Amber the Quisling Chikin Says…

Every day is chicken day around here, but today people are making an effort to eat at Chick-fil-A in order to offset the boycott directed at the chain because its owner opposes gay marriage. As I pointed out here, I don’t really object to people exercising their right not to spend money somewhere for some ideological reason. I think it can be carried too far, and honestly, as Fr. Dwight points out, people on our side don’t do this quite as much:

Where was the outcry when Ben and Jerry’s named an ice cream in support of gay marriage or Starbucks declared their corporate policy (not just one executive’s opinion) to be in favor of specific legislation supporting gay marriage. Why is Starbucks and Ben and Jerry’s allowed to support specific legislation in support of gay marriage with corporate policies, public marketing decisions and explicit information and public relations exercises, but Mr Cathy and Chick-Fil-A must remain silent? Who was really getting involved in politics? Starbucks, Ben and Jerry’s, Nike, Microsoft and other companies. They did so with public policy statements, ‘values’ statements and well funded propaganda.

The equivalent of Starbuck’s move would be for Chick-Fil-A to issue a public corporate policy statement in formal opposition to gay marriage and to fund measures to repeal it. An equivalent action by Chick-Fil-A to Ben and Jerry’s marketing and publicity blitz would be for Chick-Fil-A to name a new sandwich ‘The Mom and Dad Traditional Chicken Sandwich’ with a marketing campaign saying, “If you support Mom and Dad not Dad and Dad–then buy this sandwich, along with a media blitz to convince people to be against gay marriage.

I don’t like this idea of having to perform an ideological check on every purchase I make. When Jeff Bezos (head of Amazon) announced that he was donating money to support a gay marriage initiative, there were some passing suggestions for people to shift to other online sellers, but nothing serious. Certainly nothing even approaching the firestorm surrounding Chick-fil-A. I certainly won’t be changing my buying patterns. I already don’t buy Ben & Jerry’s because they’re overpriced, or Starbucks because it’s crap in a cup, and also overpriced. (Ever notice that the retail options with the best progressive credentials are the most boutiquey, expensive, pretentious ones, while the ones with the least–Walmart, Chick-fil-A–serve a lower income bracket? Funny, that.)

On the other hand, I’m all for offsetting the aggressive boycott tendencies of the left with a buycott. I won’t be able to get there today–still deep in a big project and family matters to tend to–but I plan to get over there this week and do something I rarely do when I can avoid it: eat fast food. They do make a pretty nice sandwich, and I’ll be doing my small part to show the forces of intolerance that opposition to gay marriage is not the same as opposition to gay people.

Monday Morning Chicken

We went from vacation straight into preparations for the county fair, which means this has been a busy couple of weeks. Our birds are still too young to “compete,” but my daughter showed them anyway, and they seemed to enjoy all the attention.

Instead of my chickens, this week we have a special guest appearance by this here Polish chicken, one of the fancy birds that was in competition this year.

Monday Morning Chicken

We had a broiling hot day at home while we were away last week, and since my chickens aren’t broilers, we were concerned. They get weird in the heat, bite each other’s necks like little henpires, flop over like boneless chicken, and do this freaky thing where they spread their wings out halfway, like they’re putting on deodorant. Heat can actually kill chickens pretty quickly, so with the mercury heading into the 105 degree range, our neighbor was kind enough to buy bagged ice for the chickens to sit on, which was nice, except now their drumsticks are frozen. They survived, and, as you can see, Amber was intrigued by the silver back of the iPad, or was it the Apple logo?

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[NOTE: I understand some Mac users are having trouble seeing this, so here’s the YouTube link.]

As a bonus, here’s a nifty little educational film from 1937 about a poultry farm:

A Thank You To My Readers, and a Bit of Housekeeping

Thanks to all the readers who have used my Amazon links when accessing the Amazon site. It’s a small thing to do, but it yields great rewards for bloggers involved with the Amazon Affiliates program. Because of all your clicking, I was able to pick up a big, expensive tome needed for my studies: Book of Legends/Sefer Ha-Aggadah: Legends from the Talmud and Midrash, by Hayyim Nahman Bialik and Y.H. Rawnitzky.

This isn’t a brick: this is a cinderblock. It’s almost 1,000 pages long and oversized, and is a staggering collection of rabbinic lore from the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds and the midrashic literature. The beauty of the collection is that it focuses on the aggadah, which is the non-legal portions of the tradition, and groups them according to theme and topic, fully indexed by scripture citation and keyword. It’s something I really wish I had for Logos, and I imagine they’ll get to it eventually.

I kept various copies of this book out of the library for almost 8 months, so it’s good to finally have my own to mark up. The texts of the aggadah developed almost simultaneously with the emergence of Christianity, and provide a window into rabbinic perspectives on the texts of the Old Testament.

For instance, when I was doing exegesis on 1 Samuel 3, I wrote about the point in 1 Samuel 3:2 when we learn that Eli’s “sight is going dim.” This is not just his literal blindness, but also his prophetic sight and his ability to “see” the true will of Lord. The next line tells us that the “lamp of God had not yet gone out,” which is not merely a reference to the light hanging in the tabernacle, but also to the light of Eli.  As the midrash says, “No righteous man ever departs from the world until a righteous man like him is brought into being.” (Sefer Ha-Aggadah 114:59) The lamp is the light of Eli, fading but dim, and about to be extinguished in favor of the light of Samuel.

The book is jammed with material like this, and it’s a far more organized way to explore it than attempting to pour through the voluminous midrashic literature. So: thanks for book, and keep clicking!

In other news: Continue reading

Monday Morning Chicken

I know, I know: I skipped last Monday’s chicken. I had no idea people would come to really look forward to these chicken pics. I just thought posting a chicken on Memorial Day was probably bad form.

Anyway, here’s Ruby the Wonder Chicken: before and after. Actually, that’s Marcia on the left: one of three chicks we watched for a week for our neighbors (the others are–of course–Jan and Cindy) with Ruby. Ruby is almost three months older than the chick.

Pope Benedict: Chicken Lover

This is making the rounds of teh Facebooks today, courtesy of the Humane Society:

The quote comes from Peter Seewald’s second book-length interview with the Pope, God and the World. Our chickens have plenty of room and are treated like egg-laying royalty: lots of food and water and scratch, a nice coop with several laying boxes and fresh bedding … and they still all cram into a single corner to sleep.

I read Papa Bene’s quote to my chickens, and it made them happy. Here’s Ruby’s official endorsement: