The Soulful Sacrifice. 1.

When milk bottles were first introduced, Blue-tits learned how to take the tops off pretty quickly. But the truly impressive aspect of their door step robberies was that they managed to communicate the secret to one another faster than Blue-tits can fly.

How did they do it?

Whatever the answer, Blue-tits are not the only species to have this knack of manifesting collective change without crib notes or peeking over one another’s shoulder.

Give or take a few centuries, humans all over the world changed the structures of their societies without confering nicely or resorting to the pointy end of something more persuasive.

We invented kings and queens.

The characteristics of this new type of leader differed markedly from those that preceeded them. They may look like chiefs with their rides pimped but there are important differences that have an impact on culture and consciousness difficult to get your head around.

”This was not simply a quantative extension of a ranking system, it was a truly qualitative change by which society had entered a new realm.” P V Kirch

These new leaders emerged simultaneously in cultures that had no bearing or influence upon one another which suggests that something greater was at work than big hairy blokes with extra pointy beards wanting a crown.

But what?

Whether you take the Egyptian Pharaohs, or the ancient kingdoms of West Africa, early European lineages or the far-flung Aztec and Chinese emperors from whom they were entirely isolated, there are aspects of this new fangled system of resplendent dudes in metal hats so common to all that you’d think they’d copied each other’s homework.

All agreed, there was to be a fundamental change in how humans got on together with ramifications for Collective Consciousness we can scarcely suspect.

or is that scaredly?

or sacredly?

Superficially, kings meant centralised power, more rigid hierarchies, increased divisions of labour and more highly organised economies. But the most important difference, the most impactful on their subjects, was a shift in the value of human life and the rules about who you can kill without calling it murder…

so you’ll be pleased to know that Kings are only recent inventions.

”The way of life we now take for granted and on the foundations of which we have built civilizations, occupies but one percent of the time of the big-brain’s preoccupation.” R. Ardrey.

We tend to think of kings as something that belongs to history and by which we are no longer affected. In fact it’s the other way around. The institution is very recent and pervades the very viscera of modern life.

Far from being ousted by revolutions or the democratic aspirations of suitably frightened subjects, kings adapted as only the very youthful can. They went underground, as our serf like devotions to the rich and famous, as the farce of rule by deep state oligarchs, as the proliferation of corruption and being above the law whose daily tabloid shenanigins, violent exploits and eternal wars are just the kind of court intrigue you’d expect from period drama.

There are a number of important differences between chiefs and kings, with consequences for those grovelling nearest, but there is one that stands alone in its impact upon us because it affects our perception of what it means to be human.

Not only is the king a political ruler, he is also the high priest and most significant for those within reach, an incarnation of State-Your-Prefered-Deity-Here. Again, you might imagine this to be some amusing footnote of history, a witty anecdote from The Golden Bough and yet its widely accepted by considerable swathes of people in our time that might has right. The powerful are ordained by and represent God. In everyday life this trickles down and manifests in the wider populace as the feeling that, by virtue of your allegiance, you too are special and/or entitled to be exempt and above the law.

‘I like to be offensive”, said a Charlottesville supremacist. After all, what is the point of being above the law if you don’t demonstrate it once in a while? In fact what other way is there to make the point?

The archives of Ethography are rich in examples of how animals of all kinds obey a natural law which distinguishes between neighbour and stranger. This is so that the aggression necessary for survival within a species does not spill over into communal violence. Snakes won’t use their fangs when they fight. The anxiety of the young male baboon to join a new troop is not just for acceptance but for protection. Herring gulls will erupt into a frenzy of squawking and tear up great lumps of grass when anger boils over, without ever resorting to their rapier sharp beaks.

People are the same..

”All known societies make a distinction between murder, the killing of member’s of one’s own group – and the killing of outsiders.” G. Gorer.

In other words the Principle of Relatedness is more fundamental in its distinction of friend from foe than the inevitablity of violent outcome.

”It is the effect of natural arangments, not the inoffensiveness of natural disposition that minimizes violent behaviour in a natural world.” Ardrey

Latent violence is there, but it’s subject to the natural law that distinguishes friend from foe. In a society run by leaders who are not ordained by the gods, nor  believed to be so special that they may not touch the ground, everyone in the community is protected from each other by this natural law. Contact with those who fall outside this protection can be made safer by rituals of politeness, exchange, intermarriage and stylised etiquette..

We shake hands, give gifts, let you have the seat furthest from the lavvy…

For folk who have been chosen by God and doing His Will, this natural law works against the majority because the king is removed from the community by a host of taboos which means that everybody, subjects and strangers alike, are now Other, unprotected by the rule which says that even an angry wolf will instinctively muzzle his bite if a pup merely shows him its belly.

No-one is safe.

In 19th C Buganda, not saying thankyou properly, with just the right amount of dust poured on your head, could get you killed. Oh, and also if you were vaguely related, or caused his Maj’ to touch the ground..or if you were unlucky enough to see him eating…. or caught his eye…

and so life is suddenly very precarious…

security and belonging eroded..

defences kicking in.

The rats start to turn on each other.

