Full Coverage: Links From All Over (June 29, 2009)

[Twitter/Meghan McCain] Oh well look at that, important political daughter Meghan McCain is all up in the Twitters, talking about getting tattooed! As we know, she used to joke about getting tattooed when her pops, John McCain, was running for President, hoping that it would give him flashbacks or something. But now that her father has retired from the presidency, she is free to get all the tattoos she pleases while he naps. At least, judging by this recent “tweet,” she has good taste in artists. That said, it’s refreshing to know that not even government tattoo snobs like the McCains can jump the line with Paul Booth. Vote Paul Booth in 2012!

[First Amendment Center] A few months back, we covered this sordid tale of some murdering shitbag who had all sorts of demonic tattoos that lawyers tried to use against him in court, and we were generally bummed out by everyone involved in the situation being so distasteful and unsympathetic. To recap:

Martin Robles and his shit-demon accomplice were indicted for breaking into a home in 2002 and killing two men, crimes for which Robles was sentenced to death in Texas. He lost an appeal, then made a last-ditch effort to file a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, claiming, among other things, that his First Amendment rights were violated during the trial. [...] [He argued] that his religious-liberty rights were violated when the state placed into evidence his tattoo of a religious figure. As described in trial proceedings, the tattoo depicted “Jesus with a demon devouring his brains.”

Now, I’m not an attorney, but I usually catch about 25 minutes of Law & Order: SVU a night, so I understand the importance of legal precedence in cases like this. In the quoted case, much was made of a 1992 trial, Dawson v. Delaware, in which tattoos were of central importance:

[U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack] distinguished Robles’ case from the 1992 case Dawson v. Delaware, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a defendant’s First Amendment associational rights were violated when prosecutors introduced into evidence his membership in a white supremacist group when such association had nothing to do with the underlying crime. [...] However, the Court in Dawson pointed out that “elements of racial hatred were … not involved in the killing.”

Well boy howdy, another case just rolled through that’s invoking Dawson yet again! And…it’s even dumber than the one with the Jesus-eating zombie thing.

A trial court did not violate the First Amendment rights of a criminal defendant when it allowed a prosecutor to comment, and a county sheriff to testify, on a defendant’s “Lying Eyes” tattoos during closing arguments, a Texas appeals court ruled recently.

A jury had convicted Michael Lee Wood of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for brutally beating a convenience store clerk with a sharp object in Haskell, Texas. During the punishment phase of the trial, the prosecutor elicited testimony from Haskell County Sheriff David Halliburton. The sheriff testified that Wood had a tattoo on each eyelid. One tattoo read “Lying” and the other read “Eyes.” Wood’s attorney contended such evidence was irrelevant. The prosecutor countered that the “Lying Eyes” tattoos showed Wood’s lack of respect for society.

This, apparently, was not a violation of his First Amendment rights due to the fact that his eyelid tattoos were supposedly evidence of a lack of moral character, and not some manner of gang affiliation. Again, I really, really hate to be put into a position to offer any sort of defense on the behalf of goons like this, but this seems like a bad precedent to set. The Jesus brain thing? Sure, that probably wouldn’t play well with conservative/religious folks, but “Lying Eyes” on someone’s eyelids? What, are we just going to start locking up people who get shitty puns tattooed on them?

Actually, when you put it that way….

[Norwich Bulletin] Oh baby, so we were all just waiting to see how those jackals in the “mainstream media” would react to, uh whatshername, the girl with all the stars tattooed on her face? Well, here go! This sack of garbage disguised as a column is honestly the most paint-by-numbers, thoughtless pablum I’ve seen in quite some time. But don’t take my word for it! Let’s hear what you have to say, Sharma Howard!

There’s one thing I know for sure I don’t want to see on my sons:

The roof of your house! A burning car! A murderous lion!


That’s the “one thing [you] know for sure” you don’t want to see on your songs? No offense, lady, but my answers are way deadlier.

When I was growing up, tattoos were for the fringe of society — and the two adults I knew that had them always kept them covered up in embarrassment.

