Friday, May 30, 2008

French Market in Bath, England

We never even knew we'd been dreading this: the John Waters approach to suicide food.

One need not be possessed of a cinematic imagination or a taste for the tasteless to see in the coil of sausage something transgressive. Transgressive and excretory. Be honest: you do see it, yes? The robust, meaty, spiraling turd?

(Bravo to the proprietors for giving us something new. After so many tiresome pairings of sex with violence, someone had the guts to pair meat with shit. That is fearless ingenuity.)

After the eye lingers—far too long, we know—on that feculent monument, the adorable pig comes into view. And what is in her hand? We know what it is meant to be—a length of "delicious" "sausage." No matter how we interpret it, the little pat she gives her thigh or backside (or whatever) suggests only one thing:

"Eat up! Plenty more where that came from!"

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

Addendum (2/10/09): Another instance of the same image (flipped). Must be a European meme. "I am delicious!" (Photo source.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Fancy Wiener Phenomenon

We have discussed and dissected many strange happenings in the world of suicide food. From the Elvis-Pork Nexus to ungodly animal hybrids, we have traveled the warped byways of the human psyche with the eye of a clinician and the abandon of a gonzo journalist.

The theme of today’s report is startling only for how neatly it falls into place within the Movement’s fetid categories.

What first appears as outlandish as those salacious "food" animals eager to be ravished or near-endless streams of copycat pig icons comes into sharp focus after a moment's inspection.

Start with a pig (of course, with hot dogs and sausage it can be hard to know what-all is present). The pig wants to die for you. (Naturally.) Even after death, the pig wishes it could die all over again. (This is the essence of undead food, a topic previously covered.) But—yes, here's the trouble—hot dogs (and, to a lesser extent, sausages) are the mutts of the food world. Everything under the sun goes into them and they have a decidedly blue collar reputation. What's a dead, processed, casing-clad pig to do?

Work harder, that's what. And work harder they do. To overcome the prejudice against eating proletariat foods, the wieners, franks, and assorted links masquerade as society types dripping with good taste and cash.

Thus, the spats, top hats, ascots, and walking sticks. This strain of suicide food is doubly deceptive. Not only are we given the standard lie: the animals wish to die that you might indulge your every culinary whim. But we are asked to swallow a second lie: that they represent the finer things.

Furthermore, where they found frankfurter-sized garments and accoutrements remains deliberately obscure.

(Thanks to Dr. Portigal for the Gold Coast Dogs image. Dog House Sandwich Shop [the ascotted dandy] source.)

Addendum (6/01/08): Another wonderful example of the FWP! (Thanks to Urso for the photo.)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Domino's Techno Chicken

The perfect explication of a freakish philosophy. The chickens have been informed that their carcasses will be used to create something called a Domino's BBQ Chicken & Bacon Pizza. And what is their reaction? Do they weep? Do they plead? Do they flee? Do they fight?

In the cratered, post-rational land of Suicidefoodistan, such questions are met with incomprehension.

Why would the chickens object? Who, after all, would invoke normal responses, crafted by evolution's tireless tinkering? This—this pizzafication—is being done not merely to them or with them, but, never forget, for them.

Therefore, in the commercial dedicated to them, they do the least reasonable thing imaginable: they dance. At a disco. Saturday Night Fever-style.

They are celebrating their nihilism the only way a bird in a tragic, hallucinatory world can.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

BBQ House

This bikini-wearing sow presents us with an example of we may term the Fallacy of the Natural Cause.

The Fallacy functions in two ways: by giving weight to the absurd notion that “food” animals die from natural causes and by blurring the line between the deliberate and the accidental or circumstantial. In either event, not eating the animal would be a tragic waste. It’s already dead and we dare not let its death be for nothing. (The Pig Roaster is the classic example of this ploy.)

