In Oregon, a 69 year old farmer named Terence Vance Gardner appears to have died a macabre and possibly suspicious death. He set out to feed the hogs, some of which weighed around 700 pounds, but didn’t come back. A few hours later his dentures and pieces of his body were found in the enclosure.
Stories like this are bound to make headlines. People love horror stories and sensationalism, and I have to confess that I’m no exception to the rule. I immediately thought that he probably would have liked to die surrounded by a big bunch of grandchildren instead. And then a little voice in my head said, maybe he did. That creepy sense of humor seems to go hand in hand with the morbid interest in other people’s misfortune.
Why don’t we shy away from these horrid tales? I guess we need them somehow – as a way to cope with life, when real horrors knock at our own door step perhaps? Or maybe it’s that our brains have been formed by evolution to be very alert to danger. The modern environment doesn’t provide that much of it giving us horror abstinence.
At any rate it’s clear that the vast majority love gruesome tales as titillation and even humor. Maybe it’s healthy to give our brains a little dose of what it’s built for but rarely encounters these days. Like having a glass of wine now and then to clear up the arteries. It sounds cruel but then again life is cruel. We all die and become fodder for pigs or for sick jokes. It’s the circle of life : )