Monday, October 17, 2005

The Butcher Shop

The Butcher Shop

The Butcher Shop (2000)

Check out the prime blog cuts today... the very first meat market. From CBC News:

Anthropologists working in Ethiopia say they've found the earliest direct evidence of a stone tool "kitchen," dating back 2.6 million years.

The stone tools were found in the same site as animal bones, which the researchers said indicate the use of tools by early human to feed themselves.

Michael Rogers, an assistant professor of anthropology at Southern Connecticut State University, was working in Gona, Ethiopia, when he found some small tools made from chipped stone.

Further excavation at the site revealed the tools and bones together.

"Our ancestors were using the artifacts to process animal parts, which probably shows that humans were expanding their diets to include animals and were no longer largely vegetarians," said Rogers, in a news release.

The area in Gona, known for its ancient stone tools, is near Hadar, Ethiopia, which the hominid fossil "Lucy" was found in 1974.

By the way, the source above is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation -- not the Christian Broadcasting anything. It seems Canadians still appreciate the virtues of scientific thought -- unlike our Prezdent whose very existence puts the concept of an overriding "intelligent designer" in question. Besides, to the drones of Idiot America, those discovered "bones" belonged to Adam and Eve's dinosaur pals who later hitched a ride with Noah -- who, as we know, took along two cockroaches so Tom Delay would find lucrative employment in the not-all-that-distant future.

A more contemporary view of the house of shanks and rump roasts comes from poet Charles Simic:

Butcher Shop

Sometimes walking late at night
I stop before a closed butcher shop.
There is a single light in the store
Like the light in which the convict digs his tunnel.

An apron hangs on the hook:
The blood on it smeared into a map
Of the great continents of blood,
The great rivers and oceans of blood.

There are knives that glitter like altars
In a dark church
Where they bring the cripple and the imbecile
To be healed.

There's wooden block where bones are broken,
Scraped clean--a river dried to its bed
Where I am fed,
Where deep in the night I hear a voice.

Simic's wonderful poem almost makes one wish the tables could be turned -- like this:

Today's Special is Soylent Green...

A fresh shipment of bodybuilders is due next week.
[Image from a greeting card at Hydestile Wildlife Hospital]

But, maybe our only question in life should be: raw or medium well? According to the cyberpunks, we "carbon units" are little more than meat. The body is only a walking sausage casing needing cybernetic enhancement and awaiting consciousness upload -- according to "Meat Manifesto" by Allucquere Rosanne Stone in Wired:

The imagery of cyberpunk authors, and a few virtual world builders, echoes with images of purely phantasmic bodies, freed from the constraints that flesh imposes. They take for granted that the human body is "meat" -- obsolete, as soon as consciousness itself can be uploaded into the network...[But] it is important to remember that forgetting about the body is an old Cartesian trick, one that exacts a price from those bodies rendered invisible by the act of forgetting -- those on the lower end of the social scale by whose labour the act of forgetting is made possible.

I don't know, fellow steaks. The scene in The Terminator where Ah-nold doctors his eyeball with a matte knife is enough to make me think twice about putting my meat where my mirrorshades are.


Anonymous said...

The Butcher Shop (2000)

Now fellow meat-eaters, this is called the flank
And if you take a hammer and pound - thump! thump! --
This flayed hunk can be softened up for those
Special French cuisines that make
Cannibalized flesh so tasty. Ooops!
Well, so what if the beef hit the floor,
Nobody but the chef knows what happens in the kitchen.

This is called the rump, and yes it really is
The rump of Martha Stewart. In fact, today
We are learning how to beat and soften up
Martha before sticking her on the spittle
And slowly basting her with crème de cacao -
As the natives are so fond of doing on the islands
Before a giant orgy - to make her rump juicier
Than a bull's testicles in a stock market crash.

cruelanimal said...

Well, I opened the door, didn't I?

What a wonderfully sick and funny poem -- a Bush "era of greed" remix of Mad Doctor of Blood Island and Motel Hell. Martha is a nice addition to the poetic stew here. Remember, though, to always chew your meat carefully. You wouldn't want to chip a tooth on BBs or a house arrest anklet.

Anonymous said...

With each stroke
The enemy is cause

Doubt has claws
Lips bruise

Dr. Mike

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