The bane of all cystic fibrosis victims/An S&M Icon
Bob Flanagan is probably the most famous person to have suffered from cystic fibrosis. It is an uncurable disease that will smother people by creating excess mucus in the lungs until the body effectively drowns itself. Most people people afflcted by it do not live to be 20.
But rather than simply use that as an excuse to be a ball of rage that devotes its life to getting vengance on all us normie-lung types, Bob became an actually active activist that spent twenty years of his life as a volunteer counselor for a camp for cystic fibrosis sufferers. He became an actually amusing comic and tolerable poet. He made us laugh as his body made us cough, even if we half wanted to retch. He even was part of the L.A. Groundling comedy group, his alumni including Pee Wee Herman.
Okay, now that we've got the pamby-namby crap out of the way, it's time to rock:
-He was a performance artist that made Robert Maplethorpe look like friggin Norman Rockwell. He had himself beaten, freezed, pissed on, sewn, stapled, and nailed. I mean literally nailed. As in, Bob was personally take a hammer, a nail, a board and his penis and do the thing you and I would least like to do with a hammer, a nail, a board, and our penis. Since apparently that wasn't enough, he sometimes supplemented this penis act holding himself up by the his arms with chains, which was ridiculously dangerous when you had lungs like his. You know, as opposed to the safe way to nail your benis to a board recommended by your doctor.
-His work as a performance artist was featured in the New York Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and others. By contrast, we've had drawings featured on the TOP half of the refrigerator. Someday, God willing, we'll get another one up there.
-He was featured in three music videos. One was "Happiness in Slavery" by the Nine Inch Nails. Imagine NIN's "Closer" meets "Hellraiser" and you're skimming the surface. The other two were Danzig's "It's Coming Down" and Godflesh's "Crush My Soul." In "Crush My Soul," Flanagan had one of the greatest of music video achievements: he completely upstaged the footage of cockfighting. Sure, he had to have himself hung from a cross upside down while down his genital thing, but that's show biz.
So you see why he's the bane of all people suffering from cystic fibrosis: he just raises the bar for what a person with cystic fibrosis is supposed to achieve impossibly high. No doubt some kids have gone over to the house of their friend with CF and asked them to do the Flanagan.