Columns 2007

Politics for the birds

There’s going to be a lot of political campaigning in the coming months. Heck, there’s already been more in the past twelve months than probably occurred in the first one hundred years of America’s existence. So much hot air at a time when global warming is already a problem.  So there is every chance that you join me in feeling as though hearing one more word from Obama or Hillary or Rudy or (non-candidate but somehow mysteriously still acting like one) Fred, will cause you to run into the Alaska night screaming, “The horror!  The horror!”

There is hope on the horizon. For lo I am here to bring you word about another campaign that is gearing up for this fall, but one in which I promise you all the candidates will be better looking, better groomed, more succinct and infinitely more attractive on every level than any candidate currently running (or pretending not to run) for any office up for grabs in this country over the next two years. And, as we are all so sadly aware, that includes a huge host of minimally attractive personalities.

I have information about this campaign from a very reliable source who asks not to be named when discussing the it because he or she has not yet received authorization to do so.  But according to Rachel, Bird TLC will soon be launching a campaign to find their Bird of the Year.  And those of you smart enough to attend the Bye-Bye Birdie Event at the former Rabbit Hutch lot off Old Seward this coming Saturday will get a first glimpse of the candidates themselves as they test the waters to find their constituency.

Bye-Bye Birdie will run from 11AM to 4 PM. The event is purportedly to say goodbye to all our migratory friends who, being somewhat brighter than the average Alaskan, head out to warmer climes soon after Labor Day.  But this year, the secondary theme is most definitely to test the waters for the upcoming campaign and see if there aren’t some big donors out there who want to buy the Bird of the Year’s loyalty and vote. Yes, buy. Unlike the routine politics we seem to face on an unending continuum here, these candidates not only proudly announce they can be bought, they also promise that you can vote as early and as often as you want and never get a knock on your door from the FBI wanting to photograph your boxed wine collection.

My inside sources for this campaign swear to me they will try to run a clean and honest one despite the pay as you vote theme. They say there will be no unexpected headlines of bathroom adventures though they can’t promise there might not be the occasional bathroom accident when they are out campaigning. As a general rule of thumb, the candidates caution all their devoted followers to only stand behind them ideologically, never actually.  Both your clothes and your gag reflex will thank you.

As in our national and state political campaigns, the candidates for Bird of the Year encourage you to learn all you can about their platforms and promises before selecting your candidate.  One can’t help thinking that had more Americans actually applied their critical faculties to this exercise in the past few state and national campaigns, things would have turned out much better.  However, knowing our penchant to be captivated by snappy slogans and comely candidates, each bird will do his or her best to come up with a short, catchy slogan to captivate the American public’s apparently limited attention span. And they will try their best not to molt during the campaign.

There will, of course, be lots of other things to do this Saturday at Bye Bye Birdie.  There will be games for families to play that should engage even the oldest child among us.  There will be a presentation about Big Town Owls and one about the broken birds that come into Bird TLC all through the year to be healed.  There’s live music and an eagle release planned.  But above all, the candidates will be there at noon to give you your first peek at their potential for future leadership of the birds of Alaska.

So head on over to the Rabbit Hutch lot above Potter’s Marsh off Old Seward this Saturday and have a fun day with the whole family while introducing your children to the cleanest political campaign of the year. Come and take a stand behind you choice for Bird of the Year.  Just don’t stand too closely behind or it may suddenly become the dirtiest political campaign you’ll ever engage in.