Thursday, April 26, 2018

Bizarre Historical Facts They Didn't Teach You in School. - Page 117 of 119

Kacey Musgraves sings "Burn One With John Prine" to John Prine

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Wanda Jackson Cowboy Yodel

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Lyle Lovett - Skinny Legs 1989

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12 Gruesome Realities of Death by Seppuku

12 Gruesome Realities of Death by Seppuku

12 Gruesome Realities Of What It Feels Like To Die By Seppuku

Laura Allan
628.2k views 12 items
With its complex, refined ritual and unadulterated brutality, seppuku, is surely one of the most fascinating (and horrifying) ways to commit suicide. Maybe you already read what committing seppuku is like as far as methods, tradition, and history are concerned, but you're still curious. After all, in your last minutes, as you disembowel yourself, what does seppuku feel like (other than extreme pain)? Well, wonder no more, because the following list will let you know what it might feel like to experience death by seppuku. It goes without saying, but be warned: the contents are graphic, much like the guts that flop from your stomach when you cut yourself open, like fish thrown from the ocean onto a boat. 
Seppuku dates back thousands of years, and has been used as a means of suicide well into the modern age. It is steeped in tradition, honor, and a sense of self-responsibility and redemption many of us will never grasp. It's also incredibly painful and complicated, and takes a lot of self control. We don't recommend trying it for yourself (duh).
If you're still wondering what dying from seppuku is like, read on for all the gory details.

Photo:  HBO

There Will Be a Feeling of Calm Before the Storm

There Will Be a Feeling of Cal... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 12 Gruesome Realities Of What It Feels Like To Die By Seppuku
Photo:  Criterion Collection

To be clear, there are many ways of committing seppuku, depending on the situation and time period. This list focuses on the most traditional method, which involves two people and a lengthy ritual beforehand.  
Said ritual, which involves drinking sake and writing poetry, among many other things, is designed to prepare you for seppuku, and put you in a calm, accepting, meditative state of mind. You'll be in a serene setting, surrounded by those you respect and chose to oversee your death. You'll reflect on your life, its fleeting nature, and the ultimate irrelevance of most aspects of existence, as you prepare yourself to die. 
In a way the pre-ritual and act of committing seppuku is, in the juxtaposition of esoteric beauty and graphic, violent ugliness, a perfect encapsulation of the dueling natures of Japanese aesthetics. The preparation and mindset sound very peaceful, considering you're about to drive a giant knife right into your abdomen. 

You'll Have to Force Yourself to Make the First Cut

You'll Have to Force Yours... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 12 Gruesome Realities Of What It Feels Like To Die By Seppuku
Photo: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi/Public Domain

Regardless of how calm you are, it takes a lot of effort to skewer yourself with a samurai blade. Fear does a lot of things to the brain and body, even if you're not conscious they're happening. For instance, fear of having to stab yourself may create a reaction in your brain that sends chemicals to your heart and muscles. Your heart rate will increase, your muscles will tense, and your breathing may speed up. This is an autonomic response. There won't be much you can do about it. The tensing of your muscles may make it difficult to get the stabbing done, though this doesn't really matter, because if you're committed to performing seppuku, you're going to have to do it no matter what. It will require all your effort. 

You'll Feel Intense Pain, Though Maybe Not Immediately

You'll Feel Intense Pain, ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 12 Gruesome Realities Of What It Feels Like To Die By Seppuku
Photo: Kunikazu Utagawa/Public Domain

It might go without saying, but stabbing yourself is going to hurt. Especially because you'll be stabbing yourself through the intestines with a war weapon. It may be the most intense pain you've ever felt, though it won't hit right away. People who have been stabbed say you don't feel pain immediately, though you do feel impact, like a punch. Once the pain hits, stab victims report a pain so intense they wish they were dead. For those committing seppuku, that wish soon comes true. 

Your Internal Organs Are Going to Get Sliced Apart (Yay!)