In the case of BBQ House, the sun’s rays—life-giving, nurturing—are equated with the fires of the grill. What is the sow’s cause of death? Who’s to say? It would take Quincy to sort it all out. Let’s leave it for another day—the pork’s getting cold.

Where this image excels is in featuring a vulnerable bathing beauty as the subject. Notice that this takes care of two problems at once. It butchers two pigs with one chop, you might say. It sanitizes the experience by allowing us to imagine our meal in her prime, enjoying everything life has to offer, and it makes the pig's death look like an unforeseeable beach mishap.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Trebeker's Fresh Poultry Buffet: a hoax

Imagine it. A restaurant founded on the most barbaric principle: You pay your fee, collect a fistful of darts, and try to nail a chicken for the cook to fry up for you.

You need not imagine such a place, for Trebekers (named, improbably, after Alex Trebek) exists. Their prices are shockingly steep: the "5 Darts Meal" for a family of four is $44.95!

Says the Trebekers website of their operation:
Built upon a near decade-old family tradition, Trebeker's Fresh Poultry Buffet™ brings the thrill of the hunt to your table! While your mouth waters at the tantalizing aromas the fill the restaurant, our 100% organic farm-fresh chickens dance around your table in… patented Chickin-Pickin' Pens™ — just dart the one you want, and our highly trained chefs will prepare it to your specifications…. When you dine at Trebeker's Fresh Poultry Buffet™, the choice is yours! Our birds are… almost entirely grain-fed, and are bred specifically for Trebeker's by local zoogenetic specialists.
When we said that Trebekers exists, we should have said that it "exists." For—glory of glories!—this is a hoax, friends. Nothing but a bold bit of satire.

We will admit that our very first impulse was to buy into it. After all, we've seen some pretty sick stuff over the years. This impulse was followed seconds later by disbelief. "Wait a minute!" we said (in recreated dialogue). "This is too ridiculous even for us in all our jaded misery to believe. You got us, Trebeker's!"

A quick investigation revealed that the listed phone number and address actually correspond to a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in Pacific Palisades, California.

And while we feel that we dodged a bullet (or a dart?) on this one, we are chagrined by what it takes for us to feel such relief: only that an utterly monstrous story be false. What of the true horrors we've catalogued here time and again? Suicidefoodism is grinding us down.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Nando's Big Chicken

Suicide Food enters the unpleasant world of "reality" television. (Now there's a marriage the world was clamoring for!)

Nando's Australia—the downunder wing of the East-Southern Semisphere chicken chain—advertises its fare in a commercial promoting a Big Brother-like television series.

In Big Chicken, poultry compete for the chance to be cooked and eaten.

As the peculiar, shaggy Nando's impresario says in the advertisement:

"Eight chickens. One hen house…. They are playing for the ooltimate prize: the winner gets a VIP trip to Nando's to be marinated in peri-peri for 24 hours, basted, then flame-grilled. Who will be Australia's favorite chicken?"
(Peri-peri, apparently, is Australian slang for "shame.")

Unsurprisingly, the gag isn't any funnier in Australia than in the rest of the world.

The punchline, if it can be called that, is that viewers will decide which of the chickens will be the winner/victim. It adds a certain Roman quality to the goings-on. To finish the fun, the "contestants" are profiled on a website. There, we learn that Ethel Chicken dislikes loud chickens, Mildred Chicken enjoys keeping fit, and Sheila Chicken doesn't care for chicken raffles.

Why can't they just eat the birds and be done with it?

(Thanks to Dr. Robert for the referral.)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Animals Save the Farm, a retrospective

We have here a perplexing trope that comes into sharp focus when viewed through the lens of suicidefoodism. Why should livestock work to preserve the farms that subjugate them? Why should livestock care so deeply that their masters get a fair price for butchering them? Why should livestock petition on behalf of the system that will ultimately kill them?

In the real world, of course, they do not. They should not. They could not. But in the through-a-glass-darkly land of Suicide Food, it makes perfect sense.

