ModBlog News of the Week: March 18th, 2011

After last week’s celebrity fueled news post, things have taken a turn for the better.  Well, better in terms of only 2 celebrity stories.  There is some pretty heinous stuff this week, including a lot of underaged kids being tattooed and pierced.  On the bright side, there are some really interesting news pieces this week that I’m sure you’ll enjoy, and one that will make you want to reach through your screen and slap someone.

Before any of that, there’s a story out of Seattle about a tattoo studio standing up to the city council.

Myers contests the city artificially inflated the parking density results “from 57 percent to 91 percent to justify the change.” He said the city told him a higher density and higher rates means more turn over and revenue.

The sign is in violation of Pioneer Square’s sign laws, but Myers said two cops recently walked by and gave him thumbs up. The building owner called him this morning to tell him to take the sign down.

“I’m presently working on taking the sign down. It might take me a day or two. It’s a big project,” he said.

I love his response to the building owner.  Basically the situation is that the area of the city where the tattoo studio is in was recently the subject of a massive parking rate increase, which is now hurting all the local businesses.  Myers and other businesses in the area are fighting to get the price hike reverted.

There’s lots more to come, so pull up a chair and get comfy…

As I mentioned earlier, today’s news has quite a few stories about minors getting tattooed or pierced.  Some are fairly straightforward cases of the kids lying to the artist, but others aren’t quite so innocent.

To start things off, are the basic run of the mill stories of kids getting work done without parental consent.  A young woman from Cardiff got “100% Welsh Lamb” tattooed on her rear.  Seeing as how she was 16 at the time, and the law there states that it is illegal for someone under 18 to get tattooed, a police investigation has been opened regarding the case.

Elsewhere in the UK a mother is furious that a studio pierced her son’s face without her consent.  The problem is, in this area, there is no law restricting minors from being pierced without parental consent.

The shop in Leys Avenue, which offers tattoos and piercings, has a policy not to pierce anyone under 16 without a consenting adult, but no statutory law for an age limit exists, provided the client’s consent is given.  “When I spoke to the owner he laughed it off but it’s not a laughing matter,” said the 39-year-old.  “He’s nearly six foot tall so he does look older than he is but they should still ask for ID unless they’re accompanied by a parent.  “Even if he’d looked at the form properly he would have seen that Jake was nervous as he said he was 16 but he gave his date of birth that would have made him 17.

“It’s a serious matter as it’s on his face and he’s been scarred for life now. It’s disgraceful.”

Unfortunately the article fails to mention where on his face the piercing actually is, although the owner of the studio did add this: “But if she doesn’t like it she can just tell her son to take it out.”.

A lot of times with stories like this we only hear from the parents, or in police blotters.  The Livingston County News in NY actually took the time to sit down with an artist that has been charged for tattooing a minor after they told him they were of age.

Although Troisi’s crime is a class D misdemeanor, his arrest was widely publicized in regional print, web and broadcast media, apparently due to its unusual nature.  A friend, whom Troisi now describes as a “former friend,” scheduled the tattooing appointment for his girlfriend without revealing the girl’s age. Troisi admits being aware of the law which forbids tattooing of someone under 18.  “She looked a little young, but I didn’t think anything of it because in this day and age it isn’t uncommon for young people to want tattoos and for parents to give their consent,” Troisi said.

Troisi saw no harm in tattooing the image which the girl requested be placed on her hip: The breast cancer ribbon accompanied by the names and dates of birth and death of two of the girl’s beloved relatives who had died from breast cancer.  Troisi does not deny tattooing the girl. However, he does affirm that the girl lied to him about her age. He suggests the girl’s mother bears at least some of the responsibility for the tattoo in that she allowed her daughter to be with the person who arranged for the tattoo and had no knowledge of where her daughter was or what her daughter was doing. In that sense, Troisi believes that, if he is facing charges of unlawfully dealing, the mother should be facing charges of neglect and abuse.

Which brings up the question, who is ultimately responsible in situations like this?  The artist who was lied to?  Or the parent who wasn’t aware of what their child was doing?  I personally think the question they should be asking is why isn’t the blame being placed on the 17 year old girl?  Or is personal responsibility not something we’re teaching kids anymore?

