May 26, 2014

Santa Muerte tattoos making white bread America less unvibrant


From the New York Times's long-running series The Way North celebrating the New America spreading north from the Mexican border along I-35:
Changing Images
REPORTED FROM KILLEEN, TEX.

When Roman Deluna and Jesús Jiménez opened Calavera Tattoos six years ago, many of the soldiers from Fort Hood struggled to pronounce the name. 
“They called it Cavalier,” Mr. Jiménez said. 

Those insensitive ignorant rednecks, thinking that the name of the shop is a reference to Fort Hood hosting the 1st Cavalry Division, when it really means "skull."
At the time, the tattoo shops here in Killeen — an Army town with tens of thousands of soldiers and nearly as many strip malls — all had names like A-1 and Second to None while tattoo design skewed heavily toward bald eagles, flags or military insignia. 
Slowly, though, local tastes have broadened alongside shifting demographics. With more Latinos joining the military and more non-Latinos interested in Mexican imagery like calaveras — skulls to memorialize the dead — Killeen now supports a handful of successful tattoo shops with Hispanic owners and obvious Chicano style. 
Mr. Jiménez, 39, has become especially well known, opening his own shop, Vida y Muerte — Life and Death —  in 2011, with artwork and a back story that defy categorization.

I used to worry about impact of massive immigration from Mexico on the quality of American culture, but now I can see that Mexicans are making boring plain vanilla American culture more vibrant with their Santa Muerte tattoos favored by cartelistas. Who needs a white bread bald eagle when you could have a syncretistic sinister Catholic / pre-Columbian skeleton?
       

29 comments:

Dennis Dale said...

I saw the teaser for this series and knew it would be horrid, but really. Tattoo parlors? Is this the cream of the crop or the bottom of the barrel? Does the NYT make such distinctions?
Next up, the increasing diversity of roadside fruit-vendors!

Dahlia said...

I live in a little Tijuana myself and the only people into that stuff are whites, especially SWPLs. Saw a documentary on it and they noted condescendingly that white Americans didn't have the proper respect and were all about the imagery. Worse, the American SWPL attitude was corrupting the lower classes of Mexico!

I go into Mexican stores often and it is all Catholic imagery: candles, ex votos, rosaries, etc.; the only place I see the Pre-Columbian skull imagery is at an organic eatery.

Anonymous said...

When I used to teach Latin at an okay state school, the kids would usually get the words cavalry and Calvary confused.

Also, I was recently at some hipstery swpl local art store in Tucson: skulls everywhere.

Oswald Spengler said...

Maybe in not too many years, white bread America can be enriched by the return of quaint pre-Columbian customs like state sanctioned ritual human sacrifice. After all, diversity is our strength and our redeemer.

Socially Extinct said...

Oswald: Sanctioned cannibalism might alleviate many problems, as well!

***

The death imagery is popular with "White alternatives" and this weirdness peaks every November 1.

SFG said...

"Maybe in not too many years, white bread America can be enriched by the return of quaint pre-Columbian customs like state sanctioned ritual human sacrifice."

George Zimmerman?

Never mind...

moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake said...

This kind of thing (recent visual cartel warnings to US cops), the encroachment into America of actual cartels is what freaks me out. I mean, I guess we've handled the mafia, surely we can handle these guys, right? Right?

Anonymous said...

And of course the mainstream Catholic Church has no balls to confront this animist cult but its got plenty to kvetch on about illegal immigrants without sin and misinterpret scripture.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

A handful of tattoo parlors! Wow! What further evidence do we need?

I thank the other commenters for confirming my initial suspicion that it is not Mexicans but alternative-happy whites who go for this. My sample size up here in NH is a little small to rely on conclusions based on impressions.

H said...

If Mexicans get Santa Muerte tattoos for skulls, are whites supposed to get Jolly Roger tattoos?

Anonymous said...

The world is getting to know what a rich culture we have

http://youtu.be/4kCnbnvkRFY

Anonymous said...

Oh Steve -- I agree with 99% of what you write, but your starting to sound like an old guy shaking his cane. This is one example of a cultural improvement brought on by Mexicanization. My wife is a white art teacher in LA and teaches Calavera-style art. Are we really upset about the demise of Bald Eagle tattoos? Really?

jody said...

anybody notice that mexicans open used tire shops? how safe is it to drive on used tires? anybody out there in the southwest checking the tread on these llantas? do they even have safety inspection in some of those states?

Anonymous said...

Those insensitive ignorant rednecks, thinking that the name of the shop is a reference to Fort Hood hosting the 1st Cavalry Division, when it really means "skull."

Indeed. In their own country no less. How dare they!

Nick Diaz said...

@Steve Sailer

"I used to worry about impact of massive immigration from Mexico on the quality of American culture."

Except that there was never much of an American culture for them to impact negatively.

You act like America pre-Mexican immigration was this incredibly refined, high culture. It is laughable. It never was.

