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 email@example.com. Mail sent directly to Mystic Metals will not be read.
I think I’m going to have to look for another coffee shop. Very sad. The bookstore has been very busy recently. People in college (what’s that?) come here to study for exams, and with the holidays happening soonly (I know that’s not a word), this place is getting a little mad. I shouldn’t expect to be able to sit here at a table with an outlet. That’s very presumptuous of me to assume that I am entitled to a table. I hate entitlement. But seriously, this dude reading wedding magazines and not using the outlets right next to him needs to disappear mafia style.
If you kids don’t know this about me, I’m going to tell you. What an awful way to introduce a paragraph. Anyway, I am a very rule oriented individual. I like rules, I like order. I respect punishment and consequence. There are very few instances of ‘bending the rules’ that I’ll accept. I’d be a very just juror. You killed someone? You die. It’s really that simple to me. I think it is important for people to reap the shit of their bad decisions. We need examples of stupidity in our society so that we know not to do the stupid thing like the stupid guy did that one stupid time.
So when something stupid happens, it bares recognition. Let me preface by saying I am not infallible. I do stupid shit all the time. Probably more than you realize. Like the other day I thought this girl I was talking to was actually interested in me. I’m such a fucking idiot! I don’t want to sound like an elitist here. Not on this topic, anyway. What’s the stupid thing I’m talking about? Underaged self modification.
We’ve talked about this before, I know, but whenever it becomes news, it bares notice. It bares notice because we in the community need to be recognized for our healthy and beautiful practices. Before we get into all that, let’s talk about the stupid kid.
A seventeen year old idiot pierced his own tongue. Without the knowledge of his parents, this kid’s tongue became infected and gross, and after several painful days, the kid removed his jewelry. The pain dissipated slightly, so the brilliant example of the youth of America (the people who will be responsible for you while you’re convalescing in your shit-your-pants, twilight years) put the jewelry back into his tongue. His tongue was having none of it. What did the tongue do? It swallowed the jewelry, and only after the kid realized that he couldn’t speak or eat properly, he told his mother (or moms, if you’re from the street) and she took him to someone who could fix the problem. Namely, the ER. There, they took a CT scan (meow), and saw the hiding jewelry. They then sent him to an ear, nose, and throat guy (they should just call them Snot Doctors), and from there, he underwent surgery to get the rogue jewelry out of his face. The doctor said that the kid should have died from the infection, but instead he survived because of the snot doctors. The mother made a statement warning parents of the danger, and the kid said that people ought to have a professional mod. Here’s the full jam: http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=192814.
I try not to wish death on people (that’s an outright lie), but I hope this kid experienced as much pain as anyone with a butchered tongue piercing could possibly feel. Why? Because of consequence and punishment. Remember when I was talking about that earlier? Try to keep up. If someone does a stupid thing, he should reap the negative repercussions of that stupidity. How else is someone to learn? Certainly not through education. We live in a society of invincible idiots who don’t ever see the dangers or consequences of idiotic behavior until they experience the pain themselves. And that’s not exclusive to young people. Telling this kid that piercing his own tongue is a bad idea would never have stopped him from doing it, so I’m glad that this kid was wiping his feet on Death’s doormat. Now, I don’t have children, and I never will (hopefully), so all of you better-than-me parents, save your ‘you just don’t get it’ emails because I don’t think I have to be a parent to say something like this: Know what your fucking kid is doing. Shit, man, my folks always knew exactly what I was doing. I wasn’t a sneaky kid, and I drank a little when I was young, but my folks always had the finger on the pulse. Here’s an honest question, no intended sarcasm: Is it really that hard to know what your kids are doing? I get that real life like work and relationships and keeping a house interferes with things like disciplining your kids, but I would have to assume that taking care of your kid trumps most anything else. I would hope, at least.
Then there’s the idea of self modification. Say it with me, kids: (clear throat sound) Self modifications is, what? That’s right! Self mutilation. This kind of behavior, the self modding behavior, is becoming a bigger problem than we in the community realize. We in the community of modification don’t realize that this shit is going on everyday because we practice safe and healthy beautification, and we assume everyone else is as well. It’s not true, kids. Why isn’t modification taught in high school health classes? Shit, I remember seeing the movies before prom of teens kicking back a few Pabst and then getting smeared all over the pavement. (If any of you know where I can get DVDs of those, I’d really appreciate it.) We can use this fear mongering with drinking but we can’t use the same tactics with self modification? How does that make sense? We can’t show photos of nasty infected navels and tongues? Shit, I remember meeting a guy in health class who had part of his jaw removed because of chewing tobacco. OK, so I still dip, but that’s not the point. How is self modification a something that is less important than the guy with the robot voice from smoking or the movie about the teens that flipped their ’62 Catalina convertible after prom because they had too many beers? Fear mongering is how we teach our children, isn’t it? Don’t do this or this will happen to you.
The kid with the self pierced tongue that I mentioned earlier is the example. He is the “Prom Night! Red Pavement!” movie or the rough looking, ex-heroine addict that speaks to the class. The problem is, you can’t finish school until you hear the junkie talk or see the movie. You can, however, get through life completely without ever knowing about the stupid kid who stabbed his tongue and had to be taken care of by a Snot Doctor. How do we resolve this issue? We in the community need to take the mantle of responsibility and make sure that those around us know that what we do is safe and responsible. We do that by having dialog with others. We do that by condemning underaged modification and self modification. We do that by being informed, speaking well, being polite to those that would damn us for our beautification, and by letting people know that what we do is beautification and not mutilation. I’m not calling you to action here, kids. I don’t believe in activism, and I would be quite the hypocrite if I were to be an activist for anything. I can, however, be an advocate for conversation, healthy modification, and the education of all people, young and old, about our beautiful culture. It’s like anything, any freedom that we (thankfully still) have. It’s not the gun that’s the problem; it’s the person who doesn’t follow the rule of having one. It’s not booze that’s the problem; it’s the person who doesn’t follow the rule of drinking it. It’s not the modification that’s the problem; it’s the idiot kid who is stabbing his own tongue and not following the rules. We need to to constantly remind others, and ourselves, that what we do is beautify. Not mutilate. Stay beautiful, kids.
Join me on TUMBLR!