Monday, September 29, 2008

Callears R&R Bar-B-Que

All kinds of distasteful.

1: The suggestion that being broiled over the coals is equivalent to a good workout is offensive, of course, but also… Huh?

Callears' barbecues are mobile, and the pig is… jogging, so… he's mobile, too, and… It's kind of the same thing? Right? Make sense?

2: The nothing-on-but-sneakers-and-headbands-and-wristband look is every bit as queasy-making. The pig is human enough to engage in waistline-trimming exercise—while wearing the appropriate gear—but not human enough to merit real clothing? Cover yourself!

3: The pig's expression—"Ain't this a kick!"—almost makes him immune to sympathy. Pal, you're racing to your own death, and you know it! Wipe the smile off your face!

4: Finally, if the pig's got a motorcycle, what's he doing jogging?

Who's kidding who, pig?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Capital One Bowl: 2008 Mascot Challenge

The wide world of suicidefood sports bears this slogan: The Agony of Victory, the Thrill of Defeat.

Buffaloes, pigs, and bulls train for years for their one shot to be pummeled in the ring. Crabs race for the boiling winner's circle. Turkeys huff and puff toward the finish line and the pile of stuffing that will be rammed inside them.

It's a peculiarly tidy summation of an entire repulsive aesthetic.

When it comes to the Capital One Bowl, we are encouraged to identify with college football mascots steeped in the confluence of sport, barbecue, self-destructive impulses, and unseemly exhibitionism. These mascots—Aubie, Mr. Wuf, The Bird, Smokey, and the rest—are competing for… Well, for something.

We apologize for our vagueness. We honestly don't understand what in the name of poor, deluded animal-shaped mascots this is. It is, apparently, some sort of contest—one that people actually care about?—wherein animal characters boast of their edibility and/or barbecuing skills.

We are informed that the University of South Carolina's Cocky "finds a good marinade bath very refreshing." That the flesh of North Dakota State's Thundar makes a "strangely delicious gourmet burger." And, weirdly, that the University of Maryland's Testudo has flavors that "come slowly." Proud of their palatability, enamored of their willingness to be destroyed, they dance and preen and exhort, even as they represent the athletic departments of fine institutions of higher learning.

Yes, we have ventured once again into the shadowy mirrorworld of suicidefoodism, where thoughts are slick with animal fat. They slip away, borne on a wisp of illogic, always out of reach. And so, clutching our papers, fleeing the lengthening shadows, we run. Back to the light. Back to a world that welcomes us with the comforts of reason.

(Thanks to Dr. Anastasia for the referral.)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

17th Annual State of Nebraska Barbeque Championship

Many have wondered. They have looked upon the psychological wreckage at the heart of the suicidefoodist movement and asked, "Why?"

Yes, we know that "food" animals are suicidal. We know that death is their highest ambition, their noblest aspiration. But why?

The 17th Annual State of Nebraska Barbeque Championship gives us some insight.

It's all about prestige. For some suicidal "food" animals, suffering and death are merely necessary. For these discerning few, the act of dying needlessly isn't enough. They want to go out on a flaming Viking pyre of fame.

And what better way to achieve fame than being grilled to perfection by Nebraska's finest animal cookers? While their skin sizzles and puckers, the rockabilly pig, the prankish chicken, and the dumb-but-well-meaning cow bask in the red-hot reflected glory of this Greater Omaha Barbeque Society–sanctioned event.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Reef n' Beef

We have not spent time with the imposter meme for quite a while. We find this example every bit as insidious as anything the suicidefoodists have concocted.

In order to meet an arbitrary standard—unAustralian food need not apply—the animals deny their very identities.

Don't you see? The animals will settle for nothing less than death. If they cannot achieve it through honest means—the pleading, the demanding, the brazen flesh-peddling we've seen so many times we have nothing left to vomit—they will achieve it through fraudulent means. What choice have they been given by Reef n' Beef? (Yes, they really do want the apostrophe there.)

Masquerading as the newest "It" animal of the gastronome's changing tastes, the pig hopes for the best. Perhaps his consumers will be so meat-drunk they won't notice the crude stitching, the ill-fitting tail.

And what must this pig be thinking? So long the despised darling of the professional carnivore class, to find himself forced to impersonate a crocodile? A beast whose meat is typically disdained, whose skin alone is ordinarily deemed worthy of exploitation?! The Earth wobbles on its axis.

