I am due to give a talk in Gothenburg (Göteborg) Sweden next April at a International Science Festival. I was planning on talking about The Self Illusion or some other brain-related talk but after hearing about the arrest of an unnamed woman who has been charged with violating the peace of the dead, I think that I must talk about disgust and essentialism.
When police turned up her apartment they discoverd over 100 human bones and initially thought that a murder had taken place. It turns out that she probably obtained them from a morgue. However, it is not the theft that has the liberal Swedes in such a bother but rather this may be a bona fide case of necrophilia.
In addition to the bones, they discovered photos on two CDs labelled “My necrophilia” and “My first experience” which contained a number of document files and pictures where she is using the bones as sex toys. I am assuming that the femur came in handy. I have posted one of the less disturbing images of her licking a skull. Actually, the one of the skull and her teddy bear kills two birds with one image so that I can talk about essential objects and how these are extensions of our materialism of the self.
Somehow, I don’t think I can resist the temptation to talk about our attitudes to the dead and the bones they leave behind when I visit in the spring. This will be one example of disgust that the Swedish audience should understand!