Bodies Revealed Boycott

The first time I saw one of the Bodies Revealed they looked amazing. I first thought of how 3D printers were just making awesome things today. Pretty much anything that can be made in a 3D CAD software can later be reproduced in plastic. My friend Travis actually works for a company that sells and installs this awesome technology. However, I was wrong, the Bodies Revealed are actually real human bodies.

When I started hearing that the exhibit was coming to Kansas City, I was not very happy. I do not believe that science needs to be displayed in a freak show manner, specially since now our technology permits the creation of life like materials that are being used every single day to train doctors. Gone could be the days of gross anatomy where you could only learn by dissecting cadavers.

Someone I know had seen the display before and proceeded to argue the point that it was interesting. He ignored completely my argument that computer 3D models were just as accurate and that displaying bodies like art was somewhat obscene for me. He even thought my wife would see it more from the scientific side of things being a biologist and all. I was not sure so this week I asked her.

She completely agreed with me that it was just creepy to begin with and disrespectful. She then told me how some catholic universities have mass at the beginning of a semester for the people that donated their bodies to science. I have even myself consider donating my body for science and if I do part this earth and my organs can save someone’s life I would be glad to help. I also want to donate bone marrow in the future and have donated donated so many times before that I even got a t-shirt.

I however cannot condone the display of human bodies as a spectacle. I do not see any scientific or artistic merit on this morbid display. I am not as satisfied as Union Station CEO Andi Udris with the company that potentially used unwilling condemned prisoners for some other exhibits. Even thought the company produced documentation, it is not enough for me.

So I call on everyone that reads this blog to just skip this exhibit all together. There are plenty of other exhibitions that can bring more to our city than potentially unwilling human beings displayed as art. Even the willing people that donated their body for science probably did not know they were about to be displayed as if they were part of some sick freak side show. Shame on the Kansas City Star for titling their article on the subject “Willing donors gave bodies to Union Station exhibit, says official.” If you want to believe what a corporation making millions of dead bodies over 20/20, be my guest. However I think that when our local paper posts headlines as full of opinion as Tony Kansas City, who is obviously satirical, we should read between the lines and not believe the headlines. Alonzo Washington was the first local activist to speak up about this, so I am 100% with him. Lets boycott this even.

26 Responses to Bodies Revealed Boycott

  1. Being squeamish I won’t be going. I refused to take biology in high school & college.

  2. This is absolutely horrifying and an affront to all human dignity, if I went there I would most likely vomit all over their precious exhibit… it’s sick.

    Just take an MRI or CAT scan or whatever and use a damn 3d printer you sick bastards!

  3. never liked anything dead. no matter how you display it it’s still a stiff. i am going to a funeral today. nothing beautiful about that.
    on the unrelated note: i have seen your body and it’s too big for science.

  4. I agree with you. Pretty sad.

  5. I saw a piece on this a few months ago, and while it certainly isn’t my cup of tea, the process of creating these specimens is fascinating. I wonder how many kids are going to spark up an interest in anatomy and medicine after seeing these.

  6. I’ve been boycotting this damn show since it came to Seattle when I was in grad school there. It’s so inhumane! It really pisses me off that people -especially ones who know better- support this kind of thing.

  7. I heard about the show from somebody who was excited it was coming. They didn’t understand why I wasn’t just as excited.

    Then I saw on TKC some of the story about how bodies are procured for some of these exhibits, and I went from dis interested to pissed.

    The whole thing is just like people driving slow by a wreck, they wanna be titillated by something gruesome.

    N }:-

  8. Some of you people are just hi-larious.

    You don’t want to go to the exhibit? Fine. Don’t go. But please, before you get back on your moralistic soapbox, tell me what gives you the right to stop me from going.

    Some of you seem to enjoy putting the cart before the horse. Me? I’ll make up my own mind, thank you very much. I’ll actually take the time to go to the exhibit, study the bodies on display, and then decide whether I think the exhibit was educational, done in a tasteful manner, etc. If it was, I’ll say so. If it wasn’t, I’ll say so.

    The comments I’ve read about Bodies Revealed here, on TKC and a few other blogs remind me of the old saying. Opinions are just like assholes — everybody’s got one.

    MD

  9. The right to stop you?

    MD

    I am not stopping you from doing anything. I am asking you to boycott something that the Kansas City Star I believe displayed an irresponsible headline about. Most people, me included, don’t have the time to read everything out there, so I wanted to highlight that this exhibit is to me something that should not be in our city. If I stop myself from going to something I don’t believe in, I am heard… if others do the same, I hope you get what I am saying. Blogs are all about opinions, welcome.

