We have struggled—how we have struggled!—to uncover an interpretation of this that didn’t make our skin crawl. To no avail.
Que unto others. Do unto others. What are we witnessing? What is going on?! There is but one plausible answer: the father steer is showing his boy the Way of the Grill. He is passing the torch (well, the tongs) to the next generation, so that Junior may carry on the family tradition of proudly, happily cooking your kin before sacrificing yourself to the appetites of your human betters. And all this in the shadow of the looming barbecue itself, the Beast in the Dark.
The father is choked up. After all, he is giving his son his first glimpse of life’s grand and terrible mystery. It’s a big moment. Like giving your daughter the keys to her first car, or buying your son his first gun. They grow up so fast, but it doesn’t last. No, before they get tough and stringy, it’s on to life’s next stage: the bolt to the head, the cleaver, and then, inevitably, the briquettes. Ashes to ashes.
Or... Could it be...? No! No! And yet... Could it be that Papa has handpicked Junior to be the next to feed the hungry? No!
What rankles so is the explicit conflation of altruism—doing (or, um, que-ing) unto others—with teaching your child to submit to the steak knives. Or is it just with pecking away on your keyboard, shooting the breeze with other noble Sons of the Barbecue?
From the forum’s Mission Statement:
QueUntoOthers was "born" out of the concept of cooking for the community, whether fundraising for your church, boy scouts or maybe even your neighborhood association.
Okay, then. Maybe their hearts are in the right place. But couldn't their iconography have been, well, more lofty and less heebiejeebie-making?
(And of course, this isn't the first time we've seen a father or grandfather abusing his custodial authority.)