1973/2013

shannon2It’s very easy to objectify someone who’s contributions to the world were as immeasurable as those of my friend Shannon Larratt’s. To forgive his flaws or to focus to heavily on them would do him a great disservice. I sit here on what would be his 40th birthday, staring at pictures of him taken throughout the tenure of our nearly two decade friendship and find myself missing him for the strangest reasons; remembering the silly times over serious body modification, the arguments where we’d not talk to each other for weeks as well as the times when we’d talk all day about some obscure film we had just watched or who we thought would be the first Body Mod practitioner to kill a client. (the bet is still on….)

I visited Toronto a few weeks ago to catch a movie at the TIFF (coincidentally featuring  a director that both Shannon and I were huge fans of) and I found myself almost unconsciously wandering up Bathurst street to walk by his old house; memories flooding back to me of parties in the snow, my first suspension, bme event planning sessions and late night vinegar drinking marathons. Thinking back to some of the best years of my life and the role that Shannon played in them. Thinking back to some of the worst years of my life, and the role that Shannon played in them. It was a nice way to finally say goodbye; the STAY CALM event was an amazing family celebration of his life; a way for us as a community to say our respects. But  standing in front of a place filled with so many personal memories of just he and I was the closure I needed.

My friendship with him wasn’t perfect. He wasn’t perfect and neither was I. But the path that we walked together, while occasionally diverging from each other and in time meeting back up, will always have a place in my heart. Good and bad so will he.

I really wish that I were saying happy birthday to him instead of writing about him on a blog that he started. I wish we could argue tomorrow about something silly and go months not speaking because that would mean that the eventual email would come from one of us that made us forget why we were mad in the first place. I wish you folks who never got the chance to meet him knew the Shannon I knew and not his ‘persona’.

Most of all, I wish that I could give Ari and Rachel a hug right now and say something more profound than “I’m so sorry for your loss”.

So today, tell someone who’s made a difference in your life ‘Thank you’.
While saying ‘Happy Birthday’ to Shannon is a nice gesture, make sure someone out there knows that the good things they’ve done for you mattered and in turn, try to be there for someone else. I think that’s a fitting tribute to the spirit of the BME Community and the man who started it, don’t you?

 


377714_4397120693666_450451457_nShawn has spent the majority of his ife in the modification world.
In addition to writing poorly for Modblog, he also edits the often neglected Scarwars site, the more frequently updated Occult Vibrations tattoo blog as well as his personal diary at Sacred Debris. He lives in Philadelphia with his faithful Italian Greyhound Bailey, and a steadily growing Pushead collection.

32 thoughts on “1973/2013

  1. Shawn, much of my life was spent in support of Shannon and BME. He will always follow my path and of those who decided even after his passing to partake in anyway something that might relate to the BME culture. Few of us have so profound an effect on so many people and it is with such a remembrance we mortals find immortality.

  2. All my love goes to him whenever he is, he influenced me most than a lot of people I meet i nreal life, it’s a shame that I will never met him. Will never forget you Shannon, thanks for sharing your life with us <3

  3. Love the site, love Shannon, love Shawn, and the whole ball of wax. Those who knew Shannon well are best positioned to answer the question:
    If he were able to speak to us, what would he say of this page today? What would he say about the frequency, content, and nature of the posts on this page since his death? What would he want those who survive him to do with the possibilities he created?
    Are we honoring him?

  4. Speaking for myself- I’m not sure.
    I think of blogging as give and take. We write. You interact. Conversations are started. Hell, even arguments are started and finished in hopes that we’d be able to learn something new or gain a new perspective. We try to create dialogue on subjects that interest us as a community.

    If you go back four years and look at the posts Shannon was making- a picture of a navel piercing reblogged from submissions to BME would illicit 300 comments. “ZOMG SHANNON THAT’S THE BEST NAVEL PIERCING I’VE EVER SEEN!!!!!!!”

    People would talk. Communicate. It would be give and take.

    These days? I spend four days writing an article about a time/place/person that I was blessed to have experienced, giving a first hand account of a scene that some of you are to young, to new to the scene or to geographically distant to have experienced. I get really excited to share it, click SUBMIT and several weeks after it’s posted I’m lucky to get one snarky troll leaving a pissy comment. Very rarely is there any discussion. Very rarely are there any submissions in my inbox. I think there have been two, total, in the months since I started helping out here.

    That’s not give and take. That’s reinforcement that some folks didn’t want community or information, they wanted acknowledgement from someone they considered a mentor.

