Thursday, July 31, 2008

Samsung Safari: a "what the hell?" digression

Look, sometimes we get stumped. In October '07, we were stymied by this strangeness. It has happened again.

We don't even know where we discovered this thing, or what life was like before we knew of its existence. (We assume it was simpler and more rational.) Having seen it, great swaths of our cerebral cortex have made the long, stumbling trek to oblivion.

So, what is it, already? It's a promotional video—that is, an ad—for Samsung, meant to demonstrate… Okay, we don't know what it's meant to demonstrate. The dark core of man, perhaps? In it, we watch the putative video shot by tourists on safari. Oh, look. Lions! What majesty. And then the lions start singing "The Banana Boat Song" (popularly known as "Day-O"). Up to that point, the ad is nothing more revolutionary than the reduction of nature's grandeur to commercial spectacle.

But then! Then. Then the quotidian meets the eternal: the corpse of a dead antelope of some kind reanimates and begins dancing. If that's the right term. And now we get to the reason for this thing's inclusion here. Even though the antelope wasn't destined to be eaten by humans (the noblest calling!), he is still depicted as nothing more than food. Not only that, but food that is tickled to have been mauled to death and disemboweled by a pride of lions. Food that expresses its joy by dancing with gay abandon.

How does this mesh with the suicidefood movement? Another mystery.

If you must watch for yourself, you will find the video here. But, please, if you're going to be driving afterward, bring a friend.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Good Steer

Another gratefully dead beast. (We've seen his type before. Here, for instance.) The (Long Island–based) steer's life on Earth was a miserable, fleshbound nightmare. His was an existence of physical impulse and the satisfaction of needs. Of a world he could see and touch and hear. Of movement and emotion. Of being. Who needs that nonsense?

It was only when he was liberated from his physical form that his true life began. (Yes, "liberated." Slaughtered is so base.) For that was when he was metamorphosized—transubstantiated—into sacred stuff. From mere animal to holy servant.

This steer is good, all right: Good and docile. Good and tasty. Good and shut-up-and-do-what-you're-told. Good and, well… Eccentric seems mild. Luminous with servile urges? Just take a look at what this dead steer gets up to, the things that give his afterlife meaning.

1. Bowing and scraping and smiling inwardly at the thought of—finally!—being eaten. (Can you read the caption? "We bow to your good taste." Oh, brother.)

2. Imagining, Walter Mitty–style, that he's out there on the cattle drive, getting whipped and prodded this way and that.

3. Reminding humans that beef is delicious.

Truly, this is a creature who has strayed. He is an unhealthy soul.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Rain Modern Infusion Cuisine

Seattle's Rain restaurant features this cheery fish, and his incandescent smile would shine just as bright without the aid of neon. It's hard to imagine a more friendly fellow. He's so welcoming! So full of a spirit of generosity! So… unnatural!

Come again? Unnatural? How so? He is unnatural in that he—a fish—avoids all water, even rain. He has renounced every aspect of his essential fishness. Well, every aspect save one: his edibility. He denies himself every natural impulse, every innate need. Air, food, safety, and procreation. No, he needs none of these. He wants nothing from you! Nothing from the world!

He exists only to serve and be served. He even believes that cooking is too good for him. His idea of heaven—a dry, dry, fish-free heaven—is being scaled, sliced, and swallowed.

(Photo source.)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Festival of Cruelty 6

Post #300 is our excuse to venture into the no man's land of suicide food's evil first cousin once removed. The dwellers on this withered branch of the family tree see no need for the conventions that keep carnivory's darker truths at a comfortable psychological remove. Continually, we are compelled to return to this rotten vine and hope that careful study and familiarity will inoculate us from its toxic effects.

(Get in the sewer and review the previous installments of the Festival of Cruelty: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.)

Hatfield Pig Roast: When Hatfield Pig Roast roasts a pig, the pig stays roasted. They want the worthless swine to feel it, to experience every moment of the pig-roasting process in all its smothering torment. And look at him! What can we say but Mission Accomplished! The pig, wearing a… trench coat (?), gulps his last breaths, his life reduced to a hellish race for death.

Buck'n Chicken: That ol' buckaroo is having the time of his life! Yes, sir! And why shouldn't he? The freakish chicken-monster he has captured and broken is practically drunk with panic. That's like marinade to these people. By "these people," we mean wild chicken riders.

