Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Smoke Ring

Not technically suicidal perhaps, this pig occupies an even lower rung on the ladder of degradation. Clearly, he has made a pact with his would-be murderers: tending the grill that roasts his brethren in exchange for a few more weeks of miserable pre-death. The guilty rictus, the anxious eye, the ready spatula—this quisling is “living” on borrowed time and he knows it.

See how the red-yellow-orange oval of the logo—the “ring of smoke”?—encircles him, trapping him in a horrifying present. He is bound to his destiny until he, too, succumbs to the kiss of mesquite.

And note that he is not content to cook the remains of his family. He’s adjusting chicken limbs, cow muscles, and sausaged any-animal flesh on the grill. “What’s that, boss? You want it medium well? Whatever you say, boss! You’re the boss, boss!”

Seriously, what is this? We see these images so often, I assume they don’t even register. They have become cheap advertising shorthand, like aprons, neckties, and skateboards stand for motherhood, the “man’s world” of work, and rebellious youth, respectively. And yet, when we do look, what are we to make of this? Are these images compelling? Why? They are grotesque, and, like prison rape, a source of supposed humor right out of Dr. Mengele's jokebook.

That animal is helping us roast those other animals—and then he is gonna die, too! Har har!


Anonymous said...

I had to look up the word "rictus" in the dictionary. Sucks to be outsmarted by a pig... I mean, by Ben.

Ben said...

I have discovered that the Smoke Ring is a web ring. Or something. It's not a restaurant. This makes no difference whatsoever.

Hookoa said...

And this is important or relevant…. WHY???

Ben said...

Trust us—in December 2006 this was highly relevant.

Anonymous said...

Despite the sparkling repartee, the author clearly does not know is way around the culinary arts. In the barbecue world food is grilled or smoked, never roasted.

As a member of the Smoke Ring, thanks for the free advertising.

Oh, and by the way, we are all staunch supporters of PETA. (People Eating Tasty Animals)

Ben said...

Not even in December 2006 was the PETA "joke" fresh.