We At The New York Times Have Not Gone Far Enough
Here at the New York Times we believe that the most important thing is treating all people with respect, regardless of how immeasurably damaging their views have proven to be.
Gun owners? We’ve got to respect them and let them lead the way on gun change. Abortion? We should for sure defer to people who believe women are incapable of making their own decision on that. Climate change? We should listen more to people who don’t believe in it and will do nothing to prevent our cities from being submerged in water, because Atlantis was cool. The #MeToo movement should be more concerned with the feelings of the men doing the harassing.
We should just nod politely at everyone, because everyone’s views are equal in our eyes. Let a thousand intellectually rigorous flowers bloom!
It is in that spirit, that we encourage our readers to enjoy, and indeed absorb, the following profile of a member of one of America’s most neglected underclasses.
A Hearty Meal In America’s Heartland.
When it comes to food and health policies in America, shouldn’t we let a cannibal lead the way?
For this group of fine young cannibals is truly one of the most oppressed people in America. That is true, insofar as oppressed means that people do not like their harmful actions and attitudes, and sometimes say so, shouting things like “OH MY GOD HE’S EATING HIM, GOD, CALL THE POLICE, DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING.”
Those social justice warriors are just afraid of being challenged.
Don’t we need to express civility, for these, our fellow man? Should we not treat them with respect? For they, too, are Americans.
Americans who eat people.
We may not be cannibals, but that doesn’t mean we can’t meet them in middle. The exact middle, probably. Whatever the middle between “not eating human flesh” and “eating human flesh” is.
Eating, like, fingers, I guess.
I have not thought this through.
But yes, eating other people’s fingers is totally fine and that is where I stand on that.
I went with one self-proclaimed cannibal named Barry to — you guessed it! — a grocery store. You might expect Barry to engage in “free range style” cannibalism, robbing graves, killing FBI agents and so forth. So I was surprised and delighted when Barry suggested visiting a Whole Foods, an elite destination featuring, soppressata, capicollo, and other pretentious words for ham.
When I met Barry I was shocked to see him wearing a suit. He was so dapper. He shook my hand and I noticed that his hair was lustrous. Could it be from eating people? Research would tell me no, but I refuse to do that.
He immediately began talking about how much he’d loved a recent episode of The Good Place. Everyone loves The Good Place. He was just a normal person, with normal opinions — except for the fact that his favorite character was Jason, a position I gently teased him about.
“Hah,” he declared, breezing past a package of lady fingers, “I guess I won’t be needing those.” Cannibals often refer to their actions through a series of memes, jokes, and detached irony, which makes their true motives incredibly hard to identify.
“I’m going to eat that man,” Barry announced pointing to the butcher, “He is my meat cutlet now, and I’m going to eat him.”
“Ha, ha,” I replied! First a talk about The Good Place and now these wonderful jokes. This was shaping up to be a whimsical afternoon. As Barry shuffled over to the meat counter, I noticed his shoes were extremely well cleaned.
The napkin that he pulled from his pocket was monogrammed — a charming detail that almost seemed to harken back to a simpler time before we all gave into tribal mentalities and became so uncivil with one another. It was also drenched with chloroform. He swiftly brought it to the butcher’s nose.
The butcher struggled briefly, but not for long.
“Hey, pal,” Barry said to me, “Help me load this dude into the cart.”
As he tossed the butcher over his shoulder, other shoppers screaming in horror, I was touched that he used the word “pal.” That’s the kind of thing that can happen when you just get willing to get outside your comfort zone.
Pals we were.
I guess what we were doing was technically illegal, but then, I once stole a candy bar when I was seven, and Barry was stealing a body to eat. Those things strike me as exact moral equivalents.
We carried the butcher’s body to the SUV Barry drove. I can practically hear the liberals becoming “triggered” over “how much gas it uses” but it should be noted that it was very practical for his purposes of murdering and devouring human flesh, something certain East Coast elites would never understand.
“So, I said, “What kind of meat do you like best?”
“I’m not too picky,” Barry laughed, “I mean, I’ll eat a thigh, that’ll last for a long time. I don’t like brains so much, but, sometimes, sure.” He shrugged and turned on some Arcade Fire on the radio. I was shocked. A cannibal liked music, just like me!
In the back the butchers body tumbled to and fro.
Now it was time to do some tough talking. I leaned firmly on my hand and rubbed my glasses. “Do you worry at all about Kuru, the hideous neurodegenerative condition that has been proven to arise from eating human flesh?”
“Nah,” replies Barry, shaking his head calmly, “Actually, I heard on Facebook that eating people cures cancer.”
Well, everyone has their own opinion. There are no facts, only opinions.
We carried the butcher into Barry’s house, where Barry immediate carved off a chunk of his arm and began gnawing on it happily. He offered me some and I demurred because I, personally, do not like eating people, but that is not to say no one else should.
“Please,” whispered the butcher, regaining consciousness, as blood flowed freely from his arm, “Please, please, help me. This man is a monster who hurts people.”
With a litheness that seemed to speak to a time spent playing baseball — high school, perhaps? — Barry lifted a metal pipe and brought it down upon the butchers head. His eyes flickered shut.
I had to get serious.
“When people say things like that to you,” I rested my hand on Barry’s shoulder, “Does it hurt you, pal?”
He sat back, his mouth stiff full of human flesh. He swallowed and looked down at his hands. For the first time he seemed tender, and I saw the hurt that lay in his heart.
“ Yes, sure, when someone calls me a monster it hurts. Sometimes, my food says things like, “Why are you doing this, why are you killing me, I have a family, have you no decency?” And that stuff hurts.” Barry shook his head.
“They have a lot of hate in their hearts,” I replied.
“That’s why… well I guess you could say I block it out. By muffling them,” Barry replied, pointing to the now unconscious butcher. “It’s just… self care, you know?”
He shook his head again. The butcher was turning blue and seemed likely to die. I took Barry’s hand. If only people could understand that we are all flawed.
“We all have to come together”, I assured him. And it’s true. It’s only when we talk to each other with respect that we’ll make headway on policy reforms that cannibals and non-cannibals can agree on.
Not the butcher, obviously. The butcher was dead. But then, you know what they say, “He’s not me, a white person in a gentle societal bubble who is invulnerable to any harm.”
Though then I looked into Barry’s charming eyes. They looked hungry.
I honestly never saw that coming.