Dying In The Name Of Self-Expression





"I am convinced that the only people worthy of consideration in this world are the unusual ones. For the common folk are like the leaves of a tree, and live and die unnoticed." -- The Scarecrow from the Land of the Oz by l.frank baum

Usually, I like to voice opinions in my editorial about something directly involving body modification, but this time I shall stray from that routine slightly. I want to talk about something that involves the body mod community, mainly on the receiving end, but also includes the rest of the world.

The inspiration for this editorial came from a recent post on the Modified Mind BBS concerning Brian Deneke, a young man from Amarillo, Texas who was run down and killed. The driver of the car that ran him down was tried, but only received manslaughter due to his defense portraying Brian as a drunk, bullying kid.

They based this entirely on his appearance...he preferred dressing as a punk, mohawk and everything else. He ended up dying for being different and his killer ended up getting off easy because the defense lawyers played off of the judging of people by appearance only.

I don't know exactly how to say what I want to get across, I just feel that society has come to be too appearance based. Who's to say you, the reader, or myself might be next. There's always something that might not be popular, and to go against popularity seems to be justification for a death sentence.

Too many people complain about major outbursts of violence, such as Columbine, in the same way. They try to blame it on a group that doesn't fit in...my question is, if you were pushed and shoved around all the time, would you not eventually shove back? Not to say that the shooters in Columbine were right, but maybe that's where "fitting in" is leading the ones who get left behind these days.

Society needs to learn to be accepting...if they try to kill off anything different, or push it away, it might only come back stronger, gaining momentum, and push back. The pushing back is what makes things happen, including history...if everyone always conformed, nothing would ever change. I spend much time thinking about when people who preach for love and peace and acceptance will actually practice what they preach to the fullest.

Brian should not have died for being different, difference is what makes this world keep living, and with Brian gone, so is some of my hope...

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