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[P]
Extreme Body Modification

By McBain in Culture
Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 02:06:00 AM EST
Tags: Focus On... (all tags)
Focus On...

Warning: this story contains disturbing, graphical and un-worksafe links. Click them with caution.

Superficial body modification has become, to a certain extent, acceptable and mainstream. While tattoos and body piercings were once markings of outsiders and special subcultures, celebrities and the public now display them as the latest fashion accessory (although they can still damage your employment prospects). It is clear that such modifications have become commodified and are no longer regarded as deviant, but merely as another consumer item.

However many subcultures still exist that take the idea of body modification to extremes. Genital removal and limb amputation are examples of the hardcore, permanent body modification that members of these subcultures aspire to. These practices go far beyond the bounds of what society deems as acceptable body modification. While the mainstream may view this behaviour with revulsion and bafflement, it raises the interesting question of what is and what is not acceptable body modification in today's liberal society.


Nullification

A nullo [WORK-UNSAFE, DISTURBING LINK] ( 2) is a man who chooses to have his genitalia, both testicles and penis, removed for aesthetic and sexual purposes. It is an extreme body modification of the highest order. If an ordinary man was nullified, it would be unsurprising if they became extremely depressed or tried to commit suicide. Male identity is strongly linked to primary sexual features. Additionally, the testosterone produced by the testicles has a powerful influence on male behaviour, regulating moods and providing libido.

In this [Warning: disturbing link] confronting interview, a 26 year old man describes how he came to be a nullo. His story is a disturbing tale of masochism and DIY surgery but the man is obviously pleased with the outcome. Although the interview may be a fake, such DIY operations are not uncommon or impossible; for example, this equipment was designed for exactly that purpose.

There are many different reasons that a man may be wish to remove their genitalia.

  • Excessive libido. Castration has been used as a punishment for sex offenders. Some men are simply born with an extremely high libido, forcing to masturbate excessively and causing marital stress.
  • Chronic testicle pain.
  • Religion and culture. Eunuchs have often held crucial roles in various societies. Eunuchs were used to protect harems in Arabic and Asian countries; in some cases their proximity to the rulers gave them great power. Castration was common in 17th and 18th century Italy, used to produce the famous castrati, valued for their high-pitched singing voice. The Hijras of Pakistan and India are examples of contemporary culturally accepted castration.
  • Calm. A commonly reported result of castration is a Zen-like calm. On the other hand, a lack of testosterone can cause mood swings and depression. Testosterone patches can stabilise the mood (as well as restoring libido).
  • Fetishes. S&M fantasies often revolve around the utter domination of a partner. Nullo fantasies involve the cooking and consumption of testicles, nonconsensual castration and other domination fantasies.
  • Transgenderism. The removal of male sexual features is a major step towards assuming a female appearance. In this case they are not technically nullos.
  • Nullification. A "true" nullo does not wish to take on a feminine appearance like transgenders do, they merely seek the removal of the entire male genitalia for the "smooth" appearance.


Limb Amputation and Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Limb amputation is another extreme body modification, also of the highest order. Limbs are large, crucial parts of the body that are necessary for everyday living. To have a limb removed will cause a major disability that will permanently hinder an individuality's mobility or hand skills.

Psychiatrists believe that limb amputation is not a sexual fetish or psychosis but a symptom of body dysmorphic disorder, a crippling, but largely unheard of and undiscussed, mental disorder related to Obssessive Compulsive Disorder. BDD sufferers obsess about minor flaws or imagined defects, usually involving the head and face. It can lead to social phobia and reclusion as sufferers avoid contact with others to hide their imagined deformities.

Sufferers feel that their bodies just aren't "right", usually due to a particular feature. This may be a facial or body feature, even a limb. They often attempt to get surgery done to "correct" the feature, up to and including amputation. If surgery is not available, they may attempt it themselves. This puts surgeons in a difficult position. If they do not perform the operation, the BDD sufferer may be so obsessed with the offending limb or body feature that they may end up performing dangerous surgery upon themselves, which could lead to death.

This is the fascinating case of identical twins who had the arm from one amputated and attached to the other. Similarly, they used the tip of one's ring finger to extend the other's ring finger.

Other body modifications

Trepannation is a practice dating back to neolithic times of surgically opening a hole in the skull. This is believed to be evidence of early surgical practice to relieve pressure after cranial fractures. It may also have been done by shamans to induce hallucinations.

Suspension involves embedding hooks into the flesh and hanging people. It is not a permanent body modification, but is both painful and spectacular.

Transgendered people have a conflict between their gender identity and physical appearance. Many wish to resolve this via operations upon their sexual features.

Corsets are used to create an exaggeratedly miniscule waist. They were commonly used in Europe until the 20th century.

Branding is the process of burning the skin to mark it with images or words, just like tattooing.

Another category of "body modifier" are self-mutilators, who may cut and scar themselves repeatedly. This can be a result of psychiatrics disorder such as depression or borderline personality disorder.

Conclusion

Extreme body modification, while seeming unnecessary, painful and dangerous, appeals to a surpising number of people. Body modifiers desire to change their body so strongly that they perform painful, dangerous and irreversible procedures upon themselves often without the support or knowledge of others. The reasons may be varied and strange, but they are always real and never trivial - few people perform major surgery upon themselves simply upon a whim.

Modern society prides itself on it's tolerance and diversity. Most people have no problem accepting others with differences, as long as those differences resulted from forces beyond their control, such as genetics, accidents or diseases. Insulting racial minorities and the disabled is considered unacceptable and immoral, and rightly so. Yet it is clear that we have much more difficulty coming to terms with others who wish to make themselves different of their own accord. Is this a double standard?

A person wheelchair-bound because they amputated their own legs should hardly be given the same sympathy and respect as a similar accident victim. People who modify their body so they are unable to function in regular society should be made aware of the damage they are going to do to themselves and their family, friends and loved ones. But in cases where the person does themselves and others no disabling injury, should society be so quick to judge and condemn?

In either case, it is an important and current moral and social issue. Tattooing and piercing have [PDF] unprecedented popularity in western society, so it's reasonable to expect that future society may feature even more bizarre and extreme body modification. We enter an age in which genetic technology, digital/neuronal interfaces, advanced plastic surgery and even nanotechnology could mean that the human form becomes more diverse than ever. In a few decades, people may look at back at today's extreme body modifiers and see them as pioneers. Modifications which seemly bizarre and extreme to us today could be commodified and made into consumer items in the future world. And perhaps society needs people like nullos and self-amputees to remind us that beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.

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Poll
Acceptable body modification?
o None 25%
o Circumcision 9%
o Tattoos 15%
o Facial piercings 1%
o Body piercings 10%
o Cosmetic surgery 15%
o Genital modification 6%
o Limb amputation (Yeah, Baby!) 15%

Votes: 132
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o body modification
o nullo
o 2
o confrontin g interview
o this
o equipment
o different reasons
o punishment
o castrati
o Hijras
o Limb amputation
o body dysmorphic disorder
o difficult position
o This
o Trepannati on
o Suspension
o Transgende red
o operations
o Corsets
o Branding
o unpreceden ted popularity
o Also by McBain


Display: Sort:
Extreme Body Modification | 286 comments (201 topical, 85 editorial, 1 hidden)
Let me just be the first to say... (3.80 / 5) (#9)
by zipper on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 12:48:04 AM EST

Freaks.

How's that for understanding?

---
This account has been neutered by rusty and can no longer rate or post comments. Way to go fearless leader!
Ugh (3.30 / 13) (#13)
by NaCh0 on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 02:11:16 AM EST

Just what we need...even more men w/o balls.

Maybe we could pass a law to prohibit nullos outside of California and Europe.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.

Excellent suggestion! (4.42 / 7) (#15)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 03:44:02 AM EST

Let's do it! But why stop there? I propose we neuter all Europeans and Californians and keep them imprisoned in their own land so there is absolutely no chance they'll be able to breed. We should build a massive wall around them so that they can't get out: those who make escape attempts should be mercilessly hunted down by Muslim extremists.

I shall introduce this legislation as soon as I can work out a good first draft. I'll call it the "Homo-land Protection Act".

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

But... (1.10 / 20) (#16)
by psychologist on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 06:10:17 AM EST

Americans don't have any balls either, does that make them nullos too?

Why are you so interested in balls. [nt] (1.33 / 3) (#33)
by Chuck Freck on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 09:36:40 AM EST



[ Parent ]
It's always the shrinks (3.00 / 3) (#34)
by Bill Melater on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 09:46:12 AM EST

Who are also the worst head-cases.

[ Parent ]
WARNING: (4.30 / 10) (#17)
by danni on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 06:59:07 AM EST

do NOT read the interview with the nullo. however interesting it maybe, if you are like me you will find it extremely disturbing. i read it when i was tired, from the b3ta newsletter, and then i ended up crying myself to sleep. seriously DO NOT read it. be careful this has also appeared at metafilter etc... do NOT click on it, you will never be able to remove the thoughts of this from your head.

Sorry to hear that... (4.00 / 2) (#23)
by McBain on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 07:48:21 AM EST

I found it somewhat cringe-inducing myself, particularly the rubber band bit. I've warned that it's "confronting", I guess...

---
Sorry. I can't seem to find that sig.
[ Parent ]

I actually thought I was going to vomit (4.22 / 9) (#38)
by spasticfraggle on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 09:55:50 AM EST

Not in the "that stuff makes me sick" way, but in the going to the bathroom, locking the door and kneeling down way. My face was sweating. I had to read the interview in four sittings (what a masochist I must be - but not in comparison :-/

A common mantra in ("normal") S&M is "Safe, Sane and Consensual - according to the interview, this wasn't particularly safe, I have no idea if it was sane, but it certainly wasn't consensual. The lack of consent is the most disturbing part for me. Oh, and the fact he was 26. Like nobody ever changes their tastes, lifestyle or the person they love after the age of 26. Fuck.

--
I'm the straw that broke the camel's back!
[ Parent ]

exactly! (3.00 / 2) (#81)
by fae on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 10:36:54 PM EST

After all, since we live forever, one should be veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery careful about any sorts of permanent modifications!

-- fae: but an atom in the great mass of humanity
[ Parent ]
Yup (none / 0) (#102)
by Simon Kinahan on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 06:16:38 AM EST

Same here. In fact, I feel queasy just being reminded about it. Fortunately, looking at the source, I'm inclined to agree with the people who think its fake. I still worry about the person who faked it, though.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
you are obviously not desensitised enough. (4.00 / 5) (#82)
by fae on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 10:49:36 PM EST

To fix this, go rent a gory action movie and watch it like 10 times. I'm suggesting "Intestines Of War", but you can obviously pick from a wide variety of movies. Consult your local gun maniac.

Second, you should find a way to destroy your hope for humanity. Pick a popular issue over which you are totally closed-minded, and read lots of material from the opposing side. Become furious at their lack of intelligence. Society will never progress with these shitheads participating. Read about the lives of insane criminals.

In short, make an effort to understand how humanity is like a shit-encrusted diamond, and just how much shit there is.

