Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Side of the Mountain Barbeque

We've seen what happens when "food" animals are forced to fight for the privilege of dying.

Thrilling, yes, but demoralizing. Don't they know they'll all have a chance to go under the knives?

That's why it's so heartening to see a couple of scrappy pigs put aside their differences and focus on what brings them together: their desire to be killed and grilled!

Whole chickens, ribs, all manner of pork products: who cares! By declaring a truce, they remind us all of what we can accomplish when we unite under a single flag! On behalf of the children, we thank you.

The Barbecue Battle Belt, slightly adjusted to account for the Louisa, Virginia, My Side of the Mountain Barbeque.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Slovacek's Sausage

This is up there with the most blatant misdirection in the annals of suicidefoodism. Sausages-to-be (known by decent folk as pigs) are driven to acts of affectionate nuzzling over the prospect of being transformed into food. It is as though the central fact of pig life—supplanting family bonds and even the satisfaction of the simplest desires—is their incipient sausageness.

We are also treated to one of this sick philosophy's basest axioms: animals are indistinguishable from the food products exuberant processors will turn them into. Who but the dedicated suicidefoodist would illustrate the concept of sausage with illustrations of living, loving pigs?

Finally, do you have the feeling that you have seen these affectionate pigs somewhere else? You're not imagining things. Slovacek's pigsausages are based on an almost iconic image.

The last time we encountered it was on the cover of Jonathan Balcombe's Pleasurable Kingdom—a book examining the inner lives of animals. (Yes, the image was flipped horizontally somewhere along the line.)

If this coincidence doesn't leave you stupefied, you're not paying attention.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rubbed Smoked & Sauced

Rubbed, Smoked, and Sauced control the entire barbecue trade in The City. (And notice how they employ convenient props to supply us with memory aids: Rubbed has a tommy gun for rubbing out rival gangs, Smoked is puffing away on a stogie, and Sauced is drunk again.) Nothing moves without their say-so. They've got the whole place locked up tight. And so, with the market for fresh victims cornered, they make sure only their people get a chance to sizzle.

That's right: Like any Submissive Dominants worth their salt, these wise guys use their power and connections not to ensure their own safety, but to ensure their deaths at the hands of the competitive barbecuers.

This makes sense, of course, only in Suicidefood City, a crumbling and corrupt burg where status derives from victimhood. It's not what you know, or even who you know. It's all about how you die. Old age? That's for chumps. Any sap can graze his way into the afterlife. For the connected "food" animal—the made entrée—the only noble way to go is covered in sauce, with a spit rammed up your keister.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Suicide Trapping: a digression

We apologize for the size of this image.

Can you make out the words? "HELPING LITTLE TRAPPERS BECOME A BIG SUCCESS." And T4K? That stands for "traps 4 kids." Traps. For kids. To trap animals. Dead. Their goal: "To preserve the trapping heritage and help our youngsters and yours to get off on the right start and out into the great outdoors."

Now do you understand why the raccoon is smiling and waving?

Not only does he get to succumb to the trap and part with his bothersome pelt, but he gets to do it all for the children. What an example the animals set for us!

Though he be dead and skinless, his passage from the conflicted world of the living is greased by a good deed. For does he not contribute his one small, murdered portion toward the great enterprise of heritage preservation? What is preserving his own life compared to that? Don't we all long to contribute to something greater than ourselves?

It brings peace to a humble raccoon. After it brings him death, of course.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ranger Chicken

Our chicken cowboy has everything he needs to play the part.

Chaps? Check.

Hat? Check.

Boots? Check.

Flannel? Check.

Jeans? Check.

Bowlegged stance? Check.

Vest? Check.

Big belt buckle? Check.

Lasso skills? And how!

An upright spirit of rugged virtue? Well… That's where the whole thing sort of falls apart.

Far from an independent icon of the West, Ranger Chicken is bought and paid for, every bit as owned as any branded Aberdeen Angus. We're not sure what it is he does to earn a living—a chicken herding cattle?—but we do know where his story winds up: the frying pan.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Squeal Bar-B-Q

"Squeal"? Who's squealing? "Snooze," maybe. "Grunt contentedly," sure. "Squeal" implies fright, but this pig is the very picture of relaxation.

You're familiar with the Happy Food phenomenon? That is the doozy where people believe a bunch of public relations nonsense about free-ranging, no-cage livestock. People feel better about selling and buying meat. Everyone wins. Well, all the two-legged, opposably thumbed animals win, at least.

Anyway, back to Snoozy. He is the ultimate Happy Food. Napping the day away in his deluxe Hammock Master 9000, he is happily dreaming even as the flames lick his sensitive skin. Ah, but that's all a part of it. The fires are stoked. The customers are lining up. All is right with the world. Snoozy will be dead inside five minutes, and he knows it.

He'll go up in smoke, a pioneer of a brand-new, hammock-centric barbecue technique. It's a revolution in pig-cooking, and he's in the center of the action! Is it any wonder he's so happy?

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

Friday, April 17, 2009

Kids Catch a Smile Day

This fish is on a mission:

To give all children, even the physically challenged, the opportunity to snag his face with a hook and drag him from the waters that have nurtured him his whole life, into the stifling air, twitching and writhing, his gills unable to breathe the mocking oxygen that surrounds him.

