To those of you who still haven't figured it out, I'm from Sri Lanka. The religion here is Buddhism. Every month, on the day of the full moon, there's a holiday called "Poya". For the months January, February, March, ..., November and December, the names of the Poya days are Duruthu, Navam, Medin, Bak, Vesak, Poson, Adi Esala, Esala, Nikini, Binara, Vap, Il and Unduvap. Vesak Poya is special, because of three events which have happened on this day in the past. The Lord Buddha was born on this day. He also attained enlightenment on Vesak Poya, and he finally passed away again on Vesak Poya. In religious significance, it is of the same importance as Christmas to Christians. However, this is a religious festival to visit the Temples and indulge in religious activities, and light colorful lanterns at home. It is not a time for partying. So on Friday morning, I had to go to Temple. Now you know the reason for the mailing getting late. Hope I didn't bore you with all those details. Thought you might like to know! Ok. Enough of that. On to today's article... -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Here's the answers to the eternal riddle from some of History's major protagonists: WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD? >Plato: For the greater good. >Karl Marx: It was a historical inevitability. >Machiavelli: So that its subjects will view it with admiration, as a chicken which has the daring and courage to boldly cross the road, but also with fear, for whom among them has the strength to contend with such a paragon of avian virtue? In such a manner is the princely chicken's dominion maintained. >Hippocrates: Because of an excess of light pink gooey stuff in its pancreas. >Jacques Derrida: Any number of contending discourses may be discovered within the act of the chicken crossing the road, and each interpretation is equally valid as the authorial intent can never be discerned, because structuralism is DEAD, DAMMIT, DEAD! >Thomas de Torquemada: Give me ten minutes with the chicken and I'll find out. >Timothy Leary: Because that's the only kind of trip the Establishment would let it take. >Douglas Adams: Forty-two. >Nietzsche: Because if you gaze too long across the Road, the Road gazes also across you. >Oliver North: National Security was at stake. >B.F. Skinner: Because the external influences which had pervaded its sensorium from birth had caused it to develop in such a fashion that it would tend to cross roads, even while believing these actions to be of its own free will. >Carl Jung: The confluence of events in the cultural gestalt necessitated that individual chickens cross roads at this historical juncture, and therefore synchronicitously brought such occurrences into being. >Jean-Paul Sartre: In order to act in good faith and be true to itself, the chicken found it necessary to cross the road. >Ludwig Wittgenstein: The possibility of "crossing" was encoded into the objects "chicken" and "road", and circumstances came into being which caused the actualization of this potential occurrence. >Albert Einstein: Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road crossed the chicken depends upon your frame of reference. >Aristotle: To actualize its potential. >Howard Cosell: It may very well have been one of the most astonishing events to grace the annals of history. An historic, unprecedented avian biped with the temerity to attempt such an herculean achievement formerly relegated to homo sapien pedestrians is truly a remarkable occurrence. >Salvador Dali: The Fish. >Darwin: It was the logical next step after coming down from the trees. >Emily Dickinson: Because it could not stop for death. >Epicurus: For fun. >Ralph Waldo Emerson: It didn't cross the road; it transcended it. >Johann Friedrich von Goethe: The eternal hen-principle made it do it. >Ernest Hemingway: To die. In the rain. >Werner Heisenberg: We are not sure which side of the road the chicken was on, but it was moving very fast. >David Hume: Out of custom and habit. >Saddam Hussein: This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it. >Jack Nicholson: 'Cause it (censored) wanted to. That's the (censored) reason. >Pyrrho the Skeptic: What road? >Ronald Reagan: I forget. >John Sununu: The Air Force was only too happy to provide the transportation, so quite understandably the chicken availed himself of the opportunity. >The Sphinx: You tell me. >Mr. T: If you saw me coming you'd cross the road too! >Henry David Thoreau: To live deliberately ... and suck all the marrow out of life. >Mark Twain: The news of its crossing has been greatly exaggerated. >Molly Yard: It was a hen! >Zeno of Elea: To prove it could never reach the other side. >Richard Posner: As a perfectly rational, utility-maximizing being, the chicken, aware of the possible consequences of its act, voluntarily faced the risk that it would be injured while crossing the road, in order to obtain the benefits that it perceived to accrue from that transaction. Allowing chickens to make this sort of decision, unfettered by restrictions by government or elsewhere on their freedom of choice, is absolutely necessary if an efficient and free society is to be maintained. >George Bush: Because like I said to Barb, when a chicken . . .I mean, hey, got a road here, a real good road, got another side there, and . . . not saying it's not a good side here, not saying that, but ya gotta realize . . . chicken crossing . . . gotta look out for cars, gotta look out . . . could be a wide road, double yella line down the middle for miles . . . >Kafka: The indifferent maze of tortuous twisted roads criss-crossed one another without reason. But they all lead to the Castle and at the gate stood a guard. The chicken had to pass the guard. >Bulwer-Lytton: It was a dark and stormy road, the rain glistening in the headlights of passing wagons, the horses heads' drooping against the wind and the tears from the sky, and their great muscles straining against the weight of the wagon, when the chicken, without looking up,which he could have, and perhaps should have, done, began his arduous trek across the muddy rivulets that ran ultimately into the sound.
This message was sent on 6 May 1996