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If only Mencken were here to field this one

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Wow, I have got to give Ingrid Newkirk of PETA some props here. Her last will and testament sounds like some kind of odd, sick literary achievement. This is some kind of world record in the annals of self-abasement:

Ms Newkirk, founder and president of the radical group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), has decreed in her will that a portion of her body (she doesn’t specify which) should be barbecued as a protest against “fleshfoods”. She also wants her feet to be turned into ornaments to remind the world of the “depravity” of using animals in a such a fashion.

And that’s not all. Ms Newkirk has also laid down that part of her skin be turned into a leather product to show that human skin and animal skin are the same thing and that neither is a “fabric”. Ms Newkirk’s will also holds bequests to two people. One is the administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, who can expected to receive both her eyes, appropriately mounted, as a message that Peta will continue to watch the agency until it stops using animals in experiments.

The second beneficiary is Kenneth Feld, owner of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. He can expect to receive her pointing finger to stand as “the greatest accusation on Earth” on behalf of animals used for public entertainment.

Neither Kurt Cobain nor Woody Allen ever came close to such a public expression of self-hatred as this. Consider the scene of Ms. Newkirk sitting around brainstorming on all the grotesque ways in which she could have her corpse ritually desecrated. What could possibly be going on in her mind?

Yet at the same time, note the towering, quivering spasms of self-righteousness. Not even Dana Carvey’s Church Lady would think to literally have her index finger mounted to board, permanently pointing in accusation.

Wow. I like to think I have some modest talent as a satirist, but she’s far beyond my humble abilities. Nay, Saturday Night Live could not parody this chick. Verily I say, even Trey Parker and Matt Stone at South Park could not exaggerate or satirize Ms Newkirk. What can you say to even TRY to mock her? She’s really raised the bar.

OK, I got one little thing. So she’s going to have part of her body barbecued “in protest against fleshfoods.” She should have added, “Take, eat. This is my body.” Rim shot.

It would take a true master to do her justice. If only ol’ HL Mencken were still around.

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  • shawn

    shes insane, do you really think the people will except those “gifts”?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    Wow, Brother Barger!

    A mere four years to finally garner a comment??

    Must be a new BC record!

  • http://www.yahoo.com melvin polatnick

    Good shot Al Barger
    MS Newkirk was a strong animals rights advocate and she had a right to go anywhere she pleased to support her feelings.She did so even after her death by donating her body parts as a last expression of her compassion.This was not Self-Debasement as you claimed in your article,but the power of genuine feelings put into action.She was a caring person,and the world could use more like her.Lets remember her in a positive way,she earned it by her last will.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Melvin, I do not at all contest Ms Newkirk’s right to dispose of her corpse as she wished. However, I don’t see how you could not see planning this baroque desecration of her own body as being self-debasement.

    You can perhaps reasonably say that one can’t really KNOW the subjective “true” reasons that someone else does something. Perhaps I take a dim view of her because I don’t “care” about animals as much as she did – not that mere “caring” means jack shit. Caring and $2 will get you about halfway to a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

    Even trying to allow for other people having different perspectives though, I don’t see how planning these symbolic defilements of her corpse could reasonably be seen as being about anything but herself. Mounting her finger on a board to point accusingly at Ringling Brothers for all eternity does not the least thing to help any animal – but it would appear that the idea of it gave her great warm feelings about her supposed righteous compassion.

    In short, this nonsense gives every appearance of having nothing to do with animals and everything to do with establishing her moral superiority over the rest of humanity.

    On the other hand, I’d be glad to accept the Newkirk finger-on-a-board. I’d hang it on the wall in the basement and use it as the target for a ring toss. It’d be a great conversation piece.