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We agree with Rep. Grant Hodges it’s time to adopt a flamboyant state bird

Our state bird is an asshole and we support a bill that was tabled Monday MP Grant Hodges (R-Centertone) to drop Mockingbird entirely.

House Bill 1482 would replace mockingbirds with painted buntings, the happiest birds Arkansas has to offer.

This later move to rock Arkansas’ bird identity was reminiscent of a prescient essay by Jeremy Brasher it has a surreal adhesive power. Brasher’s brutal mockingbird takedown first appeared in localist, Little Rock’s money-making, culture-boosting print magazine from the aughts. In this play, which came out around 2006, he predicted the demise of the mockingbird. We hope that his vision will come true.

Our state bird is an asshole

A charge against the mockingbird

Every spring and summer it happens that I’m walking my dog ​​around the block and just enjoying the crappy, sticky, miserable, awful weather and a bolt of gray and black shoots out of the sun and smacks my dog ​​on the back. My dog, of course, freaked out. Even more so as the blur swirls around in the air and comes back for more. My dog ​​then seems to have a brief internal struggle, weighing whether to take off as his instincts dictate or stay with me as I taught him to. Splitting the difference, he decides to run away about ten feet, then keep running back to me until I intervene with my two-legged advantage in a still-futile attempt to get revenge on this bird-like tormentor by swinging at the winged terror a la King Kong and the biplanes.

I have to be honest, I’ll smack a mockingbird in the face if I get a chance.

I hate these things. Say what you’re going to do about them eating a Volkswagen’s weight in bugs or whatever every day, fact remains, our state bird is, quite frankly, an asshole. Yes, you could say, “He’s just defending his nest territory.” But check that out, if the mockingbird was a little more observant, she’d know I wasn’t tending to her nest. Just because someone walks in front of my house doesn’t mean I’m trying to hit them. My goodness.

Mockingbirds shouldn’t feel so threatened either, they have almost no predators. Cats and hawks are pretty much the only ones, and most hawks just don’t mess with mockingbirds. In fact, when a hawk starts chasing a mockingbird, the mockingbird will sometimes turn around and fly straight at the hawk in a suicidal chicken game. Most hawks simply cannot handle this unlikely reversal and will abandon the whole attempt. The only hawk that can really screw up a mockingbird’s day is the Cooper Hawk, which is a fast flier and can carry a mockingbird away without ever knowing what hit it. But if the hawk accidentally misses the approach, a mockingbird will immediately freak out and chase after the hawk, all the while calling out to other mockingbirds, not for help in killing the hawk (which she can’t), but to help it mock the hawk until he’s so scared he just wants to get away from them.

Sometimes snakes will attempt to take out the hateful mockingbird’s spawn by entering their nests to eat their eggs. If the snake is spotted prowling around, not only will mockingbirds attack it, they will also call any other mockingbirds in the area to help beat the snake. I can understand that. I mean, OK, you have to defend the nest if it’s attacked. I need to get away from predators. Seems pretty reasonable.

But don’t let these logical behaviors confuse you. Mockingbirds are paranoid, brutal psychopaths. For example, many birds take off, fly to Florida or Cabo or wherever. Not mockingbirds. A mockingbird will stay and survive the winter, which in itself isn’t really that strange. However, it gets strange when the other birds come back from vacation. What are the mockingbirds doing? You jump at them. Yes, for no apparent reason, mockingbirds beat up the other birds when they come back to town.

Another claim to fame for the mockingbird is its beautiful song. Along with the nightingale, she holds the title for the bird kingdom’s most shredding vocal chops. For years it was assumed that most bird calls were mating-oriented, which is kind of a cute idea – “Aww, the bird is singing for its true love.” That sentimental notion, too, now seems dead wrong. Recent studies I heard on the radio one day, which can’t provide factual confirmation of their existence, suggest that most bird calls are actually aggressive threats to other birds to stay the fuck away. In a way, this evidence implies that the mockingbird, with its sophisticated calls, is a champion at shit-talking and can actually spout some of the most outrageously provocative garbage ever seen as far as birds are concerned. I mean it’s called a to mockIngbird for a reason, you know.

Also, mockingbirds often mate for life. This is undoubtedly a PR move on their part to present themselves as family-oriented, to appeal to the right. I suspect this charade is just a transparent Machiavellian ruse for an eventual coup or seizure of power.

Finally, the mockingbird comes around. Not only is it our state bird, but it is also the state bird of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. It’s overexposed, overdone, and generally played out as much as possible. Mockingbirds are the Paris Hiltons of the bird kingdom, they’ve gotten too much attention not to do much and now nobody cares. I say we’ll get another bird, maybe the one with the ivory beak. This bird is struggling enough to prove it even exists to sit around bothering people all day. Or maybe some kind of owl; Owls are cool.

Owls are too busy being wise and enigmatic to spank dogs. I bet if an owl wanted to, it could totally carry a dog away. But owls have restraint. The mockingbird could learn a few lessons from owls.

Since spring is finally here, I see them. You are out there. In the parking lot at my work, they’re out there right now, slapping each other’s shit, talking their mess, and generally being a nuisance. Mark my words, mockingbird, and heed them well, your wickedness will not last forever. One day your reign will end and my dog ​​and I will triumph! Mark my words!