Tim the electricbear,
Just remember, it wasn't the chainsaw that sliced my ear; it was the tree as I fell down alongside it scraping my ear as I went. And that accident was my fault, not because I lack skill, but because distracting neighbors were trying to get my attention and I didn't exercise the patience to just come down out of that tree and get away from those wimps.
My ear is fine now. But I won't slice it off with a tree. My ear did more damage to the tree than the tree did to my ear. The tree died, I cut it down, and now it is stacked firewood doing its slow curing.
If I slice off my ear, I'll do it with a sharp knife. Or maybe I could borrow one of your trusty Scottish swords?
One thing about Van Gogh: Few people know this, but he didn't actually cut off his entire ear. He just cut off a tiny piece of the ear lobe and gave it to his landlady. Also, while it's not unlikely that Van Gogh was indeed being poisoned by licking his paintbrushes and getting lead of arsenic from the paints in his system, his main problem was that he was way down the tubes with alcohol abuse.
Revile me if you must, but I only occasionally like seeing a Van Gogh painting. I find him boring. But I've never seen "The Starry Night," which I hope to make amends for when I next get to New York.
Tired of sunflowers,