Birds Aren’t Real

I’ve learned not to make jokes with border guards; I haven’t yet learned not to make jokes with strangers and small children.

Sometimes joking works great: I find a soulmate of sorts and something inside that is wound tight relaxes half a turn. Sometimes it’s not great: My potential co-conversant edges away or, almost worse, leans in, taking me seriously on something that is so not serious.

So it is with the experience of decidedly mixed results that I caution (Too late! Of course!) the creators and perpetrators of Birds Aren’t Real. Guys. Don’t we have enough conspiracy theories without deliberately creating them for a joke?

Apparently not.

Mr. McIndoe then walked around and improvised the Birds Aren’t Real conspiracy lore. He said he was part of a greater movement that believed that birds had been replaced with surveillance drones and that the cover up began in the 1970s.

In the last few years, the Bird Brigade flock has burned the flag of the Cardinals Major League Baseball team in St. Louis, petitioned Twitter to change its logo, and outchanted anti-abortion protestors. (I’d say that one of those things is not like the others, but hey.)

“I have a lot of excitement for what the future of this could be as an actual force for good,” he said. “Yes, we have been intentionally spreading misinformation for the past four years, but it’s with a purpose. It’s about holding up a mirror to America in the internet age.”

“It’s a safe space for people to come together and process the conspiracy takeover of America. It’s a way to laugh at the madness rather than be overcome by it.”

Well, OK, as long as you have a noble purpose. I mean, what could go wrong as long as you’re armed with good intentions?


This entry was posted in Laughing Frequently, Thinking Broadly and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Birds Aren’t Real

  1. Tom Watson says:

    I learned a long time ago not to joke with border guards. We had been on vacation in New Brunswick, hauled our trailer across the border into Houlton, Maine. I was asked to pull over so the guard could look through the trailer. He started going through, and I made the mistake of asking him what he was looking for. He replied, “Citrus fruit.” I then made the second mistake; I said, “Oh, we quit growing citrus fruit in Canada a long time ago.” He didn’t comment, but spent an extra 30 minutes hauling everything possible out of drawers and cupboards.

  2. barbara carlson says:

    British John had that problem BIG TIME when he first came here — Brits joke about serious things and are ‘serious’ about silly things. That was in 1971. Humour in Canada has caught up to him a bit, but American border guards… not so much. John is terrified of borders!

    But this loon (above, no pun intended) is probably not a Brit.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barbara – Yes, there really are cultural differences. In many things I think non-francophone Canadians occupy a middle ground between Brits and Americans, but it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that in some things we go all one way and in others, the other. As for border guards, I think they smell fear as a marker for guilt. It must be really annoying when it’s just fear, not guilt.

  3. Jim Taylor says:

    I worked as a “border guard” cum Customs Officer for one summer, at the end of my university life. What I mostly remember is that searches and interrogations were done totally at random, even by the seasoned professionals. They had no more clue about who was attempting to smuggle something over the border than I did; they just took a dislike to someone, and gave hm/her/them a bad time — presumably on the assumption that somehow the rumour would spread, “don’t mess with these guys. They’re thorough!”

    Jim T

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim T – Agents of government using their power to intimidate pushes my buttons, I’m afraid. Not a good thing, IMO.

  4. John Whitman says:

    Isabel – going back to the subject of “Birds Aren’t Real”, the best line I’ve heard so far is that when you see a flock of birds lined up on a power line, they aren’t resting, they are just re-charging.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      John – LOL. That *is* good. I also liked the photo in the article of the birds lined up atop the “Birds aren’t real” billboard.

Comments are closed.