One of the most rewarding things about being part of a community like BME/IAM is making long term connections with people from all over the world. Having them be part of your life, watching them evolve and learn and grow…having them there to pick you up when you fall.

The people in this photo, for example. Håvve, Headmaster of Pain Solution… eight years ago last month he celebrated his birthday at our guesthouse in Mexico during BMEfest La Paz… five days ago he celebrated my birthday with us here in Philadelphia.

The little guy taking pictures? That’s the owner of Scylla Body Jewelry in Chicago, Micah.. a gentleman I’ve had more than a few adventures with.

And the young lady suspending. Shannon. I’ve known her for half a decade and have watched her grow into an amazing, confident woman who continues to surprise and impress me. Last weekend (Aug 2-4) she made the trip to ROP Campout in Massachusetts where she did a resurrection and suicide suspension.

The modifications we undergo are important, but they’re nothing without the people who make them special. Get active; go to events, meet and get to know people… you’ll end up leaving with a lot more than you expected!

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Stay Calm is coming soon!

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Hey folks;
Jen has been kind enough to post on our behalf about the upcoming STAY CALM: Celebrating the life of Shannon Larratt memorial here in Philadelphia, but since I’m going to be posting on ModBlog when the whim strikes (mostly history content. There’s no school like the Old School) I figured now would be as good a time as any to post my first post and what better subject than the event that’s coming up soon!

Here’s the basic rundown:
The Philadelphia area IAM community- known for the last 13 years as ‘the Weirdos’- were always one of the most active IAM groups and when our friend passed away, we decided to throw a small get together to say our respects and our goodbyes. We figured that we’d get around thirty of our old friends, kick back at a bar and tell some stories and raise our glasses.

It’s sort of grown beyond thirty people; to date there are slightly over 200 folks making the trek to Philly by car, bus and plane. The Stay Calm planners have arranged a full day of fun- a family friendly park visit on the morning of 27th April leading into a wild night at Philadelphia’s only Leather Bar (which is owned by IAM members) that’ll feature raffles, drinks (both virgin and alcoholic) and a whole lot of fun.

Once we saw how many people were coming, I reached out to our amazing friends and asked for goodies that we could raffle off- with 100% of the profits going directly to Ari Larratt. They responded generously.

Our sponsors include:
Jimmy Buddha/Diablo Organics
Bishop Organics
Scylla Body Designs & Corsetiere
Gorilla Glass
Luis Garcia @ No Ka Oi
Diabolik DVD
Bella Vendetta
Rites of Passage
A ‘glider heart’ implant + procedure by Brian Decker
Scarification by John Joyce, Efix Roy and Ryan Ouellette
Jewelry (multiple manufacturers) courtesy of John Joyce/Scarab
Original Painting by Twitch
Tattoo gift cards from Off the Map Tattoo
Glider Heart Pendant by Jeremy Smith
… and more!

We’ve also got an AMAZING 18×24 hand screened print (printed in Philadelphia by Awesome Dudes Printing) by legendary poster artist Johnny Thief (pictured above) for sale, and again- 100% of profits go directly into Ari Larratt’s savings account.

If you’ve never been to a BMEfest, Bowling with Weirdos, East Coast BBQ- the events that helped shaped the IAM community- we’d love it if you could make it out and see what all the fuss is about. If you haven’t been to one in years… now’s the best time to come back home.

We have a Facebook RSVP page here that has up to date information on room and ride shares, local Philly tourist information and more as well as our event specific Stay Calm blog.

Thanks for having me here on ModBlog, and I’ll be seeing you all real soon!

Branching out

I’m almost at a loss for words when it comes to this scarification piece by Misty Forsberg (IAM: Southtownbaby).  Just over two years ago she was making her first trial cuts as a scarification artist, and now she’s putting out incredible pieces like this.  Here at ModBlog we’ve continually supported Misty’s work, and we’ll continue to do so as she’s constantly proving to everyone that with a blade in her hand, she’s a force to be reckoned with.  To be honest, if I didn’t know it was Misty that did this scar I could have easily guessed it could have been done by John Joyce, Brian Decker, Ron Garza, Wayde Dunn, or any of the other incredibly talented scarification artists out there.

They call her mom

We’ve seen IAM:Theycallmeanna here on ModBlog before for her scars, tattoos, and also as a BMEGirl.  Today we’re seeing a different side to her in a tender moment with her daughter Lola.

In case you haven’t seen it before, BME has an entire gallery dedicated to photos like this.  Just modified people spending time with family and friends with no emphasis on any specific modification.  If you’ve got some time this afternoon, take a look around the BME Culture gallery, or even better, send in your own photos to [email protected]

Not just another brick

Here’s something you don’t see every day from IAM: Beju.  Now I’m pretty certain the bricks are painted on, but the weaving over the eye is definitely real.  There’s a lot going on here, with the collar, the bricks and the threading, giving this photo a sort of ominous vibe, touching on institutionalization as well as confinement and religion.  Overall, it’s just a fantastic photo.

Bad Boy Bill

Earlier today Shannon brought up the fact that BME has seen quite a few video game tattoos in its time.  Sure enough, I go to check the galleries today and look what turned up…

For IAM: gunsxofxsummer this tattoo by Andy Yoder of Ace of Spades in Asheville, NC, means a bit more than just a simple video game reference.

I like to speak on many levels at once. The obvious “bite me” message, the “bite the bullet” message attributed to general tattoo/pain experiences, and lastly, a reminder to myself to stop riding the fence and bite the bullet and go to one side or the other.

Operation: Hooks fer Christ

I’ve been sitting on these photos for a while, just waiting for the go-ahead from Kcir to post them, and that day is today! What you’re seeing is Kcir and a friend doing a pull on the lawn of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church.  To those of you not familiar with the church, they’re a family of lawyers that run their own church.  They’ve made a name for themselves by protesting the funerals of men and women who have lost their lives on duty in the military, by holding up offensive and extremely homophobic signs.  Basically they’re a sick bunch of attention seekers that are trying as hard as they can to piss off everybody.

Well, Kcir and his friends decided to have a little fun at their expense by doing this pull on the lawn of the church, and ending it with a sloppy wet kiss.  It’s important to note that they aren’t doing this to protest any religion, but rather the actions of a bunch of sick and twisted individuals.  Here’s a bit of what Kcir had to say about his motivations:

i have big beef with these guys for exactly what we’re going to keep them from doing. protesting soldier’s funerals. most of their other targets can fight back. i have a lot of dead soldiers in my family. almost every member of my dad’s side of the family up to me has been a soldier. they’ve fought and bled for this country and now i feel i should step up for them since they can’t. i don’t agree with the wars, the armies, any of it. but i love the troops who fight with my safety in mind. every one of them that falls is one less person willing to give up their life for us. i owe the same peace of mind i enjoy to the families those soldiers live behind.

Kcir and his team have more planned for the coming weeks, however due to the nature of their activities I won’t be announcing those plans just yet.  It’s not that they’ll be doing anything illegal, but secrecy is key.  Just know that when it does happen, ModBlog will be here to bring you all the glorious details.

That’s Kcir on the left, and the sign he’s holding says “Hookin’ fer Christ“.