Re: Dead body fetishism?

mike shupp (ms44278@HUEY.CSUN.EDU)
Thu, 25 Jul 1996 22:20:55 -0700

On Tue, 23 Jul 1996, John Cole. wrote:

> QUESTION: How recent is this fixation?? It strikes me as very odd and very
> unlike what *I* would wish upon the death of a loved one or of myself! Who
> exactly demands "a body" at any expense, including even prosecution of
> possible murderers? Immediate burial is a feature of orthodox Judaism (altho
> some exceptions occur), but why this general and fanatical obsession upon
> retrieval of bodies--beyond the need to know whether or not a loved one is
> dead? ....

> Is there a modern--or US-ian--assumption that death is always controlled and
> explicable? Why this fairly new fixation upon (to be crude)
> cadaver-collecting? Which also seems to correspond with growing resistance to
> autopsies and postmortem analyses.

Umm.. I think there's always been _some_ resistence to autopsies,
usually negatively correlated with educational levels. But as far
as the rest of the fixation on retrieving bodies, I'd say it was
a relatively recent phenomena, stemming from Viet Nam.

Great Powers in their declining days have their little eccentricities.

Mike Shupp
California State University, Northridge