The advent of King-ship spills contained aggression into explosive violence. Not just between the king and anybody that looks at him funny but between the subjects themselves who are now also objects just a shade higher in worth than a non-believer and scrabbling to secure their positions.

If just deserts are your thing it doesn’t end well for the king. He is inflated and so must die. Tradition has it that he comes to a very bad end.  In Dahomey, if he’s lucky, he just gets murdered for the crown. If he’s not so lucky he has to be chopped up in bits, sometimes having to do the job himself, while he can, before being ritually consumed by the next incumbent.

Sometimes the king’s violent demise is ritualised at the end of fixed terms. Scandanavian kings ruled for twelve years after which they were put to death or a substitute found to die in their place, for just the right kind of sacrifice might appease the gods… sacrifices in their ones and twos all decked out in costumed finery, but then… maybe it would cover all the angles if they were also made in their uniformed millions.

Parts 2, 3, and 4 to follow.

Executions: a Psychology.

Floridas execution industry has suffered a recent set back with controversy about the use of a new type of lethal injection, Etomidate.

It doesnt work?

Oh no, it kills people really well..

The problem is that it causes the condemned recipient ten seconds of *mild to moderate discomfiture*, before suffering the worlds worst heart attack.

First off, if its untested, how does anyone know that…? But more importantly, what kind of a split reality do we live in where you might be happy to kill someone whilst moping their chin after a hearty last meal, making sure their death suit is freshly back from the cleaners or losing sleep over the *moderate discomfiture* of the person currently having his heart stopped.

Somehow the discomfiture…..

don*t make the noose to tight on him, its unconstitutional!

…and the unpleasant feelings associated with having your heart ripped out in tune to the lapping oarstrokes of Charons ferry, seems somewhat disconnected from the big picture..

All this split politeness about judicial killing has quite some history. Its a tradition that the condemned are allowed last requests, even if you hate them. You might have to send out for pizza, give them a choice of blindfold, or a final fag, perhaps the book clutching comfort of a man in a black dress muttering words to break the arkward silence of those last few moments..

Perhaps thats why the executioners get to be hooded, to hide the shifty look that knows there is covert agenda..

or could it be for politeness sake, so that the poor condemned need not be offended by the coldness of a face with all the mercy of a stone cliff on a stormy night…

or perhaps its to discourage unnecessary chit chat. Rapid dispatch will serve to  reduce the unpleasant chances of wetting of oneself, so thats jolly decent of them.

Oh and in fact you dont have to worry about having your head chopped off, which is a barbaric,… but we might dangle you by it and let you twist and kick for a bit. Way more humane.

The choreography of the pageant is preceeded by the death watch, a macabre ritual of intruding on the prisoner every couple of minutes to make sure he doesnt somehow manage to cheat his fate and make an earlier appointment with death, magically producing the means to kill himself from an empty cell, as though the maximum penalty also made you into a witch if you werent one to begin with.

Prisoners are often given a physical before their execution, in order to ensure that they are fit enough to die..

which is very considerate..

So, if you hurt your nob having a final desperate wank, you might be let off?

No, I dont think it works like that. Though it does beg the bizzare question of what constitutes health grounds for a stay of execution..

you cant kill me, I have a life limiting condition…

yes, its called the green mile.

The physical, the meal, the solemnity of final requests, the intricate rules, observances, training procedures to make sure the restraints dont chaf, all these are structures of denial about what is actually happening which have to be set in place to live with the contradiction of believing how evolved we are whilst clinging to the practices of tooth and claw. And so before delivering 300,000 volts to your exquisite jelly we will moisten the sponge, just so.

We dont want to kill people but we have a whole host of juicy ways of doing it which you can experiment with…of course, once due process has been tended to and we have made sure that the prisoner is not bruised before he is fried. We are humane.

Or maybe the execution industry is all part of a policy of bread and circuses designed to keep people amused whilst the State picks their pockets and slips shackles on their imagination. When times are hard the rate of judicial killing rises. The people must be diverted.

Of course, we are way too gentile to have such circuses publically anymore, that would be distasteful..

and crowd control is soo expensive.

But the court room dramas leading up to them, and the reliably endless media coverage makes up for all it. Shucks, its like having a front seat at the arena complete with corn chips and beer without having to leave the comfort of your own home.

how did life get this good?

But there is a problem..

For more than the amusement of a culture couch bound and weary from its own greatness, and for greater purpose than deterrence, there lies a dark and hidden motive that strikes further than the prisoners heart… and that is to convey to one and all that life is cheap, his, yours, mine. And since it is cheap it is not worth fighting for.

As soon as you argue for the relative worth of a particular persons life, irrespective of whether they *deserve* to die, then you are on the slippery slope of an arguement for the relative worth of any and all lives.

Andrew Anglin, founder of neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer wrote this about the Charlottesville attack…

*the real tragedy is what happened to the car. It was a very nice car, worth much more than the life of anyone who died.*

The ultimate effect of having a federal industry that puts people to death is not less crime, the deterrent effect, or justice for victims, but the ennervating message, embraced wholeheartedly by the collective insecurity of Supremacy, that the value of life can be measured like stock. And you wonder why your infinite, boundless soul is depressed.