While these stories for the most part are pretty tame, the following stories are examples of when adults take advantage of children.

A Hugo, MN man has been sentenced to 90 in jail for tattooing teenage girls to let others know they’re the property of his gang.

Police began investigating Lee in 2009 after a runaway teen was found at his home. Investigators said several 15-year-old girls had been tattooed with the letters “OMG” marking them as the “girls” of the OMB, or Oroville Mono Boys gang, according to a criminal complaint.

Down in Florida a tattoo artist and a woman are being charged with abuse after police walked in on the pair tattooing the woman’s 14 year old daughter.  The reason the police were visiting?  The girl posted pictures of her tattoos on Facebook and a relative contacted the authorities.

The arrests happened at Filippelli’s home in DeBary, where deputies knocked on the door, stepped inside and asked if the girl was there getting a tattoo. One deputy could hear the buzz of a tattoo gun coming from a rear bedroom, according to Filippelli’s arrest report.  Deputies found the girl sitting on a chair with her waistband slightly rolled down, and Lopez tattooing her left hip, the report said.  Lopez told deputies he thought he was allowed to tattoo the girl because he had Filippelli’s permission, Davidson said. But state law requires written and notarized permission from a parent or guardian.  Lopez was not licensed to tattoo people, anyway, Davidson said. Tattoo artists in Florida must either be licensed to practice medicine or dentistry or be supervised by someone who is.  The caller who saw the Facebook photos told deputies the child had as many as three tattoos already — the first in January. Lopez, a friend of Filippelli’s, said he had tattooed her and the girl before.

In Bucks County, PA a man is facing up to 300 years in prison for tattooing a 14 year old girl in exchange for sex.

A 34-year-old Bucks County man could face up to 300 years in prison for allegedly giving a tattoo to a 14-year-old girl from Bristol Township in exchange for sex, prosecutors said.  Investigators in Bristol and Bensalem said that Walter Meyerle, an unemployed tattoo artist, has likely had inappropriate sexual contact with up to 10 other children – both boys and girls, according to reports.  Meyerle faces two counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, and 10 counts of unlawful contact with a minor, according to reports. He is being held in Bucks County Prison on $1 million bail.

Of course there is a fine line between personal responsibility and being taken advantage of.  In the first three stories the kids all lied to the artists, while in the second three, the adults knew what they were doing was illegal and proceeded to do it anyway.  With laws being so diverse when it comes to age restrictions, it’s a safe bet to be well aware of them all before working on someone you suspect may be too young.  Unless of course you’re doing it to have sex with kids, in which case I’m sure you don’t really care about the laws to begin with.

Now then, moving away from all of that, this week a number of stories popped up looking at cultures all over the world, as well as one story about an unlikely tattoo artist.

This month is the annual Kerala festival in India and has a nice little write up about some of the rituals that are practiced during the festival.

At the Ezhamkulam Temple, the devotees practice ‘Tookkam’ in the month of March every year, in which they hang themselves on sharp hooks attached to a wooden plate by piercing their body.  People believe that this practice would remove all their miseries and bring wealth and glory to the village.  ”Our whole weight is balanced on the hook, there is nothing other than that to balance our body. It is our belief that that protects us. One can achieve anything by performing this ritual,” said Rajan, a devotee.

At the nearby Kurampal Devi Temple, another unique traditional ritual is practiced as part of the temple festival.  The cane rolling is a modern form of Nara-bali or human sacrifice and is practiced every five years with great religious fervor. It is done on the ninth day of the temple festival.  During this, devotees roll over the thorns of bamboo sticks and the blood that comes out of their body is offered to the Goddess.

In Mystic, RI, the ”Skin and Bones – Tattoos in the Life of the American Sailor” exhibit is opening this week, and it is including a number of artifacts from the local maritime museum.

The exhibit was originally researched and displayed by Philadelphia’s Independence Seaport Museum, but it features a number of artifacts owned by Mystic Seaport. Because of these shared pieces, Mystic Seaport Exhibit Researcher and Developer Elysa Engelman said the Seaport had a connection when trying to bring the exhibit north. The show features ancient and modern tattooing tools, “flash” tattoo design samples and other tattoo related art, historic photographs and artifacts, all aimed at telling the story of how tattoos entered the sailor’s life, what they meant, and why they got them.

