I read a news story the other day about Miley Cyrus getting a new tattoo. To be clear, I wouldn’t really call it a “news story”. It was more like “30 seconds of my life which I’ll never, ever get back”, but for the sake of argument, we’ll call it a story. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Miley got a new tattoo. It seems to be a Tweet-sized portion of a speech which Theodore Roosevelt gave in France in 1910.
It reads: “So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
The portion of the speech the quote came from is: “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
For the record, I got both of those quotes from eonline.com, your source for entertainment news and my source for historical quotes.
First impressions tell us that presidents sure did talk fancy-like back in 1910. My modern interpretation of the actual meaning of Teddy’s full quote is; “Yo! Give up mad props to the doers, and don’t pay no mind to the haters – kin I git a ‘oh-hellz-yee-ay-ah’?” Or maybe it’s about the dirty little gladiator who could – you decide.
My interpretation of Miley’s chosen snippet is “Those who can’t do, should get jobs at Chipotle and stop working as, like, critics and stuff”.
The new ink is strategically located on the volar aspect of Miley’s left forearm. That’s the part you can’t see unless she holds her arm out and goes palm up (Volar is an anatomical term which I threw in because I’m tired of looking petty and stupid – instead I’ll appear petty and smart). The location prevents prying eyes from getting a good gander at it, and she can sneak peaks at it in her lap during mid-term exams, if she decides to take history classes at Hollywood Community College or Yale or wherever.
It stands to reason that even pop-stars can’t go covering their bodies with entire 12 page speeches by turn-of-the-century politicians.
It’s far easier to just take a little snippet which suits you. This way, you get the intellectual credit for quoting someone famous, without all those pesky “four score’s” and “hitherto’s” making your sexy tramp-stamp look like some historical document on that funny, yellow parchment paper.
In an effort to endear myself to the young, beautiful, famous set, I’ve gone and found a cool presidential quote, and it’s just chock full of great stuff, plus it’s more recent than 1910, so there’s no need to edit out all that flowery, antique lingo.
Here are a few potential snippets (If it will help, try to visualize them in fancy script with piercings nearby):
I want you to listen – What recording artist wouldn’t want this one, and it’s from a President!
To say one thing – This speaks of honesty and simplicity, a single message – so deep, so pure. Put it on your index finger to help drive home the point of “one”.
Say this again I did – I love this! It feels like Dr. Seuss meets Yoda, but it’s from a man who was leader of the free world! This one would great in Old English script across the hairless, defined pecs of any rapper!
I need to go back – Ah, the love of a simpler time – when men were men and women were barefoot, pregnant and without fancy hair extensions! It can go on your back, but if that’s too literal, put it on your leg or something – go crazy, you’re a star, ferchissakes!!
Back to work – Pull yourselves up by your bootstraps America! Let’s go build Chryslers! Put this ink right where your gym-body muscles show!
For the American people – That’s right! It’s all for you America! Now go see my latest movie and disregard that stuff you saw in the tabloids about my alleged relations with underage boys on my vacation to Thailand.
Have sexual relations with that woman, Miss – Supporting gay marriage is sooo last year, this tattoo says “Go hook up with that girl over there in the sensible shoes” President’s orders! So naughty, but so nice!
To lie not a single time – Who among us hasn’t strived for honesty? Put this one across your heart, and make sure it’s above your bra line for the paparazzi!
You’ve likely figured out the original quote, but here it is anyway:
”I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people. ”
—Bill Clinton, Jan. 26, 1998 (Quote from about.com)
Coming up next week, we’ll look at tribal tattoos and decide if those A-List stars really meant to advocate female circumcision in New Guinea and monkey sacrifices in the Amazon Basin, or if they just thought the designs were cool looking.