Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Governor's Championship BBQ

From the back of his limo dragging the official barbecue, sprawled behind the chicken chauffeur, Hizzoner waves his shapeless, meaty hand at the unseen parade-goers.

This is a twist on that time-honored device, the Submissive Dominant. (In fact, the governor bears more than a passing resemblance to the Capitalist Pigs, those other embodiments of greed's and graft's pernicious effects on the sensibilities of pigs with authority.)

With the instruments of state power at his fingertips, the governor could force through legislation to improve the lot of pigs and chickens everywhere. "Nevermore shall you fear, brothers!" he could say at gatherings along the route of his whistle-stop tour. "A chicken removed from every pot!" he could promise. And how they would cheer! How they would throng to him, to shake his hand, to pledge their votes, to repeat his name in humble awe.

But no.

For in the state of BBQ (motto: Nunquam praeter dimidium or "Never more than half," a reference to the "food animals'" perpetual lesser-than status), some things are more important than rightness or justice. Or even power. What matters most of all is the duty attendant upon every citizen to fling himself onto the grill in wild populist fervor.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Lucky Snapper Grill & Bar

No, sir. It doesn't get much luckier than this. And for a fish whose abysmal self-esteem is matched only by his repellent fashion sense, this is paradise.

Oh to be at the Lucky Snapper, where one can, in quick succession, reel in the Catch of the Day and become its companion on the great Serving Platter of Life!

With his shades, long-billed fisherman-type cap, and inadvertent belly shirt, the fish enjoys the pinnacle of good fortune's blessings. The only thing that could make this moment better is if he could, somehow, snare himself with a hook to the mouth, haul himself onto the arid land, and debone himself. But how much luck can one fish withstand?

Addendum: Visit another "lucky" animal.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Preppy Pig BBQ

As though we needed reminding, the Preppy Pig arrives on the scene to tell us that Suicidefoodism is such a powerful creed—a worldview of such sweeping urgency—that it can ensnare them all.

The pirates. The prize fighters. The patriots. The captains of industry. The debauched. The juvenile. And now add to them the scions of the nation's finest families. They all wish to honor themselves and us by submitting to their toxic belief system.

While Royce or Tad (or whoever) here could easily buy and sell us, all he really wants to do is feed us. Just stroll onto the blade, climb onto the grill, roll onto the plate, and leap onto our tongues.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Mothers, lock up your daughters!

Fathers, recheck the ammunition!

Uncle, man the barricades of your arid, suburban kingdom of conformity!

Grandfather, recite for us the soothing myths of your crumbling dynasty!

Your time is over. The old ways, which lulled you so, are lost. The barbarians are here, now, at the gates. No tradition is sacred. No icon shall be spared! The old institutions that propped up your kings and queens, that pulled Power's levers in the name of your presidents—see how they have withered and drifted like smoke.

With their mohawk-style haircuts, their Tattoos of Irony, their peculiar pince-nez sunglasses (?), they come. And as the ultimate sign of their rebellion, they arrive as voluntary offerings. Subverting even their own paradigm—does nothing win their respect?—they wish only to be killed.

So draw back, you Children of Yesterday, lest this pig die all over you.

Addendum: Are we alone in finding the punk-rock victims especially depressing? Remember these meeksters?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Teat Tweet: a "what the hell?" dairy digression

We've presented "what the hell?" digressions before (for instance, this mind-bender) and dairy digressions (such as this curdled superhero fantasy), but never before have we embarked on a "what the hell?" dairy digression.

History prints itself on the page!

And now to business:

Have you ever wondered what would result from the combination of cutting-edge dairy farm techniques and today's social networking media? Of course you haven't. The whole enterprise is a ridiculous admixture of exploitation and boondoggle.

Or, as the Teat Tweet Dairy Diary puts it, "For one year, twelve cows on a dairy farm Twitter about their lactation cycle and robotic milking activities."

Though the silent cries of Why, oh why? deafen us, still we press on.

