what are you trying to prove?

Liz is over there writing about a dead deer, I was just dissapointed by Transporter Two, which is like A-Team without the gold jewelry and cigars and witty reparte, and you're wondering what the two things have in common.

The film was disappointing because no one got axed on-screen with surround sound death-cries and a spray of blood. The dead deer was disappointing because deer are beautiful and fine, like an enlightened human might aspire to be, and we hate to think how they are just blood and guts inside, like that enlightened human is.

I wonder, though, how much do we truly hate it?

I got to thinking about how we retain our tribal inclinations which make us human. Rituals prove our worth and health and courage, and they so often involve blood. We watch football and lacrosse and violent films. Our methods of ritual scarring may be sterilized, but not enough to remove the brutal message: tattooes, piercings, forked tongues, even cutting, and we do it all with remnants of ash on our superstitious foreheads... We've not come so far out of the bush as we like to think.

These rituals are so common and so physical that it proves that we can't and don't try to escape our feral ways; we are, first and foremost, animals. We are mere rodents, in fact, scraping out lives on the surface of this planet on which all things trembled together to create life. All the rest are just details, and they probably don't amount to much.

Not that any of this is really a problem. It's a natural instinct to prove our worth in some customary fashion. I thought about my own piercings and why I did it and I suppose I just wanted to seem brave enough to face the needle--which I suppose might stand in for a sword or knife--albeit a tooth-pick sized one.

I would like to get a tattoo, only I'm still too skeered. Now it's occurred that the tribal way is to face my fears with duality. I should stare down the permanence of a personal message about my courage. A cruel smile should curve my lips when I am faced with potential pain and rejection and disapproval and remorse. In that case my tattoo should be a spider, because I'm still terrified of them, as well, much more than I am of tattoos.

Tattoos are cool. Earrings are cool. But they are about more than setting oneself apart. These inflictions are more an indication of how far we are willing to go--what we will sacrifice. I will sit through a violent movie without so much as a flinch or a dent to my psyche. Punch a few captives through my ears to represent a long-forgotten need to prove that pain will not stop me. My hackles are permanently raised, my expression is tightened in a growl. I will fight.

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