13 April, 2011

Dear Steve S., Go Fuck Yourself. Love, A Freak.

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.

Dear Steve S., Go Fuck Yourself. Love, A Freak.


So I take a lot of drugs to help me be the socially acceptable zombie that I am today. You’re all very welcome. Without the drugs, I’m angry, depressed, apathetic, and a little parched. The drugs, of course, are all prescribed by a guy with a degree who sits in a leather, high backed chair, writing on a phone book sized interpretation of my brain. I’m more even keel now, so that makes me slightly more pleasant to be around, but I can’t remember anything anymore. Especially after I take my Ambien. Apparently, I’ve started a Twitter while on Ambien, and nearly every night, I tweet shit that makes no sense. And I don’t remember any of it. (AndyOnAmbien at Twitter) So with this new cocktail of madness (including prozac, effexor, remeron, and the Ambien), I’m a forgetful idiot, so if I’ve forgotten something that one of you kids wanted me to remember, I’m sorry. I don’t know where I am half the time. Now who wants hot dogs and pops?

Modification isn’t for everyone. And that’s OK. You know what else isn’t for everyone? Mayonnaise. Some people hate that shit, but there aren’t a ton of people who criticize the mayo haters for hating mayo. You know what else isn’t for everyone? Tights and skirts. Some people don’t like that style, but there aren’t a ton of people who criticize tights haters for hating tights. You know what else isn’t for everyone? Shaving your head. Some people hate shaving… I think you get the point. I don’t hate people who hate modification, but sometimes it seems as if the people that do hate modification are very much deserving of some sort of reciprocal hate from the modified.

What the hell am I talking about? Mayonnaise. Invented in 1756 by the French, mayonnaise is… I’m not going to finish that joke because it’s not funny. No, I’m talking about the wonderful anonymity of internet commenters who spread a hatred and bigotry in forums that are in no way inciting that behavior. I read an article today on a Phoenix news site. No, the article wasn’t about unnecessary letters in city names, but rather it was about ear pointing.

We all know what ear pointing is, right kids? Thanks to the great artist and pioneer Steve Haworth, you too can have pointed ears. Yes, like an elf. Or a Vulcan for you nerdier types. Steve will cut two wedges of cartilage away from the crest of your ear, fold in the halves, sew the whole shibang together, and after healing, you have a pointed ear. Yes, like a satyr. They have pointed ears, right? Anyway, that’s a super brief (giant underpants) description of ear pointing.

The article that I read talked about ear pointing very briefly and mentioned that it is gaining in popularity. A few positively leaning quotes from Steve Haworth, and the story is over. No slant nor opinion. Just a ‘hey, this is something that’s happening.’ Very forgettable. Two things, however, were not forgettable. The first was that the writer made reference to Doctor Spock instead of Mr. Spock. We all know that Dr. Spock was in no way a half-Vulcan, but rather a pediatrician who was the first to use psychoanalysis to determine children’s needs. He also won a gold metal in rowing at the 1924 Olympic Games. The point in, Dr. Spock didn’t have pointed ears; Mr. Spock did. The other thing that wasn’t forgettable about the article also happened to be a little more irritating.

Sometimes I think that people who hate a thing search the internet tirelessly to find that thing that they hate and then share their hate and ignorant opinions with everyone who has a pair of eyes and an equal amount of unproductive downtime as they do. The commenters on the article I read seem to be these people. Let me preface this next bit by saying that I get it; there are people who think heavy mods are nutty or strange. I got that. I’m not totally ignorant to the idea that what we do isn’t as socially acceptable as, say, blasting Rebecca Black’s song “Friday” while looking for a parking spot at the mall. (C’mon; like I wasn’t going to make a reference to Rebecca Black.)

The first comment on the article mentioned the Spock thing. Not very interesting. But the second comment started the deluge of ignorance. The heading was “Freaks!!” and the content was simply, “Live short and don’t procreate.” Freaks are we, I can acquiesce. We are different with different interests and focuses. We outwardly display that difference using our bodies as an artistic megaphone to what we may see with our mind’s eye. Freak? Yeah, that shouldn’t bother us too much. Don’t have babies? That’s a bit insulting, isn’t it? I don’t plan to make a person, but that’s my own reservation. There are very many children born to unmodified people who probably shouldn’t have been born to them. Parenting, from what I gather, has very little to do with how stretched your lobes are and more so to do with how you speak to the new person. How you teach it. How you guide it and love it. And yes, I use the word it because I hate children. And if the dude is afraid that the baby is going to squirt out of a modified vagina with pointed ears and a lower back tattoo, then I think that guy doesn’t know how mod works. Isn’t that right, Jason S.?

