," and have very few standards.)
posted by taz at 11:54 AM on February 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


What color is this jacket?

I managed to derail the entire team by a good 20 minutes today by posting this internally.
posted by hindmost at 12:03 PM on February 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Oh man, and Wired is running a one-year retrospective on the dress where they, of course, include the original photo with the credit line "Spiked." Which is, in fact, a misspelling of the name of the tumblr blog that originally posted it (and made no claim then or since to being the original author of the photo). The photographer's actual name is mentioned nowhere in the article.

This is the world we live in, where a major outlet like Wired just grabs a photo off another site, republishes it without permission, and then attributes the photo to a misspelled version of a portion of the URL of whatever site they found it on. And then, while I'm looking to see if they mentioned the photographer's name anywhere, Wired throws up a full-page pop-over asking me not to use AdBlock because they need money to pay their writers...
posted by 256 at 12:05 PM on February 26, 2016 [10 favorites]


The dress and the llamas - really, that was a great couple of days. Whenever the entire internet is suddenly, all at once, talking about something, it's usually because of something infuriating or tragic. The llama chase was silly, dumb, good-natured fun, and the dress was silly, dumb, good-natured fun with a puzzling twist. I loved watching it blow up.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:05 PM on February 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


a Tay Zonday tattoo

CHOCOLATE RAIN
THE NEEDLE HURT BUT IT WAS WORTH THE PAIN
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 12:08 PM on February 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


9. Approximately 50% of your friends are fucking assholes who need to have their eyes screen brightness checked.

FTFY. HTH. HAND.


Augh! It's not about any of that. It is an optical illusion. No one is immune from its powers. I had friends who heard about the meme and then refused to look at it because they didn't want to be tricked.
posted by amanda at 1:03 PM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I do occasionally wonder about the guy that got a Tay Zonday tattoo and if he has any regrets.

Surely you mean ragrets?
posted by a halcyon day at 1:18 PM on February 26, 2016


Did anyone ever do a proper study of the distribution of who saw which colours? I remember some speculation about people being more or less used to seeing things in sunlit conditions.
posted by lucidium at 1:48 PM on February 26, 2016


Fuck (excuse me) Why did you bring this back??? I'm one of the ten percent, and the image literally changes before my eyes and I hate it...
posted by mumimor at 2:08 PM on February 26, 2016


Better not look at hindmost's link, then.


(it's green and tan)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:36 PM on February 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Augh! It's not about any of that. It is an optical illusion.

Exactly. I saw both dresses on the same screen, minutes apart.
posted by bondcliff at 3:54 PM on February 26, 2016


where is party dog
posted by poffin boffin at 4:22 PM on February 26, 2016


(I'm one of the 10% or so that apparently used my eyes to see what was actually there like some sort of human-cyborg colour picking Photoshop mutant)

Same, and I wonder a bit if the fact I've spent a good amount of time studying an image on a screen in order to recreate it on a canvas has something to do with it. It's like, OK maybe your brain interprets it as blue and black but if you'll look at the actual colors in the image broken down the colors you're seeing aren't even in the image. In short, painting is a bit annoying sometimes.
posted by Hoopo at 4:49 PM on February 26, 2016


That jacket is def. baby blue/white.
posted by zug at 5:23 PM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


We learned nothing, we just made noise.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:30 PM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


There is no dress. Only Zuul.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:31 PM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


That dog trousers cartoon is the funniest thing I've seen all week.
posted by 4ster at 7:22 PM on February 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: We learned nothing, we just made noise.
posted by Arandia at 7:35 PM on February 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I do think part of the reason it got so big was that people were enjoying a collective moment over something 100% silly and pointless that everyone could contribute to. We don't get a lot of stuff like that that hits all of those points. There's a certain rare joy in those moments when everyone is doing the same thing at the same time.
posted by bleep at 8:40 PM on February 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


"You know this utterly ephemeral thing that has no meaning whatsoever and is by definition 100% content free? I want to immortalize it forever by etching it into my flesh."

In my experience, most people who get head-scratching tattoos can, when asked, give you a pretty cogent reason as to why they chose it and what it means to them. I can imagine, for instance, thinking that The Dress was a pretty good commentary on the arbitrariness of perception, and that being worth symbolizing for someone who cares a lot about questioning perception and the nature of reality.
posted by Miko at 9:23 AM on February 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


I got mine because it's cute and happy.
posted by shelleycat at 11:12 AM on February 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I didn't even see what the optical illusion was supposed to be with the Starbuck cup?
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 4:09 PM on February 27, 2016


Greg/Craig
posted by kittensofthenight at 12:33 AM on February 28, 2016


I think you mean Greg/Corey.
posted by spacewaitress at 3:04 AM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


I can imagine, for instance, thinking that The Dress was a pretty good commentary on the arbitrariness of perception, and that being worth symbolizing for someone who cares a lot about questioning perception and the nature of reality.

Possibly, but according to the article he also now has a "Damn, Daniel" tattoo. Just sounds like poor impulse control to me, but it's his canvas.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:47 AM on February 28, 2016


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