I've, personally, never believed that there is anything worth glorifying in the death of a person. Romanticizing a person's former life aside, death has become an abstract term resembling anything but the actual occurrence itself. Mostly, I peg this claimed "desensitized" nature on the fact that people have chosen to reclaim the idea of death and apply it to any form of cessation. The term "death" can be applied to anything - the "death" of a relationship, the "death" of punk rock, the "death" of original thought.
In the past couple years, artists trying to strike a chord with alarming and shocking "art" have gone to such lengths as to depict, reenact, and even promote actual death as "artistic" when the process is nothing but.
Recently, my research into animal rights has lead me to the story of Guillermo Vargas. Mr. Vargas is a college drop out who studied to be a special ed teacher before reinventing himself as a "self-taught artist." His "Exposición N° 1" installment from 2007 was lambasted for the depiction of a starving dog strapped to an iron cord and put on display for observers to watch as the emaciated animal slowly died to malnutrition.
The dog, named "Natividad," was a stray and had been used in the installment due to the lack of animal cruelty laws in Nicaragua. The installment had Natividad, a sickly-thin mutt, strapped to a metal cord attached to a corner in the room. With no food or water provided for the dog, the exhibit was supposed to be a reflection of human sensitivity to tragedy, of sorts. Named after a Nicaraguan drug addict who was mauled to death by two rottweilers while in the presence of Costa Rican law enforcement and media, the animal gained a bit of underground celebrity as a martyr for animal cruelty and its relationship to radical, new inventions and definitions of "art" and its repercussions.
Apparently, the dog's "sacrifice" was to bring to attention the lack of "care" people had to the struggle/despair of others. Evidently, no one interceded in the death of the drug addict, thus, the dog's easily-prevent death going undisturbed was a display of the inherent "desensitization" the public feels about death.
Feel free to google the information as I'm not going to directly link anything associated with the display.
In a world which is increasingly becoming the definition of "apocalyptic," are we supposed to find death-on-display as artistic? Emotional attachments to "furry, cute" animals aside, are we really supposed to glean some sort of appreciation or awakening out of the slow death of a being? Make no mistake - animals have been documented as having a conscience, emotions, and self-awareness (to an extent). Does this mean we can use them as subjects in public experiments? Private experiments (testing on animals for cosmetics or pharmaceuticals)?
When "sacrifice" or "loss" becomes an emotionally tangible process, will we learn to respect the sanctity of life? Do we have to circumvent the natural process to enact some sort of action in others? How many innocent bystanders have to die, unknowingly, to prove as educational for people who live lives of immense over-stimulation
Has the right to freedom of speech taken more than a century to lash out, violently, against its progeny? What is the solution?