Now, tattoos adorn movie stars such as Angelina Jolie, who makes for an odd sight in an evening gown and lines of Oriental writing marching up her neck. It’s jolting, to be sure.

“Oriental” is not the preferred nomenclature, dude! Anyway, yes, Angelina Jolie should pretty much be ashamed of herself, at all times. That’s where you were going with that, right?

Now, 36 percent of 18-25 year-olds have tattoos, inching towards the 50/50 mark that would make having a tattoo almost blase.

“Blase” is kind of a poor word choice in this instance but whatever, sure. Now, get ready for the reappearance of our old friend Starface!

I watched in horror when the young teen from Belgium claimed in the news the 56 black stars that now blanket her face like a constellation were the result of a tattoo artist gone wild as she slept. The story had many people skeptical, but one look at the tattoo artist, who had his own face covered in tattoos and had stretched his skin with heavy piercings stirred sympathy for the 18-year old.

Look, we’re not necessarily going to defend the artist’s somewhat poor judgment in this case, but we don’t recall there being a ton of sympathy for Starface. We will grant you, however, that seeing Rouslan in an evening gown can be a jolting experience. I would quote more from this chumbucket but once I got to the seventh paragraph I fell asleep for a hundred years. “Enjoy” it on your own, if you must.

12 thoughts on “Full Coverage: Links From All Over (June 29, 2009)

  1. Well, sure, someone that looks like such a “freak” is clearly up to no good and out to tattoo the “innocent” without consent.

    I just paid a bunch of money for a nice design I wanted tattooed – time to cover it up so no one thinks I’m the “fringe” of society. Wouldn’t want anyone to think I was some kind of “weirdo” or…different from anyone else in any way.

  2. Like BB said, OF COURSE such “freak” like Rouslan would do something like this. Like all the “freaks” with tattoos and HEAVY PIERCINGS and WHALE HARPOONS and– oh well. Guess I miss my point here. But that’s okay, since Sharma with her “Parenting Teens” bull didn’t make a point either.

  3. “—but one look at the tattoo artist, who had his own face covered in tattoos and had stretched his skin with heavy piercings stirred sympathy for the 18-year old.
    In reality, it was the teen lying to deflect the anger from her father, who will likely be stuck with the expensive cost of removing the tattoos. ”

    “At 21, people are young adults who are entering the workplace, and less likely to be swayed by wanting to be part of a group identity, but are rather guided by the person they have become.
    If that person is one who will enjoy a tattoo forever, either as artwork or as a statement about their individuality, then there is less likely to be regret. ”

    IF you read the whole column, you can see that she isn’t that bad. And the fact is, that it is normal for people to feel wary of the tattoo artist in the case with his extreme looks compared to the innocent (shitfaced lying :D) girl, but I hope this case works as an example working to break these stereotypes.

    Also I agree with the writer about possibly raising the age limit. If you really really want a tattoo (as a teenager), you can wait a few years.
    Those legal disputes sound so stupid. I’ve never really liked the usa legal system (what little I know about it), as there is way too much emphasis on former cases and not enough on permanent laws.

  4. Female ‘journalists’ just look jealous and pathetic when they try to bash Angelina like this. From what I can gather, she is a successful woman who does a lot for charity, whilst also actually spending time with her biological and adopted children. Its a shame that she would be slammed as a negative role-model just for her tattoos.

  5. I can’t even begin to imagine how much business Rouslan last lost due to this. Even with the girls retraction, the ratio of news coverage of that vs her original claim is more than tenfold.

  6. This is a newspaper in the next town over from where I run a shop. I see a nasty reply letter in my future!

  7. If you can’t wait two years for the tattoo you will wear for the rest of your life then you aren’t ready for a tattoo. Waiting to two years isn’t necessary but neither should it be an unbearable hurdle. I look forward to laughing at Meghan McCain’s tattoo.

  8. i was looking at this article abt the girl with the stars… and then typed it up on a search engine, she now says she lied abt it so her dad wouldn’t be so mad at her.

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