Friday, January 12, 2007
After years off the air, they're back. Do you need your memory refreshed? These two delightful chickens are on the run, toward the Foster Farms compounds of the West. That's right—they're making a jail break... in reverse. They are just dying to die under the Foster Farms flag, such is their devotion to the agro-industrial complex. And to pull off this caper, these chronically malnourished birds must impersonate the coddled poultry of Foster Farms.
They brave barking dogs, outraged mothers (this is where the obligatory choking-the-chicken image comes in), and the tedium of life on the road:
Yes, yes, it's a proud testament to the honor and scrupulous standards of the Foster Farms regime, blah blah blah. But it is also, undeniably, a twisted vision of animal zombefaction, loathsome in every way! The truth is first executed and then hacked to bits, there to be pecked and picked at by enslaved birds. (Imagine, if your brain can handle the strain, American slaves clawing their way back to Dixie.)
Says a Foster Farms mouthpiece about this travesty: "Since the Foster Imposters were first hatched, we’ve received hundreds of letters and calls from consumers hailing the commercials and the antics of these two Imposters...." She goes on to shovel praise on her firm's Way of Death, noting with apparent sincerity that it represents the "care that makes Foster Farms chicken the standard to which every other chicken aspires."
Please, take a moment to collect yourself before you continue.
The full-on media onslaught propping up these so-called "perennially popular" mascots is truly disheartening. Can you imagine, even at your drunkest, calling or writing to this company to applaud commercials (!) of such base motive and aesthetic? Of course not. But somehow, somehow, people lap this stuff up. These Imposters (I'll say!) have been spun off into web sites of their own, complete with "imposter-themed interactive games and family entertainment."
You are in the shadow of a nightmare that makes 1984 look like See Spot Run. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. We cheer—the whole family cheers—as these poor chickens fail again and again to be murdered by the method of their choosing. As cryptic support for the Hemlock Society, the ads are successful indeed. As commentary on American custom, however, they are stomach-turning. They induce a vertiginous shock such as that faced by visitors to post-War Hiroshima.
Addendum (3/04/08): We don't even know what to make of this latest development: a Foster Farms parody ad. That is, it parodies a successful soap ad about media-manufactured standards of beauty. In this Foster Farms version, one of the "lovable" imposters is retouched and airbrushed until he resembles something that doesn't even look like an actual chicken. We have decided simply to be more turned off than ever.