Monthly Archives: November 2003

Woo woo

Working on an update all day. I think it'll probably be another big one…

Solar flares

I don't know if anyone is under a clear sky or not, but if you are, check out the Northern Lights… They're pretty bright tonight. My camera isn't the greatest at night, but here's a photo. The triangular shape is the barn roof, to put it into context:


Rushed back early to take care of a sick girl so I shorted some of my plans for today, but I did get to go to the opening which is the primary reason I went. Also had some very productive meetings regarding a new type of piercing tool we hope to be manufacturing and releasing in 2004.

Anyway, I enjoyed the show (and bumped into silentlight and friends) and I think the interview went well — we had a surprise interjection with an African-Canadian woman that was very worried that the photos were exploitative and racist because of the way they were decontextualized. I can't say I agreed with her on the whole, but she raised valid points and I did a follow-up interview with her that'll be included in the piece. It was recorded (audio) but I don't think the quality is quite good enough for broadcast (too much background noise).

Not that I should be surprised, but I of course came home to computer problems… So now to get those sorted out and then get to work on an image update and some articles.


Mike pointed out this story about yet another schoolboard talking about a ban on body piercing. They don't seem to realize that the more they ban it the cooler it gets — want to stop kids from getting piercings? Don't tell them they're not allowed — encourage all your teachers to do it too. That'll make it so uncool it'll stop immediately, except on the kids that need piercings.

Board member Bob Markwell, who is also a physician, had two questions, "One, is it really creating health problems? Two, is it disruptive to the educational process? Or is it just a generational gap?"

And yes, I realize that might be seen as three questions, but at least it's a reasonable course of thinking for a change.

I wanted to mention an interesting QOD-type story that had been brought to my attention lately. I'll paraphase the question here:

Lately all of the latex at our studio has been breaking down — gloves tearing and crumbling when we put them on and stuff like that. The only different thing is that we've been running our de-ionizing air cleaner 24/7. Have you ever heard of anything like this?

I'd actually never heard of anything like this, so I did some asking around and Tom Brazda pointed out that one of the side-effects of these air cleaners is producing ozone. Ozone speeds up oxidation, which thereby breaks down the latex.

I'm headed off to Toronto shortly for Liam's CLASH show. The opening is tonight at the “a” gallery (or something like that)… It's located at 24 Spadina Road (the part of Spadina that's north of Bloor) at the opening is at 6 PM. The show continues until January 10th. Anyway, I'm quite looking forward to it and I've picked up a little low-tech tape recorder to use to interview with so if it turns out I'll BMEradio it, and if not, it'll be in my next column.

Consider stopping by if you're in the area… And I think you should probably dress nice, but I don't know. Not that I have any “nice” clothes. Maybe I can find something with buttons at least.

PS. Does it amuse anyone that the US is inspired by the Nazis?

Killing hobos

I've been pre-processing all the submissions for the update (on Friday I think)… Wanted to share the kooky mail I got (above) as well as the picture below which is 100% real and not doctored at all.

Since the people in the picture have been in the BME galleries for some time, maybe it's not quite as “waaaah?” as it might be for some, but it's a fun photo I thought.

The debate over in the cosmetic surgery forum is fascinating… Maybe it's because my interest is body modification more so than piercing or tattooing in order to “look the part” of hip young indie-kid or whatever, but I find it truly bizarre that people with tattoos would take issue with a person who wants a boob-job or whatever other cosmetic procedure is out there…

As far as I'm concerned, if there's a procedure that makes a person happier in their body, I say go for it. Get a tattoo, and a bunch of people without tattoos have problems with you. Get “perfect breasts”, and a bunch of people without “perfect breasts” will have problems with you. I mean, I understand that one could worry that someone is getting a “societally perfect” body because other people told them too (that's my only issue with cosmetic surgery — that in some cases it's in effect non-consensual), but it wouldn't be the “societally perfect” body unless a significant number of people genuinely preferred straight teeth, evenly shaped large breasts, or whatever else…

Now, that doesn't mean that you can't be stunningly beautiful at four hundred pounds or without breasts or with a page out of the big book of British smiles for a mouth — what it means is that different people like different things… And maybe instead of saying “oh that's horrible, why would you want to have such perky breasts?”, perhaps a “cool breasts, check out my tattoo, isn't it neat-o?” comment might help us a bit more?


I just think it's really weird that when a lot of people here see a tattoo they're happy for the person, but when they see a nosejob they say stuff like “why can't you just be happy the way you are?” Sadly I think it may be a reflection on why the people asking the question got into tattoos in the first place… a kind of a “better to rule in hell than serve in heaven” kind of self-esteem issue. But I don't want to play pop psychologist today.

If you're on the anti-surgery side, please just think how you feel when people approach you with comments like “oh, tattoos just look so bad… and they really look bad a few years down the road… it's too bad you can't just be happy the way the good lord made you…”

It's interesting — it almost feels like people think it's OK to attack this type of body modification. It's sort of like how you “can” make fun of East Indians on TV and people don't peg you as the racist that you are. Why is that? Do we need a little hypocrisy in part of our lives to keep it out of the rest? Maybe one day a year we should go kill a hobo to keep us polite the rest of the year?

Oh wait, I've revealed too much about my good manners.

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