Monday, June 30, 2003

New Trends in Self-Body-Modification
by Alan Murphy, Guest Style Counselor

Is there a wave of copycat self-severing on the horizon? The Sydney Morning Herald reports an Aussie miner cut off his own forearm this weekend when it got lodged under machinery. According to a witness: "Col got out his Stanley knife... By the time the bloke had walked around to the other side of the front-end loader, Col had completely severed his [own] arm."

Most disturbing is the detail that, according to a psychologist, his action “may have been influenced by a case last month when an American mountaineer amputated his arm after being trapped for five days by a boulder in a Utah national park”.

So, is self-amputation going to be this summer’s fad, the hula-hoop of the 21st century? With the success of Jackass, anything is possible. John already tipped the colostomy bag to be the fashion accessory of summer 2003. Split tongues are just so last year, and trepanning came and went with only a few fashion pioneers prepared to have their crania drilled like a colander. However, self-amputation is so much bolder a statement, it’s so – like, radical – that it cannot fail to gain adepts before you can say Vincent Van Gogh. For those eager to do the deed, I recommend a story by Bill Burroughs, I think called “The Hand”, in which the hero chops off aforesaid member as an artistic statement. A store-bought box-cutter or Stanley knife costs only around $2.00 and was sufficient for the job in the case of the Aussie. Only thing we need is a summer pop hit to back up the trend. Suggestions?

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