Odd Thoughts: Dying to be disgusting

What is this modern fascination with gore (as evidenced by Zombies)? It's nothing new. People used to go to hangings like we go to movies.

Who needs public hangings, now that we can watch a wide variety of corpses in various states of disrepair walking down the street through our television sets?

Every week producers of shows like The Walking Dead find newer and more disgusting ways to maim and splatter supposedly reanimated corpses.

And we, the fans, love it.

Every week millions tune in to be engrossed by the spectacle. Millions can’t get enough from the new episodes, captivated by the reruns, watching them over and over again to catch another piece of flying flesh that they may have missed in a previous viewing.

And a veritable pall settles over the land as each season finishes, and an anxious deathwatch ensues in anticipation of another even gorier season that hangs months away.

It’s why anti-capital-punishment protesters who clamour for public hangings have got it backwards. They believe that public executions would show how disgusting they are and would force lawmakers to abolish capital punishment where it is still practised in such backward countries as the United States.

They should watch TV. They should tune in to any of the myriad “zombie apocalypse” series and movies – even talk shows.

They should open their history books. Or they could flip the channel from their favourite zombie show to one of many documentaries on torture and disfigurement and inhumane executions – all performed in the public square to cheering masses.

And however inhumane the means of execution, it’s never quite inhumane enough.

Like Walking Dead minions, the fans of public executions have always demanded more.

Public suffocation by garrote became stone weights added one by one to the chest.

Public hangings became hanging, drawing, and quartering.

Public drowning became a form of ultimate water-boarding.

Burning at the stake in the town square became slow roasting, with clever rigs designed to suspend the victim above the fire.

After a few YouTube beheadings in the Middle East, you rarely hear of them anymore.

They’re just not as shocking as they used to be.

They’re just not exciting enough to hold our interest.

They’ve become mundane.

We’ve become inured.

They’re no longer gruesome enough to compete with the zombie apocalypse.

They’ve lost their impact… except as recruitment tools. Young men – and young women – are somehow seduced into service, rather than repelled by graphic scenes of gushing blood and severed heads.

It’s like the movies, but even better.

And the more inhumane the act, the greater the attraction.

Indeed, “inhumane” is the wrong word to describe torturous death. History has shown time and again that revelling in others’ painful and miserable destruction is very, very human.

Perhaps it is the very thing that sets us apart from the other animals.

Just Posted

VIDEO: New doctors, but fewer spaces for patients in Langley

Retirements have left some Langley residents without a family physician.

Langley Thunder stop Shamrocks

The local lacrosse season is close to wrapping up.

‘Sabrina’ series will film late into the night in Cloverdale

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will be on location at ‘Cerberus Books’ until early Saturday

Throwback Thursday: July 19, 2018

Can you help us caption a photo from Langley’s past?

Our View: Location matters when it comes to candidates

Those running for civic office should live in the community they want to represent.

VIDEO: Langley City invests in outdoor recreation for residents

New amenities have been added to several of its parks, including ziplines.

UPDATE: Man, 32, found dead in Abbotsford was targeted, police say

IHIT identifies victim as Sukhpreet Grewal, who they say was known to police

BC Wildfire update on Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on popular B.C. river

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating in the summer is inherently dangerous

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

UPDATED: Anti-pipeline campers digging in as eviction deadline expires

The City of Burnaby had ordered the Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters out for violating bylaws

Trump was taped talking of paying Playboy model: AP source

Source says former personal lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded discussion prior to 2016 election

Most Read