Friday, 23 May 2008


OK - I think I've solved my little problem of getting the images to open up. For giving me such a turn, I sentence my technology to 20 lashes of the cane. Oh, to be kind, make that 100 of the cat.

I remember getting the cuts with a cane at school. It didn't hurt that much! And it was definitely better than the drudgery of detention. Curse those liberals for making kids stay at school an extra hour when it all could be solved with a quick visit to the Principal! It just makes the poor sod who drew the detention shift resent the kids even more. Slippery slope.

Rattan is different stuff though thank goodness. I understand that the rattan cane splits lengthwise after two or three lashes and gives really nasty, multiple, razor like cuts with every whack. Nevertheless, I never thought I'd see someone saying that the cat was the humane option. I mean - why not just leave as is if you are going to multiply the strokes to get the same effect? Someone's gone troppo!

This little notice appears under 'News from Madras' section of the Asiatic journal and monthly register for British India and its dependencies (Calcutta). July 1829.


c. farrell said...

Hi! Actually ordinary school canes were usually made of rattan. It should not split, especially if soaked occasionally. The size is probably the crucial factor. A standard school rattan would not be nearly as severe as a cat. The cane they use in Singapore flogging is of rattan but it is much thicker and somewhat longer than a school cane and they keep it soaked which makes it much more whippy and flexible.

Gavin Pascoe said...

Thanks for the info c.

Bill said...

I think the point of this one was not so much to remove the inhumane rattan, as to ensure equitable and standardised punishment. The article says 'stripes with a rattan are a very unequal mode of punishment, varying with...' I guess it was important to their sense of justice that the same crime committed on different ships above and below the 40th, yea even the 50th, parallel would result in the same amount of bloody agony.