Shannon: Blah, blah, blah…

I just did this little interview… As always, I'm just leaving it here for my own records. If you're interested in that sort of thing, feel free to read it. Otherwise just look at the funny little fellow that was just outside my window.

Do you feel like you are discriminated because of any modifications that you have? If so, how does it make you feel? Can I have a specific example of a time that stands out in your mind?

The world is full of small and ignorant people that pathetically try and make themselves feel better by attempting to take down someone else. Do people try and insult me because of my mods? Sure, all the time. But that's life — I know that they're not actually attacking me — they're simply broadcasting their own pain and disappointment in their sad lives.

If you look different — tall, short, fat, skinny, ugly, beautiful, tattooed, albino, whatever — you become a scapegoat. That doesn't mean you're being “genuinely” discriminated against or that you should feel bad because you're being put down. It just means that you've found yourself in the company of people who are unhappy. Don't let them pass their unhappiness to you — it's their problem.

Have you ever been to a job interview and felt like you were being judged in a bad way due to your mods?

No, never. I'm good at what I do, and because I have “the credentials” required and am friendly and personable to the people that hire me, if anything having visible mods has helped my career by making me memorable. Being a hard worker and good at what you do can transform people's prejudices into working in your favor.

Do you think that there should be a set standard or law about discrimination against people with body mods?

Absolutely not. You can't “force” decency onto people. I do believe that the government should be restricted from these behaviors (that is, a public school shouldn't be allowed to deny education to a pierced student, and social services should not be denied to a heavily tattooed individual)… but I feel that we are stepping in a very dangerous direction when we start telling other people how to run their lives.

All I want for “us” is the right to practice our rites without restriction, and the freedom to exist in society as equals. Anything past that is none of the government's business.

What is your opinion on the Church of Body Modification?

It seemed like a good idea at the time, but in my opinion we were all far from qualified to attempt something as lofty as a religion, and running it as a “legal trick” was something that was destined to backfire on us.

About the CostCo case and the woman accusing violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act what is your opinion on that entire case?

It's embarrassing, and I hope that the world doesn't believe that she's representative of this community. CostCo definitely did act like idiots in firing a good employee for having an eyebrow ring, but that's their right as an employer with a dress code. If modified people don't like that, then they should stop shopping at CostCo, but “making up” a claim that an eyebrow ring is essential to religious practice just degrades all of us.

Do you ever feel like your opinions and thoughts are discredited by people due to your mods?

Absolutely not. If anything, having “hey, look at me” mods has made it much easier for me to broadcast my opinions and thoughts and has gotten me into doors I'd not have otherwise had access to.

Do you ever feel like people dont pay attention to your accomplishments and only focus on the fact that you have modifications?

No, I've never felt that. Body modification (and anything out of the ordinary) acts as an “amplifier”. If you're good at what you do, it can help you and get you “more credit” than you're due. If you're average or below average on the other hand, it can give you even less than you're due. If you choose a modified path for yourself, you will have to be willing to work hard.

If you got the chance to undo any of your mods, would you? Which ones and why?

I would not change anything. Sure, I've done things that I've covered or taken out in time, but without those experiences I wouldn't be me — and I'm happy with how I turned out and wouldn't trade myself in for anyone else.

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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