Sunday, July 15, 2012

More Like "Assisted" Suicide

This story struck a nostalgic nerve as I read it...
BEIJING (AP) -- Police concluded a Chinese activist found hanging in his hospital room committed suicide, dismissing allegations of foul play from his family and fellow activists who had used his death as a symbol of China's repression of government critics.
Li Wangyang's promotion of labor rights in central China had led to more than 20 years of prison or hard labor. He was released last year and was being treated at a hospital for heart disease, diabetes and other ailments when he died June 6.
Investigators found Li's fingerprints on the hospital window bar from which he was found hanging, said a police report released through the Hong Kong China News Agency late Thursday. It said an autopsy concluded Li's injuries were consistent with suicide and found no signs of bruising, organ damage or other evidence of struggle.
People seen in hospital surveillance video taken in the hall outside his room around the time of his death were all staff or other patients' visitors, said the Hunan Public Security Bureau report.
Relatives say the 62-year-old labor rights activist never talked about killing himself despite his prison time and illnesses. Supporters say it was suspicious Li was found hanging by his neck even though his feet touched the ground.

It reminded me of an old parody of Prof. Tolkien's trilogy...
Harvard Lampoon wrote a parody entitled "Bored of the Rings".
It was a hoot. I still have an an original copy in my library...
I had to go look up the passage I wanted and found the entire PDF online...
(gee, imagine that. </sarcasm>)
The entire thing is a classic, but the part that I was looking for was a description of the suicide of King of Twodor, and the takeover by the Stewards.

"I think it's a bluff," said Goodgulf as he rang the bell insistently,
"for the Stewards of Minas Troney have always been private in their ways. Benelux the Booby, son of Electrolux the Piker, comes from a long line of Stewards dating back many arid generations.
Long have they ruled Twodor.
The first Great Steward, Parrafin the Climber, was employed in King Chloroplast's kitchen as second scullery boy when the old King met a tragic death. He apparently fell backward by accident on a dozen salad forks. Simultaneously the true heir, his son Carotene, mysteriously fled the city, complaining of some sort of plot and a lot of threatening notes left on his breakfast tray.
At the time, this looked suspicious what with his father's death, and Carotene was suspected of foul play. Then the rest of the King's relatives began to drop dead one after the other in an odd fashion. Some were found strangled with dishrags and some succumbed to food poisoning. A few were found drowned in the soup vats, and one was attacked by assailants unknown and beaten to death with a pot roast. At least three appear to have thrown themselves backward on salad forks, perhaps in a noble gesture of grief over the King's untimely end.
Finally there was no one left in Minas Troney who was either eligible or willing to wear the accursed crown, and the rule of Twodor was up
for grabs. The scullery slave Parrafin bravely accepted the Stewardship of Twodor until that day when a lineal descendant of Carotene's returns to reclaim his rightful throne, conquer Twodor's enemies, and revamp the postal system."
In fiction as in real life- "Nothing to see here, folks. Just move along..."


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