You can tell a lot about a person by, what Marshall Mcluhan could see as weapons, their teeth and their nails. Are they blunt, pitted and soiled. Or are they honed to a vicious perfection.
Gordon Brown, one of the most important persons in the UK for a considerable length of time, couldn’t not bite his nails. His mam surely clipped him round the ear many a time as a youth and told him to stop biting his nails. Friends, colleagues and no doubt random people on the fucking street told him to stop doing it, but he did it. He knew and understood it was wrong, but he did it. Barak Obama’s teeth are the equivalent of Pullman’s literary Subtle Knife; sharp enough to slit reality and slip through the cut. The junkies nails, the A listers teeth. Damaged and perfect, perfect and damaged.
The addict deliberately employs a variety of methods to blunt their weapons, biting nails and destroying teeth, conveniently dulling their wit. This lack of interest in maintaining the efficacy in our organic armoury is reflected in the appearance obsessed. Hours spent in front of one mirror or another for one reason or another.
One behaviour aggressively defensive, the other selflessly self destructive. I can’t quite bring myself to decide which I prefer.