Sunday, June 29, 2008

2007 Kodiak Crab Fest

You'll pardon us for reporting so late on the 2007 crab fest. Mail service from Kodiak, Alaska, is often spotty.

The symbol of last year's Kodiak Crab Fest knows a good time when he sees one. And if it involves getting dunked in boiling water and having his legs wrenched from his body, so be it! All's fair in love and war… And fun!

Kodiak J. Crab's motto might be "It's Just Fun!" but his #1 rule for living is "No Hard Feelings!"

His ability to absolve his, uh, boilers is commendable. And thoroughly craven.

Addendum: Another creature with a peculiar sense of fun. (It's the Lee Turkey Farm turkey of East Windsor, New Jersey!) Whatever else one could say about him, he sure is easy to please! To be charitable, there really is only one word ("everyone") on his placard that gives us pause. Still, that's a 75%. A gentleman's "C." Certainly life on the farm isn't "fun" for, well, everyone.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Little Redi

Little Redi is only the third youth-oriented chicken-related mascot we've profiled here. (The first was Rocky Junior, the second Zax.) Good point: this is hardly a write-home-able distinction. But Redi is the first youth-oriented, nuggetized chicken-related mascot we've profiled. Stand tall, Redi! For you are an ambassador for all undead suicide food.

The undead phenomenon is familiar to you, isn't it, thoughtful reader? These are the burgers, chops, and franks—and now, thanks to Redi, nuggets—who linger even after death. One meager life as an animal devoted to the glorious proposition that it lived merely to die for humans was never enough! And so, they rise, to be dominated and consumed in a new (in this case nuggetitious) form. Somehow, they rewrite the foundational laws of life to be reborn, casting off death like it was an oversized basketball shoe.

If only they could die twice! Ten times! An uncounted multitude of lives pledged to insatiable carnivores! This is the fantasy of every undead "food" animal.

Haltingly, they stalk food courts, the frozen food aisles of the world's grocery stores, and neighborhood barbecue joints in search of those who would devour them.

Haltingly? Did we say haltingly?

Bah! Look on Redi here. Remember, he is brimming with youth's promise! He is sportiness incarnate, bold and beautiful

Whatever the scene—"when you want great tasting appetizers or meals"—he is ready! In his haste, his sheer, youthful, go-getter readiness, he has left his shoelaces untied. Even his ball cap is worn erroneously. All of his considerable energy goes to getting himself cooked and eaten!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Professor Fish

Pontificating from his ivory tower, Professor Fish typifies those big city academics who deign to tell us peons how to life, what to believe, who to be.

Oh, and it's not just fish! No, no, it's also pigs and cows!

With their noses in books and their heads in the clouds, these brainiacs are utterly divorced from the real world. The world we actually inhabit.

Of course, this appeal to authority has as its goal the subversion of critical thinking: If the best and brightest among us, those whose lives are dedicated to the discovery and transmission of knowledge, if they say it is so, it must be worth attending to.

But talk about absent-minded professors! Even those who never made it past 8th grade can identify a flaw in the good professor's theory. As he stands beside his thesis—flower of his intellect—we see a tiny little contradiction. Eat fish and, therefore, live longer. But for the fish, the simple proposition is refuted. When you eat fish, the fish do not, of course, live longer. They live no longer.

Not exactly a tenure track.

(Thanks to Dr. Portigal for the photo.)

Addendum: We are actively seeking other faculty members of Suicidal Animal departments from halls of higher learning around the globe. Especially any examples other than fish, pigs, and cows.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Pork N More

In the "proud" tradition of this thoughtful pig and chicken comes Pork N More. He's the latest in our "celebration" of complicit animals.

Unwilling, incapable of doing anything halfway, they require their human overlords to do nothing more than open their mouths and chew. (At this moment, in the labs of the Complicit Animals Institute, animals are attempting to devise self-chewing meat. Look for it around 2011.)

All natural impulses have been bred (or punished?) out of them. They neither flee nor fight. Not even will they cringe as the bolt gun is steadied against their temples.

Their response to the carnage around them is one familiar to all students of suicidefoodism: they grab the keys and bring the grill to you!

So there he stands, our good ol' N (as his hat identifies him), a sinister wink playing across his twisted features, as the flesh of his fellows sizzles on his "portable custom woodfired BBQ."

Addendum: In the interest of full disclosure, the scoring committee admits that the low quality of the image earned Pork N More its third noose.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Springer Mountain Farms Jingle Contest

Banjo Chicken provides the perfect opportunity to examine the so-called Happy Meat movement. This school of thought is suicidefoodism's more scholarly sister.