Yes, in this warped world, a turkey walks the picket line to insure that "his" farm, an establishment that will eventually kill him, stays in business; a snarling cow is downright ornery about the price fixing that hurts his owner's bottom line; and a smiling British pig with a stiff upper lip alerts us to the fact that "the pig industry is losing money every second."

These animals are proud to be property and they renounce any claim on their own lives. Freedom is a ploy, independence a penalty imposed on wild animals for their ignorance of the animals' proper place. These farm apologists, however, have embraced a cruel vision of civilization, one founded on their enslavement and death.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Cruji Pollo

Cruji Pollo—cruji is short for crujiente ("crunchy"), so that's Crunchy Chicken en español—is justifiably proud. He has carved out a new niche for suicidal animals.

Sure, we've seen shills trumpeting their superior flavor, patriotism, abillity to get drunk, promptness, and raw sex appeal as justification for your choosing them for your animal-consumption needs.

But here is the first to talk up his pleasing mouth-feel. Crunchy revels in the way his crisp skin will feel. In your mouth. While you're eating him. This dubious achievement is enough to make us cringe.

Even the letters are on fire, reflecting as they do the bird's desire to be crisped and made tantalizingly crunchy. He can't wait. With his knife and fork, and his apron, and his little hat, he is only too ready to dig in.

It's as though he thinks he'll still be around to sample himself and his oh-so-crunchy-skin (and bones?) when he has achieved the desired internal temperature and level of deadness. No, Crujito. It doesn't work that way.

(Thanks to Dr. Mar for the referral.)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Joe's Gizzard City

An excerpt from the unactual brochure of the Joe's Gizzard City Chamber of Commerce:
Welcome to the gizzardingest town this side of the Rio Grande! Other burgs boast the biggest birds, the tangiest wings, the crispiest skin. (Ulp.) But here in Gizzard City, we believe in specializing! We do one thing, and we do it the best! And that's gizzards. What happens to the rest of the chicken? Who cares! Let the raccoons have 'em! We keep the only part that matters! So come on down to Gizzard City and get gizzardized!

This chicken, this ambassador of Gizzard City (the only such city in the world, thank goodness), suffers the worst form of objectification. "Food" animals the world over are accustomed to being exploited. They are routinely equated with the substance of which they are made. But this! This goes beyond the familiar insult.

In this, we see the bird exalted for, and reduced to, one particular body part: the gizzard. (The ventriculus. The muscular pouch in the stomach of many birds and reptiles that grinds food, often with the aid of ingested pebbles or grit. Sounds delish, right?)

You, chicken, are not a living thing. Nor are you merely food for Man. No, you are a complex incubator for one small, rubbery morsel. You are an object valued only for a couple fleshy inches you provide.

And see? The chicken holds the gizzard (his own gizzard?) aloft on the tines of his fork, proudly, gratefully—how it gleams!—honored to have achieved some small purpose in this world. He reminds one of a sacrifice on the steps of a great and terrible Aztec pyramid, happy to see his dripping heart torn from his chest, knowing that the gods are well pleased.

(Thanks to Dr. Mac for the referral.)

Addendum: This representation—also taken from the official website—seems a little more realistic: the shock, the fighting posture, the natural desire to rake talons across the flesh of anyone who would relieve it of its gizzard. Not a suicidefoodistically pure image, but an honest one.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Party with the Pigs: a digression

Truly, it's advice we never thought we'd have to give: If you receive an invitation bearing a pig and his knife, politely decline.

Exhibit A:

The relationship between this pig and his giant knife is depraved, to say the least. Clearly, he refers to the knife as his "precious" and together, they plot their elaborate revenge against a hostile world. When fellow pigs and their butchers alike have been sent to their makers, the pig plans to turn his darling on himself.

If you accept his invitation, you will wind up hiding in the bathroom, trying to jimmy the window open with a comb, trembling as he croons to his knife in the hallway: "We'll show them. We'll show them all."