You'll end up as a wonderful cynic, unsurprised by even the most 'horrifying' events. The next steps are to flip out and kill people. Have fun!

-- fae: but an atom in the great mass of humanity
[ Parent ]

I hope THAT (ninja) guy isn't serious... (none / 0) (#97)
by laotic on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 03:52:03 AM EST

...or is it YOU? Oooh, that's sooo sweet. :)

Sig? Sigh.
[ Parent ]
Well, if it's any comfort it's fiction (4.00 / 1) (#112)
by darqchild on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 07:28:31 AM EST

it has too many technical inaccuracies.  I doubt somone would live through that. If he didn't die from infection or blood loss, he would require extensive plastic surgery to prevent his urethra from closing up.

it also doesn't read like an interview, as much as it reads like the fictional work of somone who fantasizes about being castrated, or just wanted to turn some heads.  

~~~
Death is God's way of telling you not to be such a smartass.
[ Parent ]

Yeah, I thought that too. (5.00 / 2) (#230)
by gordonjcp on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 10:41:40 AM EST

If you actually remove that much of the penis then you'll need to graft on some sort of extended urethra, otherwise when the resulting wound closes up the bit that's left will heal over a good inch or two inside the body. Nasty.
What you won't end up with, which the (presumably fictional) interview suggests *does* happen, is a kind of pseudo-vagina. You'd need *massive* skin grafts to create that, and all sorts of plastic surgery to get the shape even vaguely right. Furthermore, you'd need to stop all the scars sticking together.
Blocked off urethras are not fun. It happens in certain mammals (sheep are bad for this) when you try to retain a prolapsed uterus - the womb turns itself inside out and emerges from the vagina - with, for example, a couple of stitches through the labia (painful and nasty, but not as bad as having your womb hanging out between your legs). You have to be very careful to avoid crushing the urethra, which will block up permanently with predictable effects.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
Amusing evolutionary dead-ends (3.90 / 11) (#35)
by Pac on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 09:46:55 AM EST

Humans are probably the sole species in the planet with conscious knowledge of how evolution works. The prude and the outraged should let science inform their feellings. There is little need for bans, witch-hunts, laws. This kind of extreme behaviour is self-defeating and obviously non-hereditary.

Have you noticed you don't find birds with a preference for laying eggs in snake nests? You also don't find rodents feeding on eagle nests leftovers.And you can't find many zebras who like to play with lions. Why is that? Because all those animals with the behaviours listed above died without leaving progeny. Whichever genetical material gave them this tendencies is now enclosed by an enormous recessive barrier.

Among the 6 billion humans alive there must be a vastly insignificant number of people with tendencies to what is described in this article. This extremes are usually reached through a combination of many very rare recessives and a very strange enviroment. The complexity of the transmission mechanism garantees those genes are almost never really lost, but it also makes sure they rarely manifest themselves.

So, we don't need new laws or new religions, we don't even need to think of the children. The children won't take this as an example. Just give selection a hundred thousand years (or five) and this will go away...

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


This is an interesting point to make, (3.00 / 1) (#46)
by danni on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 12:09:12 PM EST

but of course would evolution actually get rid of them? Considering the fact that gay people are still around (which is a similar situation, as generally they will not reproduce) suggests otherwise.

Additionally, in this story there was not consent all of the way, I wonder how many times this actually the case in real life? I wonder how many times this actually happens in real life at all?

[ Parent ]

Actually (4.66 / 3) (#56)
by Pac on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 01:25:34 PM EST

Homosexuality is not an unkown trend in the "wild".  There are theories linking it to population control and kin selection. The genetic evolutionary advantage would be in making it better/easier for the homosexual individual genes to survive (though brothers/sisters descendents). But there is no definite data supporting such speculations, it is all still too flimsy yet.

As for the problem at hand, I was being fancy. Human social issues are far too complex for the size of these textareas... :)

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
reproduce. (none / 0) (#260)
by joshsisk on Wed Jul 30, 2003 at 11:26:13 AM EST

but of course would evolution actually get rid of them? Considering the fact that gay people are still around (which is a similar situation, as generally they will not reproduce) suggests otherwise.

I know many gay people with kids. It's pretty common.
--
logjamming.com : web hosting for weblogs, NOT gay lumberjack porn
[ Parent ]

Or maybe it's not genetic d'ya think? (4.00 / 2) (#59)
by localroger on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 02:28:00 PM EST

It may turn out that stuff like this simply can't be dissected out of the faw fact of consciousness itself. With our particularly high state of consciousness we find particularly weird ways to go off the deep end.

Oh, and homosexual activity has been documented in lots of animals. Not to mention the practice many birds have of "anting." It takes a human to think of transplant art though...

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]

Hard to tell (4.00 / 1) (#62)
by Pac on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 03:03:55 PM EST

It is hard enough, sometimes impossiple, to make the correct link between one or more genes and a specific phenotype manifestation in bacteria or insects. In larger mammals and humans it used to be almost impossible except for the simplest, single allele controlled physical manifestations. Nowadays techniques are getting better and one may hope to locate all alleles responsible for a certain phenotype and show the link between them. But environment plays a decisive role in human business, so there will always be room for doubt between genetic and enviromental causes.

For the point about homosexual behaviour, see my other comment in this same thread.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
If self-crippling (4.00 / 1) (#184)
by fhotg on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 10:20:14 AM EST

becomes some sort of status-symbol, reproduction success of people with missing body-parts will increase, relatively.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 0) (#190)
by Pac on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 12:11:49 PM EST

As I said elsewhere, human social issues are far too complex for such simplistic analysis. Cultural trends will interfere in biology making the future of human evolution far more than unpredictable than "natural" evolution already usually is.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
Evolution (5.00 / 2) (#185)
by aprentic on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 10:58:05 AM EST

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, evolution is a bit more complicated than that. We all know the basics of evolution: Life forms within a species exhibit some variation. During reproduction there is a chance of both mutation and genetic crossover, resulting in new genomes. Genomes that are "good" get to reproduce and stay in the gene pool. Genomes that are "bad" either fail to reproduce or die outright and are thus removed from the gene pool But it get's more complicated. Genetic traits often take a long time to manifest after they are present in a genome. The two main effects of this are that "bad" genes can stick around for many generations, and may even flourish if they're tied to a "good" gene. And genes have an opportunity to manifest their benefits and costs to greater groups in the species, thus a gene which may be harmful to the individual may flourish because it is beneficial to the species. For example, social learning psychologists talk about something called the "selfish gene". It hasn't been identified in terms of DNA yet but here's how it goes. Ducks obviously don't have moral codes which dictate self sacrifice for the good of the group. However, when groups of ducks are threatened one will often stay behind and distract the predator while the rest fly away. Clearly this duck has a much greater chance of becomming a meal so you would think that this tendancy would die out. But since this duck is most likely related to the rest of it's flock, the gene which dictates such behavior still exists in the flock. It's parents, offspring, and siblings share 50% of it's gene code, grandparents, grandshildren, and cousins share 25%, etc. If by sacrificing itself a duck can save more than 2 of it's siblings it's genome is better off than if that particular duck survives and it's siblings get eaten. And that's what dictates whether or not a gene will persist, it's likelyhood to exist in the population as a whole, not merely the reproductive ability of the individual.

[ Parent ]
I know... (none / 0) (#189)
by Pac on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 12:08:48 PM EST

See my other comment in this same thread. Specially "As for the problem at hand, I was being fancy. Human social issues are far too complex for the size of these textareas"

(Hasn't the whole concept of "sefish gen" been under a lot of fire in the last 10 years or so?)

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
Fair enough (none / 0) (#237)
by aprentic on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 03:44:34 PM EST

I for one can't see an evolutionary advantage to doing this sort of thing. Neither to the individual nor to the species. Evolution is extremely complicated stuff and it's hard to do studies on anything with a generational cycle longer than that of a fruit fly. My point was only that just because something seems to be an evolutionary disadvantage at first glance does not mean it actually is. On a side not, why do Giant Pandas still exist? They're slow, they're stupid, their digestive tract is horribly ineficient, they're nearsighted, they have a crappy sense of smell. Their only evolutionary advantage seems to be that humans find them cute and fuzzy.

[ Parent ]
And on the top of that they only eat bamboo (none / 0) (#250)
by Pac on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 10:11:05 PM EST

Pandas are all the proof one needs that Evolution is completely blind. They probably survived for lack of predators and in very specific isolated habitats. But that was before man came to take their bamboo away and thought they had a nice fur. The freaks have even developed the luxury of a very low reproductive capacity. And now that man is feeling all guilt about them, the bastards refuse to reproduce in captivity...

(It is not exactly true they eat only bamboo, they also eat small quantities of meat and other plants. But ba,boo is 99% of their diet).

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
Another one (none / 0) (#262)
by aprentic on Wed Jul 30, 2003 at 01:33:13 PM EST

Apparantly their standard response to members of the opposite sex is aggression, except for the few days a year during which the female is in estrous. How the hell does a stupid trait like that evolve?

[ Parent ]
Hmm... (4.75 / 4) (#39)
by reklaw on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 11:01:51 AM EST

I'm pretty sure that first link (the interview) is entirely made up, but still.

It's one of my most closely held values that, as long as it doesn't adversely affect others, people can do whatever makes them happy. I can't say this is something I generally enjoyed hearing about (in fact I was quite amazed how just text had the same physical effect as goatse or tubgirl -- a feeling of near-sickness), but I would never presume to judge or attempt to stop these people. It is, after all, their life.
-

I thought it was made up too, (2.00 / 2) (#45)
by McBain on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 12:04:15 PM EST

but check out the equipment links - designed particularly for castration.

---
Sorry. I can't seem to find that sig.
[ Parent ]

Well, yeah... (3.00 / 1) (#47)
by reklaw on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 12:16:44 PM EST

I believe that some people might actually do this kind of thing, but the whole scenario and writing style in the first thing makes me think that particular story is just a wind-up.
-
[ Parent ]
Designed particularly for castration... (4.00 / 2) (#57)
by Hizonner on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 02:10:30 PM EST

... ordinarily of calves. Those things aren't built for human use, and their existence proves zip about how common human castration is.

[ Parent ]
Yes equipment exists to do this kind of thing (none / 0) (#120)
by tzanger on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 10:50:53 AM EST

But I believe the links provided were originally intended for agricultrual use, not specifically designed/enhanced for extreme body modification.

[ Parent ]
The finger transplant one (none / 0) (#71)
by zerth on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 07:51:22 PM EST

