21 October, 2010

By The Power Vested In Mod

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those only of the author and may only coincidentally reflect those of Mystic Metals, its employees, or associates. All responses should be posted as comments here, or mailed directly to the author, A. Robert Basile, at ihatebasile@gmail.com. Mail sent directly to Mystic Metals will not be read.

By The Power Vested In Mod


There’s something extremely satisfying about rediscovering music that you had liked in the past, but abandoned for some reason. Or no reason. I did that recently with “Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good!” by Megadeth. I’ve always liked Megadeth, but for some reason within the passed year or so, I’ve become obsessed. Funny since I was five when “Killing…” came out. It’s still fucking awesome. In other news, I have a Tumblr now, so add me if you use it as well. www.arobertbasile.tumblr.com.

A long while ago when we first started this blog, I wrote an article. Well, I’ve written a lot for you cats and kittens. As a matter of fact, the first article was written in August of ’08. A short little thing rant I wrote that in retrospect is pretty shitty. But you can get it in my first book. (Head to www.blurb.com and search A. Robert Basile.) What’s the point, A. Robert? In the early days, I penned a thing that talked about how a friend asked me to remove my piercings for his wedding. I was doing a reading at the wedding, and he was concerned about my appearance. Long story short, I took my piercings out for him, was very conflicted about it, and I’m still not sure if I did the correct thing.

Why am I talking about this now? Well, as you kids know, I search the internet for things about which to write, and I found a thread on a Dear Abby thing (She’s still alive? She’s like Doctor Who.) where Abby told a reader with the very same dilemma that she (the reader) cared more about her modifications than she did of the bride to be. Other readers wrote in with their opinions, and to my pleasure there were more in support of the modified girl than not. There were a couple of comments that towed a company line. Comments like, “photographers can easily remove the tattoo,” and “there are many make up concealers made to specifically camouflage tattoos.” I’d like to hear your opinion.

But first, I’ll blab on about it for a little while. There seems to be an interesting divide between the sanctimonious occurrence of marriage, and body modification. Maybe sanctimonious isn’t the right word and I’m just bitter and angry at other people’s happiness. Whatever the case, modification and marriage seem to have an oil and water effect, and I’m not entirely sure why. So often I have talked to beautiful modified women who have been addressed with the question, “What will you think about your wedding day?” I would like to believe that the gorgeous back piece or pierced nipples or full leg sleeve are the least of a bride’s concern on the day of her wedding. Still, this type of question speaks volumes to what is in actuality the thesis of the question. “I don’t think your aesthetic is the same kind of beautiful you think it is.”

Let’s talk about marriage for a minute. It’s something I know very little about. I’m not married, I’ve never been, and likely never will be. But I’ve suffered through many, enjoyed very few, and on the whole dread the contents of any fancy envelope that arrives in my mailbox. With that said, I am catholic, and marriage is a sacrament more than it is anything else to me, and even though I look forward to last rites more than marriage, there is a certain respect I ought to pay toward it because of its sanctity. Much like many of the establishments put forth by the church, marriage has been secularized. (See also, Christmas; Easter.) Since it is very much in the domain of the secular populous, certain rites and rituals associated with it have much more give in their leniency. The music played, the color of the wedding dress, the people who stand next to the couple as they are wed; they’re all supposed to mean something. People create their own rules in the secularized marriage. Weddings outside, weddings without the mass attached to it, weddings that are more show than ceremony. Shit, we have cats dressed up like Elvis performing ceremonies right now. At this instant. Now. This isn’t about my opinion of all of that, I really don’t care much, but it illustrates the elements of this marriage thing that have changed to accommodate the maturing or evolving perception of the people. How much sanctity can a tattoo vacuum up from the marriage event when the modern secular wedding is pretty much devoid of all rules?

