An Open Letter to the Suspension Community

[Editor’s note: Last weekend, we published a piece by Ron Garza discussing the suspension accident involving the Skin Mechanics Suspension crew and the Disgraceland Hook Squad at the South Florida Tattoo Expo. Here, Joe Amato of Skin Mechanics checks in to offer his own perspective on what occurred.]

I would like to start by saying to the entire suspension community that I am sorry for the way that I initially handled the situation surrounding Jimmy Pinango’s fall at the South Florida Tattoo Expo. At no point did I ever imagine what the rumor mill would make of the incident, nor did I foresee that the community would be so demanding. Most, though not all, of the people who demanded the facts from me are people that I had never had any interaction with before. I am not an active BME member and my MySpace account is for personal use. Given that I don’t expose myself as much as others in the suspension community, I hope that it is understandable that I was taken by surprise when people that I had never personally interacted with were suddenly demanding that I justify myself and my actions. Obviously, a response was due — I don’t deny this — but to be hit immediately with attacks rather than support clouded my judgment in a very trying time. In the aftermath of this incident, I did let my emotions get the best of me, and for that I am embarrassed. However, I am not going to defend any of my actions any further, as I feel that at this point moving forward, taking accountability, and taking something positive away from this experience are the most important things. I hope that anyone who still feels insulted about the lack of an official statement will feel better after reading this. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact me. I am not in front of a computer every day, but I will respond if you consider how you are presenting yourself, and do so in a manner that is constructive.

Important facts about the suspension and what ensued

– All the hooks were still in Jimmy when he hit the floor.

– The 5mm cord used in the suspension had not broken.

– Calls were made to our friends Steve Joyner and Allen Falkner as soon as we had a team of people was in place to break down the show, and had gotten Jimmy safely to the hospital. We gave Steve and Allen all of the information we had at the time, and tried to concentrate on the rest of the weekend while we played the waiting game, as we were under contract to perform again the following day. At no time did we attempt to hide any information. Unfortunately, there’s no way for me to let you know that if I don’t know you, and again, I am not an active member of BME.

– We did return the next day and we did perform after making a substantial public statement to the convention and the mainstream media about the accident. We again released all of the information that we had, and worked to clear up the rumor mill that was already circulating on the convention floor. We had a crew of almost 35 people who were all hurting emotionally, and at this point, we still had not had one single minute to sit down and think with a clear head about what had transpired. It was not easy for me to go up there and take responsibility and talk about the situation in front of so many people when all I was able to think about was my friend — that I, as the head rigger on that suspension, had put him in the hospital, and I still didn’t know how he was doing. I did what I thought was necessary at the time to control the mainstream media, and keep the crew’s spirits up so that we could get through the next show.

– Jimmy was admitted to the ICU the day after surgery. Marrow from the broken bone had gotten into his blood, and caused a clot in his lungs. They dissolved the clot, and treated him for the marrow in his blood. [Ed. note: To clarify, in the accident, Jimmy only sustained a broken leg. His admission into ICU was from complications from the broken leg, not as a direct result of the fall itself.]

– In the days following the accident, we kept in contact with our friends in the community and tried to get the proper info out there. It was through talking to friends that I was able to come to the conclusions that I did about what had happened. The outside points of view were crucial because I was so consumed by all of the negativity, as well as the well-being of my crew and my friend, that I couldn’t think. Already, criticism was coming from many directions, and less than three days later I got fed up and made an unreasonably negative statement about the drama surrounding the situation. I put the only solid piece of evidence I had in that statement, and then proceeded to basically invalidate anything that came out of my mouth after that by being a jerk. That post did not last 24 hours. I took out my negative reactions and left up the pictures of the link for people to see. Keep in mind this was still prior to the appearance of the ModBlog article.

I understand there is a community of people out there, and all of you want to know what happened, but please try to understand:

Only two days had passed by the time there were multiple theories and rumors about the accident and nobody (except for Steve & Allen) even once asked me what had happened before posting their own theories. People still thought that the hooks came out, despite the fact that we had witnesses (including a doctor) who stated otherwise.

Three days later, BME members were criticizing and picking the event apart, and that’s when I think things went wrong. A lot of misinformed people started making bold statements that they had put together based on nothing more than a blurry night video. Then started the harassment.

