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stuffed pigeon cher ami

National Pigeon Day 2010: Part One

It’s early in the morning on Pilgrim Hill in Central Park. In a few hours, this space will be filled with people celebrating the third annual National Pigeon Day and crowding out the guests of honor who are already here: the pigeons.

Anna Dove, president of the New York Bird Club, will lead today’s events. Dove, who changed her name from Augusta Kugelmas as an homage to her dearly departed Lucie-Dove, founded this day to fight institutional discrimination against pigeons. The original date is June 13th, the anniversary of the death of Cher Ami, a carrier pigeon and decorated hero of World War I, which is now stuffed and mounted in the Museum of American History.

stuffed pigeon cher ami

Cher Ami

Unfortunately, this year the city’s Puerto Rican Day parade is also scheduled on June 13. With no city permit, the pigeons’ holiday must be celebrated a week later. Racial bias? Perhaps. Not even an angry bird lover would dare say anything negative about the parade. Dove is hopeful that the government will ratify June 13 as National Pigeon Day. In 2008, its inaugural year, she told The New York Times, “We are trying to do for pigeons what Martin Luther King did for his people.” Right on, sister.

Dove was a victim of prejudice this past winter when an enraged retired schoolteacher snatched a bag of birdseed from her hands and threw it over a fence. He later claimed he’d been concerned about rats eating the food. Dove has filed charges against the man, who she claimed poked and shoved her, telling the New York Post, “The guy was violent, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a weapon next time.” These are dark days, indeed, when a citizen can’t violate the New York sanitation code prohibiting littering.

Dove feeding pigeons NY Post photo

Dove feeding pigeons

As it turns out, Ms. Dove is no stranger to being on the wrong side of Johnny Law. In 2003, she was arrested for assault after she threw birdseed in the face of a Parks Department volunteer who had pointed out that city rules prohibit feeding in public parks. The volunteer, Carol McCabe, told the Post that some of the seed scratched her eye, requiring medical attention. She also stated that she had obtained a restraining order against Ms. Dove, describing her as “a little kooky.”

According to Andrew Blechman, author of Pigeons: The Fascinating Saga of the World’s Most Revered and Reviled Creature, Anna (then Augusta) said the volunteer was “a bitch with Mafioso ties” and that she’d thrown the seed at the woman to protect herself. The charges were eventually dropped, and Dove founded a club for the downtrodden pigeon feeders of New York City, which led eventually to the festivities taking place today.

Some of Anna’s flock may come to the park today in the hope that Woody Allen will finally show up. For three years, they have waited for the director to apologize for referring to pigeons as “rats with wings.” Anna urged members of her New York Bird Club to help her to pressure the writer-director into attending. The Village Voice reprinted Dove’s directive to her followers.

 

Please contact the list below and request that Woody Allen make an appearance at National Pigeon Day on Friday, June, 13th (details forthcoming) to make right the horrible disservice he’s responsible for by causing our feral pigeon population which are being persecuted and annihilated because of cavalier remarks like “rats with wings” (Stardust Memories, 1980, written and directed by Woody Allen) …. For nearly 30 years this ‘racial slur” has and is presently being perpetuated by the media who use it to ridicule and degrade pigeons so that they have no respect in our society and, therefore, are treated with contempt and hatred by the general public.

To date, Mr. Allen has been a no-show.

Of course, New York City officials are also a prime target for many activists. When Council Speaker Christine Quinn called pigeons “flying rats,” the Urban Wildlife Coalition’s Johana Clearfield wrote to inform Quinn that “flying rat” is an “epithet…much like the n-word.” That bad? Really?

Mayor Michael Bloomberg played both sides of the fence when he let City Councilman Simcha Felder take the heat for a proposed feeding ban, but later told the press, “We do have a lot of pigeons and they do tend to foul a lot of our areas, and people would be better off not feeding the pigeons.” Even he seemed wary of inciting a bird-loving mob.

