Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Ink Blot

Pestilence has hit the shores of our fair land galloping only slightly faster than War. He brings with him not the usual assortment of genital warts, feline leukemia, and African Trypanosomiasis, but rather a wondrous new disease perfect for a daytime television audience: the staph infection.

While high schools are spraying down their locker rooms, gym rats are being told to let up on their mixed martial arts. At its worst the disease could kill off rafts of people, and at its best it will leave cable news outlets grasping for the next superpandemic to stir up a viewing audience.

But I'm convinced that if you can come away with tattoos like this, not only will Staphylococcus aureus become the next big thing, it will be controlled and commodified at your nearest storefront grunge parlor--indentifiable by strong death metal symbolism.

I have envisioned this all throughout the day after viewing the above images and others, including this one and even this one (the latter is part of a wonderful catalog put together by the Centers for Disease Controld) that would make your neighborhood inker weep.

There is clearly room for the symptoms of disease in art, or body modification if you will. Syphilis never took off in part because it made you deaf (OK, Beethoven, we know it was lead poisoning, but I'm not so sure about this bacterium before us. I have high hopes that finally a new pox will knock off henna from the hallow steps of body beautification.

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