Thursday, June 30, 2011

WIRK Rib Roundup

And here we see the power of a rotten idea to rot animals' minds.

Just as the chicken combatants and various barbecue battlers before them, this cow and pig attended to the sermons telling them they had no intrinsic worth, that their lives belonged to others and not to themselves.

And they believed. When an idea is drummed into you, into your bones and muscles, you believe. This idea took hold. It ran away with them. It fevered their minds. It addled their spirits. Before they knew what was happening, they had signed their lives away.

See what it has done to them!

They fight, yes, but not for freedom. Not for justice. Nor mercy. No, they fight for their masters' reputations, for bragging rights of those who own, kill, and consume them.

Look how they regard one another. They are brothers, born in chains, but that brotherhood has been rendered invisible. Neither sees a brother now. Each sees only a rival. An enemy.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Franklin's Battle of the BBQ

The Civil War is a contextual grounding of increasing popularity (see here and here), and we think we know why: Suicidefoodism takes war, with all its hatred and moral ambiguities, and nullifies it. "Hatred?" the Civil War imagery simpers. "What hatred?" If something as bloody and desperate as war can be brought under control, can anyone or anything threaten suicidefoodism's power?

Indeed, warfare's aggrieved parties, in this case a pair of pigs, shrivel not in hatred, but instead bask in the glow of amity.

They've laid down their arms. They've cast aside their suspicions of each other. Of the very system that brought them to this impasse. Are they not equals, sharing their status as commodity, the fact of their Thingness? Where they saw only an enemy before now they see a brother.

Hallelujah! Barbecue has wrung wickedness from the world! All that remains of a once-destructive institution is a proud and storied heritage of being eaten.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

South Park Rib & Wing Challenge

Again the idols are cast down. Knocked from their pedestals, they are dashed to the floor, ensmithereened. First the pirates were emasculated. Then the bikers. In turn, the cowboys, the boxers, the superheroes, and still other he-man archetypes were fettered and enfeebled.

So it is with a mild sense of disgust—yes, we still have a supply of disgust, even if we ration it with more care than in the past—that we take in these (ahem) rockers. When such stalwart symbols of reckless hedonism and bull-headed individuality can be so thoroughly tamed, we are all diminished. Even the power of freedom—the very possibility of defiance—is tenuous.

There they are, crooning into a microphone-bone, bashing out power chords on a meatar (not the first we've seen, mind you: check out addenda 7 and 9 here), and just generally uncooling up the place.

Instead of singing for their supper, they and the other rockers we've presented over the years sing to become supper. Instead of a thorn in The Man's side, rock 'n' roll becomes The Man's servant. Instead of issuing a challenge to the status quo, howling with the pain of the oppressed, the hungry, the stifled, the shut-down, the fed-up, the bored, and the ignored, they bow at the waist.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Lucky Me!

Lucky is certainly the word that comes to mind!

Barely hatched, the chicken is transformed into a powder to flavor instant noodles. Talk about good fortune!

If only he could have lingered in this paradise. Just a little longer.

(Image source.)

Another lucky animal! The pig, too—there, just above the Jesus sign—can thank the fates that he was born in this time and place.

Think of it: against the odds, he enters the world. And he's healthy, to boot. With a leg up. And then! Then, to discover that life gets even better: to learn that he is destined to increase the deliciousness of noodles!

(Thanks to Dr. Katie for the referral and the rib-flavored photo.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Stockcar BBQ

Once again, the animals have a message for us: When we work together, all our dreams are within reach.

This pit crew has worked together, trained together, striven together. And now they're putting it all on the line. Together.

Each has his role to play. Engine adjuster. Driver. Barbecue sauce supplier.

And they will win. They will see that checkered flag and they will cross that finish line first.

In other words, they will die and get eaten. Together.

You're beautiful, guys.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mo'z BBQ

In the heart of Suicidefoodland, USA, lives a legend.

