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Yeah But Was He Hungry Again in an Hour
December 16, 2004 11:25 AM   Subscribe

Mexican Man Kills, Cooks and Eats His Lover
Cannibalism (Wiki) is chic. With the consensual cannibalism of Armin Meiwes and a psychosexual facet as well as arguments about the religious aspects as well as how religion stopped cannibalism along with some tips, "The natives told Father Zumbohm that the fingers and toes were the choicest morsels." And now even a Donner Party Cookbook (no, no recipes on how to serve man). Can cannibalism be considered as taboo as it once was?

Of course, there are bound to be humorous sites, movies and even a musical. And heck, why not even a Letterman Top Ten?
posted by fenriq (54 comments total)

 
mexican food gives me gas.
posted by quonsar at 11:30 AM on December 16, 2004


Doh, the second link in the humorous site got changed to MetaFilter. It should go to here instead.
posted by fenriq at 11:31 AM on December 16, 2004


I can vouch for the psychosexual angle.
posted by Keyser Soze at 11:34 AM on December 16, 2004


psychosexual facet

see the works of dolcett (So Incredibly Not Safe For Work that You Just Wouldn't Believe It) for more yummy cannibal goodness (er, not so much goodness, actually).
posted by hob at 11:34 AM on December 16, 2004


I thought the Metafilter link was a joke on us. We do tend to repackage ourselves around here.
posted by fungible at 11:49 AM on December 16, 2004


Can I ask why all the cannibal stories recently reported in the media start and stop with men eating other men? I sense a real undercurrent of homophobia about the "psychosexual facet" of this topic.

It seems odd. Just sayin'
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:51 AM on December 16, 2004


Because when women eat women its called Hot Lesbian Action.
posted by fenriq at 11:54 AM on December 16, 2004


are you implying that cannibalism is the new black? i wouldn't categorize it as chic personally, i don't think people eaters quite capture the hearts of the people the same way bank robbers did during the depression.

and btw that story killed my lunch.
posted by mrs.pants at 11:54 AM on December 16, 2004


Can I ask why all the cannibal stories recently reported in the media start and stop with men eating other men? I sense a real undercurrent of homophobia about the "psychosexual facet" of this topic.

If it was stories about men eating women it'd be considered sexist. If it was women eating women, we'd be back to homophobia. So I guess if it was stories about women eating men, AlexReynolds would be able to be comfortable. Or it would have to be adults eating children. Which be pedohilic, I guess. Or perhaps merely snacking.

I think the undercurrent of cannibal-phobia covers most peoples reactions to these stories quite nicely, thanks. But if you're wanna continue seeing persecution absolutely everywhere, you go right ahead.
posted by jonmc at 11:59 AM on December 16, 2004


Wow. That dolcett stuff is...wow. Can't say I've seen that before.
posted by fungible at 12:00 PM on December 16, 2004


The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover.
posted by Shane at 12:02 PM on December 16, 2004


I think the undercurrent of cannibal-phobia covers most peoples reactions to these stories quite nicely, thanks. But if you're wanna continue seeing persecution absolutely everywhere, you go right ahead.

Dude, show me any recent cannibal stories that don't involve same-sex relationships, and you might have a point. Otherwise the cultural propaganda I'm seeing here is basically that "fags like to eat human flesh".
posted by AlexReynolds at 12:08 PM on December 16, 2004


Ravenous ain't a bad cannibal flick.
posted by Cyrano at 12:10 PM on December 16, 2004


Otherwise the cultural propaganda I'm seeing here is basically that "fags like to eat human flesh".

Actually the first story in this (great) book is a bout a guy in Europe who went to jail and was paroled (!) after cannibalizing a woman.

No, it's "cannibals like to eat human flesh." Or are you just trying to spread the cultural propoganda that "gays are overly sensitive and paranoid?