  10. In half-support of MD’s perspective: does nobody find it ironic that bloggers, who are best known for sitting in their living rooms browsing the Internets, are calling for other bloggers to not go out and do something? Is that a change from the regular itinerary of a blogosphere participant? If you were calling on folks to log log into World of Warcraft for a week, that’d really be asking for something.

  11. MD is just an asshole with an opinion. Only I am reserved for that title.

    Moving right along…

  12. Surprisingly enough the KC blogging community here is quite active in social activities. They get together in small and big groups at least once a month and most of them are people that yelp a lot.

  13. Logtar, Thanks for a thought provoking post and for continuing to stand up against these dehumanizing displays. Have you seen all the reporting from ABC 20/20?

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=4291334&page=1

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=4316254&page=1

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=4296699&page=1

  14. I am very much into freedom of expression and art that pushes the envelope etc. However, this exhibition is so disrespectful of human dignity and so full of crass commercialism, I am sickened.

    Can we get a large-scale boycott going?

  15. I gave up on the idea of a full scale boycott because people argue that it has educational value, and I understand that some people in this society do need the shock to learn, so I am stopping at the point of informing people of how some of the bodies that this company profits from are obtained and leave it up to the individual to make their own mind up. My wife actually just posted about a cool alternative. (Visible Body vs Bodies Revealed)

  16. I am relieved that there are some willing to look at the moral implications of profiting from human cadavers. Plastination is in danger of going the same route as black market organ harvesting. If there is great profit to be made from a dead prisoner, there will be less effort made to keep them alive. We need to be very careful when we begin to look at humans as product, and these are the important lessons we need to teach our children.

  17. As a student of biology, I’m incredibly excited to see this exhibit. I’ve managed to get 20 of my closes friends to go – tickets are purchased already :)
    This isn’t about needing to be shocked to learn, this is about getting to see what has only been reserved for certain elect people in the scientific community. It is, as the ad on the page suggests, bringing to the lay people what only certain people used to get to see. And I’ve already heard so many inspiring stories from people who have gone, I can’t wait to be part of this.

    If you’re worried about humans being treated as products, then look at corporations and our current health care system as run by insurance companies – don’t bad mouth the people who are offering us great educational opportunities

  18. A New Day Has Dawned in Connecticut

    By the time this is printed the 1st Annual Quinebaug Valley Community College Arts & Science Entertainment Expedition to see the flayed, sliced and diced human beings on display at the “Bodies Revealed exhibit by Premier Exhibitions” in Hartford will have set off for fun and games! Tittering students will drive off to Hartford to stare, ogle and gawk to the full extent of their school-funded discount price. What a bargain! Where else, for only ten U.S. Dollars, can you see humans scientifically, but artfully, ripped open, cut into pieces and posed in oh so delicate ways without all that bloody mess that usually accompanies such activities? Why, it’s almost religious in the experience!

    Somebody ought to market this, they could make a mint. Besides being fun it could perform a valuable public service. Just imagine Plastinating Body Shop franchises popping up next to McDonalds everywhere. Bring in your dead, and for less than the cost of a funeral, plastinate that loved one for permanent display as a lawn ornament. Wonderful! Put wheels on them so they can be easily taken in and out of storage. Pose them in their favourite team’s uniform, and trot them out for every home game! Take them to tailgating parties! Use them to scare off burglars, or crows. Or, for sweet revenge, pose and dress them in embarrassing positions! Oh, wouldn’t that be a riot at the next tea and tart social?

    Why, that gives me another great idea! Excess humans can be plastinated and set up as chess pieces for life-size games in every public park. In fact, all those tenement eyesores can be bulldozed for new flower filled plazas. No more noisy neighbours! What’s not to love?

    There is no shortage of superfluous people to use as raw material. Look at all the degenerates that clog up our communities, lowering property values and endangering our children. They could finally be doing something worthwhile, and it would make every neighborhood a pleasant place to live. And, oh my, wouldn’t it be lovely to not have to listen to them rant anymore? There is just so much noise and argument in this world that we can never get any thing done, or have any proper peace and quiet. If we could have all the rabble rousers, misfits and freaks cleaned up, dressed properly and hair done stylishly, but conventionally – and oh yes, all those nasty tattoos and piercings covered over and filled in with some new People-Plaster product (which, by the way, opens the door to more new financial opportunities) – we can finally enjoy life without all that squalour and clamour. In fact, it would be restfully quiet now that only the soft strands of intellectual music would fill the air; no more screeching or awful explosions of bass guitars and raucous drumming blasting from boom-boxes and car stereos.

