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The Chicken Little Convention

   Imagine the frustration!  You are a "Chicken Little" who has been warning of impending disaster for years and only a few people here and there take you seriously.  It's enough to make you throw in the towel and just let the sky fall on everybody's heads.  Serves 'em right!  You told them what was going to happen and they either laughed at you or ignored your warnings. 

   America has always had its share of Chicken Littles.  Paul Revere rode through the countryside yelling "The sky is falling!  The sky is falling!"  He didn't say it exactly in those words.  Historians believe he may have shouted, "The British are coming!  The British are coming!"  At any rate, the locals took him seriously and Middlesex farmers readied their muskets for duty.   In those days citizens usually heeded dire warnings. 

   In my own role as a Chicken Little I have been saying for more than thirty years "Inflation is ruinous!  Inflation is ruinous!"  That's a rather dire warning, I thought, and money inflation did, indeed, turn out to be ruinous.  The dollar of thirty years ago has sunk to twenty-eight cents in purchasing power,  but it's almost impossible to find anyone who cares. 

   All the other Chicken Littles are running into the same result.  Their warnings are falling on deaf ears.  They scold stupid Americans on their ignorance of history and weave frightening warnings of conspiracies to make slaves of us all.  Endless warnings of the danger of the Trilateral Commission and the Council of Foreign Relations ricochet around the Internet;  scores of Chicken Littles warn of the secret mission of the Illuminati to enslave the masses, and of bankers whose aim is to own everything.  

   Former Vice President Al Gore is a Chicken Little with a large following.  His mantra is, "The earth is warming!  The earth is warming!"  Quite a few people believe him. The average citizen nods in agreement but doesn't see why he or she needs to make any personal lifestyle adjustments to deal with it.  Besides, so many questions have been raised about Chicken Little Gore's warning he has modified it to - "The climate is changing! The climate is changing!"  (Nothing new there.  It's been changing for millions of years.)

   So, we Chicken Littles recently had a convention to see if we could devise a way to get more people to take our dire warnings seriously.  It was a trifle raucous at the pre-banquet cocktail hour with all the Chicken Littles trying to promote their views.  Cocky Locky nearly came to blows with Henny Penny (aka. Benjamin Fulford) over the new gossip that the dreaded "New World Order" is going to be phased out in favor of the "New Age" in which war, poverty, and all environmental destruction will end.  Foxy Loxy intervened to say he had doubts about there even being such as thing as the Illuminati and the main problem at the moment is the dying dollar.  "The dollar is dying!  The dollar is dying!"  he shouted.  People put their hands over their ears.  

   All the "News with Views" columnists sat together at a large banquet table all talking at once.  They are a frustrated group because although their research is usually carefully done and forcefully presented they have trouble getting the average American to give a damn.  They must feel like Isaiah when he was told by the Lord to go out among the masses and tell them they must change their ways and straighten up or it will go very hard on them.  Isaiah was willing to do that but did a double-take when the Lord added that his efforts would probably fall on deaf ears.   Isaiah wanted to know what the point was in warning the people they were in for a tough time if no one would listen, whereupon the Almighty told him that among the masses were "the remnant," those individuals who would understand the message and would be the ones to put society back on its feet after it toppled.  

   "Isaiah's Job" was written in the 1930s by Albert Jay Nock, who was, himself, a Chicken Little whose influential writing remains in print today.  I made a note to send a copy of "Isaiah's Job" to several of the prominent Chicken Littles at the convention.  They might draw some strength from it, knowing that their warnings may not be entirely wasted after all. 

   The big faux pas of the evening was the menu.  Some thoughtless idiot ordered chicken. We are not cannibals!  A rush order to a nearby McDonalds for burgers on buns saved the affair.  

   Turkey Lurkey delivered a rousing keynote speech in which he made a very strong case for spending more time promoting the United States Constitution, which - as he so accurately pointed out - has been all but abandoned.  "It was not a perfect document," he said, "but it is a far better framework for operating the nation than the abysmal scheme under which we presently exist."  He received a thunderous response.  

   He also pointed out that most of us were shirking our duty by not promoting a specific call for action.  "You write splendid essays about what's wrong with society today, and how we got into such a jam, but only in the rarest circumstances do you offer a solution.  All too often you come across as pompous asses who know everything.  You scold your readers directly or through innuendo for being so stupid they cannot see what's being done to them,  and then you give them no specific plan for doing anything about it except to say 'Vote the rascals out!'   What the hell good does it do to vote out one set of rascals and replace them with other rascals?"  A murmur rippled through the room.  

   His point didn't set too well.  But the more I thought about it the more I concluded Mr. Lurkey was absolutely right.  We Chicken Littles spend far too much time explaining in great detail the history of our present dilemmas but we rarely give the reader motivation to want to do anything about it.  Libertarians, for instance, are good at explaining why the Social Security system will eventually fail from overload.  Have you ever heard them offer a plan more appealing to the masses than the present scheme?  No.  Living out of the pockets of others is an extremely appealing way of life.  Who, in his or her right mind, would want to abandon it?  Status Quo 1, Libertarians 0.  

   Before the convention concluded we drafted a charter to give our informal group a more impressive ID.  We are now Chicken Littles Urging Constitutional Knowledge (CLUCK).  We haven't adopted a logo, yet, nor have we set up a web site.  

   The surprise closing to the convention was the rendition of our brand new jingle which will be heard on our TV/Radio announcements:  

"We are Chicken Littles United;  We all prophesy gloom and  doom.
Our warnings remain unrequited - our disappointment continues to loom.
But we CLUCKs will keep on wishin' we can halt the ominous trend,
So we pledge to continue our mission! On that you can always depend!"

There was hardly a dry eye in the room.  Somebody banged a gavel and  we got out of there, spirits buoyed by the knowledge that some day the sky will really fall and we can jeer from the sidelines, "See!  We told you so!"     

July 2, 2007

   

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The Eloquent Pogo
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