The Birds

I am from Kentucky.  Up until now, Arkansas was the only state I could make fun of.  No more.  As if dead birds falling from the sky in Arkansas were not enough, they are now doing so in Louisiana.  What gives?

People who know about these kinds of things are saying that they, well, don’t know.  The best explanation seems to be lightning or a nasty storm. notes that these explanations do not satisfy some:

…several town residents aren’t buying these explanations and are up in arms, according to an article posted on the Global Crisis website. They are blaming the government for secret illegal bio-testing or researching the use of electromagnetic waves as a form of eco-terrorism, while others claim the events point to the first signs pointing to the end of the world.

Ah, humanity.  The government probably is capable, at least ethically, of doing such a thing.  One has to pause, however, to consider why every odd phenomenon in the news is met with a knee-jerk invocation of a conspiracy.  Something or someone must be behind it, so the logic goes.  And you can bet they are up to no good.

Likewise for the apocalypse scenario.  Every ingrown toenail is taken as a sign of the last days, and has been for millennia.  If the world had ended every time a prophet predicted it, I’d be blogging to the Great Void right now.  Besides, if there were some intelligence out there deciding when we will meet our end, do you really think He/She/It would kill some blackbirds as a warm up?  (Careful, don’t want to pull a divine muscle.)

What is it in us as a species that drags us down to the level of dunces when met with something new and strange?  My father, a farmer, used to say that a sheep is an animal looking for a way to die.  Sometimes I wonder if we are not descending to that level of self-inflicted destruction.  It is not the fire in a crowded theater that kills.  It is the crush of humanity panicking.  Let’s stay calm and march out single file.

About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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3 Responses to The Birds

  1. Deb S. says:

    I don’t know much about birds. I love to watch them. It makes my day when I get to see a Bald Eagle or a Great Blue Heron, they’re so huge! 🙂 But I don’t know much about them.

    I think part of what drives the craziness, is ‘experts’ who try to explain the odd occurrences in terms of normal, natural behavior. I heard one such ‘expert’ on a Chicago radio station last night. My first thought was “if this is so normal, why doesn’t it happen all the time?” …and yeah, I can see how that’d drive some to think conspiracy. Personally, I think that ‘expert’ is just too proud to say “um, I dunno what happened.”


  2. sally lacy says:

    The lightning theory sounds ridiculous. At 53, I’ve lived through many a storm and never have I seen a single bird just drop from the sky. I’m waiting for the toxicology reports. Seems like the logical place to start.


    • Terry Noel says:

      That sounded screwy to me too at first. Apparently it is not all that uncommon, though. Toxicology would make sense too, except for the fact that it happened all at once. I suppose it could be that, but I have my doubts. What do you think about hail? That also happens on occasion, and would explain them being all beat up.


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