Exhibit B:

Gilbert's Party Barn could be the first in a new series of poorly reviewed, low-budget slasher flicks.

Gilbert barely bothers to hide his evil intentions. "Why, hello," he says in his best Vincent Price voice. "I was just… getting ready for the party. Have a seat. And don't forget to angle your chin… up. Splendid!"

We have pushed them too far, these pigs, these universal victims. You remember The Day of the Animals? These pig hosts are urging you to prepare for The Day of the Pigs. It's coming. And when it does, the pigs will unleash their murderous rage upon the entire benighted human race. After which, they will drown your graves in their blood.

We've driven them to this, you see. No, not all of them will break, but for Pig (Party with a) and Gilbert, the barbecues, the sausages, the pepperoni were all too much.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hell Wagon Barbecue

You are looking into the face of madness. Having risen from a hell of dead and dismembered pigs, his spirit wracked by insanity, the infernal pig drives the demon bull onward. Onward, through the badlands of the living! Onward, through nightmare! Onward, through the corruption of disease and sin! Through defilement, pain, and misery!

The pig is so determined to create Hell on Earth—hell-bent, one might say—that he even coaxes fire from the nostrils of his beast of burden. His wagon is either A) made of flame, or B) still alight with the Underworld's foul fire. Either way, we're dealing with a hellish perversion.

Our "favorite" insane touch: the skillets are lashed down to the sides of the wagon with ropes fashioned from sausage links.

As gruesome as this hell wagon is, we do take comfort in its lack of ambiguity. The pig is consumed with an unspeakable urge to kill and be killed. That kind of clarity brings with it a certain serenity. There is no need to interpret the image, to arrive at a correct reading. No, this is plain old, life-hating depravity. Open and shut.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Special Report: Pig Logo Exposé 4

It's been a long time—too long—since we presented another installment in our award-winning series of pig logo exposés. We feel that returning to the theme is instructive. It reminds us that the world of suicidefoodism is governed by the same laziness we see in other areas of life. Our challenge is not so great, after all. We can do this. And so, full of resolve and possibility, we carry on. Ladies and gentlemen: Pig Logo Exposé 4.

(Left to right, by row: Dillard Bluegrass & BBQ Fest, Pig Central, Register Meat Co., Bucky's Bar-B-Q, Tom's Hot Pork Rinds, Hog in the Hood Barbeque, Sgt. Oink's BBQ Co., Porkie's BBQ.)

As with Crotchy, Pig Out, and Ta-Da! before him, Jowly here demonstrates the marginal variety, the adherence to form we've come to expect.

True, he can be in overalls, or the ermine-trimmed robes of royalty. In the army or a motorcycle gang. Saluting or sweating, demon-faced. But through it all, Jowly bears that same eager-to-please, eager-to-push-pig-parts smile.

Let us catalog the standards of the breed: bent ears, cheek bulge, prominent chin, and snout with two fat wrinkles.

Please send us any examples of Jowly you might come across. Thank you.

Addendum (11/06/08): The Big Al's Smokin BBQ Jowly (#9) fits right in.

Addendum 2 (2/01/09): Here he is (#10), a little slimmed down, playing a bass drum with a giant pork mallet!

Addendum 3 (8/01/09): Jowly appears on a cap for his eleventh appearance (and his fourth salute).

Addendum 4 (9/14/09): The twelfth time we've seen him, and he's not looking well.

Addendum 5 (4/19/10): Number 13, this one representing Big Daddy's B-B-Q. Can you make out Big Daddy's boast down there? "If you can kill it, Big Daddy can grill it." Jowly has acquired a gold tooth somewhere along the line, too, it looks like.

Addendum 6 (4/25/10): Number 14.

Addendum 7 (5/08/10): And 15.

Addendum 8 (10/28/10): Jowly's gone native for number 16 at Daddy's Barbecue. (Source.)