    So my question to you is: If you love the site, love Shawn, the whole ball of wax…. What do YOU want out of the future of Modblog?

    Do you want me and the rest of the volunteers to reblog photos?
    Do you want us to write articles? If so… about what?
    Do you plan to interact? Ask questions? Share your own experiences?
    When people just come here to tell us that we never update (and I’m speaking generally, not to you specifically) or leaving troll comments (which I don’t approve) it reinforces to ME that my time is being wasted.

    Cause I’m going to be totally honest- I can never speak for Shannon but I can absolutely say what I want out of Modblog- and it’s falling short.

    Seems like it’s more take than give.

    The ball is in your court.

  5. Shawn,

    I absolutely agree that Modblog is not what it used to be. I can’t really even begin to cite why that is the case. I am not, nor have I ever been a heavy contributor. I am what you might call a lurker. I have watched and followed quite faithfully though for around 10 years.

    I have grown up with BME and Modblog and it saddens me to see that it seems to be waning. The loss of Shannon does little to assuage these feelings. That said, if no one else acknowledges, I truly appreciate that you have taken up the pen to continue to provide content for Modblog. And, though it likely means little as we have never met, I assure you that you are not wasting your time here.

    To answer your question about what I would like to see on Modblog. I think re-blogs are just fine, but they need context. Simply posting a cool photo that got submitted in doesn’t really do anything to generate interaction. If I just want to see cool pics of mods, there are other places I can get mass injections of that kind of content (tumblr, for instance.) In photodump-style posts I think commentary from the owner of the mod goes a long way into creating discussion. Why did someone get their mod? Why did they get their ink in this style? Where does this picture sit in their modified journey? Question such as these and their answer create interest. Interested people ask questions and make comments of their own.

    I personally love hearing from practitioners, particularly those who are innovating. Some of the more memorable posts in recent memory where the process blogs about Eye tattooing. But that said, I like hearing about the people on the ground who support and live amongst the modified. And while there are many individuals from different backgrounds who fit that, I think at the end of the day, those who are providing mods for people are most central in that function.

    I’m also a sucker for history. I skew toward the younger crowd of body mod enthusiasts (Under 30 crowd.) I wasn’t around when Jim Ward and Co. were pushing boundaries and laying the foundations for modern body modification. I love to hear about that stuff. I’m equally interested in hearing accounts, theories and open calls for discussion on Native American ritual practices and how modern suspension, while using similar techniques, just ain’t the same and shouldn’t share a name. Point is, I like Body Modification and learning the history of it, whether modern or not and regardless of format, interests me.

    With all that said, if I need to interact to keep things going. I will. I’m here and I’m doing it. I don’t want Modblog or BME to fade and while it may never reach what it once was (and then again, maybe it will grow to be bigger and brighter than ever) I want it to be here and be meaningful for those involved. If that means making frequent comments and trying to get people asking questions, so be it. If that means telling content providers where to go, can do.

  6. Just to be clear; reblogging photos submitted to BME was the entire point of Modblog as a way to get people interested in being part of the BME family of sites and to possibly join as either a member of the IAM Community or as a paid member of BME/Extreme or /Hard.

    http://news.bme.com/category/modblog/page/569/

    I picked a random page from years back to illustrate.

    Here’s how it works: Someone from BME (either a paid employee or a volunteer) would cruise through the 1000s of photographs submitted to BME and they’d add it here on Modblog. Sometimes it was literally one sentence posts like “And beautiful..” and other times just a title (“I like bald girls” which featured my lovely friend V) and a link to the contributor’s IAM page.

    When people talk about the ‘glory days’ of Modblog I think they’re remembering it with rose colored glasses as something other than what it was. It was an always has been primarily an extension of BME and an invite for folks to join.

    Now. That said.. over the years it’s featured MORE than that and as we continue it will evolve organically into what we the writers and you the readers want it to be.

    While I respect people talking about Shannon’s legacy, I don’t really think it serves anyone well to have us just do what he did (or didn’t do) to be as much like ‘the old days’ (misremembered or not) as possible.

    So we’ll work on it on our end. You folks work on it on your end. If we can’t meet in the middle, maybe there’s a reason for that. Maybe that give and take I talked about earlier is so far out of whack that it can’t be fixed?

    I certainly hope to be wrong.

