Monday, January 14, 2008

Whenever people talk about the death penalty, I feel sad

Take this, for example, from the BBC:

"Hanging causes a fracture between the second and third cervical vertebrae, fracturing the joint, tugging the spinal cord, damaging the brain stem and causing the heart to stop. Still common in many parts of the world, it's nevertheless an exact science - if the rope is too short, the prisoner may not die instantly; too long and he may be decapitated. The latter seems to have been the case last year in the botched hanging of Saddam Hussein's half-brother "

What are they talking about? You're KILLING someone. How is DECAPITATION a "botched hanging"? Also, what is "seems" about this? HE WAS DECAPITATED. This is not, um, something one need speculate about.

Also, inevitably, the wonderful world of internet comments leads to a barrage of alternately "The death penalty is wrong, and I will argue this with a grotesquely smug tranquility, peon," and "These inhuman criminals need to be tortured! You're all effeminate anti-globalization communist hippie gay fags," statements. I like how this underscores that the internet is probably going to be the underpinning of our future surveillance society, because, otherwise, you can't buy things safely on Amazon, and the RIAA/MPAA can't sue you for using P2P, and you might be a terrorist, anyways. I hate that word SO MUCH!

*rant elided

(I have decided to start using this as short hand for my getting irrationally upset about a triviality).

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