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Euthanasia Coaster. Yeah, you read that right.
June 24, 2011 10:58 AM   Subscribe

Euthanasia Coaster is a hypothetical euthanasia machine in the form of a roller coaster, engineered to humanely kill a human being.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (64 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
I might be willing to support something like this, but it depends. Which human being are we talking about?
posted by Naberius at 10:59 AM on June 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


I thought the pullquote was interesting:
Today, the procedures of terminating the patient's life are highly hospitalised and not much different from a mundane injection of medicine. There is no special ritual, nor is death given special meaning, except that of legal procedures and psychological preparation. It appears that death is being divorced from our cultural life much like death rituals are dissapearing in our secular and postmodern Western society. But if euthanasia is already legal in some countries, why not make it more meaningful, not in a way certain aboriginals mourn a deceased by ecstatic singing and dancing around a bonfire, for example, but rather as a ritual adapted to the contemporary world where theme and amusement parks replace churches and shrines or at least achieve an equal power of producing spiritual effects (more and more people attend theme parks for self-improvement purposes: relaxation, self-cultivation, socialisation).
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:01 AM on June 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


I would hit that.

When the time comes.
posted by everichon at 11:01 AM on June 24, 2011


This post reminded me that yesterday in a store parking lot in Radnor, PA, a wealthy Main Line suburb of Philadelphia, police yesterday found a 30lb bag of human vomit. Thirty pounds of puke.

This post reminded me of that. Carry on.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:02 AM on June 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Already exists.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 11:02 AM on June 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is it called the "Barf-o-rama coaster of death"?

I mean if Six Flags can have a water ride called "Wedgie" why not?
posted by stormpooper at 11:02 AM on June 24, 2011


Buy the ticket, take the ride.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:03 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Warning: Stand up at all times. Park guests without heart or health conditions are prohibited from this ride.
posted by bondcliff at 11:05 AM on June 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


My first thought was, embarrassingly, 'but what if this fell into the wrong hands?! Bad people could...spend a lot of money...to build a machine that killed people kinda slowly...one at a time.' And then reality caught up with me. I think I've been watching too many Bond movies.
posted by Grafix at 11:07 AM on June 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


I SURVIVED THE EUTHANASIA COASTER
AND WILL LIKELY SEEK REDRESS FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT
posted by Iridic at 11:09 AM on June 24, 2011 [24 favorites]


Yeah, Grafix, that is something like the plot of "You Only Live Twice" (the novel, not the movie), in which Blofeld builds a botanical garden on a Japanese island where all the plants and animals are deadly, and the suicide-happy Japanese culture turns it into a special destination for death-seekers.
posted by hermitosis at 11:11 AM on June 24, 2011


You must be this terminally ill to ride.
posted by Trurl at 11:11 AM on June 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


This will be just slightly more successful than the Circumcision Ferris Wheel or the Chemical Peel Log Ride.
posted by adipocere at 11:12 AM on June 24, 2011 [9 favorites]


Dammit Trurl, I was just fiddling with trying to elevate the *this* above the rest of the line. Beat me to it.
posted by Curious Artificer at 11:13 AM on June 24, 2011


Obligatory Dan Aykroyd movie reference.
posted by ODiV at 11:13 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Er - at the end of the video he sugests it could be a solution to "overpopulation." What exactly does he mean by that?
posted by longsleeves at 11:16 AM on June 24, 2011


I can only hear this passage as being spoken by Peter Sellers as Dr. Strangelove:

"People might want to experience this ultimate ride in the future, for example when their lives have been extended so much that existence has become unbearable. In addition, the roller coaster, with its spectacular succession of physical and mental sensations, brings back a sense of ritual to the contemporary handling of death. . . ."
posted by chicxulub at 11:18 AM on June 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am SO in-line for this!
All I ask is that I get the t-shirt before the ride, k?
posted by Thorzdad at 11:19 AM on June 24, 2011


Obligatory Mr. Show reference.
posted by muddgirl at 11:20 AM on June 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Also, I was already pretty meh about roller coasters before - apparently my reaction to adrenaline is anxiety - but now I don't think anyone will be able to convince me that this roller coaster of death isn't out there, secretly waiting to kill me.
posted by muddgirl at 11:22 AM on June 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


muddgirl beat me to it.

