Monthly Archives: November 2003

Car stuff

First of all, I've put a cover page back on POHT after having it offline for almost half a decade or something. There's nothing new on the site, but at least now people can look at the old galleries and articles. It says this on the page but let me repeat that the “for sale” galleries are out of date and if you email the people in them you'll just annoy them.:

Also, because people ask me about it constantly, I've put up an info page on how the rear of the Kelmark functions… I guess a lot of people want to do this conversion. I'd certainly recommend it.


My apologies for the rust and broken exhaust bits, but I assume this shows how simple the mechanics of it are. The trick of course is getting the final fitting perfect.

To clarify, a two-legged “T” (like the symbol pi) has been fitted onto the back of the frame. This mates (via two big simple bolt hinges at the edges of the T) to brackets on a large metal plate that's attached to the bottom of the trunk — the beauty of doing it this way is that you can build the hinge assembly, then drop the rear into place, slide it around it until it's where you want, and then bolt it onto the hinge plate. A belt keeps the rear from flipping too far, and hydraulic cylinders provide buffering. In addition, a flange has been built where the body was cut, and inner fenders have been fabricated.

Interview

First, let me mention that if you're looking for Jon today, his flight got cancelled due to the storms in Chicago and will have to be rescheduled. (Sorry if it seems weird that I'd post that there, but I figure it'll save some cellphone bills).

I just did the following interview with an art magazine… Just archiving it here for my own records.


So first, let me ask your name, age, and city of residence.

Shannon Larratt, age thirty. I don't live in a city — I live on a soybean farm in rural Canada.

How long have you been into body modifications, and what got you into them?

Well, I suppose I've been into body modifications for thirty years, since it's “who I am”. I started expressing it probably at puberty and then more seriously in my later teens. As far as what got me into it, like I said, it's just “who I am” — for whatever reason, it's how I want to express myself and explore the world.

What was your reasoning behind bmezine.com? What did you think it would achieve?

BME was started originally (in 1994) as my personal homepage. I posted pictures of my own body modifications and encouraged others to do the same. I wasn't really trying to achieve anything grand at that point — I just wanted to share what I was doing and enjoying, and talk to and learn from others around the world doing the same.

When you started it, did you think it would get the response that it did?

At the time I wasn't really expecting massive feedback, but within a few months it was clear that there was enormous interest in the subject. In 1995 GNN ranked BME as the 24th most popular site on the internet of all subjects! Of course, the internet was a lot smaller back then — I'm currently sitting at around 850th, which is still quite impressive I think.

What political party do you follow, if one at all? (If there's not one, then describe for me some of your political views)

Here in Canada I consistently vote Marijuana Party who are of course a single-issue party that tends to receive about 4% of the vote where they have candidates. I vote that way because I believe that legalization of marijuana is a very important first step in the securing of larger freedoms. When there's no Marijuana Party candidate in my area I vote NDP, a left wing party — as far as a US equivalent, politicians such as Dennis Kucinich are closest to their views. It clashes a little with my libertarian ideals, but having a strong social support net (ie. education, healthcare, welfare, and so on) is very important to me.

I don't really have “political” views in so much as I have spiritual views which I try and express politically. More on those interests are on my personal website at www.zentastic.com as well as my blog at glider.bmezine.com.

Do your political views differ from those of your family? (If so, can you describe what some of their political views are)

On most issues they're relatively similar. My father leans on the libertarian side and is probably where I got those values, and my mother leans on the left wing side. Unfortunately she makes the common leftist mistake of confusing “protection” with “repression” and supports things that I find deeply offensive such as banning of piercings from the school system (she's an elementary school teacher) and so on — I find it somewhat disturbing that she (or anyone) believes that “people like me” don't deserve an education!

Facial piercing, tattoos, and ear modifications[spacers, etc] have become socially acceptable. You see them everywhere. Do you think the body modification culture is pushing the boundaries farther and farther to ensure that the movement always remains somewhat taboo or shocking to the general public?

I'm sure there are some people who are just desperately trying to be rebellious… But to quote Ryan O'Brien who I worked with on BME/Books, “I never wanted to be different — I just wanted to be me.”

I think if someone just tries to set themselves apart for the sake of being apart that they will ultimately not be satisfied by those actions. However, if a person strives to be themselves, without compromise, I believe they will be happy — even if the world occasionally unfairly kicks them in the gut.

Why do you think people with body modifications become victim to a stereotype of being a rebel?

I don't believe that's true. Some people might try and achieve that, after all, it's a romantic notion, but I don't believe that's the norm. Nor do I believe at this point that the average mundane sees body modification as an act of rebellion.

Do you think that when employers deny jobs to those with visible modifications, that it is the same as if they would deny them employment because of race/gender?

Well, it's not really the same thing. Race and gender are essentially immutable. There's not a whole lot you can do about it. The type of discrimination going on against body modification is more like discrimination against people over sexual orientation (ie. refusing to hire gays) or religion (ie. refusing to hire Muslims) — you can hide your orientation or religion if you have to, but it's still an essential part of who you are that can be very personally damaging to repress.

Twenty years ago, most of the acceptable body modifications were looked down upon. What do you think it will be like twenty years from now?

I believe that most of the modifications that we have in common circulation today will be considered absolutely normal in twenty years. I doubt there will be significant stigma attached to them.

What are some of your future plans for bmezine.com?

BME is going in two distinct directions. The part that provides information (the experience archives, photo galleries, glossary, BME/news, and so on) I'm very happy with and will continue predictably in that direction. The only major change is that in 2004 I will probably start taking video submissions on the site as well as pictures and stories.

