No Thanks, I'll Eat It Here


Reason contributor A.S. Hamrah, the artist formerly known as Slotcar Hatebath, hips us to the nanny state's latest infringement on our precious liberties: It is now illegal to have sexual congress with a corpse in the state of California. Sez Reuters:

The state's first attempt to outlaw necrophilia, in response to a case of a man charged with having sex with the corpse of a 4-year-old girl in Southern California, stalled last year in a legislative committee.

Lawmakers revived the bill this year after an unsuccessful prosecution of a man found in a San Francisco funeral home drunk and passed out on top of an elderly woman's corpse.

The new law makes sex with a corpse a felony punishable by up to eight years in prison.

David Raclin of The Press-Enterprise (reg. req.) has more detail on the case of the molested four-year old:

The law, AB1493, was named Robyn's Law for Robyn Erin Gillett, a 4-year-old Adelanto girl who died Feb. 12, 2003 after having a seizure. Her body was molested later that day at the San Bernardino County morgue.

The lack of a statute outlawing necrophilia became an issue after sheriff's detectives arrested Donald Cooper, 32, and Chaunee Helm, 30, who worked for a company that had a contract to transport bodies to the county morgue.

Since California had no law prohibiting sex with a corpse at the time of the crime, the two suspects were charged with mutilating a dead body, a violation of the Health and Safety Code.

"We went to the district attorney's office and said we wanted to get (arrest) warrants," said San Bernardino County Sheriff Gary Penrod in March 2003. "We had trouble finding a law that was specific to what they had done."

Cooper pled guilty to a felony and was given a two-year suspended sentence with five years on supervised probation. He was ordered to attend a sex-offender treatment program. Helm, who served as a lookout, pled guilty to a misdemeanor.

Obviously, neither a corpse nor a four-year-old can provide consent, but if you leave permission in your will for your lonesome spouse or S.O. to have one last fling with your mortal coil, shouldn't the state of California respect your wishes?

Actually, I don't really care about this issue, but I think it's important to get ahead of (or proudly embrace) the inevitable epithet: "Dirty, corpse-fucking libertarians."

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  1. The crime is gross and sensational of course, but I’m more interested in this guy who served as lookout. That strikes me as the true definition of friendship.

    It’s nice to know that if I ever need to fuck a corpse in Calfornia, Chaunee Helm’s got my back.

  2. Isn’t it already illegal to mess around with corpses, by which I mean anything other than burying/cremating them? Isn’t that a health law or something?

    And even if it wasn’t, isn’t there a legal remedy by the family of the deceased against whoever was holding the body, as it was not treated with the respect they were paying for?

    Finally, since the guy was having sex with the corpse knew what he was doing wasn’t right, even if there wasn’t a law — knew enough, in fact, to post a lookout — this would imply that you can’t deter necrophilia, you can only punish it.

    I think the civil remedies are sufficient.

  3. Reason Magazine: “Defending your right to fuck dead people since 2004”

  4. necrophilia is not illegal in california, but it is considered destruction of property. a deceased person is no longer considered a person, per se. though an embalmer must keep “privates” covered during embalming, and it is illegal for an individual to take a picture of a corpse unless they are family. (my husband is a mortician. i know more about this stuff than most would care to. ;))

  5. I’f I sell rights to violate my corpse on e-bay and a man wins the bid…does that make me gay, or just a good ebayer A++++++++?

  6. I first saw this mentioned in the NY Times, which says that “prosecutors…had been stymied by the lack of an official ban”. Well, yeah, I would suppose so, but in the absence of an official ban, what were prosecutors getting involved for anyway? Not to stick up for necrophilia, but there seems to be a widespread disease of prosecutors deciding what they don’t like first and worrying about the law second – more widespread than necrophilia by a long shot, I’d warrant. Someone needs to remind AGs that their job description is not “protector of public morals.”

  7. Tim Cavanuagh’s hypothetical reminds me of the case of the fellow in Germany who consented to be eaten. It also reminds me of the sanctions imposed against individuals who willingly sell their organs for money.


