nathaxnne [hiatus <3]’s review published on Letterboxd:
what would it matter if the birds weren't real but if they sang and hopped and fluttered and flew and when it was their time they fell where they were, not from the avian flu, not from west nile virus, just because they ran out, they were obsolete. poor old obsolete birds. pretty pretty birds. excellent birds. there they go. u think when all the birds are gone and we seek to make birds bc we miss them but not enough to forestall the evitable when we tire of them will we make hats of their first their feathers and then their whole bodies our excellent replacement birds? will we once again prefer them dead to whatever they were before death, animate i guess? how do we know if something is alive? what kind of test do we want it to pass? what would it be to fail such a test? what difference would it make to you? would you discount? would you feel faintly disappointed? overcome with revulsion? with murderous impulse? with fear? with rage? what has been taken from you? what has been given back? what if all the birds you saw dead on the road run over by cars or as if they were asleep on their backs with their legs in the air otherwise seemingly untouched what if they were never subject to rot what if everything else would rot around them first and they would rot but slower so timelapse would think that there was a rot in the world that infected the bird while it was asleep insinuating itself into its dreams introducing decay where decay would never come as it never does a gunshot in plate glass, spidery in the absence of spiders will we think about things being spidery without spiders how long will it take us to stop comparing other things in the world to them? there will be ticks for a pretty long time. we won't ever invent a fake tick unless some intelligence service never mind ... a birth that erases, a denial in advance, an ellipse never opened; birds made out of someone's idea of what birds are does it matter that once they weren't there the longing made itself into birds the longing was so profound. is it fake or is it convergent evolution? what if one day a kind of bird that you were used to seeing all the time was retired en masse like a finch that hops around outdoor dining and there were maybe three or four models of them that had slightly different attributes but were the same basic format and one day they were all dead, the pavilion coated in their bodies and everyone would be sad and talk about how much they would miss the birds they saw every day at lunch and then next week there would be totally different but not that different little birds that hopped and chirped in slightly different tones and colors and everyone would talk about how much they liked the new birds or maybe they preferred the old birds and were still mad but eventually everyone would get used to the new birds and it would be like those birds were always there always your old friends until some software licensing deal expires or they stop supporting them remotely. sometimes then the birds don't even die. they just don't get updates and day by day they are more overcome with wifi viruses and subroutines not working right and they shut down bit by bit it is difficult to see them that way the fake birds shivering chirping brokenly with bits of data or song missing, sometimes just with the volume eroded until they still look like they are singing if you look up close with their chests aspirating its not fake aspirating they are really doing it sometimes they die that way or at least freeze we aren't sure how much they die or at what rate they die but they freeze in the middle of their song their beaks open, eyes unblinking. sometimes they aren't moving but they are still warm and people pick them up and take them home and put them in a cabinet or on a desk or mantle. just as antecedent birds learned other songs sometimes fake birds get infected with viruses that change their songs into ad jingles or bits of video audio or loops or chops of the same. how many birds running themselves into glass towers are malfunctioning? a: 100%. is there a museum of obsolete birds? is it only available online? how many are just pictures? how many are photos or video grabs? is there a record of its songs? sometimes to save disk space obsolete bird songs are deleted by the corporations which own rights to them. for a brief period it was a thing to make especially favorite bird songs ring tones on phones there was some cross promotion but it wasn't very cool for long. sometimes flocks of fake birds would align into an advertisement briefly or their corporate logo sometimes they would fly for an extended period of time in such formations. it became popular among teenagers and young adults to try and disrupt these corporate flocks using projected sound and laser technology, an activity which due to its concomitant effects upon aerospace, was heavily sanctioned and soon disappeared as well. sometimes a flying car's external object avoidance systems will be a little wonky and they will plow through one, disassembling and reassembling seamlessly except sometimes they end up into a different logo configuration, config b., which is developed for maximum speed and fluidity of recovery. sometimes if a bird has been out long enough in the wild the rain will eat holes in them, places where you can see the silica gel flux and shimmer, flecked with bits of gold for distributed conductivity. abandoned pet birds will be found wandering repeating the names of their families and last known addresses. sometimes they are actually lost and you get to see someone frantically calling their pet bird's name in public and the bird will walk through the crowd and the crowd will part for the reunion frequently the human is in tears and they say oh thank god i've found you. milsci apps for fake birds are of course, well known to the general public, explosive, armor-piercing, surveillance, frequency jamming/transmitting, chemical dispersant, crowd control. if we had enough of them we could alter weather patterns by placing large enough flocks in strategic locations and synchronizing their movements but officially this has never happened. the cassowary combat model has been deployed successfully in a variety of terrains against a variety of opponents. they have a kill rate of over 90%. those that are left usually require long-term assistance. the cassowary has not been encouraged to leave survivors but it does occur. once a whole squadron of cassowary became contact-infected by a human co-worker playing a facility-unauthorized fps mobile game too close to their holding area with predictable results. the whole complex was hit with a low-orbit space laser. no one went near it for six months to be sure and then only in full protective gear.