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The bird died in vain.
November 21, 2005 2:02 PM   Subscribe

Suicide by exterminator. "Not since Cock Robin has the death of a tiny bird caused such emotion". An endangered bird killed for "knocking over a few dominoes for a game". Granted, 23,000 dominoes in a world record attempt taking over a month to set up, but still, less than 1% of the final goal. Geenstijl.nl offered a bounty of 5000 euri for anyone who "willen saboteren" but it is now too late. klik heir for a tv clip of the record.
posted by dness2 (44 comments total)

 
That poor little bird was just doing what I have always wanted to do, but was never brave enough. Bless his tiny little punk rock piss taking heart.
posted by Divine_Wino at 2:15 PM on November 21, 2005


dness2, are you sure you're in Michigan? I appreciate you posting on Dutch affairs but your post contains a number of nasty Dutchisms. No snark intended, but what's going on?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:24 PM on November 21, 2005


Huh? Not to mention, 2 out of 4 links in Dutch. And I thought I was the only one linking to GeenStijl around here! Well, translations upon request.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:26 PM on November 21, 2005


Nasty Dutchisms? where?
posted by dness2 at 2:28 PM on November 21, 2005


I was wondering when the outrage over that poor little bird would hit the grapevine.

Seriously, that was a pretty dumb reason to kill a bird - even something so "lowly" as a house sparrow.

But then again how many such simple creatures are killed by cars every day in the US?
posted by loquacious at 2:29 PM on November 21, 2005


"euri", "willen saboteren", "klik heir" (klik hier).

Sorry to question you, maybe I'm overly sensitive as a Dutchman.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:29 PM on November 21, 2005


Interesting. Same production company as in the earlier thread on sending the gullible into "space" for a reality show.
posted by whatzit at 2:34 PM on November 21, 2005


Euri--just quoting the website. I assume it's the Dutch plural of euro.
"Willen saboteren" I am hoping is easily translatable as something about sabatoging the domino set up. Nasty maybe, but not in a particularly Dutch way.
Klik hier -- even if I can't spell right should be immediately translatable to English speakers.
I don't see what there is to be sensitive about, except I'm trying to use some Dutch in a polite homage. I think the tribute website (which I can't read most of at all) is a pretty nice thing. Not a nasty Dutchism at all.
posted by dness2 at 2:36 PM on November 21, 2005


meanwhile on the same day the pentagon admitted using white phosphorous in Iraq and hundreds of iraqi's were discovered in interiot ministry secret prisons.

and i'm supposed to get worked up over a friggin sparrow?

get a sense of perspective. Oh, while you're at it, would you please stop spamming my weblogs about this ridiculous story.
posted by quarsan at 2:37 PM on November 21, 2005


A house sparrow? The same species that, since its introduction into North America, has managed to become a major scourge of native birds, reaching nearly the same pest status as the starling, the feral pigeon, and the Norway rat? Yikes. How degraded is the environment over there for a species that tough to need help? There must be dozens of them on the college campus near my house, and I've seen similar numbers at every other North Carolina campus I've been to. Not to mention those living in parks, parking lots, city streets . . . --around damn near any sign of human habitation here. There can be only one explanation: Bolivian tree lizards!
posted by crake at 2:37 PM on November 21, 2005


whatzit, that's not a huge coincidence. Endemol is a huge company, selling their shows to a number of countries. Heh, reminds me of that Simpsons episode where they go to live in this house and pretend it's 1895, and the guy says: "I'm the creator of this show, and by creator I mean I saw it on Dutch tv and tweaked the title."
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:41 PM on November 21, 2005


#9! Nine post before the obligatory "We can't afford to care about animals until every human problem in the world is solved" post. Who had that one? What's the pot up to now? I always get stuck with crappy numbers--these things never make it past 12 or 13 these days.
posted by crake at 2:45 PM on November 21, 2005


geenstijl.nl is a bunch of clueless cissies
posted by Substrata at 2:51 PM on November 21, 2005


I would have paid $500 to have that bird killed.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:56 PM on November 21, 2005


I'm sorry dness2, I didn't mean to question you like that. It just seems odd to Dutch eyes, as I hope you can imagine. "Nasty" wasn't quite the right word either - us Dutch (me included!) are just paranoid about accidentally including some Dutch when writing in English (especially comical due to the similarity of the languages), which usually results in well-deserved derision. This obviously doesn't apply to you, dness2.

