The Modern World is Going to Hell: A Continuing Series: The Pierced Vermin of the Apocalypse

The  second in my series of posts in which I give rants against trends that have developed in society since the days of my youth, the halcyon days of the seventies, when leisure suits and disco were sure signs that society was ready to be engulfed in a tide of ignorance, bad taste and general buffoonery.

We have started off the series with a look at seven developments that I view as intensely annoying and proof that many people lack the sense that God granted a goose.  I like to refer to these as  The Seven Hamsters of the Apocalypse, minor evils that collectively illustrate a society that has entered a slough of extreme stupidity.  Each of the Seven Hamsters will have a separate post.  We have already discussed here the Tattooed Vermin.  The  second of the Hamsters is the Pierced Vermin.

Piercing is something, outside of the traditional earrings worn by the wilier of the species, that has been a fairly recent plague upon our society.  Piercing has been popular in primitive   technologically-otherly-abled cultures, but self-mutilation for the sake of fashion is a post Sixties development in the US.  Like most truly bad ideas in this country it began in California.  The late Richard Simonton, better known to self-mutilation enthusiasts as Doug Malloy, advanced in 1975 to Jim Ward the money to start a business known as  Gauntlet which produced body piercing jewelry and in 1978, Mr. Ward opened the world’s first body piercing studio in, where else?, West Hollywood, California.  Body piercing rapidly became popular among some homosexuals, and the body piercing craze has its origin in that community.

The phrase “suffering for fashion” applies to all body piercing, but especially to tongue piercing, the means by which every meal becomes an opportunity for infection, teeth are chipped away and swollen tongues give a delightful slurred quality to speech even on the rare occasions when the proud owner of the pierced tongue is not drunk or stoned.

Needless to say, but of course I will say it anyway, piercing oneself is rarely a good idea unless tours of emergency rooms is ones’ hobby.

For those for whom tongue piercing is not quite avant garde enough, there is the charming disfiguration known as tongue splitting.  I think I’ll let the American Dental Association explain that particularly painful form of self mutilation:

Tongue splitting is considered by some to be a form of body art. The process literally splits a person’s tongue into two pieces, creating a “forked” appearance. Reports in the public press indicate that various primitive techniques are used by lay people for splitting tongues. For example, without anesthesia, a scalpel may be used followed by a cauterizing pen, or fishing line may be threaded through the pierced tongue and pulled forward, severing the anterior aspect. Individuals regularly pull the two tongue pieces apart to maintain the split so it does not “heal” back together. Once healed, additional surgery may be required to repair the “split” should the individual decide reversal is desired.

Many people desperately desire to stand out in modern society.  That in itself is not necessarily a wholly negative impulse if one stands out by being a good scholar, excelling in a sport, by showing moral or physical courage, engaging in charitable activities, awakening the conscience of the public to a great evil, etc.  However, ripping metal through one’s flesh merely gives a strong indication that the only thing outstanding about you is stupidity.  Body piercing does therefore have social utility as a handy idiot detector, or at least presenting a rebuttable presumption of idiocy as to those who appear in public as human pincushions. 

But perhaps I am being too harsh.  These poor folk are inflicting pain only on themselves.  True, the rest of us have to observe them, but we can always avert our eyes, as we do from ghastly carwrecks, or politicians pretending to be sincere.  No, they do not prevent us from not noticing them, as would be the case if they were yelling out obscenities.  That brings us to the Third Hamster of the Apocalypse, the F-Bomb Hamster.  However, the hour grows late, almost 9:30 PM, and it is time for my warm milk, a foot massage and then bed.  Until next time.


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  1. Probably very low on the list of evidence, more like a footnote, of the world going to Hell, but I’d add the replacement of the handshake with the “fist bump”.

  2. Even worse than tongue piercing, imho, is nose piercing. It always looks to me like silver snot.
    If I ever owned a business again I would never someone heavily tattooed nor pierced — though eventually I suppose they will also become a “protected class”.

  3. Picked up a birthday card for my eldest brother. He turned 62. On the front of the card two elderly men converse; “I’m getting a tattoo tomorrow for my birthday!” The friend looks over and asks; “What are you gonna get…a beautiful woman?”
    “Heck no, he replies, I’m getting my phone number and address tattooed on my arm!”

    I’m amazed and grossed out at the freak show happening in town and the burbs.
    Stranger yet many parents support their childs quest for individualism via self mutilation.

    Natural selection happening!

  4. Disclaimer – for Halloween (I am not the most Trad of Trad Catholics) I go to work as Howie Mandel. I have the same haircut (been bald for over 10 years) and wear hoop earrings. Mrs. Penguins Fan hates it, but I put up with her housekeeping, which ensures our house will never be featured on Better Homes and Gardens.

    Some observations, not intended to favor or disdain those who have posted their comments here:
    Abraham sent his son Isaac to find himself a bride. He chose Rebekah, to whom he gave a (gasp) nose ring! The Israelite women of those times wore them. It’s so commonplace anymore I rarely notice, even among married adult women. I can’t say it bothers me because it does not. My employer cannot prohibit nose studs because we employ a number of Indian women who wear them and in the name of political correctness, nothing is said about it.

    Nauseating beyond belief are eyebrow piercings, bellybutton piercings, lip piercings, cheek piercings and all other piercings in unmentionable places. Gross, disgusting, obnoxious and immature. Yuck.

  5. What makes my stomach turn over, really, is the sight of those big metal rings put in the ear lobe to make a big hole. It looks to alien, so un-human.
    It’s like people are glorying in ugliness.

  6. Judeo Christian development began it’s turn away from the accepted pracices of surrounding pagans about 3500 years ago:
    Leviticus 19:28 “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh … or tattoo any marks upon you.”
    But now many are reverting to paganism with tatoos and cuttings and metal embedded in flesh.
    Father. Anthony J. Brankin at – (Tradition Family and Property) – called the cult of ugliness the rage of Satan against God, and the spear point of the culture of death. The underlying message in celebrating ugliness is that there is no God….

  7. I am always amazed at the lake of forethought on those getting piercings or the “1st hamster” , this article reminded me of a comedian’s idea of what to do with the oral piercings in old age & mashed potatoes, “cool, grandma make more string” !!

  8. I am always highly entertained by people who gauge their ears (that’s what the big holes are called). I usually assume that’s how they transport empty hangers from their closet to the laundry room, since I am unable to divine any other purpose.

  9. Then there are those who tat and pierce and, when they catch sight of a less-than-awed-and-admiring glance, snarl, “What the *fbomb* are you lookin at?” All of the moron, with no sense of the oxy.

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