There are other ideas involved as well. If you’re the modified bride, whatever you say goes. You can make the rules. It’s your wedding, so I suppose that’s not really an issue at all. If you’re the modified bride and you make a no mod rule, then either you’re way too accommodating to others, or you’re an idiot. Therein also lies the argument of you’re the modified wedding participant and not the bride or groom. It’s the bride’s rules. If she wants you to be the maid of honor, but to cover up your mods, what are your options? Convincing her that her rule is dumb isn’t going to work because she’s clearly insane if all she’s been thinking about is wedding bullshit for the passed year or so. The ultimatum isn’t very coolth either. It’s the mods or nothing. That’s a terribly unfair choice to pose to the bride (or groom). You could respectfully decline the request and not share the honest reason in order to spare the ensuing disagreement. That’s disingenuous, though, isn’t it. And if this person asked you to do this thing, then you’re probably pretty close to one another. You could have a discussion about it in hopes to share your point of view, but odds are that the mods in the face of a person doing a reading at a wedding isn’t really near the top of the wedding bullshit list. You could take out your mods and participate while biting your tongue.

What’s the right thing to do? From certain point of view, the mods oughtn’t be an issue because the wedding isn’t about you, it’s about the bride and groom. Or rather, the bride. But with that same argument, the wedding isn’t about you so to draw attention to yourself is rather selfish, isn’t it? What a shit scenario. It’s a no win for the modified person, it seems. Unless, of course, you can keep your mods in and participate. But then it wouldn’t have been an issue to begin with. So what to do. The submitted solutions to the article I mentioned earlier don’t really solve the issue either. A photographer could, indeed, edit the photos so the mods are not there. That costs time, which costs money, and it still doesn’t solve the issue of what happens during the actual wedding. Another person offered the idea of mod concealing makeup. That’s an idea, if you’re into slathering on a bunch of pour clogging goo all over your body just to keep someone happy. Weddings are expensive enough for the people who aren’t getting married. Do we really need to throw on more expenses?

Simplistically, one could say, “You invite me, you invite my mods.” That’s fair. We are not our mods, right? We are inside our own skulls filled with ideas and thoughts and feelings and opinions and likes and dislikes. We are very beautiful things...That happen to be modified. From my modified point of view, it seems to be incidental that we are modified. I am A. Robert Basile, and by the way, I’m modified. Take my jewelry out and I’m the same man. Cover my mods, and I still know the things I know, speak the way I do, have the opinions I have. So what affect do the mods have? They upset someone’s second cousin?

Still, with all of that said, I don’t know what the right thing to do is. We all have our own sense of what is beautiful, and just because modification doesn’t fit into one person’s definition, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t fit into everyone’s. Weddings are weird beasts to me. I don’t understand the joy and the happiness that rains onto the faces of the people when the ‘I do’ thing happens. It looks neat. I’d like to know what that’s like, but I don’t have too much optimism towards it. Even though I don’t know where the proper divide of modification and marriage lives, if any, I still find it terribly hard to believe that at the ‘I do’ moment, anyone is thinking about my inch plus lobes. At least, I hope not. If they are, aren’t they missing the point of the whole thing? Stay beautiful, kids.

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


  1. It a shame someone who is supposed to care about you put you in a no win situation. Do they only accept you on regular days and not special days? It sounds like they are pushing their own insecurities on you. "I know this is who you are and I accept that but really I don't so change for one day so the old people keep me in their will" is what it really makes me think. And Dave better wear his plugs cause no one wants to see his wrinkly ear holes! lol

    Love Craig

  2. Craig,
    I agree with your sentiment, but it's hard when you're dealing with cats you came up with for the past twenty five years. And if Dave and I both let our lobes flop out, that'll be a stinky assed wedding.

  3. I think you asked my opinion...even if you didn't, that's what you're getting. I think if said person knows you have mods (regardless of nature), it is rude of them to expect or ask you to take them out/cover them up. In a sense it's like, I love you but not how you look so could you please play pretend so you will fit the cookie cutter mold of my wedding? Wouldn't it be easier, if they feel so strongly about it, not to ask the person to play a part in the wedding?
    I love my friends. Do a select few embarrass me in restaurants or in public places where I deem the need to act "grown up" or "appropriate"? Much of the time! I don't tell them to change, I just don't invite them if I can't handle it or I'm going somewhere I don't want to make a scene.
    On your wedding day...you want those closest to you there, regardless of looks, attitude, or what your parents might say. I think it's a low blow and insanely selfish to have the audacity to ask someone to change a physical attribute that you know them to have for that special moment.
    There is one level of humility that I understand, but it's on a personal level. If someone asked me to be in their wedding, I may, attempt to lessen any unnecessary attention by covering up but that's MY choice! Just thinking of one of my friends asking me makes my skin crawl.