Murphy’s Law – Why are the birds so angry?

Joel Murphy

Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish company that created the popular cellphone game Angry Birds, has announced that their next outing will be a departure from their normal fare. Instead of featuring the standard fowl protagonist, it will star the birds’ rivals. Bad Piggies is set to hit stores on September 27.

I have to say, it’s about damn time.

Sure, everyone loves Angry Birds. It’s an oddly addictive cell phone game (and one that gets surprisingly and frustratingly difficult as the levels advance). Almost everyone I know has at least one version of the game on their phone. I’ve had many conversations with friends cursing at particularly frustrating levels. I’ve also witnessed groups of friends gang up on any poor sap who happens to mention that they’ve never played it. Lots of shouting and an insistence that the person must download the game RIGHT NOW generally ensues. Tears are occasionally shed.

However, at this point, they’ve given us every conceivable Angry Birds angle, including setting the most recent game in space, which is a writer’s equivalent of throwing his or her hands up in the air and going, “Fuck it, I’ve got nothing.” (See also: Jason X, Power Rangers in Space, Emanuelle in Space.)

But beyond simply freshening things up in a genre based solely on slingshoting birds at pigs cowering behind barricades, I think this new wrinkle is an important one. I mean, what do we really know about these birds? We cheer them on in their game and we buy their cute stuffed toys, but do we really know anything about them? We know that they are angry, clearly. And we know that they have some type of never-ending blood feud with the pigs. But are they really the good guys here? We assume their mission is a noble one since they are the protagonists in all of these games. But what if their kamikaze dives at these pigs aren’t noble sacrifices? What if these birds are blood thirsty killing machines wiping out an innocent race of pigs who simply want to be left alone? Perhaps we’ve been cheering for the wrong side all along.

I’m hoping Bad Piggies will finally give these poor, abused pigs a chance to share their story with the world. For too long they have been terrorized by these psychotic birds. It’s time they finally have a voice. It’s time we all stand up and let these birds know that their unchecked anger and their obsession with swine killing will not stand. Their unprovoked assaults aren’t kosher. We must protect the pigs.

Think I’m crazy? Lets look at what we do know about these two factions.

In every single game, levels begins with a collection of birds gathered around a giant slingshot. Off to the right of them are a passel of hogs hiding behind some type of elaborate barricade, which usually includes cinder blocks and logs. These shelters are crude and susceptible to flying bird attacks, but they are actually fairly impressive when you consider that they were made by bulbous pigs with no tools, no opposable thumbs and no visible legs.

Each time, the birds fling themselves at the barricades, doing everything in their power to take out the pigs. Many sacrifice their lives to crush a swine or two under their own cinder block dwellings. And what do the pigs do while these assaults are happening? They just stand there, emotionless. They never retaliate in any way. They don’t do anything to provoke these birds, outside of occasionally snickering when a bird falls flat on its face well short of the intended target. Clearly, they are the victims here. These birds are a bunch of jerks.

The pigs have been studying more complex ways to protect themselves. They are thinking outside of the box, trying to come up with any formation to keep these maniacs out of their homes. The pigs first went to Rio, then to space, just to get away from these unrelenting attackers. And still, it wasn’t enough.

Imagine you are in your home. You’ve just finished a long day at the office, your boss riding your ass the whole time about some TPS reports you forgot to file. All you want to do is plop down into your favorite recliner and eat a Lean Cuisine while watching an old Friends rerun (one of the good ones, before Chandler got fat and Ross became insufferable). Just as you are getting comfortable, peeling back the cling wrap on your fettuccine alfredo, you here a thwack against your sliding glass door. It’s a bird.

Then there’s another one. And another. Thwack! Thwack! Each bird is bigger than the last. They are hitting your house from every side. The foundation begins to shift. You hear a crack. You are trapped in your own home. There’s nothing you can do. The last thing you see is a large black bird with a fuse coming out of his back. Before your brain can even register what you are seeing, there’s an explosion. Flames come first, then only darkness.

That’s the living hell that these pigs are trapped in. They just want to watch Friends, people, but these psychopaths won’t leave them alone. It’s about damn time someone speaks up for the pigs.

We must speak up for the pigs.

Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at

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