RIP glider March 15, 2013 7:27 PM   Subscribe

Metafilter's own Shannon Larratt has passed away.

My condolences to Shannon's friends and family. BME was very helpful to me when I was young, and I was always proud to call him part of the metafilter family.

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posted by PhoBWanKenobi to MetaFilter-Related at 7:27 PM (126 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

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posted by c'mon sea legs at 7:30 PM on March 15, 2013


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posted by lazaruslong at 7:32 PM on March 15, 2013


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posted by Catchfire at 7:34 PM on March 15, 2013


fuck.


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posted by DoubleLune at 7:42 PM on March 15, 2013


I just started reading his book Meet Tommy. I only know Shannon through his writing, but he always struck me as someone who actively tried to make the most of every second he had on this earth.
posted by muddgirl at 7:42 PM on March 15, 2013


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posted by smirkette at 7:46 PM on March 15, 2013


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posted by Rumple at 7:51 PM on March 15, 2013


Fuck. He was only 39.

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posted by homunculus at 7:55 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Doing a little Googling it became apparent to me that he had written a post for his blog in the event of his death, which was posted, and then deleted. My immediate impulse in such a situation is always an intense desire to reveal the hidden. I apologize in advance if that impulse is inappropriate in this instance, but I thought it was quite a nice post.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:58 PM on March 15, 2013 [35 favorites]


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posted by Brody's chum at 7:59 PM on March 15, 2013


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posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:08 PM on March 15, 2013


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posted by sonika at 8:12 PM on March 15, 2013


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posted by Kinbote at 8:32 PM on March 15, 2013


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posted by Sokka shot first at 8:38 PM on March 15, 2013


I first stumbled onto BME back in college around 1996. At a time when people were just starting to figure out what the internet was really about and what it meant to share personal information on it, here was this site full of people sharing very intimate details about themselves and their bodies. It was truly mesmerizing. Yeah, part of the fascination was the whole "you have a what in your what now?!?" factor, but that soon wore off and reading the site and viewing the pictures became more about this window into the lives of some very non-traditional lifestyles, something that you probably would not have really known much about at all without the internet. In 2013 that sounds trite, but it was very ground breaking and eye opening in 1996. I had been part of many net communities prior to that through BBSes and such, and so the idea that there were outlets for like minded people of a particular subculture to band together was not new, but having it be a multimedia experience was and set it apart into its own novelty.

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posted by Rhomboid at 8:39 PM on March 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Damn, that last post linked by Horace Rumpole is a real tear inducer. And I never cry about anything.

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posted by COD at 8:41 PM on March 15, 2013


oh, such a loss.

comfort, strength, and love to those who love him, especially his daughter.

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posted by batmonkey at 8:41 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


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Deepest condolences to those who knew him.
posted by goshling at 8:49 PM on March 15, 2013


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posted by XMLicious at 8:49 PM on March 15, 2013


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posted by gingerbeer at 8:53 PM on March 15, 2013


Would this be appropriate for a FPP on the blue? It seems to me it might be.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:00 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by en forme de poire at 9:01 PM on March 15, 2013


Thank you so much for linking to the last post, it was beautiful.
posted by odinsdream at 9:01 PM on March 15, 2013


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posted by Curious Artificer at 9:05 PM on March 15, 2013


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posted by yellowbinder at 9:10 PM on March 15, 2013


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posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:11 PM on March 15, 2013


Would this be appropriate for a FPP on the blue? It seems to me it might be.

Not right now, no.