  7. I think it is time for modblog to close or to be hugely reingineered and reimagined.

    In the days before the internet there were these things called magazines that you could buy from newsagents. They would come out monthly and every day you would hope that the latest issue of one of your favourite magazines was out. Magazines were once that exciting.

    However, exciting as magazines were, a given title would eventually become less than exciting. Then there would come a time when reading the latest issue would be going through the motions. You would no longer study it for days. Furthermore the amount of adverts bulking out the magazine would be diminished. Eventually you would stop buying said magazine. This would not be the end of buying magazines though – invariably another title would come along or become in your eyes as exciting as that magazine you once queued for. This might be in the same area or something completely different.

    In these former times I never really understood what it was that caused a magazine to fall from grace. Why did the readership just move on? Why did the writers lose their enthusiasm? Had anything fundamentally changed to make that world ‘dull’?

    Sometimes such a magazine could reposition itself or ‘dumb down’ to reach a different audience, one that did carry over some of the old audience and hopefully appeal to fresh eyeballs. At other times such a magazine could just close. This would not be such a big deal as the publisher already had other titles reaching the same eyeballs/wallets. Another option was for the magazine to merge with another title.

    Today’s ‘blogs’ are very much like magazines of old. They have a life and, for reasons not necessarily clear, there comes a time when they lose their reason for reading (and contributing to). People are still reading similar stuff, just elsewhere. People are contributing similar stuff, just elsewhere.

    It may be more important for modblog to close than for it to linger on. Allow a younger generation with their social-networking-tumblr blog-trending-tweet thingies to do it their way without the venerable modblog lurking around at the top of the search rankings. Failing closing the blog, maybe the platform – WordPress – is getting a bit stale and that it needs some work done to it.

    I consider Shannon’s gift for writing to be irreplaceable. I read modblog more for Shannon’s writing than anything graphic/pierced/tattooed/surgically removed. He was a fantastic writer and amazingly prolific. He could write about anything and I would want to read it, even if I did not share his outlook about something I found that he made me think about it. Few writers can do that. However, contributed comments had declined in quantity some time before Shannon’s demise, so something was afoot – maybe, for a large part of the audience, his words weren’t enough.

    Although closing modblog would be ‘easy enough to do’, perhaps, as a last gasp, an attempt is made to do something really special. Right now ‘content’ is shown in a thin strip down the centre of the screen. You can’t pinch ‘n’ zoom in on full screen pictures, tap and slide through articles and enjoy a truly graphic treat. This presentation is important, right now it is just not special enough.

    There is also the membership paywall – fair enough for ‘hard’ content but not conducive to creating a big readership. ‘Extreme’/'hard’ has all been done – thanks to Shannon – although the world is full of surprises, everything that can be modified has been in a myriad of ways. So the element of shock and intrigue just is not there like it used to be. Unless someone can do a designer bullet hole through the head (and still be able to talk about it) then there is nothing new, just same-but-different.

    Since nobody can fill Shannon’s shoes and since his original mission has been completed, perhaps it is time for someone else to curate modblog but with a different angle, maybe focused more on quality of craft, design and art than being outrageous. Maybe to build a site of inspiration rather than ‘shock’. Perhaps whomever gets to curate could bring along a new generation of artists from all over the world and showcase their work in the way Shannon did but with new artists and with new energy.

  8. Hello,

    This will only be a short comment but I just wanted to say I enjoyed what you have written and I really appreciate all of those who’ve continued bme for the past few months. Like the commenter above I’m much more of a lurker but I have been lurking for some time. It must have been about 6 years for me.

    I have especially enjoyed reading interviews with people from the mod community. My general theory in life is that ‘everyone has a story’. It’s so great when you can read about someone, mostly in their own words, telling their story. Throw in a few photos here and there, perhaps a video, and you’ve got a great site! (imo!)

    Keep up the good work y’all. And thank you for your post. It’s always a good idea to make an effort to appreciate the people in your life. Time passes and things are often left unsaid.

  9. It’s only been just over a year since my first piercing; I haven’t been a part of this community very long and I’m really saddened to see it dying out just as I want to get involved.
    I really wish we could revive it, I do what I can uploading pictures as much as possible and writing a few experiences and by getting modified as much as I can afford because it’s my passion and I’m in love with it.
    It’s such a sad time for our community, with Shannon passing we should be working hard to continue his legacy, not dropping like flies because he’s not here any more.
    I love reading stories and looking at the pictures on here and appreciate all the work that is done, please don’t stop.

