Archive for March, 2014

If Tattoos Could Talk: fangs, gangs, and the pangs of youth

March 28, 2014

Well done article! I always thought so!

thedenialfile

"k1f" Kirby Farrell “k1f” Kirby Farrell

Humans have been tattooing skin, filing teeth, and spiked with ornaments since prehistoric times: sometimes to stand out, sometimes to blend into a group. The 5000+ year old Ice Man (Oetzi) uncovered in the Alps has tattoos that may have telegraphed identity or magical thinking, or worked to relieve, physically or psychosomatically, his local aches and pains. Or all of these.

Today, tattoos have proliferated. While rationales can be as varied as the designs, all tattoos modify self-esteem as well as bodies. Like cosmetics, tattoos are prosthetic, since like an artificial limb they make up for something felt to be missing or inadequate. We’re always devising ways to enhance parts of our bodies, from diets and wigs to a Michael Jackson makeover. Once we’re self-aware, there’s really no such thing as a wholly “natural” body. We compete with others and ourselves to envision a more perfect us.

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Guns and “Mental Illness”

March 26, 2014

thedenialfile

"Normal Dan" Dan Liechty “Normal Dan” Dan Liechty

I think it may have started with Wayne LaPierre’s infamous press conference a week after Sandy Hook. In any case, we now here it as a common refrain of the no-holds-barred gun crowd – that the big problem is inadequate enforcement in keeping high-powered weapons out of the hands of the “mentally ill,” since obviously it is the “mentally ill” who perpetrate the mass killings of the type seen in Sandy Hook, Aurora, and dozens of other places around the country. In short, we ought all unite together to make sure no one with “mental illness” has easy access to these high powered weapons, but let them remain freely available for others.

In my view, even apart from the further stigmatization of mental illness this would entail, the policy itself is mind-bogglingly naive.

In the first place, “mental illness” is not a clearly definable condition. Other…

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