The Assault on Unreasonable Chickens, by Al Gore

May 26, 2007

About thirty five pages into Al Gore’s The Assault on Reason, which ibiteyoureyes is enjoying so far, the former Veep offers up the following metaphor for illustrating the dangero-hypnotic powers of television:

When I was a boy growing up on our family farm in the summers, I learned how to hypnotize chickens. You hold the chicken down and then circle your finger around its head, making sure that its eyes trace your hand movement. After a sufficient number of circles, the chicken will become entranced and completely immobile. There’s a lot you can do with a hypnotized chicken. You can use it as a paperweight, or you can use it as a doorstop, and either way, the chicken will sit there motionless, staring blankly. (What you can’t do is use it as a football. Something about being thrown through the air seemed to wake that chicken right up.)

I tried this on my girlfriend’s cat, but it didn’t work. Maybe because she only has one eye (I did not bite it). Too bad becuase she’s fat and shaped like a football and if it worked I could have called up Gore.

“Not glued to the TV, Al! I’m hypnotizing any animal I can get my hands on, in search of that one species that does work as a football.”

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