Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pho Bac

The (surely deliberate) juxtaposition of the smiling neon cow and the BEEF NOODLE SOUP sign says it all. It's a real pleasure to discover such a graceful crystallization of our thesis.

In that one bovine Buddha's smile, volumes can be read. The neon cow’s eternal, placid smile chases away all misgivings as surely as dawn chases away night. It ratifies the meat-eaters’ every habit, every belief. It belittles doubt, shames the naysayer. It offers an orthodoxy of indulgence, a fun-loving counterpart to a worldview requiring tough choices. This one requires nothing of its adherents. “Come! Eat!" the cow says. "All is well. All is forgiven.”

And so they do. They enter. They order. And their beef noodle soup is delicious, not because they are grateful, but because of the gratitude the cow feels for them. Theirs is not the humble pleasure of the thankful, but the smug satisfaction of the insincere do-gooder, whose assumptions are free to remain unexamined for yet another day.

(Thanks to Dr. Wanderley for the referral and the photo.)


Nic said...

Best Pho in Seattle! Ironically (or whatever) enough, I don't eat beef, so I get the veggie pho.

Anonymous said...

the picture of the smiling cow is a blatant copy from the decennia old logo of "La vache qui rit' cheesebox - "the smiling cow, yes,

Ben said...