And sure, when put that way, his mission seems almost… odd.

But look at him! When these kids catch a smile, they're really catching a smile! That hook is piercing the fish's actual smile!

He loves this stuff. It's his chance—finally!—to give back. People have been so good to him all these years. Leaving him in peace. Not, you know, killing him. He owes them.

And so he's only too happy to clamp down on the hook and give the kids the thrill of a lifetime!

Pull hard, kids. He'll be thrashing around a bit.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Three Little Pigs Bar-B-Q

These pigs doing their Rockettes-style high-kicking dance—what are they up to?

You'll hear many theories. To wit:

They've been branded with Bar, B, and Q so that they might properly glorify Three Little Pigs Bar-B-Q.

They've acquired tattoos and incorporated them into their routine.

They are exploiting fortuitous birthmarks.

No, no, and no.

The truth is that they are simply fans, boosters of a particular barbecue establishment.

And, like many fans, they engaged in a bit of body painting, making themselves over as living props. Just as rabid football fans invest emotionally in their favorite teams, so the three little pigs are heavily invested in the success of their favorite barbecue joint. When pigs die, they win.

No, we don't really understand the rules, either. So anyway, Go, Grills, Go!

(Source of football fan picture.)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sertoma Club of Lancaster Annual BBQ

Sertoma, for those of you unfamiliar with the civic organization, stands for SERvice TO MAnkind. That's only the first reason for this chicken's obvious pride.

The real cause of his sanguine demeanor is that he represents an outfit responsible for the world's largest chicken barbecue. And—hold on to your hat—its world's largestness has been certified. And not by any old certification-bestowing body. No, by the Guinness Book! Of records!

Now do you understand why the chicken has a cape, walking stick, top hat, and a nonstandard basketball? It's because he is filled—filled to overflowing—with joy!

He stands on the verge of history! Yes, his death is but a drop in the ocean of 30,000 chicken dinners served. But it's an honor to play even a small role in so grand a pageant.

Here is the same chicken in person. Well, they implied it was the same chicken. For some reason we're not getting the same debonair "read" off him.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Suicide Snacks: quickies 4

We're more than long-winded dissertations on the arcana of suicidal "food" animals. Occasionally, we like to offer up brief dissertationettes! Thus, this post, the fourth in our "quickies" series. (Please view the previous installment, won't you?)

How to account for the relentless cheerfulness of these shills in the face of their imminent barbecuing? Simple: they've been smoking. In the wiregrass. If you know what we mean.

Yes, this chicken, posing for the portrait that will be hung after he has been killed, butchered, and eaten, is certainly foolish.

Oh dear God.

Somehow, a hapless child has fallen into the lap of the Brew City BBQ's hellish mascot. Fresh from the flames, his crackling skin stained by blood-red sauce, he delights in the unholy state he has achieved.

This is PigOut-brand wild beast bait, a "wildlife attractant for pigs, deer & bear." And damned if the wild pig on the label doesn't look thrilled to be attracted. He'll gladly offer himself up to the hunters' arrows, bullets, and, um… swords (?) for a chance to taste the "ooey gooey concentrated" goodness! And do you get the feeling this whole business is feeding his ego a little? Okay, a lot?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Matt's Catfish and Steakhouse

Something has been troubling us lately. No, not the unending stream of indecency, not the sexy chickens, deranged cows, and soulless pigs. No, we've been wondering whether we might be reading too much into the images we discuss.

Take the Matt's Catfish and Steakhouse catfish. When we look on him, we see the same old dreck: an animal who is inviting us—all of us—to eat him.

Fin extended, he waves us on. This way, this way! This way to succulently dead fish!

His giant, gaping smile is the standard death-loving rictus of suicidefood. If we've seen it hundreds of times, we've seen it thousands of times.

He jiggles with excitement. He sweats happily, contemplating the moment when he and his consumer will consummate their relationship. By which he means the moment when he will surpass mere death and move onto the holiest of holies: inert object.

But wait.

Are we only seeing what we "want" to see?

Recontextualized, could the same catfish communicate a different message?

In this second (also genuine) image, his joyous perspiration now appears to be the manifestation of his fear. His "arm" now looks to be fending off a blow. His open-mouthed grin is full of terror.

"Why me?"

He knows his end is nigh and can only petition an unjust universe.

Or… Is this the authentic representation of the catfish's inner state? We'll never know for sure.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Beach Bully BBQ Resatuarant

Say hello to the world's most ineffective bully.

Glowering, he struts down the boulevard, daring you to challenge his authority.

And if you do, watch out!

He'll provide clear directions to the nearest place to eat the flesh that used to be his mother so fast it'll make your head spin!

Look at the arrogance, the macho swagger. He can't help but flex a bit as you gaze at him wonderingly.

You want a piece of the big bully? Careful now. He just might offer you a bite of his father on a bun.

Insult his family and he'll look you in the eye and suggest more sauce.

Tell him it's Go Time and don't be surprised if he lunges, heart-first, for the knife in your hand. And before he dies, he'll suggest a side dish that'll have you shaking in your boots.