Shannon was a friend of friends of mine and I had just heard about this a few hours ago. I am so sorry to his family and people who cared about him. BME was also really important to me back in the early days and I was happy to get to know glider a bit here on MetaFilter.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:13 PM on March 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


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A well put together FPP is probably several days off, at least until there is something more to be said. What an incredible loss.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:14 PM on March 15, 2013


For his sake, I'm relieved he's out of pain and hope he has found peace. I hope his family will be okay. :(

You know, back when his daughter was born Shannon was something of an anti-vaxxer. He didn't vaccinate his daughter early on out of fear. But over the years, as anti-vaccination theories were thoroughly debunked by science, he researched the issue and changed his mind. He wrote this reflective, thoughtful post in 2010. I used to follow and enjoy BME, but of everything he's written and done that mindful, loving and poignant little post stands out in my mind as typical of him for some reason. And it's nice to see pictures of him with his family.

Horace, thank you so very, very much for posting that goodbye post, too.

May his memory be for a blessing. Shannon, you will be deeply missed.

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posted by zarq at 9:29 PM on March 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


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posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:34 PM on March 15, 2013


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posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:50 PM on March 15, 2013


His profile page has an incorrect d. on it - 15 May 2013.
posted by boo_radley at 9:52 PM on March 15, 2013


It's a Friday night. The mods are drunk, too.
posted by DoubleLune at 9:54 PM on March 15, 2013


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posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:01 PM on March 15, 2013


Oh, this is terrible news. I read BME from the beginning, I guess everyone felt like they knew Shannon.

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posted by desuetude at 10:03 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by Lyn Never at 10:17 PM on March 15, 2013


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posted by chococat at 10:40 PM on March 15, 2013


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posted by mannequito at 10:54 PM on March 15, 2013


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posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:08 PM on March 15, 2013


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posted by Lynsey at 11:43 PM on March 15, 2013


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posted by DreamerFi at 11:48 PM on March 15, 2013


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posted by ericb at 11:54 PM on March 15, 2013


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posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:03 AM on March 16, 2013


Sad news. His life certainly touched a lot of people.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:18 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by gomichild at 12:20 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by immlass at 1:59 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by pearlybob at 3:25 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by BibiRose at 3:28 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by Majorita at 5:41 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:44 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by leslies at 5:47 AM on March 16, 2013


His life was not in any way part of my life but through Metafilter he touched my life. RIP glider, you have definitely made a difference. Also, thank you Horace Rumpole for linking that, it was very touching.
posted by unliteral at 5:58 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by Toekneesan at 6:10 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by Smart Dalek at 6:13 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by harriet vane at 6:43 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by Defying Gravity at 7:09 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by vrakatar at 7:55 AM on March 16, 2013


[A few comments deleted. It should go without saying, but comment trawling a person in their obit thread--going through their old comments looking for bad stuff they may have said--is not okay.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:56 AM on March 16, 2013 [18 favorites]


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posted by hydropsyche at 8:01 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by yeoz at 8:07 AM on March 16, 2013


The post I linked to in cached form above is back on the blog now.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:36 AM on March 16, 2013


So sad. I used to read Caitlin's blog and I knew how much she loved Shannon and his daughter.
posted by 41swans at 9:08 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by introp at 9:21 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by box at 9:28 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by Fig at 9:30 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by Mitheral at 9:33 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by shiu mai baby at 9:38 AM on March 16, 2013


I didn't really know Shannon at all, but I recall his comments in the Dennis Avner (Stalking Cat) thread as being really insightful and really personalizing a person who was really only a freak on the TV until then.

Shannon seemed like a pretty hoopy frood, and I'm sorry that he's gone. I hope he has found his peace - I believe he's earned it.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:08 AM on March 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


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posted by clockbound at 10:27 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by bibliogrrl at 10:31 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by scody at 10:33 AM on March 16, 2013


His final blog post - intended to be released after his death - is so sad. He suffered so much in recent years - and to leave this world at 39 when you have a child, well that is too sad. What a burden he carried. And it's a reminder - when we interact with other mefites, we usually never know the burdens they may bring to the table. Just another reason whey everyone deserves a hug.