Other self-destructive "food" animals practice passive resistance of their consumers, or anticipate their own needless deaths with unrestrained glee, or even get down in the bloody trenches and help speed themselves to the great beyond. But Mo does them one better.

He has moved into the barbecue and made it his own. It's his version of a swingin' bachelor pad, and it's got all the creature comforts any depressed creature could hope for: a bucket of barbecue sauce for 'round-the-clock basting, a fork for the occasional puncturing, and an interior roomy enough so he can stretch out and let that good, dry heat get everywhere. He even has his own smokestack! It's everything a pig with an unquenchable drive to suffer could ever need!

No tedious drive to the last reckoning for Mo. He just wakes up on his big day, and there he is. Even before the coals heat up, he's ready and waiting, eager to meet his bleak, bleak future head on.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

BBQ Fight Club

The animals, they love to fight. They are not the placid nibblers and grazers you have been encouraged to believe. No, these animals have claws. By which we mean, of course, formidable fighting skills.

We've seen all manner of kicking chickens. We've seen boxing ruminants and the battling barbecued.

This is merely the movement's latest tawdry development. A cow, a chicken, and a pig get pumped, don the gi, and put up their dukes, respectively. And all to accomplish what, exactly? Not to combat the power of barbecue to overwhelm them. They've lent their names to sauces created to coat their cooking flesh! No, no. They fight for… Well, not honor. (Is there any honor among lunatics?) You're looking at it wrong. They fight not on their own behalf. They fight for those who would kill, cook, and eat them.

He who makes the most auspicious sacrifice wins. Or... something?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Suicide Barnyard: a digression, part 2

A year and a half ago, we presented a letter printed in the New Yorker that reminded us all how much animals on loving farms enjoy their lot. Well, in the magazine's June 13/20 issue, a Ms. G. of Ashland, Oregon, has a similar message for us:
Placing a value on the existence of cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens as both edible and sentient beings gives them species-appropriate lives, albeit with a scheduled death. (Emphasis added, because that's plain weird.)
In other words… Oh, shoot. We lost it.

It's a squirrely thing, this idea.

No, wait. It's like this: The animals are better off when people think of them as walking foodstuffs—this is opposed to supporting the bioengineered ("vat") meat industry waiting in the wings, an industry that would eliminate the need for actual animals.

Because see, um…

Because if animals are nothing but commodities, then, even though, sure, someone else will control every aspect of their existence and their "scheduled" deaths, at least the animals will be granted "species-appropriate" lives. And who's deciding what's appropriate? Why, the people making all the decisions and doing all the killing, of course!

Hey, Ms. G. is just telling you how the animals see it. They are thankful for the opportunity to live and die at your pleasure. Like the most sycophantic subjects of the cruelest tsar, the animals live and die to serve.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hava BBQ

What more do they need to do?

They get out on the lake, they manage to stand on the skis, and they show their stuff. For you. For you! To bring a little enjoyment to your life. To put a smile on your face. They just want to make you feel good.

But it's not enough, is it? What will it take for you to eat them? It's such a simple thing, such a small thing, isn't it?

Well, not to them it's not.

They're working. This isn't fun for them. This is their job and they do it well. You think it's easy to waterski when you don't have hands? When your legs end in trotters? Do you have any idea how much those custom skis cost? (Upwards up $800 a pair.) This doesn't even take into account the boat, the moorage fees, the fuel. The permits! The photographer alone costs $300.

And all so they can make a living die.

What more do they need to do?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bacön Takedown

A cute animal, the Iron Maiden font, wings, senseless destruction in the offing. Yes, we've been here before: A year ago, we profiled a lamb receiving the same "takedown" treatment.

The pig is thrilled to be the guest of honor at an event dedicated to dismantling him like an old kitchen appliance. Amid the flames, he smiles. He positively beams. It's all for him! They've come for him! To carve him up and celebrate the crispness of his smoked and cured meat. The intimacy, the acceptance... It's almost too much for our pig to take. His heart is bursting with blessings. Temporarily.

