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Before I get into it

from Sunday, April20th of the year2008.

Before I get into it about Satyagraha and the Stravinsky Mass, and also how I totally saw the back of the Pope’s head yesterday, can we briefly discuss the quote, below, from the Wikipedia article on Cannibalism? It’s gross, so if you’ve come here looking for recipes for bok choy or, like, adorable choral music, check back tomorrow.

Prior to 1931, New York Times reporter William Buehler Seabrook, allegedly in the interests of research, obtained from a hospital intern at the Sorbonne a chunk of human meat from the body of a healthy human killed by accident, and cooked and ate it. He reported that, “It was like good, fully developed veal, not young, but not yet beef. It was very definitely like that, and it was not like any other meat I had ever tasted. It was so nearly like good, fully developed veal that I think no person with a palate of ordinary, normal sensitiveness could distinguish it from veal. It was mild, good meat with no other sharply defined or highly characteristic taste such as for instance, goat, high game, and pork have. The steak was slightly tougher than prime veal, a little stringy, but not too tough or stringy to be agreeably edible. The roast, from which I cut and ate a central slice, was tender, and in color, texture, smell as well as taste, strengthened my certainty that of all the meats we habitually know, veal is the one meat to which this meat is accurately comparable.”

markbittman.png Well, that’s exciting research for you. The quality of journalism really has gone downhill. Now, all we have is Mark Bittman talking about a “Hangtown Fry” and lengthy exposés on how Robert Downey, Jr. is sober now. PS, Seabrook is totally fascinating. I am going to read all his stuff. You have to love when his bio contains the sentence, “Due to his alcoholism and sadist practices they divorced in 1941.”

PS, everybody in New York needs to go see Satyagraha in a major way.


  • Hasn’t Robert Downey, Jr.’s career been one tragic decline ever since Tuff Turf?

  • I’m glad to know that I’m not the only person that looks at random wikipedia entries.

  • I’ve had Satyagraha on continuous loop these last few days. Outside the US, we have to rely on Live from the Met and vivid imagination (some evocative if low-res photos on the BBC opera website It’s also broadcast again online on Sirius on Tue, April 22, 8:00 pm ET).

  • My favorite randomly stumbled upon Wikipedia biography line is as follows,

    “She was… a reliable voice in gossip columns, aided by her quick wit and fanciful way with a four-letter word.”

  • dude, that opera is amazing amazing amazing.

  • Satyagraha was some of the best theatre I’ve seen. I can easily say that I have never been so totally absorbed by an opera before. If anyone has the chance to see it before it closes, do it.

  • William B Seabrook makes me feel like so much less of a writer, and I love him for it. Witches in East Africa are often accused of tricking children in sorcery by feeding them human flesh. One child described a dream he had about this and his description of eating humans was a lot like Seabrook’s. This kid had been a child soldier, so there might have been a lot more going on there with the dream/reality thing, though. Reading this makes me suspect it was more than this kid’s dream.
    Seabrook reminds me of Count Byron Kuhn De Prorok, who seems to have modeled his geographic explorations on dime novels and written them up as ‘anthropology’. There is sadly, no wikipedia entry for Prorok.

  • Chris-

    thanks for the link…..AMAZING!!!

  • Wow, Tuff Turf… James Spader’s career has gone stright down from there, too.