Monthly Archives: May 2004

The rules of Survivor

Rule number one, from the CBS website, and as stated on the show:

[You may not] try to conspire to share the prize. The million dollars may be won by one and only one individual. Survivors are prohibited from sharing or making any agreement to share all or any portion of the prize.

To be clear. If you win Survivor, you can not hook up with another player and share the money, even if you didn't overtly plan it. If I was Jenna, Rupert, or any of the losing players, I'd be calling my lawyer… Although part of me thinks that's why CBS has come up with the “surprise second million”.

Amber and Rob are disqualified from winning Survivor for cheating. Since Rob's alliance is what basically threw every player off — at the cost of his own victory — it's not only a clear conspiracy, but it also means every player was wronged (and has a “case”). Rob and Amber had an alliance from the start, they played the game as a team, they controlled the game's alliances far more effectively as a pair, and (with an agreement to marry before the winner was even announced) shared the money. That is not a sole survivor, and it is not what the game is about…

…or is it?

Let me tell you about another game called the Kobayashi Maru…

Image update posted

An image update is posted, but not a big one (just over 666 images). Because I'm so far behind (the afternoon of 4/20 is where I'm up to), I'm adding pictures in the order they were sent to me (although clumped by submittor, so if you submitted pictures on 4/18 and 4/30 they'll all be in the update). Thanks to everyone for their patience, and thank you to Volatile for (again?) being the cover model, and Deletia for taking the photo.

Oh, and that is for the folks who slagged me for saying that there's sometimes a crossover between neonazis and militant edge. It's hard to believe that this is some “I didn't notice” coincidence. Having a poison free body is commendable, but if you can't keep your soul poison free as well, it's all for nothing.

Maybe it boils down to the “are they stupid, or are they evil” question? It's so hard to tell most of the time whether people behave poorly because they are ignorant, or because they genuinely are “evildoers” on some level… Anyway, I'll try and post some more images to the site tomorrow (about the same amount probably), and you can expect a very cool new feature, probably on Monday, for IAM that I think will be genuinely useful, especially to people who use forums for organizing events, suspension teams, etc.

Interviewed again

At 5/4/2004 0411 PM, you wrote:
>Shannon - Sorry I missed your call. If you could respond to the following questions asap I would be very appreciative - please know I may use them as direct quotations in my story.

No problem.

>1) Do you have a split tongue? Why did you decide to get the procedure done and where did you get it done?

Yes, my tongue is split and has been since 1997. I'd met a guy the year before from Italy that had it done by his dentist (the first one I was able to confirm as "real" and not just urban legend — none of us were sure it was even safe/possible). Then Erik Sprague (now The Lizardman) found a doctor in Albany, NY that did the procedure for him using an argon laser, and then myself and a large number of other individuals went to that same doctor (so The Lizardman really deserves the credit for kickstarting this "trend").

The doctor who did all our procedures at this point swears up and down he hasn't worked on us and officially no longer does the procedure. Because of this I can only assume that he's gotten in some trouble over doing them and has decided it's in his best interests professionally to keep his distance.

As far as "why", honestly, I don't know — I just wanted to do it. It appealed to me on some level, and both my own research and the doctor assured me that it was totally safe and wouldn't cause any problems. So I went for it, and of all the body modifications that I've had, it's been by far the most satisfying emotionally. I don't have a precise answer any more than I can tell you why I like certain food or music. It makes me happy, and for me that's enough of an explanation.

>2) Did it hurt?

Well, it was done under anesthesia, so no. Injecting the local sure hurt, and it was truly terrible for the first 24 hours (even with the prescribed painkillers), but after that it was no big deal. As I understand it, most people don't experience as much pain as I did.

>3) Where do most people get it done? Tattoo parlors or by physicians or surgeons?

Most people go to body piercers to have it done. It's rare for people to go to a doctor, and, as my own doctor discovered, it can result in some unpleasant professional side effects, so it can be hard to even find a willing doctor.

The main reason though that people go to piercers is that they do a better job. Most people find the results from piercers more aesthetically pleasing, and more importantly, the scalpel-cut method heals dramatically faster and with less swelling and pain than a laser-based method. However, it's quite possibly not legal, and any anesthetic use will certainly be grey legally at best. Finally, a piercer has little recourse if something goes really, really wrong.

I hope people will go to doctors, but I also hope that doctors actually are willing to do the procedure (because people will have this done — and if doctors refuse, it will be amateurs), and that they watch the results and bring their procedures up to par with what's already being done underground. It's very hard to convince people that doctors are a good option when doctors do a bad job. It's almost inexcusable that doctors can't come up with a procedure that works as well as the one that a bunch of untrained individuals invented in their basements — of course, I probably shouldn't be surprised since it's the advancements in small-studio sterility control spearheaded by the tattoo industry that's been pivotal in forcing dentists and doctors to finally start protecting their clients health with similar controls.

I should also add that a lot of people simply choose to do the procedure themselves (that is, they are their own surgeon). Many people feel that they learn about themselves by being the one holding the scalpel and find it to be a powerful (and empowering) experience -- and, with so many states proposing laws against tongue splitting, self-splitting may ultimately be the only legal route available to people if doctors don't step up.

>4) Is this something that is gaining popularity in the body modification community and how long has it been around?

I've been able to document it in the West since the mid 1990s. I'm sure it was going on before that, but I can't prove it. In addition, tongue splitting is a part of Khechari Mudra, an advanced form of yoga which of course has a significant historical basis. At this point there are probably 5,000 to 10,000 people with split tongues around the world.

>5) Are there, in your opinion, any health risks to the procedure?

There are procedural and healing risks (bleeding, infection, swelling, scarring, and so on) which can be minimized by responsible behavior. As to the long term risks, in my opinion there aren't any. Once it's healed, you're fine. In a really extreme tongue split (cut really far back) you might have a slight alteration in speech, but it's going to be really limited and only people who know you will usually even notice. I laugh when I read all these dire warnings about destroying speech — that's just doctors speculating blindly, rather than people with actual experience talking.

>6) Seven state legislatures in 2004 are considering restricting the practice so that it can only be done by a dentist or physician. Do you think this is something that state government should regulate and why or why not?

Honestly, those laws are ridiculous. They're wasted money and needless political posturing that isn't serving the public in any meaningful way.

There are already laws against people who have no medical training doing surgery. Because of the racist overtones in the medical system (and government in general), immigrant doctors are sometimes unable to get their American licenses, even though they are fully qualified. This has led to the birth of a huge unlicensed medical industry, often servicing lower income ethnic communities. So these types of laws already exist and are in use. They are "general purpose" and don't require individual procedures to be named one by one.

If tongue splitting is surgery (which I'd argue it is), then there are already laws in place dealing with it. If it's not surgery, then the whole thing is a non-issue and none of the government's business. So in my opinion these tongue splitting laws are just a big waste of time and money... although they're good for people like me who encourage people to split their tongues. Because of the sheer volume of media that these silly bills have generated, thousands and thousands of people have split their tongues that otherwise would not have done so.

>Please add anything else you'd like me to know.

There's a little more info here, but it's somewhat out of date at this point http//

Here's a couple more articles that might be useful, although they're also dated
http// (by The Lizardman)
http// (about a friend of mine who the military forced to have surgery to reverse his split)


"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." —Benjamin Franklin