Thanks to this most unnecessary of experiments, empty-souled computer users can follow the gladly giving cows and despondently go along with the conceit that they are tweeting the details of their daily lives. The cows include Freeride Speedy ("12.8 kg of frothy deliciousness for the humans"), Frosty Lace ("That robot still won't let me in there. What is it thinking? I'll explode!"), and Montgomery Mae ("Gave 13.1 kgs and got my 120 g of daily food to keep me producing well").

The "researchers" have their high and mighty ideas about what this is meant to accomplish—something about our relationship with the agrindustrial complex—but all we see it do is pump out the time-worn idea that cows are only too happy to be continually impregnated and hooked up to milking machines. And here they are, sharing their every deed and mood like chatty college students, content to shine in the spotlight, taking a chintzy "fame" as their due.

(Thanks to Dr. Becci for the referral.)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Farmer John Pork Packing Plant

This depiction to the contrary, Farmer John's is not an aeronautics academy catering to pigs. You're excused for coming to that conclusion. The magnificent pig in his flying machine bespeaks freedom and exhilaration and joy. And yet Farmer John's is, in fact, an institution that offers none of those precious commodities.

For Farmer John's is a slaughterhouse the size of a city block.

Its exterior is covered in a fanciful mural that portrays not the Horrors of the Mallet, nor the Terrors of the Blade, but instead, well, pigs flying airplanes, pigs strolling with Li'l Abner's Daisy Mae, and pigs perching on fences.

The—we hesitate to say it—contradiction is difficult to ignore.

But then we remember that, while Farmer John's might have a California zip code, its true address is Main Street, Suicidefood City. And in that storied municipality, a slaughterhouse is really just... a pig playground. (But do keep clear, won't you?)

Now the variously zooming and fence-climbing pigs make perfect sense.

Or, no, not sense, really, but they fit right in.

The "playground" is where they can fulfill their profoundest destinies. They will play—how they will play—until they have played themselves all the way into the afterworld, where they slumber eternally, serene in the knowledge that they gave their lives for a good cause some guy named Farmer John.

(Thanks to Drs. Elinor and Bea for the referral. Find the Creative Commons license that applies to the first and third photos, by hexodus, here, and see the movie from which the second image was taken.)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Festival of Cruelty 13: Spotlight on Harold

We first encountered Harold in the inaugural post of our Festival of Cruelty feature. Unbeknownst to us, Harold has been busy since then, amassing a sizable body of work. We have therefore chosen to showcase Harold and his chicken-hating ways in this, our 13th installment of the Festival of Cruelty.

For those of you who are still blissfully ignorant of this hateful little series, an explanation: the Festivals of Cruelty afford us the opportunity to enjoy some plainspoken anti-animal sentiment. Instead of the usual suicidefoodist fare, with its obfuscation and misdirection—its perversion of obvious truths—we get to experience unadorned candor. It's like hearing the whispers out of range of cameras and microphones. (Revisit the previous edition, won't you?)

Which brings us back to Harold. Here is a monarch who just loves killing (or at least chasing and menacing) chickens throughout Chicago and points beyond. He can't get enough of it.

Sometimes Harold keeps his regal status under wraps. But whether he's in his crown and ermine-trimmed jacket or the humble garb of the short-order cook, whether he runs to the left or the right, whether his quarry scampers or, legless, flaps in fright, the constant is that insatiable hatchet. Those damn chickens will feel the sting of his singing steel!

(Thanks to Debora Drower for her photo of the frantic neon Harold.)

Addendum (11/08/11): Another slight Harold variation.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stoke It and Smoke It

The 6:05 Blood 'n' Guts Express, now boarding, track 3!

Making stops in Shametown, Degradationburg, and Self-Loathing Falls!

With connections to Slaughterville, Butchery Junction, Fort Dining Room Table, and Stomach City!

Refreshments provided by the crew. No, really. The crew are the refreshments!

Blood 'n' Guts Express—all aboard!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rosie Free Range Chicken

Rosie is the sophisticated big sister of Rocky Jr., another deluded chicken we've profiled here. (They spring from the loins of the same parent company, you see.)

