Showing posts with label tattoos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tattoos. Show all posts

Monday, October 20, 2014

Don't Feed the Animals

The newest post at Depressed Feminist makes me wish I could address all those people who are reacting angrily to Matt Forney's newest "click bait," a post in which he declares tattooed and pierced women to be, essentially, broken slags. No, I haven't read it myself and I'm not going to link to it here. Enough is enough! It's time to stop feeding this particular troll who makes his living (well, some kind of a living) generating "viral hits." 

We all need to consider that every time we link to Matt Forney or Return of Kings, we are putting a penny in their hate-filled coffers; we are financially supporting their own pathology.

Whatever one says about Forney (and I myself have obviously said entirely too much, to my own detriment), the kid is an indefatigable outrage machine. Every time he comes up with a new population to insult, their anger precipitates a volley of tweets and links to his monetized site. One of his admirers (and he does have some) once observed that Forney is a genius at "amygdala hijacking," and truer words were never tweeted.  

Matt Forney will post anything -- anything -- to generate publicity for himself. It doesn't have to be true. It doesn't have to be something even he, in his twisted amoral mind, believes to be true. It's all about "bringing down servers" with an avalanche of furious attention. For reasons only a psychiatrist could fathom, Forney is a young man who has elected to devote his considerable gifts to generating negative attention by lashing out at... well, pretty much everybody... in a desperate, relentless validation of his own importance. He will not only doxx and smear his critics, he will similarly treat his own (former) friends.

The best way to "fight" the Matt Forneys of the internet is to block them on twitter and only link to their posts through It's time to stop feeding these kinds of trolls. For his own well-being, Forney needs to be put on a diet of severely reduced attention. 

Really, it's for his own good.

And on that note... I've been listening to Lucinda Williams' new album:

Friday, May 3, 2013

Erasing Hate

A few months ago, I decided to have my tattoo removed.  It is on my forearm, so it's quite visible during the warmer months, and I was tired of dealing with other people's reactions to it.  When I had it done, almost thirty years ago, it seemed a beautiful and daring form of self-expression, and I enjoyed the attention it got.  Now I am older, in many ways a different persona person who no longer wants to wear her heart, literally, on her sleeve.

I underwent three laser sessions at a total cost of nearly $1000.  Laser treatment is so excruciating that I cracked a molar gritting my teeth.  The only mercy is that it doesn't take long.  Unfortunately, although the outline faded a bit, the image didn't budge.  The doctor told me I was wasting my money to continueBecause the ink had probably been adulterated with silicone, it was impervious to the laser.  I was disappointed, but not surprised.  In truth, I was relieved that I didn't have to undergo the pain or expense anymore. So me and my tattoowe're pretty much stuck with each other, at least until the technology advances.

That's partly why "Erasing Hate," which depicts a former skinhead's odyssey back into Society, moved me on a visceral level.  When Bryan Widner is offered a chance to have his racist facial, neck and hand tattoos removed courtesy of the SPLC, he undergoes eighteen months of literal torture.  (Although he is under general anesthesia for each session, it is still an extremely painful process.) 

The transformation is jaw-dropping, as Widner goes from menacing freak to an ordinarily handsome man. 

The long, slow process: Byron Widner was determined to erase the traces of his skinhead past by removing all of the facial tattoos that he had accumulated

What the documentary fails to explain is exactly why Widner, once known as "The Pitbull" of the Vinlanders Social Club, decided to let go of his racist identity.  He credits his new responsibilities and joys as a husband and father.  His wife, a former white nationalist herself, suggests the couple became disillusioned by the violent misogyny of the white supremacist subculture.  The family is shown attending a Baptist church, but there doesn't seem to have been any one great spiritual epiphany.

I am left with the impression that the Widners just got tired of pretending that they believed in something they no longer believed in.  Like many of us, they got smarter as they got older, and were hungry to live with greater integrity, and in greater harmony with the rest of their species.

Hate takes a lot out of a person without much return.

It's understandable that estranged adolescents will be attracted to hate groups, cults, and radical political activism, which seem to offer all the answers and solutions to Why Life Sucks.  What I would like to know more about is how former members like the Widners manage to walk away.  That question is not really explored in any satisfying depth in "Erasing Hate," but the story of one family's "redemption" makes this the ultimate "feel good" movie.