Monthly Archives: February 2003



First, an experience update has been posted. Click the cover image if you'd like to go there now. Also, I've made a slight policy chage: If you submit an experience, and it gets featured, not only will you get your normal BME membership stuff, but you'll also get four one month coupons for IAM. They can be used to extend your account, a friend's account, a stranger's account, or a combination thereof.

I didn't finish that software until after processing this experience set, so it's not included in the emails directly, but before your eyes tear up, I've sent these coupons to everyone who's submitted a featured experience in the past two months. Some of you will even get multiple emails since a number of people have had multiple featured experiences.

Other than that, I'm chuckling at the pseudo-intellectual garbage I'm getting from a self-proclaimed bisexual/feminist who was recently deleted first for spamming (quite a large number of people were rather confused as to why they were getting 'i'm booking bands for a dyke bar in long beach and i'm looking for queer or female/female-fronted bands' messages), and then for attacking bisexual girls that she felt “weren't really bisexual enough”.

That is, her theory was that if you're attractive and female and put pictures of you with another girl on your page, you were just using it to attract guys, even if you publicly identified as bisexual and had numerous girlfriends in your life — thereby harming “real dykes” because men would assume they're just “girls gone wild”. Ignoring how incredibly insulting it is to say that only unattractive girls are bisexual, let's assume for a moment that this delusional statement is true (and they really were straight girls kissing other straight girls):

          BIG F***ING DEAL.

If a straight person gets off on making out with a person of the same gender because it gets their partner turned on, fine! That's their business. Hell, if I want to get drunk and kiss a dude, that's my right, and I can even post pictures of it if I feel like it. If you don't like it, don't do it and don't look at the pictures of others doing it. If you do, go for it and have fun. The whole point of this site's TOS structure is built around creating a safe space for people to express their personal desires and know that they're not going to be attacked for them.

Maybe I'm crazy, but “be nice and enjoy life” seems like a pretty simple concept.

Feb 26, 2003

From an interview I'm doing with a paper in Seattle:

How old are you?
   I'm 29.

What sorts of modifications do you have?
   I'm heavily tattooed and branded, have two and a half-inch stretched ears, a split tongue, and a partial subincision. I have in the past had nearly every variation of piercing, as well as about a dozen implants.

Do you do any yourself?
   I'm quite comfortable performing modifications on myself, but I've never enjoyed performing modifications on others.

What sparked your interest in body modification? Why?
   I don't think anything “sparked” my interest in body modification. I think it's more accurate to say that I am a person who expresses himself using body modification because I was born that way. For whatever reason I didn't fall prey to the disease of conformity that most of the world seems to have succumbed to, and I actually act on those drives (and encourage others to do the same). As far as I'm concerned, it's healthy and normal, and to not do it would be a deviation.

I assume you go for regular medical check ups…just out of curiosity, has your doctor ever said anything about any of your modifications?
   While I have run into problems with occasional doctors, since I've not presented my modifications in a problematic context (that is, I haven't approached my doctor about anything directly related to them), they have not had the opportunity to comment one way or the other. No doctor that actually knows me well has assessed my body modification practises as either being unhealthy or posing a risk to me.

Have you done any energy pulls or suspensions? If so, please indicate how many times and describe your experience.
   Two of my personal experiences with it are described here and here.

In your experience, do most people who go into the more extreme forms of body modification have an idea of the cultural significance of the rituals they undertake? (Particularly with finger-joint amputations and suspensions)?
   I'm not sure that it's relevant. The fact that Yakuza members chopped off fingers to signify loyalty to gang lords has little bearing on the amputee fetishist who simply finds it personally exciting. The pulling rituals that Hindus do as an act of vegetarian religious devotion have little bearing on the person in Iowa pulling with their friend in their back yard in order for them to learn about themselves and strengthen their bond.
   The fact is that these are universal and primal acts that apply to all people. How people choose to fit them into their lives culturally is up to them, and while blindly applying another culture's rites would be foolish, that's not what's going on here. It would be like demanding that people read the Kama Sutra before having sex in order to understand the “cultural significance” of the wild thang… Or like demanding that Buddhists read the Koran in order to understand the cultural significance of spirituality.

Having run BME for 8 or 9 years, how have you seen the community change, if at all?
   Two major changes have occurred in the past decade. First, the media visibility and acceptability of body modification has dramatically increased. As a result, people are able to “discover” body modification more quickly which has meant a massive increase in both the number of young people involved, and the speed at which enthusiasts have been “converted” to active participants.
   Second, the accessibility of heavy procedures has also dramatically increased. This has meant that people tend to “graduate” from lighter procedures such as piercing and tattooing up to heavy surgical procedures in a very short time period. I can't tell you that either of these phenomena are bad in and of themselves, but they certainly increase the risk factor and I hope that people don't think that just because it's easy to get something that it should be taken lightly.

