Monday, July 21, 2003

In his Shattered Buddha blog, Dragonleg links to this Miami Herald piece about Nip/Tuck, a new show on FX, about "murder by liposuction, backward buttock implants, collapsed boob jobs, teenage three-ways, Botox torture, twin three-ways, self-circumcision, man-eating gators[,] and cockfights." (Aside to Dragonleg: FX equals Fox equals Murdoch almost equals Clear Channel, your favorites!)

But my favorite quotation in the story is this, by the creator of the show, about something he did while "LA Bureau Chief" for the Herald:
I made an undercover appointment with a Beverly Hills surgeon -- I planned a really snarky story, I was really going to tee off on this. So I go in to talk to the surgeon. And within 10 minutes, he convinced me I needed five operations. I left there so shaken, I thought something was really wrong with me. I never wrote the story, but eventually I really began thinking about how people seek external solutions to internal problems, their feelings about themselves.
Now this is some serious shit to be sneaking into a newspaper publicity piece about a teevee show.

I mean, what if we could change our minds the way we change our apperances? For looks a tattoo, bleached hair, or plastic surgery goes a long ways, but excepting electroshock (which is largely temporary anyway), the frontal lobotomy, and LSD burnout, there are few short-time ways to exert long-time change in our minds/hearts. (Okay, there's always the option of snuffing it, but I'm not talking about a change to zero mental activity.)

Instead, we're left with long-term projects to change our own minds, kind of along the lines of changing one's diet for one's physical heart. Some properly involve chemical assistance -- anti-depressants and the like, good old fashioned alcohol and drug use (and abuse) -- while others are behavioral: involvement in new activities, living differently, operant conditioning, psychotherapy and the various counsellings that followed psychotherapy, maybe meditation or prayer.

I have this fantasy about some future time: the mental tattoo. You go into the tattoo parlor, somebody does some rewiring in your brain, and a different you comes out. Just like getting an apperance tattoo, but for the mind/heart. For now, the only way to those kinds of changes seems to be long years of consistent effort, and even that has no guarantees except recurring setbacks and challenges.