Surrounded by death and I don't care

And I have to agree with Drastic’s POV, about this.

So Scylla, does this mean that you are adopting Jeremy’s Evil Twin’s philosophy as your own?

Straight from the egg
they’re born to die.
They haven’t even
learned to fly.

The baby birds
fall out of trees.
They sound like
popcorn in the breeze.

Surrounded by death, an’ I don’t care.
Surrounded by death, an’ I don’t care.
Surrounded by death, an’ I don’t care.

The reaper’s gone away.

Sometimes they make it
down alive.
I slip upon them
in the drive.

So many more are
still upstairs.
The feral cats
they hunt in pairs.

Surrounded by death, an’ I don’t care.
Surrounded by death, an’ I don’t care.
Surrounded by death, an’ I don’t care.

The reaper’s gone away.


Not at all. As I said, I wan’t depressed about this. When I first moved here, and the June death spree occured I was horrified. Later, I would just pretend it wasn’t there. You know, a kind of denial.

Now though, it’s not a big deal. It’s cruel, and horrible, and indifferent, but it’s also natural.

Before, I didn’t think I felt any empathy for thee birdlings. Later I avoideed it. Now I’m comfortable with it.

I’m comfortable with the idea that I’m going to die. When it happens it will probably be as senseless as a baby bird falling, or else as full of timeless suffering as that deer. I personally don’t want to die in a hidden away institution.

I’m just thinking that we’re doing wrong, by locking death up and hiding it away where we can’t see it, by mystifying it, by sensationalizing it.

The truth is it happens all the time, and I think it’s bad both for those dying, and those that live on that it’s hidden away.

Think about the news. These people died, those others got blowed up by a car-bomb, that plane crashed, this guy got shot.

All of it is said in a hushed “what a tragedy” tone.

But, when you turned on the news did you really think that all five billion people got through the day ok?

Death seems to be the most natural and everyday thing in the world.

So far everything that’s ever lived has either died, or is getting there.

It’s just the truth. It’s reality. It’s not depressing. Pretending it’s otherwise is.

How about an MP3? I picture a Metallica type version. Heavy metal, accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra.

I guess what I’m really saying is that the season’s don’t fear the Reaper. Nor do the wind the sun and the rain. We can be like they are.

This topic strikes me as a much-shortened version of a truly stellar book, Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. (If nothing else for the line–probably horrendously misquoted–“Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim but bugs keep doing one awful thing after another.”)

The natural world isn’t kind by humanity’s variable definitions but it’s no less sensible and grand on a much broader scale. It ain’t pretty but it’s beautiful in its own way.


If you’re quite finished quoting Eric Bloom at us, I’d just like to say that I don’t think the schmuck who wrote “American Beauty” is qualified to scrape the dead birds off of your truck tires. Besides, that’s a job that should be left squarely to porch apes requesting funds, with which to purchase consumer goods.

Poignant, concise, yet devoid of excess emotion or cloying sentimentality, with just a touch of the absurd. Y’know; just like life.

I think that you could take Dave Barry’s job away from him.

Ah, Scylla,

Thank you for the reminder to all that nature exists, not in a vaccuum, but onto itself.

I live in the country too, and have seen such for awhile now. I do wild animal rescue, and about 90% of baby animals (mostly birds, squirrels and rabbits) die no matter what you do. It’s part of the natural scheme of things. It’s sad, but natural.

Have you really seen deer with broken legs around for weeks? Most of the deer with broken legs here have been hit by cars, and they die within hours due to the shock. If we can get an animal control officer here before then, they’ll euthanize them. Here, if you hit a deer with your car and you aren’t hurt, the sheriff or trooper will ask you what you want to do, since the law says the critter “belongs” to you after you hit it and you can decide. Sometimes, if the officers can by law, they’ll shoot them and put them out of their misery. 99% of the time, when a deer is hit by a car, even if it only has what we’d consider minor injuries, it will die even with medical intervention within a very short time. I figure it is a case of nature being kind rather than cruel, a natural way to inhibit suffering. The same is true with rabbits. It’s hard to raise rabbit babies to adults - they don’t want human raising. If their mom dies, it’s awful hard to raise her babies.

If you have baby birds dying all around you, it is just a reminder that some facts of nature haven’t changed for centuries. The fact that there are still many who fly free is a testament to the wisdom of natural selection, which assures that we will have the pleasure of wildlife for a long time to come.

Ah, Scylla,
Thank you for a reminder of a truly cool song. I went and dug out one of my 70’s compilations and had me a grand ole time.

All we do
Crumbles to the ground but we refuse to see

Don’t hang on
Nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away
And all your money won’t another minute buy
What strikes me most is the sheer…volume?..of death that occurs in nature…yet life carries on despite the slaughter.

And I am quite amazed at the lengths some will go to to stave off the inevitable.

Excellent post Scylla…but why in the Pit?

I think the worst part of the OP, for me, is that it’s, like, the ANIMALS. In any movie, when people are dying all over the place, I’m the one to ask “What happened to the cat?” If it were baby BABIES, I wouldn’t care. Since it’s baby BIRDS, I do.

Is that messed up, or are other people this way, too?

And, may I add… DAMN YOU, Zenster - this is going to be with me for days!

Ahhh, a challenge.

“How about this though: you could collect the little carcasses and make diorama’s out of them.”

—OK, here I was trying to get all philosophical and bring some historical perspective into this, and now you make me spit my morning coffee all over my computer screen!

Heh-thanks. I always count it as a good day when I’ve helped someone fry their nasal passages.

But for some sick reason I can’t get the idea that all these bird carcasses are going to waste out of my head. Maybe we could make a stop-motion, deceased-avian version of the Night of the Living Dead series out of them. That’d be…cool. Or something. :wink:

I have now found my calling in life. (Coincidentally, I have the DVD of Night of the Living Dead playing just ten feet away. This must be a sign.)

This article at MSNBC.COM made me think of this thread.

This quote made me spit coffee on my monitor:

“Before the program began there were a lot of dead birds on the roof during migration season — it was a decent cleanup job,” said Roy Endsley, manager of the 65-story Three-Eleven South Wacker tower.

Ah yes. The soft hail of birds on the South Wacker Tower.


I was thinking about this recently (the part about death, not animal sex). I’m into genealogy as a hobby, and I was updating some family records not long ago. Looking back at life spans in the 18th and 19th centuries, it was not uncommon to babies to be stillborn or children to die young. We tend to be much more traumatized by the death of a child nowadays, partly because it is so uncommon. It’s certainly good that we have been able to reduce child mortality, but at the same time I agree with Eve that we have a tendency to insulate ourselves from the “bad” aspects of life/nature and don’t always learn how to cope with them.

Or go the Wierd Al route, and make it as cheerful as possible. Use harmonicas, kazoos and mouth harps. Have Barney sing.

I don’t know: this has all the markings of a good idea about to go horribly awry… :wink: