Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bathing Beauty: a paradox

If you harbored any doubts that strange forces are at work, forces mustered to overthrow reason and decency and install despair and confusion in their place, you need only look to this image.

This painting (image source), part of a mural at the Costa Mesa Omelette Parlor, depicts a sun-worshiping sow at the park. Demurely topless, she dozes on her undone bikini top in the mid-day heat.

As such, she perfectly represents that bizarrest of all suicidefoodist icons, the Sexy Sow. We've seen her sisters in these "pages" many times, and each appearance is more baffling than the last. For it combines sexual neurosis and suicidal "food" animals in a way that should never have occurred to anyone. But there it is, enshrined in untold murals, logos, menus, and the other paraphernalia of the entrailpreneur.

We understand the impulse that leads to suicidefoodism. We understand the comfort derived from animals who appear pleased with people's desire to kill and eat them. We deplore it, but we understand it. We don't understand, however, this desire to see "food" animals as sexual beings. Is it the horror movie cliché of wishing violence on the sinful? Exactly why are they made scapegoats? For what must they be punished? And how, exactly, does this put anyone's mind at ease and create psychological distance?

It's as though seeing in them some aspect of humanity has made it easier for them to be objectified.

Thus is the Sexy Sow Paradox.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh Suicidefood, why do you cause me to see things that are there and yet not there.

Aside from the general weirdness of this "meatsterpiece" I was immediately struck by the problem of the missing leg. I refused to believe that the picture was depicting a premature amputation (how impatient for ham one can get).

The alternative is that the pig was starting to crawl through the grass and had already moved a leg. Then it hit me that the unusual pose may have been an homage to Christina's World, Andrew Wyeth's masterpiece of hope in the face of challenge:
http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/arthistory/americanscene/images/AndrewWyeth-Christinas-World-1948.jpg

Who knows what is in the subconscious?

- Toby Schnauzer

stantoro said...

Yes! I thought it might have been a reference to Christina's World as well, although the other figures seem to indicate an Impressionist-era homage. Someone went to a lot of trouble with this monstrosity!

Ivan Lybbert said...

Would the owner of this image please contact me? I would love to investigate "owning" it.

Thanks!

Ben said...

You should contact the source (given above). We are not affiliated with them. And I doubt they know we exist.

Ivan Lybbert said...

Thanks Ben. I zigged when I should have zagged. I meant to ask about this image.

http://suicidefood.blogspot.com/2009/10/pigalicious-bbq.html

Any clue?

Ben said...

No clue at all. It was just some clip-art, as far as we knew.