Tattoos, piercings, brandings etc.

My education is an ongoing thing but this latest bit of information has almost, but not quite, left me speechless.

It’s probably not new info at all for the trendy set, but I learned yesterday that the latest experience for those who want to be in the loop, is to get branding on parts of their body.

Branding is exactly what it sounds like. You take a piece of hot metal and burn the skin with it until a scar forms. The scar can be shaped into whatever shape appeals to you e.g you can have a scar in the shape of a zero which would represent your I.Q, or you could have rings burned around your leg, a bit like ring barking on a tree.

An imaginative brander (they are referred to as artists in the articles I read) could scarify you most decoratively. You don’t just lie there passively while the artists is cauterising your body. Apart from the obvious screaming in pain you have to be prepared to pick at the scab for a while so that the healing is not too fast.

Once the swelling has gone down you could use tweezers to remove the healing scab and keep on picking at it conscientiously until you have created a deep groove in your flesh. The scar represents a collaborative effort between the artist and the….the .. I can’t think of a word that would do the scarree justice. So it’s not as if you have not participated in the decoration of your body and therefore you can be justly proud of your achievement. The cauteriser did the initial damage but you made sure that you would be scarred forever.

That’s if you don’t die from an infection first. Some of the articles on branding mention an emergency visit to a surgery for antibiotics. Others write about not being able to stand because of the swelling. But most of the articles marvel at how soon all the discomfort is forgotten and how the scarred ones can’t wait to get more brandings on their person.

Now this sort of thing is not for me. Branding is not on my list of stuff I want to do in 2008 or any other year during this millenium. I don’t even sport a tattoo or a piercing.

And if you think that it’s because I’m a coward, well, you are most definitely wrong. I just believe that branding and all those other epidermal endeavours so far are for whimps.

I mean, piercing of the genitals sounds like too much painless fun for me. Scarification, what a hoot! I’m waiting for really attractive options like putrefaction, pulverisation and voluntary amputation

How about removing the epidermis altogether? Being skinned alive, now there’s an adventure for those who want to really make a statement.

I’d better stop now because the prospect is just too, too exciting. I’m all agog at the idea that someone out there in this very “sensible” world is working on the next challenge. You can discount removing a brain, small as it necessarily would be, as one of the future attractions, since those who indulge in branding must have already experienced that procedure as a prerequisite.

Go figure the world. Sure makes you wonder if Darwin was right. Are we really the fittest? Things must have been so bad long ago if that’s who has survived.

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