I have marveled at how Al Gore can enlist such a following of rabid, entranced groupies for his MMGW movement. This despite his hypocritical lifestyle, the substantial debunking of a great many of the assertions in his documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" and the fact that temperatures are falling.
But now I know how he does it.
When I was a boy growing up on our family farm in the summers, I learned how to hypnotize chickens. You hold the chicken down and then circle your finger around its head, making sure that its eyes trace your hand movement. After a sufficient number of circles, the chicken will become entranced and completely immobile. There's a lot you can do with a hypnotized chicken. You can use it as a paperweight, or you can use it as a doorstop, and either way, the chicken will sit there motionless, staring blankly. (What you can't do is use it as a football. Something about being thrown through the air seemed to wake the chicken right up.)
It turns out that the immobility response in animals is an area that has received some scholarly attention, and here is one thing the scientists have found: The immobility response is strongly influenced by fear. A fear stimulus causes the chicken's amygdala to signal the release of neurochemicals, and controlled experiments show that they make immobility much more likely.
No, I'm not saying that television viewers are like hypnotized chickens. But there may be some lessons for us larger-brained humans in the experiences of barnyard hens.
Well, maybe a lesson for socialist politicians. People, refuse to cluck.