Human Exceptionalism

One Consequence of Coup de Culture is Death/Sex Decadence

Hedonism–the scratching of every itch, indulgence of very impulse, breaking of nearly every norm–is very much central to our ongoing coup de culture. Hedonism has consequences, one of which is decadence, which is defined as:

A process, condition, or period of deterioration or decline, as in morals or art; decay.

Decadence is all around us, of course, indeed so ubiquitous and varied that I usually leave these stories alone. But this one, I think, hits squarely on the concept of human dignity and its ongoing subversion. An “artist” in Germany has created a display of cadavers “copulating.” From the story:

A new exhibition featuring preserved dead bodies having sex opened in Berlin on Thursday with critics saying a maverick German anatomist dubbed “Doctor Death” has gone too far this time.

No he hasn’t: Why would anyone think there is such thing as “too far” anymore?

The couple, part of Gunther von Hagens‘s exhibition “The Cycle of Life”, is the “low point in his tastelessness”, Michael Braun, culture expert from the conservative CDU party told AFP. The couple, part of Gunther von Hagens’s exhibition “The Cycle of Life”, is the “low point in his tastelessness”, Michael Braun, culture expert from the conservative CDU party, told AFP. Von Hagens said his copulating couples show the sexual act in “bracing clarity”.

Ah, the elevated vision of the artiste:

The exhibition “offers a deep understanding of the human body, the biology of reproduction, and the nature of sexuality”.

No, it’s just cadaver porn.

Van Hagens is no stranger to controversy and his many critics accuse him of deliberately shocking people in order to gain publicity, rather than furthering science as he claims.

Ya think?

Three years ago he opened a factory-cum-museum in eastern Germany manufacturing “plastinated” sections of cadavers to supply researchers and medical students and charging visitors to watch the process. “I am firmly convinced that he just breaks taboos again and again in order to make money,” Kai Wegner, another CDU lawmaker, told AFP. “It is not about medicine or scientific progress. It is marketing and money-making pure and simple.”

But breaking “taboos” is all that matters in a hedonistic culture crumbling from the destruction of social cohesion. Further, hedonism denigrates human exceptionalism by reducing us to the level of instinctive and self indulgent beings living for the next, ever more nihilistic, thrill.

We can break this downward spiral only by seeing clearly what is happening and refusing to participate in it.

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