Autosarcophagy Or Self Cannibalism; A Mental Meandering

Last week, as I was taking a tray of potatoes out of the oven I missed the tea towel I was using to protect my hand and instead grabbed the tray. This resulted in two things; baked potatoes strewn across the floor and a chunk of freshly seared crackling on my finger.

This got me thinking, and I've been thinking out loud on Twitter about it; could I physically and legally eat my own cooked flesh. Does this really count as cannibalism? Would I get locked up for merely being curious enough to actually try it?

Self cannibalism is mostly reported as a form of torture or as a version of Pica or other form of psychosis. It's not useful to your own existence to eat your own flesh, usually. There's a story of a German soldier trapped in trenches during the First World War who was reduced to cutting off and eating his own leg to survive, but I'm not sure of how true this is. The TV said it was true...

There is one paper on an American woman who is heavily into body modification and did try to eat a piece of skin taken from her back. She didn't cook it though... what's up with that? The paper states that she is, as far as the researcher can tell, a perfectly rational, non-psychotic and productive member of society.

Generally though, autosarcophagy is non-consensual (Spaniards forced Cuban natives to eat their own testicles in the 16th century, for example) or as a result of a mental disorder. Probably the most well known and recent case is that of Bernd J├╝rgen Brandes and Armin Meiwes. Bernd was a willing participant, as far as anyone can tell and although was unable to eat his own penis, he did try to give it a good go. Willing... but in a right state of mind?

The precedent then, is a little lacking in terms of legal, not crazy consumption of one's own DNA.

The small chunk of crackling (and it really is crackling... it's gross) on my finger would hardly qualify as even a morsel. There'd be no taste to it at all. I wouldn't really want to remove a larger chunk though; I need that flesh. I'm not a crazy person.

Modern technology to the rescue! What if I were to cut off a small chunk and freeze it? I could then repeat the process until I had enough for a meal. Would this then be considered psychotic behaviour? I mean, it'd be pretty extreme but it would be out of pure curiosity and not some desire to inflict pain on myself to 'feel something'. It would not even be out of a desire to eat human flesh, just curiosity and as it's illegal and wrong to try to eat other unwilling people, autosarcophagy seems to be the way to go.

Don't worry... I really am just thinking out loud about the possibilities. I'll probably never be curious enough to try it out, my imagination just got carried away with itself upon seeing the crackling on my finger.



Hmmm, what about organ cloning? Does it count as cannibalism if the organ is grown in a pig?

BBC Tie Watch 30/03/2011

Ah, Paxman, you god among political interrogators. Seriously, only a man with a deity's invulnerabilities would wear that tie... with that suit!

Anyone with a better grasp of Japanese than my own able to work out what his tie says? I can make out only the odd hiragana. I don't know them well enough to work them out from that image, or while he's moving about on screen.

Anyway; this Japanese inspired tie would probably look quite good if it was either slightly more subdued or as part of a more flamboyant ensemble. I see a full red silk tuxedo style cut with a dark blue shirt, and obviously a gold silk handkerchief folded stylishly into the breast pocket. Although that would probably look ridiculous on Paxman... on Newsnight.

Paxman's tie pales completely in comparison to Dimbleby's piece this week. Every week I think; "how can he find anything to top that?" The next week he always surprises me.

Last week it was ladybirds;

This week? Moths! But no ordinary moths on no ordinary tie. This week, while his outfit is otherwise quite basic (black jacket, white shirt... probably trousers) his tie clashes with life itself;

There is a man who is completely secure in everything he feels, thinks and does.

While Boris Johnson, appearing on this weeks BBCQT panel, isn't a BBC political presenter and thus not part of this bizarre plot/bet, I would have thought he'd be wearing something a little more "out there" than he is. Come on Boris, you can do better than that!



Every week I tune in for two minutes to see if Andrew Neil is even wearing a tie on This Week. He never is. Letting the side down, man, letting the side down.