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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Self-Disfigurement -- "One Punk, Under God"

Recently the Sundance Channels have been pushing a new show to which I intend to give a wide berth. It stars Jay Bakker, the son of Jim and Tammy Bakker, the evangelists whose high-flying balloon suddenly suffered a disastrous puncture of disgrace some years ago. I think the show has to do with his desire to follow in his parents' footsteps in the religion scam by becoming a preacher.

The show has a great title, "One Punk, Under God," and Jay Bakker himself seems to be a decent enough fellow, but somewhere along the line he has lost something, and that is clearly shown by a ring that he wears thrust (I assume) through a hole in his lower lip. At first sight this makes him look as if he has just emerged from an exceptionally violent fist fight, and he's been left with a couple of his front teeth hanging out the left side of his mouth, and you wonder why he hasn't done something about it. But then you notice that there's no blood and that the "teeth" are actually a ring, probably gold, and that means that this this person is wearing this ring through his lip on purpose!

This guy should devote long minutes of his airtime in each episode to explaining what the ring through his lip means, for the benefit of the uninformed like me, but you know that most likely he never refers to it. Meanwhile other characters talk to him as if they don't notice anything different, though few of them are wearing rings through their lip or through an eyebrow or anywhere else that's noticeable.

I wonder if his fellow cast members have as much trouble looking at him as I do. He also has a big tattoo on the back of his neck.

In one of his bits the great comedian of the 1960's, the first of the "sick comics," Lenny Bruce told us that his grandmother threw a hissy fit when she saw that he had gotten a tattoo on his arm, because that meant that now he could never be buried in a Jewish cemetery. He answered that it was perfectly all right because they could cut off his arm and bury that in a gentile cemetery.

I take this to mean that the more devout Jews believe that you should leave this life as unmarked as your body was when you entered it. I'm not Jewish but I buy into that idea 100 percent. That marvelous mechanism that is given to all our souls at birth, the human body, so that our essences will have some means by which to get around for the next 100 years or less, is marred not embellished by disfigurements like tattoos, piercings, and other wackolatries, including body-building.

Just as it is one of my life ambitions never to experience a broken bone, so more and more it's looking as if I'm also standing a good chance of having had my carcass altered only by the years and by the several surgical scars that have been absolutely necessary.

A ring through a man's lip strikes me as being light-years less than necessary.


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