You are absolutely correct, and that was indeed rude and inconsiderate of me to just throw in that “southern states” assumption. I apologize. I am originally from upstate Illinois, and we certainly had our historical fair share of local yokels partying around lynchings.
And yes, that is the photo I remember - mhendo’s link shows it as well, and perhaps a bit larger so you can get a good look at those fun-lovin’ kids out for a good time on the town and catchin’ the lynchin’ before headin’ off for a malt at the local soda shop.
I was invited to one by a bunch of PLA guys in Zhongdian, Yunnan province, China, 1995. The condemned men, all ethnically Tibetan, were being driven around town trussed up on the back of a truck, with their crimes on cards strung around their necks, and their captors were excited, like it was a parade. They wanted us to go with them to the local stadium where the men would be shot in the back of the head. I debated with myself for a while that I should experience everything life put before me, but then decided it was just too distasteful and my psyche would be too disturbed by it. Especially since I’d caught the eye of one of the men in the last few minutes of his life.
I would not-- my psyche is not strong enough for it and I’m vehemently anti-DP. If there were a protest, sure, but not to WATCH the thing.
When I was a teenager those “Faces of Death” movies came out on tape and being hardcore rebel badasses we rented one. Guy’s parachute not opening, unpleasant. Eaten by alligators, unpleasant. But the one segment that really upset me badly was a capital punishment. They got this guy out of his cell and walked him down the row and sat him down and buckled him in and the entire time were focusing closely on him and I felt empathy. It’s easy to turn that off when you feel someone’s done wrong and you want revenge or the superficial “justice” that comes with an eye for an eye mob rule, but this guy looked absolutely mortally terrified which was understandable since he knew he WAS ABOUT TO FUCKING DIE and justice be damned I felt empathy and it made me feel sick to be watching this moment as titillating entertainment, this guy shuffling off this mortal coil, in fear and trembling and sickness unto death.
Never again. I have not watched the Saddam footage.
Watching the end of Dancer in the Dark enraged my sensibilities and made me bawl like a calf and I’m going to send an angry letter to Lars von Trier so being so good at what he does.
Sorry, strong feelings about this.
No, I would not in person. I do not support capital punishment. Fortunately, in Canada, the last execution, in 1962, was prior to my being born. I have absolutely no interest in watching videos of executions either.
I would probably go just for entertainment. People act like that is a foreign and monstrous concept but people seemed to have little problem with it when there were more public executions. I have watched a few including Saddam’s on my computer with little ill effect.