58. Trick or Treat (11/2012)
The smoke and mirrors game of survival impels cautionary assurance of taking nothing at face value in order to thrive in a world where nothing is as it seems. When we scratch the surface, probe, try to find out the truth about something, the response is often linked to a personal agenda. Or has the revival of altruism been predicted in the wake of wikileaks, the exposé on global deception, and the formal recognition of animal sentience by the scientific establishment?
Mitigating perceptions prevail particularly when modified to appease conscience. Whatever is thought to be most delicious must be defended at all costs. Fun spoilt for making a rotten choice in luxury goods is taboo. Perpetrators haunted by the repercussions of ignorance, turning a blind eye, telling a white lie, glossing over, rolling over, however, become heartened as the veil drops when the chickens come home to roost.
The fragile marvel of an egg is handled with infinitely more care and deception than mother hen, later appearing incognito in pastries, cakes and lining of arteries. In the same vein, any concoction smothered with lashings of cream has a ring of decadence, but with depravity at its origins, and a mean end. Bring on the healthy equivalent from the germ of coconuts or cashews – news welcomed by slimmers and protein junkies.
The pitiful folly of foie gras festers as the epitome of imposed gluttony – prized fatty delicacy derived from restrained ducks coaxed through a coarse stratagem of forced feeding as you like it – or knot in the stomach.
Uninvestigated little canine ruse of perfection with its doe eyes, soft coating, and comic cuteness causes smiles now, and tears later. For inbreeding has resulted in deafness, blindness, a feeble heart, weak skin, faulty joints, and a bad back. None of which are apparent until there is a firm bond of mutual affection, by which time it is too late to admit defeat.
Virtual turkey would make a welcome gimmick at Christmas dinner table avoiding the obligation of pretending to savour the sawdusty flesh, and relishing the opportunity to be more creative with cranberries.
Available in a rainbow of alluring colours the party jelly artifice of remolded ground piglets’ feet is a sombre jest. While the mainstay medium of laboratory experiments in cellular growth, agar gel, is at last making culinary inroads into kinder cuisine.
‘Oh but it’s Italian!’ this shoe/bag/wallet/coat/belt: patently conjured from the superficial remains of clubbed seal, gassed mink, slain leopard, or crucified crocodile. Favoured among fascist fashionistas guising for recognition, stature, snobbery, but considered distinctly déclassé among friends of the earth where durable hemp, organic cotton, and softer, warmer, cooler, kinder acrylic equivalents are de rigueur. It looks the same but does it feel like the real thing?
On a lighter note, down is upmarket and a dearer insulation ploy because it comprises fine pubic fluff painfully plucked live back stage from the whitest, most sensitive birds kept in the wings. Geese get their own back on the allergic set, and burst water bed wrecks.
The imposture of a wolf in sheep’s clothing manifests as the benign dictator, a fat cat, feeding on fatal food additives from GM to organochem, indiscriminate distribution of lethal poison bait, or the caged bird singing freedom songs hopelessly misinterpreted as odes to joy.
And now the seriousness of the silly season is taken to the limit with advertising that sells us down the river of returns for what we thought we’d ordered, but turned out to be inferior, fake, and futile attempts at supplying what we want in life.