ModBlog News of the Week: Oct 1st, 2010

Happy October everyone!  This week’s news round up features not one, but TWO videos!  We also have some of the “new trends” that are taking place across North America, as well as a follow-up to the a federal court ruling about tattoos being protected under the first amendment.

But before we get to all that, allow me to introduce you to David Jonathan Winkelman.


Winkelman became a human billboard for the radio station KORB in late-2000 after a disc jockey offered listeners a six-figure payout if they tattooed the FM station’s call letters and logo on their forehead. Winkelman and his stepson, Richard Goddard, went to a local tattoo parlor and each emerged with forehead ink promoting “93 Rock,” the “Quad City Rocker.”  Of course, when the men came calling for the cash, station brass explained that the offer was a practical joke, just a wacky radio stunt. Winkelman and his relative sued, claiming that the station sought to have listeners permanently marked so that they “could be publicly scorned and ridiculed for their greed and lack of common good sense.”  Within months of the lawsuit’s filing, Winkelman dismissed his complaint against the DJ and Cumulus Broadcasting, KORB’s owner. Goddard’s case was later dismissed by a judge when he failed to appear for court proceedings.

I think this is the first time I’ve heard of someone suing based on their admitted “lack of common good sense”.  The sad thing is he probably could have won his case if he hadn’t dropped it, or in the case of his step-son, actually showed up to court.

Now I was going to save this first video for later, but I’m pretty certain most people have seen it, but if you haven’t, it does have some swearing in it so if you’re at work, you may want to turn down your speakers.

Well, that was somewhat disturbing and entertaining all at the same time.

The rest of the news is just behind the read more button, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of the week’s news.

You may remember a few weeks ago that a federal court determined that tattoos were protected under the first amendment.  The reason this was brought to the courts was because the city of Hermosa Beach in California was attempting to prevent a tattoo studio from opening within city limits.  Well, now that the courts have told the city they can’t ban them, everything should be fine for the studio to finally open up right?  Wrong.

What do you do when a federal court strikes down a law aimed at keeping tattoo studios away from your city?  If you’re the Hermosa Beach City Council, you ban them.  For now, at least.  A temporary ordinance prohibiting any tattoo parlor from opening in Hermosa Beach for 45 days was unanimously approved this week by the City Council. The move comes less than a month after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the city’s outright ban on tattoo studios was unconstitutional and that tattooing was protected under First Amendment free speech rights.  In the decision, a first by a federal appellate court, the three-judge panel ruled the city’s ban was an illegal overreaction to health concerns that can be addressed through regulations to ensure sanitation.  City Council members quickly passed the measure Tuesday without discussion.

The reasoning behind the ordinance is so that the city can put safety regulations into place before any studio opens up.  The problem is that because the city is within LA County, the regulations are already created.  The county health board is responsible for health and safety checks, and has had their policies in place for years.  Essentially this is a stall tactic by the city in order to put in place a regulation that will limit the location of the studio.

Now this isn’t the first case of a city trying to prevent the opening of a studio, and it certainly won’t be the last.  Three years ago, this same problem arose in Tempe, AZ.  The end result?  The studio was able to open after a three year long court battle.  To celebrate the victory, the lawyer defending the tattoo studio got his first tattoo.


Clint Bolick, attorney and the director of the Goldwater Institute’s legal arm, just got a bit tougher.  A one-finger typist, Bolick got a tattoo of a blazing-red scorpion on the index finger he uses to type legal briefs.  Bolick made good on a personal vow to get the ink when Tom and Elizabeth Preston opened their tattoo studio in Tempe.  The couple opened Body Accents Tattoo this month, and Tom Preston got to tattoo Bolick.  Bolick successfully defended the Prestons in a three-year long legal battle to force Tempe to allow the Prestons to open their business.

Now in a story that unfortunately isn’t as positive as the last, a group of soldiers in Afghanistan are facing charges of murdering civilians, and staging the bodies as if they were enemy soldiers.  The ringleader of the group prided himself on coming up with clever ways to cover up the murders, cut fingers off corpses with the intention of making a necklace, and when initially questioned about the charges, he declined to speak, but instead showed off his tattoos commemorating his kills.

When Army investigators tried to interrogate Staff Sgt. Calvin R. Gibbs in May about the suspected murders of three Afghan civilians, he declined to answer questions. But as he was being fingerprinted, Gibbs lifted up his pant leg to reveal a tattoo.

Engraved on his left calf was a picture of a crossed pair of pistols, framed by six skulls. The tattoo was “his way of keeping count of the kills he had,” according to a report filed by a special agent for the Army’s Criminal Investigations Command. Three of the skulls, colored in red, represented kills in Iraq, Gibbs told the agent; the others, in blue, were from Afghanistan.

