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Is it wrong to say Bon Appetit?
February 14, 2014 11:56 AM   Subscribe


 
I thought I had seen this before, it turns out there have been not one but two different posts about other photographers with similar ideas.
posted by TedW at 12:38 PM on February 14 [3 favorites]


Should we flag it as a double, of the concept, if not the actual photographer or meal or link?
posted by infini at 12:43 PM on February 14


No seconds!
posted by Obscure Reference at 12:48 PM on February 14 [3 favorites]


I didn't realize there was a $40 and local purchase limit on these. That kind of restricts things in some ways but lets the person be a bit creative on what they order (like finding out there's Beluga caviar for $36 at an organic food mart in town so they get that and some SkyFlakes).
posted by linux at 12:56 PM on February 14


On the Ronnie Threadgill entry it says that Texas abolished the last meal? WTF?! "We are tired of these freeloading criminal types getting a fancy meal at taxpayer's expense." ????

Also it clearly states that he had mixed vegetables and peas. But the tray has the mixed veggies and peas...well, mixed. Poor versimilitude!
posted by ian1977 at 12:58 PM on February 14 [1 favorite]


Also the "country gravy" is brown, and I can tell you from experience of marrying an Okie that that wouldn't fly.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:05 PM on February 14 [3 favorites]


(like finding out there's Beluga caviar for $36 at an organic food mart in town so they get that and some SkyFlakes)

Death Roe
posted by hal9k at 1:09 PM on February 14 [32 favorites]


On the Ronnie Threadgill entry it says that Texas abolished the last meal?

I believe there was a post on the blue about this issue a while ago. If I remember correctly, a lawmaker heard of inmates making elaborate last meal requests and took this to mean that those requests were actually being fulfilled. Or something. Really it's just grandstanding.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 1:25 PM on February 14 [1 favorite]


Completely tasteless. Looks like a blog to cookbook deal.
posted by ouke at 1:32 PM on February 14




What Last Meals Can Tell Us About Guilt and Innocence
Along with co-author Brian Wansink, Professor and Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, Kniffin hypothesized that those who perceived themselves as innocent would request fewer calories or decline to receive a last meal altogether. After analyzing the last meals of 247 people who were executed in the United States between 2002 and 2006, Kniffin found the hypothesis to be accurate. Those who denied guilt were 2.7 times more likely to decline a last meal than those who admitted guilt. Furthermore, those who were admittedly guilty requested 34% more calories of food and were more likely to request brand name, comfort-food items.
posted by brokkr at 1:44 PM on February 14 [6 favorites]


I wonder how many were actually able to choke down this last feast.

Also, I know this is the vegetarian in me, but it seems bitterly ironic that so many of the last meals are of other dead animals.
posted by bearwife at 2:00 PM on February 14 [2 favorites]


What up with that single olive with pit?
posted by eggkeeper at 2:33 PM on February 14


Personally I'm going to request a single plum floating in perfume served in a man's hat.
posted by Talez at 2:35 PM on February 14 [1 favorite]


"We are tired of these freeloading criminal types getting a fancy meal at taxpayer's expense."

Ronnie Threadgill. What a tool.
posted by JHarris at 2:47 PM on February 14 [1 favorite]


Some serious gallows humor going on here. Which seems only appropriate.

I have always found the idea of the Last Meal to be both poignant and disturbing. The photos here as well as of others do this some justice but I will note that the aesthetic is always the same: god's eye view, diffuse lighting, "realist/realistic".

Long ago in pre-modern Europe, if my memory of history serves, the idea of the Last Meal was motivated by the idea of forgiveness. Offering food is a deeply social act. As such, the executioners offered the condemned a meal of their choice. When the meal was accepted, it was then believed that the executioners had been forgiven, that vengeance would not be pursued by the condemned. Is this still true? It would be interesting to find out.

All that said, the one for Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti breaks my heart.
posted by jammy at 3:14 PM on February 14 [2 favorites]




WTF?! "We are tired of these freeloading criminal types getting a fancy meal at taxpayer's expense." ????

Something like that. All requests were fulfilled until after Lawrence Russel Brewer. He was one of the white supremacists who killed James Byrd, Jr. by dragging him behind their pickup truck for 3 miles along an asphalt road. Byrd lived through most of that, but finally died when his body hit the edge of a water pipe on the side of the road, and that took his head off.

