Monday, 2 July 2007
A Hole New World
I wonder sometimes, what my blogging niche is; looking back over my posts there is quite a pot pourri of subjects; there does seem, however, to be a theme developing: the unstoppable march from middle age into the Saga years. Perhaps that's it: if you are on the journey through the middle years, feeling lost and anxious, I will be your guide and friend. I can quite see myself as fearless reporter for the mature reader, prepared to experience and tell you about the wilder side of gardening or how to choose your mid life crisis - goodness knows I seem to be trying a few. And that brings me smartly to my next subject.
You may remember me mentioning that my favourite shop name is Holier Than Thou: a body modification centre on Oldham Street, Manchester. Feeling it would be churlish of me to not understand what they do, I did a bit of research and was, well, enlightened about the amount and type of body modification that can be achieved. It seems that all you need is imagination and a strong stomach. Gone are the days when it was cutting edge to have anything more than a couple of ear piercings or a safety pin in your nose. Whilst I might have considered my single ear lobe hole as daring at the time I have to say that what I saw, stood before the window of Holier Than Thou, made it all same very small beer.
Bus passengers seeing me stood, fascinated, like a child at a toy shop, must have smiled thinking I was plucking up courage to have a bone inserted through my nose or a large hole stretched into my earlobe, but I was simply dumbfounded by the range of possible modifications and jewellery to adorn them. Body modification has moved on, really moved on - or in some ways moved back, because the expansion in modification has embraced traditional techniques used for thousands of years in tribal Africa. There is barely a place on your body that cannot be pierced, stretched or have artistic scarification applied to it.
My research - on your behalf - has in many cases relied solely on the strong stomach developed whilst a nurse to stop me evicting the contents of my stomach. I include here a couple of links if you wish to follow my path into some of the more bizarre areas of body modification; but be warned, the extreme edges of this art are a mixture of eroticism and masochism: pictures of the DIY end of the market are not pretty. Bmezine is a magazine type website for fans of body modification, there are a host of user submitted gallery photographs - do not go lightly into the Extreme or Hard areas of the sight; another interesting site is Infinite Body Piercing that is a very practical introduction to techniques and possibilities: a good place to go if, after reading this post, you are tempted.
Having had my fill of body modification on Oldham Street, I concluded with a stroll down Shude Hill to Victoria Station for my train ride home. Walking along Shude Hill I passed Rambo's Tattoo parlour, a very popular venue for those wishing to make a statement in non-fade American inks; it has been the venue for mid-life statements of many colleagues of mine. I have to say it all looks a bit tame now compared to Holier Than Thou, not least because, thoughtfully, right next door is the laser tattoo removal centre.
Thankfully I am tempted by neither tattoo nor piercing but if, at a weak moment, I was to indulge I could do a lot worse than Holier Than Thou - it all seems very clean and professional.