is fake too, it was on the Other Site about 2 years ago.  Fer Gil's sake, it's got a obviously photoshopped "3rd arm transplant" only halfway down.

Rusty isn't God here, he's the pope; our God is pedantry. -- Subtillus
[ Parent ]
I've read similar interviews (2.00 / 1) (#242)
by paranoid on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 04:38:32 PM EST

They can't all be made up, can they? Are they? I think we can have doubts about this particular story, but it seems to me that there are some semi-voluntary castrates and some of them are also masochists and homosexuals.

[ Parent ]
Reading your article (4.20 / 5) (#66)
by mami on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 06:28:08 PM EST

and being too scared to click on any link, I have the feeling that the author engages also in a fair amount of mind modification over the issue of body modification.

It suggests that people, who don't think it's unprecedented popular to modify (mutilate?) your body, are narrow-minded brains, who have no appreciation for the fact that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Self-mutiliation scares me and I can't help to think that self-modification is also intended to scare, even if it's hurting noone else than the person engaging in self-mutilation.

I am scared to meet a person who had the courage to undergo something very painful for no other reason than to be different. It's a statement. I am not clear though, what it wants to say to me.

Why would one suffer that pain to become different? Does it mean there was no other way for the person to become "somebody or something more desirable or different"?

I guess the subject is too difficult for me to think through. I am curious what you have to say.

+1 FP


you're already a unique and beautiful snowflake (2.50 / 2) (#79)
by fae on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 10:30:46 PM EST

just like everyone else. :-)

-- fae: but an atom in the great mass of humanity
[ Parent ]
I don't like melting away (none / 0) (#85)
by mami on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 11:17:15 PM EST

may be I should give body modification a try ... into an iceman or something. :-)

[ Parent ]
reasons (5.00 / 1) (#181)
by nine of mirrors on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 10:06:49 AM EST

Hello mami. There really are many reasons to modify your body or to wish or plan to and I don't think you can lump it all together in one big scary mass or reduce it to "wanting to be different".

Transsexuals for example feel so uncomfortable with their physical sex that hormones/sexual reassignment surgery/epilation/... are not so much mutilation as the correction of a "mistake" made by nature. Most of them don't want to shock or scare anyone. It's more like they want to un-shock, un-scare themselves. (Something like that anyway. At least that's how it is for me.)

And, naturally, self-injury (cutting, burning), as another poster pointed out, isn't about improving the body at all, but about suppressing mental with physical pain, or venting self-loathing, among other things.

Overtly "decorative" modifications (tattoos, piercings, brandings) might have stories to tell as well, not unlike that of the submissive/masochist "nullo" guy who's had his genitals removed because his lover preferred him that way. Now I don't know if I'd trust a dominant who'd submit a willingly dependent person to something so permanent -- it's probably not my idea of a responsible "owner".

I can understand the desire though, so maybe I don't see what's so disturbing about it. Maybe you should consider yourself lucky you do.

Still, despite any sym- or empathy I might have, I'm not sure "modding" neccessarily resolves the underlying mental issues (assuming there are any). "Wanting to be different" actually seems to me to be the least concern-worthy reason for body modifications. I suppose in some ways it's just like getting a mohawk haircut. That, too, used to have shock-value.

[ Parent ]

That nullo 'interview' (4.00 / 4) (#75)
by nobbystyles on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 08:55:42 PM EST

It's the biggest POS on the interweb evar. But you should read the comments after it, reminds me Adequacy in the good 'ol days. Hilarous...

The 'hijras' of India... (5.00 / 6) (#83)
by splitpeasoup on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 10:58:43 PM EST

...are for the most part kidnapped and forcibly castrated without their consent. This takes place in crude surgeries that kill a large percentage of those who undergo them. Hijra gangs target good-looking or effeminate teenagers or youth. Once they are castrated and brainwashed, they become part of and help propagate the (quite well-organized) hijra gangs. They have very few options at this point anyway, since not even their own families would want them back.

'Culturally accepted' - hardly. Hijras are treated with revulsion and disgust. They beg for money, but people only pay them to make the embarrassing creatures go away. The only exception to this is at weddings, where their presence is sought as being conducive to good luck.

-SPS

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

Write in vote: Why am I choosing? (none / 0) (#86)
by Koutetsu on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 11:22:29 PM EST

And what does my 'acceptance' matter to someone who's having their tongue pierced/genitalia nullified/arms amputated?

m(y) d.n.e. Me in terms of You does not exist.
What ever floats youre boat (3.50 / 2) (#87)
by monkeymind on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 11:38:26 PM EST

If the people doing this are adults and judged rational, let them. If it makes them feel better about themselves or accept who they think they are or want to be, who am I to stop them.

Some want a fast car to make them complete, others a trophy partner. The quest for the perfect nose, face or body will make some spend there entire lives in the quest. Either by working to make their money to pay for surgery (I have a girlfriend in uni who was saving up for Lypo and nothing I or anybody else said could convince her she was great as she was), excessive gym or diets etc.

I don't see much difference, if they can convince the surgeon to do it and they have the cash, so be it.

I believe in Karma. That means I can do bad things to people and assume the deserve it.

does not apply to one of the links (none / 0) (#199)
by Burning Straw Man on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 02:04:06 PM EST

In one of the links, a victim is tied up and has his penis removed while he screams for his attackers to stop.
--
your straw man is on fire...
[ Parent ]
I don't know why people complain about the.. (4.00 / 6) (#89)
by synik on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 12:05:18 AM EST

..nullo interview being gross.

I read it while eating a bowl of pasta.

---
The human race has suffered for centuries and is still suffering from the mental disorder known as religion, and atheism is the only physician that will be able to effect a permanent cure. -- Joseph Lewis

Any meatballs with that? n/t (4.00 / 4) (#157)
by Bill Melater on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 11:58:54 PM EST



[ Parent ]
I don't think self-injury belongs in here (4.50 / 2) (#91)
by Kasreyn on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 12:48:34 AM EST

People do body modification to change their external self-image. People do self-injury for a totally different reason (though there are several of them). A common one is, they find the pain of physical injury takes their mind off the stress and mental pain of their lives. As such, self-injury isn't really caused by a desire to change the way you look. It's just a side-effect. The actual goal in self-injury is the pain and damage, not the way it alters appearance.

Otherwise quite a good read, as far as a beginner's guide goes. +1 Section.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
I emailed editors@kuro5hin.org (2.33 / 3) (#105)
by McBain on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 06:24:38 AM EST

to remove it. No reply yet.

---
Sorry. I can't seem to find that sig.
[ Parent ]

Speak for yourself (none / 0) (#217)
by anon868 on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 10:44:14 PM EST

Sometimes the lasting scar can be nearly as much fun as the blood and pain that it took to make it. I have a fairly visible scar, which I enjoy daily...
Open a window. No, not that one! One made from actual glass, set in an acual wall, you dork.
[ Parent ]
The term for that is scarification (none / 0) (#218)
by Kasreyn on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 11:38:27 PM EST

and it definitely counts under Body Modification. It's quite popular among people of African descent, because tattoos are less visible on their skin. By a happy coincidence, African skin generally scars up a good bit thicker than the skin of the other races. Thus it's rather popular to use scarification to create (nearly) permanent patterns and symbols.

The point I was making was, the behavior which is commonly called "self-injury", has the same end result as scarification - the addition of scars to the body - but is done with an entirely different motive.

Of course, people can combine the two motives, and injure themselves both for the pain and for the scars. This is natural, since a love of injuring oneself means one must get used to scars. Get sufficiently used to something, and you may come to love it.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Btw, re: circumcision (poll) (3.71 / 14) (#92)
by Kasreyn on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 12:52:18 AM EST

If done on a consenting adult, it is body modification.

If done on a child, it is genital mutilation and child abuse.

TY, HAND.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Btw, re: vaccination (3.40 / 10) (#110)
by beijaflor on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 07:01:20 AM EST

If done on a consenting adult, it is body modification.

If done on a child, it is genetic mutilation and child abuse.

[ Parent ]
Idiot. (3.00 / 8) (#119)
by Kasreyn on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 10:44:28 AM EST

Vaccination has a legitimate medial purpose.

Circumcision does not.

Do some research before you get sarcastic next time, mmkay?


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Don't be so touchy (4.50 / 4) (#162)
by beijaflor on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 03:08:57 AM EST

Either vaccination or circumcision are legitimate medical actions is not as definite as you seem to believe. For instance circumcision in the US is common (but not mandatory) because it was widely thought to be healthier. As for vaccination, I suggest you do some research. Vaccination had hard time before being accepted and the benefit for a population (comparing to its cost) is sometimes hard to prove, depending of course on the times, place and vaccine.

Btw, my intent wasn't to hurt your feelings, but to show that some disgust (judging from some comments) while medicine makes some others totally acceptable.

[ Parent ]
that's right (4.00 / 2) (#176)
by speek on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 09:16:22 AM EST

The smallpox virus got so disgusted with us vaccinating, self-mutilating people, they wanted no part of us anymore and just decided to leave.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Transgenderism? (3.80 / 5) (#99)
by locke baron on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 04:27:41 AM EST

I'm not entirely convinced that SRS belongs in the 'extreme bodmodding' category, and here's why: Transsexuals don't do it for shock value. Gender dysphoria is a known medical condition, and SRS is one of the few known effective treatments. That said, it's probably in a similar vein to amputations for the treatment of BDD.

(Side note: while writing this, I discovered that there's an extreme bodmodder out there who shares my real name, modulo one letter. All this, while I, a transsexual, debates wheter SRS is bodmodding or not. How strikingy apropos.)

Micro$oft uses Quake clannies to wage war on Iraq! - explodingheadboy

I took the phrase "body modification" (4.00 / 1) (#109)
by McBain on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 06:40:18 AM EST

literally to just mean somebody who modifies their body. This brings together many different groups - those who want to shock, those who have fetishes, those who have psychiatric problems and transsexuals under one heading. This probably isn't the best way to group them, but it's a simple classification.

That said, it's probably in a similar vein to amputations for the treatment of BDD.

Exactly :-).

---
Sorry. I can't seem to find that sig.
[ Parent ]

That makes sense. (none / 0) (#113)
by locke baron on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 07:31:06 AM EST

It just kinda 'smelled wrong'. Maybe that was a bit of defensiveness on my part, though - I don't like the idea of transsexuals being lumped in with shock-jocks, and that's why it seemed zunky.

Micro$oft uses Quake clannies to wage war on Iraq! - explodingheadboy
[ Parent ]
The term transgendered (4.00 / 1) (#140)
by levesque on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 07:45:56 PM EST

is too broad, it includes cases like these that involve possible modification of the body by someone other than the patient without the patient's consent, conflict for many ,in this situation, is directed towards the procedure rather than gender identity.

