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The Unholy Sideshow

He hands a red staple gun — the kind you’d use to tack carpets down — to a guy in a bar — the kind of guy who might tack those carpets down — holding a dollar bill. The guy in the bar staples the dollar bill to his torso. The guy in the bar smiles, comes back with a five and staples it to his cheek.


In the Youtube video, you can see a man encourage a young boy to staple a dollar to the man's torso. Somehow this bother's me more than anything. 

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Jodi - to be honest I started

Jodi - to be honest I started to watch this and could not...mx

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I know, Mary. I couldn't

I know, Mary. I couldn't stand watching him and had to turn away. That's why I asked him if I could interview his mother, too. I couldn't imagine a mom being ok with what he was doing to his body, or allowing others to do to him. Just gave me the shivers. His mother was matter-of-fact about it, surprisingly. Although she didn't care for the staples. You can see at  the bottom of the post what she thought of it all. Mostly, she just loves her son, which you and I can both understand. Thank goodness our sons aren't into the sideshow thing. Fairly sure I wouldn't be ok with it.

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I couldn't watch either,

I couldn't watch either, Jodi. I did Google "The Unholy Sideshow" on my phone and briefly saw some "images" before chickening out.

I try to understand others in a nonjudgmental way, knowing that my experience and opinions of life aren't the gold standard, but I just can't wrap my head around something like that. It seems all about ego, violence, and atypical brain chemicals and nerve endings.

Good for you for having the chutzpah to interview his mother. I wonder if her answers might reflect her own lack of understanding of why he does it.

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To my previous comment I'd

To my previous comment I'd like to add (since the "Edit" feature on the comment is not visible) that the reason I think you had the best kind of "chutzpah" is because usually when we encounter something that disturbs us, we don't try to learn more about it.  We often walk away horrified, which, in some cases, can prevent us from learning more, and deepening our understanding of those who think differently than we do.

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Amy, the reply buttons aren't

Amy, the reply buttons aren't showing up, either. Go figure.

Anyway, the link above is my profile of the performer. He was actually a very sensitive, thoughtful man. Didn't seem to be about ego in any way more than any performing artist might be about ego. And it didn't seem to be about violence, at least not directed at anyone but himself. 

I imagine there has to be something about pain in there that I don't understand. That's for sure.

I enjoyed talking to his mother. It was interesting to get her take on what her son does. 

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Reply button is back. You

Reply button is back.

You are letting me borrow your eyes on this issue since I did not watch. But I find your assessment much more encouraging than my own.

Because what you described is a far cry from my initial vision of violence and pain in exchange for the adoration of others. And it fits in with my suspicion that humans share a more common set of feelings and motivations than it often appears.

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I think the motivation is

I think the motivation is often a need to connect. Sometimes we humans do strange things to connect to each other.