You've found Father McKenzie. But are you really looking for Eleanor Rigby?

Thursday, April 01, 2004

SOME RELIEF FROM MY CO-BLOGGER'S OBSESSION WITH L'AFFAIRE IAN BLOODY THORPE ...So why did the chicken cross the road? Yes, you've seen that list before with Bill Clinton, Foucault, et al, on it, enough times to crash your mailbox. Here's some others...

GK Chesterton: Modern man often asks himself why the chicken crossed the road. But he has forgotten that it is pointless to ask that question until he has first gotten quite a different thing clear in his head. It is a queer thing, but it is true, not that the chicken crossed the road, but that the road crossed the chicken. Nay, a thousand roads have crossed a thousand chickens; ten thousand chickens have been crossed by ten thousand roads since the world began. A road is nothing but God's way of crossing a chicken. So if you begin by asking why the chicken crossed the road, you must soon come to ask why the road crossed the chicken. This is a truth that the Pagan did not understand, the Parsee could not understand, and the Puritan will never understand.

Jeremy Bentham: For the Chicken to cross the Road; - To traverse and surmount the span of the public Causeway; - may upon the basis of the First Principle of Utility properly be said to have of the Intitulative causes, two; - And of the De-Ratiocinated causes, three. Of the former causes, the Intitulative , three sub-types or further genera may be discerned; - Namely...

John Calvin: What! - that thou, impertinent mortal, shouldst spurn and account so little the sovereign will of God, as to ascribe unto the act of His creature, the common fowl of the yard, any other cause or antecedent motive soever, but that which was by the mighty outworking of His foreknowledge, will and decree eternally preordainéd?

John Finnis: Chicken, by virtue of its very nature as a rational creature, is possessed of certain intrinsic desires and faculties, which conjointly render it capable of ordering both the intention and the proximate result of its actions toward the crossing of roads.

John Hart Ely: We figure something's sure going on here, if chickens go crossing roads, and it doesn't take a genius to smell a rat with that - to guess that something must be pretty damn wrong with this side of the road when even the chickens start leaving it. Do chickens therefore constitute some kind of discrete and insular minority on this side of the highway, so much that they prefer to exercise an "exit" rather than a "voice" option? While no one can say for sure, it seems highly likely so...

John Rawls: Why did the chicken move away from its original position to a more Pareto-optimal locale? That is a question which classical Utilitarianism cannot answer. Instead, it is a question that can only be answered by a representative assembly of chickens called upon to draw up constitutive principles of road-crossing behind a veil of ignorance...

JRR Tolkien: Presently to the great Road they again came. Broad it was, and paved also, and in dust covered; and upon the dust could be seen tracks of feet, many of them. "Ho!" said Gimli. "Whether these marks be left by Man or Dwarf, Elf or Halfling, I know not. Yet this much will I warrant; it was no fell beast. For many servants has the Dark Lord; yet the Road they do not cross." "Can you discern no more amidst these signs?" answered him Legolas. "These marks are as of the feet of a certain fowl, one bred unto the farmyard, him that is named among us Círnol Sândas. Have you none such in the Shire also?" "Yes, but we call them chickens ," replied Frodo, shivering miserably. "O! How I should love to sup again upon some nice roasted chicken! But why did it cross the Road, here?" "Of such things it is no longer lawful to speak," told him Aragorn, sternly.

Karl Popper: We can never prove with absolute certainty any truth-claim about the chicken's motive. However, we can scientifically refute several alternative explanations.

Liam and Noel Gallagher: Ee, lad, noo doobt to re-enact yon scene off the ABBEY ROAD album coover.

Meatloaf: Refer to lines 675 to 831 of "Why The Chicken Crossed That Goddamn Road (And Why I Ran It Over With Mah Harley As I Went Burning Down The Highway Like An Angel On Fire, Because Mah Girl She Left Me, Oh Yeah, Oh Yeah, Oh Yeah)" (copyright 1978 by Jim Steinman).

Robert H Bork: The intention of the individual chicken is irrelevant to the task of interpretation. All that counts, and that should count, in any democratic polity is the intention of the Founders of 1787 who wrote the Constitution. Anything else is liberal egalitarianism that hardly deserves the name of law.

Ronald Dworkin: Any decision by a chicken to exercise its transversative rights and make its own road-crossing choices must be upheld by any rights-based thesis of law as integrity. For the state or any public actor to inquire into the chicken's motivations would be wicked; such an action would be profoundly violative of the chicken's basic avian entitlement to equal concern and respect.

Thomas Hobbes: Forre therre Bee bvt twoe Cawses thatte myght yndvce an Fowle orre Chyckenne too bestyrre Ytselfe ande ventvre fromme yts Farmyarde vnto ye Roade ande there-acrosse: And thee Fyrste of svch Cawses bee thatte whyche wee calle Hvngerre, ande ye Seconde bee thatte whyche men doe calle Vayneglorie.

Tom Lehrer: Some ask me why a chicken ambulatory/ Would cross the road. This whole debate's nugatory./ The answer's very simple, as it's plain to see/ Like all of us, his motive is amatory...

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