Monthly Archives: July 2001


If you haven't already seen them, fishbowl took these photos of the fireworks show put on by MiL0, Gary, and me at the July 1st BBQ… Best ones yet I think?

More on heroes

It's easy for me to be who I am and do the things I do. I was born into a family of entrepreneurs and I was taught many valuable skills at a young age. I'm well educated and have owned a series of successful computer companies. It's not really a big deal. I do think I've done some important things here, but hero is not the right word for me. It's easy to give when you're in a position to do so.

There are people on IAM who are real heros. There are people here who make real sacrifices every day to make the world — and the world of body modification — a better place. I can't even begin to describe the enormous respect I have for a talented person who could easily fall into a good paying job, but chooses instead to grind away as a body piercer. As a general rule, body piercers don't get rich — there aren't a lot of skilled jobs that pay worse and demand more on every level.

It takes a really special person to recognize the importance of helping people through body modification. It takes an even more special person to be keep giving and giving and giving… What's the expression? “They give till it hurts.” Seriously, these are the things that Saints are remembered for.

Most of these people you'll never even know exist unless you happen to have walked into their shops. They operate quietly, honorably changing the lives of thousands of people. Together they've achieved the salvation of a dying culture.


…So, I haven't peeked into rec.arts.bodyart for I think months now, but I got a message that I should take a look. What do I find, but a MASSIVE thread debating IAM and my value! Weird stuff…

People debating whether I'm as much as “hero” as Fakir, Jim Ward, and stuff like that… Ha ha. Anyway. I'm not particularly convinced that either Fakir or Jim or I are heroes. Fakir has done some neat stuff, documented it, and is good at promoting himself. He's no more hero than any rock star. Jim Ward was a successful small fringe business owner who was at the right place in the right time — no more a hero than the guy who opens the first ethnic restaurant in whiteyville. I just happen to be a good programmer and good organizer of data who was in the right place at the right time. I know there's more to it in each of our cases, but that's the simple story.

In all of our cases, no matter what recognition, or lack of it, we're simply the visible tips of the iceberg. It isn't about us at all — we're only symptoms of a resurrection of a certain kind of carnal knowledge that the West forgot for a while. A lot of you have met me at the BBQ — I'm a pretty normal guy. I assure you that Fakir and Jim are also just as human.

If you want a hero, look at the forty year old guy that gets over his fear and pierces his nipple because it turns him on. If you want a hero, look at the thirty year old woman who chooses her labret over her high-paying job. If you want a real hero, look at the piercer who lives in a crappy apartment and makes below minimum wage in their piercing job, when they could quit and make more as a programmer, because they know they're helping people. If you want a hero, find the anonymous tattoo artist that spends a little bit more time with every client making sure they get something special.

Swastika Shirts?

Again, learn more before you freak out… I'm thinking of making Swastika t-shirts, if there's an interest. If we do them, a portion of the proceeds would go to support Friends Of The Swastika.


It's no mistake that virtually every culture in our history has used body modification and body ritual (or as Fakir puts it, body play) as an integral element of an individual's development, either as a part of childhood growth, or as a coming of age ceremony. Only this small and recent amoral Western culture has forgotten that.

Many of the exceptional qualities attributed as uniquely human are not. Animals also build and use tools. Animals also communicate using language, teach ethics to their children, use first and family names, and some animals may even be more intelligent than we are. But they don't practise body modification or body ritual… It's that single thing that differentiates us.

Body play makes the fundamental statement that we — the individual — have the moral power to control our biology; that we are MORE than it. Even a rose tattoo on an ankle or a navel piercing makes that statement. Even the extremes of athletics do. I've said it before, and I'll say it again now: A person who has never modified their body is nothing more than an animal.