Cows as kangaroos, chickens as emus.

Whatever it takes, people. Whatever it takes.

(Thanks to Dr. Elaine for the referral.)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Doctor of BBQ

We admit it: we can almost begin to have a glimmer of a hint of understanding when it comes to the sexy sow motif so familiar to students of suicidefoodism. (Her, for instance.) That is to say, we understand that sexual imagery exerts a powerful pull. But this is beyond us.

We have searched, fruitlessly, for any trace of appeal. This image appears to contain no enticement whatsoever.

What are we promised? After all, every advertisement makes a promise, usually a cynical one. What does the cruel doctor promise? What secret fantasy, hidden even to our own hearts, does he promise to unlock?

The fantasy of a callous, sneering surgeon flicking ashes into our gaping chest cavities? An emergency room visit made nightmarish through blatant disregard?

When we need help, a reassuring word, the strength provided by a kind glance, what does the Doctor give us instead? Pig ribs and a bad attitude.

And wait a minute! Presumably, he's a doctor for pigs, yes? So just whose ribs is he rushing to the table? The botched appendectomy in 204?

And when he runs out of patients whose care he can similarly "mismanage"? He'll hook up the IV to himself to supply the finest rack of ribs yet.

Addendum: Remember Dr. Chuckie, the Doctor of BBQ's predecessor?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Cranky Joe's

Any normal, life-loving pig in this position would be cranky. Born to die, fated to be dominated. Who wouldn't be cranky? Or, well, demoralized, maybe, or infuriated, depending on the animal's position on the introverted/extroverted continuum. In any event, crankiness hardly seems out of line.

But remember where you are. You are not in a rational land, a land founded on sound propositions and their logical conclusions. No.

You have stumbled into a world of corruption, a world where even axioms are held up to doubt and ridicule. Where the very concept of truth has been hounded to the borderlands.

Cranky Joe is cranky not because of injustice. Rather, it is because no one is properly saucing him. Untended, he is required to sauce himself. He must see to the details of his death and grilling, and that is what's got him in a bad mood: They're not cooking him right.

Addendum: Are you, like us, reminded of the Bad Boyz Barbecue pig, peeved because his would-be executioner's aim was poor?

Addendum 2: The other day's installment of purported comic strip Crock is likewise relevant. The chicken is upset due to laundry-related matters, not the prospect of being boiled to death.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

BBQ Pirates

We thought we had already seen every hypermacho stock character emasculated by the forces of suicidefoodism.

The cowboy, the biker, the rocker, the superhero, the boxer, the cop. Each of these has had its turn in the sickly limelight of animal oppression. Each has glady and freely worn the mantle of the surrenderer. Each of them has attempted to chip away at the temple of self-respect, the fundamental truth that all living things crave life.

So imagine our surprise when we discovered another manly character type debased and defanged: the pirate!

In our legends, the pirate is a paragon of masculinity: fierce, bound to a (crooked) code of honor, living in a world without women. Nothing soft—beyond the love of well-wrought shiny things—finds a place in the pirate lifestyle.

In the legends of the suicidefoodists, however, pirates are patsies. They neither struggle physically against a system that would enslave them, nor repudiate it within the bubble of rhetoric. No! They participate. They roll over. Where are the swaggering antiheroes of yesteryear?

They are hobbled and sissified. They even eat meat with a spoon!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Topps Off BBQ

Do we even have to try? The suicidefoodists dish it up for us ready-to-eat. How little analysis is required, sometimes, to see the truth beneath the surface!

The horrible details we catalogued:

The pipes venting steamy pressure in sympathetic arousal and release. The pavement littered with bottle caps and empties, indicating slovenly debauchery. The bikini top draped over the grill. The burlesque of foaming beer bottles positioned to cover bare breasts. The high heels. The knock-kneed pose of the "innocent" sex bomb.

From what we can gather, the idea is that patronizing Topps Off BBQ will result in the consumption of great amounts of alcohol and the sexual conquest of a pig who may or may not be involved in the pornography industry.

All of which compels us to ask: Is barbecued meat so distasteful, even to its advocates, that they need to tart it up? In whose mind do barbecue and sexy pigs go together? In whose mind can the concept of "sexy pig" even find purchase?

