Friday, April 30, 2010

Turkey Hooker

Any way you slice it, the flesh trade is a dangerous business for a turkey. You never know who you'll run into out there. Hitting the stroll in her cook-me pumps, this bird's got to keep her eyes open. She's out there trying to make a living, hoping to attract the right "customers," but sometimes your number comes up.

Like here, in the purest equating of sex with violence we have yet seen. The act of picking up—securing the services of—a turkey prostitute is held synonymous with jamming a metal hook into her carcass and picking her up from the roasting pan.

The accompanying diagram serves only to make the imagined horror explicit. The titillating becomes barbaric as the "pick up" blurs into a matter of body disposal. Through sheer, penetrative power and psychopathic derangement, the turkey's client/killer will shift the dead body into position.

(Thanks to Dr. Bea for the referral.)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Any Plaice Any Time, It's Fish & Chips

It is touching how much faith the fish has in the skill and handiwork of his servants (or are they his masters?), Saltshaker and Vinegar. The fish isn't even dead yet, but he lies with complete confidence on his bed fashioned from fried potato fragments.

He knows he doesn't need to micromanage the activity going on around him. He doesn't need to offer suggestions. He doesn't need to do anything at all, but lie there, smiling and waiting, at last, to die.

(And he won't have to wait long. He must already have been out of the water for several minutes.)

So while he dreams gaspingly of his eternal night, Saltshaker brandishes his spork and leers within his nimbus of sodium, and Vinegar pokes a drowsing tomato and spurts with all due pungency.

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

Addendum: A plaice is a type of European flatfish, Pleuronectes platessa.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Borden's None Such Mince Meat

Before we get on with our annotation, we must address an ancillary point:
Just what is mince meat? Is it minced meat? Well, no, not exactly. But it does commonly contain beef and/or suet, along with dried fruit and spices. And while we have (so far) been unable to confirm the ingredients of Borden's None Such Mince Meat circa 1941, we do know that contemporary Borden's None Such Mince Meat contains beef. We assume this is no recent development.
Now that that's out of the way, let's get on with it.

You may be confused, because you are seeing an unfamiliar reason animals might wish to die, a wholly original rationale for propping up a corrupt system.

Elsie sacrifices herself (her flesh, or perhaps merely her fatty suet) in the name of human conjugal harmony. If ever there were a principle for which healthy cows would have no regard, it would be the state of humans' marital arrangements. But here's Elsie waxing rhapsodic about the spark her bodily tissues have added to poor Sam's love life. (Now there's a sentence that could make sense only in Suicidefoodtown!) All it took was a bright red package of the eatingest, spiciest mince meat around, and Sam and, um, Wife are in the mood to copulate!

And the way Elsie holds her hooves beneath her chin as the humans' love fills the air! The way she imagines it's her spoonfeeding Sam that delicious mince pie—and, oh, if only it could be! The way she lives vicariously through her consumers, taking pride in the significance she has finally attained!

And just wait until they try her scrumptious cookies!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Perturbed Cow political cartoon

We are again reminded that suicidefoodism is such a commonplace that anyone—everyone—can press it into service, knowing that it will serve as a benchmark, a universal password, a shibboleth to open any door. Which is why we see it so often in food advertisements, of course, but also in advertisements for other consumer goods and services. Even toys.

So when a political issue requires simplification, so that its basics might be understood readily by people from all walks of life, suicidefoodism is hauled up from the cellar of cliché once again. Here, in a cartoon that ran in the Rome (Georgia) News-Tribune, some point or other is illustrated with a great, hulking cow, angry that his prospects of being eaten by the Japanese citizenry are greatly diminished because of a trade dispute.

No, it doesn't make sense. And the way it doesn't make sense is of iconic familiarity. From clothing to sports franchises, from children's books to the plight of the family farm, suicidal animals are good for safe, reliable references.

(Thanks to Dr. Desdemona for the referral.)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Say No to Plumping

The chicken mollycoddlers at Foster Farms have a sales angle. Fair enough. They sell dead chickens, after all, and need to do what they can to make the product palatable. The "plumping" business they're going on about is the practice of pumping butchered birds full of saltwater and other stuff to make their carcasses look plumper.