Your Internal Organs Are Going... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 12 Gruesome Realities Of What It Feels Like To Die By Seppuku
Photo:  Rama/Creative Commons

Once you've got the knife in, tradition dictates you slit open your belly, sometimes with two separate cuts. This splits your stomach cavity open, exposing your internal organs, and cuts the organs themselves. There don't seem to be any first hand accounts as to what this feels like, because those who have their organs sliced up don't usually survive. However, women have had their bellies cut open for C-sections, a few sans anesthesia. One woman said the pain was so great she gritted her teeth so hard one of them broke. 
During the Civil War, some soldiers underwent surgery without anesthesia after being wounded on the battlefield. Accounts described the brutality of such procedures, some of which involved slit-open stomachs. Soldiers were given something to bite on, as a way of dealing with the pain, and surviving artifacts, such as bullets with teeth marks in them, show just how painful it was. 

You'll Want to Scream (But Should Stay Quiet)

Photo: Criterion Collection

You're in worlds of pain. Your guts are open and you're bleeding everywhere. Seems only natural you'd scream, especially considering this is a naturally programmed response. Scientists have found screaming jump-starts the body's fear response, which pumps you with chemicals meant to keep you alive. That being said, if you're strong, honorable, and traditional, you'll be silent. Crying out is a sign of weakness, and would be a shameful way to die. No matter how badly you want to shriek, shut up and die 

You'll Be Dizzy From Pain and Blood Loss

Photo: Criterion Collection

The initial stab wound might not bleed much, but cutting your stomach open will generate a deluge of gushing guts and plasma. This, mixed with the pain, may send you into shock. Hypovolemic Shock, specifically. Symptoms of this are headache, fatigue, nausea, sweating, and dizziness. After that, you'll feel confusion, weakness, and lightheadedness, and may even pass out. However, it's also possible you won't have time to go into shock, since someone will be ready to cut your head off when you're done with your cutting. 

Your Muscles Will Feel Like They're on Fire

Photo: Orion Classics

As your fear response intensifies and mixes with your pain and confusion, your muscles might start to feel weird. When you're afraid, your brain releases chemicals to make your muscles work better, so you can escape danger. Because of this, your muscles may feel energized, active, and twitchy. As blood loss makes you weak and your muscles feel tight, alive, and itching to take you as far from pain as possible, you may feel like you're on fire. 

Your Survival Instincts Are Going to Kick in Hard

Photo: Toho Studio

As you're kneeling in the slop of your guts and viscera, bits of belly skin hanging from a gaping hole in you like stubborn flakes of foil stuck to the mouth of an ibuprofen bottle, will your flight or flight instinct kick in like a motherf*cker. In fact, this may happen before the kneeling-in-your-offal phase, while you're slicing yourself open.  
Your hypothalamus (part of your brain) will work overtime to activate your sympathetic nervous and adrenal-cortical systems, which make your body tense, speeds your system up, and forces your organs and nerves to work hard to keep you alive. Your brain will tell you to run, to stop what you're doing, to do everything in your power to not keep hurting yourself. It might seem impossible for you to remain calm, because your brain is fighting its greatest battle to you alive, like a furious samurai. 

If You're a Good Little Samurai, You'll Remain Calm

Photo: Tekniska museet/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

Seppuku is steeped in tradition and honor, according to which you must stay completely calm while stabbing yourself, opening your stomach, spilling your guts, and waiting for someone to lop your head off.  Screaming, or any other obvious sign of pain or regret, is dishonorable and weak. You'll have to suppress natural fear and pain responses as chemicals course through your body trying to convince you to do the opposite.
Luckily, as a samurai, you've spent most of your life training for moments like this. You are a master and suppressing emotions and pain. Chances are you've endured a lot of the latter and denied yourself almost all of the former in pursuit of purity as a warrior. Think of yourself as an artist in the medium of stoicism, and seppuku as your masterpiece. 

You'll Never See the Death Blow Coming

Photo: Rev. RV Perry/Public Domain

Seppuku is done by two people, and the cuts you make aren't what kills you, it's that second person, the kaishakunin (usually a friend or trusted colleague). Your kaishakunin will cut your head off with one swing of the katana. If  the kaishakunin is properly trained, you won't see the blow or know it's coming, and it will be done cleanly. If you start screaming or acting in some other dishonorable way, the kaishakunin is duty-bound to decapitate you immediately, so onlookers don't see you in a shameful state. If your body overpowers your godly mental abilities to calm yourself, expect your head to fly off pretty quickly. 