Rest in peace, glider. As per your post request, I will make a donation to a fund for your beloved daughter.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:34 AM on March 16, 2013 [12 favorites]


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posted by jabo at 10:40 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by kimberussell at 10:44 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by peagood at 10:54 AM on March 16, 2013


Aw, hell. I knew Shannon slightly from rec.arts.bodyart, but we hadn't interacted in years. Very sorry to hear he was dealing with such serious health issues and that he's gone.

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posted by Lexica at 10:59 AM on March 16, 2013


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posted by xingcat at 11:56 AM on March 16, 2013


Oh, what a shame.

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posted by rmd1023 at 12:18 PM on March 16, 2013


So very sad that he is gone. Shannon's calm, insightful, and well-reasoned writing on body modification, particularly the extreme end of things, were instrumental in shaping my worldview. My own mods are very minimal, but by learning about the whys and hows of all kinds of things people do to their bodies, he helped me to find even more beauty in every person--which sounds sappy, but is true! He taught us all more about each other than we ever would have known, I think. Thank you so much, Shannon.
posted by Fui Non Sum at 12:23 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


For people who are interested in the more extreme body modification culture, Shannon's book Meet Tommy is a pretty great exploration of why people do the things that they do. Not for the squeamish, the interviews he gets with all types of folks, some of whom have been the subject of their own MeFi post, are really eye-opening for someone who is mostly on the outside looking in to this culture.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:55 PM on March 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Too young, too young. Strength and blessings to his family.

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posted by MissySedai at 1:12 PM on March 16, 2013


Here's a memorial from Shawn Porter.
posted by box at 1:37 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Be careful, I went from Jessamyn's link "Meet Tommy" to the link in the last comment on that page...definitely not for the squeamish. Also always sorry to hear of someone passing too soon.
posted by bquarters at 1:51 PM on March 16, 2013


Someone has posted his suicide note online.
posted by four panels at 2:22 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Uh -- I don't think we know that that is a suicide note. It was written, as it says, over months, with the intention that it be posted when he did, in fact, die, which he knew he was going to do due to his illness.

It's been linked to twice in this thread already without any mention of suicide.

I don't know how he died, but I don't think it behooves us to jump to conclusions. He was obviously very ill. And if you have information that the rest of us don't, please consider if it is meant to be shared.
posted by tzikeh at 2:50 PM on March 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


Someone has posted his suicide note online.

That's his own blog, that link has appeared many times above in this thread. Nowhere is it described as a suicide note.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:56 PM on March 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Safe journey.
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:06 PM on March 16, 2013


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posted by theora55 at 3:11 PM on March 16, 2013


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Peace to his family, especially to his wife and daughter.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:25 PM on March 16, 2013


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posted by ColdChef at 4:44 PM on March 16, 2013


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posted by nenequesadilla at 6:02 PM on March 16, 2013


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posted by motty at 6:08 PM on March 16, 2013


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posted by Flitcraft at 6:23 PM on March 16, 2013


The world of body modification always seemed a bit over the edge from when I first encountered some of my friends dabbling in it back in the '90s, at least until I heard about Shannon Larratt. Even though I was never a direct participant in BM, discovering some years later that he was on Metafilter was something of a vicarious thrill for me - of course he became a lightning rod. He was a true pioneer who tirelessly sought to shine a bright light on body modification in order to educate the public and encourage safe and legal practice. He did not back down and alter his message in the face of hostility and ignorance, and to an outsider his efforts might appear quixotic or dangerously misguided, but anyone who looked beneath the surface could see that he was self-reflective, brutally honest and thoughtful; his motivations went deeper. The fact that he changed his mind on the anti-vax stuff illustrates that he was above all a truth-seeker rather than a single-minded crusader. That's rare.

