09 May, 2012

Yay, Nay, 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.
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Yay, Nay, Mod
4.9.12
I’d like to buy a van with a wheelchair lift. I think that’ll help me. You know, because I use a wheelchair. And lifting the chair in and out of my shitty Ford Explorer is a pain in my crippled ass. The problem is that I’m broke, even though I have three jobs. I’m not sure how that happens, but it does. So if you kids would like to contribute to my wheelchair lift van fund, I promise that I’ll take you wherever you’d like to go. And I’ll let you pick the music. AND, for an extraordinary pledge, you can control the heat, air and be an asshole backseat driver. That’s a good deal, right?
This is blog number 350 that I’ve written for you cats and kittens. I know, not all of them have been winners, but that’s kind of like a milestone; so we’re going to talk about something pleasant today. I know, I know; you kids like to tune in for your weekly dose of Andy hate (it’s good for the eyes, prostate, and skin of the thumb), but this one will be fun. Come with me to… Umm… Funland. I guess 350 doesn’t make me a good writer after all.
The political season is heating up faster than an overturned turtle’s belly in the desert. It’s an election year to boot, which makes the news and mudslinging even more voracious. You kids know, or by 350 blogs ought to know, where I stand politically. Well, I don’t do much standing anymore, but you know what I mean. I am pretty politically conservative. I am a republican, and my metamorphosis into a full on conservative libertarian is probably only a couple of years off. I don’t agree with a lot of policies and rhetoric of our current administration, and I hope Barry is a one and doner. I know with some, if not most, of my readers that mine is an unpopular opinion. But I think we can all agree that some things need to be fixed, jobs need to be created, people need to be taken care of (within reason, of course). None of that is entirely partisan. I like differences of opinions. It’s important to our system to work. But there are certain things that are entirely nonpartisan. Certain cultural things. Like… Tattoos? (See the question mark sets up your interest in the rest of the blog. Like a, whaaa?)
We all know that our great culture of body modification unites people in a common culture. Gays and straights and blacks and whites and jew and gentile can all be a part of the same glorious beauty that is modification. That’s some real unification of different peoples right there. That is constant sociological evidence that people of vastly different interests can share something and have the similarity of beauty with one another. It’s pretty awesome, isn’t it. What about Democrats and Republicans? Can they share a same mindedness? When it comes to modification, absolutely.
Where’s my evidence? Alright, relax; I’m getting there. An article by John Stanton on the Huffington Post website (settle down on your opinions about Huffington Post) points to just that; the coming together of those from opposing aisles. The article reels off several names of individuals with tattoo modification. That seems uninteresting until you apply this variable: all of the names are those of members of Congress. Starting with Representative Jessie Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), who has two half sleeves nearly finished, the article talks about others who are modified. Like Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Ca.), a Marine, whose sleeves are near finished. Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Ca.) is modded in honor of the terrorist attacks in New York in 2001, Rep. Allen West (R-Fl.), Rep. Dan Boren (D-Ok.) and probably the most remarkable of the lot, Delegate Eni Faleomavaega. Del. Faleomavaega is the democrat representative of American Samoa. This cat has a traditional Polynesian tatua. You know these, right kids? When the cat reaches manhood escaping from the dregs of boyhood, he begins his tatua which takes a stupidly long time and is done with the bone and wood tapping style tattoo tools. Most of these tatua works cover the majority of skin around the torso, arms and thighs, and sometimes tells a story about the wearers lineage. I’m not sure if the delegate has the full suit, but even the suggestion is pretty bad assed. 
While we speak, or I guess you read and I write, there’s a Facebook comment conversation going on that I am a part of that is debating the gay marriage thing that just happened. You know, the banning of it in North Carolina and the president saying he supports it now after saying he didn’t earlier. I’m not getting into any of that right here, and please reserve your comments on that. I mention that to illustrate a point. The point is that there are vast and clear divisions in the views of our society. About domestic social issues, foreign social issues, energy, economy, conflicts overseas, torture methods. All kinds of shit have a thousand opinions tethered to them. I enjoy the differences of opinions. When compromise, however, is compromised then there will always be debates with no resolutions. With that idea in mind, I believe it isn’t terribly overstated to say that the demonstration of the community of modification being shared by individuals with deeply opposing views is a warming and fascinating uplifting to the ice breaking necessary to reach agreements and compromises. A democrat has an opinion about topic A. A republican has a vastly different opinion about topic A. What they share, however, is their their love for topic C, which is body modification, and that example is something to be witnessed and emulated by the people they represent. 
I’m not an ‘everybody must get along to solve problems’ type. I don’t think that’s true. I think getting along can help the solving of problems, but I also think a good ol’ fashion donnybrook can solve problems too. Yelling and disagreement and getting all wrapped around the axle can be heathy once in a while (see also; my band). We don’t have a dearth of that in Congress, to be sure. But at the end of the day, each member of Congress, the executives in the White House, and the judges in the Supreme Court are people and despite differences of opinion on tax code whatever or motion this and that or health care bill flibberty, they can all be part of the beautiful culture of modification. 
What an example they are sharing with the American people. What a wonderful personification of the melting pot that our country is supposed to embody. Come, they are saying, and for a brief moment let’s leave politics inside the capitol and share the culture and celebration of our beauty through modification. And let’s do it together. Unity and solidarity and similarity. How wonderfully does modification exemplify this. And isn’t that part of the point of modification. Isn’t that what mod does best for all of us who participate? It brings us nearer to individuals who would otherwise be a thousand mental miles away. It’s a beautiful thing. In a way, our culture is represented in the highest forms of government. Modded president? I’m not sure we’ll have a two inch lobe, full sleeve, straight septum jewelry cat (or kitten) in office anytime soon. Of course, I have announced my candidacy just yet. But when you’re leaning toward thinking that the modification culture stops at the help wanted sign and starts at the unemployment line, think of these politicians who share with you and me the beautiful and personally social art of modification. Stay beautiful kids.
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