There is of course much more to this story than his tattoos, and the article has an excellent summary of the events.  It should be noted that this squad acted independently and in no way represents the rest of the armed forces serving worldwide.

An example of a member of the military not going crazy and killing people is this Marine Corps veteran.  Kyle Reed, who after being honorably discharged, following an injury that left him disabled, sought work in his home town.  Unfortunately things didn’t go quite as he was expecting it would.

Two weeks ago, he was hired for the first time at the Regency Red Lobster as a server. “After four months of being unemployed, to have an offer like this from Red Lobster, I was very excited, very motivated,” said Reed.  That motivation was dealt a surprising blow Tuesday.  ”I rolled up my sleeves like they asked me to, which is part of their server dress code, and they stopped me and said I don’t know if you can work today,” said Reed.  Reed was sent home after managers saw a Devil Dog and tag tattoo that stretches partly down his right arm symbolizing his years of service in the Marine Corps.  ”It’s something that we kind of did together for our Marines that we lost,” said Reed.

The next day Reed was fired, even though the policy of visible tattoos isn’t written down in the employee manual, nor was told to him before he started work.  After hearing about what happened, someone at Red Lobster headquarters made some phone calls and Reed was re-hired as a host, a job that he doesn’t have to roll his sleeves up for.

Now Reed’s tattoo commemorating the fallen marines is just one example of people using modifications to get through a traumatic event.  Another example is Nicola Privett, a grandmother from Cheltenham in the UK.  When Nicola was a child she was left scarred after being burnt by scalding hot water.  After living with the feeling of being ashamed of her scars for most of her life, Nicola recently went out and had them covered with tattoos.

“Having one has changed me a lot. Before, I was very self-conscious about my burns, but now I know that if people are looking at me it’s because they have seen the tattoo.” Nicola went under the needle for 10 hours over three sessions to have the £600 work done at Mantra Tattoo Studio, in St George’s Place, Cheltenham.  A colourful design of ponies and cherry blossoms covers part of her chest, shoulder and upper arm, which was previously scarred.

Every so often a story will surface about some form of body modification become the new trend with teenagers.   I can remember back to high school where the news had reports of girls getting their navels pierced.  Nowadays nobody even bats an eye at a navel piercing.  Granted some of the times these news stories are right on the mark when it comes to trends, but sometimes they might be a little bit off.  For example, this website is predicting that the next major trend for teenagers is to have their ears pointed “to look like an elf”.


The latest shocking trend? Ear sculpting! Why is this bizarre practice getting so popular? According to Dr.Lajos Nagy, a New York plastic surgeon, “Sculpted ears not only enhance the attractiveness of the face, but also improve the experience of listening to music.”

Whatever the reason kids are getting their ears doctored, the surgical procedure has been slowly catching on with the young and daring. Body modification artist Russ Foxx has been sculpting ears for years. According to Shaughnessy Keely, a rep from Foxx’s piercing shop, The Fall, Foxx will only perform the operation on those 18 or older. “He’ll do a few sessions and he’ll sculpt your ear and make it pointy,” says Keely.  Put more graphically, elf ears are created by slicing the top of the cartilage on the ear and then sewing it back together. Hmm … suddenly “tramp stamps” aren’t looking that bad.

Don’t worry.  I rolled my eyes at the tramp stamp line too.

In other eye rolling news, it’s time for the celebrity round-up.  There actually isn’t a lot to report on this week.

Beyonce is getting into the tattoo business, well, temporarily at least.

The singer is teaming up with airbrush makeup firm Temptu to create a limited edition collection of temporary tattoos under the Deréon label.  Tina Knowles, Deréon’s founder, creative director and designer, and Beyonce’s mum, said,”With a Sixties-pinup-girl meets-futuristic-biker-chick theme, Beyoncé and I really wanted to give our Deréon fall 2010 campaign a tough edginess.”  ”We decided to invite Temptu to help us create custom body art for her to model with our fashions. The resulting images were so strong that we realized consumers might want to re-create the tattoos themselves.”

Ok, I’ll admit, that was a bit of a stretch, but this next story does include real tattoos, so it should make up for it.

If you haven’t watched Glee before, you’re missing out.  Yes, I watch it.  The show is funny and there is nice eye candy, that fits the very definition of guilty pleasure TV perfectly.  Well, for those of you who haven’t seen it, one of the stars of the show, Lea Michele, recently discussed her nine tattoos.

This is what a Glee actress might look like

But she does have one vice – a passion for tattoos, although she played down her nine inkings, which she said are ‘so, so little’. She has nine, each chronicling a significant milestone in her life. The first was a butterfly, on her back, at 16. There’s one for Spring Awakening, another, Imagine, after the John Lennon song, a gold star for Rachel Berry.  But she added: ‘I don’t have like a kiss on my butt or anything! They’re all tiny. All so, so, so little.’

