There are these guys who were convicted in 2003 of helping to plan and carry out the October, 2002 suicide bombings that targeted two busy nightclubs on Bali island, Indonesia. These guys didn’t die in the process, but 202 other people were killed. So much for the suicide part of the plan.
As if they were addressing Eddie Izzard’s Church of England, they want to have some say in how much pain — preferably none — is to be inflicted upon them as their death sentences are carried out. They would prefer to be beheaded rather than shot to death by firing squad.
Their reasons are twofold:
• They want to die “without pain.” (Insert world’s smallest violin playing, “My Heart Bleeds for You,” or the remix, “The Hearts of 202 People Already Bled for You.”) One of them intends to file a petition with the Constitutional Court, saying those who are shot by firing squads don’t always die right then and there, and that this causes “unnecessary suffering.” (Play it again, Sam.)
• They say being beheaded is more in keeping with Islamic teaching. I’m not sure this is a viable alternative since there are those instances when a dull blade, squeaky hardware, and even a novice beheader could potentially elongate the process, and thus the suffering – unnecessarily, of course.
Since death by bomb is also in keeping with Islamic teaching (apparently), these guys have inadvertently thrown a compromise right in the court’s lap: line ‘em up and blow ‘em up.
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I’m sure they would have preferred to die in the suicide bombing itself, but they botched that already. The only thing worse than yelling out “Watch this!” is “Watch me fuck this up!”
It is now up to the court to finish what they started. As the terrorists themselves know, blowing someone up is a quick and relatively painless way of ending life without unnecessary suffering. There might be an initial sensation of pressure or a slight pinch, but I think we can all agree this is “necessary.”