New heroes … New masculinities …

A few days ago I was sitting at Maso A Kobliha in Prague (at the recommendation of the excellent Taste of Prague Blog), savoring a plate of superlative house-smoked meat, three donuts, and tea.

By way of entertaining my vegetarian and already sugar-shocked friend, I told him about the return of butchery, a new generation, typified in The Real Meat Society, mothership of Maso A Kobliha, sister of Sansho Restaurant. (If you aren’t familiar with the revival of artisan butchery, watch this video:)

And then, inspired by the teacups sliding around on dessert plates rather than held static in a saucer, delirious from the first donut, and very glad I didn’t have to share the meat, I just kept talking. Freestyle rapper Supernatural says the voice is its own intelligence, no mere derivative of the brain. Here we go…

“It’s a new heroism, educating people to eat the whole animal, paying the farmers fairly, supporting ecological farming…” So far he understood. I stopped talking. Stared right past the second donut.

I haven’t properly written about it, but I tweeted that whistleblowing is a new archetype of heroic masculinity. It’s all that solitude, self-sacrifice, and moral righteousness, but without muscles.

Butchery, on the other hand, keeps the muscles and weapons, but surpasses the male fantasies of detachment, purity, and solitude. Butchery is all about creating and maintaining relationships, interdependency, taking responsibility, being imbricated.

Our waiter, Mikael, who looked to have the right muscles for rugby, was the first Czech we met with a sense of humour. It was his suggestion that we take all three of the remaining donuts (we obviously did not treat this as a joke). “We bake 10 donuts, sell them, and then bake 10 more. All day.” He went on to tell us that his experience is “more fun than job”. Why? “Because I know all the customers.” So if your job comes with a community, it’s fun? Imbrication reduces the indignities of wage labor?