What if Satan was more than a Christian fairy tale? The thought, in some form or another has occurred to many of us. Perhaps ‘he’ represents some aspect of humanity – the personification of our ‘evil’ instincts? My response is NO – the true Satan is something more sinister, more hidden, more occult than any coven, cabal or dark inner desire – the Devil is Cheese.
Yes, cheese – where did it come from? Seriously, are discriminating adults such as ourselves to suppose for one moment that someone somewhere sometime ‘accidentally’ created cheese? And how, exactly, is cheese made? If black magic exists anywhere in this world it is in the manufacture (or I should say ‘alchemy’) of cheese; start with mammary excretion, add ‘rennet’, bacteria, and (sometimes) mold, then age - the result – the single most diversely tasty substance known to man. “Yes but cheese is a gift, if anything, a product of God,” you might say and it wouldn't be possible for you to be any more distracted by the artful guiles of the dark, horned lord. Cheese is a curse – it clogs our arteries and makes our women fat. Vegetarians and carnivores alike amongst our diverse human race fall victim to the curse of cheese. Every culture, every people is touched - from Swiss to Jack, to Cottage to Feta to Cream; it kills us from the inside, slowly, insidiously hardening our very organs until the little angel manning our vital pump collapses from fatigue. Yet despite the danger, we find it irresistable!
Perhaps the more astute amongst you have already spotted this next, most evincing posit; I ask you what form is the devil assigned? Perhaps he is a goat, perhaps a larger mammal, but what all accounts share in common is his hooves and horns – both indicative attributes of cheese-producing species! Goats, cows, buffaloes, oxen, name it and man draws from its uddery loins the source of cheese!
Now we begin to see that our earlier, less abstraction-addled, ancestors were fully aware of the insidious nature of cheese, manifest in their apt choice of iconography. Yet even with this knowledge, they were unable to resist and the grip of cheese spread, like so much velveta, from the weak susceptible goat herders to even the must cultured and civilized.
Recognize that even the foulest, most rank cheese is consumed, much less, revered – Limberger, Gruyere – need I say more? And what demonic mind devised Gorgonzola and Stilton? How can something so coagulably foul, so opprobiously noxious, taste so brazenly wonderful? Did god intend so many heady, rich flavors to exist? No! God invented pure flavors like apple, cloves, beef and cherry cola. Sharp Cheddar – my god, is the world blind?
Here’s an interesting little appurtenance – Rennet – what is it? Rennet is the magical little substance that makes cheese possible. Nobody knows exactly what it is, all they know is that if you sacrifice a newly-born calf and cut open its stomach – there you’ll find it. The origin of cheese is in animal sacrifice! Even the most incredulous must admit that the evisceration of calves is at least a little bit satanic.
Even the word ‘cheese’ is shrouded in mystery. Etymologists and epicures alike are ignorant of its true origin. Some claim that its Latin progenitor, caseus, shares its source with caput – meaning ‘head’ (and the origin of words such as ‘chief’ and 'cap'). Could cheese have been recognized by pre-Latins as the ‘head’ evil or the ‘godhead’ of sin?
Phonetically, the word ‘cheese’ is a single utterance requiring the wide stretching of the mouth in a toothy grin – is it any wonder the word is traditionally called for to induce smiles in photographic situations? Yet, it is not a ‘nice’ smile that ‘cheese’ summons. Say it in a mirror – notice that your expression is more akin to a jackal finding an infant unattended than a sign of pleasant human warmth? That’s Satan smiling back at you – his subtle joke – smiling at your downfall, reveling in your ignorance and self inflicted demise.
Next time you’re enjoying a nice cheeseburger, pizza, greek salad or fondu(!) take a moment to regard just who you’re paying homage. Savor that flavor on your tongue, enjoy the texture – the silky smooth demonic curd, knowing full well that you are going straight to hell!