Friday, October 05, 2012

Farmer Eaten by His Own Hogs


The news report said the farmer had given his hogs pet names and that he truly loved them. And then they attacked and ate him.

At 800 pounds each, the hogs, Molly and Dolly, were special. The farmer was proud of them, and he said he felt a special bond with them.

That statement made my mind go in directions I preferred to avoid. The mental images were too much.

That’s life for you.

Question: What was his reason for feeding the hogs so they weighed more than twice as much as they should have? What did he profit from having such a “hog spectacle” of a morbidly obese set of twin girl hogs??


A change of direction:
You’ll never have to worry. You’ll never have to hide. You’re loved, you’re cherished, you’re a person whose very footsteps glitter and shine with moondust and dreams.

That’s the way it is.


This year’s State Fair fried food competition, “State Fare,” went to Deep-Fried Bacon & Praline Ice Cream. I guess it was better than last year’s winner and this year’s “also ran” deep-fried butter, but what do I know?

The Tulsa World website showed a long line of fair-goers dressed in fair-going garb: long t-shirts, running shoes or sandals, baggy shorts, smartphones in hand, either texting or talking.

“Bacon goes with everything. That’s my general motto,” said the winner. “Actually, Spam is even better. I was going to enter Deep-Fried Spam & Raisin Jam Ice Cream, but I couldn’t get enough Spam, thanks to a strike at the Spam plant. Plus, the raisin jam people said they’d sue if we used their product in a “State Fair Spectacle” as they put it. They accused me of deliberate, malicious harm to their brand, and their corporate attorney, a fat woman named Quaryn, called me a rascally “tort-feaser.”

Tort. Yes, it’s the latest 4-letter word. Let’s not ask what body part it corresponds to.


Bend your knees. Flex your thighs. Reach for it with your arm, your shoulder, your whole body. Stretch, reach, stretch again and just never, never, never take your eyes off the ball. Turn your body to the net, don’t forget your footwork, don’t let your grip slip out of continental. When your racquet makes contact, be sure to exhale – don’t hold your breath. Then – gasp – inhale.  Deeply.

The art of the overhead.


The State Fair “Fried Fare” winner was surprised when not everyone was equally smitten by his concoction.

“I don’t get it. If they think I’m a little outside the lines, or “outrĂ©” as my French maman used to say, I’d like to refer them to the Great State of Hawaii.  Behind every slab of sliced pineapple and burnt “brulee” pure cane sugar is a can of Spam, carefully peeled open with that bent-wire metal key you find at the base of the can which fits into the flap of metal on the side and slowly peels open as you turn it around and around…”

The reporter looked both repulsed and intrigued. It was a typical reaction: duality revealed as a pretty much inescapable response to technological modernity.

You could eat Spam with a fork, and you could, conceivably squeeze it out of a tube directly into your mouth like the “potted meat” my grandmother loved to whip up with herbs and chopped crisp vegetables to then spread on wheat berry bread onto which she then layered sliced beefsteak tomatoes, romaine lettuce, sliced green olives, and fig jam.

It’s a soft target. How can you not use Spam to mock modernity?

And, then, there’s this: Spam as iconographic semiotic signifier mirroring the colonialization of the imagination.


It’s dark this morning. The lights from the 1920s-vintage refinery flicker and shine in the waters of the Arkansas River.

There has been an emission of some sort. I smell sulfur in the air. It penetrates my patio doors and window, even though they’re closed and I’m on the 14th floor, probably 2 or 3 miles away, as the crow (or pigeon) flies.

I breathe deeply. I think of you. Breathing this stuff is dangerous.


In Hawaii, anyone who eats Spam is one who has been subjugated by alien invasive cultures, even as the same culture claims they’ve appropriated (hence dominated) the cultural artifacts (the “meat”)…

And yes, it’s a kind of “cargo cult” ? How could it be anything but that?

And, well, Spam has been appropriated as something as quirky as a Cargo Cult… the twin-engine plane spews its cargo…

So, again, anyone who eats Spam is one who has been subjugated by an invasive culture.

But is it so simple?

I hope so.

I love cargo cults. Cans of Spam raining from the skies, along with bars of chocolates – it’s a wonder to behold if you’re on an isolated atoll or island in the South Pacific and you are living during WWII. It’s especially nice if what rains from the sky is a blood-meat product…

“There is power, power, power in the blood” Lewis E. Jones, 1899. “Wonder-working power…”

Intrusive thought: How many times have the words of that famous hymn been misappropriated??

George W. Bush used those words in a campaign speech. George W. was, while governor, like many governors of Texas, very unwilling to pardon death row prisoners, even when there was grave doubt as to their guilt, even when confessions had been coerced and beaten out of them, and “eye witnesses” were venal jailhouse snitches.

Oh but that’s another story…


The hog farmer was eaten by his own hogs.

Are the people ever eaten by their own elected officials?

Are they the hogs?  What are we?


When the hog farmer was buried, the Westboro Baptist Church turned out in full force, a departure from their usual cruel abuse of the families and loved ones of fallen service members.

They had crocheted banners which looked all the world like spider webs, and illustrations from Charlotte’s Web:

In all caps: