Beheading Aboard a Greyhound Bus: Security Politics, Bloodlust Justice, and the Mass Consumption of Criminalized Cannibalism

  • Heidi Rimke The University of Winnipeg


The article provides a critical transdisciplinary theoretical framework for analyzing the July 2008 cannibalization case that occurred on a greyhound bus bound for Winnipeg Manitoba. The criminalized image of the monster as a political technology of neoliberalism is examined within the context of two contemporary social forces: psychopolitics or the pathological individualization characteristic of a culture dominated by psy discourses that simultaneously depoliticize the political while capitalizing on the emotional, especially fear, resentment, paranoia, and anger; and, the post-911 fetishization of security. Rather than normalizing securitization and normativizing psychocentrism, the chapter provides a sociopolitical analysis of emotional practices of power productive of neoliberal subjectivities inextricably intertwined with the governance of populations under capitalism. As such, the article offers an understanding of spectacular insecurity by analyzing the discourses and emotional politics intrinsic to maintaining the insecuritized society thus justifying the growth of security regimes. By critically interrogating the spectacle of the screen the essay demonstrates how the social production and consumption of fear and terror are central to dominant and dominating law and order discourses that produce neoliberal insecurities.