  10. First, I too am deeply appreciative of Shawn’s continued work and efforts.
    For me, I think there are about four causes for why ModBlog doesn’t “grab” me like it used to. I’m not looking to force these thoughts on anyone–and I may be the only one who thinks these ways:
    1. The for-fee firewall on the regular BME site. In the early days, I along with everyone else came to ModBlog from BME, not vice-versa. Even after ModBlog was up and really running, I would still go to the BME page, look at the last fifteen or twenty recent submissions, and then click to ModBlog. I miss that, both the opportunity to browse in a limited way, and also the sort of synergy that both sites had in tandem.
    2. I’m not a suspension fan. I’m not opposed to it, I’m not grossed out by it; for those who like, I’m supportive of their interests. But, at least for me, it seems like its a lot more interesting to other suspension-experienced folks. It’s pretty esoteric, and if you’re not interested enough to do it, looking at still photos of it is only so interesting, and no more interesting after that. So, as suspension events, photos, and commentary have taken on a bigger portion of the posts in recent years, the site has become proportionately less interesting to me.
    3. The long period in between posts. Because of things like #2, above. In the past, if I went to ModBlog and there were only suspension-related things that day, no biggy. In a day or two, or usually three at the most, there would be something else–not another suspension piece, but a different post on a different topic. So, the longer between posts and the less variety between posts, the less my interest is held. This may be where the issue of re-posting/re-blogging comes in. I understand the frustration about having to rely on recycled material, but if the material is of such variety and interest that it keeps eyeballs on the page, I think that’s okay, especially when every third or fourth post is something newly created. It’s not my intent to anger or sadden or dishonor anyone either when I say that this is especially impactful when the posts are about real, and true, but undeniably saddening topics. Like the passing of an individual in the community. There have been a lot of those in recent months/years, and I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but when a post about death or illness or loss lingers for days and into weeks, it becomes a depressing site to visit.
    4. Something none of us can really do much about–I don’t think there’s really much of a way to replace Shannon. Even when his topic didn’t really interest me, his manic or satirical or ironic commentary did. Even when his personal spin wasn’t mine, the topics that interested him interested me; his was a unique combination of energy and wonder and skill. The big hole caused by his absence was identifiable when he was still alive and not contributing, but it was different, because there was Zentastic, and because even if you didn’t read or hear of him in a while, you knew he was out there, somewhere, doing some crazy car-kit thing or pushing some personal modification boundary or whatevs. Don’t know how to wrap that point up happily, so I won’t try.

    So for me, those things have to do with why I don’t get jazzed by the site like I once did.

    I also don’t want to watch the frustrations of trying to remedy these things (if any of them are valid) consume the spirit and the fun and the adventurism of the people that Shannon died loving–Shawn especially, but several others also. That’s why I sort of asked the question I originally did, about what Shannon would say about all this, because even though I didn’t know him AT ALL compared to you all who run the site, you can’t read the confessional autobiographical posts of a guy like Shannon for as many years as I was able to without “getting” his “think”. And maybe I’m wrong, and if so, I apologize for mis-interpreting your friend, but I suspect that he would not want to see you consumed by trying to keep his thing going.

    I think about the ideas and activities that you, Shawn, and others, were involved in that first brought you and Shannon together, and about how (especially in the early days), each of you really brought your own area of interest/special knowledge into the mix, and no one expected anyone to be a jack-of-all trades or site-King or whatever. And in my heart, I just suspect that it’s THAT kind of life for the rest of you that Shannon would want you to have. I mean, if you could, without guilt, step away from these sites today, and start to do just that thing that really fascinated you, what would that be? And I think whatever the answer to that question is, that’s what you should do; that’s who you should be. I think Shannon would want you all to follow your bliss, like he often did and always tried to. And don’t get your bliss through the posts. I get your honor, and your hard, hard work, and your desire, and your focus, but I don’t feel your joy.

    You know, any one of us could be dead before the end of this sentence.
    And all we have is time, and not much of that.
    If you can find your bliss in sustaining and re-vivifying these legacies of Shannon’s, awesome. And if you can’t, awesome too.

    Just follow your bliss, for your sake, and for Shannon’s too. That’s what I would wish for YOU. No one can ever take away what happened in this community and on these pages–no matter what you do here or anywhere else in your life, NO ONE can ever take that away. If you stay, you CAN do more, and you’ll figure out how. But if you leave, you really DON’T LOSE anything. The gifts were given, and received, and valued.

