Monthly Archives: April 2003


This morning we explored a few local conservation areas, and then drove about 40 minutes north up highway seven (up onto the Canadian shield where the terrain changes quite dramatically from the southern parts of Ontario). Anyway, a few pictures from that:

A subtle chain of countless rings
The next unto the farthest brings;
The eye reads omens where it goes,
And speaks all languages the rose;
And, striving to be man, the worm
Mounts through all the spires of form.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature, 1836

Thankfully it's not a Cayenne.

We're making pizza so we went to the grocery store in Tweed… I'd just taken a shower so my hair was wet so I just pulled it back, meaning that my tattoo and ears were exposed (ie. the “that dude's not from around here” look).

Anyway, when we got there after a few minutes I heard someone chanting “Porsche Carrera” over and over and over, and then I saw it was one of the stock boys chanting it as he pushed a giant cart of bread through the grocery. After a little while he came up to us and asked if it was ours — he was very thrilled to find out it was and had a million questions.

“Is it a kit car?”
“Really? The guys in the back said it was a kit.”
“Does it have six gears?”
“That's awesome! How fast does it go?”

We told him it had no problem doing at least 260 (kph) and he spent the next ten minutes or so — until we left — running around the grocery yelling “two hundred and sixty!” over and over and over.

On the way out there was a real blubbery beast of a slag backing out of the lot — one of these truly morbid troll-women with skin made of lard that's been sitting out in the sun for a few weeks, an old mop with spilled spagetti sauce in it for hair, and nothing but 450 pounds of rat shit for guts — anyway, her kids, less visually revolting but likely equally ignorant were pasted against the window eyeing the Porsche.

When they saw me their attention shifted from the car to me. They were excited still, so they didn't automatically shift to “disgusted mode” and looked at me with the same generally amazed faces they'd reserved for the car. They were doubly amazed I think to see that Rachel and I were who the Porsche belonged to. As a result, they will forever think more highly of modified people, and their mother has more reason to hate people driving Porsches I suppose.

Worker Bee

The more 60's wilderness commune books you read, the cooler pregnant chicks building stuff gets. Seriously, I get more impressed by Rachel all the time! She's awesome!

Strictly roots and culture…

Another baby picture! Again, before you congratulate me, click the picture to find out who you actually should be congratulating (well, one of the people involved anyway, but you can follow the links).

It's weird — I was kind of confused when I saw those pictures with a recent date on them… I first saw them weeks ago, but I've been having some trouble staying just in the present and find myself moving through time less linearly than I'm told is normal.

Just did the little interview below, archiving it here as always…

1. Do you think there is an increase in bod mods among teenagers?

More teens get body modifications every year, yes, but it's not just teens. There's also an increase in body modification in seniors, and everyone between. I would not classify body modification as a “youth activity”.

2. Is it becoming a trend?

I don't believe that trend is the right word. Since the early 1990s, every one of us in the industry has said, “well, this is the last big summer for body piercing”, expecting that we're riding the final wave of the trend. But, every year, it's gotten bigger, and expanded its demographic. In addition, because an increasing number of these modifications are permanent (it's not like a funny hairdo or a style of clothing that you can swap overnight), people commit themselves for life and I don't think “trend” is really the right word for that.

3. What are some of the most popular bod mods you've seen among teens?

Among teens the popular mods are probably most facial piercings — lip, tongue, nose, and so on — as well as ear piercings of all sorts, including stretching. Nipple and navel piercings are also popular, as are tattoos of course.

4. Do you think that employers react differently to people with bod mods than to people who do not?

It depends on the employer. In jobs that require interaction with a mainstream market that may discriminate against those with visible body modifications, those employers may choose to shy away from the pierced for financial reasons. That said, the visibly modified public is growing dramatically as a “market sector” so employers are forced to hire the modified to reach that market.

In jobs that are meritocracies, assuming the potential employee has the skills and can document them, while the mods may provide an initial hiccup, in the long run many people find the memorability of their look actually helps them.

5. Why do you think that high schools do not allow teens to wear facial piercings?

Public high schools that ban piercing by students do so because they are ignorant and small-minded and want to do everything they can to ensure that graduating students are equally ignorant. Sure, they may cloud the issue in bogus claims about protecting the integrity of the educational process, but all of these claims are revealed as deceitful and false under any objective scrutiny.

The fact is that a student that is willing to buck the mainstream and pierce their face is an individual with the power to question authority and the power to think for themselves, even if they don't know it yet or have not yet learned to coherently express it. The last thing the “establishment” wants is free individuals, since freedom is a threat to their ability to control and profit. Remember, the school system isn't run by individuals or even the local community. It's a factory system owned by the state, designed to produce a product.

6. How well do you think people respond to those with noticeable bod mods?

The world is full of people who enjoy making other people suffer, and as long as body modification is a minority act, it will make us a target for these sad people. It's becoming less common though, and I hope that in the long run it will all but disappear.

Today is 2003/04/17

I've been mentioning the looting of the museums, libraries, art galleries, and so on in Iraq: “The Iraqi National Museum… 500,000 years of history, the most complete timeline of civilization that existed in any museum in the world… it is shattered, it is smashed” (more). While the rumors that the Marines opened up the museum doors for looters seem hard to believe, it's almost equally disturbing that massive resources have been put into protecting oil, but none into protecting these treasures which one could argue had far more value (more) — why hand over a half billion dollars to Halliburton to protect oil and nothing to anyone to protect history?

And why hand these contracts out in secret? (more).

Iraqi banks have also been looted (robbed) to the point of destroying the economy (more)… as a result Iraq is being switched to US currency (more), something which could have damaging results on many, many levels. But don't worry, General Tommy Franks is enjoying his now gold-fixtured office, smoking cigars in what he calls the “oil-for-palace program” and says that Iraqis really don't mind Americans taking over Saddam's palaces (more).

A day or two ago I commented on CNN's claim that during Saddam's rule they reported primarily lies to their viewers due to his degrees. Now, CNN admits freely that they censor anti-war views (more), and the “Fox Effect” threatens to degrade all big news agencies (more)… But what's interesting is that the “embeds”, or, as WorldNet's Ilana Mercer calls them, “presstitutes” (more), are now making similar claims — talking about the brutality of civilian slaughter-parties that they were unable to report on while under US command. Laurent Van der Stockt of the NY Times describes what it was like (more).

With my own eyes I saw about fifteen civilians killed in two days. I've gone through enough wars to know that it's always dirty, that civilians are always the first victims. But the way it was happening here, it was insane.

I drove away a girl who had had her humerus pierced by a bullet. Enrico was holding her in his arms. In the rear, the girl's father was protecting his young son, wounded in the torso and losing consciousness. The man spoke in gestures to the doctor at the back of the lines, pleading: "I don't understand, I was walking and holding my children's hands. Why didn't you shoot in the air? Or at least shoot me?"

Civilians are still being killed in Iraq (more). Iraqis continue to protest America in growing numbers (more), often with direct anger toward them (more), with Knight Ridder reporting that in the bombed areas, everyone “wants to kill Americans” (more)… and that's a big problem if democracy comes to Iraq. A truly democratic Iraq will almost certainly not be friendly toward the US (more).

PS. Since no WMDs have been found in Iraq, the story was first “they must have been moved to Syria”, but now it seems to be “oops, there's no WMDs because we accidentally destroyed them”… (more)… Ah, faith-based evidence.