First, I should mention for those of you in Rhode Island that there will be a closed casket ceremony for Skott Greene of Doors of Perception Tattoo who died in the Station Nightclub fire. A lot of people miss him and the others that passed away in that fire.

I haven't linked them in the main newsfeed, but reading over the obituaries from the Great White fire, it struck me how many had tattoo references — tattoos really are becoming icons of people's lives. For example, this one talks about a “sisters” tattoo, and this one starts with a tattoo-shop encounter.

When doing the newsfeed this morning (thanks to ServMe for the continued help), I noticed that Ryan got a mention in this one.

Getting back to the tattoo/life significance, there's also this piece on a long-lost-daughter reunion, and this story about a soldier killed in a car crash just before shipping out — he was having his children's and wife's name tattooed on him (reported on earlier), and now the tattoo studio is holding a fundraiser for his family.

New Castle, Indiana is either a very boring place, or Spectrum has a very good PR department. Fremont, Nebraska finds itself in similar doldrums.

I'll mention some brief pieces of non-bodmod news as well… Bush wants another $95 billion from the American taxpayers in order to pay bribes so he can get enough votes to get to the killing (the first Gulf War was run at a profit but this one will be a massive loss). Even the Iraqi opposition has said that America isn't welcome there, and has promised religious war if America doesn't leave — seems like a great idea — so let's kick out a religious moderate, toss the region into chaos, and let fanatics take over… Yeah, that's going to turn out real well.

It's funny — I got a message recently from someone who said they were proud to be a Republican and told me how Bush had improved America and the American people were far better off than when Clinton was in power. ??? I have to admit, that's an impressive work of propaganda… Unless you're dumb as a rock, it's pretty hard to miss the crashing economy, the increased threat of terrorism, and the elimination of personal freedom.

Fact: If you support the current US government, you are supporting the death of America. You are supporting replacing a nation built around the concepts of “don't tread on me” (since bastardised) and individual rights with a corporate military dictatorship.

Don't agree? Post your reason why these things are improvements in the Whatever forum… Tell us all about your love of oppression! That means formulating a logical argument, not whining that you're oppressed because you're a Republican. Remember, it's wrong to pay money to individuals — any individual looking for money has “sold out”, and only corporations are deserving of our money! (That said, I'm not convinced that the Democrats would have behaved all that differently).

Here's an interesting developing story to follow: US troops lit Kuwait oil fires, not Saddam. The implication is that the CIA was destroying Kuwait to serve its political ends. I think it's safe to assume that the people making those claims will be quickly silenced.

A number of papers are pointing out one of the other problems with war in Iraq — destruction of archaeological sites. Iraq contains many Biblical cities as well as other Biblical sites including Querna (considered to be the location of the Garden of Eden) and Babylon (the site of the Hanging Gardens, and of course the Tower of Babel) and ancient sites such as Uruk, the world's first city. Two quick links on that subject: “War in Iraq Would Halt All Digs in Region” and “Oldest Human History Is at Risk“.

The US has warned France (and other nations) that it considers its actions “very unfriendly” and have told them that if they don't back the war they “risk paying a heavy price” — Mexico was also told “if you don't go along with us, you will be paying a very heavy price”. NUKE FRANCE!

"...the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today - my own government."
- Dr. Martin Luther King


Working on a new shirt, although if you're taller than about 36″, I wouldn't bet on it fitting you. I hope it's cute enough, I haven't broken out the Wacom tablet in months so I'm a little rusty.

PS. The concept, in part, is to keep the subconscious iconography of young people from being subverted into the bland crap that the mainstream attempts to force on them. By ensuring that their toys and logos are as open-minded as their parents, we hope to encourage children that are more able to think for themselves in life and less likely to bow to the man.


I'd hoped to have lots of time to get stuff done this afternoon, but even though I told him that no one was going to be home, the guy from the security company came by to upgrade our system, and then it took forever to download the new software for it. So that killed an hour and a half of my day that I didn't have to kill…

Then when I went out to take a quick ride, I couldn't get the snowmobile to do anything but absolutely drench me in smoke, oil, and gas. Hello brain damage. Well, I guess it's a sign saying back to work!

