I realized how I feel about the trend with my generation getting inked. One possible interpretation is that we live in the now and have trouble planning for the future, but that doesn't strike me as quite right. It seems to me to be an understanding that life is short and the body is something we own (perhaps the only thing we own). A tattoo is just as temporary as the body. It is completely within our rights to express ourselves, to decorate ourselves as a way to say who we are. It's an acceptance of mortality and rejection of conformity.
There's a poster on Third Street right now for some band. On it is a drawing of a person who is just completing the task of ripping his or her face off. I suppose that design could just be for the attention and shock value, but as soon as I looked at it, I saw it as the person liberating himself or herself. It was as if the person had realized that the world is so false that even his or her own skin was a lie. Weird that I would see something like that and interpret it in a positive way.