Only six days passed before the ModBlog article was published, and this article essentially trashed my character, and even directed people (on one of the most visited peer-to-peer sites in the world) to harass me, and judge my character. Now, I don’t know how any of you would react to this treatment, but the harassment I’ve gotten from a community of people who are regularly subjected to prejudice, and therefore particularly wary of judgment, really surprised me. The level of harassment that I received certainly did not push me to share more information with people who were going out of their way to hurt me. I am not, nor do I want to be, a “rock star” anything. I have been content with just staying to myself in the five years my crew has been doing shows. In the midst of all of this, yes, I did make my MySpace profile for friends only. Nobody likes to be harassed and judged.

At the end of week one, hate mail was steadily coming in. Jimmy was still in the ICU. I, and a few others, were continuing to assess the situation and consult one another on our research and findings. Now at the end of week two, I am finally finishing up this report. Jimmy has been awake and is doing much better. He is out of the ICU and will hopefully be on his way home soon.

For the record, I have not received a single message via the ModBlog article that contained anything constructive. I am in no way, shape, or form trying to infringe on people’s right to free speech or press — write or say what you would like to. I also have nothing bad to say about Ron Garza for writing what he did. I have never met or even spoken to him, and because of that do not know what he is or isn’t qualified to do. I do wish that he would have contacted me prior to publishing his article in order to ensure that he was presenting information as reliably as possible, as there were a lot of inaccuracies that could have been corrected before the trigger was pulled, but the damage is done. In an effort to stay solution-oriented, though, the only thing I can do is hope that Ron will edit some of the malice from his article. I appreciate that people are concerned about the repercussions that could follow this incident, as I am equally concerned. However, we as a community have, in fact, made things far worse by starting an all-out war on the Internet. Through this lack of courtesy, and by largely lacking any attempt at solidarity, we have attracted only negative attention to ourselves.

I hope these facts and their timeline give you an idea as to why this has taken so long. It was never my intention to shun the responsibility.

Details on the suspension itself

Rigline used:

First set: 300-pound monofilament line rigged dynamically, with fisherman’s knots connecting the line to the eyelets of the rig.

Second set: 300-pound monofilament line rigged dynamically with fisherman’s knots, this one a few feet longer than the one used in the first set. These lines were meant to break away, similar to a “cut down”. All the extra rig line was run, then bundled and taped to keep it from becoming tangled. The line becomes compromised quickly when you tie it without enough wraps in the knot, as the extra pressure on the line causes it to snap long before its working limit has been reached. (This is not the first time that I have used this rig line or used “breakaway” rigging. I myself had done a smaller version of this suspension in July.)

Third set: 300-pound monofilament line (same rigging and knots), this time a few feet longer than in the previous set.

Fourth set: 5 mm accessory cord rigged dynamically. This line was also bundled. This was meant to be the last portion of the act. The would come down onto this cord, and would stop dropping at this point.

Other equipment used:

– Six 8-gauge hooks were used.

– Six galvanized quick links were used (and had never been used previously).

– One 18-inch aluminum square stock rig with stainless eyelets was used as well.

The act, from start to finish, was intended to be a 6-point vertical back suspension, where the performer broke multiple stages of “breakaway” rigging, and finished when he hit the final stage.

We did not make it that far. The quick link failed a minute into the performance, and his rigging became long enough for him to hit the floor. These are still the facts about the rigging itself. None of the other equipment was compromised.

Why this happened

I believe that the link became side-loaded during the performance, which would explain the breaking strength exhibited by the equipment. This explains why the hooks did not break before the link. This seems a lot more likely than any other theory I have heard, because all the math in the world could not explain how a quick link could break before a hook. By working with the facts we have, my opinion is that this is the most likely scenario. I do not have 100-percent solid evidence, but I am working on it. We already have plans to purchase and break new links from the side-loaded and top-loaded positions, and then examine the way in which they open to see if anything matches up to the link in question. I will be taking photos and will post them as soon as I am done.

As for the link being defective, it is possible, but it is far less probable that this was the case.

What could have been done to prevent this accident

– Static rigging: This is always a good idea. This could have prevented this accident entirely. I have no excuse or justification as to why I did not rig this suspension statically. It certainly isn’t that I don’t have the experience, because we used static rigging all weekend, and had even connected six people this way just one day prior to the accident. Usually we use webbing for the rig line, and we had over 1,000 feet of it on site. I also even went out of my way to make steel cable static rigging for a suspension we were planning for the weekend. What it all really boils down to is that I made a mistake, and I didn’t use it.