Not to mention, when you state your objections so blithely, you sound dangerously close to saying "The only reason you object to cannibalism is your repressed homophobia. Which is the kind of pseudo-intellectual quackery that's given modern intellectualism a bad name.
posted by jonmc at 12:18 PM on December 16, 2004


My god, hob. I did not want to be reminded that such things exist.
posted by metaculpa at 12:18 PM on December 16, 2004


I can vouch for the psychosexual angle.

Do explain. I can imagine human flesh as tasty food, but I don't understand getting sexual pleasure from it. I don't orgasm from eating anything else; why should human meat be any different? It seems to me that it's more the idea of a taboo. You could test it by telling a volunteer he was eating human but serve him pork instead.
posted by davy at 12:20 PM on December 16, 2004


Or it would have to be adults eating children. Which be pedohilic, I guess.

More pedophagic than pedophilic, neh?

Sounds like a good name for a king -- Oswald the Pedophage.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:29 PM on December 16, 2004


I would like to second the Ravenous comment by Cyrano, that is an excellent film. Sadly, most people fail to see the excellent social commentary in it though.
posted by Vaska at 12:32 PM on December 16, 2004


Mmmmmm..... Soylent Girls.....
posted by Darkman at 12:37 PM on December 16, 2004


Cannibal-wise, Issei Sagawa is rather interesting, if nothing else than for the pop culture fame he found after his release. (Yes, release. Apparently it's possible to eat a woman and still walk.)
posted by Cyrano at 12:43 PM on December 16, 2004


AlexReynolds, it's a bit of a leap to assume a homophobic undercurrent to media reports of cannibalism, simply because recent events (viz., the german case where the eater advertised online for an eatee) happen to have involved same sex participants.

Note that one of the most pervasive cannibalistic topoi in European literature is heterosexual in nature - the motif of the eaten heart. Popularised by a 13th century ballad commemorating the death of famous lover Guilhem de Cabestan, and subsequently re-written as the lay poem Laustic by Marie de France as well as the 9th story in Boccacio's Decameron the precis goes like this:

a woman has an illicit lover, whom she sees whever her husband is away. On learning this, the husband catches the lover, kills him, and has his heart prepared as a meal for his wife (which on some pretext he does not eat). On learning that she has eaten her lover's heart -- and there are some serious psychosexual overtones there -- she throws herself out of the window saying that since she has eaten the best thing ever, or words to that effect, there is no need for her to ever eat again.

It is also worthy of note that this story appears not to have begun with Guilhem -- there is a punjabi version of it about a king called Rasalu, which would strongly suggest a common indo-european root (or an archetype, depending on how dualistic you are about your recurring memes).

On preview, I really want someone to write the children's story of Oswald the Pedophage.
posted by melmoth at 12:44 PM on December 16, 2004


Issei Sagawa! That's the name of the guy in the Feral House book I linked. Don't know why I couldn't remember it.
posted by jonmc at 12:45 PM on December 16, 2004


Oswald the Pedophage sounds like a lovely story to scare my son into therapy. And maybe he could have a brother named Carl the Coprophage?
posted by fenriq at 12:56 PM on December 16, 2004


Well, this is just screaming for self promotion. I happen to be making a movie that involves cannibalism. And I'm a vegetarian. It's been pretty hard to explain all of this to my family...
posted by spaghetti at 12:57 PM on December 16, 2004


Crap, and I like to bite my wife during our more amorous moments. Is ordering that 70" copper skillet from Williams-Sonoma inevitable?
posted by DakotaPaul at 12:57 PM on December 16, 2004


Double props for Ravenous, and its awesome music by Damon Albarn. (They used one of the songs in a seat-belt safety commercial recently, and I about fell out.)
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:59 PM on December 16, 2004


I did think that there were more gay cannibals featuring lately, too, Alex. But this is the recency error, right? Over time, maybe the average is 50/50... but I ain't the one to do the research.

jonmc: '...you sound dangerously close to saying "The only reason you object to cannibalism is your repressed homophobia.
I didn't read that at all into AlexReynolds's comment. Maybe you're mind is working overtime, mate - that is one huge leap of logic.
posted by dash_slot- at 1:26 PM on December 16, 2004


OMG, Shane, I had totally forgotten about "The Cook, The Thief..."