Possibly the term transexual is what you are referring to.

[ Parent ]

yep (5.00 / 1) (#144)
by livus on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 08:10:57 PM EST

I agree. The term "gender" usually just refers to the social stuff. Anyone who says they don't "match" their gender is transgendered, no matter how intact they are.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Some more examples of EBM (5.00 / 2) (#108)
by McBain on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 06:34:43 AM EST

WARNING NSFW, DISTURBING LINKS - CLICK WITH CAUTION

No hands - a nullo who's also into amputation.

The toecutter - speaks for itself, really.

An interview with a eunuch.

---
Sorry. I can't seem to find that sig.

Well, that was disturbing. (nt) (5.00 / 1) (#114)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 08:40:49 AM EST



---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]
Toecutter (slightly OT) (4.00 / 2) (#164)
by Sciamachy on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 03:46:11 AM EST

...is also a term meaning someone who'll torture a drug dealer till he reveals where his money and drugs are, whereupon the poor criminal's life comes to an abrupt and bloody end. (http://www.melbournecrime.bizhosting.com/mread.htm)
--
Fides Non Timet
[ Parent ]
This stuff is hardly extreme (4.37 / 8) (#123)
by the on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 11:26:56 AM EST

They're almost all modifications to surface features - like modding your PC by replacing the case. Where are the people rewiring their brains and breathing methane?

--
The Definite Article
Genital mod is the closest... (2.50 / 2) (#138)
by Fen on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 06:24:46 PM EST

I assume you are a transhumanist, then?
--Self.
[ Parent ]
*tap on shoulder* Excuse me! (1.00 / 1) (#174)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 08:53:38 AM EST

What is a "transhumanist"? I would be fascinated to hear the definition.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

for one, they look things up on their own (2.33 / 3) (#178)
by Fen on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 09:48:33 AM EST

For another, if you don't understand them, they'll kill you with superior technology. Better get moving.
--Self.
[ Parent ]
Oh the horror! (nt) (1.00 / 1) (#179)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 09:59:10 AM EST



---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]
Nope (5.00 / 2) (#163)
by beijaflor on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 03:23:44 AM EST

But there are folks with plastic machines pumping their blood and a stranger's organ filtering it...

[ Parent ]
EBM makes baby jesus cry (4.00 / 5) (#125)
by zephc on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 02:04:56 PM EST

Seriously, thinking about this stuff makes me cringe, and not many things do.  I wish there was a Fairly Oddparents or Spongebob marathon today, to help me scrub my brain of this stuff.

I can't argue with you. (3.00 / 3) (#134)
by losthalo on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 05:39:08 PM EST

Electronic body music definitely makes the Baby Jesus cry...

(Losthalo)

"Everybody has had one, and one is enough for anybody."
(Willy Wonka)

[ Parent ]
EBM Makes Jesus cry? (3.00 / 2) (#165)
by Sciamachy on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 03:47:50 AM EST

It makes me cry too - terrible music.
--
Fides Non Timet
[ Parent ]
I'm surprised you havent mentioned (4.00 / 2) (#126)
by phraggle on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 03:07:04 PM EST

I read recently that "tongue splitting" is the latest body modification craze. This is where the tongue is split down the middle to make the tongue look like a serpents tongue. The tongue splitting FAQ gives some more information.

the woman who pierced my tongue (3.00 / 1) (#127)
by cicero on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 04:03:00 PM EST

had done this. it was crazy. She had a sick (as in huge) tongue fetish. I had bit through my tongue playing lacrosse a few years before (had six stitches) and she was so into the scar.


--
I am sorry Cisco, for Microsoft has found a new RPC flaw - tonight your e0 shall be stretched wide like goatse.
[ Parent ]
But there's a link to bmezine... (3.00 / 1) (#130)
by laotic on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 04:24:14 PM EST

...in the article where you get everything about tongue splitting, penis splitting and maybe even skull splitting, you give that link yourself, after all.

Now personally I think the article is good because it gives that kind of links where you can find what's what and start craving for things you didn't even know existed.

Sig? Sigh.
[ Parent ]
and they speak with a lisp forever (nt) (4.00 / 2) (#139)
by circletimessquare on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 07:17:32 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Uuuuuurrrrrgghhhhhhh!!!!! (2.00 / 3) (#128)
by mirleid on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 04:17:10 PM EST

+1FP

Chickens don't give milk
-1 doesn't begin to describe (2.68 / 16) (#132)
by jjayson on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 05:04:52 PM EST

Disguisting. Saying the nullo link is "disturbing" is a horrible understatement. Reading about 2 pages down to the castration part, I started to shake, became queasy, and then had to literally go throw-up in the bathroom. I can't even adjust my balls they are so sensitive to the imaginary pain. Fuck that. I would give this a -100 if I could. Fucking perverts invading the site.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." -
Now, don't hold back. (4.00 / 3) (#133)
by losthalo on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 05:36:28 PM EST

Tell us how you really feel, man.

(Losthalo)

"He wondered, as he had many times wondered before, whether he himself was a lunatic.
Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one."
(George Orwell)

[ Parent ]
yeah (4.00 / 2) (#150)
by Bill Melater on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 09:38:09 PM EST

I got thru a couple of paragraphs of where it starts getting really nasty and hit the "back" button in reflexive self-defense. Not sure I want to read the rest unless I have a couple of real strong drinks first.

Scary to know that people can do that kind of thing.

Just keep saying "I love my balls, I love my balls" :)

[ Parent ]

Don't be such a p***y. (3.88 / 9) (#160)
by V on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 01:30:31 AM EST

It's a fucking picture. Do you throw up when you see the victims of famine? When you see rotten.com?

This guys wanted to do that to themselves. More power to them. The africans, iraquis, whatever didn't choose to be like that. Those should be more disgusting.

V.
---
What my fans are saying:
"That, and the fact that V is a total, utter scumbag." VZAMaZ.
"well look up little troll" cts.
"I think you're a worthless little cuntmonkey but you made me lol, so I sigged you." re
"goodness gracious you're an idiot" mariahkillschickens
[ Parent ]

They live in the fucking *desert*. (2.22 / 9) (#166)
by ti dave on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 03:51:16 AM EST

They should move to where the food is.

I'm almost drunk enough to go on IRC. ~Herring
[ Parent ]

Errrr (4.00 / 2) (#168)
by V on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 04:43:54 AM EST

They were born in a place with a goverment with a certain religion lets infidels starve while selling wheat to other countries. Yup, it's their fault.

V.
---
What my fans are saying:
"That, and the fact that V is a total, utter scumbag." VZAMaZ.
"well look up little troll" cts.
"I think you're a worthless little cuntmonkey but you made me lol, so I sigged you." re
"goodness gracious you're an idiot" mariahkillschickens
[ Parent ]

Yes, it is. (3.25 / 4) (#169)
by ti dave on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 04:50:01 AM EST

Then it sounds like it's time for them to take back their government.

I'm almost drunk enough to go on IRC. ~Herring
[ Parent ]

How is "being born" a choice? (4.33 / 3) (#171)
by V on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 05:57:42 AM EST

nt.
---
What my fans are saying:
"That, and the fact that V is a total, utter scumbag." VZAMaZ.
"well look up little troll" cts.
"I think you're a worthless little cuntmonkey but you made me lol, so I sigged you." re
"goodness gracious you're an idiot" mariahkillschickens
[ Parent ]
It's not. (3.75 / 4) (#204)
by ti dave on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 03:28:45 PM EST

Participating in the Revolution is.

I'm almost drunk enough to go on IRC. ~Herring
[ Parent ]

There are many countrys (4.00 / 1) (#210)
by levesque on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 07:23:58 PM EST

where the Gouverment has so much indirect outside help to repress its people that a revolution is basically unthinkable and escape is not an option because surronding Gouverments will kill you or return you to a similar fate in your own country.

The idea of revolution/evolution is only applicable in a closed system that includes both the ruled and the Ruler - if even then.

[ Parent ]

I'm listening. (1.00 / 1) (#236)
by ti dave on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 03:41:46 PM EST

Please name some of them.

I'm almost drunk enough to go on IRC. ~Herring
[ Parent ]

I'm theorizing (none / 0) (#243)
by levesque on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 05:40:42 PM EST

that it is not a simple matter of a country's people having sole responsibility for their situation. I would think that Africa and South America amoung others contain a few relevant examples.

[ Parent ]
One of my co-workers (4.00 / 2) (#135)
by Tatarigami on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 06:06:05 PM EST

...has an inspirational message tattooed on his forearm so that every time he reaches for something he sees a little reminder of why he's given up drinking.

Not exactly extreme, I know. Not even body modification in the sense this article is talking about, but I thought it might be interesting to bring up an example of non-decorative, purposeful tattooing.

Hey... (3.50 / 2) (#145)
by livus on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 08:14:35 PM EST

it isn't about how John G raped and killed his wife, and so he must kill him, was it?

(this is a reference to Memento, not a troll)

I know someone who had some stuff in spanish tatooed on her arm and referred to it during a spanish language exam.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

Nah (3.50 / 2) (#148)
by Tatarigami on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 08:49:01 PM EST

it isn't about how John G raped and killed his wife, and so he must kill him, was it?

Nah, just a plain old self-improvement motto like you'd find in an Anthony Robbins book. I don't think Robbins would suggest tattooing it on your forearm, but if you think it's a profound enough motto to last a lifetime, why not?

[ Parent ]
which phrase is it? [nt] (1.50 / 2) (#153)
by fae on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 09:58:58 PM EST



-- fae: but an atom in the great mass of humanity
[ Parent ]
If you cut off your balls... (2.71 / 7) (#143)
by Stick on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 08:09:52 PM EST

How the hell are you meant to piss?


---
Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
on yo mama (1.16 / 6) (#147)
by Dirty Sanchez on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 08:35:11 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Do you piss from your balls? (4.60 / 5) (#156)
by p3d0 on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 10:58:13 PM EST

You poor, poor bastard.
--
Patrick Doyle
My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
[ Parent ]
I almost thought you were serious.... (none / 0) (#172)
by GRiNGO on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 06:43:11 AM EST

Until i noticed it was you....

--
"I send you to Baghdad a long time. Nobody find you. Do they care, buddy?" - Three Kings


[ Parent ]
If the man was meant to piss... (none / 0) (#194)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 01:26:01 PM EST

the Good Lord wouldn't have given him the ability to cut off his balls.

I think I'll have to cut off your legs and put you in front of your computer. Who said you could take a vacation from K5?

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

-1 Too N'Sync-centric [n|t] (1.87 / 8) (#146)
by bigbtommy on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 08:29:13 PM EST


-- bbCity.co.uk - When I see kids, I speed up
Dilbert - Eunuch programmers (4.33 / 3) (#151)
by Seth Finkelstein on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 09:41:20 PM EST

I'm reminded of this classic Dilbert strip:

"We need some eunuch programers" ...

-- Seth Finkelstein

I looked at that first website. (2.50 / 2) (#152)
by debacle on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 09:51:22 PM EST

There's a guy with a split in his glans WTF?

And the whole plating and nail thing made me think of the Phyrexians (If you don't know who they are, don't worry about it).

Are we all destined to become Borg?

God I hope not.


It tastes sweet.

Lest you forget.. (1.43 / 16) (#155)
by Namagomi on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 10:37:43 PM EST

the internet's most popular body modification[NWS]

----
There is no #nekomimi cabal.
Shit I had a very unsettling experience (3.00 / 5) (#159)