– The hooks used: Granted, the hooks did not break, but they could have.

I am making a locking hook, modeled after Oliver Gilson’s original design, and cleverly called a Gilson Hook. They would have been ideal for this for many reasons.

1. They were designed for high risk.
2. They have a much greater breaking strength.
3. They will also fit a shackle.

– Quick links: Had I used the Gilson hook (above), a shackle would have been used instead of a quick link. As much as quick links have been a staple in our community, I really do believe that we need to reconsider the continued use of this item in any situation where movement could side-load it.

– Safety harness: My primary concern here was that during the performance the lanyard could have become wrapped around Jimmy’s neck. Simply cutting down at each stage would not have been dangerous, but with the rigging as it was, had a harness become wrapped around his neck before a level change, it would have broken his neck.

I hope this information is helpful to everyone, and that we can all take something valuable from it.

In closing, I am sorry for what happened, on many levels. I want it to be known that nobody associated with the accident, Skin Mechanics Suspension, Disgraceland Hook Squad, and our friends who came to work with us from other crews, ever intended to avoid any responsibility for what happened. I alone am responsible for the rigging, and yes — I accept the fact that I made a mistake. Had things been done differently, this suspension would not have resulted in my friend’s suffering, or the estrangement of my community.

Joe Amato
Skin Mechanics Suspension

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37 thoughts on “An Open Letter to the Suspension Community

  1. Dude, I applaud Modblog for posting this article. I know nothing of suspension and don’t claim to. I’m not even on BME or IAM any more because it’s a shit-show. But I do appreciate the way the feature editorials of late have been handled. Kudos!

  2. First Joe, thank you so much for writing and publishing this piece. It takes a big man to make a post like this, especially after all the negative attention. Kudos to you!

    You know, it is easy for outsiders to place blame here, but the fact is that everyone makes mistakes. Sadly, I can’t even count the amount of rigging errors I have seen over the years. Some simple oversights, others due to lack of knowledge, however, the biggest errors are usually due to poor preparation, or people’s over confidence in components that aren’t designed to carry the loads and endure the stresses applied to them.

    We as a suspension community have been using supplies and equipment that were never designed to hold human weight for many, many years. This tragedy should serve as a wakeup call. Time has come to evaluate your rigging setup. Time to upgrade your safety measures. Time to step aside if you cannot or will not put your crew’s safety first.

    You people are my family and the last thing I want to see is my family getting hurt.

    …and Jimmy, I hope you make a full recovery very soon.

    -Allen Falkner

  3. Joe,
    This says SO MUCH and I THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

    As I readily admitted in the the editorial , mistakes DO happen and as much negative pulicity as this whole incident brought on us all , People will not forget anytime soon how dangerous suspensions can be, and will be taking them ALOT more seriously I have a feeling . For this I also Thank you 🙂

    I think this unfortunate incident has woken us up as a community and shed more than a little light on every aspect of suspensions . Joe and Allen hit the nail on the head when they said the time has come to re evaluate thinsg – from certain components of the gear we have been using, as well as saftey measures we all have considered safe up until now to even having insurance for yourself, the peformers as well as the audience if something happens. We havent seen anything like this happen before, but then again we arent doing the same suspensions we were doing 15 years ago. Everything progresses…
    As much negative attention as it brought on the community, I really think it has been a double edged sword and opened alot of eyes of others. Every once in a while it takes something like this to only propell things further after the kinks get worked out. This was only a minor set back for the community (and a HUGE healing one for Jimmy ) as a whole , but a setback that will lay the ground work for more education, communication and will help create a solid safety foundation for everyone in the suspenison community to grow and build from! Thank you for this Joe.
    Researching, learning , and getting good information out there to help others is the only way we can all move forward.
    I SINCERLY thank you for your response

    -Ron Garza

    p.s I apologize for not contacting you directly before all of this. With the way I saw things being handled from the the get go , I felt it someone had to speak up for the community and show mistakes DO happen but things arent always handled like that befor ethe mainstream media got ahold of those video clips. Last thing we need is the mainstream public thnking we dont know what we are doing AND we dont care. Again thank you for your response, and I look forward to all of us moving forward as community from this mishap.


  4. Joe,

    Thanks again for writing this up. Thanks also to Steve for calling me. I know we feel like everyone in the community is a member of BME but when it comes down to it, they’re not. We often feel like we know everyone and when something happens to someone we don’t know, it’s hard to keep an open line of communication.

