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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

HeartBurn Kid: I think this one needs a different name. I saw I'm a Humanitarian, and I thought, "that must be about all the villains who talk at length about their charitable contributions and stuff, while conveniently hiding the fact that they're trying to take over the world." Page quote aside, cannibalism doesn't really follow from the title.

Jordan: It got this name because the term which might make more sense, Soylent Green, describes a different trope. What do you suggest might be a better name? How about Long Pig, which is a slang term for human flesh?

Earnest: I really like the current name, it's one of the funnier trope names. But if you have to change it, maybe Tastes Like Pork?

Also, I put in an example from Tales from the Crypt, but I can't remember what wacky food the diner served before switching to steaks, so I went with a shrimp grill.

screw-the-duelists-i-have-money-in-america: It Tastes Like Chicken, really it does, in america!

HeartBurn Kid: Yeah, I think the title's kinda funny once you read the page quote too. But it's just not very intuitive. As for new names, I like Long Pig. Tastes Like Chicken is kind of a different trope, as well (it's the stock line whenever anybody in any story eats anything strange, from fried crickets to the flesh of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal).

Kizor: Put that in Stock Quotes. Tastes Like Chicken sounds like a good name fort this to me.

Ununnilium: I like this name, frankly. Also, I don't think we have to spoiler anything that's on It Was His Sled.

Looney Toons: Given that I offered the name, I am of course loathe to see it changed. But if it must change, why not Leg Of Hodges or perhaps Weve Got An Eater (both of them quotes from the two Python sketches about cannibalism)? Oh, and as a comment on the Dog Soldiers entry: cannibalism and lycanthropy were one and the same in the medieval mind -- if you were found committing cannibalism, you were inevitably branded a werewolf and subjected to the usual folkloric measures intended to make sure you didn't keep bothering people after they executed you.

Earnest: Well that I didn't know. I wonder if it wasn't a subconscious way of denying cannibals their humanity so that the cannibalism wasn't committed by a human. I mostly put the parenthesis because a friend explained that unless cannibalism was redefined as a sentient creature eating another, we could hypothetically eat (or be eaten) by aliens and not be cannibals. ; ) . Did the special burial involve burying the guy in a crossroads to confuse them, or was that just vampires?

Looney Toons: Welllll... yes. In the folklore of a lot of medieval European cultures, werewolves and vampires were two different life stages of the same monster -- basically, when a werewolf died, it automatically came back as a vampire. It's not universal, but it's terribly common. Take a look at the words for both in most Eastern European languages (and Greek, too, I believe): they're usually cognates of each other. I don't have my sources handy as I'm at work, but vrylkokas (I think that's the spelling) or some variation usually means either or both.

Scrounge: Okay, technical question... Would non-human cannibals in Speculative Fiction qualify, if they're sapient and use their own kind as a foodstuff in some way?

Cort Jstr: Yes. IIRC Nethack gives a cannibalism penalty if you play as an elf and eat another elf's corpse. I'd say that any sentient being eating another sentient being (even if it's another species) carries the same stigma in Speculative Fiction. Especially on the Star Trek end of the scale.

YYZ: Now I'm just being silly, but how about we change it to Captain BJ Smethwick In A White Wine Sauce With Shallots Mushrooms And Garlic?

Cosmetor: How about People Eater?

Bob!: Okay, since everyone hates this name, lets just pick one of the other suggestions here. My own suggestion is Hannibalism.
Have any of you ever read The Specialty of the House? I think it deserves a mention, but I haven't read it in ages . . .

Thausgt: One of the more interesting elements of cannibalism is the existence of a disease that can only be contracted via the consumption of human brains. Given that the disease would have to have had thousands of years' worth of favorable conditions in which to develop, regardless of whether it is caused by a pathogen or not, it's pretty disturbing to calculate how long the practice has been in existence, not to mention how widely it must have been used.
  • I assume you're referring to Kuru? If so, evolution doesn't come into it. Kuru, like BSE, is caused by prions, malformed self-replicating proteins. It's more like a contagious cancer than a virus or bacterium.