Tuesday, December 09, 2008
getting down with "opening up"
I am and have been, since the very beginnings of my interest in body modification, a huge fan of BME's former godfather, Shannon Larratt. His writing has always been clear, concise, and often damn witty, making for years of engaging Modblog posts and BME feature articles. After a shitshow of legal battles earlier this year, Shannon is now divorced from BMEzine, much to the chagrin of his many followers and admirers. Through his many contributions to the body modification community he has, in my opinion, advanced the subculture as well as mainstream understanding of the subculture more than any other single person in the bod mod community. He has disseminated information on every type of body modification imaginable, and has always strived to understand and explain the various practices from a range of viewpoints, yielding incredibly in-depth and well rounded sources for anyone wishing to better understand a particular aspect of the subculture. I know this is a long-winded and kiss-ass-ish intro, but I seriously respect Shannon both as an individual and a mod-vocate.
After his break with BME, Shannon continued to blog on his personal website, Zentastic, which I check out from time to time and see what he's been up to. There are usually lots of photos of his adorable daughter Nefarious and stories about their various excursions, but he also keeps readers up to date on his many projects, one of which being a newly released book of interviews called "Opening Up." In accordance with Shannon's dedication to keeping bod mod info ever-flowing and ever-accesible, the book is available from Zentastic under a creative commons license in PDF form FOH FREEZ! How awesome is that? I personally downloaded a copy right away, but after having perused it a bit have asked for a hard copy for Christmas. Let me tell you right now: if you are at all interested in body modification, as an artist, piercer, modder, BIID sufferer, psychologist, sociologist - the list goes on - you need this publication. It's chock full of interviews with everyone from piercers, tattoo artists, and extreme body mod practitioners to doctors, voluntary amputees, and modified celebrities. There are even gag-inducing sections that relay mod artists' horror stories with perverted and hygienically challenged customers, as well as an informative section on the development of microdermals and surface piercing.
Although this post isn't a review of the book, it is my version of a gold star, two thumbs up, smiley face, what have you. If you're looking for the perfect Xmas gift for that special modded someone, there's no doubt that their face with light up with sheer glee upon receiving this gem. I might return to talking more about this book once I've read more than the 5 or 6 interviews I've checked out so far, but I wanted to mention it as early as possible so all y'all readers can check it out for yourselves. Enjoi, and, you're welcome :o)