One Year.

For many of you reading this post you know what today is already.

One year ago today a friend, father, visionary, profound human being, and founder of BME Shannon Larratt passed away. Writing this one year later the idea of Shannon’s passing hasn’t fully set in for me or many of the people who were lucky enough to know him. It is hard not to say what has already been said about a man that changed so many lives. Many people, myself included, never got the opportunity to have a personal relationship with Shannon for one reason or another, however he was someone who impacted my life more than he could have ever known.  All over my social media today it is apparent how profoundly loved and appreciated he is.

I will keep this post short and sweet as it is a tough day for many folks. I will however make a motion to spend today thinking about how Shannon and BME have impacted your life. Whether it be directly or indirectly, where would you be without Shannon or BME? Today should be a day of appreciation and memories, I encourage all of you who read this in passing to share in the comments a bit about the effect he had on you. 

We have all probably read and re-read Shannon’s final post on his Zentastic blog, I leave you with a very small excerpt.

“As much as these last years have been the most difficult I can imagine, and there are still many deeds to be done, please know that I have had a wonderful adventure and enjoyed it immensely on the whole.”

While that isn’t the most striking part of his entire entry, the words “There are still many deeds to be done.” strike me as particularly important. What Shannon started didn’t leave with him. We are all still here continuing his fantastic legacy and building off the foundation he has given us. I never in a million years thought I would have the opportunity to carry the torch for ModBlog and carry the legacy of BME onwards. I am eternally grateful and  I wholeheartedly say thank you Shannon, and thank you to everyone who continues to make BME what it is today.

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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?

 

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“Don’t call it a comeback. I’ve been here for years.”

I am pleased to announce that I will be coming back to Modblog as a full time contributor in the very near future.

I was motivated to do so by the recent Stay Calm event in Philly. That weekend truly renewed my passion for this community and, apparently, I was not alone in that feeling. Since then, I have seen a huge resurgence of BME events and interest. There have been talks of a big BME Fest reunion, several smaller events have already been planned, Shawn Porter has started writing for Modblog again and overall this community of ours has really started to come back together. We are no longer purely reminiscing over the good old days, we are beginning to move forward as well.

DSCN0063Me and the infamous Todd Bertrang at Stay Calm.

Shannon’s death was felt by our entire community a community which he, moreso than anyone else, brought together. In honor of our fallen friend I say we do our best to keep this site of his, and the community which it spawned, going well into the future. So please submit images, stories and videos to  submissions@bme.com. Or, if you prefer, you can submit stuff directly to Modblog on the Facebook fan page I created by tagging it as the Modblog page, posting to the page’s wall, messaging me through that account or emailing me at Sean@BMEzine.com.

Keep on keeping on, my friends.

SPC: ModCon One (1999)

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How do you write an article about an event so private, so secretive, that it’s guests were made to sign nondisclosure agreements? Easy. Just be one of the ones who didn’t sign. Over the last fourteen years, the ModCon events have been shrouded in mystery. Fight Club jokes aplenty- the first rule of Modcon is that you don’t talk about ModCon and so on.

But today, we’re going to do just that. In a continuing series of articles on my life in the modern Body Modification community I’ve decided to shed a little light on ModCon; where the idea first came from, the 1998 event that never happened and more.

Obviously there will be a lot left out for the sake of discretion (as well as keeping some of the mystery) but if you’re a geek for this sort of thing…  read on. Continue reading

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
Maya
Anatometal
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!