I got a new workout top made by Zella :D
In case you didnt know how jewish my parents are; I get to their house and open the fridge to this #lol #jewlove #jews
Above is a video from J.C. Potts, owner of Pangea Piercing, ranting that using the swastika in a positive manner is something done by “white hipsters”, which is inappropriate because the swastika is apparently a Hindu symbol (hint: despite being used in Hinduism, it’s not solely an element of Hindu symbology.) JC makes the astute observation that “white hipsters” “ain’t Hindu”, pointing out that “white hipsters” are also “not Indian”. Despite the obvious flaws in his argument, which I pointed out in a previous entry, I thought it’d be worthwhile to address this in direct response.
First I’d like to direct everyone’s attention to this video, which shows JC cooking bacon in a WWII era soldier’s uniform to “feed to Jews”. While JC is absolutely entitled to his opinion, the person who owns and dresses in a Nazi officer’s uniform to feed bacon to Jews while drinking in excess, and furthermore, posts it online as a representation of himself and his studio, probably shouldn’t try to appoint himself as the moral barometer of the modified community. When responding to outrage of the fact that he posted a video talking about someone making out with a “tranny”, JC said, “I personally don’t want to live in a sanitized world with no sharp edges.”
Well, Mr. Potts, a swastika has 4 sharp edges. Let me show you some “white hipster bullshit”:
This is the ceiling of an art museum in Copenhagen, Denmark. Clearly, it was built to show “white hipster” art.
This brass promotional watch fob from the 1920s was clearly intended to promote drinking Coca-Cola in both Hindu and “white hipster” communities.
This US Navy base just outside of San Diego, CA was built for the “white hipster” division of the Armed Forces.
These cigarettes were clearly intended to only be smoked by Hindus.
Look at this decoration at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural Sciences. Clearly, the Smithsonian was built for Hindus, until the “white hipsters” overtook it.
And lastly, look at this building I found in lower Manhattan yesterday. Located right on the border of Central Park, this place was like “white hipster” mecca!
Needless to say, just because you have a youtube channel, it doesn’t mean you’re ineffably correct.
I greatly appreciate your contribution to the conversation. It’s good to hear from someone who is very passionate about swastikas, and learn their arguments. So, far, your argument is that: since I made a video, with my friend and new media colleague, Jon Barkan (who is quite Jewish), who correctly observed that a Epic Mealtime parody mixed with an anti-racist message wrapped in a politically incorrect shell while wearing a 80’s era East German uniform would be a lot more engaging than a simple informative video about daith piercings, that my opinion is invalid. Your second argument is that since I defended a good friend of mine from an online witchhunt that tried to smear him as transphobic, that my opinion is also invalid (BTW I wouldn’t personally even use the term he used). You then submit pictures of things that were built before WW2 as evidence that the swastika is a well-accepted in Western society. You finish with saying that just because I make videos doesn’t mean I’m right.
I fully understand the history of the swastika. It’s a shame that they’re so controversial that the city of Albuquerque has to have a page on their city website to explain why they have one in a historic theatre downtown http://www.cabq.gov/culturalservices/kimo/about-the-theatre/kimohistory/swastikas Indeed, they USED to be a fairly common decorative motif, until millions of people’s families were killed under its banner in recent history.
It’s genuinely upsetting to me that Hindus and Buddhists with a real cultural affinity for them have to explain to their Western neighbors that the swastika is used by them for auspicious holidays, like weddings, or in the words of Dr. P.V. Rau, noted scholar on Hinduism and a professor of physics at Emory, “Pay attention. Understand and learn what it means, to other cultures, outside of Nazi ideology. And above all, have empathy. If you were living in a dense crowd of Jews, it would not be good manners to openly display the swastika. It wouldn’t make us good neighbors. If you go to a party and do or say or carry something the host hates, that would be considered bad, ill-mannered. Hindus don’t have to carry the swastika around to be Hindus” http://www.khabar.com/magazine/features/the_auspicious_swastika.aspx
I think it sucks that it’s occasionally uncool for white people to engage in activities that others can. It would be awesome if we lived in a world where white people could freely use the “n-word”, have an organization for white people, or wear swastika earrings without looking like an asshole, but in my estimation, we don’t. Judging by the comments left on the pictures of swastika jewelry and people wearing it that was left on the (professional piercing org) tumblr, I’d say that I’m not alone in thinking that it’s insensitive at best, especially when the argument presented to people who commented on that post that it was offensive was about as substantive as “OMGZ it’s just a symbol Y R U so mad” or “it has MEANING to people in ASIA! I don’t care how someone’s grandma died! BUDDHA”
See, I dealt with the same shit long before I had a YouTube channel, only back then, the trend was confederate flags. In quite a few people’s eyes, it means rebellion against the federal government- MOST people associate it with oppression of black people. The Gadsden flag means rebellion without the racist overtones, so it is used because most people actually don’t want to alienate people. It made my job easy when my competitors were selling rebel flag jewelry, especially since for most of my career I’ve worked in pretty diverse areas. Same would work now if any of the people online or in the 1 hour circle around me were selling swastika jewelry.
