Monthly Archives: January 2002


I just got this email — I get similar ones on a regular basis. I'm not suggesting that it's offensive, only typically misguided. I'm including his email address here because he's looking for feedback (I have added the links)…


I am a student at the University of Nottingham in the UK. I am currently writing an essay entitles: Can Contemporary Bodily Practises such as Tattooing and Piercing be adequatley be explained by Lacanian Theory? I am particulary interested in whether people who are into Body Modification think that it can be equated to Self-Mutiliation and whether there is a deep routed identity crisis involved.

All thoughts welcome.

Sam (

The following was my response, I hope it makes sense, and doesn't seem to foolish for those knowledgable in Lacanian Theory:

Obviously there are many misguided individuals who mutilate and abuse themselves both through these means and others. BME is dedicated to people who are interested in modification and NOT mutilation.

Every subculture has it's unstable individuals. It is unfortunate that the media in general, including the academic media, chooses to constantly focus on these troubled people, who represent such a tiny tiny percentage of this subculture (and I should note are far from unique to the body modification community).

I have passed your email address on to the readers of the website; others may choose to contact you with their own viewpoints. Let me suggest that you read some of the tens of thousands of in depth personal stories people have posted to the site -- I think you will see that body modification is an interest that spans all demographics, and includes primarily people who are as happy and well-adjusted as anyone out there.

If you have specific questions I will do my best to answer them.


Shirt pictures

Here are the shots… They look AWESOME! I'll add the two you can buy to BMEshop later today so you can put yourself on the waiting list, and as of later today the first two contributor shirt winners will be announced:


I've got 129 experiences being scanned and added to the site right now, and on the other computer here I'm starting to edit the ModProm video which will be posted tomorrow. First a few links, but then I really have to get to work:

Racial bias in coffee shops?

I'd never really thought about it before, but considering I live in a very ethnicly diverse neighborhood, plus the fact that I'm a few hundred feet from the edge of Chinatown, the coffee shop I frequent has a shockingly white clientelle and staff. Today I went in and wasn't able to get a coffee there because a plumber hooked things up wrong for them and they had no water.

There's another Second Cup that just opened about three blocks down the street so I just went to that one. To my surprise (and this is when I realized what a segregated shop I'd been going to), it was a fully Chinese shop — both staff and clientelle — and suddenly I was the minority. It was dramatically cleaner than the shop I was used to, but it was also very sterile and there wasn't really much “vibe” between anyone like you see in most cafes. When I ordered I found another difference… For some reason every item cost about 25% more, and my drink came in a distinctly more flimsy cup (I have my cup from yesterday here on my desk so I could compare).

I don't really know what the reason for these differences is — I'm certainly not suggesting that the Chinese make a flimsy product and charge more for it. More likely, because the second shop is newer (it only opened quite recently, whereas this other one has a much longer history), they are doing what they can to maximize profits to pay off their initial investment. And, their tables seemed as full as anyone's, so I guess it hasn't been a bad decision.

But it did get me thinking that each of the Second Cups around town is very different (whereas the Starbucks are much more uniform) — there's also the Ethiopian-owened 24-hour one that gets frequented in the summers by the Asian bike gangs late at night… (And by weird stay-up-late-working people like me obviously).

Well, enough blabbing, I have work to do. I realized today as well that I haven't backed up my code for a long time. It sure would suck to have a drive failure…

Report: The Lord's Morning

First of all, since I have a number of concerned messages about it, the test search engine below was a joke. The real search engine actually works (or actually will work I suppose I should say)… but not today. Today I have to make some minor upgrades to the addimage bot. It's working perfectly exept now I need it to also write to a submissions database for tracking the weekly t-shirt* winner! (So after I find something to drink, being dehydrated is really starting to make me feel sick).

Oh, and I think every knows now how the pending US re-attack of Iraq is being stalled because they used up all their cruise missiles. Well, now it's stalled again because the multi-billion dollar stealth jet project seems to have been cracked. Czech radar, thought to be in Iraqi hands, is totally able to see the jets. How long did that investment last?

Oh, and I agree it makes sense, but it is a little disturbing. Soylent Brown is DOGS! SOYLENT BROWN IS DOGS!

* If you don't know about how to win one of these special shirts, visit the add your pictures page (and then scroll down a ways).