Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Writing - Nosey parkering!

It's the 21st century and nothing seems to change that much. We have technology coming out of our ears, can control appliances remotely and yet humanity doesn't alter that much. A leopard never changes its spots.

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So you are driving on the motorway and there's been an accident on the opposite carriageway, what do you do?

What you should do is continue to drive normally but many of us humans RUBBERNECK

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The question is was it always thus?

Well cast your minds back to the medieval times when executions were the highest attended spectator sports.

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The crowds were enormous but in fact we can't hide behind eons when it comes to this ghoulish behaviour.

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Francois Courvoisier's execution 1840

On the morning of the 6th May 1840 Lord William Russell was found murdered in his bed, his throat had been cut. Suspicion fell upon his Swiss valet Francois  Courvoisier and eventually he was found guilty and sentenced to death.
As many as 40000 people turned out to watch his hanging two weeks later on July 6th. Speculation as to the effect on servants in other homes of the wealthy, thievery may increase; but also reasons why Courvoisier murdered his master. It was suggested that he had been reading the Newgate novel Jack Shepherd and his morals warped by immoral popular fiction. Was anyone safe? 

Not everyone agreed with the morbid spectacle as a form of entertainment.  MP Richard Monckton Milnes had already voted against capital punishment but he attended the event with William Makepeace Thackeray. Thackeray wrote an essay 'On Going to See a Man Hanged' as a result and which has been quoted since in support of the abolition of capital punishment.

However, our humanity seems to demand that we attend events where people may suffer horrendous outcomes.

Sleep well.

God Bless