The show is laid out in a loosely chronological fashion, starting with sailors’ identification documents dating to the late 1700s. Engelman said one of the reasons mariners got tattoos in that era was to provide distinguishing characteristics that could be used to identify them if they were killed or imprisoned.  Engelman said it was challenging putting together artifacts from the 18th century because there aren’t any images of the styles of tattoos that existed then. She said based on the identification papers that exist and other artwork carved by sailors on whalebones during that era, the museum is able to guess at what tattoos of the day may have looked like.

Even if you can’t make it out to the exhibit, the article is a nice read that goes into some of the history of nautical tattooing.

Over in St. Louis, MO the director of the documentary “Tattoo Jew” will be screening a rough cut of the film on Sunday.  The film examines why Jewish people choose to be tattooed with Jewish symbols.

“You don’t have to be Jewish to attend,” Abrams tells Daily RFT. “You don’t have to be inked to attend. You just have to be interested in the stories of people who choose to get inked despite a religious prohibition, the cultural memory of the Holocaust and the myth that Jews with tattoos can’t be buried in a Jewish cemetery.”

There will, however, be a “show your ink and a drink” special, and Abrams hopes to distribute Jewish-themed temporary tattoos.

The article even has a short video interview with the director as he discusses why he chose to make a documentary on this subject.

With all the focus in Japan being on the disaster as well as the status of the nuclear reactors, life is still going on in the areas not affected by the disasters.  Suma beach in Kobe City is moving forward with placing a ban on tattooed individuals from going to the beach.  While the law hasn’t passed yet, the author of the article spends quite some time discussing the history of tattoos in Japan, and why the city may be putting this law into effect.

While this next story isn’t one about any specific modification, it is an interesting insight into a piercer and tattooist from Japan, as well as his status as being the only native Japanese Imam in Tokyo.

A chance meeting with a foreign Muslim 12 years ago in Tokyo’s Shibuya district and a life spent studying various religions led him to convert to Islam 3 ½ years ago.
He completed the Hajj, the worlds largest annual religious pilgrimage, to Mecca in Saudi Arabia 2 ½ years ago at the invitation of the Saudi Arabian government.
Shortly after, a meeting with the man who started him down his path to Islam 12 years previously led him to becoming the Imam at a small mosque in the Kabukicho area of Tokyo.

His day job for the past 20 years has been as a tattooist and body piercer.

At the beginning of today’s news post I mentioned that there were only 2 celebrity-related stories, as well as one story that will probably piss you off.  Or at least make you shake your head in frustration at the idiocy of it.  Well, wait no longer, because here comes the celebrity round-up.

Last week I mentioned that Avril Lavinge made a promise to stop getting tattooed.  That promise didn’t even last a week.  I suppose that when your studio created image is the only thing you have left going for you, you might as work to keep that image in the press.  The bonus of this article is not only does it talk about Avril’s new tattoo, but it also gives some great insight as to what tattoo placement actually means.

Neck: You have some sort of personality disorder. If you get a tattoo on your upper body outside the area covered by a long-sleeve shirt, then you are just a little bit crazy. You don’t care what people think but not in a way that is healthy. More in the kind of way that Travis Bickle doesn’t care what people think.

Around the Bellybutton: If you’re a lady with this tattoo, it means you once wanted to be a marine biologist but then you had little Madison and had to drop out of college. But you still love Lisa Frank. If you’re a gentleman, then you are undoubtedly a homosexual. And a bottom. No matter your gender, you have about a 50-50 shot of making a pornographic movie some day.

Pubic Area: If you are a dude, it means you’re unattractive but you have a huge dick. If you’re a lady you probably know your way around a pole and a pair of platforms.

Face: You have spent time in either: A) Prison, B) A mental institution, C) Both. Also, you smoke cigarettes you bought on the internet.

And those are just a few of the gems found in the list.

Today’s final “news” story can be summed up in a little game called, “What’s wrong with this picture“.

At my count there are three things wrong.  The first two are pretty easy to spot.  The third one is a little trickier, and when you see it, you’ll think to yourself why you didn’t guess it right away.  If you guessed “piercing gun” and “no gloves” as the first two, you’re absolutely correct.  The third thing wrong is the fact that this is even news to begin with.  See what I mean?  So obvious.

