Christina Engela's picture

True Love, Free Will & Powdered Death

Isn't it striking that right now in this country there is a move to ban pornography on digital media, specifically on mobile phones and the internet? This is ostensibly to "protect children" - a favorite excuse of the religious right wing, who fail to see the obvious - that while they are all fired up doing the Lord's work - the same kids they are trying to protect from seeing people having sex, or even making love on the web, on their phones or on TV - can watch gratuitous violence, mayhem and dismemberment on TV, and hey - in real life as well. Thus it is a logical conclusion that seeing sex and intimacy in whatever context is bad for children, but everything violent and bloody is just fine. Or is that just next on their list after gay rights, hate crime, abortion and freedom of religion?

What about the reality they are skirting around? That the poor vulnerable "children" they want to protect from viewing internet porn, despite the safety mechanisms which are all too easily enforced by parents interested enough to bother - are far more exposed to violence, bullying in schools, child abuse and even drug abuse than porn.

Right at the top of my list right now I would have to target drug abuse. Why? Because I have just been through a most painful breakup because of drugs. Right now I hate drug dealers, manufacturers and also hijackers. People who make their living out of the suffering and deaths of others, people who deserve to be stopped with extreme prejudice. If there were no hard drugs to sell, there would be no-one to sell them, and no-one to use them and pay for them, steal to pay for them or lie and hurt others and themselves in using them.
arvan's picture

What to do with a cadaver: our relationship to the dead.

Have you ever seen a dead human body?  Some day, we will all become one.

What will your body look like when you are dead?  How will it feel?

Real dead bodies are all around us.  Everyone we know dies.  Everyone.  That face we see in the mirror, the hand we hold in the movies, the coworker we beat or who beats us for a promotion, the person serving your coffee as you read this - we will all die.  Our bodies will lie still and the energy systems of chemical bonds, electricity, gravity, heat, motion and momentum will no longer constitute themselves together as a person bearing our name.  It will all dissipate into other forms which themselves will be no more or less noble until they too give way to forms that follow.

Hiding from dead bodies is basically a luxury item (and a delusional one, at that).

Whether or not someone actually sees a corpse depends largely upon the society that person lives in. 

In a society where people have no health care or hospitals, people die out in the open a lot more.  On the side of the road, in their home, waiting for a bus, in a store, out in the woods.  Poorer countries are often ravaged by war and brutality, which create corpses en masse.

All in a day's work.

In affluent societies, we take great efforts to keep dying and dead bodies in the hospitals, away from public exposure.  If someone dies out in public, an emergency vehicle comes immediately to remove the body.  Any mess is cleaned up right away, leaving no trace or indication that someone - a person came to that place and died.  In our anonymous societies it is very difficult to leave any trace that we ever existed at all and our death is no exception.

Any bystanders who witness a public death in such societies are encouraged to move along, forget that we saw anything and pretend as if it never happened.  But we do not forget death.

arvan's picture

Through Women's Eyes: Report on the Gender-Specific Impact and Consequences of Operation Cast Lead

(From AIC)

The recent Israeli offensive—codenamed Operation ‘Cast Lead’ by the Israeli authorities—claimed the lives of 118 women, and injured 825 more. In total 1,414 Palestinians lost their lives, 1,177 (83%) of whom were civilians. A further 5,303 were injured. The infrastructure of the Gaza Strip was decimated, for example, 2,114 homes were completely destroyed and a further 3,242 rendered uninhabitable, affecting 51,842 people.

The true impact of the offensive, however, cannot be measured in terms of statistics and figures alone. Although the numbers of victims and casualties illustrate the appalling human toll of this conflict, the true extent of the suffering lies in the day-to-day reality of life in the Gaza Strip following Operation Cast Lead, as civilians struggle to rebuild their lives, come to terms with their loss, and restore some semblance of human dignity.

exposing body image issues's picture

Our Bodies are as Sacred as Life and Death

by Colette Coughlin - from Victoria's Sex Blog

I feel very much alive these days; but I have known periods of depression where I almost wished for death. Having been there, I now try to practice regularly those things that for me, nurture life; one of which is drawing the body, nude, whether it be enlaced in intimate lovemaking or simply being.

I was very close to one of my aunts who passed away two years ago, not too long after being diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord which eventually leads to death. I will never forget how courageously she shared her feelings when she received the devastating diagnosis; after the initial shock, she turned within to an incredibly deep source of strength and decided to live her death as fully as she had lived her life up until then. I was one of the very fortunate family members to be able to share this period with her up close.

She was a very “private person” and it is not without a twinge of discomfort towards other family members’ reactions that I post images of her. But at the same time, I do so with a deeper confidence, knowing that she not only asked to participate in my work through a nude photo session, she also gave me permission to share the artwork produced from them, and fortunately, I was able to show her a few of my drawings before she passed away. Drawing this one just recently brought me back to the beautiful moments spent together during the last months of her life.

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