CANNIBALISM

THE LAST TABOO

When a species is driven to eat their own, all cultural traditions are gone.  In popular culture this is associated with serial killers like Jeff Dahmer and Ed Gein but its true significance can be found with the Donner party.

In the winter of 1846-47 the Donner party was trapped in the mountains on their way to California.  Two-thirds of the men died.  Single adult men died first. One-third of the children died. The male children having the highest ratio.   One-fourth of the women and most of them toward the end of the ordeal.  Many of the survivors either killed and ate, or ate, the dead.  This group of humans that was brought up with Christian  morals/ethics were reduced to being the animal that we all are.  They were reduced because the culture had failed them.  The culture is suppose to teach them/us the things needed to survive.  It had not, and the last taboo before annihilation was cannibalism.

Strangely nature, or the nature of the species called man, had played its game with the Donner party.  More men died than women.  Single men died first. The children died second.  Male children more than female.  The women died last and least. This strongly indicates that Woman is most important of the species and wisdom in males is more important than virility.


THE ARTIST AND CANNIBALISM

A major attribute of the artist mind is that he sees a gross difference in reality (based on what he sees, hears, and feels) and the conditioned reality (what he is told/taught).  The artistic/creative mind is driven (or we could say pulled toward truth) toward his perceived reality.  He is driven to shorten the gap between perception and conditioning.

When the gap becomes to great he will see the conditioned reality as beyond repair and he begins to destroy it.  He does this by breaking the laws/taboo's of the culture.  The last taboo of civilization/culture is cannibalism.


CANNIBALISM TODAY

We are conditioned to believe that all the taboos are historical things.  They are things of the past that our "good" civilization has made nonexistent. This is the conditioned reality, the told/taught stuff used to perpetuate the culture at hand.  When the artistic/creative mind finds the true reality so different he begins to chop away at the taboos.

Here are some 1998 examples:

"CLARI-ITEM STORY LONDON, Jan 27 (AFP)- Eating people may be morally wrong and repugnant but it is not, strictly speaking, illegal, the British government disclosed Tuesday.  Home Office Minister Alun Michael said in a House of Commons written reply that the government had no intention of making cannibalism a specific criminal offence."

"SUNDAY TIMES LONDON, Apr 12- Starving North Koreans are being driven to cannibalism....One unidentified 23-year-old from the Chinese border village of Buk Cheng told the charity of seeing a family eat their own daughter.   "It is true.  I saw it with my own eyes," she said.  An 18-year-old said: "Our cousin killed, salted and ate an orphan whom no one cared about."

I, and other artist, see that all is not well in our industrial culture.  I, and others, use this last taboo in our art to awaken others to this fact.


J. Bowman   

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