Another commenter, Steve S. (I wonder if they’re related), was a little more abrasive. Under the heading, “Duh…!” Steve S. writes, “And you wonder why society continues to become dumber and dumber. I'm glad I'll be gone in another 40 years or so but it's too bad my daughter will have to endure this carnival of freaks known as society.” A commenter, Irish157, goes to bat for the community, asking Steve S. to have a more open mind and let people do with their bodies what they will. Thanks, Irish157. But back to Steve S. Oh, Steve S., sitting quietly in your office or living room, clicking on the letters of your keyboard and trying to devise the perfect combination of words and punctuation to accurate share with everyone with access to the internet that you disapprove with ear pointing. Oh, Steve S., let me indulge a visual for a second. You stir your tea as your wife, in another room, asks you if you did that thing you promised you’d do. But you didn’t. No, you didn’t do that thing, but now you relax surrounded by your bookshelf speckled walls, and sit in your chair thinking that your woman doesn’t control your life; but she does. Just like the dumb buffoons on Miller Lite commercials. Then, between your disgust for conservative interest in less government and your sense of entitlement that the smoker standing next to you at the bus stop (because you take public transit to reduce imaginary green house gasses) ought to be jailed for his perfectly legal behavior, you conjure a manufactured outrage for a thing that in no way affects anyone but those who participate in it. How close am I? (See how unfun judgements are?) Let’s talk for a second about exactly what you said, brochacho. Steve S., you said you will be glad to die in forty years because you don’t want to occupy the same society as modified people. And rather than invite the concepts of diversity and the value of individual beauty through alternative means into your daughter’s mind, you lament that she will continue to live in this society of which you don’t approve. Do you understand how absurd that sounds? Oughtn’t we celebrate a society that embraces diversity and individuality rather than maintain one that perpetuates clockwork representations of citizens stifled by the baseless distaste of those who don’t understand the impetus of the culture? Seriously, dude? You look forward to death, as in no longer living, as an alternative to occupying the same space as someone whom you dislike? Man, you’re lucky you didn’t say that about blacks or gays or fat people because the ACLU would have you strung to a chain link fence as liberals pelt you with foam prop rocks. (Can’t use real ones, see. That wouldn’t be very representative of the ‘love everyone’ society.) By the way, Steve S., how much dumber and dumber do we sound? Maybe I should use smaller words so I can represent the phantom manifestation of what you think the intellect of people like me is.

There were other comments, but this is getting long, and I promised my cat I’d feed her. So I gotta split. This type of anonymous hate and distaste for our culture makes imaginary superheroes out of would be sidekicks. And this isn’t limited to the theatre of modification. There are people like this who freely libel groups of all flavors, opinions, religions, races, and sexual orientation. The comment box on a webpage gives a voice to some to spread their hate and ignorance in a manufactured wrath that can only be quelled by wallowing in the shit and piss of what it is they don’t like. I’d like these commenters to look me in the eye and tell me their concerns about society in terms of ear pointing. When the world is falling apart at the seams, it doesn’t really have that much gravity. Ask an egyptian what he thinks about ear pointing. Ask a libyan. Ask a japanese. We’re blessed in this country to be able to be outraged by such inconsequential shit. Hey Steve S. Tell me to my mush that you look forward to death because you don’t want to occupy the same society as people like me. Or you can just keep tap, tap, tapping away in the privacy of your own home. Maybe that’s a bigger problem in this country than people legally modifying their bodies. Hey, kids, let Steve S. know. Post this link to him. Maybe that’ll change his bigoted mind. Stay beautiful, kids.



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1 comment:

  1. Parrotheadkrm said something about how this could affect your ability to get a job.. but what bothers me the most about his/her comment is that if you LOOK at the photos of the process after healed, it's not as EXTREME as what you'd consider Mr. Spock's ears to look like (because Spock's ears were actually longer on the top, and it'd be nearly impossible to recreate an exact replica without having to add cartilage to the base and THEN trim it down, same sorta goes for fairies, etc.). It could actually even be mistaken for a genetic mutation.. so, in this case, what if the person hadn't even modified themselves? What if they had been born with pointed ears due to a fluke chromosomal mutation? He'd think they were less qualified for the job because their ears were formed differently?

    Luckily one day OUR generation, the modified generation, will become more of the norm. A study done by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology back in '06 found that almost 1 out of every 4 people (24% of Americans between 18 and 50) are tattooed. This very SAME survey showed that about 36% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 have at least ONE tattoo. This was FIVE years ago.. imagine how the numbers must have increased! Tattoos may not be ear pointing, but it's still modification, and it's still happening.

    So maybe in 40 years when Steve S. is dead, there will be a greater acceptance of an individual's beauty and personal expression.. one can only hope.

    Awesome blog. Love you Andy <3