16 February, 2011

Did A Kardashian Make Me Do It?

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.

Did A Kardashian Make Me Do It?


Tough time to be a smoker. No, I’m not just talking about the political climate of the demonization of my perfectly legal behavior and how smokers are, at times, treated like second class citizens. All that sucks too. I just mean that it is fifteen degrees and the winds are about a thousand miles per hour. It’s fucking cold, is what I’m saying. I wish other perfectly legal behaviors were forced to be practiced outside. Like, if you’re at a bar and want to take a shot of Jagermeister, you should have to go outside. Or if you get a phone call in a restaurant, you should be bound by law to do it outside. The difference is that if everyone were forced to talk on the phone outside, phone usage will probably go down due to the inconvenience. We smokers, we’re badassed motherfuckers. It’ll take more than fifteen degrees and gale force winds to stop us. As a quick aside, hello Lynn. My name is Andrew. It’s a pleasure to meet you. How’s managing the box office going? Well, I hope. I also hope your work wife is treating you well. Cleaning the work house, and baking work cakes, and making work babies and such. Kids, say hi to our new reader friend, Lynn. Hi Lynn!

You know what sucks? Hotel room modifications. Oh no he di-en’t! Uh huh, I did! Woah. I need to settle down. I’ve talked about this kind of thing before, but this rant is going to be a little different. This rant may be about something you’re a little unfamiliar with or maybe not ever heard of before. Believe it or not, I’m a little confused about my position on it. I know, right? Like, yeah! Oh emm gee! Christ, I need to really settle down.

Recently near me just outside of Philly, the greatest city ever, a woman died. That in itself is not news. I’m sure people are dying in Philly right now. Doesn’t make Philadelphia any less awesome, though. How she died is the news. The woman, a twenty year old East Londoner named Claudia Adusei, came to a hotel near Philly where she participated in a hotel room modification. The mod? Nope, not a piercing. Not a tattoo. Not even a scarification or branding. Claudia received silicone implants in her buttocks. For about $1800, Claudia had silicone injected into her hips in the hotel room by two people the police are still trying to find. The injected silicone was believed to be purchased on the internet, and the cause of death was likely heart attack due to the silicone entering the bloodstream. This isn’t the first death attributed to illegal silicone buttocks implants, and apparently the trend of silicone hotel implant parties is growing.

Silicone implants injected into the hips in a hotel room in hopes of having a bigger ass. That’s what we’re talking about here, just so we’re all on the same page. I said earlier that I was conflicted about this, and as I write this more, I get less conflicted. Still, hotel modifications are a problem in our culture from procedures such as this to simpler mods like piercings and tattoos. Tattoo and piercing parties in a house or a hotel are a horrible thing to participate in. You kids are smart. I don’t have to mention sanitation. I don’t have to mention quality of work. I don’t have to mention the reflection on our culture. What do I have to mention? I have to mention that the long arm of illegal modification is stretching farther than just labrets and butterfly tattoos. People are traveling across the ocean to come to an airport hotel room in order to have someone, whose credentials must be suspect, inject goo into the hips to stretch out an ass. Does that seem like it has gone too far to anyone else but me? Let’s take a step back for a moment.

I support any modification to the body. I have to. I’d be a hypocrite if I supported lobe stretching but not nose jobs, pocketing but not breast implants. I celebrate and support all of these things. I support anything one can do to his body to make it a more pleasant carbon meat bag in which to live. Maybe I have a warped sense of the body (no maybe about it), but if we have to be tethered to this decrepit and eroding thing, we might as well enjoy what it looks like as it erodes. This is anything. This is silicone under your tits. This is art in your skin. This is stretched lobes or fingernail paint or dermals or pockets. Modification ought to be a beautiful thing. It ought to be a thing that we celebrate and enjoy. It should never be a something that is precipitated by jealousy or comparative discontent. If your reason to get bigger tits is because of Miss March 2011, then you’re probably not entirely modifying for the right reasons. If your reason to get your face tattooed is because someone else has his done, then you’re probably not entirely modifying for the right reasons. That’s not to say that your mods can’t be inspired by seeing them on someone else. I remember when I was younger and I first saw Mike Patton with his eyebrow pierced. I thought that at some point in life I’d like to have that too. But years later, I modded my eyebrows because I liked eyebrow mods, not because I wanted to be like Mike Patton.

So where does modification behavior go too far? Silicone butt parties? That may sound like a good time or the Village People Reunion Tour, but it sounds like death and danger to me. (“There’s only death and danger in the socket of my eye.” Name that song.) Oddly, I support the mod itself. If you want to go talk to some cat in Beverly Hills who is licensed, qualified, and professional for your bigger butt mod, go nuts. Love that ass. Show it off. There is a vast difference in having an operation in a hospital and being butchered in a hotel room just as there is a vast difference between seeing a professional mod artist and seeing a cat in a room with a needle.

Does it matter where the obsession to mod comes from? This kind of mod, not tattoos and piercings. Do we need to point at big assed celebrities and the like? Did a Kardashian make me do it? I don’t think that kind of argument holds much silicone. Water. Holds much water. If that were the case, then the idiot finger pointers who pinned Rammstein for Columbine would be right. Those misguided morons who peg Ozzy Osbourne and Marylyn Manson for suicides would be right. Those overmedicated and undersatisfied house mothers who blame Grand Theft Auto for juvenile violence would be right. And I don’t think that any of them are. I remember a television show, a reality show that was on one of those networks that claim to play music but don’t actually play any music at all. It involved people going through heavy modification to look like the celebrities they worship. This type of idol slobbering is exactly what instigates a beautiful young woman from England to come to the States to have someone inject goo into her hips. Do I blame celebrity? Not at all. I blame the focus on flaws and the ignoring of beauty.

This woman who died from the silicone injections was beautiful before the needle ever reached her hip. Had she known that, she’d have likely not wagered her life in the name of a bigger ass. Though I support anyone’s desire to modify in any way, I more so support the beauty of each person. I support the idea that modification, be it tattoo or piercing, breast implants or liposuction, ought to augment and adorn the beauty already present rather than replace it with a manmade facsimile of a manifestation of beauty in the mind’s eye. I believe that modification is a celebration of what we are made to be tethered to for the rest of forever. It ought never be a plot point in a tragedy, but rather always be a map leading to the beauty we already embody. Stay beautiful, kids.

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