by arvindn on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 01:30:18 AM EST

I read the article about the twins who switched an arm. I've never considered myself squeamish, so I was rather shocked when this happened:

I'd reached the part about the finger, when the blood started draining from my head and I was feeling very faint. Soon I was seeing stars. Somehow I managed to logout and get out of the room (all the while seeing nothing but stars) after which I gulped down a glass of water and talked about it with another guy and then I was okay.

At the time of reading it I was running a temperature and hadn't eaten in a long time, I don't think I would have reacted that badly if not for that, but still it was very unsettling.

BTW, I'm a liberal and these people have a right to do whatever they want with themselves and everything, but its stupid to pretend that those who amputate their limbs don't have severe mental/psychological disorders.

So you think your vocabulary's good?

Hint: (3.00 / 1) (#161)
by flimflam on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 01:58:33 AM EST

Look at the date that that article was published.


-- I am always optimistic, but frankly there is no hope. --Hosni Mubarek
[ Parent ]
heh that's a trippy feeling (none / 0) (#175)
by vsync on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 09:00:36 AM EST

I get the same way whenever I read a.s.h too much, specifically the bits where they recommend different methods and the likely sensations they would cause.



--
"The problem I had with the story, before I even finished reading, was the copious attribution of thoughts and ideas to vsync. What made it worse was the ones attributed to him were the only ones that made any sense whatsoever."
[ Parent ]
We are individuals! (4.71 / 7) (#167)
by causticmtl on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 04:28:02 AM EST

Everyone wants to be special.

If you can't juggle, cover you body in tattoos. If you can't play guitar in a punk rock band, split your dick in two! It's the same thing ... just pick the one that demands less practise!

Like I really care.

The only thing that impresses me about all of this is how people can become so consumed by the need to feeling apart from those around them that they mutilate themselves to such an extent.

Putting on your underwear will be more exhilirating! Going to the washroom and cleaning yourself becomes an event!

... woo-f*cking-hoo ...

Suspension? (5.00 / 3) (#173)
by gclef on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 07:12:55 AM EST

hmm...I've actually been to a "suspension party" recently (okay a few months ago).  It was strange, no doubt about it, but I would not put suspensions in the same catagory as limb removal.  There was no permanent damage done to any of the folks who went up (they were very careful about infection and weight-bearing limits of the hooks), so the only evidence that these folks had done it was in their heads and on their cameras.  

To me, anyway, that puts suspension in a catagory of "odd, but not that out-of-control", unlike, say, cutting a hole in your own head.  (Of course, you do desensitize to the whole experience after watching 4 or 5 people in a row get hooks put in their backs and get raised into the air by them.)

Disturbing propaganda (3.33 / 3) (#177)
by cerpinokus on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 09:33:45 AM EST

Not easily shocked I read your article with great interest, but shouldn't the line be drawn stating that "Yet it is clear that we have much more difficulty coming to terms with others who wish to make themselves different of their own accord. Is this a double standard?"
The article is no longer an observation, but questions people who sincerly believe man should not temper with the abilities he has. Living is about gaining abilities in a cultural context, not crippling the few one is born with.
Unlike some other posters I disagree with any statement saying people are free to do with themselves whatever they like. It is a wrongfull conclusion of focusing on the individual. Everyone is still part of a social group (however boring that may sound) and disregarding the responsibility to that group is neglecting the foundation of today's world and culture. In recent years more and more articles in newspapers have a way of bending the rules from the pure philosophy to the bare existence of the naked human life. Examples of good and bad are misused to facilitate the justification of abnormal behaviour.
I can only kindly ask to be more aware of the influence media has on the thinking of it's public.


The hell with you (3.00 / 2) (#182)
by Julian Morrison on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 10:08:39 AM EST

You think I or anyone else should care about this mythical "social group"? What social group? Who defines it? Lemme guess: you, or at least whomever you decide is "authoritative", thus allowing you to pretend humility. Hmph. Control freak fool. Welcome to the twentyfirst century, in which most people already realise that humans are individuals, and their lives and bodies are their own damn business.

[ Parent ]
An interesting argument but... (none / 0) (#192)
by JetJaguar on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 01:23:01 PM EST

I think you may be slightly missing the point. I don't necessarily agree with the whole argument, but cerpinokus brings up a good point.

For example, take someone who has self mutilated themselves to the point where they can no longer function normally. Meaning, they no longer have the ability to care for themselves, (and define that however you wish... they can no longer work, they can't cook for themselves, they can't wipe their own ass, etc), at that point, they have become a burden on society and their social group. You can define that anyway you want, but the fact is, they are no longer productive in any way, and are nothing more than a leach on society. The net result being that they are now using your tax money for services that they no longer can provide for themselves.

The social group is no longer mythical. It is you, because it is your money this person is using to provide for himself. You're calling cerpinokus a control freak, but I don't think he is. The real control freak is the person that modifies themselves to the point where they can no longer function. And you seem to be willing to give that control to them.

[ Parent ]

Counter-argument (2.00 / 1) (#239)
by Julian Morrison on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 04:13:08 PM EST

I've seen variants of that argument advocated for lots of other "ban X" causes, including drug prohibition, health nannyism, and immigration control. They all boil down to: "group X is eating up tax funded freebies, thereore ban X".

But there is a better solution: quit giving out tax-funded freebies - to anyone, period. Ta da, the need to interfere in other people's lives vanishes.

[ Parent ]

I agree, that is a solution... (4.00 / 1) (#241)
by JetJaguar on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 04:37:40 PM EST

But it's not something that will ever happen. Repealing the governmental safety nets we have in place would be about as popular as a gay pride parade run through a southern baptist convention. There a number of good reasons for having that kind of safety net. The problem, of course, is that they are too easily abused.

[ Parent ]
That's great (none / 0) (#278)
by lazloToth on Sat Aug 02, 2003 at 01:11:09 PM EST

You 'individuals' can go build your own interstate highway system. That'll stick it to society. Show 'em you don't need them, you're better than them. No stop signs, speed limits, nobody gonna slow you down.

Write back when the project is completed.

[ Parent ]

(ramble) (4.00 / 2) (#187)
by nine of mirrors on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 11:08:28 AM EST

But any social group is made up of individuals. It's not really an entity of its own. If "society" as a whole is, it's one psychotically self-destructive behemoth. Most people or interest groups don't care about the well-being of the rest, outside their own little tribes. I wish that was different, but me not doing x to myself won't make it.

And if I can't live with the way I am, to the point of not leaving my apartment because someone might *gasp* see me, am I any good to "society"? What kind of responsibilites am I shirking by trying to get along with myself?

Maybe if we weren't so focused on ourselves we wouldn't even think of turning ourselves into something else. Maybe if we were more integrated into "society", or had less time to think, we wouldn't be so obsessed with our perceived flaws.

But I think the article doesn't really differentiate enough for such a discussion. While tattooing, amputation, SRS (as well as the unmentioned anorexia) are all body modifications, they deserve to be judged on a case by case basis. (I was, er, "concentrating" on the more mental-disorderish variety so far.)

As for the "fun" end of the body modifications spectrum, I dunno. I don't even know if there really is a "fun" end. But many of us live in horribly cramped beehives or do work that has no identifiable purpose. It's probably easy to feel lost among "the people" if you're not unique in some visible way. Maybe that's a sign of shallowness, or maybe some separation of the self from the crowd really is healthy. What would be different if the person in question hadn't done x to themselves? Does doing x to yourself mean you are anti-social (for lack of a better term)? Maybe it does, with some, mean they're sick of the world they were put into. I find that so understandable I can't really consider it bad. It might well be idealism talking.

So I do, basically, think everyone has the right to do whatever they want to themselves simply because no one should have the right to stop them (assuming they're sane, whatever that means. This might be inconsistent of me, but if somebody was about to amputate their own legs, I would certainly stop them. Not because I'm thinking of their worth as social creatures though.)

Hope it's obvious by now that I don't think it's all just fun and glamour.

[ Parent ]

Gaining abilities in a cultural context. (4.00 / 1) (#213)
by Tezcatlipoca on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 07:39:29 PM EST

Which context? Yours or theirs?

Who defines the right context?

Why your context is more valid than others?

Moral relativism? Of course. Moral is a relative matter, that is why nobody can pretend to be an absolute moral judge or that morals are an absolute matter.

If there is no abuse of third parties, who do you think you are to judge how others should abuse themselves? You may wish to convince them out of their unusual behaviour for all kind of reasons, but your rosy view of society will not cut it in today's world in which each one looks for himself, for good or bad.

These people's behaviour is absolutely repugnant, but the only thing I can say for sure is that it is repugnant to me and that I ask that they keep it to themselves as a form of politeness towards other people.

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]

Interesing food for curious mind (4.00 / 1) (#224)
by slaida1 on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 06:30:29 AM EST

I agree about that people shouldn't be allowed to mutilate themselves but reasons for why-not are or could be many.

First, how we define what abilities and knowledge one must have to support himself? Modern human would perish in wilderness since he has no knowledge of survival, altough we have our limbs we couldn't live without our technical devices. How this differs from one who doesn't have limbs and wouldn't live without technical devices? Only that the one without limbs can't support himself even with present day devices. Does that make him a human for the future? For all we know, we could live as heads in glass jars.

Then again, what would you do if suddenly everything was taken away from you, your identity, memories of who you were, possessions, social contacts (relatives and all the other people who know or KNEW you) and dropped in the middle of Manhattan or Beijing. Would you be able to start your live anew or die homeless? How good survivors are we anyway?

Second, do we really need our limbs to do work? Physical labour is increasingly rare in high-tech nations. Hands yes, but legs?

Third, we are rich. We provide welfare to those who can't or won't work. In principle, everyone should make their share and not live by others' work. In reality, we are rich. Little charity here and there won't hurt much. We could all gain something invaluable from these people who are willing to experiment on themselves. Maybe they serve only as an warning example, maybe more but sometimes following the saying:'everything must be tried out at least once' gives us something unpredicable and new.

[ Parent ]

Legally this is an interesting area (4.00 / 2) (#180)
by nebbish on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 10:00:10 AM EST

Laws (and enforcement) to regulate self mutilation seem sensible from a health and safety point of view, but repressive of personal liberty. Im not totally sure what the laws that cover this are in Europe and the States, but I get the impression there is little enforcement.

Its a hard choice, and I have the unusual notion that the legal grey area surounding it is actually a desirable thing, letting people get on with what they want to do to their bodies through illegal surgery - surgery that I don't think any responsible society could actually legalise.

