Friday, July 17, 2009

I Can't Believe It's Not All Butter

Wingnut animal rights activist group PETA is the MASTER of PR. If there is ANYTHING at all in the news having to do even just a little bit with animals, whether they're being abused or mistreated or not, PETA is ALWAYS all over a story like that with their own quirky little outcry of denouncement. This time, their target is a trifecta of "offenders; the Iowa State Fair, a one sculptor Sarah Pratt, and a whole lot of butter. The astronaut and the surface of the moon are simply extras.

According to the New York Daily News, the IowaState Fair is "known for its butter cow". In case you're wondering (and who wouldn't be) what in the heck a"butter cow" is, it is just what it sounds like it is. It's a cow. Made of butter. It's a cow made out of butter. A butter cow. Behold!

That's a lot of butter. But it's not quite as much as you might think. I needed to know more about the history of the butter cow, mainly how it would come about that someone would conceive of the idea of sculpting a life-sized cow out of the delicious dairy spread. I mean, I know there wasn't always a lot to do before the Internet rolled into our lives to suck up any amount of free time that we once had, but how bored do you have to be to occupy yourself by carving bovine creatures out of one of the many, many culinary delights that we receive from the magical cow? Pretty bored, I'm guessing. But the point here is that when I went to the Iowa State Fair website to glean more knowledge about this practice, I was disappointed to learn that it wasn't a solid cow o'cholesterol, but rather "...a wood, metal, wire and steel mesh frame and about 600 lbs. of low moisture, pure cream Iowa butter. Once inside the 40-degree cooler, layers of butter are applied until a life-size butter cow emerges - measuring about 5-1/2-ft high and 8-ft long."

So it's going to be pretty thick, but it's not going to be solid. I don't see why they can't just start from a big blob of the stuff and then carve away. Slathering the stuff on the mesh frame sounds like tedious work,but it doesn't sound like it would take as much "talent" or "skill" as it would to carve out the creature from buttery scratch. But mind you, they've done this since 1911 and not a peep out of PETA before now. But now? Oh, NOW they're peeping all right. And it's all because Michael Jackson is dead. Wait. It is?

It IS! See, for some reason, it was decided "...days after Jackson's death that they also would display a sculpture of the King of Pop." Why? I'm not quite sure about that, but it might have something to do with the butter scultpure in tribute to the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon and someone deciding that what would really kick that tribute up a notch (and confuse the bejeezus out of fair goers) is to throw a butter sculpture of Michael Jackson in the mix as well. You know, so it will be JUST like the REAL moon landing. Or not. (Apparently, the Michael Jackson connection is that it's the 40th anniversary of man walking on the moon and Michael Jackson did the moon WALK. Granted, man walked on the moon in 1969 and Jackson didn't debut the moonwalk until 1984-ish, but it's still practically the same!)

Enter PETA! Over on their blog they write "Believe it or not, the organizers of this year's Iowa State Fair are considering erecting a statue of M.J. made out of butter." I don't know that the "believe it or not"part is all that necessary. I mean, I've heard of worse. They go on to write that the problem with the butter sculpture of Jacko is that "... the notion of promoting artery-clogging butter to young passersby is quite the opposite of "healing the world"." I don't know that they're promoting EATING the sculpture! There are also OLD passerbys I would imagine as well. What about THEIR artery-clogging impressions that they will undoubtedly walk away with after catching a glimpse of Buttery Michael?

And in a move that is supposed to appear as if PETA is not a media attention whore, they suggest that the fair"...make the statue out of Earth Balance, a dairy-free natural "buttery" spread" because that will be be honoring his memory in a (cholesterol-free) way that's fit for a king." Clearly, the folks at PETA have not seen pictures of kings. Kings looked like they were FAR from concerned about cholesterol. Turkey leg in one hand, a stein of grog or ale in the other. (Yeah, yeah, I know the ale and the grog are pirate fare, but I was drawing a blank on what kings got plastered on.)

First of all, a State Fair is HARDLY The place to start trying to advocate ANYTHING that is cholesterol free. State Fairs have given us such delights as the deep-fried Twinkie,
the giant cream puff,
the deep-fried Oreo
and Fernie's Fried Chili Frito Burrito. (That's a flour tortilla stuffed with chili and Chili Cheese Fritos and then deep-fried. Good Lord. And I say that in the best possible way as it looks delicious.)
Hardly the place to be on the no-cholesterol kick. Besides, it isn't like anyone is going to be EATING the Butter Cow. I highly doubt that you're allowed to get close enough to it that you could just lap out with your tongue and take a long hearty lick of it. And I'm going to assume that it will be that way with the Buttery Jacko sculpture as well. No one is going to be able to lick him either. Wait. Um...yeah. Too soon? Onward.
But of course, because Michael Jackson is and seemingly forever will be in the news, PETA had to latch onto this story and now PETA is in the news. They're in the news being mocked and laughed at by most, but again,when you're a media attention whore like PETA, you don't care. You're just happy you have followers who believe your drivel. And speaking of drivel, in the PETA blog post, there were some folks who left comments. Allow me to share with you some of the wisdom of those who read the PETA blog. Behold!

"Sounds like a good alternative to me. A statue made of butter probably sends the wrong message for MJ." And what message would that be? HOW is a statue of butter sending the WRONG message for Michael Jackson? What would be a better medium for the sculpture that would send the RIGHT message? Make it out of silicone like the majority of his body parts? Construct something out of used syringes? I don't get it.


"Build a statue out of metal thats a replica of the one in the promo video for his canceled This is It tour, put it in Gary Indiana, and let it be the end of all this madness. If it worked for Freddie Mercury it will work for Michael Jackson." Wait. If WHAT worked for Freddie Mercury? Queen? Death? And while I have NO idea what this person is talking about in regard to the promo video, I don't know that a hulking metal statue of Michael Jackson in Gary, Indiana is going to signal the END of madness!

"They should have built it out of recycled tins (: You get more colour and its good for the enviroment. :D " Recycled tin what? And how exactly are tin sculptures of recently deceased pop stars "good for the environment"? I don't get it.

Yeah, they're geniuses. Or is it geniuii? Whatever it is, those are the sort of folks who listen to the PETA folks.Those comments alone should tell you plenty about the PETA organization and its followers as a whole. PETA. It should stand for Please End The Asshattery. It'd be more accurate.

I don't know that anyone should care about whether or not there is a sculpture of Michael Jackson made out of butter or anything else for that matter at the Iowa State Fair. You want to have a big butter cow next to a big butter Neil Armstrong next to a big butter Michael Jackson, have at it. I'm not going to go home and slather myself in butter because I saw those things at the State Fair. (No, I'm going to go home and slather myself in butter because that's just Friday night in my household.) I'm SO not disturbed by the fact that butter comes from cows and they're going to make a sculpture out of the cow production product. However, I AM quite disturbed by this fact: "Much of the butter is recycled and reused for up to 10 years." Wait. What?

TEN years?! REUSED?!?! Why is THAT not news?! Why am I hearing about a Buttery Jacko when the butter that is going to be used could be the same butter that was used at the fair in 1999?!? Shouldn't we be hearing about THAT?! Where do they store it over the years? One would think that 600 pounds of used fair sculpture makin' butter takes up a lot of room. That you can keep the used butter and keep on using it for up to TEN years is more of a reason for me to not want to consume butter than telling me that butter isn't a good way to honor Michael Jackson because he deserves better than butter or some crap like that. Tell me that butter is kept and used for up to ten years for this little oddity of Americana and then you'll be gettin' somewhere with me. THAT sort of logic I will listen to.

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