And to end this week’s news we have one more video featuring TV’s favorite tattoo artist, Kat Von D.  (Special thanks to Phil for bringing this to my attention).

So that’s the news for this week.  As always, if you see a news story that involves any type of modification, just click here to submit to the newsfeed.

Other than that, have a great first weekend of October everyone.

32 thoughts on “ModBlog News of the Week: Oct 1st, 2010

  1. Worst customer? How about worst artist? He kept going in to keep tattooing without warning her, disregarded her requests to go a little bit at a time, and did nothing to help calm her down or prepare herself for the pain besides yelling at her.

  2. im sure everyone has seen this vid as well but along the same lines as the first:

    they make me laugh every time i watch them! why are these people getting tattooed?!?!?!

    @ Mir: when i was 18 and getting a tattoo, i knew it would hurt – its needles entering and leaving your skin of course its gonna hurt wtf did she expect? and what do you ecpect HIM to do when she is moving, slapping on his leg and screaming like that? i’ve had my back tattooed (like alot of people have); yeah it stings but it doesnt hurt THAT bad!!!

  3. ok the first video…funny as hell…laughing at her yelling before hes even making contact and also at him for his highly unprofessional manner “its on your back, not mine” haha…fucking idiot..

  4. omg that woman is hysterical as is nexi’s link. what pussies!! i describe it as a scratching fingernail

    and i love kat von d!

  5. Please tell me that whole interactive tattoo thing is a joke I mean really to honor her grandfather by having someone jizz on her back…really?

  6. @Lynx: It’s from, recorded specifically for that site.

    I was a bit angered before realizing that, too.

  7. What a joke, I mean I might not have a ton of self worth but I wouldn’t want to be a corporate billboard for some station or company, but you really can’t cover that up or act like it has a secondary meaning or anything

    I have the worst customer ever on my facebook from like 5 days ago, I do think that when she says STOP STOP STOP thats totally violating but did she think it would be airbrushed on? If her daughter [the younger woman, I am making an assumption] then really, do tattoos hurt more than childbirth?

    I have terrible tattoos but I wouldntve guessed that that was a scorpion but heck of a way to end a case

    I have thought about elf ears, look a little hyrulian but not vulcan or whatever

    Glee isn’t a bad show, I would be lying if I didn’t say that when the gay kid played football it didn’t warm my heart

    And that game is stupid, funny, but stupid and I’ve met Kat Von D in the flesh and she was pleasant and took the time to talk to me like an important individual human BUT may not have been the smartest tattoo artist I’ve met but gorgeous and personable

  8. -Because Im sure thats exactly what the girl who got a portrait of her grandfather wants….. some random guys load on her dead grandfathers face…..

    joke or not, Kat Von D….. still not my favorite, next in line to Lady Gaga on my list

    -AMAZING on the lawyers part, guess there still is hope in society

    -The whole army bit, its the army man…. dont ask, dont tell…. guess our governments the same way though, so that goes for the whole US.

    -and the lady, I saw the video a few days ago… FOR FUCKS SAKE! if your gonna bitch, whine and kick, then you clearly dont want it enough. I hope she only got half a tattoo so she can tell her friends how much of a whiney cunt she was getting it done.

  9. I love how many people were bizzarely offended by the interactive lower back tattoo video.
    That tattooist was an absolute saint under the circumstances. What a stupid bitch, how dare she get angry at him for trying to do the job she was paying him for.

  10. Kat von D is just plain terrible. She’s part of the problem if you ask me.
    She’s not an extraordinary tattoo-artist, she’s mediocre.

  11. The best part will be after he’s completely done tattooing her and it’s all crooked because she couldn’t stop moving and screaming….

  12. Kat Von D is part of what problem?

    I don’t think she all is that and getting kind of bored with her/her show [ I know nothing about tattooing so I can't comment on her talent] but when I see some of her tattoos I don’t think they are all that good/don’t like, I prefer different artists [like.. Nikko is amazing imo!].

  13. I enjoyed this post quite a bit!

    That said, say “NO” to Glee!
    I’d rather get a frontal lobe scarification than watch Glee. In fact, they might be the same thing! ;)

  14. That lady has a seriously low pain threshold/fear of pain as seen by her screaming before the needle even touched her skin and obviously can’t deal with/put up with pain. wouldn’t call her a ‘cunt’ because of it, everyones different lol.
    I believe she shouldn’t of gone for a tattoo though, she probably knew how badly she dealt with pain beforehand…

  15. never watched Glee, seen so many things on the internet about it though. no interest in going to watch it either o-o.