    And in the aforementioned case from Germany, prosecutors their also puzzled over how to convict the individual who partook of the consenting party, since cannibalism apparently was not illegal in Germany at the time. Eventually I think they convicted him of something like “taking advantage of the mentally ill.”

  8. Comedian David Cross has a rather hilarious bit on his latest CD in which, in response the question, “Do you want to be buried, or cremated?” he responds that he doesn’t care, because he won’t know. He then says, “Do something useful, like give me to some necrophiliacs.” Maybe there’s a middle ground here somewhere!

  9. Did anyone notice the guy who died recently of that new strain of bird flu was doing mouth-to-beak resucitation on his cock fighters?

    By the way, I hope Virginia Postrel is not still checking up here or all us pansies are in deep guano.

  10. Well, I am surprised noone mentioned the very great and almost prophetic Alfred Jarry, who authored this piece:

    Hommages Posthumes

    In defense of necrophilia since 1897?
    I mean what can be a better way to show your love for the deceased… Nudge, nudge, know what I mean, hey? hey? nudge nudge, say no more, say no more…

  11. Not related, but this reminds me of a friend of mine who was kicked off of his high school radio show for simply REPORTING a local arrest for sex with a non-consenting dog.

    The fact that the age of the corpse was (unofficially) taken into account speaks of a profound misunderstanding of death. Also the implication is that someone who fucks a four-year old corpse is especially weird when compared to the relatively normal adult-corpse fucker.

  12. Psuedo,

    Thanks for teasing out that fact. 🙂

  13. A couple of thoughts:

    (1) A necrophillic pedophile must be be the king of the perverts. I think it would be hard to top that one. (Please don’t try) Wouldn’t want to be him in prison.

    (2) It is comforting that we still have a legal standard that “it’s not illegal unless the state explicitly says it is.” Many regulatory laws follow the, “it’s illegal unless the state explicitly allows it standard.

  14. Another job for Uma Thurman.

  15. Let me ring the law-and-economics bell first here… California has, in effect, just torqued the incentives against necrophile pedophilia relative to the incentives against abuse of living children. From that perspective, isn’t this just an incredibly bad idea? Isn’t there a chance Cooper and others like him–if any exist–will now figure they might as well chase fresh meat?

  16. Maybe while the libertarian heavyweights are discussing whether or not it should be a criminal offense to molest the body of a dead four year old they should a take a little time to think about why the Libertarian Party has yet to break 5% in a nationwide election.

  17. D Anghelone,

    Even corpses get the blues.

  18. Wonder what Sen. Santorum has to say about it!

  19. Terence,

    Has the Libertarian party ever broke 1% in a nation-wide election (the only truly nation-wide election being the Presidential election of course)?

  20. So I’m guessing this means Arnie will have to divorce his wife.

  21. Gary Gunells-
    Gosh, I’m going by memory here. The last time I voted Libertarian was in ’92. I think by that time they had one nationwide election where they broke 4%. I might be wrong, tho. I lived in Minnesota until ’89 and I might have had in mind their high water mark in state wide elections. I’ll consult the internet and report back.

  22. Now, Gary, Terence. Let’s stick to the topic here. Sexual congress with the deceased.

  23. Terence,

    Try here:

    Using the above website I did not find a LP in existance prior to 1972 (I looked backwards to the 1960 election).

    1972 – 0.00% (3,674 votes but ONE EV! – A Nixon elector apparently bolted and voted LP) (John Hospers) (Popular Vote wise the LP 11th, just below the ever popular Prohibition party)

    1976 – 0.21% (Roger McBride) (Fourth place behind Eugene McCarthy)

    1980 – 1.06% (Edward Clark) (Fourth place behind John Anderson)

    1984 – 0.25% (David Bergland) (Third place that year)

    1988 – 0.47% (Ron Paul) (Another bronze medal)

    1992 – 0.28% (Andre Marrou) (Out of the medals and into four place)

    1996 – 0.50% (Harry Browne) (Drops to fifth place overall; behind the Green Party)

    2000 – 0.36% (Harry Browne) (Clings to fifth place behind the Green & Reform parties)

