One of the fun things about updating the SD site (or our tumblr) is the chain effect; one photo leading me to think about something else and seeing where that takes me. The header photo for the ‘ModCocks‘ article, for example, featured plaster molds of my friend J’s subincision progress, which led me to see if I could find the first VHS tape he sent me somewhere between 1996-1998.
J and I met through the UNIQUE club and began corresponding through letters and eventually video tape exchanges. He was charming; a true Gent and adventurer who was in the process of subincising himself; and thankfully he was documenting his progress with photographs, video tapes and plaster molds.
I introduced him to Shannon Larratt, who featured him several times on BME who invited him with my recommendation to speak at the inaugural ModCon event in 1999. (his speech was on tens units as pain management during genital modification. He infamously referred to penises as ‘doodlehangers’ to avoid offending our female guests)
I believe this tape was at one time available for purchase on the old BME/Video site. I look forward to seeing if my copy is salvageable.
From his BME Interview:
J: I’d say that just because some people who cut themselves are seriously emotionally disturbed does not mean that everyone who appreciates the artistry or eroticism of genital mods is crazy. Our society is heavily oriented towards machines, and machines work great when they deal with a uniform, predictable product, including us . . . to quote a bright young Harvard graduate (whom I shall identify in just a moment),
" . . . our society tends to regard as a 'sickness' any mode of thought or behavior that is inconvenient for the system, and this is plausible because when an individual doesn't fit into the system it causes pain to the individual as well as problems for the system. Thus the manipulation of an individual to adjust him to the system is seen as a 'cure' for a 'sickness' and therefore as good."
In a world that seems bent on packing us all into conformist crypts because a nonconformist is a thorn in the side of educators, consumerist capitalism, and the not-really-two-party political system, a strong natural drive for individuality must find an outlet or risk madness. I believe body art provides one such outlet. Ralph Waldo Emerson, a great American philosopher born nearly 200 years ago, said, “The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.” Too much of a good thing. Body art is nonconformist and it gives people a relatively safe way of acting out. The Harvard grad, by the way, was Ted Kaczynski.