Obviously, “Holly Hobbie” doesn’t sell around here…
Why does negativity sell? And why does it, and all of the controversy following it get everyone’s attention? I have published so many happy and wonderful stories on here. Great stuff about good information and pleasant positive stories. Meh.
If It Bleeds, It Leads
I learned my lesson with the Troy birds: What the hell? Happy fun, funny stuff? For the most part, it just lays there. I do a hard-hitting, biting yet somewhat understanding piece about the Troy Disaster and you’d think I was reporting about the My Lai Massacre. Well, come to think of it, there were a lot of similarities. Death. Destruction of innocents. Controversy. A trial. Trauma. Drama. A court case. And apparently it still hasn’t been resolved.
I found the Troy case to be a sad case of neglect and greed. The owner of the birds had neither the interest, the heart or the education to do right by those birds. And the aftermath was, in my opinion a case of neglect by the court system. I didn’t like the ending which seems to be a never-ending road to nowhere. The case is all loose ends with no conclusion. And if anyone has any information on this case, please update me because I haven’t seen a thing.
If it Dies, it Flies
Okay. How about The WOTR birds? Could have been the L.A. riots. Or the 1968 Democratic Convention what with the discussion and furor that went on. Such an uproar and such a difference of opinion. I’ll never forget this quote from Mayor Richard J. Daly which was a sign of the times in the 60’s:
The police are not here to create disorder, they’re here to preserve disorder.
Richard J. Daley
Loaded with two-sided controversy and argument on who was right. Supporters of WOTR staunchly supporting the Board of Directors and their leader. Critics getting on their backs about what I thought was a case of overloaded caregivers with too many birds and not enough oversight by the Board of Directors.
God knows that story got people sitting up and paying attention. And I can tell you after that one, there was a lot of cage cleaning going on that night. I know there was, because I asked everyone to clean just one cage that night in honor of them on Facebook. That night, it was raining Poop-Off everywhere.
Explaining some nuances about Chop at the Midwest Bird Expo
What I don’t understand is where the appetite for destruction comes in. I understand people who disagree and want to air their differences. I get that.
I understood the issues some organizations and individuals have with the American Federation of Aviculture and their quest to change the AFA’s way of looking at things. (The AFA and My Schedule From Hell) There were a ton of opinions expressed in the comments.
I have a few opinions about this and I’ve made my opinions known to officers of the AFA. They know how I feel. Unfortunately, due to their support and protection of breeders, which is their choice and was essentially the cornerstone of their organization and how they began, many Adoption Organizations simply can’t get behind the AFA. Many people rendered their opinion on the post I published about it. Enough said.
I have made it pretty clear here that I am trying to learn everything I can about the industry, the field and how things work. I don’t pretend to know everything about much of anything. I’m a writer. I’ve taken classes and seminars. I’ve read until my eyes bleed to learn the ins and outs of parrot care. But the learning process goes on with me and I’m proud of that. I never feel any of us should stop learning.
I used to write about wings of aluminum. Now I write about feathered ones. Not much of a difference really. It still involves people. I began this blog as a way of illustrating the learning process I’m going through and what it’s like to go through that learning experience. It began because I feel the need to write. And I try to do just that on a regular basis.
Rebecca Stockslager’s husband Bill with family members meeting Steve Malowski
Not long after I began Parrot Nation, I was invited to the Cincinnati Zoo in what was six weeks total of some of the hardest work I’ve ever done in my life. Right behind it were my visits to Best Friends. Neither was easy.
It’s never been easy, this do-it-yourself interning Ive been experiencing. I’ve been bitten by a pig, a penguin, parrots, and I was charged by a sandhill crane. I have been messed with by Stellar Sea Eagles, pooped on by a fruit bat, a little penguin and some enormous raptor or another, I forget what species. Wait, he didn’t poop on me, he regurgitated some half digested meat that smelled like God-knows-what and when it splatted on the ground, it splashed on my jeans. I always have the most interesting laundry.
It has been a wonderful experience albeit a smelly one and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. And for the most part, my experiences have been positive and upbeat.