    Thanks again to Steve Joyner and Joe Amato for helping to get all of the facts available to the community at large.

  5. A truely amazing article.
    When I heard about the accident, I was shocked and in complete shock after watching the video of Jimmy hitting the ground – he’s lucky he walked away with just a broken leg.

    I still respect the entire community completely and am still looking forward to my first suspension one day – it’s actually hard to keep waiting.

    I love BME and the positive people who are part of it.

    And yes, we’re all human. People make mistakes and it seems to be that no one realized that what happened that night could have been a LOT worse.

    Thank god Jimmy is alright
    and thank god the personal attack is over.

    We’re supposed to be supportive people!

  6. I guess i don’t know enough about suspension shows to make an indepth comment
    But to me, having an over weight guy be bounced up and down at such a height during a suspension is ridiculous.

  7. who cares man!!! one thing goes wrong and the whole world freaks the fuck out!!! you have done this numerous times and the first sign of trouble everyone has something to say. i say keep doing what your doing man. when your dealing with something this intense there are bound to be a few mishaps here or there. its like a f**kin car accident man. you dont see the same people harassing someone who fucked up while driving. and whos to say you even fucked up! SHIT HAPPENS!!! and when shit happens the best thing we can do is learn from our mistake and move on, and personally i think you handled this situation BETTER than ok!! and any of you who do have something bad to say out there. just remember your shit stinks too! next time your shit fucks up i really hope there is someone out there who is just as pathetic, who has something to say about it and gives you just as hard of a time.

    keep it up bro! you got my support 110%!!!

  8. yh i was on bme but my time ran out go to upload more pics

    they just get fussy and take forever sooo i dont realli bother plus the way the mail and everything works is awward

  9. Just an aside here and not one that is meant to ruffle feathers but perhaps this will help begin to bring to an end the oneupmanship that seems to chase the craft of suspension and piercing in general. Yes, new ideas are healthy but at what cost?

    Clearly the event in question at some point stepped over the heads of the people involved. That should never happen and we can all agree on that.

    Does a suspension really need to be anything more than just a suspension? Not that it can’t be, but does it need to be? Money was involved and a spectacle-more of one than was intended-was produced. If bars and events are paying for suspensions there will always be that need to separate from the pack , not all of us are equipped to do so. That’s not a bad thing to remember.

  10. Isn’t this the same individual who pierced and eyelid with a CBR creating the potential of massive cornea damage. Did he assess the risks there???

  11. its a shame that people have been so up in arms about this. i see suspension as something that sits in the same league as something like B.A.S.E. jumping, its a high risk activity, And people are always going crazy when shit goes wrong, but fail to recognize that while an *incredibly* small number of them go wrong, there are literally thousands done all the time with no issues what so ever.

    what i find most disappointing is the amount of negative BS that has come from the community about this. I’m sure that the people involved are and have taken all the action necessary and the snide and downright unhelpful comments do nothing to help the situation.

    I’m sorry to hear about the accident but i definitely don’t think it should put a kink in things!

  12. Joshua- I think that people realize that only a small percentage of suspensions have large accidents, but everyone wanted to know why it went wrong from the source and not a bunch of “arm chair quarterbacks”

    Joe- thanks for coming out and being the bigger man to explain your side of things. I think your right about short cuts that many groups use like quick links that aren’t intended to hold human weight.

  13. What I don’t understand is all the fuss ! Sorry to hear that someone broke a leg, hope he’s okay and will make a complete recovery.

    But a broken leg in Skiing, Snowboarding or any contact sport wouldn’t generate this much fuss. I can understand the outside world hyping it up – but why within the bodymod / suspension community.

    It was an accident – lessons can be learned – but that’s all.

  14. “but the harassment I’ve gotten from a community of people who are regularly subjected to prejudice, and therefore particularly wary of judgment, really surprised me.”

    Sadly, it’s not all that surprising to me after reading the sort of comments some people post on ModBlog for about a year now.

