The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

29 October 2005

Fatuous Flashback 5

Before there was bird flu, there was cockfighting:

Only 1.73 other states (Louisiana, and 24 of 33 counties in New Mexico) permit this sort of thing, so the curiosity value is high and the news coverage typically smarmy. Under [State Question] 687, you can't stage a fight between game fowl, period; it's a felony to take part, and it's a misdemeanor just to watch. The 7000-member Oklahoma Game Fowl Breeders Association says the, um, industry brings in close to $100 million a year in the state. I've never seen an actual cockfight, despite having lived here for nearly thirty years and another decade in South Carolina, where the SC athletic teams have long been styled "Gamecocks", and I don't particularly want to see one; the descriptions I've seen are rather, well, icky. Then again, mere ickiness is not sufficient reason to ban something — if it were, we could deport Richard Simmons — so I am voting against 687. The fighting pit may be a horrible place for a chicken to end up, but so is Colonel Sanders' bucket, and I don't see any serious maneuvering to ban KFC. And while I'm at it, I am also voting against 687's evil twin, State Question 698, hatched by friends of the fowl and other folk, which would nearly double the number of petitioners required to get measures like 687 on the ballot in the first place, an idea anti-democratic to its very core.

(From Vent #315, 1 November 2002.)

Posted at 4:26 AM to Greatest Hits