Another fucking meat story…

So, once again our instructors, in their infinite wisdom, have chosen a class text that is overwhelmingly preoccupied with “meat.”  We’ve seen it before.  Most prominent amongst the stories we’ve read this semester with a flesh-obsession would have to Neuromancer: Case despises the “prison of the flesh,” dismisses the materialism of “meat toys.”  Gibson summarizes his sentiments to reducing most flesh to “vat meat” which is, ostensibly, meat that has been cultured and grown in vats.  In Who Goes There? and The Things, there is likewise an obsession with meat, or perhaps more correctly with “biomass”.  Unlike Case’s lofty indifference to the flesh, the characters in Campbell’s story are terrified of it, while Watts’ creatures protect it dearly.

And so, the class mindset is cemented for The House of the Scorpion, in which we are presented with the tale of another slab of meat.  Matteo is essentially vat meat (albeit a product somewhat less streamlined and sterile than what Gibson hinted at, and infinitely more human).  His birth or, to borrow from Shelley, creation scene is decidedly more organic.  And, honestly, my own thoughts of vat meat tends to jump to something a bit more like this. Additionally, Matt has the terrible misfortune of being a self-aware piece of vat meat.  As you can imagine, this is problematic.

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