  24. Pavel,

    Ouch! 🙂

  25. Okay, Gary, I went to
    and discovered that the most the Lib’s ever got in a presidential election was 1.06% in 1980. I think they’ve done much better in representative elections for nationwide office (senator, congressman) but I can’t think of an easy way to do a google lookup for that data. Didn’t AK have a Libertarian congressman back in the late 70’s?
    The point I was trying to make with my first post was that the poor showing of Libertarians in a wide demographic isn’t because the other parties use matching funds or they have greater media exposure, it’s because they let themselves get caught in traps of their own making by debating fine philosophical points , like necrophilia, that have little personal weight with voters but heavy moral weight. If small-l libertarians were really as politically savvy as they believe they are they’d pull the old conservative trick of assigning these kinds of issues in federalist terms and say matters like the criminal status of necrophilia are for the states to decide.

  26. Terence,

    Apparently we are fans of Dave Leip’s webpage.

  27. Gary-
    Ya’ beat me to it. I believe that 1976 was the first year the Libertarians mounted a “real” national campaign. I was a few years too young to vote in the ’76 election but the way I remember it the Libertarians hoped to peel off a big slice of the the Goldwaterites from the national Republican Party. The Republican Party was still reeling from watergate and was very demoralized. The religious right made a big move into politics in the 70’s and 80’s and with them to give electoral strength and Regan to provide leadership the Republicans came back big time and squeezed the Libertarians out of the smaller gov’t game. Anyway in 1976 there seemed to be a big contingent of Libertarian ex-YAFF’ers in my home state of Minnesota.

  28. Not to get off topic, but is Lyndon LaRouche STILL not a corpse?

  29. Terence,

    Interesting. Thanks for the information.

  30. Pavel,
    The meat is sweetest next to the bone.

  31. Necrophilia should be a constitutional right as a logical extension of Lawrence v. Texas.

  32. Man on corpse? Man on dog corpse?

  33. Terence –
    as flattered as I am to be called a libertarian heavyweight, I have to point out that the more time legislators spend passing laws like “no necrophilia”, the less time they have to spend on passing really bad laws. Consider it libertarianism by other means!

  34. “Dirty, corpse-fucking libertarians.”

    i know it’s common for someone to point to the boards and bemoan the state of reason or why they let their subscription lapse.

    it’s sentences like this on hit and run which got me to subscribe in the first place.

  35. I’m with you dhex: If the corpse fits, wear it!

  36. Warning! – non-seqiutor alert! 🙂 It is funny, however.


    The following case concerned a suit over TM confusion; the litigants were a maker of girdles, and the publisher of Seventeen magazine. The girdle maker wanted to use the trade name Miss Seventeen Foundations Co.

    From Triangle Publications v. Rohrlich, 167 F2d 969, 976 (2d Cir. 1948):

    “Like the trial judge’s, our surmise must rest of ‘judicial notice.’ As neither the trial judge nor any member of this court is (or resembles) a teen-age girl or the mother or sister of such a girl, our judicial notice apparatus will not work well unless we feed it with some information directly obtained from “teen-agers” or from their female relatives accustomed to shop for them. Competently to inform ourselves, we should have a have staff like those supplied to administrative agencies. As we do not have such staff, I have questioned some adolescent girls and their mothers and siseters, persons I have chosen at random. I have been told uniformily by my questionees that no one could reasonably believe that any relation existed between plaintiff’s magazine and defendant’s girdles.”

  37. “The new law makes sex with a corpse a felony punishable by up to eight years in prison.”

    Three observations:
    (1) This law appears to ban sex between two corpses, even if they are both consenting.
    (2) It does not however appear to forbid reanimated corpses from having sex with living people.
    (3) I’m unclear how this affects sex with the undead.

  38. Gosh, I knew this topic was going to dwindle down to japing & tomfoolery, but then I guess it started that way. The legal status of whether a corpse can be considered a rational actor is important people!

  39. Gosh, I knew this topic was going to dwindle down to japing & tomfoolery, but then I guess it started that way. The legal status of whether a corpse can be considered a rational actor is important, people!

