The Big Book of Pain [ePub]

by Mark P. Donnelly

What could be more fun than an illustrated book about torture throughout the ages? Well, probably a lot of things actually, but The Big Book of Pain does offer insight into the vast amount creative energy that humans have expended in order to inflict suffering on one another. The book is historical in nature, focusing primarily on the time leading up to the middle ages.

While society has become somewhat more civilized in the intervening years (we no longer break people on the wheel or stretch them on a rack, for example), torture is still alive and well despite overwhelming evidence that it doesn’t work. The rack, boot, thumb screws, garrote, stock and dunking chair may be obsolete, but in their place we have sleep deprivation, temperature extremes, isolation, loud music and waterboarding. And what would a secretive policy be without a creepy, Orwellian title … enhanced interrogation.

Welcome to your annual proctological exam … would you like the regular colonoscopy or the enhanced colonoscopy? Mwah ha haa ...

The other thing that has changed is that torture used to be a public spectacle on full display for the masses to witness. Today, state sponsored torture is done in secret away from the prying eyes of the public and media. It’s almost as if they lack pride in their work.



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