Sunday, October 22, 2006

Human Flesh: the other white meat

A new Japanese wine-tasting robot has a disturbing thing to say about human flesh:
When a reporter's hand was placed against the robot's taste sensor, it was identified as prosciutto. A cameraman was mistaken for bacon.

HT: Majikthise, who says "We're done for." I disagree. There's no reason robots would want to eat bacon or prosciutto. Lindsay is projecting her own appetites on to the robot, who, unless it was designed by a movie-villain creator, would be unable to derive nourishment from either bacon or human flesh.

The danger is now that the information is out there that humans taste like yummy pork products, there will be more cannibalism.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

long pig


7:43 AM, October 23, 2006  
Blogger Zachary Drake said...

Thanks for posting, ml (you're the "ml" I know, right?).

Yes, it's sad that human's pork-like taste was known before the magic abilities of the tasting robot, hence "long pig". I had forgotten about this, but numerous other commenters reacting to this story in other places have mentioned this culinary term for human.

Here's a thought: many of our culinary terms for animal flesh are derived from a French word (beef, pork, poultry) even when the word for the animal is not (cow, pig, chicken). So instead of "long pig", maybe we should call human flesh "homey" or some other aglicization of the French word homme. Or maybe we should avoid a sexist derivation and call it "oomanitay" or something.

Of course, there's already the term "manbeef", from the famous hoax site that purported to sell human flesh.

9:37 AM, October 23, 2006  
Anonymous Mad Latinist said...

Yes, that was me. I was using my PDA to access the internet, and it was allergic to the java-scripts necessary to sign in as "other."

Note that in Latin the normal way to specify a meat is to take the adjectival form of the animal, and put it in the feminine. Thus:

bubula beef
gallinacea chicken
porcina, suilla pork

...and so on. So not surprisingly, when this subject comes up in Roman literature, human meat is refered to as humana.

10:16 PM, October 23, 2006  
Anonymous Tim said...

Good Job! :)

4:29 PM, July 11, 2008  

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