I\’m not sure here….

A Brazilian woman has died after being struck by her husband\’s coffin when the hearse they were travelling in was involved in a car crash. The 67-year-old woman was on the way to the cemetery to bury her husband, who had died the day before. The hearse was struck from behind by a speeding car, police said. The coffin slammed into the head of the woman, who was sitting in the passenger seat of the hearse, breaking her neck and killing her instantly, according to officers.

This is one of those stories that certainly produces laughter. But even to myself I\’m not really sure whether it\’s laughter because it is funny, or it\’s laughter because it\’s a way of brushing off the shock of the story itself. Not "funny ha ha" but almost a nervous reaction to a shock?

8 thoughts on “I\’m not sure here….”

  1. If the hearse had been struck from behind and the coffin was free to move within the hearse, it would have moved backwards relative to the hearse.

    If the story is based on fact then the woman’s head would have to have been jerked back and hit the coffin which one assumes would have been anchored to the hearse in some way (otherwise it too would have moved back).

    Again, if the story is based on fact, it may have been that the woman’s head was jerked back and her neck was broken by a whiplash type injury.

  2. tonathenethenathlon

    Hobbes and Nietzsche would argue such laughter was a universal latent sadism – “Laughter is nothing else but a sudden glory arising from some sudden conception of some eminency in ourselves, by comparison with the infirmity of others”. Compare that with Freud’s notion that laughter is the release of psychic energy on a suddenly hit upon repression, which at least is a better explanation for toilet humour.

    The latter seems like the more empowering view. Firstly because nothing is inherently funny, least of all other people’s suffering, and that only the desire to socially conform makes it so. Secondly because catching yourself laughing is being aware of your own anxiety and being conscious of other’s attitude to it.

  3. itwillcometome,

    That’s what my physics ‘O’ level would teach me, yet wouldn’t there be subsequent further movement?

    I suppose an interesting experiment would be to sit in a car with a big spiky ball on the parcel shelf, then receive an impact from behind and trust to physics learnt that it won’t embed itself in the back of my skull.

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