But back to Brewer. He ordered:
- 2 chicken fried steaks with gravy
- sliced onions
- fried okra with ketchup
- 1 pound of BBQ
- 1/2 loaf bread
- 3 fajitas
- 1 pepperoni, ham, beef, bacon, and sausage pizza
- 1 pint ice cream
- peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts
- 3 root beers

And he didn't eat any of it. His last statement was that he did not have any regrets, and would do it all again if he could.
posted by Houstonian at 3:50 PM on February 14


I believe the olive as choice taken from something I had read about a guy swallowing an olive so that an olive tree--symbol of peace, forgiveness--would grow from the pit at the place where the dead person was buried.
posted by Postroad at 3:52 PM on February 14 [2 favorites]


The final turn of the screw is that prisoners often don’t get what they ask for. It is the request, and not what is ultimately served—let alone what’s actually consumed, which is often little or nothing—that is released to the press and broadcast to the public. Most states have restrictions on what can be served and how much of it, a monetary limit, for instance, or based on what’s in the prison pantry on a given day.

So that filet mignon and lobster tail? It’s likely to end up being chopped meat and fish sticks, according to Brian Price, an inmate who cooked final meals for other prisoners in Texas for over a decade before he was paroled in 2003 (and subsequently wrote a book about the experience called Meals to Die For). The 2001 book Last Suppers: Famous Final Meals from Death Row, includes this teaser: “How’s this for a last meal: twenty-four tacos, two cheeseburgers, two whole onions, five jalapeño peppers, six enchiladas, six tostadas, one quart of milk, and one chocolate milkshake? That’s what David Castillo, convicted murderer, packed in the night before Texas shot him up with a lethal injection.”

What Castillo, who was executed in 1998 for stabbing a liquor-store clerk to death, actually got for his last meal was four hard-shell tacos, six enchiladas, two tostadas, two onions, five jalapeños, one quart of milk, and a chocolate milkshake. A hefty spread, but not quite the jaw-dropper he ordered.

posted by Bwithh at 4:15 PM on February 14 [4 favorites]


How do they ready the body of the person to be executed? I'm thinking that if you packed in a big meal before you were killed, there's going to be shit everywhere.
posted by Thing at 4:46 PM on February 14


As with the price of the final meal -- what thousandth of a percent of the total expenses does that come to? -- I imagine what the bowels void falls under the least of the concerns.
posted by mr. digits at 5:30 PM on February 14


What up with that single olive with pit?

G: Are there any particular meals that spoke to you?

JR: I tried to research why each prisoner chose what they did, but only discovered why the single olive was chosen. This olive was un-pitted, and the thinking behind it was that the inmate thought that after being executed and buried, an olive tree—a symbol of peace—would grow from him. It was indeed a very profound thought or idea, but an olive tree has not yet been found on his grave.
posted by TedW at 5:47 PM on February 14


Also: are people really still being executed by firing squad as recently as The Lord of the Rings trilogy?
posted by NikitaNikita at 8:30 PM on February 14 [4 favorites]


^^^ I was surprised by that too.
posted by antiquated at 9:03 PM on February 14


Bucket of shrimp.

They'd find out why later.
posted by sparktinker at 9:55 PM on February 14


If I were going to be hanged I'd make it Chicken Phal. A last act of vengeance.
posted by Decani at 3:09 AM on February 15


The thing about the strict limits on cost for final meal requests is, it's really just an encapsulated version of the reason the guy's being killed in the first place -- economically, it makes more sense to the powers that be to kill someone than to support him, even if ultimately it's the fault of the society they've built that he's dangerous and unsociable.

To make it up to him, they'll give him whatever he wants for his last meal... provided it doesn't take too much trouble to obtain, or cost too much. $40 sounds about right, any more than that and it might be financially burdensome, you know, that might be a problem along an axis that really matters.
posted by JHarris at 3:28 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Regarding the firing squad, it was only an option in Utah, where some fundamentalist Mormons still believe in the doctrine of blood atonement. The doctrine is no longer accepted by the mainstream. Essentially, it states that murder is a crime so heinous that the blood of Jesus Christ will not suffice to wash the sin away, so the blood of the sinner must spill onto the earth.

The state of Utah abolished the firing squad in 2004, but prisoners sentenced to death before that time could still choose to be shot to death. Ronnie Lee Gardner was sentenced in 1985 and executed in 2010. His life was one of rampant criminality, both in and out of prison.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 4:47 AM on February 15


where some fundamentalist Mormons still believe in the doctrine of blood atonement

WELCOME TO THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY. MARVEL AT OUR MEDIEVAL ETHICAL SYSTEM.
posted by JHarris at 5:03 AM on February 15


economically, it makes more sense to the powers that be to kill someone than to support him

A lot of people think that, but in arguing against capital punishment, Amnesty International has been making the exact opposite statement for at least 25 years now. Essentially, the death penalty is more expensive than life in prison because of the associated legal costs.
posted by Houstonian at 6:54 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Essentially, the death penalty is more expensive than life in prison because of the associated legal costs.

Of course, the conservative response to that is to limit the appeals and other "safeguards" built into the system. With some (think local newspaper commenters) going as far as advocating immediate execution as soon as the sentence is pronounced. Justice doesn't get more cost-effective than that.
posted by TedW at 7:32 AM on February 15


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