    Sending you the most positive thoughts for the outcome that is best for you.

  11. I think its time for BME to end. I remember finding BME when i was 14 with gunned lobes. I found it from a forum talking about why guns were bad. When IAM opened when I was 15, I signed up as San, one of the first IAM users ever. Now I’m BlueStar. I met Shannon in St Catharines when I was 16, and he knew who I was! That was amazing to me. He was such a big celebrity.
    Body modification was changing back then. This is 14-15 years ago. It’s still changing, but very slowly. The body mod boom is over. Things that seemed impossible have been done. Now heavy modification practicioners advertise on Facebook and my dentists have stopped shitting their pants when they see my split tongue.
    I remember going to Shannon’s backyard for BMEfest. I remember sending in so many submissions of stories, and reviewing as well. I remember when things weren’t a competition and people were taking less risks. The last time I saw Shannon was in 2010 when Tye, who I met on IAM when I Was 19, who facilitated my first suspension, suspended me, before being suspended for a photo shoot. I haven’t suspended since then.
    IAM isn’t a community anymore. I have nothing against cock shots and CBT, but a blank page with your tortured balls isn’t what IAM used to be. The interface on IAM is so difficult to use I rarely bother anymore. The site is incredibly slow on my high speed connection.
    Some staff members say BME hasn’t changed in the past while. It has. The layout sucks. There are frequent updates to the main page, but its only a couple of pictures, usually duplicates, because getting a free membership takes so much more than it used to. Modblog is full of crap and is updated twice a month if we’re lucky. Why would people pay for this stuff anymore?
    Shannon was a great guy. I met him several times and he was always friendly and accommodating. When I heard of his death, I felt sick. I couldn’t believe it was suicide.
    For Shannon’s sake, get rid of BME.

  12. while I am mostly happy to see updates on Modblog, I have to mostly agree with San. While I was in my late 20s when I discovered BME’s freeq site :) I dove into it with gusto. Reading everything I could. Looking at every picture. All was free to see. it was amazing to see what had been and what could be done without having to dive into getting modified before being informed.

    Having BMEzine as an open site for research would be a great boon for those new to modification.

    Now I don’t go to BME often because navigational issues. When I’ve had an active account with time on it I was frequently blocked from photos of common piercings. It just wasn’t worth bugging Jen about.

    as far as IAM goes, I feel like the old lady telling kids to get off of my lawn… the one BME party I went to I was told by kids that I wasn’t modded enough to be there. Times are changing. I just wonder if IAM and BME’s window has closed.

    and if that’s correct, it really makes me sad.

  13. The only part I’ll take personally is “Modblog is full of crap”.
    While I don’t update often, I wouldn’t call what I write crap. That said, if you do… I invite you to not bother reading it. Or I’ll just stop writing my ‘crap’ here and see if the Point wants it.

  14. Producing content is time consuming, so while it is unfortunate that Modblog isn’t updated frequently I understand why. What killed my interest in BME is the paywall kicks in too early. There doesn’t appear to be much new content on BME, especially experiences which are what I used to come for. Photos were secondary.

    While I’ve never been very active on IAM I used to enjoy having a page, updating it and following others too. Now, as other have said the user experience isn’t great, the place feels empty, when even the staff update infrequently it just adds to the feeling that IAM is dying. I’d happily pay for my IAM subscription, I used to do so, but there needs to be a reason and I’m just not feeling that there is one right now. I can see why people submit lots of subtly different pictures in order to get free time. Unfortunately, the paywall and lack of active community seems to lead to lower quality content, there seems to be a downward spiral.

    There is a reasonable chance that my observations are invalid but in the spirit of discussion I thought I would add my 2 cents.

  15. You’re right about experiences (or stories) being much less frequent now. There is definitely new content added daily in photos and usually new videos daily as well but experiences, which have always been submitted with less frequency, have really dropped. I think that a lot of that is just the nature of the beast. It’s a lot more time consuming to write out a story than to submit a photo so people just aren’t submitting stories like they used to, sadly.

    As for the “pay wall” you get 75 free images per gallery, in all of the regular galleries (content that is not 18+). Since images are updated daily you get a lot of free content. If BME is to keep running we can’t give it all away for free. We have server bills and the like and as much as we’d love to make the whole site free, we simply can’t. We certainly give away more free content than any other pay site I know of and more free content than we used to give.

