I Have A Spooky Feeling: Human Leather Goods Sold as Luxury Items

January 7, 2014 — Leave a comment

Human_skin_for_sale_1

BMW ELEGANT

The ad from the website is inviting.

The language  reads, directly from the homepage,  “…human leather is the finest grain leather that is obtainable. It is free from defects and has the smallest grain size which makes it the smoothest, softest leather on earth…there are a few areas of the body, (back and abdomen) that have uninterrupted skin coverage, and are therefore the best for processing into human leather.  These areas allow the maximum usage when being crafted into large coverage items, especially satchels and briefcases…We cater to a small but highly discerning clientele.  They are amongst those lucky few who have everything they could possibly desire.”

Buy it now on the internet.

THE BIPED KOAN

Like most people, I have optimism about the future, but I also have a spooky feeling.

I worry about humankind.I can’t sleep at night without pharmaceuticals. I am concerned about the survival of our children. I am sorry. I  have  a spooky feeling.

For years, as if a koan, I remember what Arthur C. Clarke said about the future. He  proclaimed that there would be no discernible difference between carbon bipeds (we, humans) and silicon bipeds (*robotics”), except we carbon bipeds were less energy-efficient. We eat disproportionately to  the energy we produce. We get sick too often. We poop too much.

“DIAL F FOR FRANKENSTEIN”

Of course, Arthur wrote “Dial F For Frankenstein” . This is a sci-fi story about telephone networks  which destroyed the world when their machine intelligence began  communicating with each other’s network. This was  the  inspiring tale that brought young Timothy Berners-Lee to create the world-wide web.

Before he died,  the knighted Sir Arthur C. Clarke grandly  took credit for “ Dial F For Frankenstein” inspiring the world-wide wide.

Author and Futurist Arthur C Clarke_Travels in Transmedia_David Kirkpatrick

Author and Futurist Arthur C .Clarke

CAN’T WE BE MORE LIKE OUR IPHONE?

The Director of Technology and Self at MIT, Sherry Turkle says, in her brilliant  book Alone Together that based of research, we humans don’t like being human.

We have contempt  for the circumstances in which we find ourselves.  We bleed and die and are conflicted in sex . All of that is  icky.

 We want to be more like the technology which lies on our pillow or bed stand . It texts us, updates us, advises us on snowstorms, and awakens us to the sun. The battery life and efficiency is growing stronger.

“PEOPLE ARE REALLY GOOD AT HEART”

I know how the human race has fought to be free. I see the tremendous beauty in people, I do. I look how their nobility surprisingly triumphs in great poverty, depravity, and hopelessness.

I believe what the beatific Anne Frank  said, “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” Yet in the end, Anne Frank died in the concentration camps like so many others.

Anne Frank

Anne Frank

“SHE IS  NOT AN ORDINARY GIRL, SHE IS AN OSCAR GIRL.”

Fifty years after Anne was killed, only 4 years ago, an indian girl, Rubian Ali, was sold by her father to a rich Arab  for $425, 000 dollars.

“This was no ordinary girl,”her father said, “this was an Oscar girl.”  The movie in which she was featured , Slumdog Millionaire, had won a the golden  statue   in 2009. Her Dad wanted some extra cash.

Dad was found out. The media went  nuts. The rich buyer reneged. The transaction was negated.

Rubina Ali at 2009's Oscars

Rubina Ali at 2009’s Oscars

BELTS OF HUMAN SKIN SELLING FOR 100 K

Over eggnog this Christmas, my cousin told me that on the internet’s  black market  you could purchase a belt made of human flesh for $100,000. “Human flesh is worth a lot of money. A suit of human skin can go as high as half a million.”

My cousin is a college student. He had no real moral revulsion. He was a Reddit- Instagram kinda  guy. He was quoting me the facts as he stared into the screen  in his palm.

Einstein wasn’t  right about everything.He was wrong about locality. He dismissed quantum mechanics as “spooky action at a distance”. But who the hell cares? He was a genius, right?  A Jew, raised in a Catholic school system, Einstein later rejected all religion, but not really, not  truly. For as much as  the genius knew, in the end, he  knew very little.

We are still growing as a race. Maybe, in time, we can reach a wisdom beyond the human constructs of time and space. We might get there, right? Are we not suppose to try?

HUMAN SKIN SOLD  AS IF BOTTEGA VENATA

Yesterday, a freak sent me a link  about high-end  human skin belts that could be bought for less than 20,000 pounds.  This is a  real bargain when you consider the 100 K in the US Market.The  human skin site  was selling its products of bags, wallets and belts with images of Bottega Venata-like luxury.

Photograph from the Website
Photograph from the Website

We  humans are conflicted. That is our nature. Socrates called it “daemonic” — the rush of life that could bring us to doom, but could also lift  us to the heights through  art and music.

According to Socrates, civilization could only be established by society’s individuals’ disciplining their  daemonic energy. Buddha called the daemonic “Mara”. Buddha  had to wrestle it down. Jesus called it “Satan” and he told the thing to get behind him.  Whatever the naming, we are bonded by our passions. We must fight them to control them so that goodness can shine.

As Moore’s Law unfolds, as  things speed forward in whiplash fashion,the universal moral compass slips. Human value drops as the metaverse grows. How do we get control of the speed throttle?

I have a spooky feeling.

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