‘Birds Aren’t Real’ Started As A Joke, But Its Founders Want Serious Change
Teen vogue: In the conversation at World Fact 9 conference, you said Gen Z understands Birds Are Not Real right away, while the older generation “don’t really”. Why do you think that is?
Peter McIndoe: I think comedy as an art form has progressed so quickly. When it comes to Birds Aren’t Real, there’s an intuitive understanding of what we’re doing with Gen Z or people my age. It has a lot to do with comedy context and internet meaning. The internet is kind of a whole new world and a whole new language.
Naturally, many older people don’t immediately see what birds aren’t real mean. It makes it fascinating for rallies, when you mobilize in real life and role play. This dynamic is at its maximum when we are in front CNN Where Twittercounter-protesting, everyone playing the same archetype of that character.
If you’re on the internet, everyone kind of knows the fringe conspiracy theorist, one of America’s most fascinating tragic figures. It’s almost playing Darth Vader and laughing at it rather than being afraid of it. Comedy is a tool for treatment, and it’s a necessary tool right now, as we live in unprecedented times with no plan for how to go about it.
TV: On the website Birds Aren’t Real, You Name It a movement, but in many ways, the way you describe it, it feels like a community. How do you define it?
PM: If I had to break it down, birds aren’t real is an idea people can tap into as a movement and mobilize in real life; an immersive role-playing experience that is an effective broadcast tactic to counter-protest. Calling it a movement is almost too centralized a way of saying it, because people are tapping into this idea that aren’t directly affiliated with us.
With Birds Aren’t Real we have a moving side – the Bird Brigade, with local chapters across the United States. But some of the most inspiring things about Birds Are Not Real come from people who aren’t even directly affiliated.
Last year at the University of Cincinnati there was a protest against abortion [rally] after the six-week abortion ban in Texas went into effect, which at the time seemed so dark and eerie. Counter-protesters were trying to get these people off campus, and it was escalating. There were members of the Bird Brigade who showed up with “Birds aren’t real” signs and took a different approach to the counter-protest: instead of confronting these ideas with healthy, legitimate and rational ideas. , these people almost met absurdity with more absurdity and basically overwhelmed the anti-abortion protesters. They didn’t know what to do with it. They were facing a mirror. It was just designed to confuse them. And it worked as an effective tool that didn’t make anything worse.