    As for IAM, you’re right I haven’t updated much. My father passed away in June and I have not felt like doing much of anything. Rachel has a lot to deal with because she is raising her daughter alone now and trying to help her cope with the loss of her father (as well as Rachel trying to cope with the loss of Shannon), so Rachel hasn’t been online much either. I would gladly go back to updating IAM frequently if someone could erase this year and this giant hole in my heart for me. (Seriously, if someone has that ability, please let me know because I hate this…)

  16. Stories have been in decline ever since you decided to ‘upgrade’ the Experience Engine and it never was brought back to life. Personally, I don’t think IAM/ BME users have much to say about the site anymore – we are expected to bring the contents and some profits but we can’t take part in creating the site. Back in the good old days we could submit and review our stories, the BME editors were enthusiastic, hard-working and always eager to help; we all wanted to share knowledge, experiences and pics of our modifications; the users were listened to and our opinions considered; and now there’s really nothing we can do about anything.

    It’s not like suddenly something happened to the site and its weak condition is temporary; it’s been like that since 2008- 2009 and I don’t think it’ll ever change. I’m quite sick of hearing promises of changing things for better, upgrading things, fixing all the bugs and providing us with interesting contents because it’s all words and very seldom anything good happens on here.

    Shawn’s posts are really interesting and I also appreciate his efforts; one person won’t be able to change things for better, though and I’m tired of hearing ‘soon,’ ‘we’d like to …’ etc. And even if there were any promising ideas, like the BME Tour, a series of articles written by ppl from the industry etc, they seemed to have been dropped fast and without any announcement.The site isn’t credible for me anymore!

    Why do I bother posting on here now? because every time I think of the site BME used to be and what it’s become I (still) feel anger, disappointment and frustration.

  17. Sorry to appear ignorant, but someone said that Shannon’s passing was suicicide . Is that true ?

  18. I followed Shannon’s myriad blogs for over a decade. I read them, not because I was actually interested in building a submarine, or homesteading, or peanuts that resemble ducks, but for his humour and never failing ability to get me thinking.
    I miss him a great deal.

  19. Give & Take:

    Head on over to Zentastic.com/blog – click through the “friends” links and you will see why the community has dissolved/slowed. Communities ARE the people that make them up, and a lot of those people from how this community is remembered have grown, matured, re-focused, or died. This is not a slight against a community or a legacy, just a simple fact.

    I’m guilty of the above – I don’t browse regularly, I left IAM/BME shortly after Shannon along with many others, and I haven’t contributed as an author, submitter, or reviewer (does that even exist anymore?) since 2006.

    When I do visit modblog, I’ve enjoyed Shawn’s historical posts & Jen’s submission & community updates. But as mentioned, something is just missing (NO OFFENSE). It doesn’t matter how interesting the posts are, the content is just lacking that special something that made this blog what it once was – not to mention the following Shannon had.

    I don’t know if this can be fixed. It’s a different time. BME isn’t the exciting “new” thing anymore – tattoos, scars, implants, it’s common place. It still attracts those of the next generation, but they’ve grown up around it, so it’s not a ‘forbidden fruit’. Maybe it’s time to refocus or start searching for new staff with fresh ideas & vision. (Again, nothing personal!!)

    Finally – Thank you BME for showing me I can Be Me and feel at home.

  20. What I have noticed is that the ‘kids’ that were here when I was, back in the early 2000′s, have grown up and changed. It’s not a good or bad thing, it just is. I’m not as visibly pierced and tattooed as I was in 2005 either. I wear my ear tunnels, but everything else is out, not closed, just out. My tattoos went form at least a new one every year, to nothing new since 2007, I think. My scarifications are my favorite, I do have plans for more, but nothing soon.

    There are outside realities many have come to realize, jobs may have changed, priorities changed. I’m a rebel in my line of work, most people wouldn’t have my job wearing tunnels (clear Kaos), nevermind my long hair, mustache, and beard. A lot have had to change to survive the recession.

    I used to visit BME every day, I had an IAM account, paid with submissions mostly, and I met some really nice people here. I miss some of those discussion boards, I grew up here a lot, it was a therapy to me when I needed a break and needed a connection to the community, someone that understood. We have spats of course, but that was part of it. After Shannon left, so did I. I would submit something for IAM credit, and never hear back. I felt kicked to the curb, and I wasn’t going to pay to get kicked. Many of my friends left too, so a lot of the community I had was gone too. I miss it, and until now, I really didn’t realize how much I had spent on IAM.

