Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Take: The Bald Butcher

      Pain I say! Horrible unending pain! I love ever decadent moment of it. Am I a glutton for pain itself ? Nah .....nothing so grandiose . What I am is just a glutton. Here is how it happened.
      About a week ago my boss at work decided to tease me about BBQ . Bad move man . No one is more of a critic about anything than me....I walked out of the second Riddick movie because it was horrid. I have my own rating system for movies ,very eclectic taste in music and I am super hard to please when it comes to food. Impossible to please because in general terms I am the best cook on the planet and therefore have the qualifications to make judgement on the quality of any food in the universe. Period. I could be a bit narcissistic....maybe.  Back on point.
      So I have been Jonesing for BBQ for about a week. Not ribs, not just whatever ,but I have been craving a BBQ sandwich ,with mild sauce and slaw. Been thinking about it alot so yesterday I decide to call across the street to the Bald Butcher and have myself a BBQ sandwich.
     I mosey on over to pick up my order and it was $8.42  and I hurry back to my work place with my prize like the Golem and his ring. I sat down and THIS is what I saw

  I am in awe of the sheer SIZE of it....the HOMEMADE potato chips were a surprise . So seeing that I love surprises I try them first ....thicker than store bought and they taste like potato....awesome . With just a hint of salt . high and above the potato flavor like a horn playing a melody over a deep rich bass line. Truly a work of art. Then the fun starts I taste the beans. I had asked for a SMALL helping of beans . I thought it would balance out the BBQ .Oh no ....the chips did that ..the beans made the meal richer and presented my palate with a entirely new band of flavor to deal with. I went from a slow nice mellow waltz to a full on deep south blues jam. .My brain was smoking trying to process all of the input it was receiving. The beans look like this...
I found that I had not one but two cups of slaw and two cups of mild sauce. HARDCORE! What can I say about the BBQ it's self....nothing. I was speechless . It defies language . I would have to make up a word . I mean ,what is better than fantasticaly ginormously Awesomest? Now keep in mind folks that I am the guru of BBQ and by golly West Tenn has the best in the world , I have eaten BBQ from Memphis to Norfolk and beyond and this is the best I have ever had. The sauce is simply amazing . Not too sweet . Unlike Kansas City BBQ and KC has no right to even make BBQ and for KC to have a reputation as a BBQ city is undeserved at best . THIS is BBQ at its finest. After 20 min of eating I was down to the above picture. I ate it all ....ALL I SAY !! Thus the pain!I could not stop . It was an experience that you must have for yourself. Try it right now. They could cut this sandwich in half and still charge the same and it would be worth every dime. I cannot say enough about it to tell you how good it really is...just! I command thee....EAT THE SANDWICH . Enough of that. It is truly a thing of beauty.
    I would also like to point out that on Fridays for lunch the catfish is most surely to die for. Best I have ever had and being an avid consumer of copious amounts of food that is no small thing. Billings Bald Butcher is the place for BBQ and Fish in Covington TN...well pretty much anywhere in the mid south. Say hi to Lynn and the folks. They will always be glad to see ya! World class food,World Class Service! You would do yourself a favor by dropping in and seeing for yourself. !

Saturday, December 24, 2011

My Take: The Serpent and the Rainbow

       Again I am kicking back on a friends couch . We have watched several movies today . None worth writing about . So I decided to change the pace and watch "The serpent and the Rainbow" . My right hand is killing me ,I think that there is a cold front coming through . So in we settle to watch.
      The Serpent and the Rainbow was released in 1988. It was based on a book of the same name by ethnologist Wade Davis.  The film ,like the book relate Davis's experiences in Hatti investigating Clairvius Narcisse a man who was poisoned then released from his grave. He was purportedly given a herbal brew which made him into a zombie.
       It turns out that this poison was real after all . Tetrodotoxin to be exact . It is blown into the victims face causing a deathlike pallor. There is a whole cult of these people who eat glass and are not cut .Jam rods through thier bodies and feel no pain and do not bleed ,chew coals from a fire and are not burned . Says alot for mind over matter. At one point during this party the bad guy decides to bang his spoon on a glass and for some reason it makes the demon possessed people very angry and they become violent. I do not understand voodoo at all.  Anyway this is getting more into a report on the whole zombie phenomena , real zombies that is, as opposed to the brain eating Romero  brand. The movie has voodoo ,suspense , a fainting goat . A dude gets his balls nailed to a chair. Same guy gets buried alive ,turned into a zombie and with the help of a spirit guide in the form of a jaguar ,defeats his enemies and escapes with his life. In reality the drug has been a boon to the medical field . While an excellent film I wouldn't want to see this again for another 10 years or so.  

