Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Khinzir* Report (revisited)

THE PIG is one of the oldest forms of livestock, having been domesticated as early as 5000 BC. It is believed to have been domesticated either in the Near East or in China from the wild boar. The adaptable nature and omnivorous diet of this creature allowed early humans to domesticate it much earlier than many other forms of livestock, such as cattle. Pigs were mostly used for food, but people also used their hide for shields and shoes, their bones for tools and weapons, and their bristles for brushes. Pigs have other roles within the human economy: their feeding behavior in searching for roots churns up the ground and makes it easier to plough; their sensitive noses lead them to truffles, an underground fungus highly valued by humans; and their omnivorous nature enables them to eat human rubbish, keeping settlements cleaner than they would otherwise have been.

Pork is the most widely eaten meat in the world, providing about 38 percent of daily meat protein intake worldwide, although consumption varies widely from place to place. This is despite religious restrictions on the consumption of pork and the prominence of beef production in the West. Pork consumption has been rising for thirty years, both in actual terms and in terms of meat-market share.

Throughout the Islamic world, as well as in Israel, many countries severely restrict the importation or consumption of pork products. Examples are Iran, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Pork is one of the best-known of a category of foods that are forbidden under traditional Jewish dietary law. The biblical basis for the Jewish prohibition of pork is in Leviticus 11:7. The Qur'anic basis for the Islamic prohibition of pork can be found in surahs 2:173, 5:3, 5:60, 6:145 and 16:115.

Seventh-day Adventists likewise eat no pork. Rastafarians too avoid the consumption of pork, their basis is also the book of Leviticus. [The Rastafarian religion is essentially a quirky spin-off of Judaism.]

The Scottish pork taboo was Donald Alexander Mackenzie's phrase for discussing an aversion to pork amongst Scots, particularly Highlanders, which he believed to stem from an ancient taboo. Several writers who confirm that there was a prejudice against pork, or a superstitious attitude to pigs, do not see it in terms of a taboo related to an ancient cult. Any prejudice is generally agreed to have been fading by 1800.

(From the Wikipedia entry on PORK)

Think about this for a moment. Several ethnic and religious groups on earth share a pork taboo: Jews, Arabs, Malays, and Rastafarians. Okay, some Seventh-Day Adventists avoid eating pork - probably because of the Gadarene swine story in the New Testament that describes how Jesus arrives in an area called Gadara and encounters a man possessed by demons. Jesus then chases the demons into the bodies of 2,000 innocent swine... who, maddened by the demons, stampede into the sea and drown. In this scenario the pigs were blameless and ought to be profusely thanked for taking on the possessed man's evil karma.

What else do these pork-fearing tribes have in common? A deeply-embedded religious fervor, perhaps, that makes it virtually impossible for them to get close to other tribes - especially the pork-loving ones. In effect, the pork taboo serves as a tribal, cultural and culinary barrier isolating a few groups from everybody else.

Problem is, even though the Arabs and Jews don't eat pork, they still can't get along with each other. In fact, they've been at loggerheads since Abraham, on the wicked advice of his wife Sara, dumped his mistress Hagar. You see, Hagar was the mother of Ishmael, Abraham's firstborn and forefather of the Arabs; while Sara gave birth to Isaac, forefather of the Jews. Yup... deadly sibling rivalry, owing to parents playing favorites among their kids.

Who are the world's biggest pork-eaters? The Chinese, Germans, English, Irish, most Scandinavians, Balinese, Papua New Guineans and Americans (in that approximate order). What characteristics do these racial groups share? Well, they are all known for pragmatism, industriousness, resourcefulness, an ability to learn from other cultures and enjoy a joke at their own expense. Doesn't that make you wonder if there may be some hitherto unidentified substance present in the flesh of pigs that tends to ground people in common sense, good humor, and enhances their long-term survival quotient?

*Khinzir = Arabic for "swine"

The Other White Meat

The Gadarene Swine Fallacy

[First posted 11 August 2008, reposted 19 September 2015]

Walt Disney Women... Vava-voooom! (revisited)

This is a confession of sorts. My 20-year-old son Ahau and I... we share the same taste in women.

Ever since his eyes could focus he's been fond of watching videos. An early favorite was Peter Pan, which he could happily watch several times a day. One day he discovered the rewind button on the VCR (those were pre-VCD/DVD days). That was it. Ahau became the Instant Replay Man, compulsively and obsessively replaying his favorite bits of every video.

One day, I caught the little tyke pressing his face to the TV screen. He was trying to kiss Tinkerbell. I had to laugh. When I was a kid, I was myself intensely intrigued by Peter Pan's sexy little sidekick.

X-rated Tinker Bell
The irresistibly cute pixie with the hourglass figure and gossamer wings and magic dust that could sweep you off your feet with happy, horny thoughts!

In fact, I named my second daughter after my childhood sex symbol - but when she grew up she decided to drop the "Tinker" and add an 'e' to the "Bell" - and it has worked out beautifully for her (see the glam shot she sent me at left...)

Ah, what an absolute prodigy he was, that fellow, Walter Elias Disney (1901-1966). His unmitigated genius deserves a series of in-depth studies - but this is not the time and place to dwell on this supremely inspired icon of animation art. Instead, I want to ramble on a little about the fetishistic femmes Mr Disney conjured from his fertile imagination. Remember, this is America in the early 1950s - the heyday of Life magazine's Norman Rockwell covers and clean-cut Sunday schoolkids, when the only erotic art you might find would be on the back of naughty playing cards. Overt sexuality wouldn't come into fashion until Hugh Hefner unleashed his Playboy Bunnies on the world in 1953 - the same year, incidentally, that Disney released Peter Pan.

Ahau's next major crush was on Ariel, the redhead with a hauntingly melodious voice and a fish tail. I could see why he adored Ariel, but she wasn't really my type, not even with legs. Too wishy-washy, the way she mooned over that cardboard cut-out prince. Now, if only Ariel had the street cred of the neurotic, waif-like mermaid in this sketch...

Belle, as in Beauty and the Beast, is something else. Feisty and admirable in her devotion to her eccentric inventor dad. A daughter after my own heart... and one who can surely bring out the, I mean, the best in any man.

But, ultimately - and both Ahau and I agree on this - it's Pocahontas we'd seriously love to poke. Indeed, we'd wed her without a moment's hesitation.

Her wild spirit, her incredible courage, and her ability to leap off waterfalls (not to mention her flawless anatomy) make her utterly irresistible to us both. Too bad she only seems to go for raccoons and Mat Sallehs* named John.

*Mat Salleh - local slang for Caucasians.

[First posted 25 March 2007, reposted 4 Februaery 2014]

Meanwhile, back at Eyjafjallajökull... (a flashback)

I'm glad to be living in Ulu Selangor (a name that easily rolls off the tongue) - where the only rumblings that can be heard are the sound of BN's imminent collapse!


[First posted 22 April 2010]