Saturday, 16 May 2009

Kentucky Grilled Chicken News

From the pages of Entertainment Weekly comes this report. Although reporting the protagonist's actions with a shocked tone, readers of this blog will fully understand what drove them and I'm sure are wishing they had been there on this historic occasion.

Oprah's KFC free-for-all sparks civil rights era-style protest.

May 6, 2009,

The 6th of May saw a hungry mob of New Yorkers (the millennial generation's version of an angry mob) stage a '60s-style sit-in at a Manhattan KFC restaurant. Why? They were protesting the store manager's refusal to honour coupons for the fast food chain's new grilled chicken courtesy of the karma-grubbing cultural icon Oprah Winfrey. Funny and absurd, sure. But I can't help but see this kerfuffle as evidence of either the beginning of the end of all that's good in the world or the return of power-to-the-people engagement.

The obvious response is to look at the entitlement of those free-chicken seekers as crass and pathetic. I mean, how could any fast food really be worth generating a storm of righteous indignation? And what about that Scrooge-like, power-crazed KFC store manager, who allegedly refused to play along and serve up the finger lickin' goodness to which anyone with an Internet connection is entitled. These are tough times and cheap thrills are hard to come by, much less free ones. That's tough medicine.

But how is it that chicken inspires the kind of politicized grass-roots action that hardly anybody mustered in the face of nonstop indignities (stuff like White House-approved torture, corporate corruption, and the demise of newsprint)? Does this mean that we're still capable of getting mad as hell and not taking it anymore? Or does it mean that nobody can be bothered unless it involves a free lunch?

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