Saturday, September 15, 2007

Punk Farm

Punk Farm (Knopf, ISBN: 0-375-82429-4) is our current favorite token of suicide food. This charming picture book's got everything: the lies we tell children, complacency dressed up as rebellion, and a worldview so warped it's practically hallucinogenic.

The book concerns a "punk" quintet of farm animals calling themselves Punk Farm. These anarchists, what do they do? What is their statement? Do they pour sugar in all the tractors' gas tanks? Do they murder the farmer and his complicit wife in their beds? Do they even try to make a break for it? No, no, and no. They put on a show. Boy, talk about shaking up the system. (They should have called themselves Lackey and the Uncle Toms. The goat even wears a chain around his neck—"fashion" statement or sly celebration of his subservient role?)

It gets worse: These radicals hell-bent for leather are such cultural renegades, their big fear is being found out by the farmer while they're punking it up.

"The farmer's light is on!" The animals freeze. The microphone screeches. Footsteps can be heard in the distance. Will they get caught?

What's the farmer going to do to you? Fatten you up for slaughter? Keep you perpetually pregnant and take your babies away from you? Um, guys? He's already doing all that.

And it gets worse worse: When they do put on their "rebellious" show, their big number is "Old MacDonald"! That's right—when they finally stir some shit up, they sing a song that ratifies the farmer-livestock relationship.

Of course, this whole book is a paean to the status quo, to the rule of law, to practices that even the least self-aware animal would choose to destroy. But not our "punks."

Addendum (10/20/07): We just discovered that the feature-film version of Punk Farm will not, in fact, be produced by DreamWorks. We confess that we never knew a deal of this sort had been in the works at all. It was to feature these so-called "rebellious" animals staging an all-animal music festival called (shudder) (cringe) (a little bit of vomiting) "Livestock."


Francois Tremblay said...

Oh no! How dare they teach children an ideology that differs from your pseudo-scientific, fascistic, eco-terrorist "meat is murder" premise? They should be strung up! Children should only be allowed to read books that depict farms getting fire-bombed and scientists' wives being taken hostage to stop research on live animals.

Ben said...

Cogent as always, francois.

Marion Delgado said...

I completely agree with Francois, of course. But I kind of wish he'd set the dog in his avatar on fire. That'd be funny.