RIP Dennis Avner, ‘Stalking Tiger’

If you’ve ever watched one of those “most extreme” tattoo shows on cable then you’ll recognize Dennis Avner, commonly known as “The Tiger Man”. Apparently Avner (who preferred to be known as “Stalking Cat”) died last week, with the evidence pointing toward suicide.

Via NY Daily News:

Shannon Larratt, who knew Stalking Cat, wrote in a blog post that Avner had tried to adopt the spiritual essence of the animal world. He had tried to transform “himself not just into a tiger, but a female tiger at that, blurring and exploring the gender line as much as the species line.”

“A wonderful and complex person, he was at times as troubled as he was remarkable, and he recently took his own life at the age of 54,” the piece read.

Read more.

, , ,

  • Bruteloop

    I would love to be wrong but I would imagine not one person who posts here really gives a shit.

    • Stray

      I do!

    • Jin The Ninja

      you’d be wrong then.

      • Matt Staggs

        I posted it because I though it was sad.

        • Jin The Ninja

          it is. and i thought it a good post.

    • Hadrian999

      it being posted at all is evidence that at least one person who posts here gives a shit.

    • MadHierophant

      I do.

    • Simaingtongue

      I know little to nothing about the subject of suicide, I have no comprehension of what it takes for someone to do it or why they did. So I’m not sure whether I should be happy or sad for them, I still default to sad.

      On another note I just passed my cursor over the down vote to hit “Reply” and noticed a pop up that says “You must sign in to down-vote this post”. Although I am against up or down voting on posts in general and I rarely if ever vote either way. I also don’t use tweet, Facebook, Google + or Disqus. So I can’t sign in and can never down-vote. But I can apparently up-vote. Seems like that’s rather discriminatory to people who refuse to popularize things like Disqus etc. Is that part of the reason for not allowing people to anonymously down-vote at all, as an encouragement to join a commenting site?

      Or perhaps was that change just due to reactions from some more “popular” contributors whinging when the system was changed over and they began to see down-votes on their comments?

  • Dying Fetus

    Damn, killed himself. Guess he got tried of the hair balls.

  • “Big” Richard Johnson

    It’s a shame when someone kills themselves. Even Otherkin.

  • ewop07

    I guess he woke up sober one morning, looked in the mirror,
    saw what he did to himself and couldn’t take it. LOL. I sorry but I just can’t feel sorry for this dude.

  • bobbiethejean

    Damn. That’s a shame but it’s just such a selfish, shitty thing to do to the people left behind. It ruins people and it’s not something you can take back.

    • Matt Staggs

      To be fair, wanting to kill yourself *can* be indicative of serious mental illness. I come from a long line of people who eat shotgun shells and jump off bridges. Selfish and shitty isn’t the way I’d describe them.

      Edit: No offense taken, btw. Just adding to the conversation.

      • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

        Given Bobbiethejean’s reaction to this and the other suicide story, I think it may be likely that she was hurt by a loved one’s suicide.

        Which, of course, blunted my initial reaction to call her out on what seems to be a rather harsh stance.

        • Matt Staggs

          That was my suspicion as well. I’ve chosen what I hope was a moderate and respectful response. I’ve dealt with some very, very serious depression too, and thought about suicide. Getting help cleared it all up. It’s amazing how distorted your thoughts can become when you’re depressed. If I consider all the broken branches on my family tree then it becomes pretty obvious that I came by this naturally.

          • bobbiethejean

            I had written up this long comment explaining my experience but in retrospect, I just don’t feel right spilling my boo-hoo, sad-me, violin, sob-story all over the internet. Suffice it to say that my life was ruined by suicide and it will be again someday.

            So yeah. You might say I’m a little biased. But that aside, I’ll try to approach this topic with a little more understanding from now on. It’s just not so easy when you’re one of the people left behind wondering why and never having any answers.

          • Matt Staggs

            I admire your willingness to consider different perspectives.

          • bobbiethejean

            Thank you. I try to admit when I’m wrong. It’s not always easy to recognize it and it’s even less easy to admit it. But I don’t want to be one of these people who is convinced I’m right about everything, all the time, I’m infallible, and no one can ever change my mind. That kind of attitude is extremely unhealthy and I believe it is a terrible plague on mankind.

          • Calypso_1

            You’re right it’s not easy and more effort needs to be placed into seeking answers. That occurs by changing societal attitudes about suicide. Suicide kills more people in the U.S. annually than AIDS or homicide – world wide it kills more people annually than warfare. That’s a whole lot of friends and family suffering in silence.

            Thank you for sharing what you did. I understand not wanting to disseminate the details but you don’t have to depreciate your experience as a sob story. It’s real, it changed things for you.

        • bobbiethejean

          Three of my best friends, all in one go. Gone.

          • Jin The Ninja

            i’m sorry for your loss, and i hope i didn’t appear combative, i think a dialogue is very healthy and more productive.

          • bobbiethejean

            No. Not at all. On the contrary, this discussion helped me see that I was being over-emotional and irrational. I’m glad some one stepped in and pointed that out because I wasn’t seeing it on my own.

          • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

            Please accept my sincere condolences for your loss.

            While I’ve lost both family and friends to suicide, I’ve not lost so many in such a short time. There would be no shame or weakness in not wanting to bear that burden in silence.

      • bobbiethejean

        I have some rather deep seated biases on this issue that I am now realizing I should try to work through.

