Tuesday, July 15, 2008

happy-sad tomato

This dear little one found its way into the home and heart of Rachel Corry (of Vegetable Parinirvana fame), who generously passed on the photo for the benefit of the select inner circle known as Weird Veg readers. It's as if the tomato had been intended to reach a certain size but then decided all of a sudden that it had achieved an almost-perfect state of roundness and that it would rather just stop there.

Despite it's cheery aspect, I associate this tomato with that class of things that adults present to children as being full of joy and amusement but that induce quite the opposite feelings of either despair or terror. There is something in the overblown redness and roundness of this tomato, combined with its deflated pointing tip, that remind me of the 1956 French film The Red Balloon, recently remade into The Flight of the Red Balloon by Chinese director Hou Hsiao Hsien. Take a look at this kid and tell me he doesn't make you want to bawl into your oatmeal.

A trace of the fearful arises from the tomato's resemblance to a classic clown nose. At this cultural moment in time, I don't think I need to elaborate much on why clowns occupy the realm of both the tragic and terrifying, at least in North America. Zippy and Stephen King's It clown have laid much of that groundwork already. If you're looking to cleanse your palate and go in the direction of tomato-cuteness, check out the album and song of the Portland multi-culti orchestral group Pink Martini called "Hang on Little Tomato" right here.

No comments: