The people behind the silly “birds aren’t real” have always been very serious about their cause, and I’ve been impressed at how straight-faced they’ve been, but the facade cracked open on 60 Minutes, and they confessed that it’s all a pretense, but a pretense with a serious meaning.
With that, he finally broke character, and we met the real Peter McIndoe.
Sharyn Alfonsi: You’re the person that I’ve been hearing about but haven’t seen.
Peter McIndoe: Okay, great. Well, wonderful to meet you.
Sharyn Alfonsi: Yeah, nice to meet you too.
Mcindoe, the 24 -year-old college dropout behind Birds Aren’t Real, is fortunately, nothing like the megaphone carrying character under the cowboy hat.
He told us it’s all a parody, and it’s spread to billboards, bumper stickers and popped up at halftime during the NCAA men’s basketball national championship game last month.
Sharyn Alfonsi: What’s the purpose of all of this?
Peter McIndoe: So it’s taking this concept of misinformation and almost building a little safe space to come together within it and laugh at it, rather than be scared by it. And accept the lunacy of it all and be a bird truther for a moment in time when everything’s so crazy.
Peter McIndoe: The vision was creating something that reflected the absurdity through the eyes of the most confused archetype…
McIndoe at rally: People, when they make fun of me, don’t realize people also made fun of the founding fathers, you know, before they stormed the British gates and took over…
The humor is meant to be apolitical. McIndoe’s co-conspirators: Claire Chronis, Cameron Kasky and Connor Gaydos, say it’s become an outlet for a generation that’s been surrounded by conspiracy theories.
Connor Gaydos: It’s an opportunity for I think our generation to laugh, to make fun, to kind of be like, look, here’s like a laundry list of things that haven’t come true.
Cameron Kasky: You’ve been lying to us so we’re gonna lie to you back, and we’re gonna do it in a way that really is funny.
Wait, you’re telling me they’ve just been mocking and laughing at my generation all this time?
Good. Keep that in mind next time you see a Trump rally on TV. The kids are laughing at those clowns.