Monthly Archives: March 2003

What if…

First of all, I want to be very clear that in this entry I'm not questioning any technical merits of this procedure. To be bluntly honest, this is a relatively safe procedure. I see no fault in how it was performed, and being realistic, it's likely safer than a cartilage piercing.

Not everyone gets body modifications to “improve” themselves in an obvious sort of way. Sometimes people choose instead to “damage” their appearance — to purposefully create an injury* rather than to create a work of body art (in the traditional context of the word). Amputation most obviously falls into this category, as do some forms of self-cutting. To cite a couple of other examples I can remember:

  • The “enforcer” for a high-end law firm who chose to have fairly brutal scars placed across his face in order to appear more “frightening” to the people he had to “deal with”.
  • The video game fanatic that sought a ragged full face scar because it was what his favorite electronic character had.
  • The man who fell in love with an amputee, and cut off his own limb in order to more closely understand his muse's problems and help him with them.

Those are all real examples; you may know who I'm talking about even… I definitely am not questioning the reasoning, because in each of these cases the people were happier afterwards, and, given that my own reasons must seem kooky to many, I'm in no place to question anyone's internal drives. None of us are (let me show you my glass house, please don't throw rocks).

But… That doesn't mean that someone can't get screwed by the system, and that may well mean the practitioner unfortunately. Steve recently submitted the photos below (and again let me emphasize that I'm not questioning this girl, nor am I doubting Steve's competence on this in any way):

She wanted it to look like someone (Mike Tyson perhaps?) had taken a bite out of her ear. I think that look was certainly achieved. But lets say her parents FREAK OUT.

(dramatization) Becky is unstable. You should have known that. Come on! What normal person wants their ear bitten off? Obviously she was unstable, and you ignored that to make $350. Guess what — now we're suing you for 1.2 million dollars!

Yes, it can and does happen, even with adult kids. The kicker is that the client can maintain their sanity throughout a trial such as above and still have the practitioner potentially lose… and if the client changes their mind, it's a guarantee'd loss.

All it takes is a lawyer convincingly saying “you should have known this person was potentially unstable because of their request, and provided adequate screening.”

And I think we all know that if you get a mainstream jury together, even if they support our right to do things like this, they will question it. And, since pretty much zero practitioners offer psychiatric screening (only some of the old-school cutters do, because they understand they have to to protect themselves), it's quite likely an open-and-shut loss for the body modification community.

When doctors do procedures on people who they think are unstable, they will usually ask them to get approval from a therapist or second doctor to cover their asses. It's very easy to sue someone — even if it eventually gets thrown out of court, it can still cost crippling amounts of money.

Just be careful…

* Chicks dig scars.

Tattoo time

I only got about two hours of sleep, so hopefully this entry makes some sense. Some pictures of the tattoo being done (all taken by Phil I think). It's obviously quite fresh and swollen in these pictures, so in about a week the colour will be much more subdued, and the lines will be less bumpy!

There's still a little work do to closer to the eyes that we didn't totally feel up to doing that day. There will be more pix in the next BME update as well.

Tattooed face

I'll post pictures of the tattooing in the morning, but I wanted to share this brief anecdote at the train station. As we were upgrading our ticket to the sleeper car, I was telling Rachel, in regards to my bandaged up forehead,

Shannon: If anyone asks, we were visiting a friend's house, and his monkey attacked me.

The guy doing the tickets overhears this and laughs.

VIA rail dude: Aren't you that guy that has the BME BBQs on Bathurst?

Shannon: Yeah, that's me… although I've moved now.

VIA rail dude: Did you get more hooks through your forehead?

Shannon: No, actually it's a fresh tattoo.

VIA rail dude: I've been to a couple of your parties — I don't have any tattoos or piercings, but most of my friends do and they have IAM pages.

Anyway, it was really cool… Definitely made me feel better about VIA after that ass Maurice. Well, I'm going to bed shortly, but I will post some pix tomorrow, although the full story will be saved for the experience — this one's a solid ten years in the making!


The Internet allows people to redefine their identities as adults, whereas “real life” forces you to be largely who your parents built, as they chose your name and even your interests for the first part of your life. Body modification also allows one to redefine and recreate oneself past what both your parents and fate handed you. Is there a link?

Well, that's where I am right now (Toronto)… I'm totally sick with a fever and all that, and feel pretty miserable. The stresses of traveling, even minor traveling, are really hard on me. In about four hours I get tattooed though, and while it will probably be a pretty miserable experience, I'm still very much looking forward to it.

I watched a bunch of American TV at the hotel today… pretty weird stuff. It was a bunch of right-wing morons con gratulating themselves on how they had pretty much won the war on terror, and that they expected an apology from any lefties that said that the US was spending money the wrong way — they conveniently left out that it was Pakistan that caught Mohammed, not US troops, as well as leaving out that until he was captured, we was considered 22nd on the list.

Anyway, while boasting about the win on the war in terror, they also boasted about how the war on Iraq was a done deal, and they were looking forward to taking out the next cog in the axis of evil, Iran… They said their only regret was that the Democrats had so slashed the US military budget that unless America doubled both its military personnel and its spending, things could get dire.