I ain't afraid of no rolly-coaster!
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:25 AM on June 24, 2011


You know how on some coasters they take your picture for you at the scary part and try to upsell them when you get off? I think this has real potential for hilarious abuses. Be sure to wear your rubber undergarments is all I'm saying.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:25 AM on June 24, 2011


Obligatory Monty Python reference.
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:26 AM on June 24, 2011


I will die of fear about halfway up that first incline.
posted by Sourisnoire at 11:27 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like his last statement in the video, which proposes that the death coaster could be used "for dealing with overpopulation or if your life becomes too long."
posted by chococat at 11:32 AM on June 24, 2011


Couldn't much the same thing be accomplished by a massive heroin overdose? Without all the expense of building it, you know.
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:33 AM on June 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Your machine could be easily hacked, you know," she commented. Noticing my confused face, she continued: "Using anti-g-trousers that prevent pilots from blackout and fainting, I believe, I would survive the ride and turn it into the most extreme thrill ride."

Somehow I think this might be the more common category of rider.

Actually I've always thought that a roller coaster extreme enough to require a G-suit would be pretty awesome. And if you look at modern coaster designs, that really seems like the only direction to go. I've been on a few inverted steel coasters that honestly would have been much more enjoyable with a helmet on (too much slamming from one headrest to the other to really enjoy the rest of the ride), and I'm told that there was actually a rollercoaster in Pennsylvania that was redesigned and toned down because its original incarnation was generally perceived as too intense. If we're taking them right to the limits of enjoyability for an unprotected human body right now, fighter pilot-style protective garments seem to be the next step.

Of course, I'm not sure I'd want to put on anti-blackout trousers that a hundred sweaty people had put on earlier that day...
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:33 AM on June 24, 2011


Yo mama is so dumb, she thought euthanasia had to do with Chinese kids.
posted by dr_dank at 11:34 AM on June 24, 2011


Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, to the ROLLER COASTER MALPRACTICE!!!
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:36 AM on June 24, 2011


My preferred death ritual:

A massive party with all of my family and friends, financed by a sizable pre-payment from my life insurance policy. At the party there is food, drink and live entertainment of all sorts, based on my interests. All who wish to do so can spend a few minutes eulogizing me. Jokes, roasting, deeply heartfelt outpourings of affection and love, accompanied by photos and videos depicting key elements of my life and adventures we've shared.

After the eulogies, I make a toast. It may last for an hour or more, in which I get to go around the room and tell each person what they've meant to me. Settle old grievances and forgive old hurts. Praise kindness and extol wonderful qualities in dear friends and family. Express my love and hope for their continued good fortune after I'm gone.

When I'm done, the beautiful music begins and I begin to drink deeply of the goblet of delicious red wine that has been spiked with some tasteless opiate mixed with a neurotoxin. As I drain the cup, I lie back on my prepared divan as it takes effect; the first symptoms are slight tingling and euphoria, eventually increasing into complete bliss and then unconsciousness. Death follows swiftly.

A physician confirms my death, my body is carried to a waiting. simple wooden coffin and sent off in a hearse to the crematorium where I'm incinerated immediately. No memorial service or funeral, since the celebration has already been held. Paid staff clean up after the party so no one is stuck with any work to do. Some friends can pick up my ashes later for scattering as they see fit, but it really doesn't concern me at that point.

Funerals and memorial services have always struck me as being terribly unfortunately "after the fact". I know this is laughable, since that's the whole point, but it always seemed like your own funeral is too awesome an event to miss, if you had the choice.
posted by darkstar at 11:43 AM on June 24, 2011 [12 favorites]


That's very similar to how I want to go out, darkstar, except instead of the family and friends there would be a haggard grizzly bear or a pack of ravenous wolves. Instead of the jokes, roasting, and deeply heartfelt outpourings of affection and love, there would be a lot of screaming and swearing and a short but entertaining knife fight. I'd still go with the opiates, but there would really be no need for the crematorium, I suspect, as the beasts feasting on my flesh should manage to return me to nature quite elegantly. The animals who survived my blade would be returned to their homes unhindered, and any guests allowed to watch from the safety of a strong blind of some sort would be on their way. Oh - and there would be drinking and wagering, too, of course, involved somehow. Maybe we could do it as a meetup?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:57 AM on June 24, 2011 [12 favorites]


The idea of a meaningful experience of death is an interesting one that almost had me thinking this guy wasn't completely messed up, until I got to this part of the interview:

It is a set of specially designed tools for facilitating vomiting - a sort of vomit simulator. The project evolved out of the sketchy idea of "Vomit Park," a park with no kinetic experiences but retaining the very result of them, puking. You visit such a vomit park, disgorge the contents of your stomach, and leave light and emancipated.

