Monthly Archives: May 2005

Straight to hell!

Question: How bad does a tattoo of Jesus Christ have to be before it moves from honoring God on some level to full-on blasphemy? Or is it “the thought that counts“?

Restretching my ears + Stiff


Please excuse my unkempt early-morning appearance

According to my current front-page poll, about one in five people that try KAOS softwear silicone tunnels have a bad experience with them, and my own interaction with people using them reflects that. I have seen far more people than I'm comfortable with lose their stretched lobe because of use (or misuse) of this jewelry. That said, the remaining four out of five often swear by it.

When I moved out to Tweed three years ago I took out my lobe piercings (which were at just over two inches) due to the cold weather and never got around to putting jewelry back in. I've been missing them more and more, and I recently picked up a set of KAOS plugs that will return my ears to two inches, so I thought I'd mention what I consider the two primary reasons people have problems with this type of jewelry and what can be done to minimize them.

Stretching-related damage. If you over-stretch using wood, metal, or other “solid” jewelry, your ear becomes stressed, tears slightly, and then the stress is relieved. However, when over-stretching with silicone or other flexible jewelry, your ear becomes stressed, tears slightly, but then the jewelry adapts and applies more stress, causing the problem to compound until you reach the upper limit of the jewelry or remove it. I can not emphasize enough how important it is to listen to your body. If you start to experience pain, you have as little as half an hour to go back to your previous size or risk doing damage that will cost you months of stretching or more.

Tackiness-related damage. Silicone jewelry is, in most cases, extremely “sticky” and can adhere to the skin. This makes it difficult for the skin to breathe and heal, and motion of the jewelry can even tear off large pieces of the inside of your stretching. This can also compound the stretching related problems above. It is very important to be gentle when taking this jewelry out or attempting to rotate it. Personally I also use generous amounts of olive oil to lubricate the jewelry and treat the lobe, which has the added side-effect of entirely eliminating “ear stink”.

The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

I read the book on the left on the airplane back from Vegas. It's not terribly exciting, but one of the chapters deals with the mechanics of crucifixion — what placements of nails could support the body without tearing out, and so on (I guess in an attempt to legitimize the Shroud of Turin). They interviewed a doctor who'd been doing crucifixions (with rope, not nails) to test various breathing issues and he recounted a funny story.

Over the years, [Rockland County, NY's Frederik] Zugibe has occasionally received calls from volunteers seeking the real deal. "Would you believe? A girl called me and actually wanted me to nail her. She's with this group where they put plates in their face, they surgically alter their heads, they bifurcate their tongues, and put those things through their penis."

I wonder if anyone we know made the call? Somehow I think so.

Anyway, the book also talks about attempts to reanimate guillotined (as in chopped off) heads in 19th century Paris by injecting them with oxygenated blood — disturbingly, neural function (eye tracking of objects, facial expressions) does appear to be achieved. I mention it here because there's an interesting description of one of the “subjects”, a murderer named Gamahut — his name is known because he had a large gansta-style rendition of it across his torso. What, you thought Tupac came up with that style?

He also had a self-portrait of his disembodied head, in a sort of eerie foreshadowing of his demise.

I miss writing these daily…

Let me begin by distracting you with some self-cutting photos. If these don't trigger you to start ritualistically hacking away at yourself, the writing that follows it will. Don't worry, he's doing fine by the way — although I worry because his cuts get deeper every time I hear from him.

"How much evil must we do in order to do good? We have certain ideals, certain responsibilities. Recognize that at times you will have to engage in evil, but minimize it."

- Robert S. McNamara

"There is a greater than 50 percent probability of a nuclear strike on U.S. targets within a decade."

This morning I read “Apocalypse Soon” by Robert McNamara, the US Secretary of Defense during the sixties and the president of the World Bank until 1981 and one of the primary architects of US nuclear policy. The article is on the lunacy and danger of the US's continued expansion of its nuclear arsenal and the hair-trigger-apocalypse risk it keeps us all within reach of.

As much as it seems like regional conflicts (a la Iraq) are all the future holds, the strong possibility of environmental crisis coupled with severe resource shortages (water and oil) bring forward the likelihood of conflict with other sleeping giants. China's current Dong Feng-31 “limited range” ICBM can fly about five thousand miles, allowing its nuclear warheads to incinerate continental US cities on the West Coast… as I said, sleeping giant — according to the Federation of American Scientists, China's nuclear stockpile may at this point be larger than Russia's. Within five years, the DF-41 (roughly equivalent to the US Minuteman III) is expected to be operational, capable of launching within three minutes of orders being issued and delivering as many as six separate warheads to cities across the United States.

China is far from the only threat. North Korea, the crazy nuclear wild card of the axis of evil, has its Taep'o-Dong 2 ICBM (with the amusingly named No-Dong-3 version) which depening on variant can deliver a nuclear payload to Hawaii and Alaska, and maybe even California. More threatening though is North Korea's willingness to sell their missiles to anyone willing to pay (Pakistan, a Muslim nuclear military dictatorship is an obvious customer, desperate to thwart threats from apocalypse-happy India). North Korea has also worked with Iran, who the US is on the brink of war with, to develop the Shahab-6, a nuclear ICBM with almost 4,000 miles of range — not quite enough to strike the continental US, but certainly enough to strike European targets.

