Monday, May 12, 2008

Would Rodin Attend?

For a little over a decade individuals have been paying quite handsomely to observe deceased human bodies that have been impressively dissected. People come away from the exhibits saying, "I cannot believe all that is in there...," and "It is remarkable that more things do no go awry with us." My hope is that as people realize how amazing our bodies truly are they will start to take care of them more diligently.

However, of more intrigue to me is the process by which this transformation took place. In the not so recent past it would have been unacceptable, disgusting, and disrespectful to publicly view the dissected remains of other human beings. Yet, today everyone from children to grandparents are lining up with their $24 in hand to obtain a more intimate window into our internal machinery. Why?

Another example that was possibly of a different magnitude, but nonetheless in the same vein, was the common practice of public executions. Up until 1936 droves of people would put on their Sunday best to witness the execution of complete strangers, almost as a form of entertainment. I cannot fathom this in 2008, but without much doubt I anticipate I would have been in attendance had I lived during a different time period.

What do you think moves something from unacceptable to acceptable? Still the additional question is - What do you think will be next? Detailed study of the above examples would assuredly provide insight into the patterns and indicators that predict these transitions, but this is not for me to tackle at this juncture; however, I am very interested in the matter and if anyone would like to share their insight I would be more than willing to listen.

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