Overcoming those “brown streaks of greasy lard hardened to the bottom of my crock pot” People in Life

A few months ago my sink was leaking. I asked my landlord to fix it, but he was too busy not replacing the bathroom door that is too big for the frame and fooling the zoning board into believing my apartment is large enough for safe occupancy, to get to it. So I ignored the problem and stuck the ceramic insert of my crock pot underneath the leak.

This was months ago.

The leak has since been fixed by the able-bodied, bearded man who lives there 3 days a week. But the crock pot remains, surrounded by discarded by plastic shopping bags and kitchen utensils the crack-dealing tenant who previously inhabited my apartment left behind, and I never threw away, out of either respect or laziness but probably apathy. That’s how unsanitary I am.

So now the watery animal fat residue that once filled the pot has evaporated leaving nothing but a few brown streaks of greasy lard, hardened to the bottom of the formerly useful cookware, that has since been condemned.

It’s magnificent.1204122132


There are moments in life when I feel like humanity, at its best, is no better than the brown streaks of greasy lard hardened to the bottom of my crock pot, resting peacefully beneath the sink. Like when media-induced pregnancy terms (see what I did there?) turn trendy, and fully-functioning intelligent people start saying things like “preggers” and “baby bump.” Like when children dress like hookers prowling stage corners in Southern gymnasiums waiting to be judged by a panel of adults and a near empty room and TLC broadcasts it calling it “reality” TV. Like when I’m met with the realization that there might be people like this that actually exist.


I think you get my point.

Today at work, the able-bodied, bearded man sent me a link of an article on Huffington Post about  New York Post’s most recent cover story, and I was reminded of these feelings.  If you aren’t completely dead inside, you may want to cover your eyes:


Being that I’m not dead inside, looking at this completely horrified me.

The very existence of this photograph, not to mention its publication seems to prove my previous statement to be completely true. Humanity is no better than the brown streaks of greasy lard hardened to the bottom of my crock pot.

1. How could a person(among others) stand by long enough to take a photograph and not stop to help the man in need?

2. How could a person use this photograph of someone else’s last moments to further themselves by having it printed by a major publication?

3. How can enough editors at that major publication come to the joint conclusion that printing this is acceptable?

I don’t get why we as a race feed on the destruction of our own. I used to believe this resulted from some sort of conditioning we undergo by exposure to the ultra violent mainstream media that closer resembles Quentin Tarantino storyboards than legitimate journalism. But from the Colosseum, to public hangings, to CNN video clips of soldiers being beheaded, the only thing I can conclude is that this sickening voyeuristic need humans have to continue diminishing the value of their own lives by diminishing the valviolenceue of others, is somehow natural. Though it has been tempered by Western culture, it is prevalent enough to allow individuals privileged enough to land jobs at major publications, to collectively agree that this sort of thing is ok.

So, is it okay?

No. At least I don’t think so. Although history has proven that it is somehow common for humans to behave this way, I still believe it is only natural to some people. Like drug addiction or bad taste in music.

Even so, the rest of us are very stupid creatures. We continue to find shock value in the same things. We continue to reinvent political correctness instead of questioning why we have to reinvent it at all. In the case of this story, I know there will be backlash and anger and New York Magazine may lose sponsors or pull copies, who knows. But in the age of the Internet, what good will that do? The story is out there. The picture is out there. And as long as it’s there, we will bring attention to it. Like I am right now.

What we need to do is redirect our attention from the scum-sucking backwash of failed humanity, to the astounding ways humanity has and will continue to flourish. We need to forcibly detach ourselves from the things and people no better than the brown streaks of greasy lard hardened to the bottom of my crock pot, and do good. Be good. Promote good in ourselves and in each other. It won’t change things. Bad things will always happen and those people will always be their to exploit them. But they don’t have to exploit us.


The girl who means everything she says, despite the fact that she has no intentions of cleaning her crock pot.

At all.

***Though I could write a book on how strongly she detests the New Yorker after this but would rather try to keep it short and divert your attention to this.


About thegirlwiththeblog

At any given time I can be found moisturizing my elbows and searching for words that rhyme with orange.

Posted on December 4, 2012, in life lessons I never wanted to learn, ramblings about writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. That was very well written. It’s sad to see that type of stuff on the front page and how humanity reponds… However you probably should wash that crock pot.

  2. There is something particularly sick about the world we live in that that image made it on the front time of any publication.

    To answer your first question, “1. How could a person(among others) stand by long enough to take a photograph and not stop to help the man in need?”

    I read an article which had a quote from the guy who took the photograph. He claimed he was flashing his camera to get the train’s attention to make it stop. I am not sure I buy that. The photo seemed to come out pretty good.

    Why no one ran over and grabbed his arms and pulled him up I don’t understand.

  3. Thank-You – I think I felt myself push away from my desk when my eyeballs nearly landed on the computer at seeing that pic. Are people plainly put FUCKING INSANE??
    Who does that?!!!! Shew I just read the caption below the pic, its sickening,

    Do you think your crock pot is growing a new form of penicillin? Maybe you will have a cure to world diseases shortly!

    • So i take it you were one of the people who would have appreciated the warning. I’m glad most people who have commented on the original posting find horror in it. Although they are just the people who are commenting. Who knows what the rest feel.

      I am allergic to penicillin, so I really hope you are wrong about that. For my own selfish reasons of course

  4. I must say, nothing shocks me anymore. Not photographs of people pushed onto train tracks, or hardened fat streaks in a crock pot. As you alluded, it’s the continuing of the Tarantino era.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love his films, but the constant subjection to glorified violence is numbing.

    Of course, I recognize the horror of this publication and the man’s impending doom. It’s just not shocking anymore, which is sad indeed.

    • It’s not your fault, its just the society that has formed us. But it’s sad nonetheless.

      For the record, I was not trying to compare the shock of my crock pot to that of this picture, but I am glad you did it for me.

  5. Funny, as i creep up there in years, i find i’m more and more sensitive to things that in the past i could deal with.

    Also, in that one shoe ad, i like how the guy’s bike helmet looks like hair.

  6. An attempt at a joke, a success at awesomeness.

  7. Right on. That subway photo reminds me of another story – it is one of the most iconic photos of all time of a starving child in the Sudan with a vulture just a few feet away waiting to prey on the little girl. The photographer snapped the shot and sold it to the NYTimes. He won a Pulitzer for the photo but later took his own life because he was haunted by the fact that he did not help the girl and instead took the time to get the photo.
    I actually wrote a piece about this years ago after the Haiti earth quake about our fetish for Disaster Porn.
    Anyway, great article.

    • Thank you! That story is heartbreaking. I undersatnd the importance of good photography, but I don’t understand when it surpasses the importance of humanity.

      I would love to read what you wrote! Please send it my way.

  8. I just read this and still can’t believe that this actually happened. Excellent essay.

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