There was this biker shop off the boardwalk called Believe In Magic. Aside from all things leather, they had rock band T-shirts and dozens of insulting bumper stickers. It was the market for a certain type of person, someone who either was really hard core into riding or the lifestyle that was associated with it and its members were easy to spot. The images and connotations of death or the darker side were represented. But with them it seemed more genuine.

Death isn't poetic or beautiful; it's not some cute chick or svelte vampire. These things we know, but we can't help but like the imagery. Skulls and skeletons symbolize so much outside of negative connotations, like The Grateful Dead. I'd almost go so far as to say that before the band's popularity, skulls were symbols of death, of toxic exposure or war, of things we should fear and rally against.

Now the image has become so mass produced that it's become a mutated cute icon to be stamped on everything from makeup compacts, shoes, baby doll dresses and hair bows. It's not that I denounce people's right to wear what they want, I just consider skulls to be a superfluous. To me it's almost like wearing a bathing suit with crucifixes over the nipples.

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