Opinion: A Troubling Situation

Henri Robbins | Online Editor

How often are birds a problem in your life? Is it fairly often? I wouldn’t think they are, so let me tell you: When they’re a problem, they are a problem. 

To start this story as simply as possible, our dryer was acting weird. My mom didn’t want to do laundry, because every morning the dryer would start rattling uncontrollably. Nobody knew why. 

So we tried to figure it out. At some point, one of us noticed that the vent that goes to the dryer had fallen out, and now there was just a hole in the side of our house that led nowhere. The vent was closed off on both sides so that air could get through, but dust and debris (and whatever else) couldn’t. But, with one side wide open, something could get in. To be exact: Six birds got in. But not out. 

There’s not quite a comparable experience like seeing some dude in massive gloves walk out of the laundry room with not one, not two, but three entire birds in his hands, especially when he proceeds out the front door and releases them like doves at a wedding. That is surreal. What is even crazier, mind you, is seeing his co-worker waltz out with a massive chunk of tubing from the dryer, which he then proceeds to point downwards and give a few hard blows, propelling three more birds onto the ground. None of whom are alive at that point. 

Regardless, it’s not the three dead birds that have found their way onto our driveway that matters at the moment, nor is it the three that made it out. What matters is looking at the whole situation. Six birds, all of whom were confused and disoriented, made their way into the tubing behind our dryer. Each of them probably thought that they had found some warm and cozy place to coop up for the winter, but they were all greeted by a dark, small, inescapable room. As each of them tried to flap their way out of the predicament, none of them had any luck. 

Now I’m going to branch out and go on a limb when I say that each one of them probably thought they had found a hollowed-out tree to coop up inside of. It’s a fair assumption, considering how common trees probably are to the average bird. Each of them thought they had found something familiar, something that they understood. All of them followed what they understood, and for that, they paid the price. Sure, it made sense in their worldview – just as much as sprawling cities can be understood by pigeons – but it turns out that they weren’t in the world they thought they were. 

And today, so many students struggle in the same way as the world around us changes constantly. We were all told growing up that the world of tomorrow will be completely different from that of yesterday, but we were never told how — we’re lost in what should be forests, but are nothing of the sort. We’ve been told to live a certain way, strive for certain status symbols, and to act like they were supposed to back in the ’50s and ’60s. Nobody is willing to admit it, but the status quo has changed since then, and trying to keep to that same world won’t do any good. Politics, social conventions, and even the way we power our cars is all beginning to change. 

Times are changing, and if we don’t look out for it, we’ll get trapped in the inner workings of a world we know nothing about.