Funny Farm BBQ: They eat animal "children" (for instance this charming tyke), so why not mentally imbalanced animals? Still, as natural and wholesome as it is to exploit the suffering and credulity of reality-deprived lunatics, we can't help feeling a twinge of regret. Just a twinge, mind you, for we are lulled by Funny Farm BBQ's slogan: "Good meat, good smoke, good times." Sure enough, the pig looks happy. (Of course, the pig's mind supplies him with a never-ending parade of candy-colored hallucinations, many involving drunken bishops and giant squids made of pure sound.) The chicken and cow look happy, too. Do they know what they're doing, or are they merely acting out their demons' wishes?

In a Biskit: The denuded corpse of a chicken rises from his fresh grave, intent on spilling his hatred for the living upon the earth. And what caption accompanies this ghoulish rampage? "Alive with flavour." Good one, Kraft conglomerate!

(Thanks to Dr. Amy for the photo.)

University of Missouri Meat Lab: The very best thing about this image—apart from the sado-sexual overtones of the hazing/paddling—is that we found it at a site dedicated to something called Gentle Doctor Benefit! (They raise money for veterinary students at the University of Missouri.) We confess that we wonder about their gentleness if this depiction is associated with them.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Buffalo Dude

We will grant that the following observation could be offensive or insulting to some of our readers:

This suicidefoodist imagery is the first instance of bear iconography we have yet seen. (No, not bear bear. Please, follow the link.)

The buffalo is hyper-masculine, hairy, and aggressively sexual.

The dude's got his "hands" on his hips, and he's staring us down, challenging us to, you know, eat his… "meat."

Here we have the perfectly realized, and perfectly unholy, marriage of sex and violence that suicidefoodism strives to deliver. It's more than marriage, actually. In this unhappy version, this sneering mockery, sex and violence are dissolved in a poisonous brew where neither exists anymore, each having transformed the other into but an ingredient of one noxious solution.

Whether he seeks suicide, sexual conquest, or some unspeakable new possibility, the buffalo stands for a world turned inside out.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ed Boudreaux's Bayou Bar-B-Que

We tried.

We have stared at this thing for three hours straight, forgoing all food (except liquids) and human companionship. We have pondered it. We have challenged it. We have sought and failed to find.

We have asked the ceiling, the sky, the heavens above and received no answer. We are alone.

"How could this make someone want to eat dead pigs?" And then, more quietly, "How could this image be any less appealing (short of nudity and open sores)?"

A bedraggled Mardi Gras vagrant—the single-strap overalls, the frayed cuffs—rides a baleful pig, his jingle bell reins announcing the coming of calamity and giving all within earshot the chance to hide behind their deadbolts.

This does not exactly stimulate the appetite. Or so we pray.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The BBQ-tioners

The power of carnivory to warp reality has never been more clearly demonstrated. Our last post showed us animals willing to fight for their chance at death's tangy, sweet embrace.

Here we have a pig who has turned his psycopathy into a lucrative career. He kills not for sport, but for a paycheck. And, surely, emotional satisfaction of a magnificently insane nature.

Hooded, empty-eyed, he drools at the prospect of bringing the hatchet down on the necks of the innocent. With every chop, his cruelty is stoked. Hotter and hotter it burns! Nothing can extinguish it! Not conscience! Not reason! Nor love?

Love! Even as the word lingers on his lips, it offends, a horrid thing, hateful for its smallness. It is a sop for weaklings! The pig answers to a higher calling, the very highest! Survival of the fittest. Kill or be killed. He is that callous creed's apotheosis!

And being such a trusted servant of the crooked state, he must know that his time in the pit will come. Soon enough, his will be the hatcheted neck. This brings him nothing but peace. The hope that his turn is coming brings him the only happiness he knows.

May we assume that we are now scraping the bottom of the meat mascot barrel? We have seen demons, sluts, and a certain god-awful monstrosity. But this paid killer, this merciless mercenary who would no doubt do his job for free, could be the worst.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Special Report: Barbecue Battling

When we unearthed this souvenir from a hellish world, we never dreamed it presaged a new subgenre.

But look! In the absence of caring human supervision, the animals have created their own culture. A depraved culture, to be sure, but their achievement is no less remarkable for that.

Cutting a swath across this great land, a new movement charges on! (Fig. 1.) And what of the movement? Clearly, the animals are fighting not for the opportunity to escape, but to be the first to die. (We've learned enough about animals from our time monitoring suicide food to know a death-starved creature when we see one.)

They could ditch the arena, hop the fence, and be out of there. Instead, they square off, submitting to a formal system of codified rules (complete with referee). Sometimes they even smile, seeing in the spectacle the possibility for their utmost fulfillment.