Where things get dicey is in Foster Farms' recruitment of actual chickens to tout the benefits of their killers' "natural" techniques. These chickens act as stand-ins for everyday women chewing over issues such as fairness and body-image, on the one hand, and price and nutritional content on the other.

Shoppers might care about such things, but chickens? In point of fact, actual chickens are unconcerned with the brand stamped on their plastic-wrap caskets. Furthermore, they are untroubled by worries about the eating experience of their consumers!

The production values of these little spots—the down-home, strumming guitar, the naturalistic dialogue, and casual voice talent—conspire to create a folksy atmosphere that soothes skepticism. Which is the only way a segment like the following could fail to make you throw up:
Betsy Chicken: Did you ever think about the health costs?

Martha Chicken: Like what?

Betsy Chicken: Like all the salt you'll be plumped with.

Martha Chicken: Not really.

Betsy Chicken: Well, you should, 'cause you'd have more salt than a large order of French fries.

Martha Chicken: Who doesn't like fries?
Who doesn't like fries?! That's the response? Not "We need to get the hell out of here"? To the chickens, the "health costs" to themselves are of no consequence, and instead they bat back and forth the repercussions to the blood pressure of the people who plan on eating them!

Betsy and Martha, and the rest of the Stepford Squabs, are ever mindful of the buyer, their own lives having no inherent value, to themselves or anyone else.

(Thanks to Dr. Kristen for the referral.)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

North Carolina Bar-B-Q

This scene is alive with narrative intrigue. After considerable scrutiny and concentration, here is where we've arrived:

Ma and Purvis Hog have absconded with the butcherman's wares. Ma pushes the sausage wagon along, a chain of links that used to be dear Cousin Hooter dangling.

Purvis, happy to have finally taken hold of life's jug, swings the picnic basket. He'll spin a jig, he'll dance a reel, when he finally makes the Herndon side.

And there, waving from his wheelbarrow is Junior, drunk again on mash and dreams. All he needs, after he's had a nip off old Cousin Hooter, is a little push onto the tracks to meet the 3:22 from Skeeter Junction square-on. It's the cycle of life in all its high-impact splendor.

It's really about getting yourself killed, cooked, and eaten. And maybe winning an award in the bargain. The people will choose—how they'll salivate and choose!—and Ma, Purvis, and Junior will go down smooth and smoky.

Addendum: Here is what we had to say about the 2007 Memphis in May festivities.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hottie Hawg's Smokin' BBQ

Centuries from now, when scientists—human or otherwise—inspect the leavings of our cities, our cultures, our collective desires and dreams, what in the world will they think we were all about?

Judging by the number of sexpot pigs we've featured over the years, they will conclude we were a civilization bent on an especially virulent bestiality.

Artifacts like this Hottie Hawg image speak of the unspeakable: a ritualized seduction followed by a quasi-cannibalistic orgy of retribution.

Those future observers will wonder how we survived as long as we did.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Pink Pig Company

This pig is the picture of good cheer, pictured atop his pink background, so indicative of rosy health. He's happy, happy being so plainly equated with the food they intend to make of his flesh. Yes, just look at that quality pig pork. Impressive—isn't it?—how much abuse, how many insults the "food" animals bear, smiling all the while.

If someone referred to you as "meat," how would you respond? Think of it! "You're dead meat!" someone says. It's hardly complimentary. No, it's another way of saying you are merely experiencing the interval before your approaching death and your return to pure matter. No longer will you matter, for you will be nothing but matter. What does it mean to be treated like a "piece of meat"? It means, of course, to be treated as inanimate, a thing possessing no agency, no will, no intrinsic worth, only whatever value someone else sees fit to assign to you. And what of the bane of the single-but-hopeful, the "meat market"? Who wants to go there, where all romantic possibility is reduced to its meanest elements?

None of these implications would bother our pig in the least. Nope, he's meat and proud of it. Or, well, as proud as meat can be.

Addendum: Familiarize yourself with Terry Bisson's sci-fi nightmare "They're Made of Meat" for a tangential take on this theme.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Australia's Best Kangaroo Dish

We love a novelty, so bored have we become chronicling the greedy deaths of untold pigs, cows, and chickens. Yes, yes, the occasional goat, deer, crab, or rabbit comes along to liven things up. And there was that lovely, deranged sea urchin from late 2008, but that's hardly sustaining.

