Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Carnitas, Tulum, Mexico

Spotted on a restaurant wall in the Yucatan, this gruesome mural has it all:

A dedicated team of worker pigs—Cutter, Poker, and Snoozer (?)—lavishing attention on the main course, that lucky, lucky pig in the pot. Don't let the "folk art" quality of the work mislead you. This "innocent," homespun painting is prime suicide food action, as sophisticated in its way as anything churned out by those high-powered firms in El Norte.

Notice that for all the players in this perverse drama, none protests. The sacrificial pig is sweating in anticipation of the blessed event, the magnanimity just pouring off of him. Cutter obviously takes pride in his work, the way he holds the blade just so. (If the boiling water doesn't do the trick, he's there to finish off his amigo.) Snoozer lolls in bliss at the foot of the cauldron. Only Poker has a gripe: "¿Why am I stuck with the grunt work?" he mutters to himself as he stirs and stirs. "¡That should be me en la caldera!" (Click the image for a better look at his disgruntlement.)

The truly unspeakable detail in this repulsive tableau is the young girl sitting at the table, bored, completely inured to the horrors occurring just inches above her head. Have we all become so jaded? Has suicide food entrenched itself so deeply in our consciousness that it no longer alarms? No longer haunts? No longer matters? Has suicide food dehumanized us as it has degraded its subjects?

"Ummm!" is right.

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

Addendum: Somehow, this slipped past our stringent peer-review process. Another referral, this one from Dr. Phil (no, not that Dr. Phil).

And a meme is born. Or discovered, at any rate. Does this image—the quartet of death-hungry pigs, the cauldron—appear all over Mexico? The flashier version shown here is from the relatively cosmopolitan Cabo San Lucas. Note here that the pig in the pot has a brush! He is taking the opportunity of his impending death to exfoliate and make himself as tender as can be.


Anonymous said...

These look similar to one I emailed to - is that still the place to contact you?

Ben said...

Indeed that is our address, samfromutah.

And your image is quite similar, but it lacks the cheerful industry of the above examples. In fact, the scene—with its designated mourner, its victim reduced to a terrified head, and its executioner actually floating with the power of his malice—appears designed to discourage the consumption of meat.

But I thank you for reminding me of this one.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. That pig isn't snoozing - he's blowing on the fire to make sure it's nice and hot!

Anonymous said...

Aha, good point, Ben. I agree that that image isn't consistent with the cheer that suicidal food-animals need.

Thank you for your efforts in running this blog.

xilo said...

again boiling pig lard is in the cauldron not water! just blistering dark brown oil