ModBlog News of the Week: November 12th, 2010

As the work day winds to a close (at least for us on the east coast), it’s time to take a look back at the news from all over, to if tattoos, piercings, or any other type of modification turned up.  This week we’ve got a follow-up from a story we reported over a year ago, debates about dress codes for adults, the newest winner in the “worst editorial on tattoos ever” contest, and of course, the celebrity round-up, where I actually read some of the stories this week!

To kick things off today we have a story that will surely be repeated by parents everywhere when their child asks to get something pierced.

As Grace Etherington, 15, lay in hospital, doctors didn’t know whether she would ever walk again.  She had been struck down with a rare disorder, after getting an infection in her ear after she’d had it pierced just days before. She couldn’t move a muscle or even speak, and she had to be lifted in a sling.  She was diagnosed with Guillan Barre syndrome, a rare disease of the nervous system that paralyses the body. The doctors told Miss Etherington that her daughter’s case was so severe that if she pulled through, she may only be able to blink her eyes for the rest of her life.

Grace ended up making a recovery and is able to move again.  Thankfully they don’t dwell too much on the pierced ear, but I’m sure other news outlets weren’t so generous.  Just to clarify something, isn’t Guillan Barre the disease that Foreman always thinks the patient is suffering from on House?

There’s still a lot more news to come, so put your feet up and click the read more button.

Back in June of last year, Jordan posted an article about a New Jersey tattoo artist who was charged with sexually assaulting his clients, as well as breaking into his old place of employment while on bail for the assault charges.  Well, it’s been over a year and he’s finally pleaded guilty to the charges.

Jeffrey N. Dekmar Sr., 37, who has lived in Hardyston and Flanders, admitted to state Superior Court Judge Thomas V. Manahan in Morristown to three counts of burglary and two counts of criminal sexual contact.  In exchange for his guilty pleas, Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Alissa Hascup and defense lawyer Donald Fedderly negotiated a plea bargain that calls for Dekmar to be sentenced to 11 years in state prison, with no minimum period of time to be served before parole consideration.

Authorities previously have said that Dekmar on Feb. 21, 2009, sexually touched a 23-year-old woman who wanted a tattoo of a Hebrew prayer applied to her right upper thigh. The patron alleged she refused Dekmar’s request that she remove her underpants and that he pulled them down and touched her genitals. This woman hopped off the table and fled the premises.  The second tattoo parlor victim told Roxbury police that Dekmar rubbed his genitals against her own without her consent.

At what point in your life do you decide it’s ok to rip off a client’s underwear and finger them?  Clearly it was last year for this guy.  I wonder if he’ll try the same stunt when he’s tattooing guys in prison.

Heading over to Taiwan, it seems that kids in the US aren’t the only ones bullying other kids forcing them to get tattooed.  Luckily for the young man, a friend of his stumbled upon a police officer shortly after it happened.

The police officer, Fan Yu-yuan (范育源), said he was having a bowl of noodles at a stand in Taipei City’s Beitou District (北投) late on Wednesday night when he was approached by a teenager begging for food.  Fan said after he treated the boy to a bowl of noodles, and upon learning Fan is a -police -officer, the teen revealed to him that a friend of his, surnamed Lee (李), had been badly bullied by some other teens.  The boy told Fan that the teens had forcefully tattooed bad words and figures — such as a middle finger, a swastika and a cross with wings — on Lee’s back and arms against his will.

The story goes on to say that local coverage of the assault has prompted several people to come forth and donate money to have the tattoos removed.

Back in Canada, Toronto Public Health has issued a warning to people who were tattooed at “It’s Just Body Art” in North York.

Health officials say “It’s Just Body Art” on 1072 Wilson Ave., near Keele Street, did not follow infection control practices to prevent the spread of diseases such as Hepatitis B, C, and HIV.  There are no reports of infections, but authorities are advising anyone who got a tattoo between Sept. 29, 2009 and Sept. 30 of this year to see their doctor and get tested.

So if you’re in Toronto and have gotten work done there in the past year, make sure you go get tested.  According to the video in the link, it seems their autoclave wasn’t working properly so some of their equipment may not have been sterilized.

Now down in Utah, a new law has been passed that prevents the hiring of any new city employees with visible tattoos, brands or scarification.

The updated policy says employees hired on or after Sept. 1 cannot display any tattoos, brands, scarification, body art or decals on their body during work hours or while in city uniform.  Employees hired before that date can display certain tattoos that they already have between the wrists and the fingertips; between the toes and the ankles; and from the neck to the top of the head. These workers had until Sept. 10 to make their department head aware of their existing tattoos; all new ones have to be covered.

It seems that nobody really minds the new policy as applications haven’t diminished and those affect by the ban have already reported their modifications.

Elsewhere, not everyone agrees with this sort of policy.  A school teacher in South Carolina is having a problem with the school board’s policy towards staff members and visible tattoos and piercings.  (Bonus:  The teacher has an epic beard!)


Some Horry County School employees don’t like the current dress code they have to follow. That includes no visible tattoos or facial piercings.  Jack Ebright a psychology teacher at Socastee high school said Tuesday that he can’t understand why the district requires teachers and other county school employees to have a business like appearance at all times during working hours.

