Friday, June 18, 2010

The Bird is the Word

Whilst watching Sky News' appalling coverage of Derrick Bird's gun rampage in Cumbria, I found myself wondering what would be the most offensive piece of 'satire' I could possibly create based on these events. Even more offensive than Sky's scandalously sensationalist approach, full of wild speculation and naming of 'victims' before names had been officially released by the police, that is. Later that day, I got my answer when I heard 'Surfin' Bird' by the Trashmen played on the radio. I couldn't help but imagine Derrick Bird driving around Cumbria, gunning people down as that played on his tape deck. If you aren't familiar with the song, it's the 1960s surfing song which Peter Griffin becomes obsessed with in an episode of Family Guy. If you still don't recognise it, go and look it up on You Tube now. Right, are you back? Heard it? Good, I'll continue. The most offensive thing I could do, I decided, would be to produce an animated film of Bird on his rampage, with 'Surfin' Bird' as the soundtrack. It would start with him drawing up in his taxi, gesturing over a passer-by, before asking, "Have you heard about the bird?" If they answered in the negative, he'd pull out his shotgun and blast them in the face, then leap out of his taxi and perform Peter Griffin's dance from the Family Guy episode.

Obviously, I haven't done this, nor do I have any intention of doing it. However, it turns out that someone else has. Well, almost - they didn't use 'Surfin' Bird' as a theme. Nevertheless, one of those Far Eastern news outlets has created their own computer generated recreation of Bird's shooting spree, complete with gun shots and blood. Yes indeed, not satisfied with computer generated versions of Tiger Woods crashing his car, or Gordon Brown punching aides in the face, now we have an animated mass murderer. In a way, I'm quite disappointed that they didn't have this technology when Princess Diana died - imagine what they'd have made of that. Or the assassination of John F Kennedy - maybe they could have thrown some light on what went on over on that grassy knoll. Of course, if only the police weren't so bloody unreasonable and would release that CCTV footage of Bird's shootings that allegedly exists, then, the makers of this stuff would doubtless argue, they wouldn't need to recreate it digitally. Which is probably also Sky News' excuse for it's hours of speculation - if they'd just been allowed to film the shootings and the bodies of the victims, then they wouldn't have had to fill the air waves with hours of dross.

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