Salary Survey Extra: It's a Bird, It's a Plane ... No, Wait, It Can't Be a Bird
Posted on
June 15, 2023

Salary Survey Extra is a series of dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our annual Salary Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

The Salary Survey fights back (you know, sort of) against the patently ridiculous claims of the Birds Aren't Real movement.

Unless you've been alive since before 1971, there's a good chance that you've never seen a real bird. Or at least not if you live in the United States. If you find that fact surprising, then you're probably one of the dupes who doesn't know that U.S. government agents eradicated all avian life in the United States between 1959 and 1971, carefully replacing real fowl with elaborate and lifelike surveillance drones.

Big Brother, in other words, really is watching. You just didn't realize that the camera is peeping in your bedroom window from that crooked L-shaped branch of the backyard apricot tree. That pleasant melodic chirping is just to distract you from noticing the strangely lifeless eyes, and the sometimes oddly erratic flight patterns. If you've ever felt like a bird — any bird — was watching you ... you're right.

Of course it sounds crazy. They knew it would sound crazy. They wanted it to sound crazy. If it sounds crazy then no one will ever take it seriously and the terrible, awful, no-good, very bad truth will NEVER GET OUT.

Most people would probably find it at least upsetting, if not a colossal tragedy, to contemplate all of those millions of dead birds. President John F. Kennedy Jr. thought that, too — and that's why the government had to take him out. (You think we could make this stuff up?) Just remember, birdkind had it coming. Alfred Hitchcock tried to ring that particular alarm bell in 1963, but the National Censorship Board forced him to release The Birds as a work of fiction, and not a documentary.

The point is this: Birds aren't real. There's a billboard (in Tennessee) and a website and merch and everything. If that's not an open-and-shut case, then what would it take to convince you? (Did we mention that there's merch? Because there really is merch. Need a hat, or a shirt? How about a flag?)  Laugh all you want. That's just the way the government likes it, stooge.

It's a little dizzying, isn't it? For a load of complete rubbish, that is. Birds Aren't Real is real, of course. As are birds themselves. The catch is that the Birds Aren't Real people — it's mostly just one person, really — are kidding. BAR founder Peter McIndoe has publicly disclosed that Birds Aren't Real was a spur-of-the-moment lark in 2017 that the power of viral video turned into a public parody that just keeps on giving.

(It really does keep on giving: There's merch, remember? Various sources have reported that McIndoe, who has been interviewed on 60 Minutes, for heaven's sake, quit college in 2018 to become the full-time spokesman for BAR.)

At any rate, last year when Certification Magazine was walking around town in the final days before the launch of the 2023 Salary Survey, we stumbled across a bold-as-brass BAR bumper sticker that someone had playfully affixed to a utility pole. And that suggested to us a bold counterclaim that we decided to filter through the Salary Survey prism.

You have to fight fire with fire, right? So we attached our cheeky rebuttal to the list of Not So Serious questions at the end of the Salary Survey, just to see how it would play with the IT crowd. Here's what we learned:

Q: If birds aren't real then where did the dinosaurs come from?

Ooh, checkmate. — 15.0 percent
Don't you mean that the other way around? — 26.0 percent
The first dinosaurs were likely small bipedal predators who appeared over a 20 million-year period following the Permian-Triassic extinction event. — 28.5 percent
Birds aren't real? — 21.2 percent
Dinosaurs aren't real, either. The Earth is 6,000 years old and sprang fully formed out of the forehead of Zeus after Ishtar cursed him to develop a bad case of Brahman. — 9.4 percent

Mainstream science has explicitly linked birds and dinosaurs for a number of years now. On the other hand, who said anything about mainstream science? No one is trying to bring a knife to a cream pie fight here. No one, that is, except for the largest single group of survey respondents, who either didn't get the joke or weren't in the mood for it, humorlessly aligning themselves with the actual scientific origin of dinosaurs.

The next largest group of those surveyed is either feeling the vibe a little bit more, or gently suggesting to us that we don't proofread our material closely enough before heading to open mic night. Right after those folks are the 21.2 percent of respondents who haven't gotten the memo about BAR yet. We totally understand. BAR was zeitgeisty for about the standard 15 minutes three or four years ago, after all.

The balance of respondents are split: A strong 15 percent are vibing with the airtight logic we deployed, while the remaining 9.4 percent are taking the argument to the next level.

No matter where you stand, watch out for bird crap. It's not actually what it appears to be, of course, and if you just leave it there on the hood of your vehicle, then gross, come on, there's a car wash at every third gas station these days. Also: Don't be surprised when the black helicopters start to circle.

About the Author

Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

Posted to topic:
Jobs and Salary

Important Update: We have updated our Privacy Policy to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

CompTIA IT Project Management - Project+ - Advance Your IT Career by adding IT Project Manager to your resume - Learn More