ModBlog News of the Week: January 28th, 2010

Another week has come and gone, which means it’s time to check in with the rest of the world to see what their take on modified culture has been like.

To kick things off, we’ve got a story out of Broward County Florida.  Like many other police units, the higher-ups have made a ruling that bans officers from having visible tattoos.  Now their focus is mostly on officers with sleeves, but they’re also cracking down on officers with gold teeth.  The tooth thing is probably an easy fix, although never having my grill done in gold I can’t say for certain, but the the officers with sleeves?  Well, they’re facing a slight problem.  You can see the problem in the photo below that shows off the standard Brower County uniform.

Gold or platinum veneers for decorative reasons are strictly not allowed under the new rules, but officers who can prove they have caps or fillings for dental purposes will be permitted to keep them.   Deputies with large tattoos on their arms will struggle to keep them hidden since the standard issue uniform involves a short sleeve shirt.  Small tattoos on the forearm, however, have been given the OK.

I guess those tattoo armor sleeves will be a big seller for some of the officers.

There’s lots more news to come today, including a celebrity tattoo story you might just “LIKE”.

A tattoo artist in British Columbia has gotten fed up with the lack of regulations on the industry by the province and is making a plea for stricter controls and more education before someone gets sick or injured.

Elwood Reid is calling for tighter regulation of his profession, saying lax regulations and inexperienced health inspectors are a potentially deadly combination.  ”We’re in a situation where anyone and their dog can get into this industry and have no formal training doing it,” said Reid, who specializes in body modification in Maple Ridge.  That’s a catch-all term that includes tattoos, piercings, implanted head spikes, branding and scarification, the latter of which involves cutting skin to produce a pattern or image.  The call comes just as the provincial government launches a review of its 16-year-old guidelines for Personal Services Establishments (PSE), which govern everything from piercing to manicures and mud baths.  ”My fear is that the industry will get to the point of doing more and more extreme things until someone gets hurt or killed,” Reid added. “If the government is forced to step in and respond by outlawing it, it’s going to go underground.”  Reid is hoping he can help legitimize an industry that relies on apprenticeships instead of formal training, and is regulated solely by health inspectors unfamiliar with the safety requirements of a modern piercing and tattoo shop.

It seems this type of story is popping up more often in the news, which is good for a few reasons.  It first lets the public know that there are artists out there who do care about their client’s safety, and it also calls attention to the lack of regulations which is key for getting the public behind a push for tighter controls.

Of course, not every artist speaking with the news is as educated about their craft as Elwood is, which can result in stories like the following interview with an artist from New Zealand.

It is Torture Tuesdays at Gizmos in Nelson, and the store’s retail assistant is trying to make a point – it doesn’t hurt a bit, but he’s not as chipper as 10 minutes earlier.  ”I’m really nervous right now,” he admits, as Mr Dalrymple explains that any facial piercing on the right is a sign that a person is gay.  ”That’s the word on the street.”

The most popular body piercing was lip piercing, Mr Kelly says. The most unusual, and not something Mr Dalrymple does, is penis piercings.  ”Some guys when they’re older become impotent and apparently this helps.”

It’s one thing for a journalist to make claims like these without knowing anything about the industry or culture, but it’s an entirely different thing when an artist is telling their clients not to get something done because it will make them appear “gay” (which in and of itself is offensive as it implies that being gay is somehow a bad thing).

When it comes to health concerns, there sadly are stories of practitioners unintentionally causing problems.  Recently in Switzerland a cosmetic tattoo artist was found to be the source of a bacterial infection that had affected a number of women.

When the physicians looked for what connected the women, they discovered that they had gotten their tattoos in different studios, but all from the same artist, who freelanced around the area. When they tracked her down, they found that she was following all the correct infection-prevention procedures, though she no longer had the equipment she had used when the women’s infections developed. When they tested her inks, though, they found DNA from M. haemophilum in some of them. Because that bacterium tends to live in water, they hypothesized she had diluted her inks with tap water that was locally contaminated.

Only a few women so far have been diagnosed with the bacterial infection, although the woman claims there may be several hundred people walking around with the potential for an infection.

On to some much lighter news, a German man recently won himself a Mini Cooper.  Given that this is being reposted on ModBlog, you can probably guess how he won the car.

A German man won a brand new $32,000 Mini Cooper by having the word “MINI” tattooed on his penis during a broadcast.  Organizers said Andreas Muller, 39, of Saxony-Anhalt, won the radio station contest by coming up with the wildest Mini-related stunt to earn the vehicle, The Austrian Times reported Wednesday.

