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Citation formatting is not guaranteed to be accurate.
MLA Full: "TV For Chickens." YouTube, uploaded by vlogbrothers, 28 September 2009,
MLA Inline: (vlogbrothers, 2009)
APA Full: vlogbrothers. (2009, September 28). TV For Chickens [Video]. YouTube.
APA Inline: (vlogbrothers, 2009)
Chicago Full: vlogbrothers, "TV For Chickens.", September 28, 2009, YouTube, 03:06,
In which John discusses contemporary art, television, chickens, poultry farms, and the artwork of Tea Makipaa.

Makipaa's videos are available for free to poultry farmers in Finland. The farms in which she showed the video were "cage free" and "free range" but still totally depressing.


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A Bunny
( - -)
((') (')
Good morning, Hank, it's Sunday and today we're going to talk about TV for Chickens, which by the way would be a great name for a band.

Intro Hank, when the Yeti and I first started dating I used to have to go to all these contemporary art shows and I knew nothing about contemporary art and the art would be like a lady sitting in a corner licking her own feet. And I would be like, 'That is so interesting,' while of course on the inside I was thinking, 'Oh my god, how many of these things do I have to go to before this girl will let me take her on regular dates like to dinners and movies and other places where people don't lick their toes in public?' And, in fact, in today's cultural discourse it's pretty normal to think that contemporary art is stupid. But anyway, it turns out that while I still don't like toe licking in a corner (or for that matter toe licking anywhere) there is in fact a lot of good and interesting contemporary art!

Which brings me to this artist Sarah's working with named Tea Makipaa, who's Finnish but lives in Germany and is doing an exhibition here in Indiana. And I've become obsessed with this project that Tea Makipaa did a few years ago in which she created TV for Chickens. So Tea Makipaa goes into this huge hen farm where these chickens have, like, absolutely no personal space and they've literally never seen the light of day because the farm is kept so dark to try to keep the chickens calm and she shows these thousands of chickens who have lived their entire lives in the dark this television show.

The chicken show is just about chickens who do chicken stuff, like they're outside and they walk around and they peck at the ground and et cetra. So, Hank, now you may be thinking, 'That's dumb, I hate that, why would we make TV for Chickens when we could draw pretty pictures of starry starry nights?' Turns out, the chickens who have lived their whole lives in the dark and have no idea what it's like to run free frackin love the chicken tv show. It makes the chickens less anxious, it makes them peck at themselves less and it makes them much less likely to commit murder.

Not murder of humans but murder of other chickens, apparently homicidal chickens are a huge problem in chicken farms. So, basically, TV for chickens makes chickens more passive. It makes them more likely to accept their crap lives.

I wonder what TV for humans does? I mean Hank, now whenever I see people in YouTube comments being giant squids of anger like blaaablaaaaaaagh, I always want to say, 'Dude, you need to watch more TV. It'll wash that homicidal aggression right off ya.' Also you begin to think that if chickens need TV for chickens in order not to kill each other during their darkened, miserable lives, maybe I shouldn't eat so many eggs.

But even that response is inadequately complex because the fact of the matter is that if we all stopped eating eggs and chickens, chickens would go extinct. We've bred out all the natural defenses of chickens, the only reason the species exists is because it's delicious. So, TV for chickens, which may have initially not seemed like a great art piece turns out to ask all kinds of interesting questions.

So, Hank, Nerdfighters, this is my non-rhetorical question for you: Which is better? A world where chickens require TV for chickens in order not to be driven into a homicidal psychosis? Or a world with no chickens at all?

Hank, you will see me tomorrow announcing several exciting things including the winners of the Paper Towns paperbacks. Outro So, Hank, right before I came downstairs to film the video, I asked the Yeti if I should unbutton my second button in an attempt to, you know, like, bring a little sex appeal to Nerdfighteria. And she was like, 'Sweetie, you know I love you but you're just not a two-buttons kind of guy.'