I was reading about the fate of the Donner party recently, and I somehow ended up on a site about cannibalism. I was shocked to discover that there are actually people who want to be killed and consumed by other humans. They put personal ads in periodicals seeking potential killers-consumers. I totally don't understand this fantasy, and believe me, I'm very open-minded about fantasies.
the most famous cannibal over all? (Maybe those Donner if those Donner folks had had a few glowing noses in the bunch, the story would have ended better....) (OK, the temptation for, shall we say, tasteless jokes is just too high here. )
As a fantasy its rather shocking to say the least but it doesn't surprise me at all. Human beings are capable of immense compassion and love while at the same time being capable of incredible cruelty and evil. How diverse we are! Almost a paradox some would say.
I'm not fully informed about the Donner Party but I think we'd all be surprised with what we would be prepared to eat if our very survival depended on it.
It's a fascinating subject, probably a psychiatrists wet dream. Imagine if we were all brought up to eat our dead rather than bury or cremate them, it wouldn't appear so horrific then, instead we would consider it the most natural thing in the world. I don't approve of cannibalism but it is only our social conditioning that makes us think its evil and disgusting, yet eating a cow or a pig is not.
I think it's a desire to be internalized, and possible even reborn. Robinson Jeffers wrote a poem about a Vulture that sort of touches on what I bet is part of it, even if not all the glorified humanity (like the bird gets):
Vulture I had walked since dawn and lay down to rest on a bare hillside Above the ocean. I saw through half-shut eyelids a vulture wheeling high up in heaven, And presently it passed again, but lower and nearer, its orbit narrowing, I understood then That I was under inspection. I lay death-still and heard the flight-feathers Whistle above me and make their circle and come nearer. I could see the naked red head between the great wings Bear downward staring. I said, "My dear bird, we are wasting time here. These old bones will still work; they are not for you." But how beautiful he looked, gliding down On those great sails; how beautiful he looked, veering away in the sea-light over the precipice. I tell you solemnly That I was sorry to have disappointed him. To be eaten by that beak and become part of him, to share those wings and those eyes-- What a sublime end of one's body, what an enskyment; what a life after death.
I remember the case of Armin Meiwes, the German cannibalist. He's now serving a life prison sentence for murder ... the case is too sick to describe here. I don't think this 'fantasy' is one many people can understand, and I, for one, don't want to understand it. Almost as weird are those people who long to have a perfectly healthy limb amputated.
I remember reading an article about this subject a few years back and only last year I think, they showed a documentary about an incident where a man agreed to be killed and eaten. I think the victim also partook in eating some of his own cooked parts. Very sick and twisted but what possesses such people to do these things?
A novelty song written about the Donner party made fun of 'Publicans and Democrats and how neither would be good eating. It was played regularly on the Dr. Demento radio show. I can't recall the lyrics, except the last line -
"But them gol' darn Democrats ain't nothin' fit to eat"
As society becomes more transparent I believe that we will see more of this sort of crap. What is amazing to me is with all this available information that the general population is still in the dark about many things.
I just watched a documentary on the Donner Party last night.. I still can't help but wondering, after all that time being out in the cold without anything to eat, did they at least have any ketchup packets to go with that stringy meat?
A'ight, seriously.. I don't think that this is really a new thing at all. I remember reading once that the ancient Egyptians did about the same thing. I'm sure that there's always been a certain amount of the population that's into that. I don't understand it, but I guess I wasn't meant to.
Still, with absolutely everything be publicized now, it seems like it's happening a lot more. I mean, hell, there are performers that want to get up on stage and commit suicide. It's probably happening the same as it always has, but it's more "in your face" now. I don't get it, but I doubt that it'll ever go away.
On another side, I once saw a documentary about tribal groups that practiced cannabalism-- To them, they felt they were honoring the memory of their enemies and keeping their essence alive in themselves by consuming them.
Wow. That's a new kind of weirdness I hadn't heard of before. (Think I'd rather not learn more about it, though. ) A few years ago I made the mistake of watching the PBS thing on the Donner Party. I had a rough idea about the story (that they had a "rough time", and all that); but I didn't know where the otherwise "regular" story was going to be heading. Once I was already watching, I kept right on watching - and was kind of sorry I had. Talk about horrendously, horrendously, depressing and mind-boggling.
(Good thing this thread showed up after Thanksgiving, eh? ) (Oops - I now see it did. Oh well, I didn't see if before my own Thanksgiving anyway.)
You guys need to watch, 'Cannibal! the Musical' by Matt Stone and Trey Parker.
Cannibal! The Musical is the true story of the only person convicted of cannibalism in America - Alferd Packer (according to Colorado lore.). The sole survivor of an ill-fated trip to the Colorado Territory, he tells his side of the harrowing tale to news reporter Polly Pry as he awaits his execution. And his story goes like this: While searching for gold and love in the Colorado Territory, he and his companions lost their way and resorted to unthinkable horrors, including toe-tapping songs!
"All Singing! All Dancing! All Flesh Eating!"
"In the tradition of Friday the 13th Part II and Oklahoma!, comes the first intelligent film about cannibalism."
"Lost without food, they must turn to the ultimate horror...EATING EACH OTHER...and, of course, SINGING and DANCING!"
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