Bird Lives Matter Responds To John Oliver | @GrrlScientist

Statement from the Official Spokesbeak for Bird Lives Matter, in response to Mr. John Oliver’s appalling video attack on America’s birds

by GrrlScientist for Forbes | @GrrlScientist

John Oliver recently released a video (see above) to advertise his TV show, Last Week Tonight, in which he devoted the entire segment to attacking North American birds. It would appear that Mr Oliver is upset because we birds migrate to warmer climes in winter to avoid bad weather. Perhaps he is outraged because he, too, wants to migrate back home for winter? But he would have to go to Birmingham. Some of us birds have visited there, so we know what it’s like — we all escaped as quickly as possible, too.

But we are puzzled about why Mr Oliver hates all of us birds so much, especially us northeasterners. Is he afraid we’ll “go all Hitchcock” on him one day? Perhaps it’s because we leave his chosen home for winter rather than staying in, say, Florida? Seriously, Mr Oliver, would you want to winter in Florida? The resorts there are scary and the buildings are real bird-killers. Even though some of your fellow humans tried to train some of us birds to go to Florida, we still have the good sense to avoid the place.

Perhaps you are jealous that we migrate further south than Florida? The reason we do this is certainly not, as you wrongly claim, to “feed, grow, and attract a mate”. Ok, yes, we do eat a lot when we’re down south. But our children grow up in the summer in the good ol’ US of A. That’s right: we’re Americans. And America is also where we find our mates. Unlike you Brits, we birds don’t go off to Spain for an alcohol-fueled couple of weeks and return home bleary-eyed, only to discover who our mate is nine months later.

You also played the species-ist card, Mr Oliver. Don’t get us wrong: we have nothing against penguins. Some of our best friends are penguins. But what did ostriches ever do to you? Are you just embarrassed that they can kick a football better than you? And can you explain your special fondness for penguins? Do they intimidate you because they are always dressed up in smart little tuxedos? Or do you like them because, like you, they grew up somewhere cold and draughty? Or perhaps you admire penguins’ ability to snack and projectile-pooh without leaving their beds?


What do you hope to achieve by launching this appalling attack, Mr Oliver? Will you try to deport us birds from the country as is done to human ‘illegal immigrants’? Well, that won’t work. We’ll just return. And then leave. And return and leave and return again. Then what? Will you build a big wall? Ha! Like that’ll work. Many of us birds have flown our migratory routes since long before Americans came down from the trees — our trees, actually.

Oh, and one last thing … about the graphic that you use in the left corner of your video. Couldn’t you have used an American species? Or do you think we all look alike? Your graphic shows a Eurasian robin — they don’t live here. You Brits tried to introduce them long ago, but failed. Instead, we’re plagued by lots of your pigeons and sparrows and starlings. Good job with the starlings and sparrows, by the way. You’re busily killing them off back home, but they’re doing great over here.

So, next time you try to be funny, remember that we matter. Your jokes impact us. And we don’t like it. Oh, and talking of impacts — wear a hat if you don’t want your hair to become messed up and gooey. We recognize you from on high. And we will take special care that you don’t see us flying stealthily in from above.


Bird Lives Matter

“Making America Tweet Again”


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Originally published at Forbes on 13 September 2016.

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