Delicious Figs

Perhaps no fruit plays a greater role in ancient cultures than the noble fig. Subfossil figs have been found in Jordan that predate the domestication of even wheat and rye. The fruit also appears in many religious traditions, for instance the leaves of the fig tree were used, according to the Book of Genesis, as the first underwear.

No man may understand the fig like albertluk6043382973, a gentleman whose enjoyment of this fruit borders on the perverse. In his instructional video he shows the viewer exactly how to determine the fruit’s ripeness and how then to pluck it from the branches. Gently, he caresses the purplish skin, stretched taut by the bloated flesh within. With the intensity of an amateur pornographer he focuses our gaze on the ostiole, open and secreting a sugary dew.

Soon though, his movements become more daring. Grasping the fig with one hand he begins to twist the stem; splitting the skin with his fingers. Finally, released from the branch of its birth, he brings it towards us, tearing it open to reveal the sticky interior, flush and glistening. Only when we have drunk in this sight does the shirtless man bring the fig to his lips and devour it with an ardor tempered by months of desire and need. Here, truly, is a man whose love for the fig is unmatched. He is part of a long tradition, possessing a deep understanding of the natural eroticism of the Ficus carica — and in that knowledge he revels. Juice running down his face, he celebrates; for now is the time for figs.

Ray Bradbury (Reluctantly) Sells Prunes of the Future

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(via Jill Tracy and BB.)

In this hilarious Sunsweet commercial from 1967, stylish space mod people frolic through a seri3z ov to0bz, and an indignant Ray Bradbury finds himself hawking The Prunes of Tomorrow. (Tomorrow being the year 2001, natch.) Prune fart-powered jet-packs are not envisioned in this scenario BUT THEY SHOULD BE, DAMN IT.

The End Of History: Beer For Expensive Tastes

For many there is nothing like the taste of an ice cold beer on a hot summer day. For others, there is nothing like the taste of a beer brewed by gnomes on some remote mountain in the Himalayas at a rate of twenty bottles a year. You have met these people, no doubt, and they have explained to you in great depth just why you have never truly tasted an ale until you have quaffed one which has had its ingredients massaged by the tiny, nimble hands of Himalayan gnomes.

For those people Scottish brewery BrewDog has created The End of History. At 55% alcohol by volume it is currently the world’s strongest beer. BrewDog is making 11 bottles of the stuff which will come in two editions: Stoat and Squirrel, priced at $763.00 and $1068.00 respectively, making them also the most expensive beer at the moment. Also, in case you haven’t noticed, the beer comes in bottles — bottles that have been inserted into nattily dressed stuffed stoats and gray squirrels like furry, taxidermy beer-cozies which, at that price, is really the least BrewDog could do for it’s customers. Much higher and I would expect something endangered impaled on my drink or, perhaps, a rhino’s horn bottle opener. Further details, instructions for proper consumption can be found at BrewDog’s website.

via Asylum : Thanks, chesh!

Key Lime Pie

From Trevor Jimenez comes the story of a man’s deadly addiction to one sugary, citrus dessert. 2007’s Key Lime Pie features a heavy, film noir veneer, complete with a hardened narrator who sounds as though he’s smoked since birth or, perhaps, needs to eat more fiber. Also, consider this: Death in a trench-coat sporting a Thompson submachine gun scythe. How can you resist?

Tom Rubnitz: Sexy, Wiggy, Desserty

Feeling… peckish?

“I wanted to make things beautiful, funny and positive – escapes that you could just get into and laugh through. That was really important to me. I felt like good could triumph over evil.” –Tom Rubnitz

Glory be to the man behind the pickle, not to mention Strawberry Shortcut, Frieda the “Living Doll”, the original Wigstock:The Movie, and dozens of other delectable tidbits. Rubnitz died tragically young of AIDS in 1992, but his amazing video shorts have survived, and they’re such a joy to see.  Via Golden Age:

An expert in genre manipulation and campy hilarity, Rubnitz’s films could only have come from the eccentric East Village during the ‘80s New York art scene. Having grown up in a generation of television junkies as opposed to museum-goers, Rubnitz felt compelled to appropriate more from the mass media than the art world. He mixed drag queens with cooking shows, saluted motherhood with Frieda, the wholesomely creepy “living” doll, and consistently offered us a portal into unique and comical escapism.