    I followed Shannon on his blog afterwards, and I continued my communication with friends from IAM on real life, email, text, and phone. Many of the comments left above ring true for me, and BME wouldn’t be BME if Shannon wasn’t here – even in spirit.

  21. I’m not a member here, but have read/followed mod blog since a teen (am 26 now).
    Funnily, it was trough Shannon’s fb page that I connected/argued with people (I’m no troll, but don’t have modified friends so I do enjoy a heated discussion, – many I added on fb and continued talking to through there).
    Social media itself is so disjointed and spread out, even sub cultures, do you think that is a big factor these days?
    I enjoy reading articles, whether I agree with them or not, happy or sad, about people I have never and will never meet, but knowing there are people out there who dance to their own tune is inspiring.

  22. Yes, I do think that both the nature of social media and, as was mentioned, the fact that those of us who have been around since the early days are older and our commitments and priorities have changed have a lot to do with it. There will always be people who want to point fingers and lay blame but they are also the people that totally ignore the reality and that is the Internet now is something totally different from what it was when BME and IAM first got started. And those of us who were in our teens and 20′s in those days are now in our 30′s and 40′s or older. People have children, have commitments in their lives, this is the nature of things. And there is a new generation of people in their teens and 20′s who are carving out their niche now.

    I will say this though, BME has continued to operate as it did, we still give out subscription credit for submissions and if anyone submitted anything at any point and didn’t hear back then they should contact support because obviously something went wrong. We never stopped giving out credit to people for their submissions.

    Now, there are still old members on IAM and reading this and submitting to BME but there’s a new wave that is ignored by the people who want to believe anything negative about us or the site. New content is added daily (except for this week when I was really sick and didn’t work for a couple of days). Is the site the same as it was 10 years ago? Of course not. It was never going to be. Social media has completely changed since IAM’s inception. And we aren’t Facebook or You Tube. We don’t have millions of dollars in revenue and a giant staff. We never did and I’m not sure things would be different if past events hadn’t happened. We are the same people who have been here for 10+ years. We do this because we believe in it and the community.

    I’m probably rambling now and it’s Thanksgiving here in Canada. I hope you all have a great weekend. Now that I’m feeling better I might be able to get one of those book reviews I promised up next week.

  23. Some of you might remember me from the early days, some of you might have read about me, and others who might read this will go “who is this guy” ( I suggest you look up my name). I found out about BME because of an article in PFIQ that was an interview about me and my past experiences and how I got to where I was then (then, was 88 piercings, 28 of them in and around the cock head and a partial subincision, I was extreme, for then, circa 1994). Jim Ward did an editorial castigating me for my extreme piercing practices ( I dared to pierce with 8 gauge and heal with herbs). Shannon wrote in support and that issue of PFIQ I learned about BME. the year was 1996. when I finally got a computer and started submitting to BME. I supported BME after that, with pictures, interviews, personal experiences. Those who I pierced sent in their own experience letters. I did some modifications that others in the community had severe problems with. Not only was “this clown” daring to heal with herbs instead of salt soaks, but he ‘gasp’ was circumcising adult women! As a result of this; a group of haters formed, from within BME, I and my slave, robyn faulknbury were set up the Federal Government on charges of things we did not do. I had us plea out to save our lives. I did my time, 4 and 1/2 years and another 3 years probation. Shannon gave his life to us, the body mod community. I was lucky enough to have him contact me prior to his passing for a last interview with me for his last book, and it was that contact where I learned how ill he was and knew his passing as imminent. I kept checking as I could as he never again returned my calls or e-mails and thus found out about his death and his memorial. I was lucky enough to be able to attend that. I recall the days prior to IAM, where there was a chat room to meet and converse in real time with like minded people. it was there I met robyn, my slave, and it seems to have been there I made enemies enough to put myself in prison. Life is a journey, very similar to a roller coaster. it has ups and downs, so don’t be afraid to get on. I am back now after a decade of absence not entirely of my choosing. a community consists of it’s members. Life goes on, just because you don’t get a new tattoo or a new piercing doesn’t make you any less of a person into mods. it is the INTEREST in mods that makes the person a part of this community. I too, in years past have been to BME BBQ’s and had backs turned on me, just because many in the group has decided I was a person to hate. I’ve never been one to listen to the hater’s, they are just full of jealousy after all. It was with all this in the back of my mind that I still dared show at Shannon’s memorial not knowing how I’d be received. yet I made a point of saying hello to as many as possible and telling them who I am. I was, surprisingly, welcomed. I felt honored to be among you all. Modbog to me has always seemed a way to start conversations about a given subject or modification, in a way that IAM seems to not allow. I’ve never been much for posting a “I did this or that” today picture, I feel modblog is a way for the community to interact together as one. To say or post something about themselves or a mod that all can see and talk about. The important magazines do not die, they mature and get better. Many magazines have been around for 50, 75 years or even longer. There will always be the “new” people, every day children are born, and with every community, there will always be deaths. BME will not die as long as those who desire it to live make it happen, the same with modblog. Jen has renewed my membership. As I can, I will contribute to this community. You are, after all, a part of my life, all of you, even the ones I have never met. I cannot change this anymore then, pardon the reference, I can make my genitalia how they were when I was born. We are who we are. We can accept it and celebrate life, or choose to live in denial and self hate. There are those who will leave and go on and those who go and come back, and everyday a new person will wake up and want to know everything they can about this. I welcome your comments.

