Hot Take: Anonymous Jerks Probably Shouldn't Torture Pigeons For Fun
Some attention-seeking creeps showed the libs this week before the Democratic debate in Las Vegas, Nevada. The self-proclaimed "underground radical group" P.U.T.I.N. outfitted pigeons with pigeon-sized "Make America Great Again" hats on their heads. The pigeons were released on Tuesday in advance of the debate as an annoying and pointless protest.
P.U.T.I.N. is short for Pigeons United To Interfere Now. A group member with the alias "Coo Hand Luke" freely confessed to the Las Vegas Review Journal that P.U.T.I.N. used eyelash glue to keep the hats on the pigeons' heads.
From the Review-Journal:.
COO HAND LUKE: It's what women use to put around their eyes for eyelash extensions. The hats usually stay on for a day or two, depending on the bird's movements. We can also remove them ourselves as they fly back to the coop. They could be gone for a day, two days or a week, but they always come back.
This abomination unto the lord was intended to serve as an "aerial protest piece in response to the arrival of the 2020 Democratic debate," which would've occurred regardless of whether pigeons were tortured. In fact, it's highly possible that if P.U.T.I.N. had issued an ultimatum in keeping with its "Get Smart" villain-style name, the Democrats would've postponed the debate. P.U.T.I.N. might've saved Mike Bloomberg from Elizabeth Warren.
These jerks were proud of their efforts and filmed a video of the pigeons who'd done nothing to deserve this. Not all of the pigeons are disfigured with MAGA hats. At least one had on a Donald Trump toupee.
When the Review-Journal asked if P.U.T.I.N.'s pigeon protest was high art or a stunt, the group told the newspaper it's mostly satire.
That is not how satire works, assholes.
New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz correctly stated on Twitter that this "stunt" isn't funny. It's straight-up animal cruelty. P.U.T.I.N. has likely permanently damaged the pigeons' ability to fly and locate food, both are which are kind of critical. This is a literal death sentence yet P.U.T.I.N. claimed in a statement that this was all the product of "exhaustive research, logistical hurdles and pigeon care taking." How much research does it take to understand that pigeons don't do hats?
The background track in the video is from the classic Alfred Hitchcock film The Birds. These are some lines P.U.T.I.N. included without irony or any self-awareness:
MITCH: I think we're in trouble. I don't know how or why this started, but I know it's here and I know we'd be crazy to ignore it.
MRS. BUNDY: Ignore what? The bird war?
MITCH: Yes, the bird war, the bird attack, the bird plague. You can call it what you want to. They're out there massing someplace and they'll be back, you can count on that!
If you learned anything from watching The Birds it's that you shouldn't fuck with birds ... for any reason. The film asserts that if birds ever turned on us, we'd have no defense. There's no way to stop them without destroying ourselves. We only live at the pleasure of birds, and that's a scary concept. We probably don't deserve their mercy.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."