There are so many contrasts in the civilised world today. One of them is based on exacerbated sensitivity on one side, compared to desensitisation on the other, where it didn’t use to be before (human dignity and respecting the dead).
In Germany, recently, there was a petition to save a dog from euthanasia, after it mauled its owners to death. The same country is home to a human abattoir, detailed below. Whilst trigger warnings and safe spaces are commonplace, some on the far left advocate eco-fascism, down to arguing for population control, through sterilisation, abortion and social pressure to remain childless.
Empathy for animals has definitely increased, with the likes of PETA equating fishing to murder. Where Homo sapiens sapiens is concerned, some of today’s peace-loving idealists show little consideration.
Human taxidermy side shows
Decades ago, films like Soylent Green were enough to send shivers down people’s spines. The mere idea was unconscionable – human beings used as mere produce and recycled for commercial value. Poltergeist, with its gory skinless face and skeletons emerging out of their graves, was a horror film – meaning said effects produced fear and revulsion, though admittedly enjoyable as parts of a good story.
Nowadays however, millions flock to gawk at the Body Worlds exhibition of plastinated real cadavers (one of many) put on display for profit after being processed akin to abattoir carcasses (a “factory” in China, for a different display known as Bodies…The Exhibition, was briefly filmed by a reporter). And although the evidence is overwhelming that most of the bodies came from executed Chinese prisoners, including Falun Gong practitioners (“prisoners of conscience”), to this day the public finds this gruesome travelling show “amazing”.
After the technique was developed in 1977 by German doctor Gunther von Hagens, the success of the “innovative” display spawned an entire industry based on the remains of the dead. Whilst many are rightfully horrified by the treatment of cats and dogs in China, which are routinely skinned or cooked alive, hardly anyone bats an eyelid when watching footage of a plastination facility, treating the dead like factory products.
The eerie gentleman responsible for all this considers himself an artist when carving bodies in order to show their insides to the finest detail, down to veins.
Parts are cut out and displayed. Partially and fully developed babies are placed in a case, to demonstrate their growth process. At least two pregnant women, with their abdomens cut open, were observed (and that was years ago). Heads severed through the middle can be seen, as well as filleted bodies, cut into a variety of paper-thin slices, from head to toes. Besides the exhibition, he owns a shop selling these parts and slices, all categorised and priced according to their importance.
It’s beyond me how most people don’t find that sinister in the first place. Every single “exhibit” was somebody’s son or daughter, brother or sister, mother or father.
Officially, the bodies initially used by von Hagens and now by his Chinese competitor are said to be “unclaimed”, a statement proven false through the fact that in China, 30 days must pass until a body can be declared as such – plastination, meanwhile, must take place within 48 hours of someone’s death. Ample documentation exists regarding the procurement and processing of prisoners’ bodies.
Desensitisation seems so easy when these bodies are skinned, dismembered and – perhaps another factor – look foreign. Logically, anyone who would refuse to have their loved ones dismembered and hung from ceilings, for profit, should reconsider going.
In the US, when it was discovered a few years ago that a funeral director was stacking bodies on his property without burying them due to administrative difficulties, people were shocked by the lack of respect shown to the dead. At the same time, some are more than happy with others’ relatives being chopped into parts by plastinators or displayed in sexual positions, to mimic intercourse.
They even have children on display. Surely they have not consented. If an adult consented for them, it doesn’t make it right. And who would do this, so the bodies could end up in a plastination facility less than 48 hours after death? Whose first thought would be, if their child died, to donate the body for such a purpose? It’s unreal.
Religious people don’t often get things right – in this case, however, they nailed it. Respecting the dead, valuing life is what makes us different from other animal species. And it’s sad that most of the opposition has come from them so far, and opposition overall has died down in recent years (few pieces have been written on the subject over the last decade).
Setting up such an enterprise in Germany of all places, given the history with human trophies from executed prisoners, seems bizarre. Gunther von Hagens, who now operates there, once bragged he would be processing thousands of bodies a year. These ones would be volunteers, apparently. It makes a difference when compared to the other side shows of this nature – yet watching him hold body slices and naming the price for each is still surreal.Taking this side show to Israel was equally bizarre, if not more – though luckily it was banned there, as well as in France and the Czech Republic.
Software used in forensic facial reconstruction can even recreate portraits from skulls; I wonder why no one has taken the trouble, in the decades of these bodies being paraded as circus attractions, to carry out this process. In China, families are still looking for those who disappeared, particularly Falun Gong practitioners, who could be thrown in prison without a trial and killed without accountability. There is no indication that this has ever been attempted. Hopefully someone who owns and knows how to operate such software will do so in the future.
“Have an abortion to save Mother Earth”
Again I find myself agreeing with religious people on this one – certain environmentalists have become sinister, in their advocacy for population reduction.
Part of the far left, which spawned radical feminism and the ever-offended culture, is somehow not disturbed by the thought of states imposing reproduction limits on their citizens, in order to clamp down on overpopulation.
Never mind that all human life would be sustainable if there weren’t so much needless waste for profit. Never mind that. They see humans as a whole as some kind of vermin.
Again, the world of contrasts.The right to choose versus the mandate of making oneself sterile or have abortions. From the same camp, roughly. From brief discussions on social media with some who appeared to be far left, eugenics seems to be quite popular, the proof being in the quasi-worship of Margaret Sanger.
Something very strange is going on.
On the one hand, you have people claiming non-existent rights or privileges, left right and centre, based on subjectivity and emotions. Which appears to place an emphasis on individuals – on their right to live and express themselves any way they please. One could see it as a result of other difficulties being overcome in relatively prosperous societies (such as genuine human rights abuses occurring elsewhere).
On the other hand, humans are increasingly viewed as units to be micromanaged (even culled), and in the first case scenario, soulless slabs of meat. And not by elites, as that has always been the case – but by each other.
These perspectives coexist in the postmodern understanding of the human condition. Something doesn’t make sense here.