I can tell by the keyword searches that are bringing folks to thePoeLog that the worldwide Interwebs audience is breathless with anticipation to hear my thoughts on Shark Week.
The keyword searches this week have consistently been shark related (well, except for a very odd and brief divergence into Kate Gosselin territory in which someone on Monday searched for news about Kate Gosselin and visited my site for said information THIRTY-FIVE times. Wouldn’t you figure it out, oh, say, after the first five times?)
Anyway, there have been some pretty funny searches, including “sad shark,” “sharks in Australia,” “sharks killing people,” “shark riding bears,” and my personal favorite: “shark week themed appetizers.” Because, honestly, how can you have a pseudo-self-proclaimed holiday or highly marketed week of themed television programming, and NOT have the appropriate snacks to accompany it?
(I’ve actually put a lot of thought into this and have decided that “shark week themed appetizers” should definitely include lots of red food coloring and ripped off limbs of things, like chicken wings. And those Goldfish crackers. You are welcome, Martha Stewart.)
Thanks to these shark-related searches, Everybody’s a Comedian When They Get Bit By a Shark and Shark Week is Apparently EVERY Week in Australia have been my most popular and visited posts this week.
So, as you can see, my feelings on sharks are well documented and run the gamut from hated to loathed, with more than a dash of fear thrown in. Why anyone would want to watch hours and hours of sharks attacking things is completely beyond me. I find it quite alarming just how much footage there is.
Y’all know sharks are having a big ol’ laugh at our expense, right? They’ve heard about Shark Week. And they think it’s morbid that we insist on watching what basically amounts to snuff films of our own species, all right there on the so-called Discovery Channel. As this guy put it in a very good Huffington Post article on the popularity of Shark Week:
Newsweek’s Isia Jasiewicz mused more cynically, “It’s a sadistic fascination with the horrific misfortunes of cute surfer boys, friendly marine biologists, and… innocent dolphins.”
The guys at Discovery are going all out. There are a truly alarming number of so called “games” on their website, including Shark Week Bingo, Shark Week Chompdown, Shark Munch, and a feature that lets you “shark yourself.”
No wonder the incidences of shark attacks have been steadily increasing. How are you going to have a healthy dose of fear if the Discovery Channel is going to make sharks all fun and playful??
Then, there are the shows. “Sharkzilla,” “Air Jaws Apocalypse,” and perhaps, (OK, no, definitely) the most terrifying of all: “Adrift: 47 Days With Sharks.” Here’s the description for that gem:
During a routine search and rescue mission over the Pacific in WWII, an American plane crashed into shark-infested waters. This is the inspiring true story of two war heroes — one an Olympian, one a pastor’s son — who managed to survive a record-breaking 47 days at sea in a life raft. They subsisted on only the food they were able to catch from the ocean and the water they were able to collect from the rain, all while fighting off a gang of sharks that were their constant companions. But when they finally did reach land, it was only the beginning of their troubles. What happened to these men is one of the greatest tests of faith, will and endurance of our time.
I might have just chummed my pants. “Gangs of sharks?” No, thank you. The only gangs I roll with are one of the 1700 species of shark-killing parasitic copepods or the two pugnose eels that somehow swim their way into a shark heart and kill it (warning: that last website is pretty gross).
Maybe we can convince Discovery to start having Parasite or Eel Week. I’d watch that.