Friday, January 16, 2015

Oh My God: The Rip-Roaring Rise of the Mods

Guess who's coming to dinner.
Yo, man. I want to marry your daughter. You got a problem with that?
    What explains the surge in recent years of extreme body modification, or Bod Mods? Young people are scarring their skin, driving steel posts and spikes into their faces, slitting their tongues, injecting saline and/or steel balls under their flesh, slashing their ears, covering themselves in vivid, sometimes shocking, tattoos, and piercing whatever little fold of epidermis they can find. Then they attach something sparkly.
     I wish I were so brave.
    They look like crazies or psychopaths or beings from another world, but most of them are just nice young people who have taken possession of their bodies, and made them their own.
    I think it's an intriguing phenomenon, even (or especially) when it's deliberately grotesque.  The notion that your body is your playground, your canvas, your medium of self-expression, is ancient and probably hard-wired, to some extent. I admire and enjoy the color and inventiveness of these wonderfully crazy kids. Why not "play with yourself," and have some fun? Why was my generation satisfied with being so bland? What's caused this current explosion of in-your-face faces?
    We all need self-expression. If I didn't have my blog, I'd probably get some screws in my skull and a switchblade through my nose. If I did, it would be less outrageous than some of the things I've written.