  15. What a load of bullshit!! Base jumping, skiing, snowboarding all require you to set up your own equipment so they dont sit in the same league as suspension where a group of people are responsible for rigging and other equipment used. Joe’s response does nothing but skirt around the issues and try to dispel some of the blame. Break away rigging seems like a pretty stupid thing to be doing as does bouncing someone on a cherry picker who is only connected by questionable rigging put together by amateur and questionable practitioners. Did Joe ask himself if this was a safe way to suspend people? Does anybody think that this is a safe way to suspend people? The responses illustrate the lack of standards and totally make us look like we dont know what we are doing and dont care. So as it stands a quicklink failed on a guy with no fewer than 4 sets of rigging attached and he still hit the ground – explain to me how that happens…..

    regards jake

  16. #14 Aric:

    If its a random individual suspending, they should be offered basic standard suspension options, if anything a spinning beam,etc.

    What this is referring to is Suspension work as a performance based art form, which I find is slightly different. Personally I myself would never want to do a high distance (20-30 feet above ground) suspension and involving break-away rigging,etc….But that’s just my own personal view and comfort zone when performing.

    I, personally, would rather want to create a high energy event based on music, lighting, and strict choreography…Much like how the CoRE gang all pretty much do their theatrics as well as the other suspension groups who do it this way. Compared to the suspensions that focus on the viewers thoughts of: “OMG SOME CRAZY DUDE’S HANGIN FROM HOOKS! THAT’S SICK!!!!”

    But I definitely believe there is a HUGE difference from a typical person who enjoys suspension work, and those who enjoy it but utilize it in a theatrical/performance medium. And of course it should never be first timers, or people with minimal experience within suspensions, doing theatrical/performance work for crowds.

    However if this helps curb a little bit of oneupmanship among everyone and makes more people consciously aware of safety and how things should/need to be done,etc…It’d definitely make for some interesting times again.

  17. Joe – Who makes your quick links? I work in entertainment rigging, and there’s only one company that makes proof tested and rated quick links, and that’s Mallion Rapide, out of France. If you’re using quick links from the hardware store down the street, I’m not surprised one broke. We use them in performer flying frequently in place of shackles, because quick links want to slide back to a correctly loaded orientation. It’s easy to side load a shackle, but very difficult to side load a quick link.

    Also, did you really suspend all those folks from the basket of a JLG boom lift? That lift basket is rated for the weight of 2 people (something like 500 lbs, iirc), distributed across the floor of the basket. I’m shocked that you didn’t have lift issues.

    Lastly, did you consider shock loading? The book Entertainment Rigging by Harry Donovan has an excellent chapter on shock loading and safeties. If you’re going to keep rigging, I’d highly recommend picking it up.

  18. I wrote something as a comment to Ron’s article, and I still stand by it. That is (I should just requote what Allen said here) that not only performers, but also ANY POTENTIAL SUSPENDEE should be well informed on equipment that is being used, level of experience of the people facilitating the suspension, and what types of safety measures are in place. I think it is important that when something like this happens, we explore possibilities and use information like in Ron’s article (especially the inserts from Allen and Emrys) to help educate the public and possible future suspension enthusiasts. They won’t all be in good hands when they decide to suspend, so the best we can do is make sure they are educated.

    In making that statement I tried to not point blame directly and I even pointed out specifics about rigging mistakes I had made personally in the past. I didn’t want to add to the fervor and the negativity, but I wanted to help turn it around to as a means of education.

    I never once went to your page or focused on the specifics of your case because I wasn’t there and didn’t know what happened. And when I was talking a couple days later with Steve Joyner on the phone and he told me more about the background of your group and that you had done a similar suspension in July with them, etc… I felt even worse for you guys. I hope you never felt directly attacked by anything I said, but in the middle of so much harassment… I wouldn’t hold it against you if that is how you read it. This would be my apology if that is the case.

    I’m glad to hear you guys are starting to heal both physically and emotionally. And I hope in the future we all do communicate more openly. Not turn someone who is a part of our community (suspension, body modification) into a villain. Even if your level of experience was much less than it is, pointing fingers and laying blame doesn’t really help, I restate education is the key.

    While I know I wasn’t one of the people sending you hate mail or trying to talk poorly about your group, feel free to contact me directly at my email below….

    -Brett Perkins
    Ephemme Suspension Performance (ESP)
    [email protected]

  19. to “outside observer”…

    yes joe amato is the guy who did the eyelid piercing but if you had an ounce of integrity or were a tad more literate (i dont know which one caused this) you would have read the interview posted on BME about that procedure and seen that he assessed the risks pretty fucking thoroughly.

    to everyone whos STILL giving him shit..

    you know, i try to be as cordial as possible to people about this situation because im NOT associated with Skin Mechanics or Joe and i dont want to give him a bad name, but everyone needs to get over themselves and stop acting so holier-than-thou and treating him and the crew like a bunch of under-achieving school children. Part of me really wants to give you a big piece of my mind but i like to think im more reasonable than that.