To clarify:

Euri--just quoting the website. I assume it's the Dutch plural of euro.

Not exactly. "Euro's" would be the proper plural; "euri" is used as a slang term among some people; compare American English "buck", but a bit less widespread.

"Willen saboteren" I am hoping is easily translatable as something about sabatoging the domino set up.

Indeed: "want to sabotage".

Klik hier -- even if I can't spell right should be immediately translatable to English speakers.

Absolutely. My apologies, again.

Just one thing to add: GeenStijl, the blog you linked to, is notorious among Dutch bloggers and readers for its rash, impetuous tone, especially concerning public affairs; I'm not aware of an English-language equivalent, but compare Drudge or LGF.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:01 PM on November 21, 2005


goodnewsfortheinsane wrote:

Just one thing to add: GeenStijl, the blog you linked to, is notorious among Dutch bloggers and readers for its rash, impetuous tone, especially concerning public affairs;

_and_ being totally right-wing and funded by De Telegraaf

I'm not aware of an English-language equivalent, but compare Drudge or LGF.

or all other Rupert Murdoch's wet dreams.
posted by Substrata at 3:15 PM on November 21, 2005


Good to know about those Euri's. Using international slang is what the cool kids do, or at least I hope so. I found GeenStijl because it was mentioned for the bounty on several of the English articles. I have no problem believing it's rash and impetuous, given the aforementioned bounty, and my link to it is not an endorsement of it or its policies. But, I doubt Drudge would bemoan the death of a bird, so perhaps that isn't the best American parallel. Or perhaps I'm not giving him enough credit for avian sympathies.
posted by dness2 at 3:19 PM on November 21, 2005


does this mean that if an endangered bird was going all over your place of work destroying the monetary value of your labor, you wouldnt want to get rid of the little bastard?
posted by Megafly at 3:20 PM on November 21, 2005


dness2, thanks for the post, and no problem. And Drudge is not by far the best US parallel, although I should note that I doubt whether GS are sincere in their sparrow sorrow - and that's putting it diplomatically. I would guess that they're just jumping on the opportunity to incite.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:23 PM on November 21, 2005


Alright, the GeenStijl link reads (quick & dirty translation mine):
DominoDay attack thwarted

Yesterday, vigilant security guards have managed at the last minute to thwart an attack on the Domino Day record attempt. Al Qaeda? Not quite. Just Eindhoven de gekste!1 2 guys from this provincial town tried to sneak a pizza box with 19 mice inside [where the record attempt was to be held]. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Thankfully for the 2.4 million numbskulls [television viewers] and the 19 mice, the sabotage attempt remained just that, an attempt. The boys were transferred to an actual police station2. There, they stated their intent to sabotage Domino Day for the 5000 euro reward that had been offered. They were released after hearing. Not that we had given them a single cent if they had succeeded, because avenging the life of a sparrow with the lives of 19 mice isn't worth that kind of money. Therefore: an A for the idea, an F for the execution. All's well that ends well.
1: Eindhoven is a town in the south of the Netherlands. This slogan, "Eindhoven the craziest!", is used in a "Represent!"-ish way by inhabitants, and sometimes in an ironic sense by others.

2: "Police" is rendered here in a infantile/phonetic way (perhaps: "pleece"), characteristic of the style of GeenStijl. Note that the tone of the entry treats the ordeal in an ironic sense, as if it were an actual thwarted terrorist attack.

posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:25 PM on November 21, 2005


Oh and thanks for weighing in, Substrata! Now, isn't it about time for an NL meetup? (See my profile for details.)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:30 PM on November 21, 2005


"had given them" should read "would have given them".
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:32 PM on November 21, 2005


You should have done this post gnfti. I did not get the mouse angle at all. I thought maybe they just couldn't find a picture of a sparrow.
posted by dness2 at 3:36 PM on November 21, 2005


Oh and thanks for weighing in, Substrata! Now, isn't it about time for an NL meetup?

heh, yeah let's do that.
posted by Substrata at 3:36 PM on November 21, 2005


No way dness2, you did a good job. Just curious: care to share where you found out about the story, and how you came upon the Dutch-language sources?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:49 PM on November 21, 2005




Bush lied sparrows died!