So, I guess the only point you make that isn’t a personal attack or a straw man about things that came before the Nazis is that having a YouTube channel doesn’t mean that I’m right. That’s the only thing that I can agree with. I have never once tried to claim I’m the voice of the community. I have never tried to represent all body modification artists. I show my clients what they can expect in my studio, spread unbiased information about piercing based on my 20 years experience, and use my voice to give exposure to artists that I feel deserve it, regardless if they pay to be a part of a group or don’t. That’s it. Will everyone always agree with me? No, one one ever has 100% approval of everything they ever do, ever.
My whole entire point has been that there are lines that as a professional community, we should not try to approach, especially since so much of what we do is cultural appropriation in the first place (for most of us). While I am not the voice of the professional piercing community, the APP IS the de facto voice of the professional piercing community. What you and a few other piercers do doesn’t affect the overall piercing community, but when the organization that claims to speak for us drops the ball in such a dramatic fashion, someone has to say something. I couldn’t dream of any real professional organization, like the UAW, the Teamsters, or the Board of Plastic Surgeons who would publish pictures of their members adorned with swastikas, but then again, this industry has very few blacks or Jews who have gained status in it. Maybe if there were, I wouldn’t have to explain why.
Which brings me to my conclusion: your main point that you and your friends have been making is that I am unpopular in your clique, and since the 40 or 50 of you (and your fans) say so, that makes it right, and anyone else’s opinion on the topic is to be mocked. I say otherwise. Tell you what- I’ll issue a public retraction of my video on the floor of the expo at Conference if you (or any/all of your buddies) doll up in all your swazi gear and walk from 8 mile to downtown Detroit on Gratiot and let me film it. I’ll even buy you a coney at All-American if you make it.
JC, I’m pleased that you responded. Like I said before, and I’ll say it again, this is your opinion, and I feel that you’re more than entitled to it.
The only reason I shared the video of you in a German soldier’s uniform cooking bacon to feed to Jews wasn’t to prove that your point was invalid, but rather, that as someone who doesn’t walk the most politically correct path in life (admittedly, neither do I, or most of the people in our community for that matter) you lose a great deal of credibility in telling people what is and isn’t offensive. I don’t think for a second that you harbor any resentment towards people of any color or creed, but any person who watches that video knows it’s in bad taste. A swastika, on its own, doesn’t implicitly reference the Nazi party. A man in a German soldier’s uniform cooking bacon to feed to Jews clearly does. I wasn’t attacking you for your defense of your friend’s poor choice of words, but I quoted what you said- “I personally don’t want to live in a sanitized world with no sharp edges.” Truth be told, I don’t either. But certainly, someone wearing a swastika for non-violent, non-Nazi reasons is much less offensive than using hateful slurs or posting videos of oneself engaging in clearly disrespectful behavior. To draw a parallel to the Confederate battle flag issue you brought up… what you’ve done is the equivalent of posting a faux-whipping of a black person, and then attacking people for having “Rebel flag” stickers on their truck. It’s definitely a course of action you’re entitled to undertake, but you can’t be surprised when someone calls you out on it.
I’m glad that you now seem to be familiar with the origins of the swastika, but you never once mentioned in your video that it could be anything besides a Hindu symbol or a Nazi symbol. This marginalized A LOT of people, including the 350 million or so Buddhists of the world. It’s still APPALLING that you seem to think that white people can’t be Hindu or Buddhist.
The link you shared to the city of Albuquerque’s website explaining why a swastika in a public place isn’t the worst thing to ever happen was awesome. People had questions, and the city represented the swastika fairly and honestly, acknowledging the possible assumptions that could be made, and educating with facts and asking people to remember the true spirit of the symbol. How hard is that to do? What is wrong with the government presenting citizens with facts and allowing them to draw their own conclusions? I seem to remember a government that tried to make a lot decisions for its citizens and told them what to think. It didn’t work out too well.
Also, on the topic of educating people, the Association of Professional Piercers has been very successful in their efforts. They have set standards in our industry for safe piercing materials and conditions. Standards you follow, even though you’re not a member. Standards I follow, even though I’m not currently a member. You’re painting with a very broad and damning brush when you demonize an organization for posting a photo here and there of swastika jewelry. Since you feel so strongly about the use of the swastika, surely you’re in the process of ceasing business with Maya, Gorilla Glass, Diablo Organics, Quetzalli, Modifika, and Body Vision Los Angeles, right? And while you’re at it you should probably stop selling swastika jewelry at your studio, huh?
I appreciate your offer to host a swazi fashion show on 8 Mile, but living everyday with swastikas tattooed on my head means I have first hand experience with this sort of thing, and as someone who travels the United States constantly and who has spent a lot of time in the Los Angeles area (namely Compton, Inglewood, Long Beach -all places they mention in rap songs, so they must be dangerous) I can tell you that most people don’t notice and those that do don’t really care after a brief conversation. I’ll be in Detroit in about 12 hours, but I’ll gladly buy my own hot dog to avoid the hassle of packing all my swastika jewelry- I have a bunch.
