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Friday March 29th, 2013

"Human beings have been harming themselves for eons," says Dr. Hal Leonard, the head psychiatrist of NDG's Kevorkian Medical Center. "However, ours is one of the few societies that has made ritualized self mutilation a fashion statement. It started with the so-called emo scene, whose adherents would often cut their arms and legs with razor blades. This practice of self-mutilation has spread to other scenes, including Montreal's rave community. However, not only are ravers mutilating themselves, I've heard of several instances in which they've mutilated each other."

Dozen of disfigured party goers have walked through Dr. Leonard's doors. "They come seeking treatment. They know that cutting themselves is a sign of mental illness. They don't know how to reconcile their destructive impulses with the sheer feeling of joy they get when they carve the name of their favorite DJ into their thighs."

Shane Garneau is intimately familiar with the pleasure of self-destruction. "I've been cutting myself for years. Every time I listen to Skrillex, I lie down on the ground and shove a razor blade right across my wrist. It's blissful," says Shane. "A couple years ago, my friends started cutting themselves too. And last fall, we all started cutting each other at the parties we went too. Whenever a really good DJ hits the dance floor, if the songs he's playing are amazing, we'll take out our razor blades and start slashing each other as we dance. Pain, in small doses, leads to pleasure. If it wasn't for the nasty scars that cutting leaves behind, I'd never want to stop. Neither would my friends. It's just too much fun."

That's what worries Dr. Leonard. "I believe that Montreal's promoters need to step up and get involved. They have to tell their party goers that cutting themselves might be fun, but it isn't healthy," says Dr. Leonard. "Ravers won't listen to doctors, but maybe they'll listen to promoters."
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