chapter  6
18 Pages

POPULAR MEDIA, SEX AND VIOLENCE: NATURE OR NURTURE? – SAVAGE OR CITIZEN? THE CRASH OF THE MORAL MIRROR

The portrait that emerged during Meiwes’s eight-week trial was of a disturbed individual who had been obsessed since puberty with eating another man to become ‘one with him’ … Meiwes claimed he was trying to fill a void left by his father Dieter, who abandoned the family when he was 12 … [he] quickly confessed, but pointed out that Brandes had wanted to be eaten. Cannibalism is not a crime in Germany and Meiwes claimed he was guilty only of assisting in another man’s death … At the trial Meiwes opened his soul to the world and everyone knew that what he was saying was the absolute truth … He would never have eaten his victim against his wishes, and when he has served his time he will indeed have plenty to look forward to …

‘The “caring cannibal” set to make a media killing’ The Sunday Times, 1 February 2004

Recent human history in the developed world may be seen as a reaction to release from feudalism – the actual feudalism of pre-modern culture being followed by the transformed feudalisms of modernity.2 Our recent past saw the majority of persons living subjected to poverty and ignorance, as well as to the draconian decrees of state and Church – the society of thinkers, artists and entrepreneurs comprising our present world implicitly silenced, our own 20th century shadowed by one of repressions. Little wonder that recent decades have seen a pattern of libidinous excess, a veritable gorging in the sweetshop of possibility. The years have seen taboo after taboo uncovered, with the accelerating support of mass media and with the final velocity provided by the information superhighway.