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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Extinction / Stinks

Extinction / Stinks

How Disney tricks your kids

Author: Reilly Capps/Thursday, March 14, 2013/Categories: wildlife conservation

By Reilly Capps

Watching the Disney kids show "Little Einsteins" with my 3-year-old niece, we see the protagonists have met an Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, an Arkansas bird that may or may not be extinct. The kids in the show are looking for a "friend" for the woodpecker, which strikes me as sad since there aren't any friends for an Ivory-Billed Woodpecker in real life (probably). It's like making a show looking for Jews in Warsaw or Native Americans in Manhattan. 

My niece and I have this exchange: 

Me: Ivory-Billed? I thought those were extinct. 

Niece: They don't stink. 

Me: Not stink. Extinct. Not around. 

Niece: What?

Me: Those birds. They're extinct. 

Niece: You did. 

Me: I did what? 

Niece: Made a stinky.

(Which was true.) 

What irked me was that the Little Einsteins on the show did find a friend for the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, which couldn't happen in real life. There should have been a somber moment at the end of the show when the protagonists looked at the kids watching and said, "Sorry, children, all the Ivory-Billed Woodpeckers died, we're in the middle of a grand extinction, more animals are dying than ever, we're headed for a bleak future where half of all species will be gone, not many of your parents care, life is precarious, mass death is on the horizon." Or is that too morbid for a show aimed at 3-year-olds? 

Anyway, here's the 60 Minutes segment on the bird, based on the great George Butler movie on the "Lord God Bird" (Butler is famous for his Arnold Schwarzenegger doc). And below is Sufjan Stevens' pop song about the "Lord God Bird." 


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