Image by photine via FlickrThey are now so common in Michigan that I call them the "Michigan birthmark," but I may be unfairly singling out one state due to my provincialism. When growing up, I remember only merchant seamen with tattoos.
Thanks to our Rhode Island friend for this link on the subject in the New Criterion website (warning: the author quotes here and there an Anglo-Saxon expletive in his analysis). Finally, let me be clear that I am not denigrating anyone by posting this link. I am certain that there are individuals much better than I who have tattoos (I know some), but the wider social phenomenon is indeed troubling. I am also of the opinion that in many cases excessive display of tattoos likely points to deeper and darker emotional issues that need to be addressed and, hopefully, cured or mitigated.
Update: Our Rhode Island friend also sends this link to a commentary on tattoos by a Jewish rabbi. The rabbi's view is consistent with a Christian and Catholic view of the body. I, for one, endorse the rabbi's analysis.