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Chicago-based writer Stuart Ross. @myskypager


"I was in Spiegelgrund for twenty months…

I said that I was hungry so I was punished. They shoved food down my throat but my stomach couldn’t handle it so I threw up. They shoved the vomit down my throat and threw the plate on the floor and made me lick it up. And if your face was full of food and vomit, they put your head into the toilet and flushed it. This was called ‘washing the face.’”

Survivor testimony from Elfriede Durnecker, interviewed in the documentary Gray Matter about never earthly-punished Nazi doctor Heinrich Gross

Reminded me of a few porn sites.

Context, Stuart, Context. 

Enhanced Interrogations

Torture in King Lear is conducted directly by rulers. Before Cornwall even gets his hands on Gloucester, he declares his intention to injure him, quite apart from the outcome of the process of interrogation:

Though well we may not pass upon his life

Without the form of justice, yet our power

Shall do a courtesy to our wrath, which men 

May blame, but not control (3.7.24-27)

What is at once horrible and familiar about this declaration is its nauseating blend of legalism, sadism, and public relations, as if Cornwall were already thinking about how he will excuse the fact that there were regrettable excesses in his otherwise legal treatment of the prisoner. 

from Stephen Greenblatt’s Shakespeare’s Freedom - incredible reading of Gloucester’s blinding, post-Iraq. “Shakespeare’s audience was far less squeamish about the torture of traitors than we are - or than we Americans were until recently.”