Finally, a tattoo studio in Richmond, VA is giving away “free” tattoos for a donation to Richmond’s cultural community.  The tattoo design is one found on the mummified remains of an ancient human, known to have the oldest tattoo in recorded history.

The tattoo design, three vertical lines each about an inch long, is copied from the earliest known tattoos ON EARTH (don’t worry the design is totally in the public domain).

Now, I don’t know about you, but a tattoo of three black bars seems awfully familiar.  I wonder if they know they’re giving out a tattoo symbol that in today’s world is symbolic of the Church of Body Modification?

Of course, the week wouldn’t be complete without the celebrity news round-up, and thankfully the celebrities haven’t disappointed us this week, and there are a few stories to share.

Starting with UK celebrities, Cheryl Cole was spotted showing off her new tattoo that supposedly was done in one marathon 11 hour session.

Of course, taking a look at the photo they supplied I don’t think we’re seeing the entire design.  Unless of course that faded and blown out butterfly is the new tattoo.

Also in the UK, Port Vale footballer Sean Rigg is using his spare time to pursue a profession for when his football career is over.  Unlike other players, he’s not looking to get into broadcasting or coaching, Sean instead is working on a tattoo apprenticeship.  I honestly can’t find anything to make fun of about this story, so let’s move on.

For those of you who remember Brandy (the singer, not the liquor), it turns out she wasn’t too pleased with her Ganesh tattoo.  You can see in the photo below why she wisely got it touched up.

Oh the hidden penis trick.  You have to admit that pulling off that stunt on someone who at one point in time was sort of famous is pretty ballsy.

Speaking of balls, pro ball player DeShawn Stevenson recently added an addition to his throat tattoo, a small sparkly microdermal.  Of course the press thinks he jabbed something right through his throat, but who are we to tell them differently.

In an effort to continue the myth that all she is good for is looking at her, Megan Fox did a photoshoot with Armani that shows off some of her tattoo collection.

The tattoo on her shoulder blade reads, “We will all laugh at gilded butterflies” – an approximation of a Shakespeare quote.

Megan got the wordy Nietzsche quote inked down her side in honor of Mickey Rourke, her costar in ‘Passion Play.’ It says, “Those who danced were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

And finally in today’s last story, T-Pain has found a way to get a tattoo artist to autotune a facebook tattoo on to him.

And there you have it ladies and gentlemen.  Unequivocal evidence that facebook needs a “DISLIKE” button.

So that’s the news for this week.  Next Friday I’ll be in Philly for the Philly Convention so I’ll be writing up the news a bit earlier in the week, although it’ll still be published Friday.  That means I’m going to need a bit of help getting enough stories for the news, so if you come across anything, just submit the link to it right here.

Have a great weekend everyone!

9 thoughts on “ModBlog News of the Week: January 28th, 2010

  1. BSO is VERY old fashioned in some of thier dress code rules> I work for Miami-Dade and our officers JUST recently ( i think it was in 2007??) got the ok to have sleeves as long as they aren’t “offensive” . If they need to cover them due to content they are allowed to wear an Underarmour type shirt under the standard Uniform OR wear a long sleeved uniform shirt.

    If you think that’s bad, the Disney Dress code is straight out of 1950. When I worked in the parks it was a challenge hiding my stretched ear lobes and lip piercing. They even measure your fingernails.

  2. My father was a police officer for 25 years. He has his forearms tattooed as well as his legs. His department ok’d them as long as they were tasteful. I tattoo a lot of officers here as well. All NJ.

  3. Wow. Just wow lol. This was indeed one fun filled News of the Week!

    On a sidenote, I am not the aforementioned person (a la “..Gizmos..”). So yeah.

    Keep it surreal.

    ps. anyone think that by the looks of it, Cheryl Cole, sorry, Cheryl Tweedy, has mistaken the “backpiece” concept and just gotten it mostly on her legs??

  4. Wait, how are those officers supposed to hide their sleeves? Are they supposed to wear long-sleeved shirts over/under their uniforms? Won’t that impede them physically?

    And why in the world is this ban happening? Too many gang-related tattoos on cops?

  5. Elwood isn’t a tattoo artist, he does every other body modification, but not tattoos.

  6. Are you saying that the elephant’s trunk looks like a penis?? Cuz I dont see it :S And Im the kind of person that sees penises in everything…

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