Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Gift from Foreign Lands

Great art speaks for itself, no matter the language.

Thanks, Ann!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Build Your Vocabulary, Feed the World

As we spend the next month going to parties, shopping and overeating, take a few moments to go here. It's an insanely clever site where you play a word game and donate rice to the UN World Food Program. What could be more justifying to an English major? Finally we get a chance to show that insouciant wordsmithery can save the world. The higher your score, the more rice is donated. Yes, there are sponsor ads on the page, but their hearts are in the right place. Plus you get impressive words to use at your fancy parties.

Tip of the hat to Bethany at The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotations.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm clipping coupons the other day and came across the above photo. It's much more chilling when you see it printed on cheap Sunday circular stock with weak color separation. Luckily, it is on the Honeysuckle White website, where you can enter the sweepstakes. It isn't that there is a sweepstakes, or that the company, Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation, wants to riff on Rockwell's iconic Thanksgiving painting "Freedom from Want." Oh, no.
It's just that there's so much wrong with this particular setting, and so many questions! Come with me now, and let us look at the above scene.
The first thing that jumps out is the ghoulish, vampiric mother, staring intently at the knife the hapless human father is using to carve the turkey. Aside from a giant ring floating above her head (that probably holds the souls from her previous victims), her unseen thought bubble contains the hope that the turkey will spray out hot, life giving blood so she won't have to dine on the family like last year. Her pose also begs the question of the location of her other hand; the alleged husband's expression not withstanding. More proof of her blood hunger can be seen in her proximity to the plate of blood Jello she whipped up from the neighbors. Not the neighbor's recipe, the actual neighbors.
While we're looking at the table, notice there are only two places set. Why? Aren't there five people? Clearly little Billy is making a meal of the potatoes, with his hand. I don't think anyone else will want any, but what are they left with? A 20 pound turkey (wearing Gramma's old Easter corsage), some sad greens (Broccoli? Green beans? Kale with yellow pepper strips?), and what looks like yams with marshmallow blobs melted on top. Oh, and the Jello. Are they all on Atkin's?
Keeping your eye on little Billy, notice he has the only seat in the room. They must have a tradition of playing Musical Chairs right before "Dad" starts carving, to see who gets to sit this year. Winner 2007: Billy! I'm not sure how they decide on who gets the plates, but the loser has to wear a zippered argyle sweater, and he sure is.
Where is the little girl taking the pie, and why is it so funny? It looks like Gramma had a hand in this, as if she whispered "Take the pie to the home invaders who just came in!" Then thinking "She's actually doing it! What a scamp."
The point of the whole thing is to enter the sweepstakes and win the $50,000, and we're privy to the selfish and banal aspirations of each family member. Billy wants a dirtbike, Mom wants soul-sucking bling; Dad wants to be Austin Powers, Gramma wants another house to burn down, and the little girl (oh, lets just call her Penny) wants a pack mule to find the Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Funny how 3/5 of the dreams are transportation. Maybe not so funny when you start to consider this particular family unit.
What could the rest of the house be like when the dining room appears to be the interior of an obilesque, fifty feet tall and eight feet on each side? Any light reaching the small table from the tiny sconces only gets there by luck.
Hopefully, you'll be lucky enough to find this in your recycle bin. There's a coupon for $2.00 off a Honeysuckle White turkey. Sadly, it does not make up for this sinister portrait of a holiday gone wrong.