Which is why we were so delighted to come across this giddy fellow! He speeds into a dark and grisly future of his own making. (Are you wondering why a kangaroo would need to ride a motor scooter? It's just to reinforce the prizes for the contest.)

He is a standard-bearer for the next generation of suicidal "food" animals! All are welcome! Follow the kangaroo! Join him and seek your (imminent) destiny! Has your kind not been considered edible? Have you been scorned? Ridiculed? Have people expressed disgust when they think of eating you? These need not be impediments! Fly, strut, slink, slither, and crawl into the future and demand your place on top of the table! You will have the last—and very brief—laugh.

You don't even need to be cooked. See? The kangaroo is tossing away kitchen implements as he goes!

It is a message of death, of course. But of hope, too.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Whitney Farms

The animals—the three pigs and the ear-tagged cow—relish their servitude. We know this by the frolicsome familiarity with which they greet and nuzzle the farm's signage, its corporate identity.

The dreamy pig at the top, in particular, ratifies the proposition that he is indistinguishable from "all natural farm raised pork," the sort of being/substance with no need of autonomy or hyphens. He stretches, his aspiration that of the satisfied pilgrim, his belly painlessly pierced by the sign labeling him fit only for roasting.

The leaner in the lower-left is perky with thoughts of his impending end. The goggle-eyed hog in the lower-right appears almost surprised by how sweet life can be in the shadow of the All-Father, the paternal logo.

And among all of them, such contentment! For those only loosely tied to the present, life—this way station along the road to Better Things—is joyous.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hall, Luhrs & Co. Corn-Fed Hogs

Walking foodstuff as Captain of Industry. It's a character whose time has come. Again.

This fine fellow, this stout-hearted and deliciously imperious chap, can buy and sell you. It is he who commands the armies of finance, the platoons of capital. It is his banner beneath which march the functionaries, the pocketed politicians, the bought-and-paid-for millions.

His striped trousers swell with importance. His waistcoat strains to contain his significant bulk. His monocle focuses his entire personhood into a single beam of excellence.

Forget his stock certificates. Pay no attention to the railroads he owns. Ignore his Baltimore tenements.

As he puffs his Cuban cigar, redolent of monetary exuberance, he is, foremost, unequaled in sweetness, in tenderness, in juiciness. His ham is of a uniform size, and therein lies his true worth. He is economical through and through, and when you taste his taste, you will know. You will know that he is a Hall, Luhrs & Company hog. And you will know that flavor, that singular HL&Co. flavor, is the One Criterion.

That is what lowers him from his worldly pedestal and elevates him instead into the Brotherhood of Meat.

Addendum: Remember these guys? Same deal.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lucky Pig Lounge

Let us count this pig's blessings.

1. He is in apparent good health. (For now.)

2. He can walk on two feet.

3. He has a lovely smile.

4. He is servant to a lazy gnome with tiny little boots that jab him in the armpits.

5. He works for an establishment that has pledged to turn him into pulled pork sandwiches.

It all adds up to good fortune under any definition.

Of course, maybe we're looking at this all wrong. Maybe the lucky pig in question isn't this poor fellow at all, but the generic customer of the Lucky Pig Lounge. Maybe this is another case of IAS, wherein meat-eaters take on the identities of "food" animals for all-around jocularity and yuks.

Either way, something gets to die.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Carnitas Vicente

While the dining masses gather outside, the pigs don't bother fleeing. They don't stake out hiding places in los baños. They don't do anything! Correction: They do one thing. They sing.

With their serapes, they scoot up to the little mariachi on the crate, and they croon. They croon a love song dedicated to that blessed day when the sainted chef will come for them, when their turn at last arrives.

The big one—el cerdo rosado—looks impatient. Angry, even. "We're wasting time," he seems to be thinking, "when we could be getting cooked!"

After the song is finished, hold onto your pesos. If you want to reward the singers for their performance, have a chat with the chef instead. Put in a good word for the pigs. Get them added to the menu.