  40. Gosh, I knew this topic was going to dwindle down to japing & tomfoolery. The legal status of a corpse, whether it can or it cannot be considered a rational actor, is important here, people!

  41. I don’t think the last two Browne campaigns can be considered serious electoral efforts. Nor can they be considered an accurate reflection of libertarian sentiment in America today.

    In 1996 Browne spent just under $9,000 in advertising out of a total budget of $1.4 million.
    Four years later, upon gaining the nomination again, he expended a mere $117,000 out of a war chest of nearly
    $3 million.

    According to R.W. Bradford at LIBERTY, the money was given to the campaign by donors for the express purpose of drumming up party support (i.e. advertising), but Browne used the money for “personal travel, generous salaries for his staff, and building a fundraising base for future use.”

    Obviously there are many Americans who are looking beyond the two-party system and leaning toward a more libertarian message. Unfortunately, politicians will always be…politicians.

  42. I don’t think the last two Browne campaigns can be considered serious electoral efforts. Nor can they be considered an accurate reflection of libertarian sentiment in America today.

    In 1996 Browne spent just under $9,000 in advertising out of a total budget of $1.4 million.
    Four years later, upon gaining the nomination again, he expended a mere $117,000 out of a war chest of nearly
    $3 million.

    According to R.W. Bradford at LIBERTY, the money was given to the campaign by donors for the express purpose of drumming up party support (i.e. advertising), but Browne used the money for “personal travel, generous salaries for his staff, and building a fundraising base for future use.”

    Obviously there are many Americans who are looking beyond the two-party system and leaning toward a more libertarian message. Unfortunately, politicians will always be…politicians.

  43. Does Roe v. Wade mean that states cannot prohibit sex with a fetus, given the mother’s consent?

  44. Well, I have no problem with banning sex with a corpse unless the deceased gave consent before dying. So the only qualm I could have with this law is that it doesn’t seem to allow for that exception.

    But I really can’t bring myself to be upset by the lack of such an exception, given that the vast majority of sexual encounters with corpses at the moment are presumably non-consensual. If that disregard for the tiny handful of conscientious necrophiliacs makes me a statist, well, so be it.

  45. Shannon Love wrote:

    “(1) A necrophillic pedophile must be be the king of the perverts. I think it would be hard to top that one. (Please don’t try) Wouldn’t want to be him in prison.”

    Sam Kinison could have topped it. I miss Sam.

  46. to punch all of the moral nannies’ buttons it would have to be a dead male puppy. possibly one that the offender was married to…

  47. Maybe I should register and then hold it for ransom when the North American Person/Corpse Love Association tries to get it. Seems like an opportunity…

  48. Such is the ultimate dilemma of the “victimless crime”: once you’re dead you’re no longer a victim. And yet, if you’re dead, how do you consent to the crime?

    Should we assume that lack of consent implies that there is no crime? Obviously not. But without dissent, why should we conversely assume that there is no victim? Logically we can’t say either way, we can only regard the secondary considerations.

    This is the problem I have with any “victimless crime”: the secondary considerations are ignored in favor of the moment. Prostitution, drugs, etc considered victimless because they involve immediate consent. How consentual is a consequental addiction or venereal disease?

    We might say that these problems are bi-products of an otherwise victimless act. And yet, what about those that are never given the opportunity to consent because the action is hidden?

    For instance, the wife of a john says “no” to an extramarital affair, or a junkie’s family says “no” to spending money on a financially- debilitating behavior. In each of these cases, the behavior of the john or junkie must be hidden to avoid social repercussions, whether the behavior lacks merit or not.

    The “social guilt factor” is present in all laws. Some might argue this is an issue of imposing morality, which exacerbates the consequences of hidden behavior. So it is better to make every action measurable, or marketable, thus allowing it to be transparently-controlled by market forces.

    So why aren’t capital crimes organized in the same way? Why aren’t people required to pay equivalent worth for every murder they commit? If they can’t pay, why aren’t they are jailed in a debtor’s prison?