    Instead of always releasing those dirty, uncouth criminals back into the public when their sentences are finished, we could finally be rid of their hurtful insanities while still preserving their beauty. You have to admit, some of those bad boys & girls would be just so deliciously sexy if they were cleaned up, and shut up. Why, I imagine a special adults-only playset would be a hot seller. Of course, those bodies would have to easily store in the bedroom closet, but I’m sure that won’t be a problem for our good old American ingenuity. The possibilities are endless! Imagine: automated plastinated bodies for fortune telling booths, carnival scare houses and school biology classes. Stick a computer brain in their heads and we can have plastinated bodies as casino card dealers, toll booth attendants, theater ticket takers and factory assembly line workers. There is also the fantastic opportunity for numerous spin-off products to keep the bodies new and shiny, and to fix the inevitable wear and tear marks!

    Don’t forget, they could also be performing a great human service: before we plastinate them we can use their healthy organs for medical transplant in order to save the lives of the more respectable folk, like us.

    Yes, let’s finally do something about all the crazy protesters, smelly riff-raff and illegal immigrants clogging up our communities with all their poverty, addictions and bad manners. I think Plastinating Body Shops is the wave of the future. Not only will it be educational and artistic, it will be fun too!

    But we better get crackin’ ’cause China has a head start on us, and just look at the horde of people they can turn into plastic. Why, they could flood the market before we even get started!

  19. While this paticular exhibit is not my cup of tea, only because of me being overly squemish, I did try it. And it was enthralling. To realize to this extent what your body is like and what you can be doing to it, well I feel it is very educational. Especially for kids. We put out video games and movies that make killing another person, be it human or hell even animals, okay. Kids watch this and become numb to what is really important. I think this exhibit gives them a closer look at what they do. I also believe the fact that these are real bodies makes them take it more seriously than if it was just another computerized thing. As a matter of fact I have already taken my two children to it. They are both still in grade school, 3rd and 4th grade. They found it interesting and proceeded to ask intellegent questions. They really wanted to learn. If it had not been real bodies, then the focus would of been on WOW a computer can do this. Not what I want them thinking.

    But in the end I believe that a person should make up their own mind about this exhibit and that by boycotting it you are just depriving someone of a learning experience.

    Thank you

  20. I saw the exhibit this afternoon and it was absolutely amazing. By far the most fruitful learning experience I have had in a museum setting. IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH IT, DON’T GO, AND LET EVERYONE ELSE MAKE THEIR OWN DECISION. It is not about shock value or profiting from the exploitation of the dead. And the person with the alias of Mr. Mortimer, WOW, I can’t even imagine how great that made you feel to stand on your imaginary pedestal.

  21. Chris, my name is my name and has been for 53 years — it ain’t an alias, yo.

  22. I think you all need to get over yourselves there not your bodies there DONATED so get over it THE PEOPLE WANTED THERE BODY THERE AT THE SHOW its a great way for kids and and people to learn about the human body in a way that we all can understand its LIFE and its not like its not clean its a show that everyone can enjoy im sorry if all you scared people dont like the show but that gives you no reason to try to take LEARNING AWAY from US PEOPLE THAT WANT TO LEARN MORE

    pussies

    jerry

  23. If I knew more about the origin of the bodies, I would’t have visited this exposition.

  24. I’m guessing this boycott wasn’t all that succesful, considering I went to the same exhibit yesterday in Connecticut. It was amazing… I was speechless beyond anything but “wow”. All you against it are acting like they kill people and then put them on display.. When in actuality these people donated their bodies for the benefit of science and peoples understanding of the human body. Very nice exhibit, but I must say, its not for the weak stomachs! ;)

  25. Lol this MUST have been unsuccessful … I’m going nest week, and I live in North Carolina. It’s been nearly three years since this “boycott”! I too think that by trying to boycott it, you’re depriving other people of a learning experience. I might only be eighteen, but I’m much more intelligent than most my age … and I doubt anyone will even see this, considering this thread is three years old.

  26. Look people…You need to get a life! If you don’t like the exhibit then don’t go, problem solved! Stop trying to get people to boycott or shut down the exhibit just because you don’t approve. That is completely ignorant! So to all of you out there that think this is in humane Grow Up and get over yourselves.

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