I actually went to see that with some friends while...intoxicated, with no real idea of what it was going to be like. Not only were there people retching in the bathroom when I went for a break, but one of my roommates was so upset she ran out and just sobbed outside the theatre for the last hour or so.

It's actually one of the few movies that genuinely offended me--not even because of the "offensive" material, but because Greenaway basically tells you what he's going to do to you up front, with that scene where the owner shoves shit down a guy's throat, and screaming "You'll eat, and you'll like it!" I've appreciated several of his movies, but that time 'round, I think he was just being an asshole, while pretending to be an artist.
posted by LairBob at 1:36 PM on December 16, 2004


I didn't read that at all into AlexReynolds's comment.

I don't think that's what he intended to say either, dash. I was merely trying to show where veiwing the world through the narrow lens of your own sensitivities gets you.
posted by jonmc at 1:40 PM on December 16, 2004


has anyone found the Meiwes videotape anywhere on these Intarwebs?
posted by zombiejesus at 1:47 PM on December 16, 2004


I, as a Mexican, am outraged about this individual. He cooked his lover in onion and tomato sauce. Where in the world are the hot peppers?!!! Shame on him!
posted by dov3 at 2:00 PM on December 16, 2004



posted by strawberryviagra at 2:14 PM on December 16, 2004


So, will this new wave of cannibalism beget a new, cautionary Wendigo mythology?

Ravenous ain't a bad cannibal flick.

Wendigo! Ravenous is one of my all-time fave films. It works on a number of levels and, Like Cook, Thief..., slams humanity with some nasty metaphors.

Not only were there people retching in the bathroom when I went for a break, but one of my roommates was so upset she ran out and just sobbed outside the theatre for the last hour or so.

Yeah, talk about an emotional impact. Wow. All the disturbing imagery ... excess ... it's just a "consumer" world, isn't it? ;-) My friends and I talked about that film for at least an hour non-stop, mile-a-minute after seeing it, but I was struck dumb for about twenty minutes, after which I couldn't stop talking for another twenty.

I've appreciated several of his movies, but that time 'round, I think he was just being an asshole, while pretending to be an artist.

I saw Greenaway speak at a screening of the Pillow Book and he snarkily slammed one of his huge fans because she saw things, ideas and metaphors and such, in one of his films, that he said were not there. He just crushed her. Evidently he can be a bit of an asshole much of the time.

Still, ya gotta love Drowning by Numbers, eh? ;-)
posted by Shane at 2:14 PM on December 16, 2004


I did think that there were more gay cannibals featuring lately, too, Alex. But this is the recency error, right? Over time, maybe the average is 50/50... but I ain't the one to do the research.

Yeah, I don't really care enough to follow up on it, either, but it seemed odd to me.

I don't think that's what he intended to say either, dash. I was merely trying to show where veiwing the world through the narrow lens of your own sensitivities gets you.

I think I'm going to write a play called "The Cannibal Monologues" and then only invite the straight cannibals to perform. Sheesh!
posted by AlexReynolds at 2:15 PM on December 16, 2004


Mmmm...steaky!
posted by kirkaracha at 2:18 PM on December 16, 2004


people! it's what's for dinner!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 2:51 PM on December 16, 2004


Long Pig - the other other white meat.
posted by zombiejesus at 2:57 PM on December 16, 2004


Interesting coincidence, spaghetti. I have a small role in an upcoming indy film which is also about cannibals.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:59 PM on December 16, 2004


Hey, we'll have to share when our projects are done!
posted by spaghetti at 3:14 PM on December 16, 2004


I think I'm going to write a play called "The Cannibal Monologues" and then only invite the straight cannibals to perform.

