Saturday, February 06, 2016

[abvricqq] Epic lynching

Contemporary accounts of lynchings described them as celebrations, which is paradoxical because death is usually considered ugly and disgusting, something people tend to strongly avoid being a part of, a manifestation of the human instinct for compassion.  It must be an extremely powerful force to override compassion so far to induce happiness over someone's death: extreme Schadenfreude.  What is the nature of this force?

Given this force, lynching seems quite an epic way to die.  You have become far greater than yourself: you represent a symbol so powerfully hated in people's minds that your destruction induces a beyond-orgasmic joy in the huge gathered united crowd of people.  Fictionally, we imagine onlookers feeling cleansed by the blood and entrails of the victim raining down on them, after some sufficiently splatterful way of killing.  It's like mass murder in reverse, where a great many people heartlessly want to kill one person.

This attitude pervaded the spontaneous celebrations (e.g., Boston Common) that occurred after the annoucement of the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden.

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