Friday, November 18, 2005

See A Real Live Dead Person Without Feeling Guilty

Children too young to be admitted to the latest Harry Potter movie can view sliced and diced human bodies.

These are real bodies of the destitute, unclaimed, and those who willed themselves to Gunther Von Hagens.

Arnie Geller somehow got his bodies from China, meaning that some of the corpses were probably purged political prisoners, people executed for slandering the state, and other acts that are crimes in China but not yet in the United States.

Geller's exhibit, "Bodies...The exhibition" is at South Street Seaport in New York City. Hagens has taken his "world of Bodies" around the world.

Calling them "bodies" may not be accurate. They once were people, true. After they died, Geller, Hagens and fellow ghouls dehydrated organs and muscles and filled them with plastic.

How they do this is a secret. Colors must apparently be introduced because the "plastication" process seems to leave the corpses white.

So, these are plastic versions of once real, live people. Hagen and Geller could present them conservatively and clinically, which would have educational value, but not much entertainment zing.

Instead, they take apart bodies in strange and whimsical ways and model them in fun positions. For instance, a "soccer player" who was not a soccer player in life, is posed in mid-air kick, sans skin.

There is something fascinating about these bodies. Adolescent boys want to know more about sex, minus personality and emotions, which is why they are drawn to pornography.

People who flock to see dissected, cleaned up, preserved corpses, are doing the same. They want to see "inside" without having to witness death and decomposition.

Hagens and Geller are either incrediblt cynical or bona fide pervents.

Or both.

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