Well that’s it for this week’s news.  Remember to keep sending in those news stories so we can keep the news as celebrity free as possible.

18 thoughts on “ModBlog News of the Week: March 18th, 2011

  1. While reading this news round up I got very confused when you used the word “tatting.” I’m a crafter, so when I hear anyone mention tatting I think of actual tatting, rather than tattooing. Tatting is “a technique for handcrafting a particularly durable lace constructed by a series of knots and loops.” (copypasta from wiki)

    But yes, thank you for reminding me not to bother reading the content here. I’ll just stick to the pretty pictures and photos of people’s genitals.

  2. “Tattoo artists in Florida must either be licensed to practice medicine or dentistry or be supervised by someone who is.” Does this not make a lot of sense to anyone else? What does dentistry have to do with tattooing (other than possibly cleanliness)?

    I swear every time I get just a little faith in people, it gets beaten back down by things like the tattoo placement meanings and the fact that quite a lot of people actually take that seriously… Smh…

  3. As a seattle resident, I give props to the owner of Fenix tattoo.
    Really, the prices of parking here are fucking ridiculous.

    Also, kids getting tattooed is sad, but nothing new.
    Why is this getting so much attention now?

  4. Most places that pierce ears with a gun don’t use gloves at all. I don’t really know why though. Then again I don’t think the guy who gave me my industrial was wearing gloves. I’m 90% sure he wasn’t.

  5. @Virginia: They’re making underage tattooing a big deal now because tattoos are gaining popularity. The mainstream culture is trying to use example of a few bad seeds and try to tell all the ‘normal’ people how the big bag tattoo artists are trying to exploit children for money.

  6. The fourth thing that’s wrong with that picture is that the ‘piercer’ has a bunch of cuts all over his hands, which makes his lack of gloves even more dangerous.

  7. the 5th thing wrong with the last pic is that it was done at the shore shop on Jersey Shore to Vinny. The piercer was probably just coming off a beer bong. Disgusting.

  8. I just want to say, about the story of the tattooist in florida tattooing at a home,

    when does this state give a shit about the health of one of their citizens when pretty much every single person I know has been tattooed illegally at their house or knows someone who has? And, as far a “being supervised by someone licensed to practice medicine,” this just means we (licensed tattoo shops) PAY a doctor to sign a piece of paper saying he has supervised our practice and it follows standard. Now, what the doctor really did was view a few photographs of a set up station, not while tattooing, not for a tattoo.

    It’s all bullshit, and I’m more upset that this one guy got persecuted for tattooing someone underage, when the kids MOTHER let him do it in her house. Shame on her.

    And the licensing system down here needs to be changed, ASAP, because the number of infected or literally chicken scratch tattoos that come into my shop is growing, and so are the scratcher shops that pay off their doctor and never follow any of those practices.

  9. wow so…according the the ‘news’ article….I’ve been in prison and/or mental institution do to the work on my face…..I have been wondering why the last few years have been a blur…THAT explains it….also explain why I cough, because I MUST smoke…

    lol seriously…how dumb can some ‘journalists’ be?

  10. I called avril on that last article…the only way the fenix sign couldve been better is if it was written in shoepolish and said I ASSURE YOU WE’RE OPEN
    also the tall kid in the uk, I think had it been a tattoo she could be more upset, but piercings are easily removed, or a tongue splitting or something, but it doesnt even say if its his eyebrow or what it is…
    And yes no gloves, yes a gun, and obviously germs can live anywhere but his hands are scratched up which makes it even less appetizing. ugh.

  11. you guys should post the case study of that russian surgeon that removed his own apendix this was years ago i think 50′s but still and interesting read

    and he did it with now gloves hahah

  12. Hahaha, so weird.
    I was just reading that story about the piercing shop in Leys Avenue, Letchworth in my local newspaper then I come on here and see the story. They’ve been doing it for years, totally useless place if you ask me. The article was hilarious though, ‘scarred for life’, really? Sigh.

  13. The reason they don’t wear gloves when piercing with guns? Probably because they have a really bad habit of accidentally piercing through the ear and glove simultaneously and getting stuck on the person’s ear….ugh.

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