    It may be hypocritical of me to say this but absolutely none of you are qualified to stand in judgement of another person whos made an innocent mistake. feel a little empathy and think about how you would react if the situation was reversed and YOU were in joes place. thats all im going to contribute to this.

  20. “but the harassment I’ve gotten from a community of people who are regularly subjected to prejudice, and therefore particularly wary of judgment, really surprised me.”

    I’ve never been into suspension, never tried it, dont know shit about it. But even I could see from that video that bouncing a fat guy around like that was going to end badly. However, the above statement from Joe is very true, and its really disappointing people were harrassing him like that.


    SECOND OF ALL HE SAID QUOTE “Jimmy was admitted to the ICU the day after surgery. Marrow from the broken bone had gotten into his blood, and caused a clot in his lungs. They dissolved the clot, and treated him for the marrow in his blood. [Ed. note: To clarify, in the accident, Jimmy only sustained a broken leg. His admission into ICU was from complications from the broken leg, not as a direct result of the fall itself.”



  22. I know very little about suspensions but I am a climber and was a climbing instructor and we never used any equipment that isn’t intended to do the job. Why couldn’t a proper locking biner be used? I will never understand the use of substandard equipment. This group sounds to be professionals and this kind of penny pinching should never be tolerated. The actions I saw in the video mainly the repeated bouncing on the line is something I would have thrown someone out of my class for. I know this is a new area and people are still learning but there are plenty of great climbing experts who could have rigged the site much better. You can have fun but that never includes preventable mistakes.


  23. Going to the limits…. is a risc, accidents can happen, material can be over-stressed – particularly when light, elegant material is beeing used, weight ans size reduction reduces also safety.
    It happens EVERYWHERE were show-acts are done. It happens sometimes during suspensions, it happens during stunts for movies, it happens during extreme sport stunts. When things are done for the public the topic is faster higher stronger – like in sports. More extreme, more close to the limits. And then things may go wrong.

    Taking risc includes paying for the risc.

    And @ silicun: In the moment you are not doing the sport for yourself, but for a show-stunt, all that list is exactly in the range od suspending. Because than many people are working together in praparing, designing the stunt, calculating the possibility etc. There are more things, that can fail, then the basic equipment of the bmx – rider during the stunt… And for all these OTHER things he needs to thrust the ability of the OTHER people in the team. The same for every other sport in the list.

    Do you really think a freestyle ski jumper only needs to look after his materiel? There are things done by others (preparation of the whole slope), and there he relies…. he needs to.

  24. to “ON LOOKER” #30
    there was in fact a suspension at the sms booth on sunday, the day following the incident,

  25. Wow, some of the replies here are outstandingly stupid.

    “who cares man!!! one thing goes wrong and the whole world freaks the fuck out!!! you have done this numerous times and the first sign of trouble everyone has something to say.”

    Riiight. A guy falls, breaks his leg, ends up in an ICU and has his life endangered in any number of ways, and the root cause is sheer carelessness and recklessness. And your response is “yah man people freak the fuck out because they think we’re freaky!” Come on, you’re not really that dumb, are you? That had to be a fake post. And not a very good one. No one is capable of sincerely saying that.

    “But a broken leg in Skiing, Snowboarding or any contact sport wouldn’t generate this much fuss.”

    Yeah man, that other stuff is dangerous too. I mean, so what we almost killed a guy. There’s killers out there killing people like every day dude! I mean we only ALMOST killed a guy, come on. I mean, that one dude got bitten by a shark surfing, but you persecute us?!? What a fascist.

    You’re joking, right?

    Oh, and to the author of the article: You nearly killed someone. You don’t get to gleefully write a masturbatory article with smug quips. It’s only after about 3 pages of text, in the conclusion, until you’re sorry about what actually happened. Ron Garza waxes poetic about how this “setback” has woken the community up, and a lot of eyes have been opened. Ask the guy in the ICU with a lung clot if he’s glad eyes are opened, or what he thinks about the state of your myspace, or if he feels like a minor setback. You all spend pages and pages talking vaguely about “the incident,” and don’t address the person lying in the hospital until your final paragraphs. If you want to know why people turned on you, go reread your writings.

