Saturday, December 20, 2008

Anatomy of a Scandal: a digression

On the occasion of this, our second suicidefoodiversary, we would like to discuss a phenomenon we've seen several times now.

Periodically, something we write here rankles the delicate sensibilities of the Barbecue-based Community. Word spreads through the barbecue forums—no, really, they exist—and the indignation gathers like heartburn. Here’s how it usually takes shape:

1. In googling himself, someone discovers that the logo of his barbecue team (barbecue team, barbecue forum—we’re still just not used to the world) has been discussed on the Suicide Food blog.

2. The googler then posts a breathless comment—“You'll never believe this!”—to his favorite forums. Forums, plural. The affrontery must be disseminated widely.
Here, we get to see the twining paths of affiliation. Regional barbecuers with their arcane subspecialties might link to hunters and vice versa.
3. Buddies and partisans pile on, first with unfounded legal opinions, then with the same tired litany of “jokes” that have been circling the bowl for decades, and then with ad hominem attacks and/or threats. The latest charming invective: “Here's a link with the blogger's real name. Sounds like the guy needs to be beaten until he leaks. Road trip?” (That example from a professional wedding photographer!)
Were you aware that PETA actually stands for People Eating Tasty Animals and that vegetarian is an Indian word for “bad hunter”? Gadzooks, that's good times! You are of course familiar with this "funny" adage: "There is room for all God's creatures. Right next to the potato salad." Seriously, it's like the Algonquin Round Table over there! Finally, there are painful, cricket-inducing disquisitions on the consciousness of plants and the utility of humans' ineffective, pointy-ish incisors.
4. Our meager traffic inches skyward as the nation’s barbecuers scramble to see what the fuss is about, compare stereotypes about vegans, and wax he-man about the joys of dead animals (and the means of making them become that way).

Point of “interest”: Invariably, the declaration will be made that we have too much time on our hands. Yes, this stinging broadside from people spending their precious hours at forums devoted to musing about barbecue!
An enthusiastic bowhunter from Texas recently remarked: “It is sad that someone has that much time to contribute absolutly (sic) nothing to society except their whinny (sic) ways.” His society-bolstering contribution? Attempting to rid the world of doves, deer, and quail! Take that, us!

Breaking News (9/14/09): Right now, three different regional barbecue forums (Arizona, California, and Utah) are discussing one of our posts simultaneously. So far, it's following the script perfectly.


mkb said...

And you are responding in kind. Maximum lulz!

Zucchini Breath said...

Defending yourself on your own website cannot be compared to posting your opinion about someone else's website in multiple forums after they expose the horrors YOU commit on a daily basis.

Ben did not mention names, call names or threaten anyone, unlike the people he has written about in this essay.

Good job, Ben. Keep slingin the truth ESPECIALLY if it hurts.

Ben said...

No, mkb. We believe you'll find that these lulz are maximal.

Anonymous said...

Man, those "jokes" are so ridiculous. My favorite is when someone tells me something like "Being a vegetarian is stupid. We still have steak!" I had steak and I willingly gave it up. There's no vegetarian/vegan police. In fact, if I wanted to start eating meat again, everyone around me would probably be happy. I gave up meat by my own free will.

The Vegas Vegan said...

Hey, Happy Anniversary!!

(from a loyal lurker ;)

Becci said...

Hee hee, I love when you make fun of these yokels. Don't forget "I didn't climb to the top of the food chain to become a vegetarian"--they LOVE that one. (Not that any of them have any concept of what a food chain is or how one works.)

Happy anniversary and keep it up!