I find it interesting that there are areas of life like this that law just finds too complicated to deal with.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee

These people are just morons (4.55 / 9) (#183)
by lukkk on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 10:15:31 AM EST

But I wonder if this is how our parents feel about tattoos.

"But mom, all the other kids had their dicks amputated too!"
"No Billy, why don't you take a tattoo or piercing instead?"
"Tattoos and piercings are so 1900's!"

I want my testosterone (3.75 / 4) (#186)
by slon! on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 11:01:17 AM EST

Thank God the gene that makes people remove their balls is either recessive or they do it before spawning another miscreant. I don't fancy idea being the only one with balls <g>.

Honestly, I don't care what they do with their bodies, after all it is THEIR body. But I want my testosterone, it makes me fuck girls, forces me drive my car extremly fast and recklessly and do other stupid things. Definitely zen-like calm isn't my ideal.


--
It is right to believe in the need to be free.

Think about it for a minute.... (3.50 / 2) (#221)
by Entendre Entendre on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 02:32:31 AM EST

I don't fancy idea being the only one with balls.

Really? Consider the implications...

--
Reduce firearm violence: aim carefully.
[ Parent ]

At first... (3.33 / 3) (#188)
by CodeWright on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 11:15:53 AM EST

...this squicked me out until my vision started to become obscured by swirling blackout patterns.

I was all set to denounce this as the foulest sort of moral relativist madness in its advocacy of horrible self-disfigurement...

...but then I asked myself what I would do if a long term memory annex chip could be implanted in the skull, or a set of super-jumping synthetic legs. Without a doubt, I would want those pieces of technology grafted to my flesh...

...even though it would, by nature, involve a self-trepanation or double-limb amputation.

Even though my own decision to go under the knife would be motivated by an intention to enhance my capabilities rather than some twisted personal aesthetic goal, it certainly curtails much criticism of the latter... at least from anyone interested in cybernetic enhancement.

--
"Jumpin Jesus H. Christ riding a segway with a little fruity 1 pint bucket of Ben and Jerry's rainbow fairy-berry crunch in his hand." --
Body modification is nothing... (1.44 / 9) (#191)
by Robert Hamburger on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 12:32:59 PM EST

...because ninjas have the REAL ULTIMATE POWER!!! Anybody who thinks body modification is better than ninjas better get a life right now or they will be gifted with the ULTIMATE body modification, ninjas will chop your head off!!!

It's an easy choice, if you ask me.

---
"Ninjas are sooooooooooo sweet that I want to crap my pants." -Robert Hamburger

what about porking the hot babes? (2.00 / 3) (#205)
by fae on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 03:44:50 PM EST



-- fae: but an atom in the great mass of humanity
[ Parent ]
Learn something new every day... (4.00 / 5) (#193)
by avdi on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 01:25:14 PM EST


Limbs are large, crucial parts of the body that are necessary for everyday living. To have a limb removed will cause a major disability that will permanently hinder an individuality's mobility or hand skills.

You don't say?

--
Now leave us, and take your fish with you. - Faramir

Ah, decadence (4.33 / 9) (#196)
by avdi on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 01:47:33 PM EST

It's amazing the things people will turn their minds to once they don't have the day-to-day struggle of survival to occupy them.  Somehow I just can't imagine one of my primitive ancestors moping about, unable to get up the nerve to skewer a mammoth because he's too preoccupied with how unsightly his left nut is.  I have nothing against decadence; in fact I view the fact that we have the time for such increasing amounts of silliness as a good measure of our progress.  But I have to laugh sometimes at how more and more things become virtual "necessities" as we plod our way up Maslow's heirarchy...

Personally, I don't have a problem with what people do to themselves.  I may regard them as morons, but they have a right to fsck with their own bodies.

Politically I think there's a limit to how much their "rights" need to be protected - no one who whacks of their own limbs should then be able to demand a job that requires a full set of limbs on the grounds of equal hiring laws.  And in a society with government-funded healthcare, I think it's perfectly reasonable to outlaw some forms of EBM, since cutting off part of your own body virtually garauntees that you're going to be a drain on the system for years to come.  Which is yet another argument for keeping government out of healthcare.

--
Now leave us, and take your fish with you. - Faramir

Damn (4.00 / 1) (#197)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 01:51:11 PM EST

I thought we locked up people who were dangers to themselves rather than allow surgeons to help them hurt themselves.

I suppose it raises interesting questions about how much freedom a severely distrubed person should get. I don't think I know the answer.

I've always felt we should make illegal drugs legal and I suppose that allowing someone to take herion isn't that different from letting a someone amputate their own leg. A drug addict, by definition, has a psychological problem. But I think they should be allowed to take their drugs since we can't really stop them anyway. I don't know if we can stop people from cutting off their legs though.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

surgeons? (3.00 / 1) (#208)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 06:06:37 PM EST

these people mostly do it themselves. if they end up screwing up, they make sure there are people that can call for help or they just end up dead.

[ Parent ]
the "confronting inverview" (4.50 / 2) (#198)
by Burning Straw Man on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 01:51:40 PM EST

actually details the events of a crime which should send the perpetrators to prison. There are laws against tying people up and chopping off their penises, whether or not you think they really want you to or not, or whether they come to "accept" it later or not.

And yes it made me very light-headed and I had to fight back some fairly powerful nausea.

Again, if one guy is yelling at you to stop, and you cut off his penis, you should go to prison whether the victim wants to press charges or not -- the state can and should prosecute in this case.
--
your straw man is on fire...

Umm... (5.00 / 2) (#238)
by LilDebbie on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 03:58:11 PM EST

It's kind of hard to prosecute if there's no evidence linking the nullification to the perpetrators except the testimony of the victim who is unwilling to give it. Just a thought.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
How likely is this? (none / 0) (#200)
by jayemm on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 02:11:33 PM EST

I read the interview with the twins.  I don't all that much regarding limb transplants between biological twins, but, how likely is it that you can snatch an arm, and stick in on your chest, without it atrophying?

The picture was... interesting, but obviously could have been photo-shopped.  

peas,
j

Tribal Roots (5.00 / 2) (#201)
by Rrotz on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 02:19:44 PM EST

there aren't too many polynesian words that made it into the english language, the most prominent and widely used is "tatau." the tattooer was regarded as one of the highest ranking tribal members and commanded a large sum of monies for their body art. tattoing was highly ritualized, requiring weeks to complete all the while chanting and drumming accompanied the process. it is a rite of passage which the boys of the tribe went through to become a man. just some background on the whole body modification thing....something to make you go hmmmm.
Independent Media Magazine www.indiemediamagazine.com Independent Media for Independent Minds
'armless Fun? (4.00 / 3) (#202)
by Blasted Operator From Heck on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 02:20:27 PM EST

Maybe it's my cynical nature but I am a bit suspicious about the twin with the three arms...

a) The surgery would be damn difficult.
b) I can find no other reference to these people on the web.
c) 'Dave' looks 'cut-n-paste' on the first of the pics.
d) The pics are suspiciously low-res.
d) The interview was posted April 1st 1999.

Anyone have any 'proof' of this one?

Proof? (5.00 / 2) (#206)
by Wayfarer on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 05:58:36 PM EST

Read the page source if you want proof.

Go on...  We'll wait right here.  ^_^

-W-

"Is it all journey, or is there landfall?"
-Ellison & van Vogt, "The Human Operators"


[ Parent ]
This makes me thankful that . . . (4.50 / 4) (#203)
by Dphitz on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 02:23:41 PM EST

I have plenty of hobbies to occupy my spare time.  And I realize that the male genitalia aren't the most beautiful things in the world but they help me pee, have lots of sex, watch football and play video games so I think I'll hang on to them.  I'm sure when the technology allows it, some of these people would love to simply be a floating brain in a jar.  At least it would be easier to store them on shelves in the looney house.


God, please save me . . . from your followers

Explain ... (3.33 / 3) (#216)
by mami on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 09:19:36 PM EST

why do you need male genitalia to watch football?

Just a little nosy question.

[ Parent ]

Perhaps he left out the word "enjoy"?-nt (5.00 / 1) (#222)
by jt on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 02:39:18 AM EST



[ Parent ]
It's that testoterone thing (none / 0) (#227)
by Dphitz on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 08:43:25 AM EST

It helps me to yell and shout at the TV when my team sucks and can't score or talk trash to my friends when my team beats theirs.  You know, stupid macho manly stuff.  
(Ugh, ugh, grunt)


God, please save me . . . from your followers

[ Parent ]
Helps you play video games? (5.00 / 2) (#229)
by avdi on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 10:29:49 AM EST

I'm not sure I follow.

Never mind, don't explain.  I don't think I want to know.

--
Now leave us, and take your fish with you. - Faramir
[ Parent ]

Heh (none / 0) (#267)
by dn on Thu Jul 31, 2003 at 01:19:23 AM EST

"Joystick"

;-)

    I ♥
TOXIC
WASTE

[ Parent ]

OMG! I first read it helps you play football... nt (none / 0) (#240)
by paranoid on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 04:30:28 PM EST



[ Parent ]
self amputation and castration (4.22 / 9) (#207)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 06:05:12 PM EST

are effects of mental illness. it is sad that many people are looking at these sick people and considering them as a sub culture rather than mentally ill. I mean....are paranoid schizophrenia patients a sub culture?

I'd love to hear from the person that rated this 1 (none / 0) (#219)
by igny ignoble on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 11:38:50 PM EST

What's the deal Ni?

[ Parent ]
Reports of Happiness Unbelievable (3.50 / 2) (#209)
by CoolName on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 07:15:34 PM EST

To prevent suicide perhaps in very rare instances and after many roadblocks have been surmounted such operations should be performed. There is no limit to the strangeness of some people and to keep someone alive a few of these operations might be legitimately done. But regardless of what someone says no one who has a leg or legs amputated for cosmetic reasons is happy.

"What does your conscience say? -- 'You shall become the person you are.'" Friedrich Nietzsche


The twins is a JOKE, get real. (5.00 / 3) (#211)
by mindstrm on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 07:26:13 PM EST

It is a well known joke, (notice it was posted April 1st).

The guy doesn't have three arms, and doesn't have an alien finger.  Neither of those is within the realm of conventional medicine.. though I'm sure a blood supply could be rigged up to an arm, it would certainly not be as they describe.. same goes for the finger. It would also not function.

I'm not basing this on the posting date only; I recall when this was posted, and the magazine clearly revealed it to be a joke.

Autotransplantation (none / 0) (#268)
by dn on Thu Jul 31, 2003 at 01:30:56 AM EST

...though I'm sure a blood supply could be rigged up to an arm, it would certainly not be as they describe.. same goes for the finger.
Not only can it be done, it actually is done sometimes in cases of accidental amputation. They temporarily attach the severed digit someplace like the thigh, wait for conditions to improve, then transplant it to its proper place. It's very odd looking in the interim; I've seen photos on the net but can't find them at the moment.

I'm not sure what the criteria are for doing this. Hmmm...If the tissue at the junction was crushed badly, it would get a chance to heal. It'd probably also be good if you didn't have a proper microsurgeon handy; the regular surgeon would just have to handle a few veins and arteries.

    I ♥
TOXIC
WASTE

[ Parent ]