Fig. 1
Approximate size and location of the Barbecue Battle Belt. (Garner, North Carolina; Sayville, New York; Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.)

None of which makes this any less bizarre. To the contrary, it makes it exactly as bizarre as every other suicide food meme we've witnessed. Not content to die, they will fight for the right. They will kill in order to die.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Prairie Oak Smokers

The drive to kill and be killed has never before reached such unquenchable heights! Any old fan of dead animals can purchase their carcasses pre-killed and plop them on the grill.

But it takes an artiste to transform the desire for barbecue into a masterpiece of diabolical hatred!

Here, they are lashed to a tree (the eponymous prairie oak, one supposes), there to be burned alive! And if the fire should spread and the entire grove be sacrificed, homes endangered, rescuers imperiled, so be it! For these animals will die!

Yes, yes, they could be killed and cooked by more conventional means, but where is the glory in that? Where is the suffering piled on suffering? Where is the lesson for the impertinent animals?

And what of the animals? What is their perspective?

Oh, the usual: Chicken is petrified, Cow grimaces an ingratiating grin, but Pig! Pig looks pleased! Bound to a tree, to die a protracted death of asphyxiation rather than burning… Pig is in his element! This is the death he's been living for! This is his turn in the spotlight and he is ready.

(May we take a moment now for some art criticism? The ropes binding our lucky trio appear to be made from a super-elastic, form-fitting, extra-cling material. See how it conforms to their every bump and lump? Or maybe an angry god has simply knitted them into one giant, tree-encompassing sweater?)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Meat Lovers Paradise

An enigmatic mess.

Mystery the first: What is that thing? Our initial thought—and the best guess we have been able to come up with—was cow. But… the uniform, blood-red coloring. The strange, lumpy mound across the chest. The (pink) mullet?

The truly profound mystery, however, concerns a deeper matter of identity. Not merely what, but how.

How have the identities of the meat purveyors become so intimately linked with the identity of the "cow"? No, more than linked: muddled. Hopelessly intertwined. We don't see the meat lovers—we see the meat. (In pre-dead form, yes.)

This is depicted as his paradise. The soon-to-be-dearly-departed lounges and sips from a tropical drink. He is possibly wearing swimming trunks. It's hard to say. Having seen the animal in paradise, and having recognized his pleasure and ease, how could we possibly be in the market for lamb, veal, beef, and all the other "quality meats and gourmet foods" on offer?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Baytril Recipes

Are you like us? When you need a recipe fast, do you turn to the manufacturers of livestock antibiotics?

Small wonder that Baytril—makers of "The Effective Anti-Infective"—would have a particular view of animals. After all, they serve the livestock industry, where "food" animals will never be accorded the same autonomy as wild animals.

But this is ridiculous.

The cow leans back on the countertop, the better to accommodate the chef and his pepper habit. And look at the expression on Bossie's face. She is not put out, nor frightened.

She is relaxed as can be. It's as though we walked in on an intimate moment, the soon-to-be-butchered-and-cooked animal and the man who will transform her from being to matter. Man? Did we say "man"? Better we should say "wizard"!

And then there's this, the illustration accompanying a recipe for beef spring rolls (right).

Are we alarmists for seeing a hint—just a hint—of racism in this Vietnamese cow?

Regardless, the way she wraps herself up in rice paper or pancake (or whatever), an uncomfortable approximation of "come hither" in her eyes, gives us pause.

Addendum: These are not the first "hilarious" cartoons from the good people at Baytril to be featured here. Take a look at the Christmas ham!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Texas Rib Rangers

A worrisome twist on the Submissive Dominant archetype. You remember that one, don't you, class? The depiction of powerful figures as willing victims? (This monstrous creature comes to mind.)

In the case of the Texas Rib Rangers, our unlikely victim is a hyper-masculine law enforcement official. Muscles rippling, nostrils blasting out breath like scalding steam, the Texas Ranger is nobody's patsy. This is a steer who knows how to take care of himself.

But there he is, on the label of a barbecue sauce that boasts of its suitability as an accompaniment to beef! The Ranger could wrestle a twister bare-handed, so why has he thrown in with the meat lubricators? Because he is suffering from unnamed mental issues. They have driven him mad with the urge to die, to be covered in sauce, and eaten.

When we lose confidence in law enforcement, what can we depend on? Are we already doomed?

(Thanks to Dr. Bea for the referral.)