    • Jin The Ninja

      the nature of suicide is both individual and cultural. as an aboriginal person, dennis avner, belonged to a demographic with a suicide rate FIVE times higher than the general population. if he was suffering from mental illness, dependent on diagnosis, he may have belonged to a secondary demographic with a much higher than normal suicide rate.. i’m sure calypso can speak more to this, but certain diagnosis are highly prone to attempts (the one i’m thinking of is close to 80%). i’m also sure there was quite an important socio-cultural context of his body modifactions that i’m not recognising. i understand anger, and i understand grief, but it’s important not to minimise the people who’ve acted on certain feelings- especially and particularly in a public forum and when we do not know them or their specific circumstances.

      • Matt Staggs

        It’s a very complicated issue, but responding with “LOL” to other people’s suffering is something I try to avoid. I worked in a psych facility for many years, myself.

        • Jin The Ninja

          i have an immediate family member who works ‘in’ mental health and i’m always surprised by the reactions people have (namely online) to suicide. you’re right, it is so so complicated, and i just wanted to give the OP’s comment some context, to prevent generalised assumptions of how the board felt.

          • Calypso_1

            You might also be surprised by the reactions of non mental health medical personnel. I’ve heard some horrible comments from doctors & nurses related to suicidal patients (particularly when they have certain religious views) . I don’t often take someone into an office and close a door but with this issue I’ve got no problem throwing someone to the wolves.

        • Calypso_1

          I’ve wondered several times if you had done such work.
          Might I ask if you did so after your own experiences with depression & receiving treatment?

          • Matt Staggs

            Before and during.

          • Calypso_1

            My initial experience with ‘mental health’ began on the other side of the glass with an involuntary admit for a suicide attempt. I find it rather amusing when I take a
            pro-psych stance on this board and am hit with ardent anti-psych views because
            that used to be me.

            My time on the ward was one of the worst experiences of my life and I couldn’t for many years separate the fact that I had arrived in that condition. I left AMA as soon as I could.
            Self-medication ensued. There were many adventures.

            I had several friends commit suicide and my anti-psych views plagued me for so long that I decided to get on the other side to find out the truth and to be in a place that could actually intervene in situations such as occurred with my friends.
            I didn’t even seek medical treatment for my own issues until I had been on the other side for quite a few years and had enough personal knowledge and experience to accept the validity of the treatment and outcomes – paranoia in a disinfonaut! Say it ain’t so : )
            In retrospect I wish I had received treatment long before.

            As is obvious my views are different now but I try to maintain a perspective that others might not have when dealing with patients.

            Perhaps you too have found such a perspective.

          • Matt Staggs

            My own experiences were similar. I’ve had problems all my life, but didn’t really consider help until I couldn’t take it anymore. My wife and mother-in-law were instrumental in my decision to seek professional help. I can completely understand why people might wish to avoid psychiatric medicine. There’s a lot of stigma, and it’s hard to communicate the difference between night and day that effective treatment can make.
            I think this is a great post on the topic, though:
            http://robdelaney.tumblr.com/post/414007899/on-depression-getting-help

    • Calypso_1

      Do you know someone who killed themself?

      • bobbiethejean

        Yes. In any case, I see now that I’m not being rational, or rather I’m reacting over emotionally.

        • Calypso_1

          Wow. (I read your comment to Matt) That’s far more of a connection than most will have to experience). No platitude will suffice when you have an emotional connection to this issue. It is a topic worthy of study that may bring you insights into your own experience. I know you are a very rational person and that would undoubtedly be one of the mechanisms you might choose to process your emotions but it doesn’t have to be the only one. It can be helpful to talk with others who have been through the grief related to suicide. One of the hallmarks of those suffering from suicidal illnesses and of their surviving loved ones is profound emotional isolation. It doesn’t have to be that way.

          Regarding your friend with cerebellar ataxia; I do categorize, cautiously, the choice of euthanasia differently than suicide caused by mental illness. It is true that many people that experience severe illness also experience depression which can be
          treated. I believe it is medically negligent not to do so.

          The illness your friend has usually has no effect on cognitive functioning. Obviously the physical effects are extreme and often fatal depending on the particular diagnosis. Do person’s who are in a state of extreme physical suffering or dysfunction that cannot be reasonably alleviated, particularly when the inevitable and imminent outcome is terminal, have the right to die with dignity by their own choice?
          I believe so. I believe it is the correct medical choice as it is the only way, with consent, to provide relief, if desired, from such a condition.

          There are many grey areas, especially once symptoms progress to
          the functioning of the mind. This is why it is so vital for people to understand advance directives and the nature of a prognosis so that they may receive the care that they desire. People might be surprised how close (and this might draw some ire) that hospice care can be to assisted suicide. It’s very hard to determine cause of death in a terminally ill patient when they are being given very high levels of pain control.
          Respiratory arrest by morphine isn’t the worst way to go.

          • bobbiethejean

            Interesting thoughts, as always. Also, I agree that people suffering certain illnesses should have the right to die with dignity by their own choice. It’s just going to be difficult having to watch it happen again.

            Tangentially, this is one of the BIG reasons I get so rampantly furious at people who denounce, reject, abuse, misuse, and condescend science. If something was going to save her from her diagnosis, it wouldn’t be prayers or hope, it would be science. Science is suffering under a populace that devalues it by defunding it and claiming that it’s evil and so on. If we placed more value on science and education, we might already have a cure for CSA or cancer or AIDS and whatever else. Then maybe people like her would never need to make that choice and people like me wouldn’t have to live with it.

          • Matt Staggs

            You’ve summed up my thoughts on these matters far better than I could.