Working underground: the life of an Iranian tattoo artist

Living in the United States, it’s easy to take our freedom for granted. This article is a reminder of just have difficult it can be in other countries.

In Iran, tattoos were long considered only fit for criminals. But in the past few years, they have become popular with the younger generation, which has abandoned the Persian word “khalkoobi” for the western term “tattoo”. However, Iran’s thriving tattoo scene remains underground.

While there is no specific law against tattoos, the Iranian authorities use Islamic law to denounce it, as they do with many other trends considered too “Western”. When they arrest criminals and parade them in public – a common practice in Iran – they sometimes show off men’s tattoos as “proof” of their guilt. Meanwhile, athletes are forced to hide theirs under band-aids during competitions.


More Thoughts On Why People Get Tattoos

I read an article this morning that reminded me of a draft post which I have meant to finish for quite a long time now. It was titled ‘Roy Exum: No Need For Any Tattoos‘. The author spends much of the article describing his scars in great detail and recounting the experiences that lead to each one of those scars and finally concludes by stating “…if all my scars were tattoos, I really would look exactly like a parrot today. Maybe even a peacock.”

The idea of comparing tattoos to scars is something I have thought about many times before and it’s finally time to put those words into blog form and pick up where I left off when I started this post a few months ago…
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My Switch From iPhone to Android

I purchased my first smartphone about 4 years ago, it was an Apple iPhone 3GS. I turned into the “there’s an app for that” guy and spent weeks finding the best apps for everything I wanted to accomplish with my phone. Before long I learned about jailbreaking and, of course, had to give it a shot. This opened up a whole new world of possibilities for the iPhone, giving features that would not be supported by Apple until 2-3 generations later, or in some cases never at all. This isn’t a post about jailbreaking, so I won’t go into detail, but multi-tasking, copy & paste, and the notification center were just a few critical features that were available well before Apple rolled them into iOS.

When iPhone 4 was released I refused to buy one until it was possible to jailbreak it. The same thing happened with the release of the 4s. While many Apple fans waited in line, I sat online scouring jailbreak websites waiting for a compatible jailbreak to become available.

I was happy with my jailbroken iPhone 4s, but started seeing more and more phones around with much larger screens. The iPhone 5 was going to be the answer to the small screen problem, but when it was officially announced, I took one look at the new specs and two days later bought myself a Samsung Galaxy S3.

The following are my comparisons between some of the major functions on Android vs. iPhone.
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Tattoos a ‘generational badge’ for young adults

Tattoos have become a “generational badge” for an increasing number of young adults, according to “Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next,” by the Pew Research Center.

The study found that 38 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds have tattoos. Of those, 50 percent have between two and five tattoos and 18 percent have six or more.

Cresencio “Chencho” Leon, owner of 45th Street Tattoo Co. in Griffith, said a lot of people in that age bracket come into his shop.

He said some clients choose a design based on impulse, but most have a clear vision for the type of tattoo they want. Their tattoos tend to be bigger and more personal than in years past, he added.