Spot on! (as we say in Blighty)
posted by dash_slot- at 3:29 PM on December 16, 2004


Here is a blurb about a study that said, "fascination with cannibalism has sexual roots." [SFW]

meh ... they eat what they admire or to acquire the traits of another person - as sick/warped/twisted as that sounds it's true.

Now 'scuze me while I try to scrub my mind clean (some things in this world I wish I was completely oblivious about - this being one of them)
posted by squeak at 3:33 PM on December 16, 2004


Can cannibalism be considered as taboo as it once was?

The act itself? Yes. Much like everything else in the universe, it's being explored by the media, but it's still just as horrible as ever.
posted by abcde at 3:46 PM on December 16, 2004


you can all eat me.
posted by quonsar at 3:56 PM on December 16, 2004


now how am i supposed to eat all that spam i bought at costco?
posted by superfem at 3:58 PM on December 16, 2004


I call dibs on quonsar's brain, its been unused for years!

superfem, try a few of these.
posted by fenriq at 4:08 PM on December 16, 2004


Here is a blurb about a study that said, "fascination with cannibalism has sexual roots."

"The person you are most likely to end up in bed with is the person most likely to end up in your stomach"

Now that is a killer lead!
posted by mudpuppie at 5:42 PM on December 16, 2004


germany or florida?
posted by docpops at 5:43 PM on December 16, 2004


"fascination with cannibalism has sexual roots."

Yes, the Dolcett gynophagia stories have very strong erotic overtones for me. I remember very clearly when I first read them 2 years ago how I was transfixed. I think it has something to do with the process, all of my sexual fantasies are very focused on the process. Plus, there are definite links to The Story of O.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:39 PM on December 16, 2004


cannibalism/human sacrifice rituals in religion, specifically in South and Central America, have actually been cited in arguments for the notion that religious "back story"--the myths and dogma that supposedly tell believers what to do ritually--comes as a result of, not an explanation for, ritual. that is, people tend to think of ritual as the reaction, the practice in response to dogma. some theorists (kluckhohn and to a less obvious extent turner) have argued it is the other way around. i'm fuzzy, it's been years, but as i recall someone did a paper on the aztecs and cited a connection between a shortage of sources of iron for the diet and cannibalism. so--and yeah to most it's a stretch--perhaps these rituals and the stories supposedly bringing them on are a superstructure sort of cloaking of the real motivation--more material in nature (food etc.).
posted by ifjuly at 11:18 PM on December 16, 2004


*searches cupboards for what might go good with 'quonsar'*
posted by codeofconduct at 11:41 PM on December 16, 2004


The Dolcett stuff was pretty crazy and thank you for the SNSFW warning, that could have been ugly.

codeofconduct, I was going to go with some Trader Joe's Wasabi Teriyaki, it can make even cow butts taste good. Not that quonsar's a cow's butt but its good info to know.
posted by fenriq at 8:38 AM on December 17, 2004


So, the easy explanation for the cannibal thing is that it sits on the fence of the male animal's two hunting instincts: acquisition of food and acquisition of sexual partners. Everywhere there's a border like that, where two similar nonconscious drives produce similar behavior, the possibility exists for the "desire rationalization" process to confuse the two. Hence, pretty girls you can eat.

Add in the fact that lots of people just have sex/death fetishes, and cannibalism is a good "story" for people who like mayhem/gore fantasies, and that it's a great end-point for "ultimate/extreme submission" or "white slave" fantasies, and you have a winner. Oh, and need I even talk about the penetration thing in the dolcett stuff?
posted by hob at 10:58 AM on December 17, 2004


Ifjuly, maybe you're thinking of Marvin Harris? He wrote "Cannibals and Kings" and "Good to Eat", both books about how changes in need drive taboos, etc. It's very sensible, perhaps oversimplistic, but good stuff.
posted by mdn at 11:14 AM on December 17, 2004


If you eat a Communist, what wine do you serve?

(looks for copy of Company's Coming: Communist Cooking)
posted by Darkman at 11:49 AM on December 17, 2004


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