Wednesday, March 11, 2009

bringing the macabre into your home since 1888

Oh how I love National Geographic. Best known for their astounding wildlife and nature photography, the National Geographic Magazine has been publishing equally impressive images of the macabre for every bit as long. Although the brilliant colour photography wasn't the norm until the 20th century, tales of the Mummies of Egypt and sketches and later black and white images of places like Mexico's Aztec temples with their great bizarre carvings thrilled readers from the onset. One of my earliest and most vivid impressions of National Geographic was of the petrified bodies of Mt. Vesuvius. The remains of actual people trapped in their last moments of life in fear and terror, gasping for breath as they appeared to be turned to stone as from a mythical Gorgon. Mummified remains, grotesque skeletons draped in fine robes, ritualistic burials and sacrifices, it's ALL HERE! and if that weren't enough for you during the later periods of the 20th century photographers ventured into the world's most deadly and hostile locations and brought back bloody and graphic images from places like Cambodia. Disturbing images of slain bodies and even stills of the Khmer Rouge posing with human remains or actually butchering humans like cattle or worse.

Now don't think this was simply a thing of the past, the new eco-aware National Geographic isn't going to let readers down either. February's issue contains some truly beautiful images in an article on the Mummies of Palermo Italy and recently the has a short quip about a a recently found skull of whom locals had believed to be a Vampire (when vampires brought death and pestilence, not drank blood) found near Venice (man I've got to visit Spain/Italy someday). link.

Also head over to KinderTrauma for a reader's recent traumafession about National Geographic and his childhood.

G. Macabre

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