A vomit park. Emancipated through vomit.

Right.
posted by yeloson at 12:04 PM on June 24, 2011


When later we find out that this guy has a detailed scrap book of all the little kids he's killed in his basement during experimental testing, I won't be the least bit surprised.
posted by wuwei at 12:24 PM on June 24, 2011


If you go, go in style
posted by The Whelk at 12:32 PM on June 24, 2011


whatever happened to a gunshot to the head.

I mean, I don't know if suicide should be legal, but nobody can really stop you.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:36 PM on June 24, 2011


Love it.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:37 PM on June 24, 2011


whatever happened to a gunshot to the head.

Not so friendly for your family or friends. The considerate thing is to go to the police station first, I suppose (though perhaps not considerate to the police).
posted by mrgrimm at 12:39 PM on June 24, 2011


No one tell Texas about this.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:40 PM on June 24, 2011


This is actually the plot of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory 2: The Golden Ticket to Eternity.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:42 PM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


@darkstar:

You've seen Soylent Green right?
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:49 PM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Using the @ notation on MetaFilter is made of people!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:52 PM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I honestly thought I was going to see a broken track at the end.
posted by stormpooper at 12:56 PM on June 24, 2011


My preferred death ritual:

I don't care how I go, so long as my body is relatively intact. Therefore some sort of euthanasic injection might be ideal. I care what happens to my remains.

Several people will be sworn to secrecy and my cadaver will be handed off to them that they may conduct their work. Some time later - months? Years? The construction on my tomb will be complete. There I shall lay in state, and people may visit. It will be attended to by a groundskeeper, paid with money accumulated by judicious investment.

The tomb will be a tasteful affair; it will be concrete and ornate - art deco perhaps, with a simple sturdy door permitting entrance to visitors. At the far end of the room will be my body. I will have been plastinated, and arranged with the utmost care. I will be wearing my best clothes, in which to be buried. Some tasteful jewelry. I will be lying on a comfortable-looking slab, in the manner of departed royalty; it too will be tastefully decorated, with a little design at the front which looks like a series of notches; they will inspire delightful conversation among visitors - what do they mean? What significance have they? The loves of this person's life? The years they lived?

Those who plastinated me will have taken great care to ensure that I spend eternity with a look of peace and calm, closed eyes with maybe the slightest hint of a content smile, suggesting a final surrender to a lovely dream, untouched by decay.

A velvet rope will separate me from visitors, but they will be able to get close enough. A tall person might be able to reach over and touch me, but would not. Subtle choir music would be piped in, creating a reverent air - not of me, but of the very idea of passing on to one's reward. Visitors would look at me, at my place of rest, and ponder the eternal.

But now and again - and there would be a computer dedicated to calculating when, exactly - a motion sensor would indicate that only one person is in the tomb and they are standing right at the velvet rope. And of maybe a hundred of those people, one or two would trip the reaction which would be to follow.

The door would slam shut behind them, very loudly. They would then discover that not only had I been plastinated, but I had been fitted with motors in the style of the Hall of Presidents. They would learn this from the fact that my eyes now opened wide, glassy and terrifying, and I would sit up with my arms outstretched - faster than it takes to tell - and reach out for them as a prerecorded, bloodcurdling scream echoed from my now-open mouth.

But then my mouth would close, and my eyes would close, and once again I would wear a beatific smile, and lie back down again, and the door would open, and the choir would resume.

Now and again, the experience would cause someone to fall down dead, stone dead on the spot, of a heart attack, or maybe just of sheer terror.

