Friday, June 29, 2007

Happy Chickens

Generally I try to stick to my own photos and experiences as I write this blog. However, when Kris told several of us about this, I begged him to send me the photos and let me blog it. We all decided that it was "so Mexico."

In case it is not clear, this is a photo of a man in a chicken costume tied to the front of a car.

I spent some time reflecting about why we all felt that this method of promotion is Mexican in nature. My ideas are in no particular order.

1. Anthropomorphism as Promotion - There are chicken restaurants everywhere and the chickens are always smiling and happy. I always think to myself, "Don't you know what is going to happen to you? Run for your life!" (Yes, I know that I need to get out more.)

2. Pervasive Advertising - Advertising is everywhere here. Cars drive around all day with loudspeakers blaring their various wares and promotions. To be noticed, advertising needs to be out of the ordinary.

3. Risk Aversion, or Lack Thereof - Let's just say that Chiapas (and possibly the rest of Mexico) is not a very risk-conscious society. Driving down Belisario Dominguez, the busiest street in Tuxtla with only a couple of cords holding you to a car seems a little optimistic to me. Colectivos, taxis and other vehicles routinely drive at speeds exceeding the measuring capacity of the speedometer.

4. The Element of Surprise - Just when you think that you have seen everything here in Chiapas, that nothing more could astound or bewilder you, a gigantic, smiling chicken drives by strapped to a car.

There may be more reasons buried in my subconscious, but I will stop here for now.

PS: Thanks, Kris for sharing your photos. If any of the teachers can think of another reason why seeing this brave chicken is a uniquely Mexican experience, email me and I will add your reason to my list.


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