Addendum: The extra P is for prurient!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mennella's Poultry Co.

To whom can the chickens and turkeys turn when a vicious world means to do them in? To whom can they turn for redress? To whom can they turn for protection and the restoration of their stolen honor? Who will be their advocate? Their voice? Their staff and support?

Who will help imperiled poultry?

Not this joker, that's for sure.

Whatever it is he's up to, it ain't helping the feathered underclass. He is working the wrong side of the street! It's like Batman sharing a condo with the Riddler. Cozy, yes, but counterproductive when it comes to tackling crime.

When the call comes in and the chicken signal lights up the skies as a beacon, SC (Super Chicken?) strips off his skin and feathers (feeling woozy here) and leaps into the refrigerated chicken truck! Then, arriving at the scene of danger, he pushes his people into the flames and jumps in after them.

What did the chickens do to deserve such a crummy hero?

(Thanks to Dr. Mack-the-Spork for the referral.)

Addendum: This is the second poultrified superzero we've profiled. There was also El Pollo Supremo!

Addendum 2 (12/07/08): Another chicken peeling his skin off. Rather, the same chicken peeling his skin off.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Prince George Family Barbecue

Call us cultural elitists—you wouldn't be the first—but we believe these pigs are backward.

No, we mean they are backward.

At least the boar in blue is. (Either that, or he is giving the principle of artistic perspective a real run for its money.) He is wearing his vest so that it buttons up the back. You might say—you wouldn't be the first—that we are viewing his front. "No tail!" you proclaim haughtily. While we cannot explain the pig's taillessness, nevertheless we maintain that he dances with his back to us. Look at his head/neck region. Look at the fat folds there! Look at the folds at the tops of his legs. All of his fat folds mirror the sow's and no one would deny that she is turned away, her back to the "camera."

What does it matter? Since when do we concern ourselves with the costuming of the suicidal animals we analyze? (To be fair, we have commented on such things in the past, but forget that.) We'll tell you:

This matters because we take it as a sign of the boar's determination to dance for his your supper. In his haste to get up there and shake it, to show off his tender, ample proportions, he couldn't even dress himself properly.

This pig—these pigs! These pigs dance not out of the joy of self-expression. They dance to die.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Suicide Toys: a digression

Father: Happy birthday, Mikey!

Mikey: Oh boy! What is it?

Father: (laughs) Well, unwrap it and see!

Mikey: Is it a puppy?

Father: Unwrap it!

The child unwraps the package.

Mikey: Oh. A truck.

Father: Yeah, but it’s a livestock truck! I know how much you like animals.

Mikey: What’s a livestock truck?

Father: It’s a truck that takes animals to the processing plant.

Mikey: What’s processing?

Father: You know. Processing. But first, the truck takes the animals on a long, long ride. Remember when we went to California last year?

Mikey: Yeah.

Father: Same thing! Only the animals don’t get any food or water and the whole thing is horrible and lots of animals die on their way.

Mikey: (starts to cry) Why don’t they get food?

Father: That would be a waste! The animals will be killed before they could even digest it. What would the point of that be?

Mikey: They get killed? (sobbing)

Father: Sure! But they like it!

Mikey: (unintelligible speech)

Father: Now you can pretend to drive the cows and pigs and chickens to their death!

Mikey: (loud crying)

Mother: What the hell are you doing? How did you get in?

Father: I'm just giving Big Mike his birthday present.

Mother: I thought my lawyer explained this to you.

Father: Come on, Helen. It’s his birthday!

Mikey: Daddy wants me to kill chickens!

Father: I don’t want you to kill— I just want him to pretend to kill them! The animals want you to kill them!

Mother: Janet was right! You’re sick!

Mikey: (crying)

Father: Don’t you get it? The animals want to be killed! Besides, it’s good for Mikey’s imagination!

Mother: What the hell are you talking about?

Father: Imagining what it would sound like back there. The screams of fear. And my god! The smell!

Mother: Get out or I’m calling the police!

Father: I’m going, I’m going. Happy birthday, champ!

Mikey: (sobbing, unintelligible speech)

Mother: Get out!

Father: Remember, I’ll see you this weekend, champ!

Mikey: (crying)

(Image sources, top row: HobbyTron, GO Antiques; second row: GO Antiques, Truck Hobby; third row: Mega Hobby, unknown.)