The popular heroes of America before the 1960's were men like Al Capone and Billy the Kid. That is, criminals. How is that any different from the criminal ideal that immigrants who have the Santa Muerte tattoos? Americans have ALWAYS admired hard, ruthless men with a criminal bend.

Funny that you love to acuse Mexicans of possesing the exact same faults that many native-bprn Americans have. But, apparently, it is ok to you for native-born citizens to have these shortcomings, but not the immigrants.

What is good for the goose is not good for the gander, huh, Steve?

Whiskey said...

I see a LOT of Mexicans at dialysis ... not me my Mom has to go. None have tats, neither patients nor techs or nurses nor relatives.

I see a LOT of tats on Black folk underclass and SWPL. None interestingly on Black upper class.

Anonymous said...

Is there much of a difference between a prole with arms covered in eagles and a prole with arms covered in skulls?

Anonymous said...

Adam Carolla awhile back went on a rant about how skull imagery represents the nadir of human creativity. I wonder if Steve would go on Adam's show if invited.

Anonymous said...

Temple-Killeen is an absolute shithole. It's ghetto and has tons of crime despite (or because of?) Ft. Hood. NAMS and Army-ne'er do wells drive down to Austin on weekends and wreck havoc on Dirty Sixth.

The drunk that plowed though the SXSW crowd while running from cops was from Killeen.

Anonymous said...

The only thing more rebellious and just plain badass than getting a Mexican skull tattoo is having the NYT praise your Mexican skull tattoo in a culturally sensitive manner that clearly has nothing to do with promoting the interests of America's ruling class.

G. Buchwald said...

I'm glad Nick Diaz is back. I was getting bored of the bland cultural marxist boilerplate from anonymous interlopers. Give me the honest, aggressive anti-European racism of Diaz, Gross, Truth and Yan Shen any day. Plus 'Nick Diaz' has an amusing anagram.

Chubby Ape said...

Anonymous said...
Oh Steve -- I agree with 99% of what you write, but your starting to sound like an old guy shaking his cane. This is one example of a cultural improvement brought on by Mexicanization. My wife is a white art teacher in LA and teaches Calavera-style art....


Yes, that's right, teaching art is all about not asking what signs and symbols really mean. Folk art especially is not about asking what these symbols mean to the folk who make them; it's all about what's fun n' cool.

Semi-employed White Guy said...

Anonymous said...

The world is getting to know what a rich culture we have

http://youtu.be/4kCnbnvkRFY


So what are Armenians doing on in either MS-13 or Syria?

If they are fighting on Assad's side, then he might want to train them how to shoot. They do enjoy saying "homie".

Anonymous said...

As Dennis Miller once riffed, how many SWPLs are walking around with kanji characters they think says "Warrior Poet" but really says "Beef & Broccoli"!

ogunsiron said...

I find this little known mexican subculture fascinating:

http://onsp.bandcamp.com/

black metal mexican nazis who are not white power but Aztec power and who hate jews!

ogunsiron said...

Re: Armenian and sureno gangbangers in Syria

I guess they're modern day christian crusaders. The armnian must be a nominal orthodox christian at least.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Oh Steve -- I agree with 99% of what you write, but your starting to sound like an old guy shaking his cane. This is one example of a cultural improvement brought on by Mexicanization. My wife is a white art teacher in LA and teaches Calavera-style art. Are we really upset about the demise of Bald Eagle tattoos? Really?"

I'm upset about the advent of tattoos - a disgusting, ugly disfiguration that was adopted from savage cultures. And I'm also upset about the normalization of barbarian death-cults, like that of Santa Muerte. How long before America sees a burgeoning cult of Kali-worship. Will we also just say that Thuggee is "enriching" and "vibrant"?

Anonymous said...


The popular heroes of America before the 1960's were men like Al Capone and Billy the Kid. That is, criminals. How is that any different from the criminal ideal that immigrants who have the Santa Muerte tattoos? Americans have ALWAYS admired hard, ruthless men with a criminal bend.

"Funny that you love to acuse Mexicans of possesing the exact same faults that many native-bprn Americans have. But, apparently, it is ok to you for native-born citizens to have these shortcomings, but not the immigrants.

"What is good for the goose is not good for the gander, huh, Steve?"

Of course you're correct. Don't expect too many people to realize this here. Most of the commenters have a false idea of pre-1960s America, and particularly pre-WW2 America. They think white American culture was always like how it has been in their lifetime, and discard the influences of Progressive and New Deal social engineering. This comes from their belief in the HBD ideas of genes being the driving factor and not culture. If any of them was somehow plopped down in America in the first half of the twentieth century, much less any earlier time, they would be scared beyond belief.

A lot of what they see wrong with Mexicans is found in Americans and was even more common in Americans in the past. Mexican culture is more anti-tattooing than American culture is (although both traditionally disapprove of tattoos on women)

Anonymous said...

"I'm upset about the advent of tattoos - a disgusting, ugly disfiguration that was adopted from savage cultures."

Are you calling the men who fought for your freedom in World War II a "savage culture"? If not for that "savage culture" you'd be speaking German.