Friday, December 23, 2011

My Take :2001 a Space Odyssey

            Last night while Kicking back on a friends couch which now is my custom . We decided to view Stanley Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey. The director  is known for his slow method of working and for using innovative filming techniques . Such as in  2001 where nine years before Star Wars Kubrick used "traveling matte photography " to film the space scenes .  On to the film.
      2001 is a spartan film with little dialogue , long panoramic views and little in the way of narrative.The film can be viewed in three parts. These are .
  1. The dawn of man
  2.  Jupiter Mission
  3. Beyond the Infinite

          Lets start with the Dawn of Man . I could get into the religious issues here. Truly , I was not allowed to watch this film nor was I allowed to read the books due the topic of evolution that is covered here , also the Idea that there is other life in the universe . So we will stay away from all that and just say..this is a work of fiction. It acknowledges that it is fiction and does not in any way try to present itself as truth. Nuff said.
     The dawn of man opens with a tribe of early man . Apes really . They are starving and eating plants and getting into shouting matches with neighboring tribes over  what little water they have.  Then one day a monolith appears near thier little cave . They show fear, curiosity, anger ,then courage . They touch the monolith . Sometime later one of the apes is standing on top of a pig skeleton , which litters the landscape and picks up a bone. He slowly figures out that he can beat the holy hell out of everything near him with it. and soon literates the rest of the tribe to this and they are soon in control of the water and eating a seemingly endless supply of meat .That was the point . The monolith apparently set down by an advanced civilization to give other life forms an evolutionary push. In the novel written by Aurthur C. Clarke this is explained n full and the evolutionary steps of the people who own the monolith are explained in greater detail. The monolith is seemingly some sort of sentient machine. Another monolith is found . On the moon. Man yet again touches it. Then takes pictures. This time the monolith emits some sort of angry sounding signal . What the great evolutionary step this inspires is not explained.Other than to say the signal is on it's way to the Jovian system.
    Jupiter mission  is the voyage of the "Discovery" . In this segment the Discovery enters the Jovian system and we get a glimpse into the lives of Frank Poole and David Bowman . They are kept company by the Hal 9000 computer .  Hal tells Dave that the communication array is damaged so Poole goes to repair it.   Poole's pod under the control of Hall severs the O2 hose of  Poole's suit and sets him adrift. Dave ,unaware if Hals treachery goes out in another pod and retrieves Poole's body but is denied entry into the Discovery. Setting Poole adrift (not to be seen again till 3001) Dave gains entry into the ship and disables Hal by removing his memory with a screwdriver. Hal protesting all the while. Then the Discovery encounters another monolith . Which Dave decides to visit, even though he is the only human for millions of miles.
     The last segment is called "Jupiter and beyond the infinite" in this segment we see Dave visit the monolith and (in the book ) exclaim "My God, it's full of stars" . This quote is not in the movie. What we see in the movie is Dave traveling through a "Star Gate " of psychedelic effects interspersed with still photos of Dave in different stages of fear and terror . Once this 20 min ride is done .Dave is seen twitching with his mind whole blown. in a Louie XVI style bedroom in which he sees himself as an older man ,formally dressed eating dinner and then as a very old man dying on his bed. As he sees each of these versions ,his perspective then changes to that version . As an old man he sees a monolith at the foot of the bed ,watching him. As he tries to touch it he is transformed into a fetus encased in a globe of light and is seen watching the earth.     
      The meaning of all of these things is clear when reading Clarke's novel. However not so much when viewed as the movie ,without the novel the movie becomes a surreal mind trip only with the novel does the story take on a sold structure and make more sense. Either way this movie is worth a Nth viewing. It is followed by the film "2010 the Year Me Make Contact."  and the book is followed by 2010,2061 and 3001 . Much has been made of interpreting the film . The soundtrack with "Atmospheres" by Ligeti being the most poignant to my mind and used for each monolith appearance as well as the music to end the intermission . There are many instances of symbolism and all are open to interpretation, from the floating Pen vs the Bone to spaceship bit , to the Man discovers tools to Hal running amok as man looses control of his tools . And on and on . Do a web search and read these things for your self . There are too many to count . Epic is word i would use. Enjoy!