  24. The site needs to be updated more…you can discuss other more esoteric items, however, this site needs fresh content to keep them coming back and interacting. More quality content, more people, more people adding to the discussions.

    What is happening is that the site is withering. Rather than ask visitors to step up, Modblog needs to give them a reason to be here and comment. Give them a reason to step up.

    I would also consider finding volunteers to help post content…maybe some users who can write well and have something relevant to say/share. This site should have at least 5-10 new items/day….there are so many interesting things happening in the community..

  25. Easier said than done. We have asked for volunteers before. The problem is, this is a lot more work than people realize and once they do realize it, they back out.

  26. So to re-cap, lots of people think there needs to be more content, but there aren’t enough people contributing and the staff is spread thin. Also, the person who created this site and inspired numerous people has died. On top of that many of the long time readers are still pretty miffed about….. Whatever it was that happened…. To my knowledge the current BME staff has never explained their side of what happened. But seriously, I still remember trying to log into IAM and getting that lovely message about us needing to have a seat (and spike our gatorade or something?). I think a large portion of the community felt betrayed and alienated. Maybe the site should try and make amends.

  27. I think the post you’re referring to was made in 2007. I’m not sure it is really worth bringing up things that have long passed.

    Here’s the real issue with finding writers for ModBlog. It’s work. It’s time consuming. No matter what anyone posts, people leave insulting comments. It wears a person down. It would be wonderful if someone came along who was willing to put in the time and effort it takes and who had a very strong back and could take the inevitable insults. I’m pretty sure the world’s greatest writers could post to ModBlog and they’d still have to hear about how stupid their post is and how much they suck. “Welcome to the Internet,” some might say, but when you’re putting time and effort into creating content and only hearing “you suck” over and over, it gets hard to brush it off and want to keep on keeping on (to borrow a phrase from Sean).

    Case in point, people have said “Oh bring Rob back.” But poor Rob was constantly being attacked every time he posted something. We never discussed why he quit but I’d be willing to bet that was a large part of it, if not the whole reason.

    Anyway, this post is a memorial for Shannon and I think it should stay that way. I found myself, stopped in the middle of doing something yesterday, as I thought about the time Shannon sat in the living room and talked with my mom. I don’t remember what the discussion was about but I was remembering the way Shannon looked when he talked about things that he was passionate about.

    Good and bad, Shannon was the kind of person that only comes along once in a lifetime. He was an original and, good and bad, I am a different person for having known him.

  28. I hope the staff at BME never stop this site. I very much appreciate Sean & Jen stepping up and bringing us ModBlog still. I really miss Shannon as well, I hope everyone never forgets BME (faceb00k wont be around forever)

  29. I am trying, it’s hard because I have my other BME work. I’m also supposed to be working on a Master’s thesis. And to be honest, since my father passed away in June, I haven’t felt like doing much of anything. I’ll try to get something up at least sporadically but I definitely can’t promise that I can commit to daily updates on ModBlog. With any luck others will fill the gaps.

  30. I don’t know that it’s anyone’s “fault” that BME seems to have mostly run its course. The reasons for infrequent posting and updates given above are prefectly reasonable, but will not help Mod Blog or BME find it’s legs.
    Shannon was an incredible writer with a curious mind and a passion that could inspire his readers. That’s why his posts were so well responded to. Whatever happens in the future, I thank everyone who kept BME going over the years, and will be deeply sad to see it go.

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