Nietzsche's Angel Food Cake: And Other "Recipes" for the Intellectually Famished

Sample: Ayn Rand’s Head Cheese



•  A pig. • Salt and silence.
•  Your body. • Onions.
•  Laughter. • Celery.
•  The ocean. • Parsley.
•  Your privates. • Red pepper.
•  Manly clothes. • Recollections.
•  Water. • Happiness.


1. Stand naked at the edge of a granite cliff. Laugh, letting no one know why.

2. Lean your taut body, oh my godless God, back against the granite. Feel how the spray rising from the roaring ocean far below tickles your orange short hairs. A single thought will take shape in your groin brain: “Head cheese.”

3. A pig will approach. That pig needs you. Lift the pig without effort, and smash its head into granite. Ho ho ho ho ho. One brief moment in battle, and all that.

4. Now put on your dirty shirt with rolled sleeves and your trousers smeared with stone dust. Bloody them with the pig’s heart and skull as you carry them to your kitchen, where you will rip the fat from the insides of the skull and submerge the skull in brine in a large pot. Let the skull sit as you recall your and the pig’s brief, shared moment. Then rinse the skull and cover it with fresh water. Happiness is always private.

5. The kitchen’s silence will catch your thoughts and hold them. This is when you should add the pig’s heart to the pot and set everything to boil.

6. Oh, blessed be the tie that binds! Now! Go! Chop the pig’s heart!

7. You are handsome like a law of nature, and no one can quite name why.

8. Onions, celery, parsley, and red pepper must all sacrifice their vegetable existences. Chop them, add them, and, in an uncharacteristic gesture of tenderness, as the brew boils think with curiosity of the pig. Always the pig. The meat will separate from the skull.

9. Strain away the water so that you can shape what remains and refrigerate it. But do not look at it, except with contempt. That should drive it wild.

10. Remember the cliff. Remember the rocks holding you firmly.

11. In the kitchen, step as if to the edge of the cliff. Don’t be shy. Raise your arms as if to dive, or in salute to the sacrifices you require of others. This moment is like a point reached, a stop in the movement of your life.

12. And you look Olympian.

13. But fat lot of good that will do you with the authorities.

14. The days ahead will be difficult, with questions to face. Accept that if you kill the pig alone, you eat head cheese that way, too.

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This is from NIETZSCHE’S ANGEL FOOD CAKE: And Other “Recipes” for the Intellectually Famished, a gift book available in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle. 

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