This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.

Posts about Weird

Abracadaver: New troupe of educational corpses headed our way

Posted by: James Lileks Updated: July 31, 2009 - 12:03 AM

Hey! More dead people injected with plastic and flayed for your amusement: another show of skinless corpses is coming to the metro, this time to the Mall of America. As reported by Bob von Sternberg, the show, called “Bodies, the Exhibition” is like that Body World show that ran at the Science Museum a few years ago. Oddly enough, there are questions about where the bodies came from. They’re mostly Chinese, and the company behind the exhibit admits it can’t verify all the people “willingly donated their bodies.” 


Why anyone would question the provenance of bodies from China, I’ve no idea, but it does make for some interesting questions. I can understand donating your body to science, but I’m hard-pressed to think of a situation where I’d sign over my corpus to be injected with plastic and displayed down the hall from a GAP. Unless I could specify the pose.


So why did people do it? Money for surviving relatives, perhaps. The desire for lasting fame, albeit spooky Hellraiser-type fame. The desire to travel. My other question has to do with why people want to see this. I know the previous show was a record-breaker for the Science Museum, although we’ll have to wait to see the receipts for “Titanic: Dishes and Cufflinks ‘n’ Stuff” show that’s going on now. People are fascinated by, well, people.



Not me. One of the advantages of humans as they are currently designed is the whole “Skin” thing that stands between you and the wet red mess within. When I was a kid I was fascinated and appalled by the transparency section in the World Book - it showed the various components of the human body, layer by layer, down to the skeleton. I always wished there was another layer after that, the part that was you. The thoughts and hopes and fears and questions about whether Aunt May really suspected Peter was Spider-Man. But that was left to the philosophers. 


Have no doubt: in a few years these corpses will be full of tiny pistons and microprocessors; they will move and speak. They’ll herald the exhibit by walking around the Mall of America with some guy trailing ten feet behind with a remote control with buttons marked MOONWALK and SOMERSAULT and PIMPSTRUT and other amusing gaits. 


No, please. No to all of it. 


Nightmare-inducing video of the week

Posted by: James Lileks Updated: July 30, 2009 - 11:59 AM

Oh. My. The last time I think I saw this guy, he was a TV preacher who spoke in tongues over stacks of letters, and was subsequently remixed into a mocking flatulence video. Different fellow. Perhaps his brother. 




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