In life there is a simple truth. We all die. What we do with the time that we have is important. When this mortal coil winds to an end, what is left?
How should one spend their days? For some it’s a pursuit to amass wealth and fortune. Others may seek experience and adventure. Should we quest for glory? Enlightenment? Discover the unknown? Who’s to say what is the right path in life? For me personally I feel that it is our legacy that holds real value. The people we influence and the lives we change gives meaning to it all. To be remembered and to make a difference is, in my humble opinion, the true measure of one’s existence.
Who was Shannon Larratt? I feel that there are better people to describe him and to tell his tales. I have no doubt that (e)books will be written and memoirs published on his behalf. Yes this blog is about the man, just not his personal life. Instead I want to focus on the community he helped to spawn.
Before Facebook, Myspace, and Friendster (does anyone even remember that one) Shannon created a little microcosm called Body Modification Ezine, better known as BMEzine or simply BME. As for his intentions of its creation, the story of its progression, and the future of the site; I will leave those topics for the historians to discuss. The reason for this blog is to focus on the impact.
What could have been a tiny spark or mere flash in the pan turned into a blazing fire that lit up the lives of people around the globe. Believe it or not my friends, less than two decades ago, body modification was more of an underground activity and for many quite taboo. Back then the World Wide Web was still in its infancy and online communication between the modded folks was generally done through Usenet groups. (Google it) It wasn’t until sites like BME appeared that the community was able to come together and communicate.
Was it a matter of right place at the right or pure genius? Who can say? Truly it was a perfect storm. With the rise of media exposure and the shift from print to digital images people all over the earth could suddenly share their experiences and discuss their passion through sites like BME. A community was born and it was a revolution. Shannon Larratt was truly a catalyst to a generation. In fact, I think Shannon said best in his final blog entry:
A friend told me once that my role was that of a “catalyst” — that I started fires inside people that helped them to change themselves (or become themselves) in positive way. I feel so lucky to have found myself in that position, and I want to offer my heartfelt thanks for everyone who made that possible. And I’d like to think that even though I was a big puzzle piece in body modification, that I was a smaller but still important puzzle piece in a larger movement of people from all sorts of different subcultures fighting for mutual support in a diverse patheon of self-expression and dream chasing.
Shannon you will be greatly missed by many. Thank you, not only for your unending support of the world of body modification and suspension, but in your constant efforts to uphold people’s rights and freedoms and instill confidence and happiness in those of us who are just a little different.