Ebright said he isn’t looking to create controversy but that he just wants district leaders to be on the same page as him when it comes to attire that creates trust rather than distance within the classroom.  ”Put me in anything, move my beard from here to there,” he said pointing to his long white beard, “It wont change how effective I am but I’ll be honest with ya, looking a little bit like Santa clause, doesn’t hurt in creating a good rapport in the classroom, good relationships are always part of our business.”

I don’t know about you, but if a guy shows up with a viking hat and an epic beard, I’d probably do whatever he demands.

Something for the “Well that’s just dumb” file, the city council of Painesville, Ohio has denied a tattoo supply company from opening up downtown.

During the Painesville Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday night, Tattoo & Piercing Supply Shop was denied a conditional use permit.  Prospective shop owner David Nofziger attended the meeting and said the commission voted against the permit based on concerns that the shop was not comparable to other businesses in the district.  The commission also noted that neighboring businesses were against opening the new shop.  No tattoos or piercings would be done at the shop. It would strictly be used as a supply shop, Nofziger said.  City Planner Russ Schaedlich thought the East Main Street location might have been suitable for the business because it has plenty of storage space, which is essential to the shop.  Nofziger said the business would deliver supplies for tattoo artists in the event of an emergency. Though artists can order supplies online, supplies can take up to five days to get to the store.

Now we’ve all seen stories about cities trying to ban tattoo shops from opening up in certain parts of town, in fact that’s what led to the court decision making tattoos protected under the first amendment.  But to prevent a supply store from opening up seems pretty silly in my book.

Speaking of things that are dumb, an Australian writer has written an editorial for the The Courier-Mail.  Of all the tattoo bashing editorials I’ve read, this probably tops the list of the all time worst ones.

As one wit observed, a tattoo is a lot like marriage – it’s a lifelong commitment, hurts like hell, and the colour fades over time. And I’d like to add pointless and expensive.  In my book, if you want to announce to the world that you’ve served time in the services or perhaps a correctional centre, live in a caravan, have severe bogan tendencies, are having a midlife crisis, or all of the above – go get a tattoo.

Newly divorced women in their 40s once just got an ankle chain – a far less permanent nod to their new independent status than a tattoo. Less painful too.  Now they’re likely to front up for a piece of body art (and I use the term loosely). Maybe an ancient tribal or celtic symbol called “wheel of balance” or “mystical equine” – or, even more nauseating on a grown woman, a butterfly.

She then goes off on a tirade against pretty much everyone who has gotten a tattoo ever.  My Aussie slang is a bit rusty, so I’ll let our ModBlog readers from down under come up with some good words to describe her.  The only thing redeeming in the article is the photo of the eye-candy she chose to go along with her rant.

Recently we’ve seen a string of charity events set up to raise money for cancer charities, this week a woman in the UK is doing a charity tattoo drive to help out her local animal shelter.

Ms Oram, who runs Cherubs Tattoo Parlour in Sheep Street, is offering to tattoo a paw print for £35 to animal lovers, donating all proceeds to the home at Claverton Down.  She hopes to raise £2,000 over the weekend of December 4 and 5.  She said: “I’m gonna be knackered. There will be tea and cake and a raffle and if anyone would like to donate for this, then that would be wicked.

“It’s booking up quickly. I’m already halfway there, so call the shop on 07795 474219 or email [email protected] for bookings.”  Ms Oram, a volunteer dog walker at the home, said: “I wanted to do a bit more. It costs £3,000 a day to run the home and they are completely self funded, so every bit helps.  “Hopefully, this will remind people that a dog is for life… just like a tattoo.”

So if you have the chance, stop by to help out some of our four legged friends.  Plus, you can have tea and cake!  More shops in North America need to offer that.

Now last week I caught a lot of flack because I didn’t read all of the articles for the celebrity section.  This week you’ll be happy to know I forced myself to read them all and I can honestly say I’m now dumber for having read them.  Thanks everyone!

While you gloat over my pain, here is what’s been happening in the world of celebrity tattoos and piercings.

First up, infamous talk-radio show host Dr. Laura, known mostly for her nude pictures online, has gotten herself a tattoo of a skull and rose, possibly to commemorate the ending of her radio program.

In an effort to dispel the myth that all tattooed rock stars are tough, Dougie Poynter from the band McFly has admitted to fainting while getting work done on his sleeve.

And finally, to celebrate her final days as jail bait, Miley Cyrus flashed some sideboob and tattoo ink to paparazzi while on the runway for an MTV Europe awards show.

Well, that’s it for the news this week.  As always, if you find a news story that you think should be included in the weekly news, just send it to me.

In case you didn’t know, this week is World Kindness Week, with tomorrow being World Kindness Day, so go out and hug someone this weekend.

21 thoughts on “ModBlog News of the Week: November 12th, 2010

  1. im from utah. and plan on moving back.. good thing i never plan on working for the city lol.