Beleaguered Russia continues to push both its terrifying array of ICBMs capable of striking within hours, anywhere in the world, as well as their Mach 10+ intercontinental cruise missiles (evolutions of the old Burya system) which Vladimir Putin promises are more than capable of “punching through” any missile defense system the US is capable of building.

I see skies of blue, clouds of white…
Bright blessed days, dark sacred nights…

Thank God America, probably the only nation in the world capable of stopping this madness, has embraced the culture of life. But seriously, WTF is it with this insane meet the new boss, same as the old boss Christian-Taliban xenophobic America? It doesn't even seem real, but in America people are literally losing their jobs and being threatened with legal action for co-habitation outside of marriage.

I'm not talking about dudes exploring sodomy.

I'm talking about getting an apartment with your girlfriend.

This isn't some “unenforced archaic law” — not only are criminal charges being laid, but the Supreme Court was unwilling to entirely strike down the law, and in January 2005 the ND State House upheld the law by an almost 2:1 margin. Is stoning far off?

Then there's the insane bans on everything from gay marriage, gay adoption, and now even gay sperm donation. Gay sperm donation? If being gay is a “choice” rather than something hardwired, then why would sperm donation be a problem? The whole thing is a smokescreen — it's not as if the Republican party isn't full of gay pedophiles, dudes that like to screw donkeys (it's as American as it is Swedish), and evangelical meth-pushing whoremongers.

Don't pay any attention to the fact that over 1,600 Americans have been killed in Iraq (to say nothing of the tens of thousands being sent home sans legs or with brain damage). Don't pay any attention that some of those deaths are due to faulty body armor — you mean “multiple complete penetrations of 9mm rounds” isn't a selling factor? Tell that to the people in sales. Don't pay any attention to the fact that friends of the President have made billions selling faulty “war on terror” gear to the taxpayers. And whatever you do, don't let the 2002 memo about essentially fabricating evidence to justify an invasion of Iraq get on TV.

Ah, profit

Don't worry Bush, if you don't become Emperor, the future Prez has got your back. It's a tradition.

And it's all hidden under a bizarre pseudo-Christian cult-of-personality wrapped around various loyalty oaths and symbolic gestures of servitude. Don't support the Fuhrer? get kicked out of church. Forget nails in your pocket after a Cub Scouts meet? Get arrested. Don't complete your non-graded citizenship and sports class? Don't graduate. Build a snow fort at your school? Spend some time in jail. Spray-paint graffiti on someone's gas-guzzler? Spent eight years in prison.

Ah, America… The land of vigilantes, government surveillance, and anti-science freakshows starring crazy, crazy Muslims claiming evolution is a Zionish conspiracy. Every day I become increasingly convinced that all of this is a drunken hallucination.

Why oh why couldn't I just imagine pink elephants?

Maybe my feelings are all a product of aging — what we're facing now is probably no Cuban Missile Crisis — but the future really did seem so much more bright when I was a kid. I suppose every generation has its fearmongers, but sometimes I just want to get in a tiny plane and fly away. Or maybe a futuristic car at least. The two things below make me smile…

I also like tax-free strippers, but that's an entirely different sort of “like”. Norway rocks. Meh, I could go on on about this stuff forever. I'm done, stick a fork in me.

I'm fucking moving to the Philippines.

After I sober up that is.

Bactine injections

If you're anything like me, you may have wondered what would happen if you chose to inject a big fat syringe full of Bactine into your wang. Now, it's true that Bactine is no longer recommended for piercing after care, and they say it's not for internal use… but they say a lot of things, don't they?

OK, they were probably right about this one.

The end of Michelle Delio's career

Many of you reading this know Michelle Delio from her time at Outlaw Biker, Tattoo Savage and various Paisano magazines. In the late 1990s she moved from the tattoo world into technology reporting and is a freelance-bordering-on-staff writer for WIRED and other publications. She's currently embroiled in a news fabrication controversy debating whether or not she's making up sources and quotes — generally just color commentary quotes though, not verifiable errors.

A number of sites and journalism ethicists are ripping her to shreds (more, more, more, more) and quite possibly destroying her career, but as far as I can tell they haven't found a single thing where they can say “this is made up” — all they've been able to do is say “we couldn't find this man-on-the-street source she used.” In addition, most of the sources they could find claimed to be quoted accurately and spoke highly of her (although a few couldn't remember being interviewed by her specifically, but that's to be expected — I certainly don't remember everyone anyone I've been interviewed by).

I've worked with Michelle Delio a few times and never had any bad experiences with her, although in this day of interviews-by-email (and thus easy source confirmation) it wouldn't surprise me if she occasionally peppered her articles with made-up color commentary quotes — but to be honest, in these largely fluff articles, I'm not sure if I care about the fake quotes if they're “thematically correct”. This really shows you though that you've got to pathologically document your sources as a journalist…