So I’m watching T.V. last night, and what do I find on the Discovery channel but a show about body piercing. Now, I’ve seen my share of piercings, and don’t really have a problem with them for the most part (yeah, I think some of them look really bad, and quite possibly turn the whole “self expression” thing to a level of “just look at me, damnit!”, but that’s another issue altogether), but I gotta say… these people were freaks!
What’s funny, is that a part of me can really respect what it is that they’re doing. That’s the part of me that I’m scared of, however, and should I ever have a run-in with him/me, I’d probably slap him/me in the face and say “wake the hell up before you find yourself selling off all of your belongings and donating the money to the cult you just joined, wacko.”
The first guy, I’ll call him star #1, was from New York, and looked like he was straight from an issue of National Geographic… but white. Earlobes with big ol’ hanging loops of flesh, a small lip plate, and tatoos everywhere. His whole schtick was that he wanted to preserve the traditions of certain aboriginal tribes, and bring them into the modern and “civilized” world. So he takes an inter-continental trip to visit the natives, bond, and hopefully learn something. What he learns is that most of the tribes look at him like the same kind of freak that people here do, and when he does finally find the tribe he’s looking for, discovers that they’re giving up the traditions to become more “modern”.
Whaddya gonna do?
But that’s kind of tragic. The other people, however, were just plain scary. I’m sure you’ve heard of or seen them. They’re the one’s that drive hooks into their flesh and suspend themselves from ropes.
That’s not all, though. They don’t do it often enough for the holes to actually form into little handles of flesh, oh no. They only do it every now and then, so that each and every time they do it, they have to re-pierce holes into their skin with these huge-ass fish hooks. Because the pain is the whole point, you see. It’s what causes them to “transcend” the weakness of the flesh. Ever see Fight Club? Of course you have. Well it’s kind of like that. The pain makes their life more real.
It’s scary. And you know what’s so scary? It makes a twisted kind of sense. If you can take that sort of pain, turn around to look it in the face, defeat your instincts to run screaming in terror, and welcome it with open arms, doesn’t anything else kind of pale in comparison? Now, I’m not talking about all of the other good things in life, those are in another realm. I’m talking about being defeated by things. How many things can be more scary than being hooked and hung?
I’m sorry, but I honestly can’t imagine how much that would hurt. And they even showed how much it hurt. The guy who founded this society (who very rarely suspends himself, mind you) put two hooks through his chest, and pulled himself up into the air. Two. Not ten, all nice and evenly distributing the weight. Two. He didn’t make it very long, and when he came down, he was bawling his eyes out. But the fact that he made it off the ground at all is better than I could do. I wouldn’t even make it through the hooking part.
I wouldn’t make it to the hooking part.
Now here’s where things get kind of wacky. That crazy part of me I was talking about earlier? The one I said I would slap silly? He’s intrigued by this whole concept. I think he’s scared shitless by the hooks too, but the idea really appeals to him. That idea of being able to suffer through something like that, and come out better for it.
But you know what I say to that? The real me? The one who actually has to live in the real world? I say… no fucking way.