The last stop on this morning’s little road trip from sacred to profane came when I read this story on Salon.com by writer Jon Mooallem, who visited “The Universe Within” exhibit in San Francisco.

I See Dead People (Salon.com subscription required, but you can read the first few paragraphs for free.)

“Touring shows of corpses have become a worldwide phenomenon — and cause for scandal, Mooallem writes. “Why are we so eager to look at a man holding his own flayed skin?”

The Web site for The Universe Within makes it look both benign and scientific, but questions have been raised and not fully answered about where the bodies (real corpses) came from.

Some people, like Mooallem, will end up praising the “wonder” of it all. Neato. Good for you.

Call me old-fashioned, superstitious and uncool, but just reading the story repulsed me. Horror and wonder are two sides of the same coin, after all – and there have always been those who transgress and/or blur the line in the name of art and science, as well as lesser pursuits.

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