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September 04, 2014 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-09-04

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2B - Thursday, September 4 2014

The Michigan Daily -- michigandailyat

2B - Thursday, September 4, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.

Catching, killing
and cooking a
moral meal



Y ou see them worn a wounded baitfish thrashing
everywhere hipsters on the surface, which an oppor-
congregate. Plain tunistic and hungry bluefish,
black t-shirts that bear the lurking a few feet beneath the
iconoclastic slogans of this gas- surface, finds irresistible.
tronomic John Hersey, in his book
genera- "Blues," described bluefish as
tion - our striking the lure "ike a black-
versions smith's hammer!" I think he
of "Fuck was being a bit generous. When
the a bluefish strikes, you definitely
Police," or feel its power. The line suddenly
"No Blood stiffens, the tip of the rod bends
for Oil." into an angle past 90 degrees,
I'm talk- GIANCARLO and the surface of the water
ing about BUONOMO occasionally foams up as the fish
all the wrestles to free itself from the
shirts that hooks in its mouth. But there's
proclaim "Bacon is a Vegetable," never any fear that the rod, or
or "Save a Cow ... Eat a Vegetar- the fisherman, will be pulled
ian," or any one of the countless into the water. It becomes very
variations that I've seen in visits clear, very quickly, that there is
to Williamsburg or Cambridge. a life on the end of the line that
In the last 10 years or so, re- you are about to end.
discovering and embracing our When the fish is close to the
omnivorous nature has become boat, you reach a gloved hand
our sexual revolution, and pic- into the water and lift it by the
tures of craft bacon have become tail into the boat, where it lays
our porn. At least for some of us. on the bottom with its gill flaps
I will totally and unequivo- opening and closing. This is
cally admit to being one of when things get personal. Fish
those proud and occasionally tastes the best when it's gut-
obnoxious consumers of animal ted and iced immediately after
protein. I even have a t-shirt death, because the blood and
that reads " I <3 Lard." But other fluids can oxidize and
I've become skeptical of this spoil the flesh. So it's wholly
carnivorous posturing. Many necessary to take the bluefish
of these t-shirts, bumper stick- by the tail, hang it over the
ers, buttons and banners carry side of the boat, and make a
with with them a judgement of swift cut across the gills. The
sorts, that seems to say, " You crimson blood drips into the
wimpy vegetarians don't have emerald water, followed by the
the cojones to enjoy the innate yellow and brown of the guts if
pleasures of flesh right off the you make a long slit down the
bone." But what courage does belly. The fish is ready to be put
eating meat require? Could you in a cooler full of ice.
slaughter a pig? Could you drive I've done it dozens of times,,
a knife into a lpbster? Could I? and every time I have a little,
I'm still not one of those moment where I accept respon-
people who only eats what they sibility for taking that fish's
kill themselves, but I'm getting life. This fish died because of
there, one moral meal at a time. me. I went out and put that
For the past eight years, I've hook in the water. I reeled him
gone fishing with my uncle in. I bled and gutted him. It
and cousin in Wellfleet, a small sounds depressing, but there
town located on the wrist of the is a peculiar, almost old-fash-
cartographical arm that is Cape ioned satisfaction in killing
Cod. The waters there are a your own food. It's an intimacy
virtual aquarium of edible spe- with your product and your
cies: Stripers, Black Bass, Tuna. meal,'a veritable seasoning
But the only fish I ever set out guaranteed to make even a sim-
to catch, kill and eat is the ever- ple piece of fish taste better.
ferocious and tastyPomatomus Whenever I catch a bluefish,
saltatrix, better known as the I always cook it for dinner that
Bluefish. night. Each fish yields two fat,
Catching bluefish isn't very tapering filets of gray-blue
hard. They're a fish with an flesh. Even when all I have are
appetite like that of a wolf and the filets on my cutting board,
a medieval king combined, with I can still picture the particu-
no limits on either the type or lar fish that once owned them,
amount of food. All one has to the fish that I killed. With this
do is go about a half-mile off- knowledge, I'm motivated to
shore, attach a lure called a sur- do my absolute best with those
face popper to your rod and cast gray-blue filets, to cook and
out. When reeled in quickly, the eat them with the passion they
lure mimics the movements of deserve.