(did I do this right?)
posted by Dean Keaton at 4:25 PM on November 21, 2005


Anybody got a better longer clip of the world record?
The show hasn't aired here in the UK, and I really wanna include it in my end of year round up. Any hints appreciated!
posted by dash_slot- at 4:29 PM on November 21, 2005


Interesting quote jokeefe. Here is a version I found that names the source.

dness2 is invited to the dutch meetup.
posted by jouke at 4:47 PM on November 21, 2005


Beware. The Dutchies are taking over MetaFilter, just as the Brazilians have taken over Orkut.
posted by kika at 4:48 PM on November 21, 2005


but wait! There may have been some cheating (Dutch) involved...
During the record attempt the domino chain faltered while crossing a bridge held up by the girl in the picture, she tilted it and the dominos kept going.
posted by atrazine at 4:56 PM on November 21, 2005


The alleged cheating atrazine describes is shown in the video linked in the post. The AD article atrazine links claims 1 domino is left standing on the bridge; I personally think I see two, but the video isn't very crisp. Also, it has been said that that the entire attempt is invalid anyway, because the Guinness Book forbids any record attempts for which animals have needlessly suffered ;) Anyone can find a source to back that up though?

atrazine - are you in Holland? (asking because of hypothetical meetup goodness, see upstairs)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:51 PM on November 21, 2005


gnfti, I'm Dutch, but I'm not in Holland, so no meetup goodness for me.
posted by atrazine at 6:08 PM on November 21, 2005


Wow, that was totally cheating. And to think if they did it without the bridge it would have been fine.
posted by parallax7d at 6:10 PM on November 21, 2005


BTW Endemol, the company that was sponsoring the domino fall and also killed the bird, is the massive production company behind many of the reality shows you see on TV every day, including Big Brother, Fear Factor and Extreme Makeover.

God, I fucking hate them.
posted by fungible at 6:19 PM on November 21, 2005


The bird was a common house sparrow -- a species placed on the national endangered list last year.

A 'common house sparrow' is an endangered species?

One of those damn dutch wordplays, like 'common cigarette' = 'beautifully rolled doobie of jack herer' drool
posted by lalochezia at 6:54 PM on November 21, 2005


*Austrian accent*
Passer domesticus?
*kicks in door*
*Three shots to the head*

...I could use a little brown job. Just sayin'

I love those little brown birds man!
posted by Smedleyman at 8:08 PM on November 21, 2005


Hey thanks for the invite. I'm not sure I'll be in the Netherlands any time soon. But that's my regret. One of my favorite places in Europe is de Hoge Veluwe. Someday I'll go back, and I'll make sure I send you all a note.

Goodnews, I didn't see the sparrow until today trying to find an online feed of the plane that didn't crash. After that, google (and my rudimentary German) got me to the other sites.
posted by dness2 at 8:09 PM on November 21, 2005


mmmm jack herrer....

it was a great show. so, mefi meetup, any room for a belgian?
posted by quarsan at 1:22 AM on November 22, 2005


Someday I'll go back, and I'll make sure I send you all a note.

Don't forget!

Goodnews, I didn't see the sparrow until today trying to find an online feed of the plane that didn't crash. After that, google (and my rudimentary German) got me to the other sites.

Ah, thanks. Good job on the post, and sorry again about the whole Dutch Inquisition.

any room for a belgian?

Of course! I'll let you know when it will actually take place. :)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:01 AM on November 22, 2005


lalochezia: the common house sparrow used to be common, but it rapidly disappearing. If I remember correctly, the number of breeding pairs has dropped from 2.5 million to 1 million over the last 5 or 10 years. And yes, that says something about the state of the environment here.

gnfti: count me in for that meetup!
posted by cameleon at 4:47 AM on November 22, 2005


You never expect an inquisition.

sorry, had to say it.
posted by dness2 at 7:23 AM on November 22, 2005


De Telegraaf ( Dutch) reports that there now is a song made about the dead bird. Employees of the radiochannel Radio Eenhoorn taped the song in one night and within a couple of days, it has been downloaded 50.000 times.
All the profit will go to Stichting MUS ( translation: common house sparrow foundation)
posted by kudzu at 7:30 AM on November 22, 2005


Welcome to Metafilter, kudzu!

(This is now officially the MeFi-NL love thread.)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:40 AM on November 22, 2005


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