"All vegetable diet!" boasts their website. "Antibiotic FREE! Free farmed! Environmentally focused!"

See? This is a paradise for chickens! Much better than the bare-bones, three-hots-and-a-cot conditions most poultry prison inmates endure.

Why, things are so good at Springer Mountain that Banjo here wants to sing about it! He wants to encourage others to sing about it. He wants a catchy jingle to come out of all this, so that a steady stream of customers will insure that plenty of chickens get to enjoy Springer Mountain's hospitality and responsible stewardship of our Earth and all her corn-pecking children!

Which is all just another way of saying that this makes no sense whatsoever.

(Did we mention that the winning jingle will earn its composer a year's "supply" of Springer Mountain chicken meat?)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Smokin' Jim's

What Smokin' Jim won't sell! Chicken, steak, ribs, pork sandwiches! He'll even sell garlic bread (and salad?), of all things!

Still! With range like that, and a plethora of deals and levels of customization, Jim still feels the need to resort to the suicidefoodist's basest attraction. We are speaking, of course—and it pains us to bring up this subject yet again—of the seductive sow. To see her there, posing in front of her House of Vice, this lady of easy virtue… We are embarrassed. Yes, Miss, we're sure yours is the finest… ahem… butt in town, but we are not interested!

As she bats those long-lashed lids at us, we are reduced simultaneously to pimp and john. We become the peddler and the peddled-to.

Is there anything that can diminish the committed carnivore's appetite? From all we have seen, we are compelled to say no. Over-sexed pigs only stoke their fires.

Incidentally—we hope—bestiality is legal in the state of Florida. At least, according to our cursory research.

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

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Alberta Beef

When we were young, we were intrigued by the following conundrum:

What is the only question to which one cannot truthfully answer Yes?

The semi-official answer was "Are you asleep?" Now, of course, in the advanced state of our wisdom and cunning, we can easily imagine many other satisfactory answers to the riddle:

"Are you unable to use the power of speech?" "Have you forgotten the word yes?" "Are you a monolingual Croat who doesn't understand a single word of English?" And so forth. (And a disappointing parlor game is born!)

But one answer we could never have discovered on our own, without aid of this image or a similar mind-altering commercial message is "Are you a Canadian steer proud of 1) his country, 2) his prairie province, and 3) his suitability as a foodstuff?"

How can the poor guy not see it? How can he be unaware that he's being played for a chump, or the Canadian equivalent? (A "gordon," perhaps?) They're pissing in his ear and calling it Molson's.

Hey, pal. You're not on the team. To them, you're not a who, you're a what. You can't be a Canadian any more than a park bench can. All you can be is Canadian meat.

Wise up and quit being a gordon.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Barbeques Galore

The scene: A backyard barbecue. A man chats with the (dead) chicken he will soon grill and eat. The two share an easy rapport, and each carries on in full awareness of the nature of their relationship.

The conversation involves such mundanity as a child's need for orthodontia and the courtship procedures known to all modern American humans and (dead) chickens.

We learn that the (dead) chicken is an accountant.

The vignette concludes with the man brushing barbecue sauce on the breast of the (dead) chicken.

The world shown here is a shadow world to our own. It is a world in which the dead—the dead, beheaded, and disemboweled—yet live! A world in which chickens speaking to us from prolapsed neckholes fail to send us gibbering into the night. A world in which we listen and engage when plucked corpses share their inner lives with us.

What we have witnessed is a commercial from a manufacturer of barbecue grills. Their improbable tagline is "Your meat isn't going to grill itself." Oh, that the Shangri-La envisioned by the slavering suicidefoodists were real! To live in an Eden where our friends and acquaintances would so willingly sacrifice themselves to ensure the success of our backyard get-togethers!

Addendum: Barbeques Galore also has a commercial featuring a pig bent on vengeance. This one is played for laughs by casting it as a horror film à la The Sixth Sense or Black Christmas. "The calls are coming from inside the house! Get out!" (Yes, a similar line can be found in When a Stranger Calls from five years later. Hey, when did this turn into a course in lowbrow film history?) A pig who objects to people grilling him? An absurdity only to a suicidefoodist.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Suicide Snacks: quickies

As much as we love a good treatise, it is a demanding form. Sometimes, we confess, we yearn for something simpler.

Thus, these low-effort efficient entries, the first in what we hope will be a successful feature.

Yes, it certainly is.

