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April 03, 2005

Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful

Mike Gerber and I went to see the new documentary The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. I don't know what motivated Mike, given his peculiar and frankly unwholesome tastes, but I wanted to go because of enthusiastic recommendations by the Daily Howler here and here.

It's about Mark Bittner, a man who has for many years fed, studied and loved a flock of wild parrots in San Francisco. The unusual thing is that it's simultaneously (1) rated G, appropriate for all ages and something kids will love; and (2) extremely adult and complex.

I won't say much more about it, except:


You can find out more at the movie website or Mark Bittner's site.

You cannot resist this. You can't. I defy you to watch the trailer—especially the part at the end with Bittner singing and one of the parrots dancing along—and not want to see this.

Posted at April 3, 2005 11:52 PM | TrackBack

2 of my 3 favorite jokes are parrot-themed. Here's one of them: A magician was unsuccessful wherever he played because pretty soon all the regulars knew his routines and found his act boring. A friend suggested he get a job working on a cruise line-- the cruises were short, usually 3 days, and practically all his audiences would be unfamiliar with his routines. He did this, and for a while he was pretty popular.

Then one day the captain, who loved his act and never missed it, got a parrot. Pretty soon the parrot was telling the audience: "it's in the little box", or "he put it up his sleeve", effectively ruining his act and driving the magician batty. But he couldn't say anything, because it was the captain's parrot.

One day the ship hit an iceberg and promptly sank. One of the lifeboats ended up with two passengers-- the magician and the parrot, who just sat there for a while, stunned. Then the parrot spoke:

"Hey, that was pretty good: what did you do with the ship?"

Posted by: Hugo at April 5, 2005 12:12 PM

Having lived in SF and seeing..well make that...HEARING these birds, I have a great interest in seeing it.

It has gotten some great reviews..and really, who can resist a warm hearted tale (tail)

Posted by: jillian at April 5, 2005 07:03 PM


What are the other two jokes?

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at April 6, 2005 07:00 AM

Jonathan, you are such a mensch for pointing out this film. As soon as I read your post, I made a date to see it and loved every moment. It's the rare movie that moves me to tears (OK, aside from those TV ads for Sylvan Learning Center...).


Posted by: mk at April 7, 2005 11:10 PM

one of the other jokes: two guys walk out of a bar. The first one looks up,then asks the other one,

"is that the sun or the moon?"

the other guy says, "I don't know, I don't live around here."


I like this joke very much, but most people look at me like I have rocks in my head when I tell it. maybe it's the delivery.

Anyway, Jonathan,If you think this is stupid you probably wouldn't like parrot joke No. 2, although I guess I'll have to tell it to you if you become pope and order me to. To be fair, it's probably all dowhill after parrot joke no. 1. Anyway, good luck with becoming pope.

Posted by: Hugo at April 8, 2005 12:47 AM