Rubnitz worked with many talented musicians and artists in his films and videos, including the late John Sex, Happi Phace, the B-52s, Lipsynchia, Ann Magnuson, Quentin Crisp, Michael Clark, and Lady Bunny. Viewers will surly be enthralled by John Sex’s unique musical talent and sock-stuffed crotch as he performs with the Bodacious Ta-Ta’s in two music videos and is uncovered in a rockumentary called John Sex: The TrueStory. Rubnitz loved Drag Queens, which many of his films are a testament to. Wigstock: The Movie documents Lady Bunny’s annual event, “storywig-in,” a parody of Woodstock (particularly noteworthy is the rendition of Janis Joplin). And in the Drag Queen Marathon participants are pitted against each other to see who can endure relentless photo opportunities.

These glitzy, hallucinogenic shorts paint a loving portrait of the East Village, a regular of nightlife hot spots like Club 57 and the Pyramid Club. Since we live in an equally politically bleak time, Rubnitz’s films may feel strangely contemporary to us as they offer a glimpse into the repressed underground hedonism of the New York underground scene during the Reagan era. Alternative artist spaces, which were characteristic of the East Village, weren’t simply stepping-stones to becoming commercial galleries. They fostered a genuine alternative to the dominant culture of the time.

Still from Strawberry Shortcut.

A while back, the time-honored Chicago-based Video Data Bank institution started offering Sexy, Wiggy, Desserty— a compilation of all of Rubnitz’s most beloved underground hits. I have a feeling it must have been a limited release, because it’s currently selling on the Golden Age website for a whopping 50 bucks! I’m not finding it anywhere else for less. If any of you guys have better luck, please give me a shout. Otherwise I may just bite the pickle and shell out fiddy clams… happily! Rubnitz & Co are totally worth it.

Also see:

Mystery Presents: Banquet Frozen Dinners

Banquet would like to present to you it’s newest frozen dinner concoction: giblet gravy, sliced turkey…and murder! No, not murder, but there most certainly could be. It is obvious though that housewife Cynthia has had her mind shattered by the prospect of such an easy to prepare and savory meal; that or she has stopped taking her lithium again. Still, I maintain that the combination of formal wear, opulent setting, and thunderstorm most definitely points towards the possibility of murder, most fowl or otherwise.

(Yeah, I hate myself for that too.)

BTC: Jim Henson’s ads for Wilkins Coffee

Just a wee bit o’ vintage muppet-on-muppet violence to kick start your morning. The backstory, via Wikia:

In 1957, Jim Henson was approached by a Washington, D.C. coffee company to produce commercials for Wilkins Coffee. The local stations only had ten seconds for station identification, so the Muppet commercials had to be lightning-fast — essentially, eight seconds for the commercial pitch and a two-second shot of the product.

From 1957 to 1961, Henson made 179 commercials for Wilkins Coffee and other Wilkins products, including Community Coffee and Wilkins Tea. The ads were so successful and well-liked that they sparked a series of remakes for companies in other local markets throughout the 1960s.

The ads starred the cheerful Wilkins, who liked Wilkins Coffee, and the grumpy Wontkins, who hated it. Wilkins would often do serious harm to Wontkins in the ads — blowing him up, stabbing him with a knife, and smashing him with a club, among many other violent acts.

Food About You

For your consideration: Alexandre DUBOSC‘s short stop-motion film Food About You — to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Annecy film festival — in which a chocolate cake is made in the traditional manner.

BTC: Whippit, Whippit Good

G’morning, loves. Forgive me, for my eyes are bleeding and my brain is fried, and all you’re getting for breakfast is N2O:

This image just mysteriously showed up on my portable hard drive. No idea where it came from. It appears to be vintage packaging for nitrous cannisters, ostensibly used for whipping cream. But judging by the blonde’s glassy-eyed, idiotic stare, the gas may have been used for more, um, unsavory recreational purposes.

Sweet Excess: Rococo Cookies by Amber Spiegel

These cookies first made a cameo appearance (YOU SEE WHAT I DID THAR?) over at our now-closed Tea & Cookies with Coilhouse Q&A session at Whitechapel, prescription but I feel that they deserve to be immortalized on the blog as well. The cookies are crafted by Chicago-based Amber Spiegel. Amber sometimes sells batches of her cookies at her SweetAmbs shop on Etsy, but currently, her shop is on hiatus. However, you can still see the cookies in full glory over at her blog! Monogrammed cookies. Brush embroidery cookies. Edible cameos. Tea set, antique shoe, ballet slipper, Houndstooth pattern and polka dot button cookies. In addition to the cookies, Amber chronicles her experiments in cake decorating and occasionally shares recipes, such as this one for cocoa meringues. A sight for sore eyes!