[Fox 61] Hey, and they say visibly tattooed and pierced folks can’t get regular jobs! The video up top is a special investigation by FOX television’s Connecticut affiliate looking into a local band of bounty hunters (or Bail Enforcement Agents, as their jackets say), and oh look, IAM’s own Jeff “Phish” Goldblatt is among the head-breakers! Jeff, as many of you likely know, was a long-time body piercer (and still does some occasional piercing now, I believe), but these days, largely goes around kicking in doors and picking up fools who’ve skipped out on court dates and whatnot (all while being heavily tattooed and sporting stretched nostril piercings and such). Anyway, this video teaches a few things. First of all, I always figured cop shows were bullshitting when they showed officers literally kicking down doors like they were nothing, but apparently I am just weak. And second, when you want to get some folks riled up about your line of work, there’s no better soundtrack than Tool’s “Vicarious.”
[Winona Daily News] So here’s a fun new trend: Articles about tattoo shops that treat them like any other business! This one focuses on the issue of state regulation of “body art” studios, which is certainly worth discussing, and actually collects cogent and thoughtful arguments and points of view from a variety of sources. Ha ha, what?
[Chad Gregerson] remembered the lack of state guidelines when he ran a shop in Brooklyn Park, Minn., and he followed the seemingly annual back-and-forth by Minnesota legislators pushing for increased regulation during the past eight years while he was tattooing in La Crosse, Wis. As an artist in Wisconsin, however, he became familiar with that state’s guidelines on tattoo and body piercing shops, and he made exceeding those standards a goal for Tatu Royale – even if the shop was in a county and state that did not require it follow any specific guidelines, he said.
The author goes on to provide a fairly comprehensive (and not uninteresting) history of body art regulation in Winona County, dating back over 20 years. The relationship between tattoo and piercing shops and society as a whole has changed dramatically, of course, and many are coming around to the idea that interaction between the two sides mustn’t be adversarial. Some, however, see this as an argument against statewide regulations, since it’s this change in attitude that’s leading many shops to follow more rigorous health guidelines as determined by local authorities.
Winona County has not received a complaint related to a local tattoo shop in years, said Jill Johnson, county environmental services director. County officials considered local regulation about 10 years ago and determined it wasn’t needed.
The proposal put before the Legislature this year would have required a license for each body art shop, as well as for each artist. License fees likely would provide the state with a sizable return, but Kevin Leque, owner of Red Wing Tattoo in Winona, wonders whether it would be enough to finance enforcement.
He says regulation would hurt shops and do little to stop amateurs from giving tattoos out of their homes or at tattoo parties.
Gregerson disagrees, saying the entire body art industry would benefit if shops across the state were held to the same standards. Regulation would weed out many of the amateurs who make the mistakes that give reputable artists and shops a bad name, he said.
Regardless of one’s opinion on the matter at hand, it’s difficult to not be encouraged by the fact that this is a discussion that can now be held in public in a civilized and professional manner, free from paranoid non sequiturs—besides, those are the domain of the commenters:
laurie wrote on May 16, 2009 10:36 PM:
“I don’t think the government should regulate anything anymore! They are the reason we are in the recession now.
Whenever I hear of an F.D.A regulation I run as fast as I can the other direction.”
COSTANZA wrote on May 17, 2009 9:58 AM:
“I think what Lauire is talking about is the government is becoming to much like big brother. It is not the government responsibility to insure clean needles it should be the people’s own responsibility to make sure the tattoo is safe. If I get a tattoo I am going check up on the parlor and make sure every thing is clean and safe.”
[Denver Post] Continuing today’s unprecedented string of positive mainstream articles about tattoos (?!), here’s a fine piece about the Denver Nuggets, who, as we’ve mentioned before, are just cold covered in tattoos, and are now facing the L.A. Lakers in the NBA’s Western Conference Finals. (Anyone see the game last night? How in the hell do you have Carter do the inbound with three seconds left with Odom guarding him? Guhhh.) Anyway, the author speaks to a number of the players about their tattoos, and does a fine job of demystifying and debunking the “thug” label that’s been foisted upon them by many:
“I think tattoos are a little bit from a culture of warriors,” said Nuggets coach George Karl, who has considered but not taken the plunge of getting tattoos that match what his adult daughter and son wear. “I’m not comparing basketball players to warriors, but there’s nature of competition that’s always been compared to warriors. And I like symbolism.”
This season, [Chris Andersen] said with a smirk, “We might not lead the league in stats, but we do in tats.” Indeed, the Nuggets are linked by ink. But asked if this is a special situation, guard Anthony Carter said: “I don’t know if it’s special, because a lot of people think it’s ‘thug’ — they have a different interpretation of tattoos. And it’s by how (physical) we play, too.”
[During] one timeout at the Mavericks’ arena, the big screen featured a phony television commercial, in the spirit of those, “Here’s to you, Mr. . . .” Bud Light ads. It was titled “Mr. Overly Tattooed NBA Player” and featured photos of the visitors fromDenver. It came across as cutesy, but there was veiled condemnation.
“A lot of players do have meaningful tattoos, and a lot of people don’t understand it,” Carter said. “They think it’s for fashion and trying to look tough and stuff like that. But everybody has meaningful tattoos.”
Smith proudly proclaims himself “Mama’s boy” with a tattoo on his chest; he said Ida Smith “is my best friend. I can say anything to her. She always gives me good advice. And that helps me on the basketball court, because then I’m more free at mind.”
Carter and Martin also have maternal marks. Martin has red lips on his neck, those being the smackers of his girlfriend, rap artist Trina.
And while we’re on the subject of sports…
[YouTube] Let’s conclude this fine news round-up with Jimmy Kimmel’s recent interview with famed boxer and occasional crazy-person Mike Tyson, who seems uncharacteristically calm and lucid (or maybe medicated?). It’s an interesting conversation, and Tyson spends some time discussing his facial tattoo and why he got it in the first place. Would you believe he initially wanted a smattering of hearts and stars before a friend convinced him to go the tribal route? Because I absolutely, unequivocally do. I don’t know if there’s anything I believe more than that fact.