chapter  3
20 Pages

Put a Bird on It

WithJonathan Bean

This chapter explores a significant, recurring, and globally dispersed phenomenon: representations of birds. Within the field of consumer behavior taste is often considered a property of individuals or discrete objects. A focus on the vernacular, ordinary, and mundane is characteristic of work in the field of cultural geography. Lewis posits three canons of landscape taste. First, he holds that a focus on popular, rather than elite, taste is justified because “it is a fundamental part of all cultures, and a crucial means by which nations and cultures identify themselves and separate themselves from other nations and cultures”. As Lofgren explains, the category of good birds suggests that there are also bad birds: They led wicked lives, attacking the nice birds. They lived on prey or carrion. There were even those who laid their eggs in other birds’ nests, without a glimmer of parental love.