Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Mon, Jul 19 2004

Company Branding, And Now, People Branding?

I had no idea that skin decorations were such a big thing among San Diego law enforcement officers. I also had no idea that people were subjecting themselves to more than the fine needle of a tattoo gun, or a little paintbrush dabbed with henna. Apparently, this sort of thing has been very popular in early earth history, especially with people who tend to have darker skin tones. And it's been making a comeback in certain circles.

After I read the above article, I thought it was time to educate myself, so I went and read this Scarification FAQ. I see there is something called laser branding, which the FAQ briefly compares to using an arc welder. An arc welder? On purpose? Ouch!

Write Lightning's go-along theme is the Old West, and I know all about branding, but I always thought of it as something used for ranch animal identification. I suppose this sort of thing in humans might be a way to declare one's identity or announce being a slave to someone else's interests. I think I might opt to do that with jewelry, because I could swap bracelets whenever allegiances changed.

I'm used to seeing people point to one scar after another and spin a tale of this or that mishap that led to the unfortunate mark. Sometimes a person who has been through many surgeries will sit and chronicle their complete life history for you, by pointing to one surgical scar after another, describing the ailments that led to the various incisions. I'm even recalling religious references to what is probably the most famous scarring of all--that of Jesus.

I suppose I'm just used to a scar being a mark that means a person has overcome some sort of trauma, accident or abuse, and lived to tell the tale. I never heard of a scar itself being the point of the whole thing. It wouldn't bother me if a cop came to the door with a tattoo showing. I will be honest and say that I'd look twice if he or she was sporting a decorative scar. But at least now I've been educated enough so that I'll know that they didn't get slugged with the decorative end of a wrought iron fencepost.

posted at: 10:27 | category: /Health and Fitness | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!