Yesterday, after the Bulls lost a game they could, and should, have won (man, they miss Noah), I met up with some buds to share a frosty cold adult libation and discuss things that men discuss when left to themselves. Boobs, basketball, boobs, baseball, boobs, football, boobs and so on. Naturally, these conversational variants inevitably ran their course. So, inspired by multiple tales of holiday feasts, we turned our thoughts to cannibalism.
Eww! Yucky! You may say that. After all, who wants an invitation to the Donner Party? There aren’t any balloons, the booze is all frozen and the menu’s gross. Not fun like the Nude Hippo holiday feast. Not at all.
Yet, as we discussed while sipping said adult libations, cannibalism has been a celebrated part of many cultures since cultures have existed. In Italy there’s an entire genre of films dedicated to the philosophy that “you are who you eat.”
In the 60’s celebrated science fiction author, Robert Heinlein, tackled the issues of free love and cannibalism in his epic tale Stranger in a Strange Land. Personally I would never want to confuse those two, but in Heinlein’s story the hero, Valentine Michael Smith, is the sole survivor of a mission to Mars and has been raised by Martians who had very different ideas about the essence of immortality and so on. When Mr. Smith is finally made into a lovely stew for his friends it’s noted that he needed salt.
In 1973, Richard Fleischer directed one of the most popular movies of the year. Soylent Green’s post apocalyptic vision, of a world run by a police state and people being harvested off the streets, had intellectuals seriously ruminating on the concepts of government sponsored assisted suicide and cannibalism. After all, it’s not like you really need your body when it’s gone, so why not grind it into a high protein cracker?
And we all know that crackers go great with cheese.
Not so yucky now, is it? Who could complain about cheese and crackers?
In 1989, director Peter Geenaway took the whole concept to its logical conclusion in The Cook The Thief His Wife and Her Lover. In his dark fantasy cannibalism is used to create a gourmet meal. Also to rip on the, then current, British political regime, but we’re focused on food here today, not politics.
Locally, Chicago played host (if you’ll pardon the term) to Cannibal Cheerleaders on Crack. Far from some schlumpy one night theater stand, the show ran for years and years. And, while everyone talked about how offended they were when the rich folks ate the poor folk’s babies, it didn’t stop them from going back again and again and again…..
“But,” you squeamishly object, “those are just twisted visions and horrors from a long forgotten past. No civilized person would contemplate anything like that.”
I say the table’s already being set.
Our parent company, NBC, recently memorialized a Naked Sushi party. If you haven’t been to one of these, the events work like this; a beautiful woman pretends to be dead while lying on a table and guests pull raw fish off of her flesh and eat it.
There’s also, usually, a DJ. And dancing.
Substitute drums for the DJ and a pot in the jungle for the buffet table and suddenly this scene seems eerily familiar.
The fish is just a bonus.
But, if you still don’t think you could be talked into eating your neighbor, just watch the video below to see how easy it was to get people to eat raw fish in the first place.