    Because there is no way of measuring a person’s potential worth as a human being, any measure would tend to make it easier to murder those financially less-valuable to society, or those whose value is so high that time spent in prison never compensates and is therefore meaningless. Which begs the question: what about the possibility of those immeasurably worth something to society, regardless of their social circumstance?

    This, after all, is simply on the logical fringe of consent: perhaps all victims wished to be killed, but we can’t tell since they’re dead. Maybe many murders are really euthanasia, but because we restrict the use of euthanasia we have no way of measuring what murder really is? Or maybe certain acts such as legal necrophilia respects individual rights and the wishes of the deceased, because we have no way of measuring what is personally wrong? It would be stupid to believe that. While you’re at it, why not just start using soylent green?

    Perhaps aspects of life which are intangible are worth more than those that are tangible, regardless of attempts to measure them legally or illegally (like the formation slavery-prostitution rings, or state-sanctioned drug cartels). After all, our intangible needs and desires are what fuel the economic engine. And yet, government reflects the larger society in its actions whether we wish it or not.

    Therefore it should not be surprising that people find necrophilia abhorrant, nor that they would react with laws or invective. Indeed, as libertarianism is fond of espousing, positive economic intangibles offer the greatest possibilities when they are unfettered by government intervention.

    If we consider unfettered discourse a positive intangible, I have no problem declaring that Tim Cavanaugh’s blog is frankly disgusting.

    To make my point by overreaching, I hope Tim suffers the consequences of his logic. To be even more inflammatory, I hope he chokes on his own vomit.

    We all know a logical argument devoid of humanity is bullshit. Tim, you approach the lowest form of indifference and callous disregard for the sake of a stupid blog. Is it to much to say that you’re a total “moron,” using the proper dictionary definition of the word?

    Do you have any shame, or is this just your version of an experiment in provoking social censure, you poseur? I doubt you’d wanna fight for it, but do you really want to bet who’s gonna blink first? I think not.

  49. JOE_M,

    You’re taking this way too seriously.

  50. Perhaps I am taking it too seriously.

    But the problem is that armchair philosophy usually amounts to nothing more than causal nihilism. I see that as dangerous, for the very fact that some people DO take it seriously.

    Just because I can call somebody’s bluff, the ideas Tim expressed are now suddenly less serious? Or somehow have less impact? Or are merely disingenuous? In that case, why speak at all?

    That kind of flippant attitude is exactly what induces the bureaucratic mentality: “I was only doing my job.”

  51. I agree, JDog. No one in this forum is, I hope, seriously presenting necrophilia as a desirable or approved lifestyle. Still I think this is an appropriate subject for a discussion about libertarian beliefs. Who does a person’s corpse belong to? Society as a whole? The default next of kin? Their “estate”?

  52. I’m not sure that the best way to oppose the ban is the victim/consent paradigm, giving the very absence of victimhood/consentuality in the case. There are already laws against the behavior, which seem quite adequate. Pets are considered chattel, and they’re varifiably alive. Why not the same for corpses? The new prohibition is merely the outgrowth of the collective emotion of society, a cry for “dignity.” In that sense, it doesn’t fit the definition of “reason.” But an exective presented with such a bill just can’t afford the unnecessary trouble of the veto, bottom line. See: McCain/Feingold. (Or Kennedy-written education bill, 9/11 commission, homeland security dept.,…)

    You might want to check out T.S.O.L.’s (the only punk rock band known to have stolen a corpse as a group) song “Code Blue.” For the crass and profane teen male in all of us.

    P.S. I held my nose and voted for Michael Cloud, Libertarian for Senate in the last cycle. The stuff about Browne’s poor money-handling implicated Cloud in some way, last I heard word. Anyway, he ran against John Kerry, who refused to debate him. He got around 20% of the vote, with no Republican in the race.

  53. “No thanks, I’ll eat it here.”

    Christ, Tim, I haven’t heard that joke since I was in 6th grade, 30+ years ago! Thanks for the reminder.

