Is it all just a fashion statement?

(This is commentary via the recently posted amputation interview).

Something that I find quite fascinating — and rather sad — is that the more “mainstream” body modification gets, the more the fringes of body modification (amputation is an obvious example) are attacked, and quite often from people who self-identify as being interested in body modification. I hear a lot of people talking about how they don't want their “acceptable” interests lumped in with that, or how the people slightly farther out have crossed a line that's unacceptable, or whatever statement of derision is chosen by that particular person.

Let me make something clear about my feelings on this subject: Body modification and body ritual isn't about being cool or dressing up or putting on a show so you have a postcard souvenir. It's a state of being and a way of life, and it transcends culture and exists as the foundation that adherents use to communicate with both themselves and the universe around them. It's not safe. It doesn't have rules. It doesn't have limits.

Maybe there's some watered down version that can be sold at a store and have advertising attached to it on television, but that's only a commercialization of the affectations of what body modification is. I'm certainly not saying that's a bad thing, but people should not fool themselves into thinking that what can be captured by consumerism is the heart of body modification.

In any case, I think it's an unfortunate reflection on the fact that most people these days involve themselves in body modification as a “fashion statement” rather than because it's some low-level instinct that they have to act on… and because they're now the mainstream, they're co-opting the terms (claiming that they're about “modification” whereas those that are in fact the core of the original body modification movement are just “mutilators”) and attacking the people who in theory seeded the movement in the first place.

Amputation is so obviously legitimate — more so than almost any other form of modification — as body modification, that I really feel that anyone who attacks it is making it blatantly obvious that they've completely missed the point start-to-finish. That doesn't mean you have to like it — that is, saying “I don't enjoy listening to classical music” is fine, but “Bach's concertos are not music” or “only a fool would enjoy Bach” makes you out as a bit of an dunce.

Part of me really does hope that all of this falls out of fashion again so those people who are completely cluessless about body modification can just go on to whatever TV picks up as the next big thing… Definitely a good time to start investing in companies that sell tattoo removals and piercing reversals.

And I cooked a nice salmon in fresh orange sauce with fried rice for supper…

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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