Tattoo by Jondix of LTW Tattoo in Barcelona, Spain -- one of the many featured artists in my upcoming book on blackwork tattooing due out this Fall. More black tattoo photos to come.
I'm just getting over the food and ouzo orgy that was this past weekend's Greek Easter celebration, a Brooklyn backyard bacchanal where chasing around unsuspecting guests with a lamb tongue on BBQ tongs is not only encouraged but specifically laid out in the Bible, right next to promoting "opposite marriage." [See the gory Greeky pix on Facebook.]
Lucky for me, the news was not as juicy as our giblets, so I didn't have too many headlines to trawl through, but I did catch a few tasty treats on the net. Here goes:
More people are getting medic alert tattoos, prompting the medical community to address the legal and ethical issues behind them. Over the years, I've seen A LOT of Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) tattoos, particularly on people over 70 -- like this fiesty Kiwi who sparked debate worldwide last year over the enforceability of DNR ink. In the US, a mere DNR tattoo generally won't cut it. You need to back up your wishes with a valid DNR Order. Better use of those tattoos would be alerts of serious allergies, pre-existing conditions and even blood type, but hell, the jewelry has been doing a good job at that, so save ya skin for art.
In a reminder of how tattoos were once put to horrific use, Auschwitz camp survivors were reunited Sunday at Israel's Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem. The AP reports:
As terrified teenagers 65 years ago, Menachem Sholowicz and Anshel Sieradzki stood in line together in Auschwitz, having serial numbers tattooed on their arms. Sholowicz was B-14594; Sieradzki was B-14595.
This AP photo of the men has also been widely circulating around the Internet.
The small numbers needled in Auschwitz have been some of the greatest modern day symbols, not only serving as reminders of the genocide but also of survival and unity, as shown in the article.
Auschwitz tattoos have also had an impact on modern Jewish culture in relation to young Jews wishing to get artful ink, with the dark stigma carried over (beyond biblical texts on body markings).
For the best discussion on Jews and tattoos, read Craig Dershowitz's interview with Rabbi Henry Harris.
In more news on culture and tattoos, the Isle of Man's Manx Heritage Foundation is photographing people with Manx tattoos for a new promo campaign. The most popular tattoo is the "Three Legs of Man" symbol, which Wikipedia says originates in the legend that the Celtic god Manannan defeated invaders by transforming into the three legs and rolling down the hill.
If only there was as good a story behind the San Jose Shark Man.
In stupid tattoo news ...
A fake tattoo studio in Las Cruces was set up as yet another sting operation by feds and local police to catch drug and gun runners. Seventeen people are now in custody thanks to the shop, which claimed to be "specializing in names, cover ups, all kustom (sic), full color, "You bring, I sling.'" If you're attracted to a tattoo shop with that kinda motto, you are probably stupid enough for the ATF to get ya. [Thanks, Scott!]
Problem is other local shops are feeling the effects of that sting. Owners of The Tattoo Company say that business has been down 30% since the arrests because customers are "voicing concerns that they are nervous about the kind of activity that goes on behind tattoo shop doors." That, or they're just worried the cops will take their guns away.
In more dumbassness, a guy who had just robbed two banks, getting a whopping three thousand dollars, went into a tattoo shop and asked for his $50 deposit back because his picture from a surveillance camera appeared in the paper and he knew he'd probably go to jail -- where he could get his tattoos for free I suppose. Phillyburbs has suggestions for his new prison ink.
Do people like this exist to taunt me and my tattoo snob brethren?
It's bad enough the Octomom just revealed she's tattooed.
Then there's Meghan McCain who keeps talking about her stupid tattoo (and love of "punk rock" -- probably Green Day) to show she's "progressive." Sweetie, a tattoo doesn't make you progressive -- fighting for peace and social justice does.
It also doesn't help the tattoo couture cause when a tattooist-slash-ordained minister gets quoted as saying, "There's nothing like shaving a girl's butt before tattooing a heart on it." Classy!
But nothing can compare to Nate Bozung bringin back the stupid in his Athen's Ink video. Evidence that tattoo kits need to be banned on eBay. And anyone fuckin Boz should get a Hep shot.
And finally, we wrap up with our favorite part of the tattoo news, Why Celebs Should Stay Away from Tattoo Needles...