Sunday, January 07, 2007

Let's put the execute back into executions.

Yet another reason for HuffingtonPost to exist.

Elayne Boosler.

Starting last month the veteran comic (comedian, comedienne?) joined Arianna's motley band of celeb posters.

I've always enjoyed her comedy, and like some (Steve Martin) and unlike others (Harry Shearer, Dennis Miller) her wry, unblinking look at the weirdness that infects all current events has not been lost in the translation from stage to page.

For example her 1/5/07 post takes a look at the brouhaha surrounding Saddam's lynching execution.


Saddam Hussein, [was a] mass(ive) murderer, dictator, tyrant, Stalin worshiper, torturer, contortionist by proxy, mass grave filler, public beheadings Master of Ceremonies, (the Kurds found him a gas), fingernail-extracting, eye-gouging, genital-shocking, bucket-drowning, multi-tasker...

But, and I think we can all agree here, that is no excuse for taunting. Taunting is just plain rude. And how did they taunt him? They chanted the name of a different leader. I mean, talk about kicking a guy when he's down. I wasn't around for the hanging of Wilhelm Frick after Nuremberg, but I'd like to think I wouldn't have said anything.

Now before you choke on your Cheerios, be clear, Elayne isn't defending the Sadrist lynch mob. Her point:

Come on people, let's make up our minds about capital punishment. I'm against it, morally and ethically, unless someone kills someone I know and love, then I'm for it.

If we're against it, then let's not do it. But if we're going to do it, then let's do it!!!! Why make it as pleasant, painless and considerate as possible? Let's GO for "deterrent". It won't be "cruel and unusual" if it becomes usual. No painkillers, slow injections, easy slipping into the twilight, with doctors and priests and bed and blanket. So we don't lose ourselves, let's get the best in the business to do the job for us; let the already convicted murderers do it. They need the work, and a chance to think outside the box. [Emphasis mine-CK]

Which I believe is why executions, like wars, and torture sessions for that matter, should be televised, and if I could arrange it somehow, mandatory viewing.

Let's put the execute back into executions.

It's easy enough to let our government carry out this sort of grisly business behind closed doors. Out of sight, out of mind.

But for all those who give tacit support to war, to executions capital punshiment, to torture, I believe being forced to watch exactly what's being done in our names might have a most salutory effect.

No comments: