6 Disaster Movie Explanations For All These Dead Birds

We're All About to Pass Out and See the Future and Then ABC's Gonna Cancel Us



In 2009, everyone was desperately trying to make "the next Lost" while still showing an overwhelming lack of understanding of what made Lost watchable in the first place, (interesting characters, compelling mysteries, that one girl's butt), and ABC's entry in this race was FlashForward.

This is just the best butt.

In FlashForward a bunch of crows die and, immediately afterward, the whole world experiences a blackout that lasts 137 seconds. The ground is littered with bird corpses, who all seemed to collapse in midair for no reason.

While the humans are blacked out, they are all treated to a vision of the future, six months into the future, to be specific. They all try to make sense of their visions and one detective immediately springs into action and starts looking all over the world for an explanation. The rest of the series is spent trying to figure out a) why the birds died, b) what caused the blackout, c) if they can change their own future and d) if they'll get picked up for a second season. (Only one of those questions was answered.)

Why This Would Be Really Bad For Us:

It would bad for us because, unlike those guys from FlashForward, none of us would actually do anything if we suddenly flashed forward for 137 seconds. Have you ever had a dream that could have been a vision of the future? Did you ever do anything about it? Of course not, you're a rational human being. Humans are programmed to believe magic isn't real, so any brief vision of the future would just be shrugged off as a weird fever dream. In FlashForward, an average police detective blacks out, gets a glimpse of the future and immediately springs into action, spearheading a globe-spanning investigation aimed at finding out why the flash occurred.

In real life Daniel O'Brien blacks out and thinks nothing of it, because that happens all the time. He recalls a hazy vision that could have been six months in the future but immediately dismisses it and blames the hallucination on stress, or all that LSD he ate.

Likelihood That This is Responsible:

Pretty low. In FlashForward, only crows died, no other birds and certainly no fish. Whatever is killing our birds is doing so indiscriminately, so I'm guessing it's a different thing. But, if I'm wrong, assume every dream you have over the next couple of weeks is actually the future, and plan accordingly.

An Event is Happening


The Happening.

In this I-refuse-to-look-up-the-year-this-movie-was-released-because-I-hated-it-so-much movie by M. Night Shyamalan, nothing happens to birds or fish, but all of the world's bees start dying for no clear reason. And before any of the world's scientists can say "It's because of inbreeding," everyone in America suddenly comes down with a case of the suicides.

That's right. All over the country, people stop what they're doing and kill themselves in horrific ways. Apparently, the plants of the world were sick of how humans were disrespecting their home planet, so they released a toxin that made any human within breathing distance kill him or herself, and the big twist is that I'm not kidding.

Why This Would Be Really Bad For Us:

Well, for one thing, that movie was a shitpile. It would mean that God or Science or whoever was running the show upstairs had finally run out of ideas and was reduced to relying on poorly conceived, hole-ridden storylines to keep Earth's plot moving forward. We'd be living in a world created by a director whose head is so far up his own ass he farts cavities.


Likelihood That This is Responsible:

None, no likelihood. Our bees aren't dying because of plants, they're dying because mankind has been forcing all of the brother and sister and cousin bees to mate with each other for decades, they're what happens when inbreeding dials it up to eleven. See, if you're the result of, say, one generation of inbreeding, (like Shyamalan, according to a theory of mine), you're just ass-backwards enough to be artistically and socially retarded, but you can still function, sort of. These bees are waaay down the line in a family dynasty of inbreeding. They've been inbreeding so hard that they're too stupid to not die. Hey, speaking of stupid...

Probably Something I Did (Part 2: Did Harder)


Timeliness is everything on the Internet. (Fine.) Timeliness and cats are everything on the Internet. The first birdpocalypse, the one in Arkansas, happened a week ago. I knew then that it would be good fodder for a column, but I also knew that a week in Real Time was about seven months in Internet Time, and something like three fortnights in Cat Years. The Internet changes so fast that most topics become stale while you're actually writing about them. If several dogs die or, hell, if a fat kid slips at an ice skating rink in the time it takes for me to publish this article, this and every other story about global bird death will already feel like yesterday's news.

Still, I really wanted to write about birder, so I casually complained to my fellow Cracked Columnist, Soren Bowie,early on in the week.


Daniel: I have the worst luck. A ton of birds and fish died over the weekend.

Soren: I can see how that might be rough for you.

Daniel: I want to write about it, but my column won't run till Friday.

Soren: On the spectrum of problems, this is really, really low. Just write about literally anything else, you can-

Daniel: I just wish more birds would die. If a few more died today or tomorrow or whatever, I'd be set.

And then I walked away, prepared to move on with my life. On Tuesday, of course, more birds died.


Soren: Dan, did you see this? More dead birds, this time in Louisiana.

Daniel: Yeah? Huh.

Soren: That's... what you wanted, right? It's awful, and you're awful for wanting it, but it's way more timely now.

Daniel: Think so? I don't know. Still pretty early in the week.

Wednesday -AM

Soren: Dead fish in Maryland! And birds in Kentucky! What the shit?

Daniel: I know right? As near as I can tell, I did this with my mind.

Soren: Don't be ridiculous, I'm sure-

[Soren's "DEAD BIRD" Google Alert flashes, informing him that dead birds were found in both Sweden and Itlay.]

Soren:Why are you doing this?! Stop it!

Daniel: I caaaaaaaan't! Plus, don't really feeeeeeel like it!

Which brings us to the present. Thousands and thousands of dead birds and fish in one week, after I happened to offhandedly mention that I wished more birds and fish died en masse for my own selfish needs.

Why This Would Be Really Bad For Us:

I have all the morality of a drunk eight-year-old and the self-awareness of a cold bag of ham, but in my occasional windows of clarity, even I'm cognizant of the fact that I am the last person on the planet who should have access to unstoppable mental powers.

Likelihood That I am Responsible:

I don't mean to alarm anyone, but one hundred and a million percent. If you have a pet bird or know any birds or are Larry Bird, I'm so, so sorry, but please get away from me, because you're just not safe. (My mental powers, while impressively thorough, are far from precise. Just trying to cover all my bases, Mr. Byrd.) I'd like to say I'm going to stop mind-murdering all of these birds but if I need to waste a few more for a sequel to this article somewhere down the line, or because I think it might impress a chick, I will do it in a tiny bird's heartbeat and feel nothing. The world as you know it will be replaced with a nightmare of my subconscious.

Yeah. Probably for the best that we couldn't get an image of that.

Daniel O'Brien is a contributing author toYou Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News, available wherever books are sold. He does not advocate birder.

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