Interview with a Starling (Note: Sandy "Bad Boy" Starling, who, with three cohorts, was arrested in January, charged with poop-terrorism and then held at the Brooklyn Detention Center, whence the four escaped after five weeks of imprisonment, has emerged as a folk-hero in the starling community and as an eloquent spokesman for their cause. The street credibility of NUVO"s Rocky the Cat with an Attitudeô gained him an exclusive interview with Mr. Starling last week.) 

Rocky: Bad Boy, tell me about the plight of the starlings.

Bad Boy: Well, as you know, we were condemned to death by the downtown boosters. Where they got such authority I do not know. Killing tens of thousands of us is an obvious case of animal genocide. There was concern, you may recall, that the poison used on us might hurt the peregrine falcons, which are apparently "good birds" while we are "bad birds." There was a public outcry, so for the time being, the death-plan has been tabled. But the downtown boosters are concerned with their own agenda, not the right to self-determination of others, so I am sure this is not over.

Rocky: As I sit here with you, Bad Boy, the intellectual in me is compelled to listen to you, but the cat in me is compelled to devour you.

Bad Boy: That possibility was foreseen, and that is why I am surrounded by so much security.

Rocky: I see. So did you really poop-bomb a 2002 Ford Expedition on Monument Circle last December?

Bad Boy: If pooping is a crime, then I guess I am guilty.

Rocky: Oh ho ho! A capital response! Tell me, what's it like being a bird? I personally am afraid of heights, so I could never fly like you.

Bad Boy: It's cool. For example, we see lots of things the general public doesn't. I can buzz by Mayor Peterson's office window and peep in. We do things like fly over the zoo and make notes of conditions there. We keep watch at the animal shelter - we keep a running tally of how many dogs and cats go in, and how many make it out alive. We do many things regarding our brothers and sisters that the general public is not aware of. The greatest thing about flying is the sense of freedom - that sense of freedom is what the downtown boosters resent most about us, we feel.

Rocky: What about your relation to humans? Or are you just concerned with other animals?

Bad Boy: All oppressed animals and peoples are our brothers and sisters.

Rocky: Someone told me that you have become interested in the homeless humans.

Bad Boy: Indeed. We find it ludicrous that the city plans to come up with an estimated $10-$20 million in state, federal and private funding to link up gentrified neighborhoods and cultural attractions by means of a "cultural trail," but has come up with only $1.7 million in federal funds to renovate a mere 130 apartments for the homeless. Is a pretty place to walk more important than a place for a homeless man, woman or child to live? We don"t think so. We think the Peterson Administration has tragically skewed priorities. But this business of an unspoken caste system with corresponding rewards and punishments is endemic to this city. One thinks of the ben Ishmaelites in the early 20th century.

Rocky: You are very well-read.

Bad Boy: Even in the face of death, one must continue to acquire knowledge.

Rocky: Do you like music?

Bad Boy: I love jazz, especially Charlie Parker.

Rocky: Bad Boy, thank you for spending this time with me.

Bad Boy: It has been my pleasure, Rocky.


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