Felder claimed the ban was aimed at minimizing pigeon excrement, which damages city infrastructure with its ammonia and uric acid. Each pigeon drops an average of 25 pounds of guano per year. That’s a lot of crap. But the bird boosters weren’t buying his story. They staged a protest at City Hall, carrying signs that said things like, “Have you known anybody killed by a pigeon?”Pigeon rights rallyNo, I’ve never know someone killed by a pigeon. (I also don’t know anyone killed by a feral cockroach. But they’re not cute enough to get their own day.) Demonstrators also argued that pigeons teach children an appreciation for living things. Apparently, the eight million people living here don’t count.

And when City Council member James Oddo suggested birth control, a move approved by PETA and the Humane Society, to clean up the Staten Island Ferry terminal and keep poop from raining down from the ceiling panels, the pigeons groupies came down on him like, well, poop from a ceiling. Joanna Tierno, moderator of a pigeon Internet site, told a reporter:

It’s just a horrible idea just to kill off all these innocent animals, and for what reason? You can’t help but remember the Holocaust. Jews were killed because people didn’t want to look at them anymore.

Wow. Those pigeons are looking more intelligent all the time.

More pigeon posts:
June 13 is National Pigeon Day- Ask Your Boss for the Day Off
National Pigeon Day. Again. I’m Not Kidding.
National Pigeon Day 2010: Part Two

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Magick Sandwich

Can’t Make this Stuff Up: Death Row Edition

A death row inmate in Texas wants to donate his body to an artist who will turn it into fish food. Then people will be able to feed him to goldfish in an aquarium set up in an art gallery.

Gene Hathorn killed his own family. Marco Evaristti, the artist, once hosted a dinner party and served meatballs in sauce he made from his own liposuctioned fat.

Is it wrong that I think these guys sound pretty interesting? In fact, I’m feeling so inspired, I’m going to invite my friends over right now. I’ve got some art in my toilet I want them to see.

Magick Sandwich

Man in the Mirror

Isn’t it odd that the only thing Michael Jackson did for race relations was to try to change himself from one to the other?

Related posts:
Where Were You?
Elton John, Funeral Whore, To Sing at Michael Jackson’s Service

Magick Sandwich

Where Were You?

Hello, world!

So everyone will know where I am during Michael Jackson’s memorial service, which I’m sure is very important to you all, I am blogging to you from my Blackberry while taking a dump…at Michael Jackson’s memorial service. Well, outside it. They’ve got golden Port-O-Sans out here. It’s pretty plush.

There is so much sadness here. I see it on the faces of parents who must now go back to playing the lottery. Some lobbed their young boys at the passing funeral cortege in a last desperate attempt at pimpdom. I see it also on the faces of the children, who will never know the joy of shaking hands with MJ’s mottled Mr. Happy.

Such a sad day.

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Michael Jackson Magick Sandwich

Elton John, Funeral Whore, to Sing at Michael Jackson’s Service

Michael Jackson Magick Sandwich

Thursday evening, Elton John paid tribute to Michael Jackson at his annual White Tie and Tiara Ball, dedicating his song “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” to the dead pop star.

Few people know that Jackson was working on his own version of Elton’s classic, tentatively titled “Please Let Your Son Go Down on Me.”

At the ball, John also dedicated “Candle in the Wind” to Jackson, a song originally written about Marilyn Monroe then retooled for Princess Diana.

Rumor has it that Sir John is working on a web-based funeral ballad generator, which fans could use to plug in a dead pal’s vital statistics and emerge with a ready-made eulogy in song.

Elton John Magick SandwichOf course, Elton would receive a royalty for every performance. For an undisclosed fee, Elton will show up at a funeral and throw himself on the coffin. Photos, of course, cost extra.

Elton remains undecided as to which song he will perform at Michael Jackson’s funeral, where he expects a spectacular turnout.

He is reportedly working on finishing Jackson’s version of “Please Let Your Son Go Down on Me” though he is also said to be combing his thesaurus to find a word for pedophile that rhymes with candle.

Related post:
Elton John, Wedding Whore, Sings at Rush Limbaugh’s Wedding

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