The best part of politics: because they're all screwing us anyway.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

How much wood could a woodpecker peck if a woodpecker could peck wood?

I have a feeling I may be running afoul of copyright laws by posting this NYT editorial in its entirety, but it's just too funny not to. I can't even add anything.

Q. Knock, knock.

A. Who's there?

Q. Ivory-billed woodpecker.

A. Ivory-billed - what? No way. You're extinct. Some folks from Cornell said they had found you in Arkansas, but all they had to prove it was their own choked-up testimonials and some shaky video footage. Four seconds of a blurry bird on a tupelo tree - and wait, was that Bigfoot in the background? Maybe that's how they do ornithology at some schools, but a few experts - like Richard Prum of Yale and Mark Robbins of the University of Kansas - found the report highly dubious. You're a product of wishful thinking. A mirage. Or if you do exist, you're not ivory-billed at all. You're pileated.

Q. Well, pileate this, you jerk. Hear that double knock? And that distinct nasal "kent" call? Kent! Kent! It's me, the most glorious, mysterious, yearned-for bird in North America, back from the grave, living happily in the White River National Wildlife Refuge. You doubters all went public and then, blam: they pulled out the audiotape. Listen.

A. Wow. You're right. It's indisputable.

Q. Now don't you feel embarrassed.

A. Not really. Skepticism is how science works. Anyone who claimed to have found you should have expected to be run through an evidentiary wringer. And so they were. Anyway - glad to have you back. Hope it's for good.

Q. Glad to be back. Knock on wood.


  • At 11:04 AM, Blogger W.C. Varones said…


    I wouldn't worry about copyright laws. I did a bit of reading / posting about the fair use exemption a few months ago. It's shockingly broad, and pretty much lets you do whatever you want (at least that's the way Common Dreams interprets it, and no one has shut them down).

    I think it's unfair to allow blatant republishing of entire columns, but that appears to be acceptable under current interpretation of law.

  • At 2:10 PM, Blogger Boinkette said…

    Hmm...I remember reading about it on Daily Kos a while ago, and it seemed like the fair use exemption allowed for posting excerpts with commentary and a link, but not entire columns. But in any case, I don't think anyone is going to go after me for this, so I can sit back and keep laughing at "pileate this, you jerk" and "knock on wood"...


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