I think you make a good point about “Meal Ticket.”
My own interpretation shortly after watching it was that it’s at least partially a commentary on how repetition can be the death of art. The first time we hear the Artist speak, we are as mesmerized as some of those in the crowds. As the chapter goes on, we hear the same speeches repeated ad nauseam until the Artists’s orations become tedious and tiresome.
The point of this, I feel, is to put the viewer into the same mindset as Liam Neeson’s character, the Impresario.
I was also put in mind of bands who are still touring into their retirement years, and how the fans always demand the same material. Especially if the band was a one-hit wonder. How tedious that must get, playing the same song day after day after day until you eventually come to hate the thing. But they do it anyway, because that’s their meal ticket.
The orator doesn’t have much of a choice, but the Impresario does. Like those of us sitting at home watching on Netflix, the Impresario grows weary listening to the same speeches every night. To the point where he doesn’t mind wiping the shit off the boy’s bottom as much as he hates listening to those same words over and over and over.
So when he comes across the chicken, he gladly embraces the opportunity to rid himself of the Artist.