What the world needs now is an exploding-head emoji
How else to describe one’s feelings about that guy with the face tattoo?
Hey guys, guess what? It’s my birthday week (yes, obviously I’m taking a full week to celebrate). And I just received the most amazing gift.
On Monday, which just happened to be World Emoji Day according to the internet, Apple announced a new batch of emojis they plan to roll out over the next few months. Coming soon to an iPhone keyboard near you: breastfeeding mama, guy doing yoga, a sandwich, a dinosaur, a woman wearing a head scarf (among others).
But my favourites? An exploding head emoji and a barfing emoji, both of which are tops for obvious reasons. Which begs the question: where has the exploding head emoji been my whole life? Why in the world has it taken so long for them to create it? Because the eye roll emoji (at the top of my faves list) can only take you so far.
Take this head-exploding story out of New Zealand as a for-instance. Teenager Mark Cropp just wants a job, according to the New Zealand Herald. Awwwie, you might be thinking. Another sad sack Millennial or Gen Z-er (he’s 19, so he’s either one or the other depending on who you ask) who is working hard at school and a parttime job to be able to afford the necessities of life like $15 Avocado Toast and daily lattes with intricate foam art that he can add to his Instagram story. But he needs a full-time job so that he can also afford artisanal beard cream, a product sorely lacking from his life. You see, if that was the case, I’d be good with the eye roll emoji. The eye roll emoji has served us dinosaur Gen X-ers well in these instances.
But Cropp is no ordinary young man and his is no ordinary story. You see, half of Cropp’s face is tattooed. Like, from just below the nose, most of his cheeks, jawline, chin, across his mouth, all tattooed with the word DEVAST8, which is, apparently, his nickname. And so, he is having a hard time finding a job, which I guess is what inspired this headline from the Herald, “‘I just want a job’: Face tattoo inked in jail proves a tricky sell for employers.”
Yes, Cropp acquired said tattoo while sitting in a Christchurch jail cell, “drunk on homebrew” he created from fermented apples, sugar and bread. The whole being-in-jail for two years part doesn’t really seem to factor into the not-finding-a-job equation of the Herald’s lengthy story, nor does the (probably illegal) consumption of alcohol while in jail. Not to mention the good sense it takes to ask someone to ink half your face while drunk on compost. All of it is … yes, mind-blowing. See the difference?
But it gets better. Because you might ask, how did Cropp find himself in such an unfortunate circumstance? Well, it kind of wasn’t his fault. I mean, he and a friend tried to sell some fake weed to a tourist and when the tourist tried to back out of the sale, they pulled a knife on him. But the whole thing was to get some money so that he could afford a place for his pregnant girlfriend and him to live (the child is in the care of the New Zealand equivalent of our Children’s Aid Society), so, you know, that shouldn’t really matter when it comes to looking for employment.
As a matter of fact, the Herald has a survey embedded into the online story, asking “Would you give this man a job?” Readers can hit the “Yes — he deserves a second chance” button or “No — the tattoo is too confronting.” There is also a “Don’t know” option for fence sitters who feel compelled to answer an optional online questionnaire on a topic about which they feel ambivalent.
But that seems to be the only issue here, according to the Herald — the face tattoo. Not the cycle of poverty and neglect (Cropp grew up in foster care, according to the story, and dropped out of school when he was 11). Not the fact that at 17, he and his girlfriend were faced with the prospect of raising a child of their own or that he apparently thought the best long term plan was to rob a tourist at knifepoint.
There is a whole slew of reasons why Cropp might not be employable or might be given a second shot or might be a good candidate for social assistance. But the face tattoo, while not insignificant and a symptom of a much bigger problem, is not at the top of his list of problems.
So yes, we need a head-exploding emoji, for sure. For the superficial absurdities of this story but, more to the point, for the coverage of it.
Because focusing on the face tattoo is just lazy.
Where has the exploding head emoji been my whole life? Why in the world has it taken so long for them to create it? Because the eye roll emoji can only take you so far.
Move over, guys: new emojis are being rolled out over the next few months.