  16. She starts yelling before he even touches her. Several times. He should have kicked her out of the shop. I know that shops rely on word of mouth as much as anything but seriously, no one needs to put up with that. After she kept it up I would have stopped and asked her to leave. I realize everyone’s threshold for pain is different but there’s no way in hell it hurts that much that you have to act like that.

    I don’t think it was unprofessional of him at all. I think he’s nuts for not kicking her out. He’s right it IS on her back, not his so if she keeps jumping around it just leaves her with a mess. Doesn’t affect him as far as having to wear it. You can tell he’s completely fed up though. No wonder. He certainly didn’t yell at her but he definitely sounds exasperated. I don’t know if someone starts screaming like a nutcase before the needle even makes contact, that’s someone you should just ask to leave the shop.

    The most noise I’ve ever made was muttering one “ow” and one “fuck” under my breath while getting the ditch of my elbow tattooed. Though I’m tempted to just start screaming like a crazy person next time just to see what my artist does.

  17. Oh and I hate Glee. I don’t think it’s funny. I find it insulting. I really thought I’d like the show but then I watched it and I don’t get what the hype is about. Ah well, to each his own.

    SWiNE, I agree, 100%

  18. i am really offended by interactive tattooing. when you are going to cum on someone, avoid cumming on their tattoos by any means necessary, especially if it is of an old guy with no moustache.

  19. the elf ears are the ears of a beautiful young lady on names Elf.

    my tattoos hurt alot when i got them touched up but i never screamed like that. just tensed up and gritted my teeth.

  20. Tobias,
    Thank You, you have made me feel slightly better about the world we live in (actually).

  21. 1) I’m pretty sure that first video is fake. Did you see the guy dip his gun into ink at all during the two minutes of that shot?

    2) Glee is frickin’ awesome for myriad reasons. There has even been scholarly analysis of Glee’s impact upon popular culture. It had to do with the fact that gangsta type shit the portrays violence is lessening in popularity due to the fact that most of us now have first hand experience, either through a crim or knowing a criminal, of that crap. Glee, however, promotes a feel-good atmosphere centering on dance and song. I love that.

    3) How could anyone think that Kat Von D video was real??? I mean, she says something along the lines of, “To bring attention to something that kills over 4 billion people a year”. If you people weren’t so effin’ retarded, you’d know that’s a rounded off number for the world’s TOTAL population. How could something kill the world’s entire population every year? Goddammit, the stupid never learn.

  22. 1) Well, it seems like he didn’t get very far, if at all.

    If it were me, she would get 3 chances to caterwaul until I stop and hand her care instructions for her tiny squiggle and she is told to reschedule when she’s ready to be a big girl.

    I do think it’s wrong that she says stop, but he continues. Stop means stop. That was his opportunity to get her the hell out of his chair!

  23. Question for the artists in the crowd…do you talk to the customer about their pain tolerance before starting inking? I’d be tempted to pinch them in the to-be-tattooed area before starting to gauge whether they can handle any pain whatsoever.

    That being said, when I got my first tattoo done on my upper chest, all was fine until the tattooist started shading and Would Not Take A Break when going over and over and over the same spot. It didn’t hurt but it was driving me completely insane. When I asked to stop for a second so I could ‘unfocus’ a bit he ignored me.

    When I went to another tattoo artist to get the tattoo lines and shading darkened (I moved to another town, but wouldn’t go back to the original anyway), she was infinitely better and I had no issues with the shading in exactly the same area. I am quite sure she would have had no issues with taking a breather had I requested it. It all comes down to customer service.

  24. So to the people thinking that the artist wasn’t displaying proper customer service or bedside manner, you obviously have never been tattooed in your life or have never walked into a body adornment studio of any sort.

    Everyone that works in these fields will try as much as they can to accommodate and provide a pleasant experience, the rest is up to the person sitting in the chair or table in front of you.

    If the only thing you think is that it is going to hurt, well then it is. If you act like a drama queen you will be treated like one. It is not the responsibility of any artist to put up with that kind of behavior.

    Not sure if people think that acting afraid is cute or if they think that being a drama queen will make someone be nicer to them, but guess what it isn’t cute, and whining will get you no where. The only thing being a difficult client gets you is a frustrated practitioner.

    No one is forcing anyone to go anywhere and get anything done. By the time you make it into a shop and fill out paper work that is it, you have already faced your fear and are ready to do what it is you want to do, that is why you went to the establishment to begin with.

    Grow a set and stop being afraid of the choices you are consensually making.

  25. Greg, I think the pain related to your tattoo is also related to the quality of the artist. If you have to go over and over and over the same spot, the ink isn’t going in anyway.

    I try to talk to people beforehand and let them know when places are going to be particularly painful. But, after I do one line…I’m finishing.

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