You Might Feel Your Head Fall Off When You Die

Photo: Utagawa Kokunimasa/Public Domain

Just because your head is cut off doesn't mean you're dead right away. There have been several known cases of people blinking, moving their lips, and twitching facial muscles after being decapitated. It's unclear whether this phenomenon, lucid decapitation, means the beheaded is cognizant of the beheading or whether it's just muscle reactions (since you can't really ask anyone about it), but there's a chance you might still be seeing things after you get your head sliced off. If that's the case, you may feel your head drop forward into your lap, as is tradition.
Considering that a gifted kaishakunin will leave a small flap of skin on the neck, to make sure that the head doesn't bounce away, there's a chance the last thing you'll see is your chest, arms, or crotch. 

Posture Is Important, and Keeps You Upright in Death

Photo:  Utagawa Kuniyoshi/Public Domain

If done correctly, seppuku is bloody, but not without grace. You'll be sitting upright, well balanced, your body squared. As you die, this position will keep you from falling over, or at least sprawling on the ground in a shameful pose. Some women bind their feet before they stab themselves, to look demure even in death. The body's natural reaction, upon death, is to collapse, so you may eventually slump forward or backward, but as your body realizes it's no longer attached to your head, or alive, it will shut down in a seated posture. 

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How Did Nickelback Become The Most Hated Band In The World?

How Did Nickelback Become The Most Hated Band In The World?

How Did Nickelback Become The Most Hated Band In The World?

Donn Saylor
166.5k views 11 items
Music fans may not agree on much, but everyone seems to recognize that Nickelback is the worst band in the world. Why is Nickelback hated? There isn't any one definitive answer to this question.
The public's fluctuating taste couples with the band's seemingly limited musical catalog to partially explain why music fans hate Nickelback. These fans have not been shy about showing their hatred, pushing back against a band that was, for a time, incredibly successful.
Since Nickelback formed in 1995, they've sold more than 50 million albums. Their earlier songs have been chart-topping hits, making them one of the most successful musical acts in Canadian history, and they've played to million-person crowds all around the world. However, this wave of success soon started to turn on them, and a history of Nickelback hate began to overtake any public love and appreciation they may have once experienced.

Photo: K.C. Green

Many Nickelback Songs Sound Similar

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Video: YouTube

Many of Nickelback's songs sound similar to one another, and fans have noticed. One astute listener compared the band's songs, and found such notable similarities that NPR asked "Can a band plagiarize itself?"
Nickelback bassist Mike Kroeger commented on the similarities, saying "When you have a distinct style, you run the risk of sounding similar." His point is well taken, but at the same time, if your distinctive style is limiting your creativity, shouldn't you try to tweak a few things?
Music isn't a static medium. Sure, there are formulas that work, but after a while, recording the same record over and over stops feeling creatively fulfilling. Also listeners get really sick of it.

They Let One Of Their Songs Be Used In A Furniture Ad

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Video: YouTube

One of the seminal events that led to Nickelback's downfall was their decision to license their song "Rockstar" for use in a British furniture store's advertisements. Really, there has actually been extensive research conducted that concludes this decision was likely the moment when the tides started to turn against Nickelback. According to Digital Music News:
"It was after this point, according to the report, that existing hate and ridicule exploded. Full-blown memes, non-stop jokes, and all-out protests soon became the norm. It was the proverbial linchpin that sparked the unstoppable explosion."

56,000 Football Fans Signed A Petition To Have Nickelback Removed From A Halftime Show

56,000 Football Fans Signed A ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list How Did Nickelback Become The Most Hated Band In The World?
Photo: michael black via Flickr

Football fans were less than thankful when Nickelback was announced as a halftime performer for the Detroit Lions' 2011 Thanksgiving Day game. A petition was launched to have them removed from the schedule, and nearly 56,000 people signed it. The petition's creator said "This game is nationally televised, do we really want the rest of the US to associate Detroit with Nickelback?" The band ended up playing one song.

There's A Web Filter Called 'Nickelblock'

There's A Web Filter Called 'N... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list How Did Nickelback Become The Most Hated Band In The World?
Photo: gnotalex via Flickr

People will do some pretty ingenious things to avoid feeling uncomfortable, and the Nickelblock web filter is proof of that. When you install Nickelblock, any and all mentions of Nickelback are removed from your web browser. Nickelblock's existence demonstrates how deep the prevalent anti-Nickelback sentiment runs.

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