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Tween Might Be The Worst Word Ever
Man, I’m hungry. Ever get hungry? Like really, really hungry? Where you’re in a public place, like, say a bookstore, and your stomach growls and then the broad next to you kind of looks over at you as if you have any semblance of control over when your stomach feels like trying to digest itself, and then you smile like a submissive macaque and the broad looks down in a weird air of embarrassment? That’s the kind of hungry I’m talking about. I think I see some shitty fast food and regret in my future.
I have a couple of theories about the modification community. Some are ideas which those in the community would like to hear, and others are some which make people think I am a turncoat to the culture. We’ve talked about a lot of these in this blog, and had some nice back and forth discussion. I enjoy hearing your opinions about shit I rant about, so keep those opinions coming. You kids also know that my political views can be… hmm… How about, abrasive at times. I have pretty strong opinions about what’s going on in the country and the world. Sometimes the two meet in an interesting mixture of unknowing of how I feel. Which takes precedence over the other; my political views, or the views toward the modification culture? An interesting impasse at times. I thought I hit that impasse today while reading an article in the New York Post, but then I got pissed off at the article and forgot what I was going to write about to relate what I just said about politics and modification. So this paragraph is just a waste of time, I suppose. Yeah. So, there’s that. So… Yeah. I, umm… Saw Avengers last night. Good flick. Too many jokes for my liking but… But, yeah. So… OK, this is what pissed me off about that article.
Let me start clearly and without the opportunity to be misunderstood. Underaged modification is a scourge to our culture and those who allow it to continue are facilitators of the horrendous personification of our culture that is a sub eighteen year old with a mod. Is that clear enough? I hate underaged mod. Hate it. Hate it like I hate hippies. Hate it like I hate terrorists. Hate it like I hate those rubber rain boots that broads wear now. It does those in the community no good for an older person who has not the sociological understanding of mod to see someone who whimsically treats our culture and behaviors like a weekend excursion with no lasting consequence. It’s no good, and that’s why we have laws. Well, that specifically isn’t way we have laws. Lawmakers don’t give a wet shit about the culture and community we have created through mod. They care about public health, which is wise, and in some way age limits on modification increase public health. Sure, I’ll buy that for the sake of this rant. But if you’re underaged and want to get pierced, go to New York where there is no minimum age for piercing.
I think that was supposed to be the crux of the Andrea Peyser penned piece in the New York Times which was called “Tongue Depressing.” Pretty clever title there, Andrea. That fact alone, the no age minimum for piercing mods in New York, is very interesting and a new nugget of information to me. The article just said New York, so I assume it is New York state and not just the city. I could be wrong; it’s happened before. Nevertheless, it’s a pretty mindblowing factoid. And even though factoid is a stupid word, we’ll continue. If the article was just about that fact, it would have been interesting, but it was the language with which Ms. Peyser conveyed her ideas that was bothersome.
Seems a tired old story, doesn’t it? The problem is, at the core, I agree with her sentiment that tweens (which is another stupid word) oughtn’t be modifying. That commonality Andrea Peyser and I share, however, is drowned under a shit wave of libelist language.
Mutilated seems to be her word of choice. It appears several times in her cute little story. That’s a word we hear quite a bit, don’t we. Mutilated. Much like that idiotic woman at the Romney rally who called the current president ‘treasonous,’ this word mutilated is grossly misused in the context of body modification. As a side note, I support Romney. I felt the need to share that. Mutilation assumes violence. It’s in the definition of the word. To inflict violent and disfiguring injury upon. We don’t mutilate, by that definition anyway. To be mutilated would mean that we have been violently disfigured by someone else. We’re not disfigured. To disfigure is to spoil the attractiveness of an individual. Are we spoiling our attractiveness? Hardly. Augmenting? Adding? Establishing a comfort? Definitely. The mutilation word starts a chain of vocabulary that is noxious and damaging. It is a skewed, unmodified view of our culture and society that perpetuates a sense of sadism that is the furthest from our intentions and beliefs. Dr. Mengele mutilated people; my modification artists do not.
This verbiage and free use of words with dire meaning and gravity distracts me from the point of articles such as the one written by Andrea Peyser. Her intention here has some slow beating heart of goodness. Little kids shouldn’t be modified. We all know that, and we all should exercise our staunch opinions of the topic when the opportunity presents itself. What conflicts me mostly is that I am a supporter of parents parenting children. I honestly don’t believe that we need laws to govern every common sense aspect of our lives. I also believe in personal freedom. I shouldn’t have to wear a seatbelt if I so choose. Do I? Yeah I do (mostly when my beautiful and wonderful girlfriend is in the car), but those who choose not and are aghast at the repercussions of a seatbeltless accident are foolish and idiotic morons. Those types are also the reason why your coffee cup tells you that the coffee is hot, or why there is a warning on the hair dryer that tells you not to use it underwater. We don’t need laws to govern these things. We need a smarter society.
Clearly, however, lawmakers have given up on the idea of creating a smarter society. Instead, they impose penalties for behaviors for which we as a society ought to have enough sense to realize are fucking stupid. Don’t wrong me, here; some laws are good. Most laws are good. Don’t kill people. Don’t steal shit. Don’t walk your herd of sheep down Broad Street in Woodbury between the hours of one and five. (That’s still a law in my town.) Minimum age of modification is a good law. However, there are places like New York that don’t have laws as such. Therein lies the transfer of responsibility. The responsibility to prevent or disallow underaged individuals from modifying shifts from the lawmakers (who are often perceived as the bad guys anyway) to the citizens. The mod artists at shops in towns with no minimum age laws need to be the ones to say, “keep your $30; I’m not piercing a sixteen year old.” The citizens are always clamoring for more control and more decision making power, aren’t they? Here’s a prime chance and example. That thirty dollars and the line of tweens and teens out the door are attractive to a business owner in a recession. But one can’t buy integrity, honor, or faith in the community to which he belongs. He can only earn those and then keep them through the decisions he makes.
The solution? Perception and education. I have very often said that proper and healthy modification ought to be a part of high school (and middle school, I suppose) health class. We learn about condoms to prevent disease. We watch those highway safety videos to keep us from drinking on prom night. (I actually have a DVD full of them. They’re great. http://somethingweird.com/ is where I got them.) They make us take the robot baby or the bag of flower to scare us out of getting knocked up. Why can’t we show them photos of infected piercings? Why can’t we show them the difference between a shit butcher shop and a quality body art shop? We shock teach them everything else, why don’t we take the brainwashing to the modification theatre? Education, to me, is the key; not libelist rhetoric. Therein the libelist rhetoric is where the perception change can happen. Speaking of those who mod as individuals who seek an art form using their bodies and not mutilators can help to personify us as what we are; we are productive and intelligent members of society with interests, ideas, hopes, opinions, and interesting things to say and do. Normalization comes slowly, but it comes more easily without the ignorance fueled language of those with an opposing opinion.
Obviously, I missed the point of the Andrea Peyser article. Her point was, ‘isn’t it fuct up that underaged kids are getting belly rings?’ Yes, obviously it’s fuct up. I’m not entirely sure that any rational human being with a lobotomy’s worth of brain matter would disagree with that. But I think she could have leaned a little more on her degrees and writing education to present it in a way that wouldn’t personally attack those who celebrate and responsibly and legally participate in this beautiful culture of body modification. Stay beautiful, kids.
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