  54. I think we all have a reasonable assumption that unpon our deaths under normal circumstances, that our bodies will not be “defiled” in any way. The corpse-as-rational-actor discussion is important, as it may be pertinent when discussing animism in law (that big bad assault weapon is going to jump out on the street and kill people). Many would agree that there is no proof of an extended consciousness beyond death, therefore the boy cannot have a “mind,” and as such is not a legal entity. Whether or not the corpse is a rational actor, one could make the argument that the physical remains are the property of the estate of the deceased. The concept of an estate is a legal tool by which individuals are assured that their will (here, I intend a broader reading than “last will and testament”) is carried out post mortem.

    If the remains are the property of the estate, and it can be said for most people that they do not wish for their remains to be abused after their death, then the concept of estate should be all we need to legally protect our physical remains from defilement. In the absence of specific instructions from the deceased (in the will, for example), corpse abuse should be considered non-consensual. Thus non-consensual necrophilia becomes a crime against the estate, not the State.

  55. the one sentence should read, in part,

    “the body cannot have a mind”

  56. So I suppose this means no zombie sex either? I guess that zombies do not have free will and cannot consent, but what if I get the permission of the zombie’s master? What then?

  57. I think we all have a reasonable assumption that unpon our deaths under normal circumstances, that our bodies will not be “defiled” in any way.

    No thinking person could possibly assume their body would not be defiled after death. Unless you are cremated or mummified, the corpse in the casket is going to eventually have worms crawling through every rotting orifice.

  58. I am not so sure this is a victimless crime.

    I remember when Buffy had sex with Angel. He experienced one true moment of happiness, and then lost his soul, returned to being one bad-assed vampire and killed a lot of people including Giles’ girlfriend.

    The California state legislature has the duty and responsibility to protect the citenzry from this threat.

  59. zorel, I feel it’s important to point out that it’s possible, maybe even likely, that Sen. Santorum enjoys hours-long love-making sessions with the corpses of 4 year-olds (whether female or male), but really, we just don’t know.

  60. I suppose that, if someone dies intestate, having no executor and having made no funeral arrangements, the legal status of the body is open to question. On the other hand, someone could make contractual arrangements prior to death or leave specific directions in a will, which would establish the body as the property of the estate, to be subject to certain treatment. This kind of thing already happens when, for example, one wills one’s body “to science.” Should criminal law be able to trump such arrangements? Also, if someone violates a corpse without the owner’s consent, wouldn’t that already be simple trespass or vandalism (depending upon the amount of damage)? I don’t see the need for yet another law.

  61. jc,

    I think you know what I meant. Anyway, it’s pretty much out of the realm of the ordinary that a corpse be knowingly, purposefully defiled by a rational (?) actor.

    Also, pretty much 100% of people, when asked, would indicate a preference to not be subject to post-mortem nookie.

  62. (1) A necrophillic pedophile must be be the king of the perverts. I think it would be hard to top that one. (Please don’t try)

    Dead puppies.

  63. A body is, left to rot in the alley or whatever, a hazard so even if friends and family can’t be found, there are usually local laws about who has control and what they should do.

    Frankly, I think this is one of those things that people just shouldn’t do, and I don’t mind there being a law against it.

    My four-year old’s panties can’t give consent either, but I’d hope that if someone stole them of the laundry line for perverted acts, that person could be arrested for more than tresspass and theft.

  64. Jo – just to get serious for a moment, something that’s hard to do when the discussion began with the phrase “DCFL”, but regarding the panty theft: why, exactly? I don’t mean to be belligerent; I’m simply curious about your view of the origin of law and whether pure moral opprobrium is a valid basis for law. If we accept that it is, and I happen to think that homosexual acts are distasteful/against God’s will/hurtful to me…? This issue really defines, IMO, into which legal camp you fall. I think we both need to go re-read On Liberty – something I was planning to do anyway.

  65. This is the law where I live. It makes sense to me.

    btw. Didn’t an electoral-college member chosen on the Nixon slate vote for the Libertarian candidate?

  66. raymond,

    Yes; see my post at September 12, 2004 08:20 PM
    supra. 🙂

  67. I agree with JD at September 12, 2004 04:16 PM.

    Just to further add to the LP trivia.