Where little Rocky's naiveté could be excused by his youth, Rosie—she of the pumps and wide-brimmed hat perfectly suited for a ladies' tea—can hardly claim the same gullibility.

Rosie has free-ranged across the oceans, pearls flouncing. She's a single chicken, worldly and wry. She knows what life has to offer. And somehow, having glimpsed its possibilities, having sampled its pleasures, still she sashays along the Dark Path. That way lie the kindly men with insistent knives, the plastic-wrapping machines, and the ovens and plates of a bottomless nation.

Death has seduced our Rosie.

(Thanks to Dr. Bea for the referral.)

Friday, June 11, 2010

National Foie Gras Week

One year ago, National Foie Gras Week took place, and the echoes still resound!

Even now, the birds are mocking the misplaced concern of the animalists. Do you see? Do you see how the necks of the liver-givers are adorned, emphasized, or otherwise exaggerated? Here it's not neck ties—it's a napkin and a fanciful O. Whatever it takes to focus our eyes on the source of the birds' pathos and triumph.

The fowl are more than mere foodstuffs (or living containers for distended livers). They are freedom fighters, offering an example of resistance. They will not lie down and let the simpering do-gooders take away our foie gras! (That's right: our foie gras.)

Along with Chicago Chefs for Choice, they will go down fighting. (Well, as long as they go down, it's all good. Right, Chicago Chefs?) With their dying breaths, they will proclaim the Truth! That a life without bird organs on crackers is no kind of life! That a dreary, meaningless existence—a mortal slog with nothing at the end but oblivion—is not enough for some! No! They will be spread on toast points. They will be crammed into terrines!

The gavageoisie will not be denied!

Addendum: More food for thought from the land of liverté. "Upon this duck's liver, this is delicious—and I know what I'm talking about!" (Thanks to Drs. aelle and Desdemona for translation assistance.)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lamb Takedown

The Lamb Takedown, we surmise, is an Iron Chef-style spectacular wherein people cook and eat lambs. Straightforward enough, as far as these things go.

Yes, the lamb on the banner is a confusion of cultural signs: innocence married to 80s-era heavy metal (Lamb Takedown is rendered in Iron Maiden's font) and a more recent post-punk aesthetic (expressed by means of the facial jewelry).

When we consider the purpose of the lamb is to be taken down—about time those docile grass-nibblers got their comeuppance!—the jumbled cultural references make perfect "sense."

The twinkle in his eye reminds us that the lamb and the rest of his fuzzy playmates are more than willing to be taken down and taken apart. The lambs are eager participants in their own destruction. Or perhaps this one is depicted as looking down from heaven on tattered wings, having already been lovingly (and adorably) destroyed. From above the Beyond he smiles approvingly. Well killed, gentlemen. Well killed.

As he assures the Lamb Takedown audience and competitors: "Ewe will be rocked."

The bad-boy iconography is there as a balm to the two or three takedowners who might flinch at the thought of killing baby animals in such a self-congratulatory, celebratory way. For them, the rebellious typesetting and nosering offer, at least, a pretext for the killing. Sure, the lamb looks childlike—they might say—but he knows what he's getting into. He knows the score. He's a streetwise urchin birthed in suburbia's rotten crucible. Shed no tears for him.

(Thanks to Dr. Anthony for the referral.)

Addendum: We're not making it up.

Monday, June 7, 2010

New Pigs on the Block

If you had a time machine programmable to return you to 1989, and if you cared to drum up interest in your barbecue team by associating it in your audience's mind with superstars of the nascent Boy Band era transformed into "food" animals, this is what you would get.

That this should exist now, in a post-NKOTB period of only primitive time machines (at best), defies understanding. And we've managed to understand a lot of weird shit.

In the picture, clockwise from the cow: Danny, Jonathan, Joey, Jordan, and Donnie. We do admire the logo's faithful rendering of Donnie's tough-guy mandanna, Danny's geometrical hairstyle, and Jordan's starry jacket design.