There are stories that I was proud to be a part of and happy to write about. This was one of them:
Scout; Now living With Bonnie Grafton and Doing Well
The story of Scout, (The Good Scout) the Blue and Gold Macaw living with an elderly Cuban couple who left Scout on a stand where she spent years camped out in the back yard. With help, I made some connections and got Scout’s feathered butt out of harm’s way and into a safe and supportive environment. I was happy about that one, I’ll tell you.
Negotiating The Emotional Trenches was a story that was difficult to write but it made a solid point. There had been some quibbling in the past about seed in a bird’s diet, but as far as I’m concerned, it needs to take a back seat in their intake to healthier, fresh stuff. My posts and videos about Chop made a lasting impression on the world of Aviculture and I’m hoping that it continues to grow in popularity.
And from what I am seeing, there is a new upstart in the world of avian nutrition. I won’t post it here because I don’t think it’s very realistic and the jury is still out on the legitimacy of the claims being made. Suffice it to say, the items being suggested for a parrot’s diet are not going to be able to be found in your local Whole Foods. They want you to buy their product. Tell me that and throw in some, “If you don’t feed this way, your bird will die…” statements and you’ve lost me. We’ll see if anything develops.
So you take the good, the bad, and the messy and you end up with almost four and a half years of posts about the drama and trauma of living with birds. Most of it is good. Some of it isn’t.
But it seems to me that the Happy-Happy-Joy-Joy, Good News posts don’t generate the interest that the “Drama-Mama” posts do. I’m trying to figure out why all the negative stuff plays. It does in the news and apparently it does here as well. I just don’t know why. Because personally, I’m a sucker for a happy ending.
October 13, 2012 at 11:25 am
Great Post! I love a happy ending!
October 13, 2012 at 11:36 am
I love Holly Hobbie. I have 2 Holly Hobbie glasses from an A&W promotion back in the ’70s still in my kitchen cabinet. My grandmother gave them to me and I’ve kept them because they’re so cool. There used to be 8 of them…the years and the dishwashers have not been kind to the set…
Thanks to the Internet, people can hide behind the computer screens and write whatever pops into their minds after reading a blog post. The articles that “bleed” as you say still stir our hearts and get the blood pumping as the ol’ newspaper editors knew they did. Now we have an immediate outlet to spew our comments onto/into/through. The internal editor doesn’t get a chance to sleep on it or rethink what’s being written…it bleeds, it leads, and it gets responded to in an instant.
You should see the comments I can’t approve on the In Your Flock website because someone or other has read one page or one post, made a snap judgment without reading any other page that might tell them what we’re about…an instant response is not always a wise response. Although an instant response is what’s in our heart; it’s what the post stirred inside a person…unedited.
October 13, 2012 at 12:32 pm
I loved Holly Hobbie as a child. I had a whole bedroom suit all themed HH! My nickname in college ended up being Hobbie 😛
People love drama. I personally would rather learn and share the knowledge than get wrapped up in the drama. I can’t express enough how much your writing inspires me to be a better parrot mom. I thank you for what you do! Let the drama queens talk and just keep going. Ive learned they talk no matter what you do. Let them talk and keep on going.
October 13, 2012 at 12:49 pm
I completely agree with Sandy. The immediacy of the internet gives people a vent for their knee jerk angers. What they would be shouting at the TV or the newspaper or fuming about on the way to work gets written before they have time to cool off and let it percolate down to a slow simmer with some reasoning.
But I think mostly, people like the other stories but feel no need to comment because anger is not involved. Anger makes people fight and motivates them to post when they might otherwise just walk away. Happy things don’t. So they don’t respond to the happy posts because they’re too busy being happy.
Honestly, I love all your posts because you are real and you speak reasonable truths. Whether it’s WOTR or your emotional responses to other birds or just a cute observation, your writing brings your situation to life. Thanks for sharing, and remember we’re all reading even if we don’t post. 🙂
October 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm
HOW ABOUT THIS: if it’s a happy ending, there is nothing more to be done. (And who doesn’t love a happy ending?) But it’s a crisis in progress, MAYBE someone somewhere can do… something. That is a big difference.
October 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm
Well, obviously, what Su Gould said. If it’s a happy post, there is no need to comment. But if there’s something that can be changed with a simple comment, maybe it’s worth leaving that comment. That said, it’s my humble opinion that I have saved untold time, misery, and grief by not getting involved in Facebook.