The other part of the site, the community aspect that's currently personified primarily by the IAM.BMEZINE.COM site, will undergo the most radical changes. I know what some of them are (they're a secret though), but many of them will be dictated by the underlying technological changes.

Any last words?

Keep on truckin'.

Gratuitous title goes here

I've got a whack of work to do this morning… First I have to write an expansion on the accounting backend for an e-commerce product. I've also got an interview to do later and then piles of BME work (encyclopedia, articles, etc.) — that part never ends!

I watched CNN absent-mindedly for about an hour today. They were talking about some Thai festival, and typical “far away land” type footage began to play. I always love it when “production notes” slip through into publication (stuff like “insert picture here” notes, etc.)… this one struck me as quite funny:

“Gratuitous elephant video”???… Although it doesn't beat the time a major ISP (or was it a bank?) used a photo of an Asian man on their cover page — only to discover that their racist webdesigner had called the file chink.jpg not realizing that someone was going to notice by looking at their browser's status bar as the page loaded (because the designer often works on a zero-latency local connection, they don't see this).


Bug notification: There appears to be a problem somewhere in the gallery editing tool. I don't know who is having the problem, but if you are trying to use that tool and it's crashing on you, please let me know the details.

Enjoy the update, for the end is coming.


Other than the update, you might want to check out Ryan and Corrie's page for info on the new series of BME postcards and trading cards… They're running a contest — want to be on the cards?

Finally, sorry for being so late in promo'ing this, but Jon's IAM.Crush2 is up and running and a zillion times better than the old one.

Another nice big update (2,830 images) for you today. Not quite as crazy as last time (3,239), but still a big one. Thank you to nickythegreek for being our cover model (one of my favourite covers all year I think) — that's his first play piercing session. Also thanks to Blair for about a hundred ear scalpelling and “correction” photos that should be very interesting to artists especially.

Also, congrats to Perk900 for crossing the 1,000 image line for this year, and a belated congrats (it actually happened last update) to Nobcatz for crossing the 2,000 image line (!) this year.


Now I wanted to mention some scary stuff:

The US (via Perle) has admitted that the war on Iraq is illegal (more), saying “I think in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing.” If that's not enough of a “wow” moment, let me add to the mix what General Tommy Franks just said. According to Franks, if there's another attack on the US, the US will dissolve its government and Constitution in favour of a fully military government. (more)

Holy crap America. Was 9/11 really just a military coup?

I wish I was making this crap up.

I'd say it's about time to stockpiling your ammunition.

The US has deployed 20,000 troops along the Syrian border (more), a move that threatens to erupt the entire Middle East into armageddon should it continue to escalate. Bush has called up even more troops (mostly National Guard and reserves) to go to Iraq to die (more, more). Unfortunately they've also admitted that they can't afford to pay everyone and troops that are injured may not get medical care (more).

As you know, UK targets were bombed in Turkey, injuring almost 500 people and killing about thirty (more), with continuing attacks expected. Even more US targets (including corporate targets) have been hit in Iraq (more), and the analysts continue to point out that the loose al Qaeda-type franchises (more) are figuring out how to very effectively combat Western aggression (more).

The more time that passes the more allies the US is losing in the world (more, more) — and stunts like hiding key intelligence from even allies like the British (thereby killing UK troops) really isn't helping (more). Other stunts like regularly blowing up civilian homes in Iraq (more) guarantees a steady stream of guerrilla volunteers, and what's that I see… oh — Saudi Arabia is getting itself some nukes to be safe from US attacks (more).

Back on US soil, Congress just approved yet another massive expansion of police powers, throwing away the rights of US citizens (more). New York City continues to block access to 9/11 records (more) making folks wonder just what's being hidden… and over and over, the people ask whatever happened to the Constitution (more)?

Stupid lawyers…

So I'm getting threatened with yet another frivilous lawsuit (and once again, it really has nothing to do with me). Here's the start of a letter I (well, “Ms.” me anyway) got via courier:

Basically their complaint is that in some fantasy story on Eunuch.org someone talks about sticking a Bardex™ catheter up their ass, therby risking “misuse” and “potential injury” when other people try and stick catheters in their butt as well (so they say). Aparently their catheters are safe for urethras, but not for rectums. Or something like that… They asked me to “revise the story to refer to an enema nozzle or other non-infringing phrase”.

First, it's not my site and not my problem.

Second, if someone wants to shove a Bardex up their ass, it's cool by me. If Bardex wants to be sure everyone knows it's a registered trademark of C. R. Bard, Inc., I figure it's fair to let folks know, but I'm not in the business of censoring sites that I provide hosting for… Anyway, here was my response:

Subject: Bardex trademark use

I received a letter (FedEx) from you today regarding online use of the BARDEX trademark in erotic stories.

I should point out that you are writing to the wrong person. While I do provide hosting services for many sites, I am not the webmaster or owner of the site in question (eunuch.org) nor am I aware of the identity of the author of the story you're concerned about (other than the name and email that you've forwarded to me of course) that involves customers of your client's enjoying your client's products in a way perhaps more pleasurable than your client had intended.

My advice would be that when you want to get in touch with the owner of a website that you use the contact information on that website. Contacting registrants usually just puts you in touch with an ISP who has no control over matters such as this.

Other than that, if you'd like to send me a suitable press release on the erotic uses of your client's products I'd be happy to post it on my own web site.

Shannon

The letter was actually couried by UPS. I hope they pick up on that because I thought it was funny in terms of tradename usage. And yeah, I know… Baiting lawyers is a real bad idea, but it's oh so fun.