Thursday, January 27, 2005

Makes me proud to vote Democratic - Lawmaker wants tiny boxing gloves on roosters - Jan 26, 2005

An Oklahoma senator hopes to revive cockfighting in the state by putting tiny boxing gloves on the roosters instead of razors.

The Oklahoma legislature outlawed the blood sport in 2002 because of its cruelty to the roosters, which are slashed and pecked to death while human spectators bet on the outcome.

But State Sen. Frank Shurden, a Democrat from Henryetta and a long-time defender of cockfighting, said the ban had wiped out a $100-million business.

To try to revive it, he has proposed that roosters wear little boxing gloves attached to their spurs, as well as lightweight, chicken-sized vests configured with electronic sensors to record hits and help keep score.

"It's like the fencing that you see on the Olympics, you know, where they have little balls on the ends of the swords and the fencers wear vests," said Shurden. "That's the same application that would be applied to the roosters."

There is so much ugly weirdness here that it is truly difficult to decide where to begin. Do I talk about the parallel universe where a politician can make his bones by adopting chicken fights as his cause celebre? Or the all-too-familiar one where Democrats illustrate their cluelessness by missing the deeper point in their pursuit of the null set also known as compromise?

Taking the blood out of cockfighting is like taking the fistfights out of the NHL or the crashes out of NASCAR. Clean them up and the rubes will stay away in droves. Is Olympic fencing a $100M sport in Oklahoma? Didn't think so. But take away the masks and the vests, and carry the loser off in a body bag -- you'd have to beat fans away with a truncheon. Bloodlust runs deep, and explains a lot about human behavior in general, and red state views in particular.

If we give them back their rooster vivisection, can we please bring the troops back from Iraq?


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