Sunday, March 04, 2007


Ok so I guess Blogger has been undergoing some changes, because I just recently switched over to their new system and found myself bombarded by a slew of comments from my readers! I'm sorry to anyone who made a comment and did not see it appear on MSOM until now, I swear I wasn't trying to censor my critics! Well anyways, in light of this new discovery, I thought I might quickly respond to some of my readers' comments in order to explain my purposes a bit more clearly and also apologize to anyone I may have offended - here I go...

At 1:28 PM, Anonymous said...

I just finished reading ALL of your posts. They're great! Keep up the good work. I'm going to try to find out how to contact you because I want to get your advice. I too am in post-secondary school, and I want to involve my interest and love of body modification in my studies.

You inspire me. Thank-you.


Thanks for your interest and praise! My e-mail is and I'd be happy to help you in any way I can. Thanks again :o)

At 1:32 AM, A maori in Montana said...

...Ta moko, as you will know by now is a very special and prestegious thing to our people. It shows your whakapapa, your mana, things very important to us. It is not a design like I heard you mention. It is also reserved for only maori people. In a world where traditions are dying, its one of a handful we have left and keep to ourselves. Kirituhi however, is a design, and is for anyone who choses to get one.

Just thought that I would play devils advocate and say that Im sorry that that was your experience of who you think Maori people are, but please dont label us all as being close minded, sarcastic bigots, because were not. Some of us are even educated and quite worldly.

-The Maori in Montana-

Hi there! I wanted to respond to this portion of your comment in order to clarify my use of the word "design."
(I quoted "Even after finding out that some Maori believe it is cultural appropriation to acquire a moko without some Maori background, I thought a small design with special meaning would be the perfect memento.") I should have, but didn't, specifically mention the concept of kirituhi, which I learned about while in NZ. Kirituhi is, as you noted, a form of tattooing done by a Maori moko artist on a non-Maori person. The style of kirituhi appears similar to that of the moko, but their meanings differ greatly due to the cultural background of the tattooee. To have a moko is to be a Maori. In the eyes of the Maori, it is impossible to be a non-Maori and have a moko. I understand and respect this custom, and never meant to imply that I desired to appropriate one of the sacred rites of the Maori.
I also want to apologize for apparently portraying the Maori as "close minded, sarcastic bigots", which was not my intention at all. In fact, I made sure to note:
"It may not be my place to make such observations, but I’m just recounting my experience – perhaps it was a singular one." AND
"I don’t want to offend any Maori by suggesting that they are all the same, which I am certainly not attempting to do."
I truly didn't mean to imply that all Maori are the same. In fact I met a few very kind and compassionate Maori individuals who did not display their mana in the slightest. I try not to generalize, especially about a certain group of people- stereotypes don't help anything. Like I mentioned, I was only trying to truthfully recount my experience. Thank you for your comments, and I hope that I did not offend you or your people with my post.

At 8:17 AM, Rebekah said...

The difference is that pot bellies and large hands are genetic (some people are pre-disposed to where their weight goes) and piercings are a choice. Therefore, the media wants to continue to pick on the modified for making choices that aren't THEIRS! By not following the stereotypes that THEY choose for us, we are WRONG!

At 7:54 PM, Rebekah said...

Did you go? i got to the bbq yesterday afternoon and left this morning and didn't know how to find you :(


Thank you for your well-placed sarcasm :o) And I'm sorry I missed you at the BBQ! I slept over both nights, and got absolutely POURED on the second night, so my friends and I left before the party got moved to the falls. Hope you enjoyed it, and perhaps I'll see you next time!

At 6:50 PM, henry slash matt said...

...Just to play devil's advocate:

You might need to rethink your defense of modification, i.e. "if you don't like it, don't get mods." Just seeing radical mods disgusts some people- that's like saying "if you don't like to hear people swear, don't swear." It's not bigotry or tyranny; it's just an ingrained impulse towards revulsion, and until you can convince everyone that pierced flesh isn't scary, you'll be fighting the innate human fear of(apparent) mutilation and pain.

-Henry slash Matt-

First off, it was awesome to see you briefly at MTB in Boston, I'm sorry we didn't get to chat more! Also, your response made me think about how people outside of a certain subgroup are often well-intentioned, but ignorant in their comments. Think about all of the inadvertantly racist things a person can say, and how dumbfounded they seem when their error is pointed out. Matt, although you're a friend of mine, I must say that it offends me to think that you might see my mods as repulsive. And I think that the swearing comparison is a bit flawed, in that cursing can negatively influence children in earshot, and in that hearing is not as easy to control as sight. If we are nearby someone having a vulgar conversations, it's very difficult to tune them out. But when one sees a modified person (whom you seem to be saying has a dirty appearance rather than a dirty mouth), they can easily avert their eyes. That is if they're not compelled to gawk. It's not easy doing something you believe in when others tell you it's wrong or disgusting. Gay marriage anyone?

And I'm sorry you see pierced flesh as representative of "the innate human fear of mutilation and pain," because I don't believe that any such perception could be referred to as "innate." That's a very sensitive word to use, because in the modern world we often mistake cultural conventions for the "way things SHOULD be." Be careful people! Just think - after the Big Bang, upon the appearance of human beings, was religion immediately a part of life? How about sex? Beauty ideals? Monogomy? What is real? Really?

Thanks for your comments anyways my darling :o)

At 11:58 PM, killa kellyyyyyy said...

hey thats dave's tattoo!
hahah =)

my family is also extremely close minded about tattoos\piercings. my dad said he went to a locel deli in town and someone who worked there had arm tattoos and facial piercings and he said he's never going to go there again because of it. he says that society looks down on people with them and automatically assumes they are dirty. i honestly threw a fit with him, especially because i worked at that deli and i had pink and purple hair and a nose piercing at the time and i cannot communicate with him that it does not mean you are dirty, he's just extremely close minded and i feel like i can't do anything about it... i just hope he doesn't spit on me when i get visible tattoos.

-killa kellyyyyyy-

Hello love! All I can say is that your dad is a product of his generation. When you grow up being told that minorities are dirty, cheating, lying assholes, you're going to be one racist-ass adult. No worries baby, I still think you're drop dead gorgeous and far from dirty :o)

I'd like to thank ALL of my readers for giving my thoughts some attention. I hope to bring you all kinds of goodness in the future! Check back tomorrow for a post on awesome DIY tattoo necklaces!


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