Last week, I heard about the "Birds Aren't Real" movement from The Daily (the NYT podcast). It is a movement that posits the US government massacred all birds in the 1970s, and all the birds nowadays are the government's surveillance drones. You might be wondering what the f*** this is. But haven't we heard more absurd claims too many times these days? - such as the Flat Earth and QAnon. Too many noises might already have made us live in a world of indifference.
However, the movement has a different story. It is not another ridiculous conspiracy theory. It is a fake conspiracy theory and social movement by young people to criticize the post-truth world: fighting lunacy with lunacy. "It’s Gen Z’s attempt to upend the rabbit hole with absurdism."
Peter McIndoe created the movement in 2017. He saw Pro-Trump counterprotesters in a woman's march in Memphis downtown. He tried to find out a way to scorn them; he ripped off a poster and put down the most foolish phrase he could imagine: "Birds Aren't Real." And the movement got a shot. They even got a website and goods.
“It was a spontaneous joke, but it was a reflection of the absurdity everyone was feeling,” - Peter McIndoe
Yes, it was a reflection: mirroring.
Mirroring is a useful tool. Many comedians such as Jon Stewart use mirroring as a satire tool: showing the clips of lunatic moments. However, mirroring is also a dangerous tool. If we reflect the violence and cruelty, the evil might permeate our soul.
How about the mirroring of the Birds Aren't Real? The researchers said that any harms were most likely minimal. I was a bit relieved as the NYT article said that the movement actually acts as a shelter for those hurt by many brutal conspiracy theories.
“Allowing people to engage in collaborative world building is therapeutic because it lets them disarm conspiracism and engage in a safe way.” - Joshua Citarella, an independent researcher
I was impressed by knowing a new generations' way to change the world. I hope it will make an excellent step to the new world - no matter how far it is.