Sunday, February 05, 2006

Why did the chicken cross the road?

I know I am a couple of days late, but Skeptico is celebrating the first blogiversary with a wonderful list of responses to the old question "Why did the chicken cross the road?". Instead of the standard list of Einstein, Freud, Plato, Colonel Saunders etc., Skeptico assembled a list of well-known quacks, pseudoscientists, IDiots and then, in the end, the skeptical bloggers. He REALLY nailed Orac! Very funny. Go say Hi to Skeptico.

And then I thought, why not try some of the recent political theorists. Feel free to add more in the comments.

Thomas Frank:

Why did the chicken cross the road in the middle of Topeka when it is against its economic interests? What's wrong with Kansas chickens?

Stephen Ducat:

The chicken crossed the road due to its fear of appearing feminine in front of his male friends. He is much more likely to overcome the fear of crossing roads than to overcome the fear of having his (likewise femiphobic) buddies see that he is afraid of Hillary Clinton as a personification of Vagina Dentata.

George Lakoff:

"Chicken crossing the road" is a slogan that came out of Frank Luntz framing factory in the 1990s. Democrats are not going to win any elections as long as they believe that Truth will set you Free. It does not matter that it is true that chicken never crossed the road. What matters is that, through years of repetition, every mention of chickens, crossings and roads, automatically elicits conservative frames. The phrase appeals to the conservative moral core. Every time a liberal goe son TV and states that "Chicken Did Not Cross the Road", the conservative frame is strengthened. When Nixon siad "I am not a crook" what did everyone listening think of? Crooks, of course. Just negating a frame does not counter it. It reinforces it. Liberals have to come up with their own ways of saying the truth that the chicken did not cross the road, ways that do not automatically invoke the conservative frames. How about, for instance: "America is strong only if all poultry remains on the same side of the street"?

Michael Parenti:

Chicken crossed the road because it is Superpatriotic. A real patriot does not need to cross the road. A real patriot defends his country by remaining on the right side of the road.

Anyone dare do Chomsky?

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