What’s dead

“Now, it is possible to pretend that a civilization born of reasonable gods—gods who lead by the numbers—leaves that civilization free of superstitious notions. Body Worlds purports this—to show spent vessels of what have been living as subjects rather as objects purely mechanical and synthetic—even if they’re still gross, and whether they decompose or not. And while bones may be stigmas—better buried than mounted—von Hagens doesn’t believe in that either. Evidently, a whole corpse is fair game when it comes to its preservation, vivisection, and manipulation; there is also the concomitant matter of smuggling bodies across borders in Europe, for the sake of enlightening minds everywhere. After all, educational materials should not be hemmed in by national lines. I’ll agree that it’s hard to negotiate between un-pliable, pesky administrators and clerics who frequently get in the way when it’s time to talk about how expensive it is to die. It’s easy for anyone to ossify in the face of what’s now dead. And it’s easy to level the consequences of living with a roll of a few dice. Arguing that acts of living leave us more bone-like are hard to reject—the more we know the less we listen—etc. and so forth. But learning about life demands something less brittle than casual information or a google of inspirational quotes. Here, so helpfully, soulless information is also conviently colour-coded. “What a piece of work,” says Hamlet—who is often droll—but he does not find wandering ghosts amusing; even if he does talk to any old head lying around.”

from: “Body Worlds at the Science Centre.”