Friday, February 26, 2010

Bones, Vegan and The Grotesque Spectacle

Our friend Tricia has a cousin who designs Vegan clothing and one of her designs from Vaute Couture was featured two weeks ago on one of my very favourite tv shows Bones. The photo above is the coat worn in the episode that aired a couple weeks ago. We eat vegan about %50 of our meals. Maybe more. We eat vegetarian about %85 of our meals. Vegan has to be one of the most challenging ways to prepare food. It's right up there with French cooking and raw foods. And then mix in avoiding wheat or starches and it gets pretty crazy challenging. What does Michael Pollan suggest? "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." I've always been a little bit fascinated with vegan clothing. It's easy to forget that even if we avoid eating animals or we try to eat only animals that have a good life...what happens to animals who make us wool or leather? Totalitarian farming can be just as cruel on sheep that live but are shorn for wool, prematurely or living in cramped genetically altered lives.

I've only started watching the wonderful tv show Bones about 6 months ago. I kept having people tell me I would really love the program but didn't get a chance to watch all the previous seasons. (actually, a friend told me that my lack of tact and obsession with farming and human behaviour was as annoying as the lead female I had to check her out. I laugh every time she puts her foot in her mouth with a theory about is familiar ha ha) Recently I've caught up to the entrire series through reruns and I am addicted!

The characters are really terrific and inventively written. Sometimes the sight gags are so funny I guffaw all by myself. (ever noticed how we laugh louder when we share jokes?) But there I am laughing like a fool watching this show.

Bones is immediately recogniizable as following in the tradition in literature and storytelling of the grotesque. Writers like H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, Shakespeare, the Bible, William Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy and Fannery O'Connor all fit into this tradition. Most episodes of Bones begin with a grizzly set of skeleton parts. Sometimes I have to cover my eyes even though I know it's make-up and plastic and plaster and resin. The actress who stars as a forensic anthropologist is a vegan in real life and that is a totally charming inside joke. Each one of the characters has slowly emerging personalities and each person on the show really delivers. There is Dr. Jack Hodgins who is beyond rich and the set decoration on his living space is right out of the basement of Citizen Kane. Angela, the resident artist in the crime fighting crew is a sex crazed artsy fartsy urban chick. The sexual and romantic tension between the two gorgeous leads in this show is a little bit like The Odd Couple meets Moonlighting. I am nuts for the lead guy who is a total man's man type, army vet who is squeamish...squeals like a girl sometimes at corpses and blood.The program is excellent just for it's use of camp, set direction (the building they do detective forensics in is awesome!) humour, style and stories...but it's really excellent with it's development of the characters. These are deep, funny, emotional characters who are exposed little by little and a lot by a lot each episode.

The music for the show is awesome...with opening theme performed by none other than the delicious Crystal Method


"Bones Theme" — Crystal Method
"Angel" — SinĂ©ad O'Connor
"Running Up That Hill" — Placebo
"It Means Nothing" — Stereophonics
"Gone" — Thirteen Senses
"Black Star" — Eliza Lumley
"Feel It Now" — Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
"Fountain" — Sara Lov
"Something" — Cary Brothers
"Tears and Laughter" — Tall Tree 6Ft. Man
"Bring On The Wonder featuring Sarah McLachlan" — Susan Enan featuring Sarah McLachlan
"Dirty Little Secret (Thievery Corporation Remix)" - Sarah McLachlan
"Bones Theme (DJ Corporate Remix)" - Crystal Method

In literature, a character or location that is irregular, extravagant or fantastic in form. When used as a device, the purpose is often in the style of expressionism, making the grotesque a parody of human qualities or a distorted reflection of a familiar place.

In literature, when grotesque characters can sometimes more worthy than conventional ones, the intention is usually to point out that we judge by appearances, instead of looking for the personality beneath. This is a common device of fairytales, as in ‘Beauty and the Beast’.

The word grotesque comes from the same Latin root as "Grotto", meaning a small cave or hollow. The original meaning was restricted to an extravagant style of Ancient Roman decorative art rediscovered and then copied in Rome in the 15th century. The "caves" were in fact rooms and corridors of the Domus Aurea, the unfinished palace complex started by Nero after the great fire from AD 64, which had become overgrown and buried, until they were broken into again, mostly from above.
In modern English, grotesque has come to be used as a general adjective for the strange, fantastic, ugly, incongruous, unpleasant, or bizarre, and thus is often used to describe weird shapes and distorted forms such as Halloween masks. More specifically, the grotesque forms on Gothic buildings, when not used as drain-spouts, should not be called gargoyles, but rather referred to simply as grotesques, or chimeras.
From Wiki.