I had not followed BME lately nor heard about his degenerative disease until now; I'm sorry he had to endure such pain for so long. It's a hard way to go, and far too soon. But in the time he had he made the world a safer and healthier place for everyone involved in body modification, which literally saved people's lives. We need more pioneers like him.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:13 PM on March 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


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posted by dragoon at 8:49 PM on March 16, 2013


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posted by safetyfork at 5:59 AM on March 17, 2013


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posted by Chichibio at 7:05 AM on March 17, 2013


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posted by blurker at 2:24 PM on March 17, 2013


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Far too young.
posted by sarcasticah at 6:17 PM on March 17, 2013


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posted by arcticseal at 7:01 PM on March 17, 2013


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posted by Nickel Pickle at 7:03 PM on March 17, 2013


I found BME in the late '90s and through it, and subsequently the IAM social network that Shannon created, met some of the most important people in my life. I don't think I would have met my husband if it weren't for BME. I only met Shannon a few times, but we talked online fairly regularly while IAM was very active. I feel terrible for his daughter, family, and friends.
posted by bedhead at 8:17 PM on March 17, 2013


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posted by dreamyshade at 12:15 AM on March 18, 2013


I first "met" Shannon on rec.arts.bodyart in the early/mid 90s. Although I didn't always agree with his opinions, the knowledge he shared on usenet and BME was immensely helpful to me and many, many others. Through BME and IAM he created a welcoming community in which people could explore, learn, and share their mods -- from mild to extreme -- and contributed to the acceptance (and hence social & physical safety) of piercings, tattoos, &c. Like a well cared-for mod, Shannon's life & work leaves a irreversible, unfading, and beautiful mark on the community. My deepest sympathies to those close to him.

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posted by Westringia F. at 2:51 AM on March 18, 2013


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posted by fiercecupcake at 5:12 AM on March 18, 2013


I joined IAM at 16, my first online social network. It was a unique space to experiment, it empowered me to take control of my body in new ways and to shape the foundations of my adult identity. The piercings and tattoos are still there, but even more lasting are the changes to my psyche that came from reading Shannon's writings and moving in the world he created.

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posted by Freyja at 10:00 AM on March 18, 2013


While I read his last post twice, it's dense enough to miss things. Does he specify what is diagnosis was ? Osteoarthritis, or something else ? The degenerative, calcium replacing healthy tissue and lots of pain, points to that.
posted by k5.user at 10:46 AM on March 18, 2013


His blog posts from Sept 24 and Dec 23 (caution: icky extracted tooth photos) might answer some of your questions, k5.user.
posted by Westringia F. at 11:07 AM on March 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


What a deeply moving, elegant, compassionate, wise and totally interesting exit statement his last blog post is. I don't think I've read anything remotely as amazing as that in a very long time and feel very inspired by his perspective on life and people, his honesty. The world is more wonderful that he was born and lived. I'm sorry he died so young and that he lived in such terrible pain for so long.

The things he wrote on his blog are an exceptional legacy of sharing himself as a person with his daughter, certainly more than many fathers leave for their child. My condolences to her, to his wife and his friends.

Wishing him a marvelous, wonderful cosmic resonance.
posted by nickyskye at 11:34 AM on March 18, 2013


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posted by xcasex at 3:57 AM on March 19, 2013


Well, I never knew him outside MetaFilter, but from reading his stuff and his posts here he seemed to be an easy guy to know and like.

Wow, I hate jumping on the bandwagon, but nothing much else I can say.

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(Oh, and hugs to anyone that needs them.)
posted by Samizdata at 5:56 AM on March 19, 2013


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posted by oneironaut at 7:03 AM on March 19, 2013


From one of his posts on the ManWoman obit thread: "I could very much relate to the situation he found himself in, deciding to pull the plug in the face of a debilitating no cure disease that left him little option for a decent life from here on."

Many condolences to his family and friends who had to bear his suffering with him, and now have to bear living without an obviously vibrant, singular human. Also, his chest and arm tattoos are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen.
posted by oneironaut at 7:15 AM on March 19, 2013


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posted by exlotuseater at 7:06 AM on March 20, 2013


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