I just got this message from someone who had their experience turned down due to fairly massive typographical errors (as you can guess from the email):

Thank toy for your comments on my experiance I know that my punctuation is off but no need for the member to say that it was written like a 5 year old! I did run a spell cheak and have different spelling as i am ENGLISH!please let the members know this. thank you and i will re submitt it soon.

Now, there have been a few cases where American reviewers have rejected Canadian, British, and other countries that don't use simplified American-style spelling, so I thought I'd give it a quick double check. I'm pretty sure that these are not accurate conversions:

American spelling “English” spelling
minute minuet
quite quit
defined difined
recognizable recognizable*
??? uncomfyness

“Minuets” of course was the killer, although no putting spaces around punctuation didn't help. It's kind of weird — I understand mistakes like spelling minutes wrong, but how do people pick up habits like not pressing space after periods, or putting the punctuation at the starts of sentences, and weird things like that…? I would have assumed those things would just be a given.

* If you're wondering why that's there, it should be recognisable if one is playing the “it's because I'm British” game.


I really need to write a couple articles today… Anyone want to propose some subjects? (This is for the BME front-page article). Other than that, my only real plan that I'll mention here is snowmobiling.

Someone recently wrote me on a TOS issue, and like I always do, I checked out their page to see who they were. Anyway, in their first entry they had a link to one of these stileproject-esque porn sites. This one happened to be covered in racist garbage (anti-French jokes, “speak English or get the fuck out” shirts, and so on) while tooting a pro-America horn. Bad strategy.

The fact is that if America keeps going the way it is, sites like that may well not exist much longer. Do you really think Ashcroft, the guy who thought bare breasts on Roman statues should be censored, will stand for “teens that love dog dong”? If you really love freedom and love America, a military/corporate coup run by religious fanatics is the last thing you should be supporting!

Russ Feingold, quoted in this Patriot II editorial, said of the new laws being enacted in America,

There is no doubt that if we lived in a police state, it would be easier to catch terrorists. If we lived in a country where the police were allowed to search your home at any time for any reason; if we lived in a country where the government was entitled to open your mail, eavesdrop on your phone conversations, or intercept your e-mail communications ... the government would probably discover and arrest more terrorists, or would-be terrorists. But that is not a country in which we would want to live.

I don't know why “this war” is happening at this point. I understand that it's going to pour insane amounts of money into a small subset of the corporate community (oil and defence), but everything else becomes impoverished, most importantly the US citizens… Part of me thinks that is Bush's goal — first, to destabilise the international community in order to guarantee that any successors must continue on this path, and second, to so weaken the US economy to guarantee that the middle class join the poor, and to keep their chances of improving financially to a minimum.

After all, if your goal is simply power for yourself and your personal allies, this is the best way to do it, isn't it?

Six Democratic members of Congress pointed out the obvious recently: Bush is declaring war when he does not have the legal Constitutional right to do so (that is, because only Congress can authorise war)… The federal judge the pointed out the obvious in return: “tough shit, he can do what he wants”.

Saddam Hussein has said that war would be bad for both the US and Iraqi people, and that as leaders, he and Bush should have a public debate on the matter. The White House replied, “This is not about a debate. This is about complying with [our] instructions.”

Here's a suggestion: put the debate on pay-per-view.

I'd watch it for its dystopian comic appeal at a minimum.

The larger problem that America is creating for itself now is “universal hatred“. Every day that goes by, America increases its enemy list through its actions… Latest threats are coming not from larger groups like al Qaeda, but from lone terrorists, who are of course effectively untrackable and unstoppable. Sadly, it will again be the American citizens who pay the price with their blood, not the monsters that orchestrate all of it.

Bush is backing America into a corner where its only friends are paid.

Turkey in particular has shown incredible gall in demanding billions for its cooperation with our war efforts. Turkey shares a border with northern Iraq, and its air bases could serve as an important staging area for American forces. Yet Turkey is demanding a whopping $30 billion in exchange for its support of the war and use of its airfields. Unfortunately, the administration appears ready to accept this blackmail if a slightly lower dollar amount can be negotiated.

While America could have been the nation that defined the 21st century as it did the 20th, it is instead a crumbling warmongering nation with a failing economy that shows itself unable to interact peacefully with the world community… and when the money runs out, these countries will re-join the ranks of the enemy.

Step back, and look at these moves from a long-game point of view. Bush et al will stay sheltered and rich, but what will happen to the average American… I think it should be pretty clear to anyone, no matter what their political view, that these actions represent the end of America's prosperity and freedom.