22 April, 2010

A Wrong Kind Of Wright

A Wrong Kind Of Wright


A group of over volumed teens just left the table next to me. They were irritating because they were complaining about money and school. Boy, they’re in for a reality check when they graduate, go to college and realize that there are no jobs for them. I think the creepy old guy with the way too tight, half and half grey shirt with the German flag on it scared them away when he leaned in and said, “You know, this used to be apple orchards. This whole place where you’re standing.” What an odd place I live in.

So, I found this website called crushable.com. It’s a celebrity news thing that serves very little purpose. Much like all celebrity news things. I found this site because, while searching for anything new or recent in the world of tattoos and piercings, this site popped up with, what else, a story about Michelle “Bombshell” McGee. I’m really getting tired of all of this ‘oh my God, she’s a heavily modded woman’ bullshit. Leave the home wrecking whore alone. But this article on this pointless site was called “”Don’t Let Michelle McGee Destroy Your Tattoo Dreams.” With a title like that, how could I not read further? And I’m the one not getting paid. Where’s the justice?

The writer of this pointlessness is called Jennifer Wright, and she introduces the article by talking about one day being modified. She wants a butterfly on her lower back, in case you were wondering. Yeah, I didn’t care either. And no, I’m not going to take a shot at her dumb tattoo idea. That wouldn’t be polite. Jennifer Wright further explicated her thesis by talking about her fear of needles as a preventative circumstance. I can dig that. Tattoos hurt, and those who say they don’t are liars. Yeah, I know; some hurt more than others, blah, blah, blah. I got it. It’s a needle in the skin. It hurts. Her second reason for avoiding participation in the wonderful culture of modification was a little more asinine. Jennifer Wright says, “...I’m scared of somehow becoming addicted and end up looking like Michelle “Bombshell” McGee.” What a stupid thing to say or even intimate. How does Jennifer Wright quell her worry? She naively and uneducatedly interviews a member of Suicide Girls in all things about modification.

Jennifer Wright’s questions to the Suicide Girl Lovely Clio were steeped in presupposition and assumption of agreement. The writer was looking for specific answers to the questions, agreeing answers to help solidify her thesis that McGee’s mods are ones to be ashamed of or surprising. Lovely Clio played a kind of company line, being honest and fair, but not saying anything terribly memorable.

A couple of the questions were innocuous and unmoddedly ignorant, but I can’t blame Jennifer Wright for that. People without mods tend to ask the same questions over and over. That’s fine. They need to learn somehow, I suppose. She asked the boring questions about preference over color or grey, where the tattoos hurt more, and what images are the most common as tattoo art. Her other questions, the ones that more so divulged Jennifer Wright’s truer opinions, were the more interesting.

The first was, “Where did Michele “Bombshell” McGee go wrong?” This question is inherently flawed because it assumes that the prevailing theory is that McGee has done something wrong (in terms of her mods, of course). Yeah, we know that McGee’s mods are unconventional. Yeah, we know that her mods put her in a category that is reserved for a very few heavily modded folks, like Erik Sprague and Paul Lawrence. Lovely Clio pointed out that there is no wrong nor right, which was a nice affirmation of personal taste, but then she agreed that McGee’s forehead tattoo “...was not a good idea.” McGee didn’t go wrong with her mods, she just chose to go elsewhere with her mods. I agree that there is no wrong nor right when it comes to tattoo modification, but I disagree with Clio that the forehead mod was a bad idea. If McGee can pull it off and make it work for her (which she clearly has), then how is it a bad idea? People seek her out because of her extreme modification, and in that, she has become a celebrity. Her mods have gotten her quite a bit more than my mods have. Who’s in the worse position?

Another question posed was, “Why would anyone want to get their neck tattooed?” Again, Clio played a fair line, but starting the question with ‘why’ automatically devalues the question. Anyone who is modified knows that why matters very little to those around you. Whatever your why is, that why is for you, not for some onlooker waiting in line behind you at the bank. Unmodified people tend to get wrapped around the axle about this idea. In my reality, why doesn’t matter, and whatever it is that McGee is doing to her neck (or any modded person for that matter) is her business.

Lastly, Jennifer Wright asks this about McGee’s swastika tattoos, “Why, for the love of God, why?” and then reforms her question to apply to all political tattoos, adding, “Somehow it seems slightly less offensive if it were, say, Obama’s face.” Clio calls the mod “unfortunate” and adds in an oddly hypocritical way that she doesn’t “...have anything against political tattoos.” Again, the why question is a moot point because if Jennifer Wright can’t understand the point of getting a particular mod, regardless of what it is, then she isn’t going to be convinced with a compelling dialog. I can understand, however, that some people may not have the ability to wrap their brains around getting a swastika tattooed. These people probably represent the majority of folks who don’t hate races. The subtext there a good thing. But there are those who hate so much that they feel the need to get modified to show the wonderful sinning throes of hate inside of them. That’s fine. I wouldn’t get a swastika modded, but I’ll defend anyone’s right to get it. Our country is firmly rooted in the ability to unabashedly express views and opinions. We oughtn’t question other people’s exercising this right solely because we don’t agree with what they are expressing. Can’t have it both ways, kiddies. People feel strongly about things, about a great many things, and we live in a society that allows us to express that. That’s a wonderful thing. If McGee wants to have a swastika tattooed on her to express her affiliation with whatever it is she thinks it represents, then she can go nuts. It’s really no different than someone getting a ‘save the manatees’ tattoo. They’re both utilizing the same rights.

Unmodified people who try to understand where the modified mind comes from are often senseless and irritating. There are those who genuinely question in hopes to be edified by those who actually participate in the culture, but there are a vast many who question modded folks with the intention to share their own views. That’s how this article by Jennifer Wright reads. If she didn’t intend that to be so, then one of two things is true. Either I am an idiot, or she is a bad writer. Probably some from column A, some from column B. A deadly combination. Like milk and lactose intolerance. Water poops.

Just the title of Jennifer Wright’s article establishes a combative prejudice at the outset. “Don’t Let Michelle McGee Destroy Your Tattoo Dreams.” If you have had a lifelong desire to get modified and are swayed by someone else’s opinion about modification, then you probably didn’t want to get modified to begin with, and we don’t want you in our community. OK, that last bit is harsh and catty. Those of us who modify for us alone modify for our own beautification. What’s wonderful about beauty is that it is a thing that can be so very subjective. Maybe McGee sees her beauty in her mods. Maybe she sees her modification project as something that helps her become comfortable in her skin, and who are we to apply our opinions to her sensibilities? You may not dig her mods, but that doesn’t mean she should give a shit about your opinion. Nor does it mean that how she mods and her views toward the community ought to manipulate your own. It’s your body; mod it to your liking, just as it is hers. And Jennifer Wright is a poopoo face. OK, that was childish. Stay beautiful, kids.

Talk to A. Robert Basile on AIM at Basilephone
Yahoo Messenger at andrewbasile@rocketmail.com


  1. I was on board until you created a dinosaur club. Boo on exclusivity!

  2. poopoo face indeed!

  3. only you can compare a swastika tattoo to a "save the manatees" tattoo. but that's why i like you!