    The Nixon elector who voted for Hospers/Nathan in ’72 was Roger McBride. McBride went on to become the LP’s Presidential nominee in 1976. Toni Nathan was the the first woman to receive an Electoral College vote.

    This also led to legislation in many (most?) states binding electors to their party’s candidates. The constitutionality of said legislation has yet to be tested.

  68. Isaac-

    The Constitutionality of such laws may be tested this year. A Bush elector in West Virginia is making noise that he’ll either vote for somebody else or cast a blank ballot. Such things have happened before, but from what I understand it’s never been put to a serious test because it never mattered before. This year, we face the very real possibility of another really close verdict one way or the other. (Yes, I know, it could still be a landslide one way or the other, but the possibility of a very close outcome is too strong to ignore.)

    Even weirder, I’ve seen very plausible electoral college maps that yield a 269-269 tie.

  69. thoreau

    I wonder if WV has such a law. I know FL does (I had to sign a state mandated pledge when I signed up to be a LP elector in ’92). To the best of my knowledge noone has strayed since McBride (there were rumbles in 2000 for R electors to vote D but it didn’t happen).

    I suspect that “ties” in the electoral college are like “ties” at First Base. I think after much wailing from both parties and more agitation to abolish the EC the election would go to the House.

  70. “This is the law where I live. It makes sense to me.”


    Cuz we all speak french (or deutsch, or italiano)…

  71. celui qui aura profan? ou publiquement outrag? un cadavre humain,
    sera puni de l?’emprisonnement ou de l?’amende.

    A person who has abused/put to degrading use, or publicly committed an outrage upon a human cadaver
    will be punished by imprisonment or fine.

    (That’s the relevant bit.)

  72. I’d like to apologize about how I reacted the other day. I was having a bad day yesterday. Anyway, my apologies. I just don’t think it’s right to joke about this stuff, or use it as some kind of object lesson to make political points, however ironically or sincerely they were intended. I think it reflects bad taste and poor judgment. I’m not holding my breath for any kind of editorial reprieve, though. Enough said.

  73. Joe M,

    I haven’t even been following this thread at all closely, but I wanted to respond to your extraordinary post. Everyone here knows it’s not at all uncommon for someone to misread a statement, or take it out of context, or just be pissed off, and post a big verbally abusive hissy-fit (I’ve certainly done it myself, although not as much or as egregiously as some…). But virtually never does anyone later apologize for their outburst, except possibly in the most half-assed and pseudo-apologetic (or non-apologetic) of terms. (A certain regular poster recently called a presumed female “combatant” a cunt, then repeatedly and vociferously defended his lack of class and minimal civility because she (?) had referred to him as “snotty,” as if those are the least bit equivalent.)

    Anyway, at the risk of getting far too warm and fuzzy for Hit and Run, I just wanted to say thanks. The hissyfit posts can be pretty fun, but the “I’m sorry” posts are nice too. And if we can’t get along with each other, we’re going to be completely fucked when the pusher robots arrive (god I hate those heartless bastards…).

  74. I think they used to have public stocks for this kind of thing.

    A day of rotten tomatoes and cabbages is probably sufficient–and appropriate–punishment.

  75. Maybe, maybe not, Mac. Who knows what else a necrophiliac could be into? Such a sick bastard might even like sauerkraut.

  76. Consent of the deceased is not the issue concerning necrophilia. Upon one’s demise, one’s corpse becomes the property of one’s family. If there is no evident family, the corpse becomes abandoned property under the control of The State. One could certainly will one’s body to science, or some other use, which the heirs then have some legal and moral obligations to fulfill (just as my mother willed family heirlooms to me and my sister, insisting that if we did not want them, they had to be disposed within certain family bloodlines). In essence, a necrophile is masturbating with another person’s property (unless it’s a family affair, there’s always an exception, yada yada). Somebody said he would not want his 4-year-old’s panties stolen for perverse purposes. I would not want my pillow used for someone else’s perverse purposes. It seems to me that existing civil and criminal law (vandalism seems most applicable) should be sufficient.

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