An article on our buddies cousin, the vegan designer can be found Time Out Chicago

Oh I know this post is already ridonkulously long...but here is a quick little recipe I'm going to make for a party tomorrow:

Cheesy Vegan Bruschetta

large tomato
1/2 cup brewer's yeast
2 tbsp rice flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 tesp tamari
2 tsps dijon mustard

I've got some wheat-free vegan "bread' for the bruschetta. And making some crackers...


2 cups spelt flour (actually, I picked up almond and rice flour instead...couldn't find spelt)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 teasp baking soda
1/2 tsp unbuffered vitamin C chrysals
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup water


Lee said...

Hi Candy, I'm just catching up reading blogs and your post caught my eye! I've had many friends tell me Bones is a great show too but I haven't checked it out yet. I've read the books the show is based on and enjoy those.

In your recipe is it perhaps nutritional yeast instead of brewers yeast? Just wondering.

Four Dinners said...

Vegan clothing?

Clothing that doesn't eat meat or fish?

I am either very confused or very relieved my jeans don't want to eat me...;-)

X. Dell said...

(1) Echo Four Dinners with the vegan duds confusion.

(2) I've never seen Bones, but right away, I think my favorite character would be Angela: artsy-fartsy and sex craved too? What more could a guy ask for?


(3) Was watching a documentary on John Waters, recently, and he said something that reminds me of the wiki-grotesque quote. In his opinion, that which is unique is truly beautiful, hence his attraction to grotesque characters, situations et al.

Food for thought (as opposed to a vegan bruschetta recipe, which is a thought of food).

Beej said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beej said...

Wow, I never heard of vegan clothes! My son had a girlfriend in the past who was a vegan. She refused to sit on my leather sofa. I had to lie and say it was vinyl just so she would sit down. they broke up after a huge fight over steak.

Gardenia said...

I love Bones too - esp. the female lead.
Someone gave me a gorgeous new pair of boots from New York - I loved them, but was sure they were leather, but in reading the label, I find the are a soft beautiful alternative so when I'm complimented on them, I ruin the aura by saying, "Yeh, I love them, and they aren't made from animals!" In most of my circles this is sort of blasphemy - but oh well. Same with my handbag, looks like leather, isn't.
Vegan is a challenge! I still like my eggs - but buy organic - cheese, learning to live without because of calories - but some good alternatives out there -
Your recipe tells me you are a purist - :)
Vegetarian - YES! I am going to health food store after church - I can't believe how sensitive my body is to meat - now that I eat so little of it - it immediately tells me - ow!
I love the grotesque - I have a dark side as you know. :)

Underground Baker said...

Haven't watched bones, but you know my affinity for beauty, be it in any form.

It's funny, I was thinking the other day of the book "A Walk on the Wild Side" by Nelson, I think. A bit of unconventional beauty captured there I think. It has been so long since I've read it. Perhaps time for another read.

Ahh, vegan. I like my cheese too much.

Don't tell me you ate those vegan crackers during the hockey game?!

Candy Minx said...

Lee, yes I meant nutritional yeast. Even though I don't know the difference. The brucetta was delicious btw.

Four Dinners, no fur or leather! Thats what vegan clothes mean.

X-Dell, how fantastic to ee you! I keep meaning to write to you about your radio play...really enjoyed it! Bones is awesome. Not only is Angela a delightful charcxter...her father is played by billy gibbons! Very funny casting as it explains her hippie dippy artsy style!

Beej, what a funny story. You're naughty to fool the girl friend!

Gardenia, knew you'd like bones and the dark side. Your boots sound fab.

Undergroudnd during the hockey game, not vegan crackers. Har! You would love Bones. The main character is a party-killer with her topics and sober delivery...just like you and I.

Ink Casualty said...

Kind of doesn't fit the comment thread but I ADORE BONES and you failed to mention the great Rob Bottin (bo-teen)is in charge of all those "meaty" FX