Every time someone did, the caretaker would come by the next day and carve another notch into the front of the slab.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 12:56 PM on June 24, 2011 [27 favorites]


A tasteful meeting of my friends in a sylvan glade in which we can ponder the beauty of our relationships, the changing of the seasons, the ephemer.......WAIT A MINUTE I AM FUCKING DYING HERE. MOTHERFUCKING ORGIES AND DRUGS. ORGIES AND DRUGS. ORGIES AND DRUGS I TELL YOU. FFS!
posted by lalochezia at 1:01 PM on June 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


ALSO: PLS TAKE MY EYEBALLS, PLASTINATE, USE THEM IN THESE:
posted by lalochezia at 1:02 PM on June 24, 2011


darkstar, a great-great-aunt (or something) decided to hold the first family reunion in about 50 years so she could have her funeral party before she died. I think she was 92? 94? I remember her as being bright & friendly; that was the only time I ever met her, and I was 7 years old at the time. It was a huge family gathering at the old family farm in central California, which IIRC was sold after her death not very long afterwards.
posted by epersonae at 1:07 PM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


MOTHERFUCKING ORGIES AND DRUGS.

Yes, but on a space station. With shapeshifting aliens. DRUNK shapeshifting aliens.

It's none of your business what shape they are.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:14 PM on June 24, 2011


You must be this high to ride.

Er, *this* high.
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:17 PM on June 24, 2011


I want to be canned. like tuna.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:18 PM on June 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am really interested in death rituals (hey, I'm an artist! It's not morbid!) and I was truly tickled by his design. The model looks really sensual and elegant and the death experience sounds fairly lovely. It would be awesome if on the way up the first hill you could watch a video of your life narrated by Walter Cronkite a la Spaceship Earth at Epcot Center.
posted by rachums at 1:21 PM on June 24, 2011


When my death becomes imminent, I want to go back in time to 1937 Moscow, get arrested for asocial behavior or wrecking activities, be interrogated and tortured by the NKVD, then taken into a basement and shot.
posted by TheRedArmy at 1:22 PM on June 24, 2011


RENEW! RENEW! RENEW!
posted by Naberius at 1:26 PM on June 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can't imagine the zoning hoops you'd have to jump through to get that thing built. "My new condo has a great view of the Euthanasia Coaster! There's a ride scheduled this Friday - you and Tom should totally come over."
posted by yeti at 1:33 PM on June 24, 2011


When my death becomes imminent, I want to go back in time to 1937 Moscow, get arrested for asocial behavior or wrecking activities, be interrogated and tortured by the NKVD, then taken into a basement and shot.
posted by TheRedArmy at 3:22 PM on June 24 [+] [!]



Eponytroubling?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:41 PM on June 24, 2011


doesn't this already exist in the real world, in the form of states without motorcycle helmet laws?
posted by oblio_one at 1:45 PM on June 24, 2011


The video pilot experiencing G-LOC that the artist uses can be found here, and this video edits a whole bunch of these videos together, complete with music (with many more available in the "suggestions" bar. A YouTube genre, apparently). I have to say, the G-LOC moments are unnerving--looks like watching someone die.
posted by oneironaut at 1:46 PM on June 24, 2011


Although, this one is pretty funny, by the subject's admission.
posted by oneironaut at 2:04 PM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


That reminds me of a nightmare I had when I was seven or eight.

My school was having its annual fundraising carnival. One of the rides was clearly and unmistakably labelled HEADCHOPPER, with great big flashing bulbs all over it, and some of my friends could not be dissuaded from queueing up for it anyway.
posted by tangerine at 2:25 PM on June 24, 2011


the Circumcision Ferris Wheel or the Chemical Peel Log Ride.

That sounds like a fĂȘte worse than death
posted by The Discredited Ape at 2:35 PM on June 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Obligatory Outcasts reference.

A euthanasia theme park called Suicide Park is featured.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:45 PM on June 24, 2011


Aw Christ, another Kickstarter post?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:06 PM on June 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I always thought that if I was picking how to go, public self immolation in protest over something I cared about wouldn't be bad. People remember the moment forever, and if you're lucky you end up on a Rage Against The Machine album cover.
posted by Golfhaus at 6:34 PM on June 24, 2011


Isn't this sort of the plot of Stephen King's 'Riding the Bullet'? Only there the coaster is more of a metaphor.

I like to think that if I knew I was dying I'd go out in style. Take LSD while jumping from a tall building sort of thing.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 2:04 AM on June 25, 2011


Call me old fashioned, but I prefer nitrogen and a plastic bag
posted by outlandishmarxist at 11:22 AM on June 26, 2011


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