Anyhow, I guess the important thing to remember is that as humans, we use context clues to determine the meanings of things we don’t understand. For instance, let’s play a game of ”Nazi or Not”:
- Native American man with a swastika in his head dress.
-Buddha with a swastika on his chest
-white hipster kid with swastika plugs
-Ganesha holding a swastika
-guy in German soldier’s uniform cooking bacon to feed to Jews
I don’t think we’ll ever see eye to eye on this, and I’m sure we’ll both have people who agree with either of us, and some who agree with both of us, but at the end of the day, I’d rather kind of look like a Nazi to some than to act like one in front of everyone.
Live well. (that’s what “swastika” actually means, btw)
Holy moly- Hell must be freezing over if Richard Ivey and j.c. potts are having somewhat civilized discourse on the internet! While I reject the idea that I’ve done the equivalent of posting a faux-whipping of a black man, then attack the confederate flag guy (I just attacked the confederate flag guy, so to speak), I accept that you’ve noticed the fact that I am entitled to my opinion. I also reject the idea that I ever have implied that white people can’t be Buddhist or Hindu- that’s absurd- but the people who actually practice Buddhism and Hinduism in the US/UK/EU generally genuinely do not like to cause controversy about their sacred beliefs. My apologies if I doubted your devoutness, but in the couple of years I’ve been seeing your output, the only references I’ve ever seen to anything “spiritual” have been swastikas and a few scar pieces. A reasonable person might think they’re just a way to be edgy in a world where facial tattoos are passe, in the absence of anything else that might suggest someone who follows the teachings of Buddha, or is a devout Hindu. Man, I’m the poster child for knowing what is offensive, and if I’m telling you there’s a problem, you might want to listen. This is a problem. It isn’t the place of the body mod community to “reclaim” jack shit. Sure, there are overlaps, as I don’t know of any reason one couldn’t be a proud Hindu or Buddhist and a body mod enthusiast, but many would agree that it simply isn’t the place of the pro organization that represents us to fight that battle, especially with a picture of a white male with a bunch of swastikas and no context. I wasn’t the first to raise the alarm, just the loudest and most unpopular. Any comments about it by Jews, people of color, or others with clear cultural affiliation were merely swept aside. People aren’t completely dumb and can clearly tell that the Native American man with the headdress, the Ganesha or the Buddha aren’t hateful- the white hipster with the swazi plugs and the guy in the German uniform cooking bacon for his Jewish buddy definitely warrant more attention, because context is key. My earlier video stands on it’s own, and clearly is as close to the edge as I would ever feel comfortable doing, but the white hipster kid with swazi plugs starts to look suspect when nothing immediately says “devout Buddhist, maybe Hindu”.
You’ll notice this when you actually get to SE Michigan. I’m sure we will all be treated to a selfie, wearing something boldly emblazoned with swastikas, somewhere recognizable. You’ll take that picture and take that shit out and go back to work, since it won’t fly anywhere around here in reality.
A final note- body jewelry itself is generally neutral. A company can certainly make jewelry with swastikas on it, since body piercing fans come in every color and creed under the sun, and it makes a huge difference who wears it. I fully support the jewelry companies making whatever adornments people want, but l am not going to avoid sparking the debate when I see something that needs to be debated. (btw- I genuinely NEVER noticed the swazis in those Modifika plugs. All I saw was a geometric pattern. Talk about surprised….)
All of this! Not that anyone cares to understand JC’s point but goddamn he makes such a good one…
Yes, smoking causes a number of issues in regards to wound healing. I mean, it gives people cancer and kills them. What do you expect when you saturate a healing piercing with those toxins? Expect longer healing times, increased soreness, greater amounts of swelling, redness, and discharge.
And no, rinsing with mouthwash after a cigarette will not cancel out the negative effects of smoking.
The documented effects of the toxic constituents of cigarette smoke—particularly nicotine, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen cyanide—suggest potential mechanisms by which smoking may undermine expeditious wound repair.
You can read more about the negative effects of smoking on wound healing in the following articles published by the medical community.
- Cigarette smoke effects on cells crucial for wound healing
- Smoking and wound healing.
- Smoking and Wound Healing: A Guide for Surgical and Burn Patients
Introducing Pattern #1: “Suspension” from our 2014 release of Osmytza Filigree plugs.
In this eight piece collection, Mima explored filigree as a three-dimensional form. She plays with tension, curvature, and torsioin in way that I’ve never seen in her medium.
In this pair, she bends a band of filigree into a full circle that delicately suspends in a thin network silver lines. It is free to rotate as the wearer moves, showing different angles on the ring which widens and tapers from one side to the other.
Shown set into a 1 inch tunnel, this specific piece is available to ship now. Orders for sizes between 7/8” and 2” are welcome. Please inquire by writing to:
Our portfolio is online at http://merikenmetals.blogspot.com
**Stay tuned for more releases, or contact us to preview all the patterns now**
Here ya go enjoy ;)