The blackbirds of Beebe and other omens

Once again the New Year begins with hundreds of dead blackbirds on the ground in Beebe, Ark.

Just like last year, “Bible prophecy scholars” have weighed in, reminding us of the prominent role that Beebe, Ark., plays in the biblical book of Hosea. But I’m reminded, instead, of Ani DiFranco’sIndependence Day“:

and there was an exodus of birds from the trees
but they didn’t know, that we were only pretending
and the people all looked up, and looked pleased
and the birds flew around like the whole world was ending …

That seems to be the explanation for what happened in Beebe.

Here, as in general, I have to side with Ani against the Bible prophecy experts, because I’ve read all those biblical prophets too, and based on what they say, I don’t think war is noble, and I don’t like to think that love is like war.



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  • Anonymous

    The black birds falling dead are actually a Biblical sign that the apocalypse is nigh.

    By that reasoning if the Atlanta Falcons lose their NFL playoff game on Sunday, that would be another sign of the coming of the apocalypse.

  • Lori

    The whole “signs and portents” racket just makes me tired. It just kills me that people are so willing to believe entirely stupid things in order to avoid dealing with the fact that A) there are still many things in nature that we don’t understand, B) sometimes weird shit just happens and beyond that C) there is every possibility that this is happening because humans have f’ed things up somehow

  • Are you seriously implying that it wouldn’t?

  • Anonymous

    A, B, and C are both scary and more challenging to think about.  As a result, a whole lot of people stick with D) God’s about to turn out the lights.  Also, if D is true, then true believers get to escape this complicated and often sad world to go take unicorn riding lessons from Jesus.  

    Oh, and all of the scary nonbelievers get the same treatment as the Nazis during the Ark opening scene of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’.  Yay!

  • Anonymous

    It would be nice if someone would do some research on why flocks of innocent blackbirds are falling dead in a particular location with alarming regularity. It would be nice if someone would keep asshats from shooting fireworks into flocks of sleeping blackbirds.

    Won’t someone think of the blackbirds?

  • Ken

    That is the sort of reasoning that keeps Nostradamus popular.

  • Hawker40

    And if the Baltimore Ravens also lose on the following Sunday?

  • Anonymous

    In my neck of the woods, that would definitely signal the end of the world—or all of the world that mattered, anyway.

  • Does anyone wonder if the asshats who set off the fireworks in the blackbird roost were deliberately trying to kill the birds and thus create a sign of the apocalypse? There are certainly enough asshats out there who are making a good living based on the apocalypse happening Real Soon Now…but not yet.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve read all those biblical prophets too, and based on what they say, I
    don’t think war is noble, and I don’t like to think that love is like

    Oh, very nicely phrased/quoted/done.  Full points!