From someone who has felt these feelings... (4.66 / 6) (#212)
by Jafafa Hots on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 07:29:59 PM EST

Hi.
I'm wondering just how much of this may be due to a chemical imbalance in the brain.

The reason I say this is because I've had these thoughts, to some lesser extent, and in some cases I'm positive they were caused by psych meds.

Ever since I was 11, I've wanted to have a genital piercing. An ampallang, to be specific. I haven't had it done, but still think about it often. That's about the most extreme as far as what might be considered in the "normal" range.

But when I was on psych meds prescribed for supposed Bipolar disorder, I started acting very strangely and having odd thoughts.
I believe this was mostly due to a feel of "deadness" inside, I couldnt feel any emotion whatsoever. I started using street drugs to try to feel SOMETHING.
My doctors resisted letting me get off the meds, I was hospitalized 3 times, each time they added more meds making things worse.

Eventually I got to the point where I started cutting myself. I felt a huge compulsion to cut into my arm. I had the urge to partially dissect it.
When I found myself cutting and not being satisfied with the blade I was using, and making plans to go buy sharper intruments to cut myself with, I checked into a hospital.

That just make things worse, more meds.
Eventually I just decided to go it on my own, and despite my doctors objections, I stopped the meds. I feel much better, and I don't have the desire to cut myself anymore.

I still think about piercing to some degree, though would settle for earlobes at least for starters. And I think about getting a tattoo, but thats about it.

Where does this come from? I don't know. Clearly some was caused by the brain chemicals they had me on... but I have always had certain thoughts... figured they were normal. FOr instance, while I didn't WANT an amputation, I often would think about how cool it would be, if you NEEDED one, leg for instance, to keep the bones. I know I would specifically request at least a section on leg bone, perhaps to have carved, or scrimshaw... or fashion a pendant or ring.

I once saw a young man missing both legs, wearing shorts, and his prosthetic legs were amazing, he was running around, dashing into a store from his car, and seemed more fit and energetic and mobile than most people with "regular" legs.

That technology amazes me. Imagine what they can do if they get beyond the psychological need to have prosthectics somewhat reminiscent of the real thing... perhaps spring loaded legs for incredible running or leaping?

If I needed an arm amputated, the hell with a lousy plastic rendition of a human hand. If it has to be fake, I'd want HIGH TECH.
I'd want a cordless rechargeable arm with a removable hand, storage compartments, drill bits, a socket set, maybe a PDA in the side, what have you.

reminds me of grunge (5.00 / 4) (#214)
by Lenny on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 07:47:04 PM EST

there will be a backlash. body mods, tattoos, etc were once fairly unique. Now they're part of pop culture. That makes me laugh. Those people who thought they were so special and different helped give birth to a popular movement. It is now chic. And most of the mods are difficult if not impossible to reverse. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


"Hate the USA? Boycott everything American. Particularly its websites..."
-Me
How did this get posted? (3.66 / 3) (#215)
by The Alien on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 08:58:24 PM EST

Even the source of the twins article declares it was a joke. That's only the one claim I've looked at. The other stuff seems a bit sketchy as well. Looking at the author's diary, I'm inclined to applaud him for putting one over on everyone rather than mock him for being clueless.

Well (5.00 / 1) (#220)
by Spencer Perceval on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 12:26:40 AM EST

sometimes it's nice to feel normal.


All the animals come out at night - whores, skunk pussies, buggers, queens, fairies, dopers, junkies, sick, venal. Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.
Easy (3.25 / 4) (#223)
by SanSeveroPrince on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 06:26:46 AM EST

Democracy has introduced a wonderful concept in our culture: let each individual have their own voice.

Sometimes I feel that this concept is being abused. This is one of those times.

People, self-mutilation is not a sub-culture. It is not a trend, fad or movement. It's a disease. It's a psychological imbalance that may or may not have a chemical base.

Get it?

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


Define subculture (none / 0) (#231)
by nebbish on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 11:46:08 AM EST

A subculture is like minded people coming together - whatever the cause of self mutilation (and as it happens I think you are being a little simplistic, social trends may play a part), even if these people are ill they are still a subculture.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Stop being a leftist pussy (2.33 / 3) (#234)
by SanSeveroPrince on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 02:57:26 PM EST

Are serial killers a sub-culture? Car-jackers? The guy that's selling drugs to your kids RIGHT NOW?

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


[ Parent ]
A culture (4.33 / 3) (#235)
by djotto on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 03:12:42 PM EST

could be defined in the communication between its members. So my question would be something like "do serial killers and car-jackers have websites, magazines and conventions devoted to their interests? have they developed their own jargon?"

If yes, then you could certainly make a case for them being a subculture - in much the same way as skateboarders, graffiti artists and people who collect beanie babies are.

Note: "community" is a value-free word. Any of these might be a desirable subculture from the POV of the rest of society, or it might not. It would be foolish to deny the evidence of our eyes, though.



[ Parent ]
granted I understand your argument... (none / 0) (#246)
by Samiti on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 07:17:01 PM EST

However...it may very well possible that car-jackers have their own websites and jargon. After all, "terrorists" have all this, heck, they have their own organizations. How many people consider them a "sub-culture?"


#/bin/bash script.kiddies
[ Parent ]
Correct myself (2.00 / 1) (#255)
by SanSeveroPrince on Wed Jul 30, 2003 at 04:38:22 AM EST

Yes, in your terms, just about anybody, all the way through to lichen collectors.

However, if instead of a culture the group represent a collection of sociopaths and criminals, even terrorist, then that is the overriding definition as far as I am concerned....

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


[ Parent ]
Drug Dealers are a subculture nt (5.00 / 1) (#245)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 05:48:36 PM EST



I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
No, they are just organized scum (nt) (1.00 / 1) (#257)
by SanSeveroPrince on Wed Jul 30, 2003 at 06:26:59 AM EST



----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


[ Parent ]
why are you so intolerant? (3.33 / 3) (#233)
by crazycanuck on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 02:47:03 PM EST

why must you force your view of "normal" or "happy" on others?

let's say these people's brains arE different than yours. You call that "chemical imbalance" and give it a negative conotation, implying these epople are sick and should be locked up in an institution to be protected from themselves.

Why? These people are happy. They're not harming anyone.

[ Parent ]

No. (2.00 / 1) (#248)
by derek3000 on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 07:43:34 PM EST

You made a great point with your post, though you probably wasn't the one you intended.

Tolerance is pure garbage. If your friend has turned to a life of crime, you do not have to tolerate this 'lifestyle'.

These people are not happy. That's why they want to mutilate their bodies. Get it?

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

you're not making any sense (4.00 / 1) (#253)
by crazycanuck on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 11:05:57 PM EST

these people are not criminals.

who are you to decide if they're happy or not?

[ Parent ]

Never said they were criminals. (1.00 / 1) (#256)
by SanSeveroPrince on Wed Jul 30, 2003 at 04:49:17 AM EST

Look, there is no argument here. Wanting to mutilate yourself is a well documented disease. This is well documented. It's part of official medicine.

Whether this chemical of psychological imbalance leads to some form of release that provides a temporary feeling of contentment in the subject, it still is born out of an unhealthy mind set.

A group of people sharing the same psychological affliction positively reinforce their beliefs, rendering themselves impervious to outside help.

Whether they hurt other people or themselves only, and whether they are harmless to society is an entirely different matter. My main point stands: they are damaged.

Your attitude is very paiseworthy, until one wonders whether you have ever been robbed, whether your own home has ever been violated and your family heirlooms taken, whether one of your relatives has ever been assaulted by junkies, and whether your fiance was almost raped by a juvenile gang of African American coloured niggers.

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


[ Parent ]
I wonder if you're trolling. (none / 0) (#276)
by abulafia on Fri Aug 01, 2003 at 07:49:22 PM EST

Wanting to mutilate yourself is a well documented disease. This is well documented. It's part of official medicine.

As was homosexuality, light sensitivity, and seeking certain forms of political reform at various points in history.

A group of people sharing the same psychological affliction positively reinforce their beliefs, rendering themselves impervious to outside help.

Are you referring to you and yours, or those into body modification?

Whether they hurt other people or themselves only, and whether they are harmless to society is an entirely different matter. My main point stands: they are damaged.

And the original poster's point still stands as well: Who are you to decide for them?

And frankly, I just don't get this:

Your attitude is very paiseworthy, until one wonders whether you have ever been robbed, whether your own home has ever been violated and your family heirlooms taken, whether one of your relatives has ever been assaulted by junkies, and whether your fiance was almost raped by a juvenile gang of African American coloured niggers.

You start off claiming "Never said they were criminals", and then start babbling about criminals in a stream of bizarrely rascist nonsequiters.

If you're not trying to draw a parallel, what's up with that? If you are, why are you claiming you're not?

I'm still not sure if I've just been trolled or not.



[ Parent ]

Following that logic... (none / 0) (#280)
by derek3000 on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 10:51:54 PM EST

And the original poster's point still stands as well: Who are you to decide for them?

who are you to decide that his position is wrong?

Seriously, if there aren't any objective criteria, then I wonder why any opinion on anything is worthwhile at all.

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

There is a fine, objective basis for judgement. (none / 0) (#283)
by abulafia on Sun Aug 10, 2003 at 08:39:19 PM EST

who are you to decide that his position is wrong?

Seriously, if there aren't any objective criteria, then I wonder why any opinion on anything is worthwhile at all.

This is simple. Very well covered, as far as it goes. I am free to think that anyone who likes to lick toes, or eat beef, or wants a tatto, or worship a (higher power|SUV|Republican|trees) is a totally sick fuck.

I cannot do anything about those fetishes, unless they somehow impact me. Before you go off on a stupid-libertarian rampage, think about it. This is the fundamental basis of a liberal society, which the US and most first world countries pretend to be.

If I'm not harming you directly, I should be able to go to hell in my own way.

You can happily think horrible things about me, you just can't demand that I be locked up for what I'm doing to myself, at least until it somehow impacts you.

See? Told you it is simple. It all boils down to being neighbors.



[ Parent ]

Your original post... (none / 0) (#284)
by derek3000 on Sun Aug 10, 2003 at 10:47:47 PM EST

suggested that it was wrong for me to judge these things as Wrong. Now you are just saying that I should be tolerant of them.

I'm saying: why not both? It pretty much works that way in day-to-day life for me, anways. But as long as you understand that they are very different concepts...

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

All I ask (5.00 / 1) (#249)
by scrod on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 09:02:55 PM EST

Is for these people to not reproduce prior to "nullifying" themselves.

[ Parent ]
Now why didn't I think of that. (none / 0) (#225)
by Blasted Operator From Heck on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 08:16:20 AM EST

Well spotted :-)

makes you wonder... (5.00 / 5) (#226)
by illegal eagle on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 08:41:51 AM EST

... why the Winamp creators called themselves "Nullsoft" :]

Carole (5.00 / 3) (#228)
by hucke on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 08:55:53 AM EST

Hearken ye 'round and hear the tale of Carole, and her BEAUTIFUL DORRANCE #5X STAINLESS STEEL HOOKS:

ABOUT ME -- CAROLE -- I AM SOON TO BECOME A REAL DBE AMPUTEE


matt hucke * graveyards of chicago - http://graveyards.com/

let's not forget catman (5.00 / 2) (#232)
by the sixth replicant on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 01:56:58 PM EST

kitty, kitty

From the Rotten Store (none / 0) (#244)
by romanpoet on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 05:46:47 PM EST

See Also: 'Screwed Blue and Tatooed'
http://www.rottenstore.com/scblandta.html

-Romanpoet

The "Elastrator" tool - utter bullshit (none / 0) (#247)
by jabber on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 07:26:34 PM EST

Showing an ice-pick up one's nose does not make it a "nose pick". Putting a dildo on a reciprocating saw does not, suddenly, make it "intended" for penetration. Just because you can use a Black & Decker cordless drill to perform a trepanation, does not make it The Trepanator™!

Just because some freak uses a tool to put a rubber band in a place where it will cut off the blood supply to his testicles, does not mean that this is the purpose of the tool.

These things are used to quickly and easily place rubber bands on the claws of live lobsters. Their original purpose is more likely this than castration.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

A load of bullocks (5.00 / 2) (#252)
by mrogers on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 10:42:18 PM EST

The Elastrator is intended for castrating cattle (the generic term is a bloodless castrator).

[ Parent ]
Are you suggesting... (none / 0) (#259)
by jabber on Wed Jul 30, 2003 at 09:32:07 AM EST

That my local finshmonger is also a rancher?

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Probably not... (none / 0) (#261)
by KingGing on Wed Jul 30, 2003 at 11:51:13 AM EST

But my Dad definately is a farmer, and definately does use one of those to castrate bulls, as do other farmers in the local area. It's *original* intention may have been to put bands on lobster claws but you can now buy them in farming shops in the UK labelled as, as mrogers said, 'Bloodless Castrator'. Dan

Dan
We are Pentium of Borg, you will be Approximated
[ Parent ]
I used to sell them. (5.00 / 4) (#269)
by Pervy Hobbit Fancier on Thu Jul 31, 2003 at 10:42:16 AM EST

I used to work in a Vetinary Wholesalers, and I can assure you that the 'Elastrator' series exists. It sold quite well, as well.

It comes in 'Bullock', 'Ram' and 'Hog' sizes for cattle, sheep and pigs respectively.

Strangely, they didn't do them for dogs and cats. When they get their pockets emptied they normally have surgery (and optionally get a pair of 'Neuticles' - silicon fake-testicles so that the animal doesn't realise anything is wrong!). Presumably dog and cat owners are more squeamish than farmers and don't want to see the animal's scrotum falling off and rolling behind the sofa.

As an aside - there are some really sad marketing types out there. Who would come up with names like the 'Elastrator' and the 'Neuticle'?

The worst offender in my mind was always 'Letho-Barb'. I mean, fair enough, animals need to be put down and vets need to buy the barbiturate poison to do it - but what kind of guy decides to give it a 'dynamic' name like Letho-Barb thinking that will get it to sell better?

[ Parent ]

The "Elastrator" tool - utter bullshit (none / 0) (#271)
by mohaine on Thu Jul 31, 2003 at 10:10:37 PM EST

They name may be bullshit, but I have used both of the pictured tools to perform castrations. Of couse they were used on catle, not people, but I'm sure they would work just as well on people. Just for reference, we only used the "Elastrator" tool on very small calves. Its use on larger animals was discourged for health and pain reasons.

[ Parent ]
Why do we all look stupid during these days? (none / 0) (#251)
by chanio on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 10:23:09 PM EST

Is it me or are these political times, that make us all look as if we have suddenly discovered that we were stupid and we didn't notice until some clever man told us so?

Besides the fear that might accompany these thoughts, what is obvious is that there is a line between what one wants to do with and from his freedom, and what others decide that he must pass through, don't you think?

But I am always going to keep on scaring myself: only about what I might decide to do, tomorrow...

These odd ideas are not very different from the owned by people trying to enhance their body to get a better job, or sacrify their freedom to get better paid, survive, win a war, etc.
________________
Farenheit Binman:
This worlds culture is throwing away-burning thousands of useful concepts because they don't fit in their commercial frame.
My chance of becoming intelligent!

One little problem (5.00 / 1) (#254)
by fergdeff on Wed Jul 30, 2003 at 01:35:08 AM EST

Surely one of the most satisfying moments of every day would be forever missing. What do you scratch first thing in the morning?

Wow (5.00 / 3) (#258)
by Bill Melater on Wed Jul 30, 2003 at 09:03:51 AM EST

I'd be happy if I could just get rid of this wart on my finger.

Well... (5.00 / 2) (#264)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Jul 30, 2003 at 08:07:29 PM EST

If you cut you finger off, the wart would go with it. And you'd never have to worry about it comming back either.

[ Parent ]
Ya know (none / 0) (#265)
by Bill Melater on Wed Jul 30, 2003 at 10:15:07 PM EST

Suddenly I'm wondering how warts could be used in body modification. I'm thinking you could do a kind of wart tattoo ("wartoo"?). Perhaps even a map of Nepal.

You heard it here first.



[ Parent ]

Smiley faces (none / 0) (#272)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Fri Aug 01, 2003 at 12:12:25 AM EST

You could put smiley faces on them. And even give them names.

[ Parent ]
How do I get to another planet? (3.00 / 2) (#263)
by CoolName on Wed Jul 30, 2003 at 01:37:46 PM EST

I think this planet is best abandoned. If people of earth think nullification and drilling holes in their head is the secret to happiness I am all for emigrating to a distant star system. Some one just has to invent a warp drive.

"What does your conscience say? -- 'You shall become the person you are.'" Friedrich Nietzsche


What the heck? (4.00 / 3) (#266)
by Skid on Wed Jul 30, 2003 at 11:02:10 PM EST

You know, I try to be a tolerant and understanding person. Gay people, other races, people with oddball kinks, I try to take it all in stride.

Even so, I still can't figure out when being fucking stupid, not to mention crazy, constituted a sub-culture.

Might as well quit prosecuting the murderers because we have to respect the killing subculture, y'know?
 
"The problem is, there's no shit... people shit, animal shit. You ought to spray everyone with shit as they walk in." - Hob Gadling, The Sandman

You'll love this! (none / 0) (#270)
by Motekye on Thu Jul 31, 2003 at 06:05:03 PM EST

Boy do I have a body modification for you! Dump propane all over yourself and light a match. I don't know where you get off on removing your arms, legs and (*gasp*) manhood; do you never want to be normal again? Mutilating yourself is not normal, it's not a sub-culture: it's stupid. I'm not being intolerant of those who've had their parts taken off, alone. But, one must remember that this action is the result of another disfunction — I'd be disgusted to think of a disfunction that'd make you qant to do that and quick to want them shut off from the rest of society in an institution of some kind. That is all.


Grrr....
An Amazing New Concept... (4.00 / 1) (#273)
by derby on Fri Aug 01, 2003 at 04:26:45 AM EST

 A close friend of mine introduced me to this forum, stressing that it is a good place for rational, intelligent debate and or/presentation of new ideas, perspectives, and such. With this in mind, I read the preceeding article...a bit shocking, if you've never watched the Learning Channel or Maury Povich. And, yes, the links were a bit unsettling, but I didn't get nauseated, my vision didn't blur, my balls didn't start to ache. Rather,I found it amusing. The following comments, however, I did find somewhat more disturbing. Maybe it's because i grew up with my mother working as a lab tech at a hospital, hearing horror stories about motorcycle accidents and the like, but i didn't think that simple text could be so effective at turning stomachs...that, or I've joined a forum of people with no physical constitution. More disturbing, however, is the comments on the author of said article being a pervert, or a sick bastard, or gullible, etc. As a group of people who seem to like to keep up on cultural goings-on, I would think you would be aware of an amazing new idea, known among a certain few as playing the role of Devil's Advocate. If you aren't familiar with it, the concept goes like this: Say you read about something, or hear something, that makes a valid point, or presents a new idea, which you may or may not agree with, but you can understand from a separate, analytical point of view. When someone attacks said case unfairly, if you understand the point of the article, regardless of whether or not you agree with it, you may feel compelled to defend its validity. This is known as Playing The Devil's Advocate. Having said that, I find it rather crude that you could blast the author of this article so harshly, as if he desires to take a chainsaw to his own limbs, or castrate himself. Perhaps if I find anything even remotely as bizarre, I'll think twice about posting an article on it...

what did you expect? (none / 0) (#287)
by alizard on Wed Feb 23, 2005 at 09:20:25 PM EST

I'm not sure if the intellectual community you describe ever existed or if I got here too late to enjoy its benefits. I'll just say that I spend a lot more time on slashdot than here, and that if things don't improve, I'm going to unsub from the digest mailing list.

The only advantage this place has over slashdot is better article choices... letting the users do it directly via vote actually does work better than the "professionals" over at slashdot. I'd probably actually pay for a subscription there to get access to the "rejected story" queue.

I found the article itself pretty amusing, and the comments you refer to incredibly stupid. Except for the funny ones about people reading the article and puking, feeling faint, etc. Perhaps I'll spend time looking for something that'll provide these kinds of people with similar reactions.
"The horse is dead. Fuck it or walk away, but stop beating it." Juan Rico
[ Parent ]

Reagarding My Previous Comment (none / 0) (#274)
by derby on Fri Aug 01, 2003 at 05:08:10 AM EST

I was unaware of the discrepancies between the HTML and Plain-Text formats, resulting in my comment's transformation into a single paragraph. I apologize sincerely, to both you and your ocular muscles, and offer a complete and utter retraction of any offense this may have caused. If that's not enough of an apology, then I don't like you either.
             Sincerely,
                    Derby

hah (none / 0) (#277)
by Goggs on Sat Aug 02, 2003 at 08:07:13 AM EST

Don't worry about it. Just do what everyone else seems to do; flame incessantly at the person who says anything :)
It does take a little while to get used to the html formatting tho, which is why 'Preview' is such a handy feature :P

-----== This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.
[ Parent ]

You suck (2.50 / 4) (#275)
by ShrimpX on Fri Aug 01, 2003 at 06:09:53 AM EST

All you narrow-minded morons who are saying that body modification is "sick," and is "the same as crime" etc need a big fucking clue. I bet some of you have tatoos. Some of you probably have piercings. So wtf is so acceptable about poking holes in your body and permanently damaging your skin if more drastic types of body modification are unacceptable?

If you made a more realistic argument like "I don't want my tax money to go to some fuck who cut his leg off for kicks" I would try to understand. Take your ignorant witch hunt propaganda somewhere else.

Take another sip of your grande latte and head to the tatoo parlor to permanently damage your skin on your biceps with a cool japanese letter you have no clue what it means in the hope that it will attract chix at the clubs on saturday... Because damaging your body to be a more efficient social cunt whore is acceptable.

The Seat of Intelligence (none / 0) (#279)
by djief on Sat Aug 02, 2003 at 01:15:00 PM EST

Perhaps it would be worth considering that Sentience has a right to choose it's platform and that overcoming the limitations of the body are the next step in human evolution. It is interesting what this article implies about EBM while ignoring the entire population of disabled persons for whom EBM offers incredible potential. Biology was repeatedly demonstrated the strength in diversity, both behavioural and physical. It's time who people to embrace that lesson and understand that it not only lead us to where we are, but is likely to be the only thing that make our continued survival as a species possible.
Common sense isn't.
Natural Selection (none / 0) (#286)
by bigbtommy on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 06:42:17 PM EST

Nullification - Darwin rearing his ugly head again!
-- bbCity.co.uk - When I see kids, I speed up
Extreme Body Modification | 286 comments (201 topical, 85 editorial, 1 hidden)
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