  26. This is the first post I have ever written on this topic, mostly because most of those who matter to my life, already have my opinions on the accident. I am a former member and co-director of Skin Mechanics and I would just like to say that this subject is now officially being beaten to death.

    Everyone has an opinion, its a part of life. I would like to see more people who still continue to be “involved” in this discussion place your energy into some other more CONTSTRUCTIVE outlet. We’ve seen enough attack on the crews involved, particularly my former crew and best friend, however if you want to be a positive part of this discussion that is SO OLD at this point and I cant even understand why its still an issue – take all of that dramatic energy you have and put it towards finding a solution to safety issues that are currently being assessed.

    The article Ron wrote and the response from Joe hardly even properly explain the accident, and how sorry everyone involved was. And although i am no longer affiliated with Skin Mechanics, I will continue to support this crew and Joe Amato.

    And to those of you who pick apart the article (this guy above me) picking apart this article – like i said before – although you have Ron and Joe’s articles, you still do not have the entire story. The reason joe’s response focused so much on the accident and not on Jimmy was obviously because in the majority of the bashing that has happened, hardly anyone has cared about Jimbo’s condition. He addressed the issue that everyone wanted answers for.

    So much like the drama-seeking society we live in, hardly anyone was concerned with the well-being of our friend that fell. And the response took to long to go up because JIMMY WAS IN ICU. Do you think the main priority of anyone in SMS was to write a fucking blog at that point? Use your brain.

    And so true to this situation as it is to the rest of life, if you have turned against anyone in this, you werent worth having around in the first place and really dont offer anything positive to this discussion.

    BACK TO REAL LIFE NOW! Get off the internet :]

  27. “this discussion that is SO OLD at this point and I cant even understand why its still an issue”

    You’re right, that whole “near fatal negligence” thing is so five minutes ago. I mean it happened so long ago we should all just go ahead and forget about it now.

    “although you have Ron and Joe’s articles, you still do not have the entire story.”

    And we couldn’t possibly have a valid opinion on someone nearly dying because we don’t have the full story. In fact, you’ve got some sort of magical knowledge that makes it all OK. If only we knew it…

    “if you have turned against anyone in this, you werent worth having around in the first place”

    Yes, if you don’t support us going forward in our future negligent homicide endeavors, beat it! We didn’t need you anyway.

    This is the thread that keeps on giving.

  28. You know lurker, quoting out of context and sarcastically twisting the words around to suit your own perspective isn’t a particularly convincing way of arguing. In fact, it just makes you look like arrogant.

    Also, you seem to be missing the point of modblog. Modblog is a newsfeed for the online body modification community. That’s right, for the community. It is not a personal blog and that is why this entire discussion is about the bigger safety issues surrounding the accident rather than Jimmy himself. Jimmy’s health is his own business and shouldn’t be openly discussed with random strangers online on a public forum. Enough was told to get the objective message out of what happened and how Jimmy is doing.

    Obviously personal details do get on Modblog, but when they don’t that should be considered a good thing.

    But really, I don’t even know why I’m trying. You obviously cannot comprehend the existence of any opinion but your own.

  29. Joe~ I just wanna say that it takes one heck of a big person to admit mistakes made that turn out like this. My friend, my buddy, my bro, Troy, whom I have known for almost all of my 36 yrs of life recently had an incident occur at a suspension show a couple weeks ago, at a public Halloween event that takes place every weekend in October, on a farm near Cedar Rapids, IA. He has been doing suspensions for years now out of his tatoo/piercing shop in Marshalltown, IA, DELUSIONS. He trusts his equipment AND help enough to let them hang him up, too, time after time. He is gettin so much negativity as well for the incident. He is a great person, and would not set out to hurt ANYONE purposely or neglegently in ANY of his practices. He takes pride in his work, as he should. People need to understand that ACCIDENTS happen ALL THE TIME, and I am SURE an accident HAS happened in these people’s lives, as well. They don’t think about that, OR the fact that he has suspended people HUNDREDS of times- WITHOUT INCIDENCE! I hope things turn around for him, as they are for you now. I, for one, commend you for being forthright and taking responsibility that has fallen on you. I hope neither of you let it effect you goin for your dreams, and in fact, I hope the lessons taken from your situations encourage you to dream even bigger, and make it happen! Kudos to you!

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