Some people complain that
bluefish is too oily and fishy-
tasting, but this is a non-issue if
cooked correctly. I begin with a
charcoal fire, and let the coals
burn down to a nice yellow-
red glow. Then, I give each
filet adifferent flavoring. One
gets slices of butter and lemon
arranged in an alternating pat-
tern on top, and the other gets
a thin coating of mustard and
mayonnaise. Either way, the
point is to keep the fish moist
while cutting its natural rich-
ness. Being hardy and fatty,
bluefish is easy to cook. I just
place both filets skin-side
down on the grill, put the cover
on, and let them bake. After
about 10 minutes, I periodi-
cally sticka fork in the thickest
part of the filet. When the fork
goes through the meat without
effort, it's done.
Could you
slaughter a pig?
Could you kill
a lobster?
I used to not like sea crea-
tures, but bluefish made me a
convert. The flesh, when cooked
properly, is so soft and succu-
lent that a baby could eat it. And
with fish caught that day, there's
no fish market smell or taste,
just a natural brininess and
clean richness.
When one is passionate, or
even obsessive tbotsut food, mop
meals are made ever-so-slightly
bittersweet by the knowledge of
other meals. When I eata great
bagel in Boston, even if it has a
light, crisp exterior and chewy,
dense interior, the knowledge
that some better bagel exists in
New York is always in the back
of my mind. And when Iteata
flawless bowl of ramen in New
York, I know that somewhere in
Sapporo lies abetter bowl.
To catch and eata bluefish
in Wellfleet is to enjoy a meal
without this doubt. By catching
it myself, I know how that fish
died, how long it has been out of
the water, how it was bled and
gutted and filleted and cooked.
It's a rare meal, a moral meal,
about which I can proudly and
confidently proclaim: No one is
eating abetter bluefish than me
Buonomo is never going vegan.
To convince him otherwise,
e-mail gbuonomo@umich.edu.


Will Bedell's work deals with the ephemeral and dark side of the human psyche.

ManagingArts Editor
The last thing William BeDell
says after being interviewed is,
"I hope I didn't say 'pussy' too
He's smirking, shirtless, in
front of a mass of piled painted
doors - his artwork - asa pho-
tographer casually clicks away
shots to be used in this profile.
An old record player blares
punk music in the background.
A tiny twin bed is littered with
old clothes, scrappy books and
drying paint stains. An empty
bottle of champagne skulks,
rolls on the ground. The room
is small, but like everything else
inside, it has character.
BeDell, an Art & Design
senior, hesitated for a while as
he answered questions, linger-
ing on the words and glancing
back at his work for inspiration.
When asked what pushed him
to develop an interest in art,
he shrugged before saying, "I
don't know - I just always did
it. I drew when I was younger.
I kept drawing, and when I fig-
ured I wasn't smart enough to
get where I want, I drew even
harder, painted, and then I
:came here."
He, spoke morg confideny
after the brief pauses that came
at the ends of his sentences,
making quick references to
all the past projects cluttered

around the room. "It has been
described as angsty," BeDell
said while discussing his paint-
ing, "but I wouldn't always say
that. It's usually whatever's in
my brain and whatever, from
there, I want to come out, so
it becomes kind of a diary of
Pointing to a large door
with the word "pussy" embla-
zoned across in bright letters,
he joked, "I guess this could
be kind of angsty but it's more
reflective of what I'm thinking
and feeling all the time really."
He got the idea to paint large,
non-traditional pieces on dis-
carded doors from his tendency
to "go big" - a phrase he throws
around alot - in mostaspects of
his creativity. Instead of opting
for the customary cloth canvas
most commonly representative
of his medium, BeDell believes
splashing his thoughts on large
boards of wood can add depth
to an otherwise flat creative
He did one of his earliest
door paintings while studying
abroad in London, and already
intrigued by the ability to scale
out his compositions, decided to
use the new technique as part of
his senior thesis project.
"I, was.,rlawing,. painting,
went to a lot of good shows -
a lot of the pieces I made there
were inspired by these really
great blues bars I went to," he

said. "I painted big, I painted
all the time and it was great
because I hated it, which let me
make some good work."
Usingthat experience, BeDell
is trying to formulate an idea
for his final year project. His
dollection of piecea, along with
those of every graduating Art &
Design student, will be show-
cased at the end of the school
year in a special gallery. In the
meantime, DeBell hopes to find
more galleries to display his
paintings, collectively dubbed
"the door show."
"I'm trying to look at how to
create a space with painting,
and make it more multidimen-
sional than just a piece hanging
on walls, because I really like
the action of swinging the doors
open to see the other side," he
said. "I really want to invite
viewers to geta chance to touch
the paintings and interact with
them in amore meaningful way
than just sitting and staring."
BeDell is still in the process
of laying out a definitive post-
graduation plan but he wants to
locate a larger space in Detroit
to continue developing his artis-
tic style.
"I'm hoping I can also hit the
road a little bit and get some
experience traveling. Just keep
myself working hard as ever,"
he added, before asking, "By the
way, do I need to put a shirt on
for the pictures?"
I E \A 4



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