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Time for Change

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Put Down That Chicken,
It's Time for Change

by Adam Finley
art/Marty Kelley

You know that old saying that goes "The more things stay the same, the more they look the same because they haven't changed and consequently that results in something not going through any changes and hence, looking the same?"

That's actually a paraphrase. The original quote is twelve pages long. I mention this because I'm looking around this great country of ours, from the shores of Maui to the Mountains of Busch and I'm not seeing any change. Moreover, I'm not seeing anybody who wants to see change occur, or who wants to volunteer for the Change Brigade, which is the name I just made up for those of us who want to go out and make change and who charge a modest one-time-only member fee of just fifteen dollars American.

A lot of people do want change. From the time they wake up to the time they wake up again they see things about this country they'd like to change. They may even form committees to discuss these changes:

Leader: I'd like to thank everyone for coming to the meeting. Linda will now read from the list we made at our last meeting of things we believe should be changed. Linda?

Linda: Thank you. Ahem. The War on Drugs, the welfare system, U.S. involvement in foreign affairs, and animal testing.

Leader: Are there any questions?

Man: (raising his hand) What exactly do we want to change about these things?

Leader: Well, we don't like them how they are.

Man: OK ...

Leader: So there you go.

Man: But you just named four things, you didn't say why they needed to be changed.

Leader: That's what we do, here. We list things we don't like. We used to be a club for people who didn't like things and we merged with a club for people who like to list things.

Man: Well what about animal testing?

Leader: We feel animals should not be tested.

Linda: Well, they should be allowed to take college entrance exams.

Leader: Linda is right. And rabbits from low-income families should receive federal assistance.

Man: You're an idiot.

Leader: I don't like what you just said. Linda, add what he said to the list.

Maybe we all need to be reminded of what "change" actually means, that it doesn't mean super-sizing or downsizing or packing your Snickers with more peanuts. It means that, despite their benign acronyms, KFC still fries their chicken, and rapper ODB's parents still haven't married. The point is, we're getting used to a kind of "pretend change," where ideals are repackaged and offered to us as something bold and new.

Look around. There's nothing "bold and new" happening. It's just more of the same. More corporate gluttony, more boxes of Ritz Bitz, more Doublestuf Oreos, more clever names for vanilla ice cream, more government rhetoric, and more than a thousand ways to make "chicken carcass" sound appetizing. The packaging is different, but the product is still the same.

Some of you are pretty riled up at this point. You're clutching this magazine in your fist, standing on your coffee table and shouting "By golly, I'm going to bread this roasted chicken and cut it into tiny pieces and call them 'chickuggets,' that name hasn't been used yet!" But you miss my perhaps-too-subtle point. Put the chicken down, turn off the TV, and go out and create some real change. It's not easy, but it is worth it. I hear they did it all the time in the '60s.

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