“You know what I like about people?” he asks, staring into the camera. “They stack so well.” He’s been reading newspaper coverage of the carnage he’s created.

-- www.hollywoodreporter.com

Does he really mean people physically stack so well in a photo or something else?

  • This context is very difficult to interpret without more information than is in the article. It could mean, as @SF suggests, literally stacking bodies (implying the speaker is a mass murderer), or it could mean stacking in the political sense of manipulating people or policies. Given the show's context, the character may be implying both. Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 11:16
  • @chrylis can you provide the link for reference page for "stacking in political sense"? i would like to know more about it.
    – user49119
    Commented Dec 6, 2013 at 6:59
  • I couldn't easily find a definition for it, but here's a discussion of an example: defendingscience.org/… Commented Dec 6, 2013 at 14:18

3 Answers 3


I'm not quite sure, but it seems it's about "forming a neat stack of corpses".

Of course in the context given it's all spoken figuratively - "carnage", "chitlins", "eviscerating", that's all metaphors - everything in the mentioned text is about politics: ruining careers, compromising reputation, costing fortunes.

In this context, it's a tongue-in-cheek use of a really psychopathic expression that might be used by a mass-murderer might say, in context of politics: how a whole lot of people lose all significance, dead to the world of politics - and for the one who caused this, their only redeeming value is that "they stack neatly" meaning now that they are out of politics they don't cause any other trouble.

  • 1
    He also smears BBQ sauce across the photograph while he says this line, tracing his index finger across a man's throat in the motion of cutting it. You can be sure he's talking about stacking bodies, and the line is intended to induce chills even though he's speaking metaphorically. If you don't have Netflix, you can at least view the rest of the script for this episode here if you wish. He soon after says: "I sit quietly and imagining their lightly salted faces frying in a skillet." Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 23:33
  • 1
    Yes, it would be in reference to stacking bodies like cordwood (logs). I don't think they actually stack quite that well, but it's a vivid enough image. "A single death is a tragedy, but a million deaths is a statistic" is often attributed to Joseph Stalin, but may have been by Kurt Tucholsky. Once you get beyond a few deaths, they become personally meaningless.
    – Phil Perry
    Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 18:40

by stack he means manipulate and control for his own advantage. I common phrase is "stacking a deck of cards" which means to shuffle (or arrange) a deck as to give the shuffler an unfair advantage. The same applies to 'stacking' people. And for Francis, it's easy for him to do.

  • 2
    But this is in specific reference to the "carnage he's created", which it seems to me points directly to SF.'s answer. Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 23:30

Card stacking is a propaganda technique that seeks to manipulate audience perception of an issue by emphasizing one side and repressing another. Such emphasis may be achieved through media bias or the use of one-sided testimonials, or by simply censoring the voices of critics. The technique is commonly used in persuasive speeches by political candidates to discredit their opponents and to make themselves seem more worthy.

  • This sounds like a good answer. Can you link to a source to back it up? :) Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 21:57
  • It sounds very interesting, but I don't see any relation to the question, which is about someone who created a carnage (i.e. there are a bunch of dead people, not politically influenced people)
    – oerkelens
    Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 7:39

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