When you join the military, you sign away a lot of your rights as far as civil right go… I was thinking a while back that if the US put itself in a position where 50% or more of the population is directly or indirectly employed by the military, they don't even have to push through any questionable Patriot Act II type crap… They simply trick you into becoming a slave.

Anyway, VIA rail, the train company that I rode to Toronto is getting an unpleasant letter from me. Whenever I have an anglo attendant, the trip is wonderful. Amazing service. But whenever it's a Francophone (and this is a train that comes from either Hull or Montreal, so that's common), the service, at least for us English speakers is atrocious.

I understand why there's tension between the English and the French in Canada. I understand why whites and blacks want to kill each other in many places, and I understand why most people secretly hate the Jews… But there's no excuse for acting out ones prejudices, especially on the job. Here was my encounter:

Me, to food cart attendant: Where should I go for a drink? Should I be asking you?

Maurice: I'm done serving drinks.

Me: But you haven't even come through our car yet.

Maurice: It doesn't matter because I don't have anything left anyway.

I look down at the cart, which is open. It's at least half full. There are drinks and snacks of every kind.

Me: But I can see them right there!

Maurice opens the cart, makes it very obvious that there's tons left, and then closes it and flips the lock shut.

Maurice: There isn't anything left.

Then that fucker just turned around and walked away. This isn't the first time I've received poor service from VIA, but it's only ever been from the French. I have no good explanation for why, other than simple hatred of Anglos, but that seems a little extreme.

Other than that, I had to yesterday spend about six hours in the presence of and interacting with extremely stupid (ie. normal) people. I'm totally spoiled both by the peers that I see in person and the people I talk to online (although I have to bite my tongue occasionally to keep from freaking out on a couple of obvious people in the Whatever forum who “disrupt with dumbness”); I literally only associate with people who can carry on a conversation on a fairly evolved level.

I'm sure it must reek of elitism, but I simply can't find common ground with these apes. Seriously, it's like trying to debate philosophy with a dog. The only reason I'd even bother is because I like hearing myself talk… I'm sure many of you reading this must have the same problem. We're approaching an evolutionary divide — the Internet has allowed people with real brains to meet others like them, enhancing and encouraging their abilities, widening the greymatter divide.

What happens to the world when we see a fifty-point spread on “IQ” (or whatever we replace that flawed test with); that is, when we find ourselves with two groups of humans — those that “get it” and those that don't? And the bigger question I have personally is what happens when you couple that “mental horsepower” with spiritual awareness? That, I believe, is humanity's next step — a genuine comprehension on a rational level of the spiritual world.

Oh, and I have the full opening sequence for the movie scripted/designed and roughly storyboarded, as well as a couple other new scenes. I'll definitely have to check with some experts to make sure I'm operating in relatively safe territory, but assuming we can figure out a few of the safety issues, you'll be in for something quite amazing!

Anyway, I guess I should try and find some breakfast.

Morning of 2003/03/08

I've got to take off for a little while to run errants and complete holy quests (and I say that with some seriousness), so I'll post sporadically at best over the next 48 hours.

Some quick newslinks and quotes before I go…

First, it's been revealed by the IAEA that the documents that the US provided to show that Saddam was seeking “weapons of mass destruction” were fake. That is, the US tried to frame Iraq because it's so desperate for war… So, let's look at two recent “revelations” from US action:

I have to admit though that forcing a country to disarm through force and lies, and then claiming that they haven't disarmed (when all the evidence says otherwise) in order to invade them is one of the most cowardly things I can think of… So basically the US will only attack unarmed enemies? After all, even though North Korea continues its missile tests, the US continues to hand it more nuclear documents!

And what wonderful things do Americans get in exchange for their support of Bush? After all, he offered Turkey $30 billion in bribe for using their bases — he must be offering something to his own people, right? Ah, here it is — a massive $1.82 TRILLION DEFICIT which would plunge the US into a potentially irreversable financial collapse. Oh, and goodbye jobs.

"[Bush] is the worst president ever. He is the worst president in all of American history."

Helen Thomas
Hearst Newspapers*

Here's a good one: 13 Questions We Wish They'd Asked… Although I think we know Bush's answer to all of them… Just write “God”, “Good”, “Evil”, “Iraq”, “Saddam”, “al Qaeda”, “Osama”, “September 11th”, “Liberty”, “Freedom” and a bunch of related slogans on a piece of paper and play connect the dots at random. Don't expect it to make any sense to anyone outside of America though.

"[President Bush] confidently asserts a worldview that most Christian denominations reject outright as heresy: the myth of redemptive violence, which posits a war between good and evil, with God on the side of good and Satan on the side of evil. [This approach] is characterized by a stark refusal to acknowledge accountability, because to suggest accountability is to question American purity, which would undermine the secular theology of 'good vs. evil' inherent in present U.S. policy."

Rev. Fritz Ritsch
Bethesda Presbyterian Church, VA

Want another link on that subject? Bush, the Bible, and Iraq… Is President Bush really just a “hired Christian thug” as Harold Pinter claims? Is he really trying to set about the apocalypse?


* Ms. Thomas is a part of the White House press corps aand has covered every president since John F. Kennedy.