  2. “Jack Ebright a psychology teacher at Socastee high school said Tuesday that he can’t understand why the district requires teachers and other county school employees to have a business like appearance at all times during working hours.”

    IF that’s true, then perhaps he shouldn’t be a teacher.

  3. I have an interesting wee story – my flatmate is hugely judgemental, to the point of unbearability. (You know how when you’re a teenager and the only important things in the world are the things you know about/value…) He went with me to film my latest tattoo session to make one of his wee arthouse films.
    I have to explain how exceedingly shallow this kid is — his view on females is that they should all be NZ size 6 (zero to you American fellas ;P) and if you can’t get like that naturally, then just have an eating disorder. And yes, those words have left his mouth)
    Well, when he went with me, when we left he even said he would never judge someone with tattoos ever again and that “those guys (my tattoo artist and the other guy working there) were some of the nicest, smartest, well-read people” he’d ever met.

    In summary, I wish everyone like the person that wrote that Australian article could have an epiphany like that. The world would be a much, much better place.

  4. @ Kayla – I agree!

    It’s just hilarious when people bash an entire group (i.e. people who have tattoos) because they make sweeping generalizations. Sure there are people who pick butterflies out of a flash book, but there are people who are true tattoo ARTISTS; a tattoo gun to them is just like acrylics to a painter. As a psychology dork, she’s just making generalizations about the group she isn’t a part of (I’m sure she wouldn’t say that all non-tattooed people were the same, or had the same motives for NOT getting tattooed).

    I really hope the author’s name is a pen name; because this article just makes her sound ignorant. It’s one thing if you’re going to write an article against tattoos/body modification (I’d actually be really interested in ready a philosophical type of article against modification); it’s another when your article jumps all over the board, talk down to the reader, make cause and effect statements (where there’s only a weak correlation at best), mention a survey that you don’t cite (how many people took the survey? when was it taken? what was the population that took the survey?), and are downright rude and conceited.

  5. My tattoo went to support the cat hospital, of a $300 tattoo $240 of it went to the animals. I would’ve never found my artist otherwise.

  6. the guillan barre thing is pretty scary! a friend of mine had the same thing happen when he joined the military and got the ridiculous amount of immunizations they try to give new recruits. all of them at once. it was just too much for his immune system to handle and he nearly died. i never knew that the same thing could be brought on by an infected piercing.

  7. Well, not only is that woman wrong about tattoos, she used French incorrectly. It’s not “ne c’est pas”, it’s “n’est-ce pas”. Obviously, this woman’s an idiot in more ways than one.

  8. I had Guillan Barre syndrome a child from an immunisation. Since then, I have had 12 piercings and 8 tattoos with no problems, but I’m still not allowed a tetanus jab.

    You wouldn’t recommend people avoid immunizations because of the risk, so why advise against piercings?

  9. You can bet the Daily Mail would have made a much bigger deal of the fact that girl contracted an infection after getting pierced if the piercing had been anywhere other than her ears. The Daily Mail is the most right-wing, fearmongering paper in the UK, and they dislike absolutely everything that deviates from the “norm” as they see it (gay people, immigrants, women who have jobs, people who aren’t in love with Princess Di… the list goes on). So pierced ears are fine, but if she’d had a belly button piercing or a tongue piercing then they’d have made it more about the piercing. Glad to hear the girl made a full recovery!

  10. I couldn’t read that Australian article. It would just piss me off and ruin my whole day, and I have a good day planned! I did leave a comment, though, and we’ll see if it gets posted at all. It already had 400 some odd comments, so it may get lost in the lot. ^_^;

    People don’t seem to realize that almost EVERYONE practices body modification in some way or another. ANYTHING that modifies your body or what you’re born with is a body mod in some form, right? Do men shave, do women wear makeup, do you cut your nails, do you dye your hair (any color)? ALL of that is a form of body modification, though much milder than tattoos and other mods that we’re used to.

    I bet she has no problem with plastic surgery the say she does with tattoos and piercings. Botox is a body mod, boob implants are body mods, tummy tucks are body mods, but these are accepted in our culture, sometimes even ENCOURAGED. And yet for those of us who choose to beautify our bodies through art and metal aren’t as high class/educated/good as those who get plastic surgery, which is also MUCH MORE DANGEROUS than tattoos and piercings, it just infuriates me.

  11. “Come on people. Tattooing is an ancient ritualistic practice indulged in by cultures with far more exotic and substantial lineages than yours, hailing as you do from Burpengary or West End.

    In Maori culture, for example, or in ancient Egypt, historians say tattoos had cultural significance. But in modern Western culture? I don’t think so.”

    Is it just me or is that statement incredibly prejudice. Saying somebody cannot do something because of where they come from.

  12. I’m wondering where the girl got her ear piercing and what type of piercing it was. I haven’t found any good information yet as to whether it was self done, professionally done, or done at a craptastic kiosk at a mall.

  13. @jagger
    yes!! i say pretty much the same exact thing when anyone tries to cause problems with me about my body mods
    no one ever is able to come up with a valid response to it

  14. In Australia if you wanted to be really token you would call that person a “bloody idiot”, but most of us would just simply call them a cunt. :P

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