Part 1

Perhaps only in Iowa could a candidate for the Senate declare that her experience castrating pigs qualifies her for office.

Yes, OK, she means it as a wry, gateway metaphor for her promise to “cut pork.” But it’s precisely this promise, not the tasteless image of detesticled pigs, that I find most objectionable. The words have sound but signify nothing. And that’s the point, really. They are short on meaning, long on emotional resonance.  The promise to cut pork is comparable to promises to resuscitate the American Dream or restore the middle class, to bring change you can believe in or apply sane business practices, to transcend mere politics or be impregnable to the Washington Beltway ethos.  The words are lexical black holes into which all meaning disappears.  What’s left is an emotional residue, a purr or snarl substituting for substance.  That, and the cynicism that thinks that is enough.


Part 2

It’s always nice to know we can kill a sentient creature and feel righteously comfortable about it.

The Animal Welfare Institute and Farm Sanctuary, two animal welfare groups, have petitioned the Department of Agriculture to step up inspection efforts at poultry slaughterhouses, so that birds whose necks are not cut by an automatic knife are not dropped alive into scalding tanks.  A Deputy Administrator of the Food Safety Inspection Service says birds boiled to death in the scalding tanks violates the Poultry Products Inspection Act; therefore, the FSIS would “take action, because the animals would be dying other than by slaughter — they'd be drowning, and not slaughtered in a humane way."

I confess I struggle with the ethical distinction being made here.  Aren’t the birds being slaughtered in any event?  Does slaughtering a creature “in a humane way” even make sense?  Can the words “humane” and “slaughter” dwell in the same linguistic neighborhood?  Is dollying the adjective “humane” into place before the noun “slaughter” a kind of verbal juke to avoid ethical anxiety?  Emerson says, "You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.”  Wouldn’t the really humane thing be not to slaughter the birds at all?

Views: 260

Comment by James Mark Emmerling on June 29, 2014 at 10:46am

fascinating issue...

some thoughts:

to be 'humane' we must have sympathy, a condition of at least partial identification with the other...

but we distance ourselves...uh, like from the chicken...

with this alienation of our raw experience we tend to also lose touch with the living language. it becomes 'abstract',

literally, pulled off...

we lose contact with words..they become

 lexical black holes into which all meaning disappears.

Comment by Jerry DeNuccio on June 29, 2014 at 12:55pm

Thanks for reading and for your thoughtful comment, James. 

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on June 29, 2014 at 1:19pm

May I put this on on the radio show this summer?  

Comment by Arthur James on June 29, 2014 at 1:20pm




OR ` female?

send ` American

Pork ` Butchers?


Today, in DC, a USDA

Beef/pork ` farmer '

Groff\Farms` grass '

 grazed\beef ` etcetera '

he.. was\making` hay '

Rain tomorrow... ` hay '

If it make ` HAT ' ` time '

Ya 's gotta ` make ' hay '

His (USDA ) ` wifi ' so '

sow ` nice ' and ` SHE '

Sells ` Lavender ` Soap '

and I use for a ` PU ` Dash-

Board ` fragrant` deodorizer, 

and anti` flea bug ' annoyer.'

` I hope you no get ` deleted '

and do persist and ` share '

and IF a  philosopher ` look ' 

For ` a ' black hat in a ` Dark '

Room? ` a ' He no Find ` Hat '

In Darkish ` Room... But ` a '

Theologian ` says ... She ` a '

Help Find ` white ... Hat ` in '

a Dark ` Dungeon... Hat ` in '

a Theologian view... He ` say '

He/She help find... Straw Hat.

I must re` think... Thanks You.

My pick` up cab has` fruit flies '

and those ` flies ' ` a 'good bugs '


Jerry DE` Nuccio ` deserve ` a '

Nice Sraw ` Amish ' Hat ' and ` a '


AMORA - Bulgarian Gelato ice cream

Cone/ I swear this makes good common

Sense\IF You 's been in DC Today, aye!

Comment by James Mark Emmerling on June 29, 2014 at 1:31pm

 JERRY  u are welcome, sir, for my thoughtful comment.

I got a lot of them.

This won’t be one of them .

 Well, maybe…



This mention of the age old

competition between philosopher & theologian in dark room looking for various kinds of hats is always instructive.

I use it on my students often.

When they bother to show up for class, which is either Monday…or…is it Tuesday?

In the afternoon, that I DO know!


There is also the other story, the one about a theologian and a philosopher looking for a silent pig in a dark room. I am sure u have heard it. I cant remember who finds it, or why. I don’t even recall why the pig or the philosopher or the theologian are in the dark room. It has been awhile since I used that lesson in my class.

I may have to rethink the whole thing, too. If you have any thoughts before me, pm me please. Thanx!

Xo jim

Comment by James Mark Emmerling on June 29, 2014 at 1:33pm

Comment by Arthur James on June 29, 2014 at 1:36pm



where comment?

It LOST ` gin '

I'll ` RePOST!

Comment by James Mark Emmerling on June 29, 2014 at 1:53pm

We could publish a book, a big damn fat one at that, ART, with all the comments u have lost. ; (

Comment by Arthur James on June 29, 2014 at 2:06pm


James Mark Emmerling?

I swear I's Vow to Be Kin?

as `Practice` lovingkindness.

Lately, I read` Psalmist, and

Blake, and Francis Bacon, and

bemoan... Vengeance? It's sad,

and Nature Do DO Pay Backs,

and I feel like ` a ' Payday -

Candy Bar, and ` a ' Moon

to Beam ` a' bright ' Ray


Light, and IF we can't sleep?

Moon Beams shed illumination,

and we` night owls ' can wander

over to` AMORA ' kind Gelato

Maker` and No ` fret ' ref;, ILL

NASTY` Creeping ` lowly ` base

critters` AS? ILL` LOST` lowly





for mental

health, and

inner, sense,



I hope this comment

goes as ` a ' no stinky,

and this ` a ' ill-old...


Why deleter` snoops

persist in` self-ruin?

It's foolish ` insanity.

Comment by James Mark Emmerling on June 29, 2014 at 2:33pm

A foolish insanity indeed this deleter lives. I pity him/her.

When nature pays back this perfidy

U will be vindicated of u still above ground

Wandering in the moonlight.


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