What the pig doesn't see or cannot credit is the bristling anti-pig attitude of his public. They have gathered to take him down a peg, to mete out mob justice for some invisible crime. Somehow, the pig doesn't see it coming.

We have to ask—and hope not to receive an answer—how many other adorable animals are lining up for similar takedowns? How far does this movement go? Will we be seeing a tough-guy veal calf? A sideburned chick? No, really, don't tell us.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Praise the Lard BBQ

Praise the Lord BBQ draws inspiration from Acts 11: 5-9. On the off chance we need to refresh your memories, here are the verses:
5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. 6 I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles and birds. 7 Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’ 8 “I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9 “The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’"
Clean! Clean! Rejoice that he is clean! Casting aside the prohibition against eating his flesh like a pestilent shroud, the pig glows with righteousness. Free—for the first time, free, free, gloriously free—free from the burden of that hated injunction, that stain that marked him as unfit, the pig descends from heaven as upon a cloud. The chicken's and cow's expressions might be heathenishly ambiguous—do we see on their faces fear? anxiety? disbelief?—but the pig's heart is strong and pure, like a bell that fills heaven with its peal.

His corruption has been cleansed, his sentence revoked, his disgrace rescinded!

Of all the uses to which religion has been put, the various forms into which it has been trained like a compliant vine, the most comforting by far is this: the cementing of the animals' role as humanity's dull-witted slave, its selfless foundation, the floor upon which it treads.

And lo! The pig looks upward, arms flung wide, in thanks. For now he will be eaten. Even as the cow and chicken, he will be eaten!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

JWT Salt Lick BBQ at SXSW

We could go about investigating the confluence of forces that led to this phantasmagoria (an ad agency, a barbecue joint, and a music conference), but that would just detract from the insanity on display.

The basics are, well, basic: A cow and a pig advertise barbecue by repeatedly killing and eating each other and themselves. If that's all it was, we'd be out of here in five minutes.

But where other outfits are content delivering stale homilies about service, dedication, and self-destruction, these guys give us a tour de force of gore and depravity!

And what makes it even more chilling is the animation's reliance on the tropes of childhood. It's Wes Craven meets Sesame Street, a pairing that only the joined psychoses of barbecue, advertising, and rock 'n' roll could have conjured.

Pigs eagerly grate themselves to pulp on a monstrous playground slide. Aboard a pogo-stick, another pig bounces into a bonfire and then a barrel of barbecue sauce.

A cow slices herself into quivering slabs of flesh with a wire jumprope.

Childhood has become a nightmare! Freedom has become a nightmare! And play and leisure—nightmares. Living itself has become a nightmare! And the animals frolic gaily through the nightmare landscape, their only sadness born of the knowledge that their suffering must someday come to an end.

(Thanks to Dr. David for the referral.)

Addendum: If you must.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Wings Etc.

This one scores high marks for its insistence on underscoring our basic thesis:

These animals want to be here. They want to participate in institutions working hard to destroy them and all their kind. In the world they inhabit, struggling is unthinkable. It's not that resistance is merely useless. It's that resisting is—literally—unthinkable. It never crosses their minds. No matter what horrors await them, no matter how grisly their daily lives, they show up and punch in early. They are dedicated to this.

This mascot can fly a plane, for Christ's sake. If he wanted to make a run for it, he'd have no trouble getting away. Even on his own, he could probably flap his way over a fence or two. Well, he does have his way, and that's not what he wants.

Nope, he would rather they hack off his wings and fry 'em up.

In the restaurant's placating commercial spots, two chickens sit around shooting the breeze. They talk about their personal lives. They talk about menu changes. They talk about everything except the one thing you might expect: getting out of that deathtrap alive.

Doesn't even cross their minds.

(Thanks to Dr. Alan for the referral.)