Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Corruption of Childhood

Just when we think suicide food cannot disgust us any more deeply, just as we adjust to a new level of contempt, we discover a fresh vein of offense. The depths to which the suicidefoodists will sink are truly unplumbed. We find the perverted barbarity of this newest discovery unfathomable.

Animals are disrespected by suicidefoodism, of course. Decency is pantsed. Good sense and logic have pies thrown in their faces. But here! Here innocence itself is slandered!

Exhibit A is the Wandoor Rabbit farm of southern India.

Look at their amiable mascot, as untroubled by his grisly fate as any suicide food. He looks to be back from his morning forage, basket brimming with produce. He might even be pointing out the benefits of farm life, perhaps offering glowing commentary such as that found on the farm's website:

"Situated in the greenery of wandoor in malappuram dist. of kerala, the climate here is best suitable for animal husbandry, fre from pollution and chaos of city. Such a climate provides healthy and disease free environment to the rabbits and pork."

Does the rabbit look familiar? Do you know any children? Have you been a child in the last 40 years? Let us refresh your memory:

These two images are from Disney's Winnie the Pooh productions. Yes, Wandoor's rabbit is Rabbit, cantankerous know-it-all of the 100 Acre Wood.

Bad enough to paint butchered animals as parties to their own slaughter, but to twist and corrupt beloved figures from childhood? To transform them into meat-apologists? This is absurd to the point of pain.

"Free from pollution and chaos"? "Healthy"? "Disease-free"? We look on and see nothing but pollution and chaos, debased health, and moral disease.

Exhibit B is Stepto's Bar-B-Q Shack.

Who is this generic pig, in his archetypal chef's garb?

Whoever he is, he makes a cheerful and wholesome mascot, doesn't he? Why, we have little difficulty identifying with him, seeing in his day-to-day concerns our own, looking to him to help us make sense of an exciting yet sometimes challenging world.

Do you have the idea, somehow, that this pig understands? That he would befriend you in an instant if he could? That he represents all that is good and industrious?

It is no surprise that you do. For, most likely, you have seen him before, not shilling for a barbecue joint, but laboring in a bakery maybe, or in a mill, or aboard a train.

For this is—yes—a standard Richard Scarry pig!

The above images are all taken from Scarry's What Do People Do All Day?, a child's utterly charming, engaging, fair-minded introduction to the workings of society.

Now? Merely another pig hoping you'll eat more meat. (Those soured by skepticism need only attend to the peculiar mid-snout smile, the rosy cheeks, the bridge-of-the-snout wrinkles, the gibbous moon pupils, the flared ears, even the shape of the chef's hat! There can be no doubt that the barbecue pig was appropriated from Scarry's oeuvre.)

What makes this such a gut-punch is not merely the strip-mining of our childhood memories. It is that Milne's and Scarry's animals are, if not people, then certainly persons, reflecting all of the idiosyncracies, the individuality, the humanity of humans! These animals work, they play, they love, they quarrel, they contribute. But suicidefoodism cannot abide that.

We are left to wonder whether everything is up for grabs.

Addendum (12/08/07): This overseas Chicago Fried Chicken establishment is advertising not fried chicken so much as fried Big Bird.

Addendum 2 (1/06/08): It is far, far worse than we thought. And how many times can children be coaxed into eating their beloved? Answer: Eight times per package. (Photo source: Dr. dizznan.)

Addendum 3 (3/16/08): The suicidefoodists will make off with every sacred element of childhood before they're done. Here, it's Dr. Seuss's Blue Fish.

Addendum 4 (5/18/08): Granted, this one's subtle. You recognize the font, of course. It's the Walt Disney font! The look and feel of children's culture factory Disney used to pitch dogs that gather up recently shot birds! You say "stretch." We say "thorough."

Addendum 5 (8/30/08): We should never have started looking into this. Now it's Foghorn Leghorn, cherished Warner Bros. blowhard, instructing young Henery Hawk in the finer points of barbarity. "Looky heer son!" he says, "Ya gotta get yer BBQ Chicken!"

Addendum 6 (10/26/08): Ariel, the Little Mermaid, wants you to eat her crunchy, breaded remains. Or perhaps they are merely the crunchy, breaded remains of her undersea pals. (Photo source: Too Much Awesome.)

Addendum 7 (5/21/09): Happy birthday, little one! Say hello to our special guest. It's Porky Pig! You know how much you love his silly antics. Well, now that you're a big boy, you may eat him.

Addendum 8 (11/01/09): Foghorn Leghorn's still at it.

Addendum 9 (1/18/10): Another denizen of the 100 Acre Wood gets in on the act. Here's Piglet dishing out the pork. Or buying it. Or sniffing it. Or doing something with it. (Thanks to Dr. Susan for the referral.)

Addendum 10 (5/08/10): Piglet's back, this time lending his talents to a "high quality pork producer" in Greece!

Addendum 11 (6/19/10): And it's Ariel again, wishing that some handsome two-legged human-type man will truly love her. That is, eat her.


Anonymous said...

Someone should let Milne and Scarry's respective estates know about these monstrosities.

Anonymous said...

Strange because Disney is still a cultural boogeyman to many hunters.

Anonymous said...

haha you're fucking gay. Go choke on that dick in your mouth you waste of energy. LOL, suicide food, I am going to be laughing about this all day!

Anonymous said...

What really offends me is the person's lack of Knowledge about Looney Tunes. The character on the left of Foghorn Leghorn is a chicken hawk.

He's the one who should be talking about liking barbeque chicken, cause his whole deal is spending all day stalking chickens to eat.

Yeah, I'm a total cartoon nerd.

Kristen M. said...

I am going to personally write to Disney about this one! This is disgusting - I can't believe they have Mickey cooking up Clarabelle for lunch/dinner and Ariel telling you it is ok to eat Flounder! This is low...really low...

stantoro said...

1. Among the many disturbing things here, the phrase "rabbits and pork" is not the least of it.
2. I personally found the Dr Seuss image the saddest.
3. On the topic of consuming Big Bird (spoiler alert: happy ending!):