Although they are there primarily to report the facts, there comes a time when every great news publication must use their considerable knowledge, influence, and voice to weigh in on important social questions faced by the nation. In the lead up to the postal survey, we saw the Daily Telegraph, the Herald Sun, and the Courier-Mail all editorialise in favour of marriage equality, even with the knowledge that this position could put them at odds with their readers. They did it because they knew it was the right thing to do. They did it because the arc of the moral universe does indeed bend towards justice and those who side against it will be judged by history.
With this in mind, we here at P.TV must now do the same thing. We must put aside our trademark impartiality, professionalism, and reluctance to offer an opinion and take a stand. We have to use whatever influence we have to champion this a critical issue facing us right now: we believe that the vile, loathsome bush turkey deserves to win Australian Bird of the Year 2017. We are urging you to do the right thing and support the bush turkey AKA scrub turkey AKA Australian brush turkey (scientific name alectura lathami, for its more than passing resemblance to Mark Latham).
We are well aware that the decision to throw our weight behind this cretinous, scrotum-necked menace could be a controversial one. We are also well aware of the incredible importance of the Australian Bird of the Year competition. We do not say this lightly.
The contest is facilitated by The Guardian Australia in concert with Birdlife Australia and finally allows Australians to have a say on which bird was the hardest working, most impressive, and most loved of all birds in Australia in the year 2017. Voters can choose from a shortlist of 50 birds ranging from the delicate superb fairywren (malurus cyaneus) to the murderous southern cassowary (casuarius casuarius) or submit their own, if they find that the bird they admire and cherish the most has been ignored in the pre-selection process.
“But Pedestrian.tv,” we hear you say, talking to your phone aloud on the bus like a crazy person, “isn’t the bush turkey a monstrous garbage bird without even the wherewithal to find a bin to live in as demonstrated by its disgusting compatriot, the ibis?” You’re absolutely right, dear reader, the bush turkey is a mistake made by God that was repeated a billion times by the devil every time a new one was born. It haunts the interstitial spaces between residential areas and light scrub, dragging its wrinkled, desperate visage obliviously through a commotion it is barely aware of, like an old person lost in a casino.
When it’s not too busy walking slowly in front of cars, the bush turkey works erratically to destroy any piece of undisturbed earth it can find – ostensibly to facilitate building their awful nests, but truthfully because they love chaos and inconveniencing the people around them. We freely admit that in appearance, behaviour, odour, and character, the bush turkey is a huge piece of shit that provides no joy to anyone. But we must also admire this feathery fuckwit’s tremendous spirit.
Despite being a grubby turd that looks always looks like it has a disease, the bush turkey lifts its foul body out of the nest every damn day and gets to the work of pecking uselessly at bits of rubbish and tearing up garden beds. Despite being encouraged by literally no one and rejected at large by the world, the bush turkey carries itself about the world with a noticeable sliver of completely undeserved pride and self-esteem.
The bush turkey knows that it will never be treated kindly, never be made welcome, and never make a positive impact on the world, but, nevertheless, it perseveres.
We know full well that the bush turkey is a hideous pervert of an animal that is easily eclipsed by the cockatoos, kookaburras, and galahs of this country, but we also know that few other animals do such a great job of keeping their head up in the face of diversity. Especially when that head looks like it has a decaying ballsack dangling off it.
Vote bush turkey. We know we will be.Image: Ben McLeay