It still remains unclear as to what the two TV presenters were trying to achieve by consuming each other’s flesh on live TV. Was the stunt done as a way to prove the guts they have in doing everything extreme or was it indeed a way to promote cannibalism as an alternative lifestyle. One thing is for sure though, by broadcasting this stunt, the Dutch TV has indeed pushed the limits of what is acceptable on TV. Dennis Storm and Valerio Zeno, the two presenters involved had prior surgery whereby a piece of their flesh was removed-from their abdomen and button respectively and were later cooked unseasoned by a chef live in front of the studio audience. In a video released online, the TV presenters then sat at the dining table around candles and consumed each other’s flesh.
Looking back at the experience, one of the presenters explain that it was a unique experience to eat human flesh but he felt awkward sitting across the table, looking into his friend’s eyes while consuming his own flesh. Although Dutch laws do not have anything against cannibalism, it is believed that the TV presenters including the surgeon responsible for the surgery are likely to land in some trouble with the law. However, the TV presenters maintain that they are happy with this one of its kind experience with one of them even saying that at least now he will have a story to tell regarding the scar on his body!
There will be the valid queries about legality, ethics, and good taste (never mind the pun). This is where we must make that leap onto the big stage and the bigger questions, irrespective of the duo’s motives. It might help if we kept in mind that the show is called Proefkonijnen, which means ‘Guinea Pigs’.
It exposes the expediency of experimentation to its bare bones. Replace this ‘stunt’ with the stunted studio wars, the cameras on the battlefields of Operations and Revolutions, following soldiers and cops, zooming in on dead bodies, the anchors lying flat, mimicking the dead, even as the microphones the ultimate symbol of pop potency is ‘eaten’. When we chew such news and digest it, we are in effect committing cannibalism by default. Besides, the nature of news becoming stale and dead would also allude to necrophilia. There is power in such revivification of the dead.