It is curious that sentient, self-aware creatures can declare themselves to be nothing but a few of their bodily parts. Such is the eternal contradiction of suicide food! Curious also that the company's actual name is We Are Ribs.

Buxom, huh? Talk is cheap, chicken. Let's see the goods.

To be fair, Buxom Poultry doesn't deal in chicken breasts. They are no sexualizers of birds. No, they manufacture equipment to eviscerate and otherwise literally violate chicken carcasses.

Really, now. Is there any better way to highlight the free-range lifestyle of these chickens than to show them confined to a roasting pan?

(And, all right! We grant that this isn't actually suicide food. But if the dead and steaming chicken's face were visible, we're confident that it would be smiling.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Whole Foods, St. Louis Pork Ribs

This is the story of every young pig who yearned for a life of fame, who longed to be someone—to matter.

The poor rube has stars in his eyes. If the only way he can make it is to sell himself to the devil for $4.49 per pound, that's a small price to pay.

Long ago, we profiled another hungry, young fame-chaser, but this Missourian here is taking the game even more seriously. He's not just putting his career on the line. He's betting it all!

Part of us feels admiration for this pig's ambition. Unlike the much-bemoaned "young people these days," he is willing to put his money (and his ribs!) where his mouth is. He knows he's got to work for his dreams. He's not waiting for someone to hand him anything on a silver platter. No, he'll be the one occupying the platter.

Hey, it's a tough business.

You'll make it, pig. Just remember to be good to the people you meet on the way up because you'll meet them again when you're on the way down. Their gullets.

(Image source.)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Iowa Meat Goat Association

Let us get reacquainted with Grant Wood's iconic 1930 portrait of—take your pick—upright Americana, small-minded provincialism, tradition, and/or the urgent need for progress.

The pair has served as a scrim upon which has been projected the American experience. Our foibles and virtues, our past and future—everything we hold dear or would gladly leave behind… It has all been seen within the flinty farmer and his wife. (Wood's sister, the model of the farmer's wife, was aghast at her portrayal as wife to a crusty old man. Consequently, she was the first to suggest that the woman in the painting was meant to be the farmer's daughter.)

Wood's painting has been coopted and satirized innumerable times, and the Iowa Meat Goat Association's offering is particularly rich.

To see livestock cast in the role of Everyman and Everywoman is unsettling. It's the same muddled thinking we've seen so often. The goats are equated with us. They wear clothes. They have jobs. He tends the fields. She keeps the house. Together, they make a life.

They are imbued with all the cultural significance of Wood's farm couple, all the complexity and ambiguity of each of us.

And yet they are livestock, born to die. The "home" they pose in front of isn't a quaint old farmhouse. It's a barn. They represent the Iowa Meat Goat Association, for crying out loud! They are afforded no opportunity even to be goats. No, they are meat. We are meat!

Exactly whom is the IMGA diminishing here?

Addendum: Another example. Perhaps because its style is so cartoonish—miles from Wood's realism—the Johnson's S&SDB logo doesn't offend any more than the average suicide food offends.

(Thanks to Dr. Cathy for the Johnson's Seafood & Steak referral and photo.)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Little India

Just when we had finally scoured the pornographic Rachachuros corpses from our memory, this thing comes along, falling into our lap like so much filth. We are infected all over again.

This advertisement, from Swiss restaurant Little India, trades on the magnetic pull that sex and violence have with each other in our society. And in this case, it has the added advantage that it mocks dead birds by flaunting life's sensual pleasures, pleasures the birds will never again enjoy. Not enough that the chickens have been raised to be killed and eaten. No, contempt—that most delicious seasoning—is heaped upon them as well. Looking at this atrocity, we can practically hear the snickers.

This "erotic" poster gives us chickens frolicking in death. Though headless, they indulge every urge. Clearly, they are not complaining. Although, again, for the thousandth time at least, we wonder how this serves to whet anyone's appetite. Dead, decapitated animals presenting a caricature of our own intimate behavior? Whose hunger responds to this? Do you want to know them?

We have previously seen what suicidefoodism thinks of childhood innocence. Now we discover what the deranged worldview thinks of love and the procreative impulse. Here, in ridiculing the Kama Sutra and its wide-ranging depiction of sacred sex and spiritual union, life's most basic yearning is derided. What is left to denigrate? Our desire for freedom? Our hopes for a better world? Our longing to leave to posterity the best of ourselves?

If our shared humanity is mere fuel for their all-consuming flames, what could possibly be so precious as to earn their mercy?

(Thanks to Dr. Liz for the referral.)